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Short poem

Christina Rossetti (1830-1894)

When I am dead, my dearest

              1When I am dead, my dearest,
              2      Sing no sad songs for me;
              3Plant thou no roses at my head,
              4      Nor shady cypress tree:
              5Be the green grass above me
              6      With showers and dewdrops wet;
              7And if thou wilt, remember,
              8      And if thou wilt, forget.

              9I shall not see the shadows,
            10      I shall not feel the rain;
            11I shall not hear the nightingale
            12      Sing on, as if in pain:
            13And dreaming through the twilight
            14      That doth not rise nor set,
            15Haply I may remember,
            16      And haply may forget.


1] Christina's brother and editor, William Michael Rossetti, commented: "This celebrated lyric ... has perhaps been oftener quoted, and certainly oftener set to music, than anything else by Christina Rossetti."

Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Christina Rossetti, Goblin Market and other Poems (Cambridge: Macmillan, 1862). end R673 G63 1862 Fisher Rare Book Library (Toronto). Text from Christina Rossetti, Poems (1890).
First publication date: 1862
RPO poem editor: Margaret Frances (Sister St. Francis) Nims
RP edition: 3RP 3.300.
Recent editing: 2:2002/3/14

Composition date: December 1848
Rhyme: abcbdefe

Other poems by Christina Rossetti