Thursday, April 1, 2010

Later Life: A Double Sonnet of Sonnets

Christina Georgina Rossetti (1830-1894)

[excerpts]

                        3.
Thou Who didst make and knowest whereof we are made,
      Oh bear in mind our dust and nothingness,
      Our wordless tearless dumbness of distress:
Bear Thou in mind the burden Thou hast laid
Upon us, and our feebleness unstayed
      Except Thou stay us: for the long long race
      Which stretches far and far before our face
Thou knowest,–remember Thou whereof we are made.
If making makes us Thine, then Thine we are;
      And if redemption, we are twice Thine own:
If once Thou didst come down from heaven afar
      To seek us and to find us, how not save?
  Comfort us, save us, leave us not alone,
      Thou Who didst die our death and fill our grave.

                        4.
So tired am I, so weary of to-day,
      So unrefreshed from foregone weariness,
      So overburdened by foreseen distress,
So lagging and so stumbling on my way,
I scarce can rouse myself to watch or pray,
      To hope, or aim, or toil for more or less,—
      Ah, always less and less, even while I press
Forward and toil and aim as best I may.
Half-starved of soul and heartsick utterly,
      Yet lift I up my heart and soul and eyes
      (Which fail in looking upward) toward the prize:
Me, Lord, Thou seest though I see not Thee;
      Me now, as once the Thief in Paradise,
Even me, O Lord my Lord, remember me.

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