Friday, January 29, 2010

Christina Rossetti Part Two

Christina Rossetti never married. She was not without her suitors, but they were not acceptable because of her strong love for her Saviour. One refused to leave the Catholic Church; a second was agnostic; a third was a married man. Christina paid the full emotional cost of these unrequited loves, yet she realized that suffering is used by God in our lives to cause us to bear more spiritual fruit.

Although today He prunes my twigs with pain,
Yet doth His blood nourish and warm my root:
Tomorrow I shall put forth buds again
And clothe myself with fruit.

The following prose demonstrates that God's love was sufficient:

She whose heart is virginal abides aloft and aloof in spirit. . . Her spiritual eyes behold the King in His beauty; wherefore she forgets, by comparison, her own people and her father's house. Her Maker is her Husband, endowing her with a name better than of sons and daughters... She loves Him with all her heart and soul and mind and strength; she is jealous that she cannot love Him more; her desire to love Him outruns her possibility, yet by outrunning enlarges it. She contemplates Him, and abhors herself in dust and ashes.

Christina desired to love God fervently, with all of her heart, soul, mind and strength. Yet she was all too aware that her best efforts were mediocre, and that her heart was hard and cold and small.

What Would I Give
by Christina Georgina Rossetti

What would I give for a heart of flesh to warm me through,
Instead of this heart of stone ice-cold whatever I do!
Hard and cold and small, of all hearts the worst of all.

What would I give for words, if only words would come!
But now in its misery my spirit has fallen dumb.
O merry friends, go your own way, I have never a word to say.

What would I give for tears! Not smiles but scalding tears,
To wash the black mark clean, and to thaw the frost of years,
To wash the stain ingrain, and to make me clean again.

How her poetry resonates with me! I have the worst of all hearts. I never have a word to say that's wise and good and pure. I, too, am black and stained with sin. I am lost and undone without my Saviour, Jesus.

A Better Resurrection
by Christina Georgina Rossetti

I have no wit, no words, no tears;
My heart within me like a stone
Is numbed too much for hopes or fears.
Look right, look left, I dwell alone;
I lift mine eyes, but dimmed with grief
No everlasting hills I see;
My life is in the falling leaf:
O Jesus, quicken me.

My life is like a faded leaf,
My harvest dwindled to a husk:
Truly my life is void and brief
And tedious in the barren dusk;
My life is like a frozen thing,
No bud nor greenness can I see:
Yet rise it shall--the sap of spring;
O Jesus, rise in me.

My life is like a broken bowl,
A broken bowl that cannot hold
One drop of water for my soul
Or cordial in the searching cold;
Cast in the fire the perished thing;
Melt and remould it, till it be
A royal cup for Him, my King:
O Jesus, drink of me.
It's all about Jesus. Christina Rossetti knew that. She knows it still.


  1. Talented. I really like her too.

  2. She says what I feel. Only so much better than I could say it. Her words bring tears to my eyes.


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