by Christina Rossetti


I took my heart in my hand
     (O my love, O my love),
I said : Let me fall or stand,
     Let me live or die,
But this once hear me speak -
     (O my love, O my love) -
Yet a woman’s words are weak ;
     You should speak, not I.
You took my heart in your hand
     With a friendly smile,
With a critical eye you scanned,
     Then set it down,
And said : It is still unripe,
     Better wait awhile ;
Wait while the skylarks pipe,
     Till the corn grows brown.
As you set it down it broke -
      Broke, but I did not wince ;
I smiled at the speech you spoke,
     At your judgement that I heard :
But I have not often smiled
     Since then, nor questioned since,
Nor cared for corn-flowers wild,
     Nor sung with the singing bird.
I take my heart in my hand,
     O my God, O my God,
My broken heart in my hand,
     Thou hast seen, judge thou.
My hope was written on sand,
     O my God, O my God :
Now let thy judgement stand -
     Yea, judge me now.
This contemned of a man,
     This marred one heedless day,
This heart take thou to scan
     Both within and without :
Refine with fire its gold,
     Purge thou its dross away -
Yea, hold it in thy hold,
     Whence none can pluck it out.
I take my heart in my hand -
     I shall not die, but live -
Before thy face I stand ;
     I, for thou callest such :
All that I have I bring,
     All that I am I give,
Smile thou and I shall sing,
     But shall not question much.
Christina Rossetti | Classic Poems

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