The Song (Christina Georgina Rossetti)

Christina Georgina Rossetti was the sister of artist and poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti and William Michael Rossetti who became the founding members of the avant-garde artistic group Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (founded 1848) whose aim is “to reform art by rejecting what they considered to be the mechanistic approach first adopted by the Mannerist artists who succeeded Raphael and Michelangelo.

The Song is a poetic lament intended not for the one whose life is soon to end (woman) but for the soon to be grieving lover (man). Somehow I asked myself, would I have the same approach to death the way the author portrayed the woman in the poem?


Christina Georgina Rossetti

WHEN I am dead, my dearest,
Sing no sad songs for me;
Plant thou no roses at my head,
Nor shady cypress tree:
Be the green grass above me
With showers and dewdrops wet;
And if thou wilt, remember,
And if thou wilt, forget.

I shall not see the shadows,
I shall not feel the rain;
I shall not hear the nightingale
Sing on, as if in pain;
And dreaming through the twilight
That doth not rise nor set,

Haply I may remember,
And haply may forget


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