Monday, November 30, 2015

Book Review: Verses, 1847

Verses, 1847. Christina Rossetti. [Source: Bought]

Earlier in the year, I reviewed a chunkster-collection of Poems by Christina Rossetti. I loved it so much, I decided to get the complete poems collection. (Though I didn't buy the one pictured.) But I'm not going to wait until I've read two thousand pages of poems before I review it. I'm just not! So today I have for you the first section from the book, a series of poems privately published in 1847. This section is "Verses."

The poems:

  • The Love of Christ Which Passeth Knowledge
  • A Bruised Reed Shall He Not Break
  • A Better Resurrection
  • Advent: This Advent Moon Shines Cold and Clear
  • The Three Enemies
  • One Certainty
  • Christian and Jew: A Dialogue
  • Sweet Death
  • Symbols
  • Consider the Lilies of the Field
  • The World
  • A Testimony
  • Sleep at Sea
  • From House to Home
  • Old and New Year Ditties
  • Amen
  • Despised and Rejected
  • Long Barren
  • If Only
  • Dost Thou Not Care?
  • Weary in Well-Doing
  • Martyrs' Song
  • After This the Judgment
  • Good Friday
  • The Lowest Place

Many of these poems were ones that I'd already read earlier this year. But. I didn't mind revisiting them. I really didn't.

I really enjoyed the poem "Advent."

This Advent moon shines cold and clear,
These Advent nights are long;
Our lamps have burned year after year
And still their flame is strong.
'Watchman, what of the night?' we cry,
Heart-sick with hope deferred:
'No speaking signs are in the sky,'
Is still the watchman's word.

The Porter watches at the gate,
The servants watch within;
The watch is long betimes and late,
The prize is slow to win.
'Watchman, what of the night?' But still
His answer sounds the same:
'No daybreak tops the utmost hill,
Nor pale our lamps of flame.'

One to another hear them speak
The patient virgins wise:
'Surely He is not far to seek' –
'All night we watch and rise.'
'The days are evil looking back,
The coming days are dim;
Yet count we not His promise slack,
But watch and wait for Him.'

One with another, soul with soul,
They kindle fire from fire:
'Friends watch us who have touched the goal.'
'They urge us, come up higher.'
'With them shall rest our waysore feet,
With them is built our home,
With Christ.' – 'They sweet, but He most sweet,
Sweeter than honeycomb.'

There no more parting, no more pain,
The distant ones brought near,
The lost so long are found again,
Long lost but longer dear:
Eye hath not seen, ear hath not heard,
Nor heart conceived that rest,
With them our good things long deferred,
With Jesus Christ our Best.

We weep because the night is long,
We laugh for day shall rise,
We sing a slow contented song
And knock at Paradise.
Weeping we hold Him fast Who wept
For us, we hold Him fast;
And will not let Him go except
He bless us first or last.

Weeping we hold Him fast to-night;
We will not let Him go
Till daybreak smite our wearied sight
And summer smite the snow:
Then figs shall bud, and dove with dove
Shall coo the livelong day;
Then He shall say, 'Arise, My love,
My fair one, come away.'

Other favorites include, "Long Barren," "Dost Thou Not Care," "Good Friday" and "Old and New Year Ditties."

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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