Dead Before Death


Christina Rossetti

Ah! changed and cold, how changed and very cold!

With stiffened smiling lips and cold calm eyes:

Changed, yet the same; much knowing, little wise;

This was the promise of the days of old!

Grown hard and stubborn in the ancient mould,

Grown rigid in the sham of lifelong lies:

We hoped for better things as years would rise,

But it is as over as a tale once told.

All fallen the blossom that no fruitage once bore,

All lost the present and the future time,

All lost, all lost, the lapse that went before:

So lost till death shut-to the opened door,

So lost from chime to everlasting chime,

So cold and lost for ever evermore.


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