Christina Rossetti: Remember
Posted on 9th January 2021
Christina Rossetti was a great Victorian poet of love and loss who lived her life in the shadow of her more famous brother the painter and founder member of the Pre-Raphaelite Movement Dante Gabriele Rossetti for whom she served as both inspiration and model for many of his more noted works.
Their mother, Frances was the sister of Dr John Polidori, the friend of Lord Byron and author of the The Vampyre who had been present at the Villa Diodati on the night that Mary Shelley first conceived the idea of Frankenstein. It was perhaps in their blood then to be both artistic and consumed by uncertainty and doubt. But one’s fears are no more real than one’s hopes and dreams however, and the romantic vision they spawn.
Christina too was a great artist and popular in her own time as the author of the children's classic Goblin Market, her many poems, and Christmas Carols such as In the Bleak Midwinter. Her most famous verse perhaps, is the short poem that follows:
Remember me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land;
When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
You tell me of our future that we planned:
Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that I once had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than you should remember and be sad.
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