Christina Georgina 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 scann'd,
    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 I heard:
But I have not often smiled
    Since then, nor question'd since,
Nor cared for cornflowers 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 contemn'd of a man,
    This marr'd 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.