Personal Choice 3
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 you plann’d:
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 once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.
Christina Rossetti (1830 - 1894) was an English writer of romantic, devotional and children's poems, including ‘Goblin Market" and "Remember. She also wrote the words of two Christmas carols well known in Britain: ‘In the Bleak Midwinter’, and ‘Love Came Down at Christmas’. She was a sister of the artist and poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti and features in several of his paintings.
What an exquisite poem of departure and loss that maintains that delicate balance of language that celebrates the word ‘remember’ so poignantly.