Poem: “Aloof”


The irresponsive silence of the land,
The irresponsive sounding of the sea,
Speak both one message of one sense to me:–
Aloof, aloof, we stand aloof, so stand
Thou too aloof, bound with the flawless band
Of inner solitude; we bind not thee;
But who from thy self-chain shall set thee free?
What heart shall touch thy heart? What hand thy hand?
And I am sometimes proud and sometimes meek,
And sometimes I remember days of old
When fellowship seem’d not so far to seek,
And all the world and I seem’d much less cold,
And at the rainbow’s foot lay surely gold,
And hope felt strong, and life itself not weak.

Christina Rossetti

Christina was born in London, England in 1830. Though she suffered poor health and had bouts with Graves’ disease, which ended her work as a governess and restricted her social life, she continued to write poems. She developed cancer and died in London on December 29, 1894. Her poetry is marked by symbolism and intense feeling. She is best known for her ballads and her mystic religious lyrics. She is considered a major Victorian poet.