A Better Resurrection

Greetings, David here.

Christina Rossetti (1830 – 1894) was an English poet who wrote a variety of romantic, devotional, and children’s poems. She is best known for her long poem Goblin Market, her love poem Remember, and for the words of the Christmas carol In the Bleak Midwinter.

Rossetti was educated at home by her mother, who had her study religious works, classics, fairytales and novels. Rossetti delighted in the works of Keats, Scott, Ann Radcliffe and Monk Lewis. The influence of the work of Dante Alighieri, Petrarch and other Italian writers filled the home and would have a deep impact on Rossetti’s later writing. 

In her poem A Better Resurrection Rossetti asks us to look beyond our current troubles to Jesus and the resurrection of the body – the moment when our bodies, hearts and souls become new.  I’ve often reflected on Paul’s words about the resurrection body in 1 Corinthians 15:35-38.  This poem is a great reflection on this subject.

A Better Resurrection

I have no wit, no words, no tears;
My heart within me like a stone
Is numb’d too much for hopes or fears;
Look right, look left, I dwell alone;
I lift mine eyes, but dimm’d with grief
No everlasting hills I see;
My life is in the falling leaf:
O Jesus, quicken me.

My life is like a faded leaf,
My harvest dwindled to a husk:
Truly my life is void and brief
And tedious in the barren dusk;
My life is like a frozen thing,
No bud nor greenness can I see:
Yet rise it shall–the sap of Spring;
O Jesus, rise in me.

My life is like a broken bowl,
A broken bowl that cannot hold
One drop of water for my soul
Or cordial in the searching cold;
Cast in the fire the perish’d thing;
Melt and remould it, till it be
A royal cup for Him, my King:
O Jesus, drink of me.

~ Christina Rossetti (1830 – 1894)

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