Friday, May 2, 2008

Poetry Friday: Insomnia by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Dante Gabriel Rossetti suffered from insomnia. After a ten year courtship, he married his wife who was also a model for many of his paintings. When she died less than two years after they were married, he began to treat his insomnia with a mixture of chloral and whiskey and ultimately had a mental breakdown. He wrote this poem in 1881, a year before his death.

Insomnia by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Thin are the night-skirts left behind
By daybreak hours that onward creep,
And thin, alas! the shred of sleep
That wavers with the spirit's wind:
But in half-dreams that shift and roll
And still remember and forget,
My soul this hour has drawn your soul
A little nearer yet.

Our lives, most dear, are never near,
Our thoughts are never far apart,
Though all that draws us heart to heart
Seems fainter now and now more clear.
To-night Love claims his full control,
And with desire and with regret
My soul this hour has drawn your soul
A little nearer yet.

Is there a home where heavy earth
Melts to bright air that breathes no pain,
Where water leaves no thirst again
And springing fire is Love's new birth?
If faith long bound to one true goal
May there at length its hope beget,
My soul that hour shall draw your soul
For ever nearer yet.

The Poetry Friday Roundup is at Big A little a.

1 comment:

  1. Hi! It's been almost four months that I visited your blog the last time! Now I found where I had it bookmarked and finally I'm back! Hahaha, let's just say that I'm an every day reader of your place here! Keep up the great job you're doing with your personal space of communication!