A moon impoverished amid stars curtailed,
A sun of its exuberant lustre shorn,
A transient morning that is scarcely morn,
A lingering night in double dimness veiled.—
Our hands are slackened and our strength has failed;
We born to darkness, wherefore were we born?
No ripening more for olive, grape, or corn ;
Faith faints, hope faints, even love himself has paled.
Nay ! love lifts up a face like any rose
Flushing and sweet above a thorny stem,
Softly protesting that the way he knows;
And as for faith and hope, will carry them
Safe to the gate of New Jerusalem,
Where light shines full and where the palm-tree blows.
Christina Georgina Rossetti. Before 1893.