The World

By day she woos me, soft, exceeding fair :
        But all night as the moon so changeth she ;
        Loathsome and foul with hideous leprosy,
And subtle serpents gliding in her hair.

By day she woos me to the outer air,
        Ripe fruits, sweet flowers, and full satiety :
        But thro’ the night a beast she grins at me,
A very monster void of love and prayer.

By day she stands a lie : by night she stands
        In the naked horror of the truth,
With pushing horns and clawed and clutching hands.

Is this a friend indeed, that I should sell
        My soul to her, give her my life and youth,
Till my feet, cloven too, take hold on hell?

Christina Georgina Rossetti, 27 June 1854