National Poetry Month, day three

An unabashed love poem by Christina Rosetti. This is one of the more heartbreaking poems I know, because it unflinchingly stares at the certainty that all love must end, and that the inevitable ending provides those left behind with terrible choices about how to approach memory.

by Christina Rosetti

Remember me when I am gone away,
   Gone far away into the silent land;
   When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
   You tell me of our future that you plann’d:
   Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.

Yet if you should forget me for a while
   And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
   For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
   Than that you should remember and be sad.

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