Life’s Journey To Its Very End: Christina Rossetti


Does the road wind uphill all the way?
Yes, to the very end.
Will the day’s journey take the whole long day?
From morn to night, my friend.

But is there for the night a resting-place?
A roof for when the slow, dark hours begin.
May not the darkness hide it from my face?
You cannot miss that inn.

Shall I meet other wayfarers at night?
Those who have gone before.
Then must I knock, or call when just in sight?
They will not keep you waiting at that door.

Shall I find comfort, travel-sore and weak?
Of labour you shall find the sum.
Will there be beds for me and all who seek?
Yea, beds for all who come.

Christina Georgina Rossetti. 1830–1894


I have put this poem, which I love very much, up today at the nudging of my mentor on all things poetical, Chris Fewings. He appreciates poetry, and writes very good poetry of his own, which you can see on his blog.

I wonder if he and I agree on what it means? For many years I took it at face value, a poem about a comfortable and welcoming inn at the end of a tiring day’s journey.

But I don’t think it is about that at all. The questions all seem to be about this topic, but the answers are rather strange in this context, don’t you think? I have put them in italics (not there in the original – beware!).

I think the poem is a conversation with Death, and the ‘beds for all who come’ are graves.

What do you think?

The illustration is © Laszlo Dobos | View Portfolio  via Shutterstock

About layanglicana

Author of books on Calcutta, Delhi and Dar es Salaam, I am now blogging as a lay person about the Church of England and the Anglican Communion. I am also blogging about the effects of World War One on the village of St Mary Bourne, Hampshire.
This entry was posted in Poetry and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Life’s Journey To Its Very End: Christina Rossetti

  1. yasniger says:

    Reblogged this on yasniger and commented:
    I am Captivated….. Beautiful

  2. What a beautiful illustration you have found!

    Dark? Beds for all who seek? In an era of hellfire sermons?

    But it’s also about the way, not only the end. See Edwin Muir

    Incidentally, I’m sure you have had much better mentors than me in poetry!

    • layanglicana says:

      Thank-you Chris. Also about the way, yes, I think so. Thank you for the link to the Edwin Muir poem, which is new to me – I have ordered a copy of the book which looks a great resource for intercessions (the Church of England is ready for Sufi prayers, I think!)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s