A Chilly Night

Poem By Christina Georgina Rossetti

I rose at the dead of night
And went to the lattice alone
To look for my Mother's ghost
Where the ghostly moonlight shone.

My friends had failed one by one,
Middleaged, young, and old,
Till the ghosts were warmer to me
Than my friends that had grown cold.

I looked and I saw the ghosts
Dotting plain and mound:
They stood in the blank moonlight
But no shadow lay on the ground;
They spoke without a voice
And they leapt without a sound.

I called: ' O my Mother dear, ' —
I sobbed: ' O my Mother kind,
Make a lonely bed for me
And shelter it from the wind:

' Tell the others not to come
To see me night or day;
But I need not tell my friends
To be sure to keep away. '

My Mother raised her eyes,
They were blank and could not see;
Yet they held me with their stare
While they seemed to look at me.

She opened her mouth and spoke,
I could not hear a word
While my flesh crept on my bones
And every hair was stirred.

She knew that I could not hear
The message that she told
Whether I had long to wait
Or soon should sleep in the mould:
I saw her toss her shadowless hair
And wring her hands in the cold.

I strained to catch her words
And she strained to make me hear,
But never a sound of words
Fell on my straining ear.

From midnight to the cockcrow
I kept my watch in pain
While the subtle ghosts grew subtler
In the sad night on the wane.

From midnight to the cockcrow
I watched till all were gone,
Some to sleep in the shifting sea
And some under turf and stone:
Living had failed and dead had failed
And I was indeed alone.

Comments about A Chilly Night

Very wild imagination with the lonely words form ghosts as hosts without load yells and boasts....well poem by Georgina Rossetti 10 ++
Great imagination that builds a beautiful story. Feeling a little scary when imagining the ghostly night. Enjoyed very much the way the poetess has built up the event. Nice one.
imaginative feelings on night and gone forever souls...wonderfully crafted
I looked and I saw the ghosts Dotting plain and mound: They stood in the blank moonlight But no shadow lay on the ground; They spoke without a voice. great imagination expressed well. tony
Intriguing poem courtesy of Rossetti; replete with vivid imagery. l'm particularly struck by the ending when the speaker is left alone to realise that wisdom and knowledge stem from life and the living, and that no memory of a person can replace real love...it's ultimately a futile quest.

Rating Card

5,0 out of 5
8 total ratings

Other poems of ROSSETTI


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.


Come to me in the silence of the night;
Come in the speaking silence of a dream;
Come with soft rounded cheeks and eyes as bright
As sunlight on a stream;

A Baby's Cradle With No Baby In It

A baby's cradle with no baby in it,
A baby's grave where autumn leaves drop sere;
The sweet soul gathered home to Paradise,

A Birthday

My heart is like a singing bird
Whose nest is in a water'd shoot;
My heart is like an apple-tree
Whose boughs are bent with thickset fruit;

A City Plum Is Not A Plum

A city plum is not a plum;
A dumb-bell is no bell, though dumb;
A party rat is not a rat;

A Daughter Of Eve

A fool I was to sleep at noon,
And wake when night is chilly
Beneath the comfortless cold moon;
A fool to pluck my rose too soon,