Many in Aftertimes Will Say
by Christina Rossetti
Vien dietro a me e lascia dir le genti. – Dante
Contando i casi della vita nostra. – Petrarca
Many in aftertimes will say of you
‘He loved her’ – while of me what will they say?
Not that I loved you more than just in play,
For fashion’s sake as idle women do.
Even let them prate; who know not what we knew
Of love and parting in exceeding pain.
Of parting hopeless here to meet again,
Hopeless on earth, and heaven is out of view.
But by my heart of love laid bare to you.
My love that you can make not void nor vain,
Love that foregoes you but to claim anew
Beyond this passage of the gate of death,
I charge you at the Judgment make it plain
My love of you was life and not a breath.