Man of No Letters

a place for no arguments nor approvals

Up-Hill by Christina Rossetti

Since my previous poem is about traveling, naturally I can’t pretend it wasn’t inspired by one of my old-time favorites, Up-Hill by Christina Rossetti, which has this sort of unknown magic within that it makes me reread it over and over. In this poem, Rossetti adopts a simple strategy – conversation – between two men, one is full of doubts and questions, the other is a Mr. Know-It-All. The charm begins with the road winding up-hill all the way, and it ends with beds – the ultimate, universal symbol of comfort and death – that wait for all who seek and come.


Does the road wind up-hill 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 standing 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.

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Filed under: poetry, writers, , , , , , ,

2 Responses

  1. Thanks for sharing this. Read this a long, long time ago and had forgotten again.

  2. Ian Yang says:

    Hello spasmicallyperfect, you can read more poems by Rossetti here. 😉

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