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I nursed it in my bosom while it lived,
 I hid it in my heart when it was dead;
In joy I sat alone, even so I grieved
 Alone and nothing said.

I shut the door to face the naked truth,
 I stood alone—I faced the truth alone,
Stripped bare of self-regard or forms or ruth
 Till first and last were shown.

I took the perfect balances and weighed;
 No shaking of my hand disturbed the poise;
Weighed, found it wanting: not a word I said,
 But silent made my choice.

None know the choice I made; I make it still.
 None know the choice I made and broke my heart,
Breaking mine idol: I have braced my will
 Once, chosen for once my part.

I broke it at a blow, I laid it cold,
 Crushed in my deep heart where it used to live.
My heart dies inch by inch; the time grows old,
 Grows old in which I grieve.


I have a room whereinto no one enters
 Save I myself alone:
 There sits a blessed memory on a throne,
There my life centres.

While winter comes and goes—oh tedious comer!—
 And while its nip-wind blows;
 While bloom the bloodless lily and warm rose
Of lavish summer.

If any should force entrance he might see there
 One buried yet not dead,
 Before whose face I no more bow my head
Or bend my knee there;

But often in my worn life's autumn weather
 I watch there with clear eyes,
 And think how it will be in Paradise
When we're together.

© Christina Georgina Rossetti