Love Saith, “Be with Me Where I Am”


Guido Reni, “Massacre of the Innocents”

Spiritual Sunday

Here are two paired Christina Rossetti poems inspired by the “Massacre of the Innocents,” the Biblical story about King Herod’s massacre which I wrote about yesterday. May her simple faith lift up those mourning parents and relatives in Newtown, Connecticut.

THEY scarcely waked before they slept,

They scarcely wept before they laughed;

They drank indeed death’s bitter draught,

But all its bitterest dregs were kept

And drained by Mothers while they wept.

From Heaven the speechless Infants speak:

Weep not (they say), our Mothers dear,

For swords nor sorrows come not here.

Now we are strong who were so weak,

And all is ours we could not seek.

We bloom among the blooming flowers,

We sing among the singing birds;

Wisdom we have who wanted words:

Here morning knows not evening hours,

All’s rainbow here without the showers.

And softer than our Mother’s breast,

And closer than our Mother’s arm,

Is here the Love that keeps us warm

And broods above our happy next.

Dear Mothers, come: for Heaven is best.

*            *            *            *

Unspotted lambs to follow the one Lamb,

Unspotted doves to wait on the one Dove;

To whom Love saith, “Be with Me where I am,”
And lo their answer unto Love is love.

For tho’ I know not any note they know,

Nor know one word of all their song above,

I know Love speaks to them, and even so

I know the answer unto Love is love.

This entry was posted in Rossetti (Christina) and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


  • Literature is as vital to our lives as food and shelter. Stories and poems help us work through the challenges we face, from everyday irritations to loneliness, heartache, and death. Literature is meant to mix it up with life. This website explores how it does so.

    Please feel free to e-mail me [rrbates (at) smcm (dot) edu]. I would be honored to hear your thoughts and questions about literature.

  • Sign up for weekly newsletter

    Your email will not be shared or sold.
    * = required field

    powered by MailChimp!
  • Twitter Authentication data is incomplete