May 13 ~  Joy of All the Earth Poems and Prose

"Hope is like a harebell, trembling from its birth,
Love is like a rose, the joy of all the earth,
Faith is like a lily, lifted high and white,
Love is like a lovely rose, the world’s delight.
Harebells and sweet lilies show a thornless growth,
But the rose with all its thorns excels them both."
~ Christina Rossetti

Christina Rossetti

English-born Victorian poet Christina Georgina Rossetti (1830–1894), was the daughter of an exiled Italian patriot who grew up surrounded by love. She privately published her first collection of poetry, Verses: Dedicated to Her Mother, when she was 16 years old.

"The downhill path is easy, but there's no turning back," said Rossetti, a passionate Anglican with deep religious devotion.

Influenced by the poets John Keats and Dante Alighieri, she pursued writing with spirited abandon. Her short, irregularly-rhymed lines celebrated mystic yearning and faith. She wrote of love threatened by death and beauty transformed by age.

With the publication of Goblin Market and Other Poems (1862) Rossetti became one of the most significant poetic voices of her time. "My heart is like a singing bird," she wrote. "My heart is like a rainbow shell/That Paddles in a halcyon sea."

Rossetti was beautiful, yet led a reclusive life and never married. Diagnosed with Graves disease in the 1870s, the frail writer remained dedicated to her family, especially her mother. Through her emotional words, she shared the legacy of her compassionate heart.

She once said, "Better by far that you should forget and smile than that you should remember and be sad."

Celebrate love, the joy of all the earth.