Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Birthday by Christina Rossetti



My heart is like a singing bird
Whose nest is in a watered shoot;
My heart is like an apple tree
Whose boughs are bent with thickset fruit;
My heart is like a rainbow shell
That paddles in a halcyon sea;
My heart is gladder than all these
Because my love is come to me.
Raise me a dais of silk and down;
Hang it with vair and purple dyes;
Carve it in doves, and pomegranates,
And peacocks with a hundred eyes;
Work it in gold and silver grapes,
In leaves, and silver fleurs-de-lys;
Because the birthday of my life
Is come, my love is come to me.

I recited this poem in a testimony I did at Mass during Mystagogia, which is the "seeping in" period after you are baptized. I love this poem; many take her metaphors and similes to describe a consummation between her and her lover, and while this is true, she is not referring to an earthly lover. She is referring to Christ and that is exactly how I felt. I was in-love with 33 year old Jewish man who was born 1,998 years ago. My baptism was my birth and I felt like royalty surrounded by all the moving, scriptural imagery she so passionately illustrates.

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