Christina Rossetti : Song


 Song : When I am dead, my dearest

 When I am dead, my dearest,

    Sing no sad songs for me;
Plant thou no roses at my head,
    Nor shady cypress tree:
Be the green grass above me
    With showers and dewdrops wet;
And if thou wilt, remember,
    And if thou wilt, forget.

I shall not see the shadows,
   I shall not feel the rain;
I shall not hear the nightingale
   Sing on, as if in pain:
And dreaming through the twilight
    That doth not rise nor set,
Haply I may remember,
    And haply may forget.

Imagery and Symbolisim :

Natural imagery - The speaker requests that the lover plant 'no roses' his/her grave and no ‘shady cypress tree' in his/her memory (lines 3-4)

  • Whilst roses represent love, the cypress tree traditionally symbolises mourning because cypress branches were carried at funerals.
  • By declaring that s/he has no need of these things, the speaker reassures the lover that s/he will not be jealous or resentful if the lover continues living his/her life rather than to mourn for the speaker.

Silence - In the second verse, the speaker claims that once dead s/he will no


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