Dream Land Poem by Christina Georgina Rossetti

Dream Land

Rating: 3.5


Where sunless rivers weep
Their waves into the deep,
She sleeps a charmed sleep:
Awake her not.
Led by a single star,
She came from very far
To seek where shadows are
Her pleasant lot.

She left the rosy morn,
She left the fields of corn,
For twilight cold and lorn
And water springs.
Through sleep, as through a veil,
She sees the sky look pale,
And hears the nightingale
That sadly sings.

Rest, rest, a perfect rest
Shed over brow and breast;
Her face is toward the west,
The purple land.
She cannot see the grain
Ripening on hill and plain;
She cannot feel the rain
Upon her hand.

Rest, rest, for evermore
Upon a mossy shore;
Rest, rest at the heart's core
Till time shall cease:
Sleep that no pain shall wake;
Night that no morn shall break
Till joy shall overtake
Her perfect peace.

COMMENTS OF THE POEM

Dream Land by Christina Georgina Rossetti is a poem about death and the afterlife. In stanza one “Where sunless rivers weep /Their waves into the deep, /She sleeps a charmed sleep: ”, the metaphor is life is like a river flowing towards death like a river flowing to the sea. She should not be woken because she must travel far “To seek where shadows are /Her pleasant lot.” This implies this poetic life being versed, is a life as preparation for death, as an eventual reward. In stanza two life is but a dream, the woman in the poem sleeps, because our life on earth is a sleeping state, “And water springs. /Through sleep, as through a veil, ” clearly indicating life is a veiled sleep. We wake when our soul reaches “The purple land”, the traditional resting place in the west. This can be taken as an Isle of Avalon, like King Arthur’s sleeping or healing place, or a metaphor for heaven. Therefore the 2nd and 3rd stanzas are about her leaving earthly things like “the rosy morn”, “fields of corn”, “grain /Ripening on hill and plain; ” and “the rain” she no longer feels. Her sleep in life is a developing preparation to leave things she knew on earth, before her traveling to heaven, or another state of existence. Readers who interpret only concrete images will not understand Rossetti's poem ‘Dream Land’. But the interpretation of imagery belongs to the reader. If the imagery is taken as concrete not abstract, then the speaker of the poem is describing the 'charmed sleep' as death. The Dream Land of death is now peaceful and pleasant, because she is conscious of nothing at all, and feels no pain. The line 'sleep that no pain shall wake/ Night that no morn shall break.' would in this context mean death. In the abstract it is death as an enchanted sleep, like in the story of Snow White, waiting for a kiss of life to wake her. In either case this is definitely “Rest, rest at the heart's core /Till time shall cease: ”. An indefinite duration of sleep until a clear moment of profound change, a kind of transfiguration, “Till joy shall overtake /Her perfect peace.” The exact meaning of this final image I leave for personal choice. However the beauty of lines in such poems, should not be forgotten, even if exact meaning is disputed.

16 3 Reply
Francie Lynch 29 July 2014

Dath is over-rated. It's certainly not like sleeping.

4 8 Reply
Stefanie Fontker 04 August 2011

I love the charming Madam Christina Georgina Rossetti's poetry, and I'm pretty sure she did more than just sit around.

5 4 Reply
Paul Brookes 29 July 2012

OMG TGC wittering on and on and on and on yet again just enjoy the poem and stop showing off. I find Rosettis poems alway beautifully written. Enjoy

6 2 Reply
Raj Nandy 31 December 2008

LET US NOT START RATING CLASSIC POETS OF THOSE BYGONE YEARS - LIKE: SWINBURN, ROSETTI, COLDRIDGE; OR EVEN SHAKESPEARE - FOR THAT MATTER, UNLESS OUT OF FALSE EGO, WE START TO EQUATE OURSELVES WITH THEM! OUR CRITICISM OR PRAISE WILL NOT REMOVE THE GOLDEN LUSTURE OR SHEEN FROM THEIR IMMORTAL COMPMOSITIONS! ! !

5 1 Reply
Dr Antony Theodore 17 December 2020

Where sunless rivers weep Their waves into the deep, She sleeps a charmed sleep: Awake her not. A very fine poem. tony

0 0 Reply
Bhagabat Prasad Hotta 09 November 2018

So great thought....I enjoyed this poem.....It was so nice........

4 0 Reply
olivia 19 December 2017

its a very good poem! I love it

5 0 Reply
Angela Cox 16 July 2017

this reminds me a lot of the poem 'the lady of shallott'.. it is just beautiful

3 2 Reply
Pietro 6 25 February 2016

I'm looking at poems of this writer, trying to understand why they fashinate me so much

12 1 Reply
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