Welcome to Poetry in the Evening.
Christina Rossetti’s poem “Up-Hill” is a journey that includes two voices, one with questions and the other giving assuring responses. We overhear a conversation that takes place between a narrator and a guide.
As I recited the poem, I identified with the questions. How long was the journey? Will there be a resting place at the end of day? Will I meet fellow travelers? And, in the end, will I find comfort and welcome?
Christina Rossetti understood struggles, which included bouts of depression. Up-Hill accepts that the human experience includes difficult times, presenting us with steep inclines along the journey. And yet, by the end of the poem, there is a sense that every question is answered. That every fear is removed.
I invite you to join me in reciting, Up-Hill, by Christina Rossetti.
By Christina Rossetti (1830-1894)
Does the road wind up-hill all the way?
Yes, to the very end.
Will the day’s journey take the whole long day?
From morn to night, my friend.
But is there for the night a resting-place?
A roof for when the slow dark hours begin.
May not the darkness hide it from my face?
You cannot miss that inn.
Shall I meet other wayfarers at night?
Those who have gone before.
Then must I knock, or call when just in sight?
They will not keep you standing at that door.
Shall I find comfort, travel-sore and weak?
Of labour you shall find the sum.
Will there be beds for me and all who seek?
Yea, beds for all who come.
This poem is in the public domain.