Sooner Or Later
Words: Christina Georgina Rossetti (1830-1894), Circa 1887.
See: Christmastide Poems of Christina Rossetti
Source: The Poetical Works of Christina Georgina Rossetti, with a Memoir and Notes by William Michael Rossetti (1904), page 157-8.
Sooner or later: yet at last
The Jordan must be past;
It may be he will overflow
His banks the day we go;
It may be that his cloven deep
Will stand up on a heap.
Sooner or later: yet one day
We all must pass that way;
Each man, each woman, humbled, pale,
Pass veiled within the veil;
Child, parent, bride, companion,
Alone, alone, alone.
For none a ransom can be paid,
A suretyship be made:
I, bent by mine own burden, must
Enter my house of dust;
I, rated to the full amount,
Must render mine account.
When earth and sea shall empty all
Their graves of great and small;
When earth wrapt in a fiery flood
Shall no more hide her blood;
When mysteries shall be revealed;
All secrets be unsealed;
When things of night, when things of shame,
Shall find at last a name,
Pealed for a hissing and a curse
Throughout the universe:
Then, Awful Judge, most Awful God,
Then cause to bud Thy rod,
To bloom with blossoms, and to give
Almonds; yea, bid us live.
I please Thyself with Thee, I plead
Thee in our utter need:
Jesus, most Merciful of Men,
Show mercy on us then;
Lord God of Mercy and of men,
Show mercy on us then.