Dead Before Death

Sonnet

by Christina Rossetti
Ah! changed and cold, how changed and very cold,
  With stiffened smiling lips and cold calm eyes:
  Changed, yet the same; much knowing, little wise;
This was the promise of the days of old!
Grown hard and stubborn in the ancient mould,
  Grown rigid in the sham of lifelong lies:
  We hoped for better things as years would rise,
But it is over as a tale once told.
All fallen the blossom that no fruitage bore,
  All lost the present and the future time,
All lost, all lost, the lapse that went before:
So lost till death shut-to the opened door,
  So lost from chime to everlasting chime,
So cold and lost for ever evermore.