Rossetti, Christina

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Annotated by:
Moore, Pamela
  • Date of entry: Aug-08-1994


The poem is an exchange of questions and answers that compares life to a journey. The journey is up-hill all the way, but at the end is an inn, a resting place, that cannot be missed and which has a room for everyone.


The poem is typical of C. Rossetti's religious poetry and the more tight-laced aspects of the Victorian period. Life is recognized as a painful task (it's up-hill all the way), yet it is the duty of mankind to undertake the trip in hopes of a peaceful rest in heaven as a reward. This message had social ramifications in the mid-late Victorian period, when many were sacrificed to the unceasing demands of growing capitalist production and imperialism. The starving seamstress ought not complain, but travel on. Pain and suffering are to be expected, not resisted; one benefits from them in the end.


First published: 1862

Primary Source

The Complete Poems of Christina Rossetti, Vol. 1


Louisiana State Univ. Press

Place Published

Baton Rouge




R. W. Crump