“Remember me, fair maiden”

Each Friday I post a poem, if I have one to post.

Remember me, fair maiden; turn, and think
Kind thoughts of me, even if your highest love
Belongs to God, some other helpmate, and
Your children yet unborn. In times of bliss
And overflowing happiness, recall,
Forget me not, and of your kindness spill
Some fragment of your joy’s abundance
Spill from that abundance over me.
In hours of pain, when hearts are heaviest,
If in some matter I may ease your grief
Or comfort sorrow, then in friendship’s hope
Remember me. But if (may God forbid!)
My memory, or I, brings tears, or pain,
Or melancholy sorrow to your heart,
Until our Lord wipes all our tears away,
Then turn your face from me to brighter things
And let my anguished memory slip away
Into the dark oblivion: forget.

This is a fusion, of sorts, of Christina Rossetti‘s sonnet “Remember” and Mary Queen of Scots‘ poem “Think on me”. (I also tried to weave in the idea of the Stoic idea of memory that I got from a lecture my sophomore or junior year of college, but I’m not sure how well that comes across.) The beginning came to me a couple of weeks ago, but after a few lines I got stuck. I finished it this week.

As always, I earnestly welcome your comments, suggestions (perhaps for a real title for this poem?), critique, or other feedback about this or any other part of my work. You can also read other poems I’ve posted here on my blog.

This poem is also posted on my wiki.

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2 thoughts on ““Remember me, fair maiden”

  1. I really liked the poem! I’m not very familiar with poetry in general, nor do I know of the two you cited in the text after, but I did like it. It made me imagine a time before electronic technology when people were more concerned with other people. I did sense some stoicism (maybe altruism).

    This is the first of your poems that I have read, I intend to read more.

    • The bit about the Stoics (which I’ll blog about eventually …) isn’t related to the modern usage of “stoicism.” I got from the lecture that many Romans avoided getting emotionally involved with or invested in other people (even their children!) because of the pain this would cause when the person died, a pain that would last longer and be worse than the pleasure the relationship gave before the death. The Stoics (or at least some Stoics) argued something to the effect that the person lives on in our memory, so we should let ourselves become emotionally attached to our loved ones.

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