by Christina Rossetti
Stanza 27 Summary
Get out the microscope, because we’re going through this poem line-by-line.
Life out of death.
That night long Lizzie watch'd by her,
Counted her pulse's flagging stir,
Felt for her breath,
Held water to her lips, and cool'd her face
With tears and fanning leaves:
- The first line of this stanza answers the question at the end of the previous one: it's not life or death, it's life out of death. Sure, like that's less confusing.
- Does that mean that Laura dies, and then comes back to life? It's unclear.
- Lizzie stays up all night to take care of Laura. She takes her pulse and gives her water to drink.
- Lizzie cries over her and fans her with "leaves."
But when the first birds chirp'd about their eaves,
And early reapers plodded to the place
Of golden sheaves,
And dew-wet grass
Bow'd in the morning winds so brisk to pass,
And new buds with new day
Open'd of cup-like lilies on the stream,
Laura awoke as from a dream,
Laugh'd in the innocent old way,
Hugg'd Lizzie but not twice or thrice;
Her gleaming locks show'd not one thread of grey,
Her breath was sweet as May
And light danced in her eyes.
- But by the time early morning rolls around, Laura's okay again.
- Just as the new day starts, Laura wakes up as though she were waking up "from a dream."
- She's as fresh and new as the "lilies" that are opening down by the stream.
- Laura's able to laugh in the "innocent old way," as she used to before she ate the goblin fruits.
- She hugs Lizzie a lot to thank her, of course.
- Even her hair is blonde again, instead of gray, and her eyes are bright again.