Up-Hill – A Poem by Christina Rossetti

i_141 (1)Up-Hill is a poem about a weary traveller. It can also be a metaphor for life.

You can listen to 2 recordings of “Up-Hill below. One is recited, the other sung. You can also read along with the text.

Enjoy! Mama Lisa

MP3 Recording of the Poem Up-Hill

MP3 Recording of the Poem Up-Hill – Sung


By Christina Rossetti


Does the road wind up-hill all the way?

   Yes, to the very end.

Will the day’s journey take the whole long day?

   From morn to night, my friend.


But is there for the night a resting-place?

   A roof for when the slow dark hours begin.

May not the darkness hide it from my face?

   You cannot miss that inn.


Shall I meet other wayfarers at night?

   Those who have gone before.

Then must I knock, or call when just in sight?

   They will not keep you standing at that door.


Shall I find comfort, travel-sore and weak?

   Of labour you shall find the sum.

Will there be beds for me and all who seek?

   Yea, beds for all who come.


Read by J.A. Carter

Sung by Ezwa

This article was posted on Monday, January 30th, 2017 at 5:39 pm and is filed under Mama Lisa. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

4 Responses to “Up-Hill – A Poem by Christina Rossetti”

  1. Tinker Jack Says:

    Hello MlW,

    Great poem , I wish I could understand thoroughly.
    I would have some questions.
    I cannot really get the last stanza.
    Do “travel-sore” and “weak” refer to people?
    What does “Of labour you shall find the sum” mean?

  2. Lisa Says:

    Hi Jack!

    The poem seems to be a metaphor for life, perhaps with the connotation of the inn being either security or heaven.

    Re. the line, “Shall I find comfort, travel-sore and weak?”

    This refers to the person, he’s feeling sore and tired from travelling (but also from being at the end of his life).

    Re. the line, “Of labour you shall find the sum” – one interpretation is that you will have security from the work you’ve done in your life.

    There’s one interpretation of Up-Hill here.

  3. Tinker Jack Says:

    Thanks for answering!
    Actually, I have tried to approach the last stanza grammatically. After the verb “find” I would expect only nouns. It is a transitive verb. “Comfort” is a noun whereas the other two (travel-sore, weak) are adjectives.
    Maybe it is to be understood as “find myself” comfortably, weak or travel-sore?
    All the other dialogues (stanzas) are quite Ok, but in this last one I still miss the point, I guess.
    I found a Hungarian translation which literally says: “Will I find comfort for my sorrows and woes? “ It is again different, isn’t it?

  4. Journey Johnson Says:

    I was wondering what songs would be great to mash up the poem and song together to make it make sense?

Leave a Reply