Discovering Christina Rossetti

I was toying with the idea of translating Bhagat Namdev's poem "Moko Taar Le" as "Ferry me across" and found an interesting children's poem by Christina Rossetti:

Ferry Me Across the Water
- Christina Rossetti
'Ferry me across the water, 
Do, boatman, do.'
‘If you've a penny in your purse 
I'll ferry you.’ 

‘I have a penny in my purse, 
And my eyes are blue; 
So ferry me across the water, 
Do, boatman, do.’ 

‘Step into my ferry-boat, 
Be they black or blue, 
And for the penny in your purse 
I'll ferry you.’ 

While this poem seems very simplistic, I really loved its potential depth and wide possibilities. It seems there was philosophy hidden behind the simple words. And I found it was related to a Greek myth as described in a weebly blog:
A popular association is the “boatman” with Charon, who in Greek mythology, is the ferryman who carries the souls of newly deceased across the river Styx and into Hades the realm of the dead. However, to reach the underworld every soul must pay the toll which was in folklore, was a single golden Drachma ... often placed on the eyelids or mouth of the deceased by family members. Following this interpretation the moral of Rossetti's poem is presented in subtle inflections and attenuated in the forthright actions of her characters. Christina Rossetti illustrates her “Boatman” as a omen, or symbol of death, this entity does not discriminate or base his toll on the visual characteristics of his victims. Death takes no prisoners and makes no exceptions. In the afterlife, it matters not how you may have appeared when you were alive, you will pay the toll the same as everyman. The unusual presentation of such a sombre and morbid moral in such light-hearted dimensions has a startlingly captivating effect on the reader. 

The lovers of oneness would agree with the equal treatment.  They would add that the worldy attributes of beauty or wealth don't help in ferrying one across. The earnings of good character are needed to successfully swim across. 

Apparently, according to Greek mythology, without payment to Charon the dead would not get entry into the underworld and would instead be drifting on the shore for 100 years. I also heard about camels being tied to a recent grave to help in the journey after death.  How fascinating these myths are!

I am also wondering, why should one pay to go to hell? Isn't Hades like hell? Oh well!

I started reading more about this poet: 
Christina Georgina Rossetti (5 December 1830 – 29 December 1894) was an English poet who wrote various romantic, devotional, and children's poems. "Goblin Market" and "Remember" remain famous. She wrote the words of two Christmas carols well known in the UK: "In the Bleak Midwinter", later set by Gustav Holst and by Harold Darke, and "Love Came Down at Christmas", set by Harold Darke and by other composers. She was a sister of the artist and poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti, featuring in several of his paintings. More on Wikipedia.

I also found and liked the following poem by her. It reminds me of Guru Nanak's Pavan Guru. Between water and air, I guess we have also covered 2 of the 5 elements. 

Who Has Seen the Wind
- Christina Rossetti

Who has seen the wind?
Neither I nor you.
But when the leaves hang trembling,
The wind is passing through.

Who has seen the wind?
​Neither you nor I.
But when the trees bow down their heads,
The wind is passing by.

Some of her other popular poems include: 

Remember: This seems like a good poem for a funeral:  


Remember me when I am gone away,
         Gone far away into the silent land;
         When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
         You tell me of our future that you plann'd:
         Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
         And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
         For if the darkness and corruption leave
         A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
         Than that you should remember and be sad.

Interested in Going to Hell?

Whats interesting?
Any mythology 
is fascinating, 

someone dies 
and then this boatman 
ferries you across 
the Styx to 

What I am interested in 
is why one needs to 
pay to go to hell?

Well ... 
One good thing
is that survivors pay!

Upon either 
the eyes or the mouth
is placed a drachma after death

The eyes and the mouth ...  
the two doorways
to the next 

good vision
or good singing
ferry the dead across

What I am interested in 
is why going nowhere
is worse than 
going to