Rossetti Archive Textual Transcription

Document Title: A Last Confession (draft fragment)
Author: Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Date of Composition: 1869 October
Type of Manuscript: draft
Scribe: DGR

The full Rossetti Archive record for this transcribed document is available.

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Note: The sequence of revision in several of the lines is conjectural, based first on the placement of the changes in the manuscript, and then the effect of those changes on the scansion.
  • Father, the day I speak of was the first
  • For weeks that I had borne her company
  • Into the Duomo; and those weeks had been
  • Much troubled, for then first the thoughts arose
  • That she so loved was growing changed & cold . to me
  • And as we entered on that day, I bent
  • My eyes on the fair image, and I said
  • Within my heart, “Oh warm her heart to me!”
  • And so I left her to her prayers, & went
  • 10
    Added TextTo gaze upon the great pride
    Added Textof Monza's shrine,
  • Where in the sacristy the day still falls
  • Upon the Iron Crown of Italy,
  • Though long the night hours closed on the [?]
  • That [were?] it
    Added TextOn whose crowned heads the day has closed, nor yet
  • [?] upon another head to crown
  • The hour gilds another head to crown.
  • But coming back I wondered when I saw
  • The image Our Lady's sovereign image
  • Added TextThat image stand alone; and till further off,
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  • Yet one more day thing that's in my mind [?] my soul comes back on me to-night
  • [Will ?] That Which [with this answer?] telling I may tell you: for it bore my soul
  • 20 Dread firstlings of the brood that rend it now.
  • It also happened once when then that in our wanderings
  • We dwelt at Monza, far away from home,
  • If home we had: A and in the Duomo there
  • I sometimes entered with her when she prayed.
  • There was There dwells An image of Our Lady dwells there, wrought
  • In marble by some great Italian hand
  • In the great days when she and Italy
  • Sat on one throne together; and [by them?] to her [she heard?]
  • [My child would ? and told her ? things] And to [?] none else my darling told her heart.
  • 30 And many thoughts. She was a woman then,
  • And as she knelt below the sacred form
  • They seemed Her sweet brow in the sweet brow's shadow there
  • They [seemed?] two kindred images kindred forms that our dear land
  • Two [?] to blend [?] [location?]
    Added TextWhose work still [?] serves the world for miracle [?]
  • Blent [?] with herself in [???] wondrous womanhood.
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  • B[?] Before some new Madonna gaily decked,
  • Tinselled & gewgawed, a slight German toy,
  • I saw her kneel, still praying. At my step
  • She rose, and side by side we left the church.
  • 40 I was much moved, & sharply questioned her
  • Of her transferred devotion; [?] but she seemed
  • Stubborn and [?] heedless; till she lightly laughed
  • And “Aye, the old Madonna!” So she said
  • She had my old thoughts,—this one has my new.”
  • Then silent to the soul I walked with her held my way:
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  • And from the fountains of the public place
  • Unto the pigeon-haunted pinnacles,
  • Bright wings and water winnowed the bright air;
  • And stately with her laugh's subsiding smile
  • 50 She stepped went, with well-poised feet & gleaming arms
  • And hands held light before her; and the face
  • Which long had made a day in all my life's night
  • Seemed night in day to me; as all men's eyes
  • Turned on her beauty, and she seemed to tread
  • Beyond the my heart to the world made for her.
Electronic Archive Edition: 1
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