Rossetti Archive Textual Transcription
Document Title: The Burden of Nineveh (revised manuscript fragment, facsimile)
Author: Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Date of Composition: 1850
Type of Manuscript: corrected copy
full Rossetti Archive record for this transcribed document is available.
Manuscript Addition: 5
Editorial Description: Stanza number
The sun waxed fully present. Blue
- And huge, the beast its shadow threw.
- No shade that plague of darkness knew,
- No light, no shade, while older grew
- By ages the old earth and sea.
- How much Heaven's thunder,—how much else
- Man's puny roar,—what cry of shells
- Cleft amid leaguered citadels,
- How many lordships loud with bells,
40Heardst thou in secret Nineveh?
- On the grey stones the shape lay scor'd.
- That day when, nigh the gates, the Lord
His Jonah with a gourd,
- This sun, (I said)
that here present, pour'd
- Even thus this shadow that I see.
- This shadow has been shed the same
- From sun and moon,—from lamps which came
- For worship,—from those days in flame,
- That searched into a shrivelled name
- Within this shadow, haply,
- Sennacherib has knelt, whose sons
- Did smite him twixt the altar-stones;
- Thou peradventure heard his groans
- For his god Nisroch thou may'st be
and what men else have asked thine aid
- In years of old, till neath thy shade
- Within those trenches he had made
- Last year the Christian knelt & prayed
60In thy reconquered Nineveh.
Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Copyright: By permission of the Special Collections Library, Duke University