Rossetti Archive Textual Transcription

Document Title: Poems. (Privately Printed.): the A2 Proofs (partial), Princeton/Troxell (Copy 1)
Author: Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Date of publication: 1869 September 20
Printer: Strangeways and Walden

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

page: [0]
[DGR, 1828-1882

Poems. (Privately printed.) London

Strangeways and Walden 1869]

A2 Proofs

September 21 1869

Copy 1. Corrected throughout

by Dante G. Rossetti. Provenance:

Dante G. Rossetti (annotations);

William M. Rossetti;

Jerome Kern
Note: Pages [i]-iv not in this proof.
Note: Pages 1-2 not in this proof.
Image of page 3 page: 3
Manuscript Addition: C
Editorial Description: letter "C" at bottom of page in unknown hand
  • And the souls mounting up to God
  • Went by her like thin flames.
  • And still she bowed above the vast
  • Waste sea of worlds that swarm;
  • Until her bosom must have made
  • The bar she leaned on warm,
  • And the lilies lay as if asleep
  • Along her bended arm.
  • From the fixed place of Heaven she saw
  • 10 Time like a pulse shake fierce
  • Through all the worlds. Her gaze still strove
  • Within the gulf to pierce
  • Its path; and now she spoke as when
  • The stars sang in their spheres.
  • The sun was gone now; the curled moon
  • Was like a little feather
  • Fluttering far down the gulf; and now
  • She spoke through the still weather.
  • Her voice was like the voice the stars
  • 20 Had when they sang together.
  • ‘I wish that he were come to me,
  • For he will come,’ she said.
  • ‘Have I not prayed in Heaven?—on earth,
  • Lord, Lord, has he not pray'd?
  • Are not two prayers a perfect strength?
  • And shall I feel afraid?
Image of page 4 page: 4
  • ‘When round his head the aureole clings,
  • And he is clothed in white,
  • I'll take his hand and go with him
  • 30 To the deep wells of light;
  • We will step down as to a stream,
  • And bathe there in God's sight.
  • ‘We two will stand beside that shrine,
  • Occult, withheld, untrod,
  • Whose lamps are stirred continually
  • With prayer sent up to God;
  • And see our old prayers, granted, melt
  • Each like a little cloud.
  • ‘We two will lie i' the shadow of
  • 40 That living mystic tree
  • Within whose secret growth the Dove
  • Is sometimes felt to be,
  • While every leaf that h His plumes touch
  • Saith h His n Name audibly.
  • ‘And I myself will teach to him,
  • I myself, lying so,
  • The songs I sing here; which his voice
  • Shall pause in, hushed and slow,
  • And find some knowledge at each pause,
  • 50 Or some new thing to know.’
  • ( Ah Sweet! Just now, in that bird's song,
  • Strove not her accents there,
Note: Pages 5-6 not in this proof.
Image of page 7 page: 7
  • Master of the murmuring courts
  • Where the shapes of sleep convene!—
  • Lo! my spirit here exhorts
  • All the powers of thy demesne
  • For their aid to woo my queen.
  • What reports
  • Yield thy jealous courts unseen?
  • Vapourous, unaccountable,
  • Dreamland lies unknown to light,
  • 10Hollow like a breathing shell.
  • Ah! that from those dreams I might
  • Choose one dream and guide its flight . !
  • I know well
  • What her sleep should tell to-night.
  • There the dreams are multitudes:
  • Some whose bouyance waits not sleep,
  • Deep within the August woods;
  • Some that hum while rest may steep
  • Weary labour laid a-heap;
  • 20 Interludes,
  • Some, of grievous moods that weep.
Image of page 8 page: 8
  • Thence are youth's warm fancies: there
    Added TextPoets' fancies all are there:
  • Women thrill with whisperings
    Added TextThere the elf-girls flood with wings
  • Valleys full of plaintive air;
  • There breathe perfumes; there in rings
  • Whirl the foam-bewildered springs;
  • Siren there
  • Winds her dizzy hair and sings.
  • Thence the one dream mutually
  • 30 Dreamed in bridal unison,
  • Less than waking ecstasy;
  • Half-formed visions that make moan
  • In the house of birth alone;
  • And what we
  • At death's wicket see, unknown.
  • But for mine own sleep, it lies
  • Lo!
  • In one gracious queen's form's control,
  • Fair with honorable eyes,
  • Lamps of an auspicious soul:
  • 40 O their glance is loftiest dole,
  • Sweet and wise,
  • Wherein Love descries his goal.
  • Reft of her, my dreams are all
  • Clammy trance that fears the sky:
  • Changing footpaths shift and fall;
  • From polluted coverts nigh,
  • Miserable phantoms sigh;
  • Quakes the pall,
  • And the funeral goes by.
Note: Pages 9-10 not in this proof.
Image of page 11 page: 11
  • 50Master, bid my shadow bend
  • Whispering thus till birth of light,
  • Lest new shapes that sleep may send
  • Scatter all its work to flight;—
  • Master, master of the night,
  • Bid it spend
  • Speech, song, prayer, and end aright.
  • Yet, ah me! if at her head
  • There another phantom lean
  • Murmuring o'er the fragrant bed,—
  • 60Ah! and if my spirit's queen
  • Smile those alien words between,—
  • Ah! poor shade!
  • Shall it strive, or fade unseen?
  • Like a vapour wan and mute,
  • Like a flame, so let it pass;
  • One low sigh across her lute,
  • One dull breath against her glass;
  • And to my sad soul, alas!
  • One salute
  • 70 Cold as when death's foot shall pass.
  • How should Love's own messenger
  • Strive with love and be love's foe?
  • Master, nay! If thus in her
  • Sleep a wedded heart should show,—
  • Silent let mine image go,
  • Its old share
  • Of thy sunken air to know.
Image of page 12 page: 12
Printer's Direction: Further in / Further in
Editorial Description: Notes to printer, at received lines 140 and 140.7.
  • Then, too, let all hopes of mine,
  • All vain hopes by night and day,
  • 80Master, at thy summoning sign
  • Rise up pallid and obey.
  • Dreams, if this is thus, were they:—
  • Be they thine,
  • And to dreamland pine away.
  • (So a chief, who all night lies
  • Ambushed where no help appears,—
  • 'Mid his comrades' unseen eyes
  • Watching for the growth of spears,—
  • Like their ghosts, as morning nears,
  • 90 Sees them rise,
  • Ready without sighs or tears.)
  • Yet from old time, life, not death,
  • Master, in thy rule is rife:
  • Lo! through thee, with mingling breath,
  • Adam woke beside his wife.
  • O Love bring me so, for strife,
  • Force and faith,
  • Bring me so not death but life!
  • Yea, to Love himself is pour'd
  • 100 This frail song of hope and fear.
  • Thou art Love, of one accord
  • With kind Sleep to bring her near,
  • Still-eyed, deep-eyed, ah how dear!
  • Master, Lord,
  • In her name implor'd, O hear!
Image of page 13 page: 13

‘Burden. Heavy calamity; The chorus of a song.’— Dictionary.

  • In our Museum galleries
  • To-day I lingered o'er the prize
  • Dead Greece vouchsafes to living eyes,—
  • Her Art for ever in fresh wise
  • From hour to hour rejoicing me.
  • Sighing I turned at last to win
  • Once more the London dirt and din;
  • And as I made the swing-door spin
  • And issued, they were hoisting in
  • 10 A wingèd beast from Nineveh.
  • A human face the creature wore,
  • And hoofs behind and hoofs before,
  • And flanks with dark runes fretted o'er.
  • 'Twas bull, 'twas mitred Minotaur,
  • A dead disbowelled mystery;
  • The mummy of a buried faith
  • Stark from the charnel without scathe,
  • Its wings stood for the light to bathe,—
  • Such fossil cerements as might swathe
  • 20 The very corpse of Nineveh.
Image of page 14 page: 14
  • The print of its first rush-wrapping,
  • Wound ere it dried, still ribbed the thing.
  • What song did the brown maidens sing,
  • From purple mouths alternating,
  • When that was woven languidly?
  • What vows, what rites, what prayers preferr'd,
  • What songs has the strange image heard?
  • In what blind vigil stood interr'd
  • For ages, till an English word
  • 30 Broke silence first at Nineveh?
  • Oh when upon each sculptured court,
  • Where even the wind might not resort,—
  • O'er which Time passed, of like import
  • With the wild Arab boys at sport,—
  • A living face looked in to see:—
  • Oh seemed it not—the spell once broke—
  • As though the carven warriors woke,
  • As though the shaft the string forsook,
  • The cymbals clashed, the chariots shook,
  • 40 And there was life in Nineveh?
  • On London stones our sun anew
  • The beast's recovered shadow threw.
  • (No shade that plague of darkness knew,
  • No light, no shade, while older grew
  • By ages the old earth and sea.)
  • Lo thou! could all thy priests have shown
  • Such proof to make thy godhead known?
  • Image of page 15 page: 15
    Manuscript Addition: This is part of The Burden of Nineveh.
    Editorial Description: Note in unknown hand.
  • From their dead Past thou liv'st alone;
  • And still thy shadow is thine own
  • 50 Even as of yore in Nineveh.
  • That day whereof we keep record,
  • When near thy city-gates the Lord
  • Sheltered his Jonah with a gourd,
  • This sun, (I said) 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 prayer,—from fifteen days of flame,
  • The last, while smouldered to a name
  • 60 Sardanapalus' Nineveh.
  • Within thy shadow, haply, once
  • Sennacherib has knelt, whose sons
  • Smote him between the altar-stones:
  • Or pale Semiramis her zones
  • Of gold, her incense brought to thee,
  • In love for grace, in war for aid:....
  • Ay, and who else?....till 'neath thy shade
  • Within his trenches newly made
  • Last year the Christian knelt and pray'd—
  • 70 Not to thy strength—in Nineveh.*
Transcribed Footnote (page 15):

* During the excavations, the Tiyari workmen held their ser-

vices in the shadow of the great bulls. ( Layard's ‘Nineveh.’ Ch.IX. ) This

poem was written when the sculptures were first brought to


Image of page 16 page: 16
  • Now, thou poor god, within this hall
  • Where the blank windows blind the wall
  • From pedestal to pedestal,
  • The kind of light shall on thee fall
  • Which London takes the day to be:
  • While school-foundations in the act
  • Of holiday, three files compact,
  • Shall learn to view thee as a fact
  • Connected with that zealous tract:
  • 80 ‘Rome,—Babylon and Nineveh.’
  • Deemed they of this, those worshippers,
  • When in some mythic chain of verse,
  • Which man shall not again rehearse,
  • The faces of thy ministers
  • Yearned pale with bitter ecstasy?
  • Greece, Egypt, Rome,—did any god
  • Before whose feet men knelt unshod
  • Deem that in this unblest abode
  • Another scarce more unknown god
  • 90 Should house with him from Nineveh?
  • Ah! in what quarries lay the stone
  • From which this pigmy pile has grown,
  • Unto man's need how long unknown,
  • Since thy vast temples, court and cone,
  • Rose far in desert history?
  • Ah! what is here that does not lie
  • All strange to thine awakened eye?
Note: Pages 17-19 not in this proof.
Image of page 20 page: 20
  • Some tribe of the Australian plough
  • Bear him afar,—a relic now
  • 100 Of London, not of Nineveh!
  • Or it may chance indeed that when
  • Man's age is hoary among men,—
  • His centuries threescore and ten,—
  • His furthest childhood shall seem then
  • More clear than later times may be:
  • Who, finding in this desert place
  • This form, shall hold us for some race
  • That walked not in Christ's lowly ways,
  • But bowed its pride and vowed its praise
  • 110 Unto the God of Nineveh.
  • The smile rose first,—anon drew nigh
  • The thought:... Those heavy wings spread high
  • So sure of flight, which do not fly;
  • That set gaze never on the sky;
  • Those scriptured flanks it cannot see;
  • Its crown, a brow-contracting load;
  • Its planted feet which trust the sod:...
  • (So grew the image as I trod:)
  • O Nineveh, was this thy God,—
  • 120 Thine also, mighty Nineveh?
Note: Pages 21-26 not in this proof.
Image of page 27 page: 27
Manuscript Addition: D
Editorial Description: A circled "D" has been written in the upper right corner.
  • ‘Who rules own s these lands?’ the Pilgrim said.
  • ‘Stranger, Queen Blanchelys.’
  • ‘And who has thus harried them?’ he said.
  • ‘It was Duke Luke did this:
  • God's ban be his!’
  • The Pilgrim said: ‘Where is your house?
  • I'll rest there, with your will.’
  • ‘Ye've but to climb these blackened boughs
  • And ye'll see it over the hill,
  • 10 For it burns still.’
  • ‘Which road, to seek your Queen?’ said he.
  • ‘Nay, nay, but with some wound
  • Thou'lt You'll fly back hither, it may be,
  • And by thy your blood i'the ground
  • My place be found.’
  • ‘Friend, stay in peace. God keep thy head,
  • And mine, where I will go;
  • For He is here and there,’ he said.
  • He passed the hill-side, slow,
  • 20 And stood below.
Image of page 28 page: 28
  • The Queen sat idle by her loom:
  • She heard the arras stir,
  • And looked up sadly: through the room
  • The sweetness sickened her
  • Of musk and myrrh.
  • Her women, standing two and two,
  • In silence combed the fleece.
  • The pilgrim said, ‘Peace be with you,
  • Lady;’ and bent his knees.
  • 30 She answered, ‘Peace.’
  • Her eyes were like the wave within;
  • Like water-reeds the poise
  • Of her soft body, dainty thin;
  • And like the water's noise
  • Her plaintive voice.
  • For him, the stream had never well'd
  • In desert tracts malign
  • So sweet; nor had he ever felt
  • So faint in the sunshine
  • 40 Of Palestine.
  • Right so, he knew that he saw weep
  • Each night through every dream
  • The Queen's own face, confused in sleep
  • With visages supreme
  • Not known to him.
Note: Pages 29-40 not in this proof.
Image of page 41 page: 41
Manuscript Addition: E
Editorial Description: A circled "E" has been written in the upper right corner.
Editorial Description: The number “130” at the top of the page and the words “verse 16” have been added in an unknown hand.
  • ‘But he says, till you take back your ban,
  • Sister Helen,
  • His soul would pass, yet never can.’
  • ‘Nay then, shall I slay a living man,
  • Little brother?’
  • ( O Mother, Mary Mother,
  • A living soul, between Hell and Heaven!)
  • ‘But he calls for ever on your name,
  • Sister Helen,
  • 10 And says that he melts before a flame.’
  • ‘My heart for his pleasure fared the same,
  • Little brother.’
  • ( O Mother, Mary Mother,
  • Fire at the heart, between Hell and Heaven!)
  • ‘Here's Holm of West Holm riding fast,
  • Sister Helen,
  • For I know the white plume on the blast.’
  • ‘The hour, the sweet hour I forecast,
  • Little brother!’
  • 20 ( O Mother, Mary Mother,
  • Is the hour sweet, between Hell and Heaven?)
  • ‘He stops to speak, and he stills his horse,
  • Sister Helen;
  • But his words are drowned in the wind's course.’
  • ‘Nay hear, nay hear, you must hear perforce,
  • Little brother!’
  • ( O Mother, Mary Mother,
  • A word ill heard, between Hell and Heaven!)
Image of page 42 page: 42
Printer's Direction: Further out
Editorial Description: DGR's note beside received line 152.
  • ‘Oh he says that Holm of Ewern's cry,
  • 30 Sister Helen,
  • Is ever to see you ere he die.’
  • ‘He sees me in earth, in moon and sky,
  • Little brother!’
  • ( O Mother, Mary Mother,
  • Earth, moon and sky, between Hell and Heaven!)
  • ‘He sends a ring and a broken coin,
  • Sister Helen,
  • And bids you mind the banks of Boyne.’
  • ‘What else he broke will he ever join,
  • 40 Little brother?’
  • ( O Mother, Mary Mother,
  • Oh, never more, between Hell and Heaven!)
  • ‘He yields you these and craves full fain,
  • Sister Helen,
  • You pardon him in his mortal pain.’
  • ‘What else he took will he give again,
  • Little brother?’
  • ( O Mother, Mary Mother,
  • No more again, between Hell and Heaven!)
  • 50‘He calls your name in an agony,
  • Sister Helen,
  • That even dead Love must weep to see.’
  • ‘Hate, born of Love, is blind as he,
  • Little brother!’
  • ( O Mother, Mary Mother,
  • Love turned to hate, between Hell and Heaven!)
Image of page 43 page: 43
  • ‘Oh it's Holm of Holm now that rides fast,
  • Sister Helen,
  • For I know the white hair on the blast.’
  • 60‘The short short hour will soon be past,
  • Little brother!’
  • ( O Mother, Mary Mother,
  • Will soon be past, between Hell and Heaven!)
  • ‘He looks at me and he tries to speak,
  • Sister Helen,
  • But oh! his voice is sad and weak!’
  • ‘What here should the mighty Baron seek,
  • Little brother?’
  • ( O Mother, Mary Mother,
  • 70 Oh vainly sought, between Hell and Heaven!)
  • ‘Oh his son still cries, if you forgive,
  • Sister Helen,
  • The body dies but the soul shall live.’
  • ‘Fire shall forgive me as I forgive,
  • Little brother!’
  • ( O Mother, Mary Mother,
  • Is this forgiven As she forgives, between Hell and Heaven ? ! )
  • ‘Oh he prays you, as his heart would rive,
  • Sister Helen,
  • 80 To save his dear son's soul alive.’
  • ‘Nay, flame cannot slay it, it shall thrive,
  • Little brother!’
  • ( O Mother, Mary Mother,
  • Alas, alas, between Hell and Heaven!)
Image of page 44 page: 44
  • ‘He cries to you, kneeling in the road,
  • Sister Helen,
  • To go with him for the love of God!’
  • ‘The way is long to his son's abode,
  • Little brother.’
  • 90 ( O Mother, Mary Mother,
  • The way is long, between Hell and Heaven!)
  • ‘O Sister Helen, you heard the bell,
  • Sister Helen!
  • More loud than the vesper-chime it fell.’
  • ‘No vesper-chime, but a dying knell,
  • Little brother!’
  • ( O Mother, Mary Mother,
  • His dying knell, between Hell and Heaven!)
  • ‘Alas! but I fear the heavy sound,
  • 100 Sister Helen;
  • Is it in the sky or in the ground?’
  • ‘Say, have they turned their horses round,
  • Little brother?’
  • ( O Mother, Mary Mother,
  • What would she more, between Hell and Heaven?)
  • ‘They have raised the old man from his knee,
  • Sister Helen,
  • And they ride in silence hastily.’
  • ‘More fast the naked soul doth flee,
  • 110 Little brother!’
  • ( O Mother, Mary Mother,
  • The naked soul, between Hell and Heaven!)
Note: Pages 45-58 not in this proof.
Image of page 59 page: 59
  • Could you not drink her gaze like wine?
  • Yet though its splendour swoon
  • Into the silence languidly
  • As a tune into a tune,
  • Those eyes unravel the coiled night
  • And know the stars at noon.
  • The gold that's heaped beside her hand,
  • In truth rich prize it were;
  • And rich the dreams that wreathe her brows
  • 10 With magic stillness there;
  • And he were rich who should unwind
  • That woven golden hair.
  • Around her, where she sits, the dance
  • Now breathes its eager heat;
  • And not more lightly or more true
  • Fall there the dancer's feet
  • Than fall her cards on the bright board
  • As 'twere an heart that beat.
Image of page 60 page: 60
  • Her fingers let them softly through,
  • 20 Smooth polished silent things;
  • And each one as it falls reflects
  • In swift light-shadowings,
  • Crimson and purple, green and blue,
  • The great eyes of her rings.
  • Whom plays she with? With thee, who lov'st
  • Those gems upon her hand;
  • With me, who search her secret brows;
  • With all men, bless'd or bann'd.
  • We play together, she and we,
  • 30 Within a vain strange land:
  • A land without any order,—
  • Day even as night, (one saith,)—
  • Where who lieth down ariseth not
  • Nor the sleeper awakeneth;
  • A land of darkness as darkness itself
  • And of the shadow of death.
  • What be her cards, you ask? Even these:—
  • The heart, that doth but crave
  • Yet more, being fed; the diamond,
  • 40 Skilled to make base seem brave;
  • The club, for smiting in the dark;
  • The spade, to dig a grave.
  • And do you ask what game she plays?
  • With him me 'tis lost or won;
  • Image of page 61 page: 61
  • With thee it is playing still; with him him
  • It is not well begun;
  • But 'tis a game she plays with all
  • Beneath the sway o' the sun.
  • Thou seest the card that falls,—she knows
  • 50 The card that followeth:
  • Her game in thy tongue is called Life,
  • As ebbs thy daily breath:
  • When she shall speak, thou'lt learn her tongue
  • And know she calls it Death.
Image of page [62] page: [62]
Note: blank page
Image of page 63 page: 63
  • She fell asleep on Christmas Eve , :
  • At length her eyes were in the shade
  • Of weary lids; her arms, uplaid,
  • Covered her bosom, I believe.
  • Our mother, who had leaned all day
  • Over the bed from chime to chime,
  • Then raised herself for the first time,
  • And as she sat her down, did pray.
  • Her little work-table was spread
  • 10 With work to finish. For the glare
  • Made by her candle, she had care
  • To work some distance from the bed.
  • Without, there was a cold moon up,
  • To winter midnight near akin;
    Added TextOf [indecipherable—possibly "sharpened"] winter radiance sheer and thin;
  • The hollow halo it was in
  • Was like an empty silver icy crystal cup.
Transcribed Footnote (page 63):

* This little poem, written in 1847, was printed in a periodical

at the outset of 1850, a month or two before the appearance of ‘ In

Memoriam,’ with which the metre (to be met with in old English

writers) is now identified.

Image of page 64 page: 64
Printer's Direction: Put in / Put out
Editorial Description: DGR's notes on error in alignment of lines 27 and 28.
  • Through the small room, with subtle sound
  • Of flame, by vents the fireshine drove
  • And reddened. In its dim alcove
  • 20The mirror shed a clearness round.
  • I had been sitting up some nights,
  • And my tired mind felt weak and blank;
  • Like a sharp strengthening wine , it drank
  • The stillness and the broken lights.
  • Twelve struck. That sound, which all the years
  • Hear in each hour, crept off; and then
  • The ruffled silence spread again,
  • Like water that a pebble stirs.
  • Our mother rose from where she sat , :
  • 30 Her needles, as she laid them down,
  • Met lightly, and her silken gown
  • Settled: no other noise than that.
  • ‘Glory unto the Newly Born!’
  • So, as said angels, she did say;
  • Because we were in Christmas Day,
  • Though it would still be long till morn.
  • Just then in the room over us
  • There was a pushing back of chairs,
  • As some who had sat unawares
  • 40So late, now heard the hour, and rose.
Image of page 65 page: 65
  • With anxious softly -stepping haste
  • Our mother went where Margaret lay,
  • Fearing the sounds o'erhead—should they
  • Have broken her long watched-for rest!
  • She stooped an instant, calm, and turned;
  • But suddenly turned back again;
  • And all her features seemed in pain
  • With woe, and her eyes gazed and yearned.
  • For my part, I but hid my face,
  • 50 And held my breath, and spake no word:
  • There was none spoken; but I heard
  • The silence for a little space.
  • Our mother bowed herself and wept , :
  • And both my arms fell, and I said ; ,
  • ‘God knows I knew that she was dead , .
  • And there, all white, my sister slept.
  • Then kneeling, upon Christmas morn
  • A little after twelve o'clock
  • We said, ere the first quarter struck,
  • 60‘Christ's blessing on the newly born!’
Sig. F
Image of page [66] page: [66]
Note: blank page
Note: Pages 67-74 not in this proof.
Image of page 75 page: 75

( Old French.)
  • John of Tours is back with peace,
  • But he comes home ill at ease.
  • ‘Good-morrow, mother.’ ‘Good-morrow, son;
  • Your wife has borne you a little one.’
  • ‘Go now, mother, go before,
  • Make me a bed upon the floor;
  • ‘Very low your foot must fall,
  • That my wife hear not at all.’
  • As it neared the midnight toll,
  • 10John of Tours gave up his soul.
  • ‘Tell me now, my mother, my dear,
  • What's the singing that I hear?’
  • ‘Daughter, it's the troops priests in rows
  • Going round about our house.’
  • ‘Tell me though, my mother, my dear,
  • What's the knocking that I hear?’
  • ‘Daughter, it's the carpenter
  • Mending planks upon the stair.’
Image of page 76 page: 76
  • ‘Well, but tell, my mother, my dear,
  • 20What's the crying that I hear?’
  • ‘Daughter, the children are awake,
  • Crying with their teeth that ache.’
  • ‘Nay, but say, my mother, my dear,
  • Why do you stand weeping here?’
  • ‘Oh! the truth must be said,—
  • It's that John of Tours is dead.’
  • ‘Mother, let the sexton know
  • That the grave must be for two;
  • ‘Aye, and still have room to spare,
  • 30For you must lay the baby there.’
Image of page 77 page: 77

( Old French.)
  • Inside my father's close,
  • (Fly away O my heart away!)
  • Sweet apple-blossom blows
  • So sweet.
  • Three king's daughters fair,
  • (Fly away O my heart away!)
  • They lie below it there
  • So sweet.
  • ‘Ah!’ says the eldest one,
  • 10 (Fly away O my heart away!)
  • ‘I think the day's begun
  • So sweet.’
  • ‘Ah!’ says the second one,
  • (Fly away O my heart away!)
  • ‘Far off I hear the drum
  • So sweet.’
Image of page 78 page: 78
  • ‘Ah!’ says the youngest one,
  • (Fly away O my heart away!)
  • ‘It's my true love, my own,
  • 20 So sweet.
  • ‘Oh! if he fight and win,’
  • (Fly away O my heart away!)
  • ‘I keep my love for him,
  • So sweet:
  • Oh! if he lose or win,
  • He hath it still complete.’
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( A combination Adaptation from Sappho. )
  • I.
  • Like the sweet apple which reddens upon the topmost
  • bough,
  • A-top on the topmost twig,—which the pluckers forgot,
  • somehow,—
  • Forgot it not, nay, but got it not, for none could get it
  • till now.
  • II.
  • Like the wild hyacinth flower which on the hills is found,
  • Which the passing feet of the shepherds for ever tear and
  • wound,
  • Until the purple blossom is trodden into the ground.
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Printer's Direction: caps as above / very small itals & caps / small caps as above
Editorial Description: DGR's note to the printer on the typefaces to be used for the first through third lines, respectively, of the half-title.
Printer's Direction: This 3rd line all in one.
Editorial Description: DGR's note to the printer on the third line of the half-title.
Added TextOf Life, Love, and Death:


Added TextSonnets and Songs,

Towards a Work to be called

Added Text( Towards a Work to be called THE HOUSE OF LIFE.)
Sig. G
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Note: Pages 82-85 not in this proof.
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Added TextHoarded Joy.
  • I said: ‘Nay, pluck not,—let the first fruit be:
  • Even as thou sayest, it is sweet and red,
  • Yet it shall But let it ripen still. The tree's bent head
  • Sees in the stream its own fecundity
  • And bides the day of fulness. Shall not we
  • At heat's high the sun's hour that day possess the shade,
  • And claim our fruit before its ripeness fade,
  • And eat it from the branch and praise the tree?’
  • I say: ‘Alas! our fruit hath wooed the sun
  • 10 Too long,—'tis fallen and floats adown the stream.
  • Lo, the last clusters! Pluck them every one,
  • And let us sup with summer; ere the gleam
  • Of autumn set the year's pent sorrow free,
  • And the woods wail like echoes of from the sea.’
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Note: Pages 87-88 not in this proof.
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Printer's Direction: Put this line in like the next but one
Editorial Description: DGR's note to printer next to line 10.
  • When first that horse, within whose populous womb
  • The birth was Death, o'ershadowed Troy with fate,
  • Her elders, dubious of its Grecian freight,
  • Brought Helen there to sing the songs of home:
  • She whispered, ‘Friends, I am alone; come, come!’
  • Then, crouched within, Ulysses waxed afraid,
  • And on his comrades' quivering mouths he laid
  • His hands, and held them till the voice was dumb.
  • The same was he who, lashed to his own mast,
  • 10
    Added TextThere where the sea flowers screen the charmed caves,
  • Beside the sirens' singing island pass'd,
  • Till sweetness failed along the inveterate sea, waves....
  • Say, soul,—and doth no fatal song for us

    Prove yet than any crown more rapturous,
    Added TextSay, soul,—are songs of Death no heaven to thee,
  • No death's lip shame the cheek of victory?
    Added TextNor shames her lip the cheek of Victory?
Sig. H
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  • Get thee behind me. Even as, heavy-curled,
  • Stooping against the wind, a charioteer
  • Is caught from out his chariot by the hair,
  • So shall Time be; and as the void car, hurled
  • Abroad by reinless steeds, even so the world:
  • Yea, even as chariot-dust upon the air,
  • It shall be sought and not found anywhere.
  • Get thee behind me, Satan. Oft unfurled,
  • Thy perilous wings can beat and break like lath
  • 10 Much mightiness of men to win thee praise.
  • Leave these weak feet to tread in narrow ways.
  • Thou still, upon the broad vine-sheltered path,
  • May 'st wait the turning of the phials of wrath
  • For certain years, for certain months and days.
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Note: Pages 91-105 not in this proof.
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  • Say, is it day, is it dusk in thy bower,
  • Thou whom I long for, who longest for me?
  • Oh! be it light, be it night, 'tis Love's hour,
  • Love's that is fettered as Love's that is free.
  • Free Love has leaped to that innermost chamber,
  • Oh! the last time, and the hundred before:
  • Fettered Love, motionless, can but remember,
  • Yet something that sighs from him passes the door.
  • What were my prize, could I enter thy bower,
  • 10 This day, to-morrow, at eve or at morn?
  • Large lovely arms and a neck like a tower,
  • Bosom then heaving that now lies forlorn.
  • Deep in warm pillows (the sun's bed is colder!)
  • Thy sweetness all near me, so distant to-day;
  • My hand round thy neck and thy hand on my shoulder,
  • My mouth to thy mouth as the world melts away.
  • What is it keeps me afar from thy bower,—
  • My spirit, my body, so fain to be there?
  • Waters engulfing or fires that devour?—
  • 20 Earth heaped against me or death in the air?
Sig. K
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  • Nay, but in day-dreams, for terror, for pity,
  • The trees wave their heads with an omen to tell;
  • Nay, but in night-dreams, throughout the dark city,
  • The hours, clashed together, lose count in the bell.
  • Shall I not one day remember thy bower,
  • One day when all days are one day to me?—
  • Thinking, ‘I stirred not, and yet had the power,’—
  • Yearning, ‘Ah God, if again it might be!’
  • Peace, peace! such a small lamp illumes, on this highway,
  • 30 So dimly so few steps in front of my feet,—
  • Yet shows me that her way is parted from my way....
  • Out of sight, beyond light, at what point goal shall we meet?
Note: Pages 108-115 not in this proof.
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  • At length their long kiss severed, with sweet smart:
  • And as the last slow sudden drops are shed
  • From sparkling eaves when all the storm has fled,
  • So singly flagged the pulses of each heart.
  • Their bosoms sundered, with the opening start
  • Of married flowers to either side outspread
  • From the knit stem; yet still their mouths, burnt red,
  • Chirped at Moaned toeach other where they lay apart.
  • Sleep sank them lower than the tide of dreams,
  • 10 And their dreams watched them sink, and slid away.
  • Slowly their souls swam up again, through gleams
  • Of watered light and dull drowned waifs of day;
  • Till from some wonder of new woods and streams
  • He woke, and wondered more: for there she lay.
Sig. L
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Note: Pages 117-118 not in this proof.
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Printer's Direction: These 2 further in & matching
Editorial Description: DGR's note to printer for alignment of lines 11 and 14.
  • O Lord of all compassionate control,
  • O Love! let this my Lady's picture glow
  • Under my hand to praise her name, and show
  • Even of her inner self the perfect whole:
  • That he who seeks her beauty's furthest goal,
  • Beyond the light that the sweet glances throw
  • And refluent wave of the sweet smile, may know
  • The very sky and sea-line of her soul.
  • Lo! it is done. Above the long lithe throat
  • 10 The mouth's mould testifies of voice and kiss,
  • The shadowed eyes remember and foresee.
  • Her face is made her shrine. Let all men note
  • That in all years (O Love, thy gift is this!)
  • They that would look on her must come to me.
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  • Because our talk was of the cloud-control
  • And moon-track of the journeying face of Fate,
  • Her kisses faltered at their rose-bower gate
    Added TextHer tremulous kisses faltered at love's gate
  • And her eyes dreamed against a distant goal:
  • But soon, remembering her how brief the whole
  • Of joy, which its own hours annihilate,
  • Her set gaze gathered, thirstier than of late,
  • And as she kissed, her mouth became her soul.
  • Thence in what ways we wandered, and how strove
  • 10 To build with fire-tried vows the piteous home
  • Which memory haunts and whither sleep may roam,—
  • They only know for whom the roof of Love
  • Is the still-seated secret of the grove,
  • Nor spire may rise nor bell be heard therefrom.
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Printer's Direction: Print Put this after Newborn Death page 95
Editorial Description: DGR's note to the printer.
  • Look in my face; my name is Might-have-been ;
  • I am also called No-more, Too-late, Farewell ;
  • Unto thine ear I hold the dead-sea shell
  • Cast up thy Life's foam-fretted feet between;
  • Unto thine eyes the glass where that is seen
  • Which had Life's form and Love's, but by my spell
  • Is now a shaken shadow intolerable,
  • Of ultimate things unuttered the frail screen.
  • Mark me, how still I am! But should there dart
  • 10 One moment through thy soul the soft surprise
  • Of that winged Peace which lulls the breath of sighs,—
  • Then shalt thou see me smile, and turn apart
  • Thy visage to mine ambush at thy heart
  • Sleepless with cold commemorative eyes.
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( Four Sonnets.)
  • I sat with Love upon a woodside well,
  • Leaning across the water, I and he;
  • Nor ever did he speak nor looked at me,
  • But touched his lute wherein was audible
  • The certain secret thing he had to tell:
  • Only our mirrored eyes met silently
  • In the low wave; and that sound came to be
  • The passionate voice I knew; and my tears fell.
  • And at their fall, his eyes beneath grew hers;
  • 10And with his foot and with his wing-feathers
  • He swept the spring that watered my heart's drouth .
  • Then the dark ripples spread to waving hair,
  • And as I stooped, her own lips rising there
  • Bubbled with brimming kisses at my mouth.
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  • And now Love sang: but his was such a song,
  • So meshed with half-remembrance hard to free,
  • As souls disused in death's sterility
  • May sing when the new birthday tarries long.
  • And I was made aware of a dumb throng
  • That stood aloof, one form by every tree,
  • All mournful forms, for each was I or she,
  • The shades of those our days that had no tongue.
  • They looked on us, and knew us and were known;
  • 10 While fast together, alive from the abyss,
  • Clung the soul-wrung implacable close kiss;
  • And pity of self through all made broken moan
  • Which said, ‘For once, for once, for once alone!’
  • And still Love sang, and what he sang was this:—
Note: Pages 132-133 not in this proof.
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Printer's Direction: These 2 further in Further out
Editorial Description: DGR's notes on alignment of lines 11, 14, and 10 respectively.
  • The hour which might have been yet might not be,
  • Which man's and woman's heart conceived and bore
  • Yet whereof life was barren,—on what shore
  • Bides it the breaking of Time's weary sea?
  • Bondchild of all consummate joys set free,
  • It somewhere sighs and serves, and mute before
  • The house of Love, hears through the echoing door
  • His hours elect in choral consonancy.
  • But lo! what wedded souls now hand in hand
  • 10Together tread at last the immortal strand
  • With eyes w here burning memory lights love home?
  • Lo! how the little outcast hour has turned
  • And leaped to them and in their faces yearned:—
  • ‘I am your child: O parents, ye have come!’
Sig. N
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By Ingres.

( Two Sonnets.)
  • A remote sky, prolonged to the sea's brim:
  • One rock-point standing buffeted alone,
  • Vexed at its base with a foul beast unknown,
  • Hell- spurge birth of geomaunt and teraphim:
  • A knight, and a winged creature bearing him,
  • Reared at the rock: a woman fettered there,
  • Leaning into the hollow with loose hair
  • And throat let back and heartsick trail of limb.
  • The sky is harsh, and the sea shrewd and salt:
  • 10 Under his lord the griffin-horse ramps blind
  • With rigid wings and tail. The spear's lithe stem
  • Thrills in the roaring of those jaws: behind,
  • That evil length of body chafes at fault.
  • She doth not hear nor see—she knows of them.
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  • Clench thine eyes now,—'tis the last instant, girl:
  • Draw in thy senses, set thy knees, and take
  • One breath for all: thy life is keen awake,—
  • Thou mayst not swoon. Was that the scattered whirl
  • Of its foam drenched thee?—or the waves that curl
  • And split, bleak spray wherein thy temples ache?
  • Or was it his the champion's blood to flake
  • Thy flesh?—or thine own blood's anointing, girl?
  • Now, silence: for the sea's is such a sound
  • 10 As irks not silence; and except the sea,
  • All now is still. Now the dead thing doth cease
  • To writhe, and drifts. He turns to her: and she,
  • Cast from the jaws of Death, remains there, bound,
  • Again a woman in her nakedness.
Note: Page 141 not in this proof.
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( For a Picture.)
  • She hath the apple in her hand for thee,
  • Yet almost in her heart would hold it back;
  • She muses, with her eyes upon the track
  • Of that which in thy spirit they can see.
  • Haply, ‘Behold, he is at peace,’ saith she;
  • ‘Alas! the apple for his lips,—the dart
  • That follows its brief sweetness to his heart,—
  • The wandering of his feet perpetually!’
  • A little space her glance is still and coy;
  • 10 But if she give the fruit that works her spell,
  • Those eyes shall flame as for her Phrygian boy.
  • Then shall her bird's strained throat the woe foretell,
  • And her far seas moan as a single shell,
  • And through her dark grove strike the light of Troy.
    Added TextAnd her grove glow with love-lit fires of Troy.
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( For a Picture.)
  • Under the arch of Life, where love and death,
  • Terror and mystery, guard her shrine, I saw
  • Beauty enthroned; and though her gaze struck awe,
  • I drew it in as simply as my breath.
  • Hers are the eyes which, over and beneath,
  • The sky and sea bend on thee,—which can draw,
  • By sea or sky or woman, to one law,
  • The allotted bondman of her palm and wreath.
  • This is that Lady Beauty, in whose praise
  • 10 Thy voice and hand shake still,—long known to thee
  • By flying hair and fluttering hem,—the beat
  • Following her daily of thy heart and feet ; ,
  • How passionately and irretrievably,
  • In what fond flight, how many ways and days!
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Note: Page 145 not in this proof.
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Printer's Direction: Further in
Editorial Description: DGR's note beside lines 11 and 14.


( For a Design.*)
  • ‘Why wilt thou cast the roses from thine hair?
  • Nay, be thou all a rose,—wreathe, lips, and cheek.
  • Nay, not this house,—that banquet-house we seek;
  • See how they kiss and enter; come thou there .
  • This delicate day , of love we two will share
  • Till at our ear love's whispering night shall speak.
  • What, sweet one,—hold'st thou still the foolish freak?
  • Nay, when I kiss thy feet they'll leave the stair.’
  • ‘Oh loose me! See'st thou not my Bridegroom's face
  • 10 That draws me to Him? For His feet my kiss,
  • My hair, my tears He craves to-day:—and oh!
  • What words can tell what other day and place
  • Shall see me clasp those blood-stained feet of His?
  • He needs me, calls me, loves me: let me go!’
Transcribed Footnote (page 146):

* In the design Mary has left a festal procession, and is ascending

by a sudden impulse the steps of the house where she sees Christ.

Her lover has followed her and is trying to turn her back.

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( For a Design.*)
  • Here meet together the prefiguring day
  • And day prefigured. ‘Eating, thou shalt stand,
  • Feet shod, loins girt, thy road-staff in thine hand,
  • With blood-stained door and lintel,’—did God say
  • By Moses' mouth in ages passed away.
  • And now, where this poor household doth comprise
  • At Paschal-Feast to two kindred families,—
  • Lo! the slain lamb confronts the l Lamb to slay.
  • The pyre is piled. What agony's crown attained,
  • 10 What shadow of death the Boy's fair brow subdues
  • Who holds that blood wherewith the porch is stained
  • By Zachary the priest? John binds the shoes
  • He deemed himself not worthy to unloose;
  • And Mary culls the bitter herbs ordained.
Transcribed Footnote (page 147):

* The scene is in the house-porch, where Christ holds a bowl of

blood from which Zacharias is sprinkling the posts and lintel.

Joseph has brought the lamb and Elisabeth lights the pyre. The

shoes which John fastens and the bitter herbs which Mary is gather-

ing form part of the ritual.

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Printer's Direction: These 2 further in
Editorial Description: DGR's note to printer on alignment of lines 11 and 14.

( Two Sonnets for a Design.*)
  • Rend, rend thine hair, Cassandra: he will go .
  • Yea, rend Thy garments, wring thine hands, and cry
  • From Troy still towered to the unreddened sky.
  • See, all but she that bore thee mock thy woe:—
  • He most whom that fair woman arms, with show
  • Of wrath on her bent brows; for in this place
  • This hour thou bad'st all men in Helen's face
  • The ravished ravishing prize of Death to know.
  • What eyes, what ears hath sweet Andromache,
  • 10 Save for her Hector's form and step; as tear
  • On tear makes salt the warm last kiss he gave?
  • He goes. Cassandra's words beat heavily
  • Like crows above his crest, and at his ear
  • Ring hollow in the shield that shall not save.
Transcribed Footnote (page 148):

* The subject shows Cassandra prophesying among her kindred,

as Hector leaves them for his last battle. They are on the platform

of a fortress, from which the Trojan troops are marching out. Helen

is arming Paris; Priam soothes Hecuba; and Andromache holds

the child to her bosom.

Image of page 149 page: 149
  • ‘O Hector, gone, gone, gone! O Hector, thee
  • Two chariots wait, in Troy long blessed and curs'd;
  • And Grecian sword spear and Phrygian sand athirst
  • Crave from thy veins the blood of victory.
  • Lo! long upon our hearth the brand had we,
  • Lit for the roof-tree's ruin: and to-day
  • The ground-stone quits the wall,—the wind hath way,
  • And higher and higher the wings of fire are free.
  • ‘O Paris, Paris! O thou burning brand,
  • 10 Thou beacon of the sea whence Venus rose,
  • Lighting thy race to shipwreck! Even that hand
  • Wherewith she took thine apple let her close
  • Within thy curls, and while Troy's death-pyre glows
    Added TextWithin thy curls at last, and while Troy glows
  • Lift thee her trophy to the sea and land.’
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Printer's Direction: Put these 3 sonnets after the Hill Summit to follow A Dark Day page 85
Editorial Description: DGR's note to printer.

( Three Sonnets.)
  • Eat thou and drink; to-morrow thou shalt die.
  • Surely the earth, that's wise being very old,
  • Needs not our help. Then loose me, love, and hold
  • Thy sultry hair up from my face; that I
  • May pour for thee this yellow wine, brim-high,
  • Till round the glass thy fingers glow like gold.
  • We'll hear no hours: thy song, while hours are toll'd,
  • Shall leap, as fountains veil the changing sky.
  • A jest! Conceive! Why, Now kiss, and think that there are really those,
  • 10 My own high-bosomed lady, who increase
  • Vain gold, vain lore, in reach of our true wealth!
  • Eleven long days they toil: upon the twelfth
  • They die not,—never having lived,—but cease;
  • And round their narrow lips the mould falls close.
Image of page 151 page: 151
  • Watch thou and fear; to-morrow thou shalt die.
  • Or art thou sure thou shalt have time for death?
  • Is not the day which God's word promiseth
  • To come man knows not when? In yonder sky,
  • Now while we speak, the sun sets forth: Can I
  • Or thou assure him of his goal? God's breath
  • Perchance even at this moment quickeneth
  • The air to a flame; till spirits, always nigh
  • Though screened and hid, shall walk the daylight here.
  • 10 And dost thou prate of that which man shall do?
  • Canst thou, who hast but plagues, presume to be
  • Glad in his gladness that comes after thee?
  • Will his strength slay thy worm in Hell? Go to:
  • Cover thy countenance, and watch, and fear.
Image of page 152 page: 152
  • Think thou and act; to-morrow thou shalt die.
  • Stretching thyself i' the sun upon the shore,
  • Thou say'st: ‘Man's measured path is all gone o'er:
  • Up all his years, steeply, with pant strain and sigh,
  • Man clomb until he touched the truth; and I,
  • Even I, am he whom it was destined for.’
  • How should this be? Art thou then so much more
  • Than they who sowed, that thou shouldst reap thereby?
  • Nay, come up hither. From this wave-washed mound
  • 10 Unto the horizon-brim look thou with me;
  • Then reach on with thy thought till it be drown'd.
  • Miles and miles distant though the horizon be,
  • And though thy thought sail leagues and leagues beyond,—
  • Still, leagues beyond those leagues, there is more sea.
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Printer's Direction: put this after A Dark Day page 85
Editorial Description: DGR's note to printer.
  • This feast-day of the sun, his altar there
  • In the broad west has blazed for vesper-song;
  • And I have loitered in the vale too long
  • And gaze now a belated worshipper.
  • Yet may I not forget that I was 'ware,
  • So journeying, of his face at intervals
  • Transfigured where the fringed horizon falls,—
  • A fiery bush with coruscating hair.
  • And now that I have climbed and won this height,
  • 10 I must tread downward through the sloping shade
  • And travel the bewildered tracks till night.
  • Yet for this hour I still may here be stayed
  • And see the gold air and the silver fade
  • And the last bird fly into the last light.
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  • She fluted with her mouth as when one sips,
  • And gently waved her golden head, inclin'd
  • Outside his cage close to the window-blind;
  • Till her fond bird, with little turns and dips,
  • Piped low to her of sweet companionships.
  • And when he stopped, she took some seed, I vow,
    Added TextAnd when he made an end, some seed took she
  • And fed him from her rosy tongue, which now
    Added TextAnd fed him from her tongue, which rosily
  • Peeped as a piercing bud between her lips.
  • And like a child in Chaucer, on whose tongue
  • 10 The Blessed Mary laid, when he was dead,
  • A grain,—who straightway praised her name in song:
  • Even so, when she, a little lightly red,
  • Now turned on me and laughed, I heard the throng
  • Of inner voices praise her golden head.
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  • ‘Rivolsimi in quel lato
  • Là onde venìa la voce,
  • E parvemi una luce
  • Che lucea quanto stella:
  • La mia mente era quella.
Bonaggiunta Urbiciani, (1250).
Before any knowledge of painting was brought to

Florence, there were already painters in Lucca, and Pisa,

and Arezzo, who feared God and loved the art. The

workmen from Greece, whose trade it was to sell their own

works in Italy and teach Italians to imitate them, had

already found in rivals of the soil a skill that could

forestall their lessons and cheapen their labours, more

years than is supposed before the art came at all into

Florence. The pre-eminence to which Cimabue was raised

at once by his contemporaries, and which he still retains to

a wide extent even in the modern mind, is to be accounted

for, partly by the circumstances under which he arose, and

partly by that extraordinary purpose of fortune born with the

lives of some few, and through which it is not a little thing

for any who went before, if they are even remembered as

the shadows of the coming of such an one, and the voices

which prepared his way in the wilderness. It is thus, almost
Sig. Q
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exclusively, that the painters of whom I speak are now

known. They have left little, and but little heed is taken of

that which men hold to have been surpassed; it is gone like

time gone,—a track of dust and dead leaves that merely led

to the fountain.
Nevertheless, of very late years and in very rare in-

stances, some signs of a better understanding have become

manifest. A case in point is that of the triptych and two

cruciform pictures at Dresden, by Chiaro di Messer Bello

dell' Erma, to which the eloquent pamphlet of Dr. Aemmster

has at length succeeded in attracting the students. There

is another still more solemn and beautiful work, now proved

to be by the same hand, in the Pitti gallery at Florence.

It is the one to which my narrative will relate.

This Chiaro dell' Erma was a young man of very

honorable family in Arezzo; where, conceiving art almost ,

for himself, and loving it deeply, he endeavoured from

early boyhood towards the imitation of any objects offered

in nature. The extreme longing after a visible embodiment

of his thoughts strengthened as his years increased, more

even than his sinews or the blood of his life; until he would

feel faint in sunsets and at the sight of stately persons.

When he had lived nineteen years, he heard of the famous

Giunta Pisano; and, feeling much of admiration, with per-

haps a little of that envy which youth always feels until it

has learned to measure success by time and opportunity, he
Note: Pages 163-166 not in this proof.
Image of page 167 page: 167
that much of that reverence which he had mistaken for faith

had been no more than the worship of beauty. Therefore,

after certain days passed in perplexity, Chiaro said within

himself, ‘My life and my will are yet before me: I will

take another aim to my life.’
From that moment Chiaro set a watch on his soul, and

put his hand to no other works but only to such as had for

their end the presentment of some moral greatness that

should influence the beholder: and to this end, he multiplied

abstractions, and forgot the beauty and passion of the world.

So the people ceased to throng about his pictures as hereto-

fore; and, when they were carried through town and town

to their destination, they were no longer delayed by the

crowds eager to gaze and admire; and no prayers or offer-

ings were brought to them on their path, as to his Madonnas,

and his Saints, and his Holy Children, wrought for the sake

of the life he saw in the faces that he loved. Only the critical

audience remained to him; and these, in default of more

worthy matter, would have turned their scrutiny on a puppet

or a mantle. Meanwhile, he had no more of fever upon

him; but was calm and pale each day in all that he did

and in his goings in and out. The works he produced

at this time have perished—in all likelihood, not unjustly.

It is said (and we may easily believe it), that, though

more laboured than his former pictures, they were cold

and unemphatic; bearing marked out upon them , the

measure of that boundary to which they were made to

And the weight was still close at Chiaro's heart: but he
Image of page 168 page: 168
held in his breath, never resting (for he was afraid), and

would not know it.
Now it happened, within these days, that there fell a

great feast in Pisa, for holy matters: and each man left his

occupation; and all the guilds and companies of the city

were got together for games and rejoicings. And there were

scarcely any that stayed in the houses, except ladies who

lay or sat along their balconies between open windows which

let the breeze beat through the rooms and over the spread

tables from end to end. And the golden cloths that their

arms lay upon drew all eyes upward to see their beauty;

and the day was long; and every hour of the day was bright

with the sun.
So Chiaro's model, when he awoke that morning on the

hot pavement of the Piazza Nunziata, and saw the hurry of

people that passed him, got up and went along with them;

and Chiaro waited for him in vain.
For the whole of that morning, the music was in Chiaro's

room from the Church close at hand; and he could hear

the sounds that the crowd made in the streets; hushed only

at long intervals while the processions for the feast-day

chanted in going under his windows. Also, more than once,

there was a high clamour from the meeting of factious

persons: for the ladies of both leagues were looking down;

and he who encountered his enemy could not choose but

draw upon him. Chiaro waited a long time idle; and then

knew that his model was gone elsewhere. When at his

work, he was blind and deaf to all else; but he feared

sloth: for then his stealthy thoughts would begin to beat
Note: Pages 169-180 not in this proof.
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