Rossetti Archive Textual Transcription

Document Title: Poems. (Privately Printed.): the A2 Proofs (partial), Princeton/Troxell (Copy 2)
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 2. Provenance: Joseph

Knight; A. L. Knight; Jerome

Note: Pages [i]-iv not in this proof.
Note: Pages 1-18 not in this proof.
Image of page 19 page: 19
  • ...Here woke my thought. The wind's slow sway
  • Had waxed; and like the human play
  • Of scorn that smiling spreads away,
  • The sunshine shivered off the day:
  • The callous wind, it seemed to me,
  • Swept up the shadow from the ground:
  • And pale as whom the Fates astound,
  • The god forlorn stood winged and crown'd:
  • Within I knew the cry lay bound
  • 10 Of the dumb soul of Nineveh.
  • And as I turned, my sense half shut
  • Still saw the crowds of kerb and rut
  • Go past as marshalled to the strut
  • Of ranks in gypsum quaintly cut.
  • It seemed in one same pageantry
  • They followed forms which had been erst;
  • To pass, till on my sight should burst
  • That future of the best or worst
  • When some may question which was first,
  • 20 Of London or of Nineveh.
  • For as that Bull-god once did stand
  • And watched the burial-clouds of sand,
  • Till these at last without a hand
  • Rose o'er his eyes, another land,
  • And blinded him with destiny:—
  • So may he stand again; till now,
  • In ships of unknown sail and prow,
    Image of page 20 page: 20
  • Some tribe of the Australian plough
  • Bear him afar,—a relic now
  • 30 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
  • 40 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,—
  • 50 Thine also, mighty Nineveh?
Image of page 21 page: 21
Transcribed Footnote (page 21):

* This hymn was written as a prologue to a series of designs.

Art still identifies herself with all faiths for her own purposes:

and the emotional influence here employed demands above all an

inner standing-point.

  • MOTHER of the Fair Delight,
  • Thou handmaid perfect in God's sight,
  • Now sitting fourth beside the Three,
  • Thyself a woman-Trinity,—
  • Being a daughter borne to God,
  • Mother of Christ from stall to rood,
  • And wife unto the Holy Ghost:—
  • Oh when our need is uttermost,
  • Think that to such as death may strike
  • 10Thou once wert sister sisterlike!
  • Thou headstone of humanity,
  • Groundstone of the great Mystery,
  • Fashioned like us, yet more than we!
  • Mind'st thou not (when June's heavy breath
  • Warmed the long days in Nazareth,)
  • That eve thou didst go forth to give
  • Thy flowers some drink that they might live
    Image of page 22 page: 22
  • One faint night more amid the sands?
  • Far off the trees were as pale wands
  • 20Against the fervid sky: the sea
  • Sighed further off eternally
  • As human sorrow sighs in sleep.
  • Then suddenly the awe grew deep,
  • As of a day to which all days
  • Were footsteps in God's secret ways:
  • Until a folding sense, like prayer,
  • Which is, as God is, everywhere,
  • Gathered about thee; and a voice
  • Spake to thee without any noise,
  • 30Being of the silence:—‘Hail,’ it said,
  • ‘Thou that art highly favourèd;
  • The Lord is with thee here and now;
  • Blessed among all women thou.’
  • Ah! knew'st thou of the end, when first
  • That Babe was on thy bosom nurs'd?—
  • Or when He tottered round thy knee
  • Did thy great sorrow dawn on thee?—
  • And through His boyhood, year by year
  • Eating with Him the Passover,
  • 40Didst thou discern confusedly
  • That holier sacrament, when He,
  • The bitter cup about to quaff,
  • Should break the bread and eat thereof?—
  • Or came not yet the knowledge, even
  • Till on some day forecast in Heaven
    Image of page 23 page: 23
  • His feet passed through thy door to press
  • Upon His Father's business?—
  • Or still was God's high secret kept?
  • Nay, but I think the whisper crept
  • 50Like growth through childhood. Work and play,
  • Things common to the course of day,
  • Awed thee with meanings unfulfill'd;
  • And all through girlhood, something still'd
  • Thy senses like the birth of light,
  • When thou hast trimmed thy lamp at night
  • Or washed thy garments in the stream;
  • To whose white bed had come the dream
  • That He was thine and thou wast His
  • Who feeds among the field-lilies.
  • 60O solemn shadow of the end
  • In that wise spirit long contain'd!
  • O awful end! and those unsaid
  • Long years when It was Finishèd!
  • Mind'st thou not (when the twilight gone
  • Left darkness in the house of John,)
  • Between the naked window-bars
  • That spacious vigil of the stars?—
  • For thou, a watcher even as they,
  • Wouldst rise from where throughout the day
  • 70Thou wroughtest raiment for His poor;
  • And, finding the fixed terms endure
  • Of day and night which never brought
    Image of page 24 page: 24
  • Sounds of His coming chariot,
  • Wouldst lift through cloud-waste unexplor'd
  • Those eyes which said, ‘How long, O Lord?’
  • Then that disciple whom He loved,
  • Well heeding, haply would be moved
  • To ask thy blessing in His name;
  • And that one thought in both, the same
  • 80Though silent, then would clasp ye round
  • To weep together,—tears long bound,
  • Sick tears of patience, dumb and slow.
  • Yet, ‘Surely I come quickly,’—so
  • He said, from life and death gone home.
  • ‘Amen; even so, Lord Jesus, come!’
  • But oh! what human tongue can speak
  • That day when death was sent to break
  • From the tir'd spirit, like a veil,
  • Its covenant with Gabriel
  • 90Endured at length unto the end?
  • What human thought can apprehend
  • That mystery of motherhood
  • When thy Beloved at length renew'd
  • The sweet communion severèd,—
  • His left hand underneath thine head
  • And His right hand embracing thee?—
  • Lo! He was thine, and this is He!
  • Soul, is it Faith, or Love, or Hope,
  • That lets me see her standing up
    Image of page 25 page: 25
  • 100Where the light of the Throne is bright?
  • Unto the left, unto the right,
  • The cherubim, arrayed, conjoint,
  • Float inward to a golden point,
  • And from between the seraphim
  • The glory issues like a hymn.
  • O Mary Mother, be not loth
  • To listen,—thou whom the stars clothe,
  • Who seëst and mayst not be seen!
  • Hear us at last, O Mary Queen!
  • 110Into our shadow bend thy face,
  • Bowing thee from the secret place,
  • O Mary Virgin, full of grace!
page: 26
Note: blank page
Image of page 27 page: 27
  • ‘WHO own 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 fly back hither, it may be,
  • And by thy 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.
Image of page 29 page: 29
  • ‘Lady,’ he said, ‘your lands lie burnt
  • And waste: to meet your foe
  • All fear: this I have seen and learnt.
  • Say that it shall be so,
  • 50 And I will go.’
  • She gazed at him. ‘Your cause is just,
  • For I have heard the same:’
  • He said: ‘God's strength shall be my trust.
  • Fall it to good or grame,
  • 'Tis in His name.’
  • ‘Sir, you are thanked. My cause is dead.
  • Why should you toil to break
  • A grave, and fall therein?’ she said.
  • He did not pause but spake:
  • 60 ‘For my vow's sake.’
  • ‘Can such vows be, Sir—to God's ear,
  • Not to God's will?’ ‘My vow
  • Remains. God heard me there as here,’
  • He said with reverent brow,
  • ‘Both then and now.’
  • They gazed together, he and she,
  • The minute while he spoke;
  • And when he ceased, she suddenly
  • Looked round upon her folk
  • 70 As though she woke.
Image of page 30 page: 30
  • ‘Fight, Sir,’ she said: ‘my prayers in pain
  • Shall be your fellowship.’
  • He whispered one among her train,—
  • ‘To-night thou'lt bid her keep
  • This staff and scrip.’
  • She sent him a sharp sword, whose belt
  • About his body there
  • As sweet as her own arms he felt.
  • He kissed its blade, all bare,
  • 80 Instead of her.
  • She sent him a green banner wrought
  • With one white lily stem,
  • To bind his lance with when he fought.
  • He writ upon the same
  • And kissed her name.
  • She sent him a white shield, whereon
  • She bade that he should trace
  • His will. He blent fair hues that shone,
  • And in a golden space
  • 90 He kissed her face.
  • Right so, the sunset skies unseal'd,
  • Like lands he never knew,
  • Beyond to-morrow's battle-field
  • Lay open out of view
  • To ride into.
Image of page 31 page: 31
  • Next day till dark the women pray'd:
  • Nor any might know there
  • How the fight went: the Queen has bade
  • That there do come to her
  • 100 No messenger.
  • Weak now to them the voice o' the priest
  • As any trance affords;
  • And when each anthem failed and ceas'd,
  • It seemed that the last chords
  • Still sang the words.
  • ‘Oh what is the light that shines so red?
  • 'Tis long since the sun set;’
  • Quoth the youngest to the eldest maid:
  • ‘'Twas dim but now, and yet
  • 110 The light is great.’
  • Quoth the other: ‘'Tis our sight is dazed
  • That we see flame i'the air.’
  • But the Queen held her brows and gazed,
  • And said, ‘It is the glare
  • Of torches there.’
  • ‘Oh what are the sounds that rise and spread?
  • All day it was so still;’
  • Quoth the youngest to the eldest maid;
  • ‘Unto the furthest hill
  • 120 The air they fill.’
Image of page 32 page: 32
  • Quoth the other; ‘'Tis our sense is blurr'd
  • With all the chants gone by.’
  • But the Queen held her breath and heard,
  • And said, ‘It is the cry
  • Of Victory.’
  • The first of all the rout was sound,
  • The next were dust and flame,
  • And then the horses shook the ground:
  • And in the thick of them
  • 130 A still band came.
  • ‘Oh what do ye bring out of the fight,
  • Thus hid beneath these boughs?’
  • ‘One that shall be thy guest to-night,
  • And yet shall not carouse,
  • Queen, in thy house.’
  • ‘Uncover ye his face,’ she said.
  • ‘O changed in little space!’
  • She cried, ‘O pale that was so red!
  • O God, O God of grace!
  • 140 Cover his face.’
  • His sword was broken in his hand
  • Where he had kissed the blade.
  • ‘O soft steel that could not withstand!
  • O my hard heart unstayed,
  • That prayed and prayed!’
Note: Pages 33-36 not in this proof.
Image of page 37 page: 37
  • ‘WHY did you melt your waxen man,
  • Sister Helen?
  • To-day is the third since you began.’
  • ‘The time was long, yet the time ran,
  • Little brother.’
  • ( O Mother, Mary Mother,
  • Three days to-day, between Hell and Heaven!)
  • ‘But if you have done your work aright,
  • Sister Helen,
  • 10 You'll let me play, for you said I might.’
  • ‘Be very still in your play to-night,
  • Little brother.’
  • ( O Mother, Mary Mother,
  • Third night, to-night, between Hell and Heaven!)
  • ‘You said it must melt ere vesper-bell,
  • Sister Helen;
  • If now it be molten, all is well.’
  • ‘Even so,—nay, peace! you cannot tell,
  • Little brother.’
  • 20 ( O Mother, Mary Mother,
  • O what is this, between Hell and Heaven?)
Image of page 38 page: 38
  • ‘Oh the waxen knave was plump to-day,
  • Sister Helen;
  • How like dead folk he has dropped away!’
  • ‘Nay now, of the dead what can you say,
  • Little brother?’
  • ( O Mother, Mary Mother,
  • What of the dead, between Hell and Heaven?)
  • ‘See, see, the sunken pile of wood,
  • 30 Sister Helen,
  • Shines through the thinned wax red as blood!’
  • ‘Nay now, when looked you yet on blood,
  • Little brother?’
  • ( O Mother, Mary Mother,
  • How pale she is, between Hell and Heaven!)
  • ‘Now close your eyes, for they're sick and sore,
  • Sister Helen,
  • And I'll play without the gallery door.’
  • ‘Aye, let me rest,—I'll lie on the floor,
  • 40 Little brother.’
  • ( O Mother, Mary Mother,
  • What rest to-night, between Hell and Heaven?)
  • ‘Here high up in the balcony,
  • Sister Helen,
  • The moon flies face to face with me.’
  • ‘Aye, look and say whatever you see,
  • Little brother.’
  • ( O Mother, Mary Mother,
  • What sight to-night, between Hell and Heaven?)
Image of page 39 page: 39
Note: Received line 54 is misaligned slightly to the left.
  • 50‘Outside it's merry in the wind's wake,
  • Sister Helen;
  • In the shaken trees the chill stars shake.’
  • ‘Hush, heard you a horse-tread as you spake,
  • Little brother?’
  • ( O Mother, Mary Mother,
  • What sound to-night, between Hell and Heaven?)
  • ‘I hear a horse-tread, and I see,
  • Sister Helen,
  • Three horsemen that ride terribly.’
  • 60‘Little brother, whence come the three,
  • Little brother?’
  • ( O Mother, Mary Mother,
  • Whence should they come, between Hell and Heaven?)
  • ‘They come by the hill-verge from Boyne Bar,
  • Sister Helen,
  • And one draws nigh, but two are afar.’
  • ‘Look, look, do you know them who they are,
  • Little brother?’
  • ( O Mother, Mary Mother,
  • 70 Who should they be, between Hell and Heaven?)
  • ‘Oh, it's Holm of East Holm rides so fast,
  • Sister Helen,
  • For I know the white mane on the blast.’
  • ‘The hour has come, has come at last,
  • Little brother!’
  • ( O Mother, Mary Mother,
  • Her hour at last, between Hell and Heaven!)
Image of page 40 page: 40
Note: Received line 86 is misaligned slightly to the left.
Manuscript Addition: thou
Editorial Description: Someone, possibly DGR, has written this word in the left margin beside received line 88.
  • ‘He has made a sign and called Halloo!
  • Sister Helen,
  • 80 And he says that he would speak with you.’
  • ‘Oh tell him I fear the frozen dew,
  • Little brother.’
  • ( O Mother, Mary Mother,
  • Why laughs she thus, between Hell and Heaven?)
  • ‘The wind is loud, but I hear him cry,
  • Sister Helen,
  • That Holm of Ewern's like to die.’
  • ‘And he and thou, and thou and I,
  • Little brother.’
  • 90 ( O Mother, Mary Mother,
  • And they and we, between Hell and Heaven!)
  • ‘For three days now he has lain abed,
  • Sister Helen,
  • And he prays in torment to be dead.’
  • ‘The thing may chance, if he have prayed,
  • Little brother!’
  • ( O Mother, Mary Mother,
  • If he have prayed, between Hell and Heaven!)
  • ‘But he has not ceased to cry to-day,
  • 100 Sister Helen,
  • That you should take your curse away.’
  • My prayer was heard,—he need but pray,
  • Little brother!’
  • ( O Mother, Mary Mother,
  • Shall God not hear, between Hell and Heaven?)
Image of page 41 page: 41
  • ‘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,
  • 110 Little brother?’
  • ( O Mother, Mary Mother,
  • A living soul, between Hell and Heaven!)
  • ‘But he calls for ever on your name,
  • Sister Helen,
  • 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!)
  • 120‘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!’
  • ( 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.’
  • 130‘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
Editorial Description: Printer marks at received line 145 for realignment to the left.
  • ‘Oh he says that Holm of Ewern's cry,
  • 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,
  • 140 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,
  • Little brother?’
  • ( O Mother, Mary Mother,
  • Oh, never more, between Hell and Heaven!)
  • ‘He yields you these and craves full fain,
  • Sister Helen,
  • 150 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!)
  • ‘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!’
  • 160 ( 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.’
  • ‘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,
  • 170 Sister Helen,
  • But oh! his voice is sad and weak!’
  • ‘What here should the mighty Baron seek,
  • Little brother?’
  • ( O Mother, Mary Mother,
  • 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,
  • 180 Little brother!’
  • ( O Mother, Mary Mother,
  • Is this forgiven, between Hell and Heaven!)
  • ‘Oh he prays you, as his heart would rive,
  • Sister Helen,
  • 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
  • 190‘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.’
  • ( 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.’
  • 200‘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,
  • Sister Helen;
  • Is it in the sky or in the ground?’
  • ‘Say, have they turned their horses round,
  • Little brother?’
  • ( O Mother, Mary Mother,
  • 210 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,
  • Little brother!’
  • ( O Mother, Mary Mother,
  • The naked soul, between Hell and Heaven!)
Image of page 45 page: 45
Editorial Description: Printer marks received line 285 for realignment to the left.
  • ‘Oh the wind is sad in the iron chill,
  • Sister Helen,
  • 220 And weary sad they look by the hill.’
  • ‘But he they mourn is sadder still,
  • Little brother!’
  • ( O Mother, Mary Mother,
  • Most sad of all, between Hell and Heaven!)
  • ‘See, see, the wax has dropped from its place,
  • Sister Helen,
  • And the flames are winning up apace!’
  • ‘Yet here they burn but for a space,
  • Little brother!’
  • 230 ( O Mother, Mary Mother,
  • Here for a space, between Hell and Heaven!)
  • ‘Ah! what white thing at the door has cross'd,
  • Sister Helen?
  • Ah! what is this that sighs in the frost?’
  • ‘A soul that's lost as mine is lost,
  • Little brother!’
  • ( O Mother, Mary Mother,
  • Lost, lost, all lost, between Hell and Heaven!)
page: [46]
Note: blank page
Note: Pages 47-152 not in this proof.
Image of page 153 page: 153
Sig. P
  • NOT that the earth is changing, O my God!
  • Nor that the seasons totter in their walk,—
  • Not that the virulent ill of act and talk
  • Seethes ever as a winepress ever trod,—
  • Not therefore are we certain that the rod
  • Weighs in thine hand to smite the world; though now
  • Beneath thine hand so many nations bow,
  • So many kings:—not therefore, O my God!—
  • But because Man is parcelled out in men
  • 10 Even thus; because, for any wrongful blow,
  • No man not stricken asks, ‘I would be told
  • Why thou dost strike;’ but his heart whispers then
  • ‘He is he, I am I.’ By this we know
  • That the earth falls asunder, being old.
page: [153verso]
Note: blank page
Image of page 154 page: 154
  • AS he that loves oft looks on the dear form
  • And guesses how it grew to womanhood,
  • And gladly would have watched the beauties bud
  • And the mild fire of precious life wax warm:—
  • So I, long bound within the threefold charm
  • Of Dante's love sublimed to heavenly mood,
  • Had marvelled, touching his Beatitude,
  • How grew such presence from man's shameful swarm.
  • At length within this book I found pourtrayed
  • 10 Newborn that Paradisal Love of his,
  • And simple like a child; with whose clear aid
  • I understood. To such a child as this,
  • Christ, charging well his chosen ones, forbade
  • Offence: ‘for lo! of such my kingdom is.’
page: [154verso]
Note: blank page
Image of page 155 page: 155
  • 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.
page: [155verso]
Note: blank page
Note: Page 156 not in this proof.
Image of page 157 page: 157
  • WEARY already, weary miles to-night
  • I walked for bed: and so, to get some ease,
  • I dogged the flying moon with similes.
  • And like a wisp she doubled on my sight
  • In ponds; and caught in tree-tops like a kite;
  • And in a globe of film all vapourish
  • Swam full-faced like a silly silver fish;—
  • Last like a bubble shot the welkin's height
  • Where my road turned, and got behind me, and sent
  • 10 My wizened shadow craning round at me,
  • And jeered, ‘So, step the measure,—one two three!’—
  • And if I faced on her, looked innocent.
  • But just at parting, halfway down a dell,
  • She kissed me for goodnight. So you'll not tell.
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Image of page 158 page: 158
  • 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,
  • And fed him from her rosy tongue, which now
  • 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.
page: [158verso]
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Note: Pages 159-180 not in this proof.
Electronic Archive Edition: 1
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