Rossetti Archive Textual Transcription

Document Title: Poems. A New Edition (1881), proof Signature B (Delaware Museum, author's first proof (partial))
Author: Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Date of publication: 1881 May 12 (circa)
Publisher: F. S. Ellis
Printer: Strangeways and Walden
Issue: 1

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

Image of page [1] page: [1]
Manuscript Addition: 194
Editorial Description: Notation at upper right.
Printer's Direction: Revise
Editorial Description: DGR's note to the printer at upper left
Printer's Direction: There sh d be a leaf inscribed / POEMS before this
Editorial Description: DGR's note to the printer just above the cancelled title heading.
Sig. B

  • The blessed damozel leaned out
  • From the gold bar of Heaven;
  • Her eyes were deeper than the depth
  • Of waters stilled at even;
  • She had three lilies in her hand,
  • And the stars in her hair were seven.
  • Her robe, ungirt from clasp to hem,
  • No wrought flowers did adorn,
  • But a white rose of Mary's gift,
  • 10 For service meetly worn;
  • Her hair that lay along her back
  • Was yellow like ripe corn.
  • Herseemed she scarce had been a day
  • One of God's choristers;
  • Image of page 2 page: 2
  • The wonder was not yet quite gone
  • From that still look of hers;
  • Albeit, to them she left, her day
  • Had counted as ten years.
  • (To one, it is ten years of years.
  • 20 . . . Yet now, and in this place,
  • Surely she leaned o'er me—her hair
  • Fell all about my face. . . .
  • Nothing: the autumn-fall of leaves.
  • The whole year sets apace.)
  • It was the rampart of God's house
  • That she was standing on;
  • By God built over the sheer depth
  • The which is Space begun;
  • So high, that looking downward thence
  • 30 She scarce could see the sun.
  • It lies in Heaven, across the flood
  • Of ether, as a bridge.
  • Beneath, the tides of day and night
  • With flame and darkness ridge
  • The void, as low as where this earth
  • Spins like a fretful midge.
Image of page 15 page: 15
  • ‘Oh he says that Keith of Ewern's cry,
  • Sister Helen,
  • Is ever to see you ere he die.’
  • ‘In all that his soul sees, there am I,
  • Little brother!’
  • ( O Mother, Mary Mother,
  • The soul's one sight, between Hell and Heaven!)
  • ‘He sends a ring and a broken coin,
  • Sister Helen,
  • 150And bids you mind the banks of Boyne.’
  • ‘What else he broke will he ever join,
  • Little brother?’
  • ( O Mother, Mary Mother,
  • No, never joined, 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?’
  • 160 ( O Mother, Mary Mother,
  • Not twice to give, between Hell and Heaven!)
Image of page 16 page: 16
  • ‘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!)
  • ‘Oh it's Keith of Keith now that rides fast,
  • 170 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,
  • Sister Helen,
  • But oh! his voice is sad and weak!’
  • ‘What here should the mighty Baron seek,
  • 180 Little brother?’
  • ( O Mother, Mary Mother,
  • Is this the end, between Hell and Heaven?)
Electronic Archive Edition: 1