Rossetti Archive Textual Transcription

Document Title: Poems. A New Edition (1881), proof Signature U (Delaware Museum, first revise (copy 1))
Author: Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Date of publication: 1881 May 18 (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 289 page: 289
Sig. U
  • ‘Tell me though, my mother my dear,
  • What's the knocking that I hear?’
  • ‘Daughter, it's the carpenter
  • Mending planks upon the stair.’
  • ‘Tell me too, my mother my dear,
  • 20 What's the singing that I hear?’
  • ‘Daughter, it's the priests in rows
  • Going round about our house.’
  • ‘Tell me then, my mother my dear,
  • What's the dress that I should wear?’
  • ‘Daughter, any reds or blues,
  • But the black is most in use.’
  • ‘Nay, but say, my mother my dear,
  • Why do you fall weeping here?’
  • ‘Oh! the truth must be said,—
  • 30 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,
  • For you must shut the baby there.’
Image of page 290 page: 290

( Old French .)
  • Inside my father's close,
  • (Fly away O my heart away!)
  • Sweet apple-blossom blows
  • So sweet.
  • Three kings' 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.’
Image of page 291 page: 291
  • ‘Ah!’ says the second one,
  • (Fly away O my heart away!)
  • ‘Far off I hear the drum
  • So sweet.’
  • ‘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! let him lose or win,
  • He hath it still complete.’
Image of page 292 page: 292

( A combination 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.
Image of page 293 page: 293

( Italian Street-Song .)
  • My young lord's the lover
  • Of earth and sky above,
  • Of youth's sway and youth's play,
  • Of songs and flowers and love.
Transcribed Footnote (page 293): * GIOVENTÙ E SIGNORÌA.
Note: Italian version of the poem is formatted in two columns at bottom of page.
  • È giovine il signore,
  • Ed ama molte cose,—
  • I canti, le rose,
  • La forza e l'amore.
  • Quel che più vuole
  • Ancor non osa:
  • Ahi più du che il sole,
  • Più ch' ogni rosa,
  • La cara cosa,
  • 10Donna a gioire.
  • È giovine il signore,
  • Ed ama quelle cose
  • Che ardor dispose
  • In cuore all' amore.
  • Bella fanciulla,
  • Guardalo in viso;
  • Non mancar nulla,
  • Motto o sorriso;
  • Ma viso a viso
  • 20Guarda a gradire.
  • È giovine il signore,
  • Ed ama tutte cose,

  • Column Break

  • Vezzose, giojose,
  • Tenenti all' amore.
  • Prendilo in braccio
  • Adesso o mai;
  • Per più mi taccio,
  • Chè tu lo sai;
  • Bacialo e l'avrai,
  • 30Ma non lo dire.
  • È giovine il signore,
  • Ed ama ben le cose
  • Che Amor nascose,
  • Che mostragli Amore
  • Deh trionfando
  • Non farne pruova;
  • Ahimè! che quando
  • Gioja più giova,
  • Allor si trova
  • 40Presso al finire.
  • È giovine il signore,
  • Ed ama tante cose,
  • Le rose, le spose,
  • Quante gli dona Amore.
Image of page 294 page: 294
  • Yet for love's desire
  • Green youth lacks the daring;
  • Though one dream of fire,
  • All his hours ensnaring,
  • Burns the boy past bearing,—
  • 10 The dream that girls inspire.
  • My young lord's the lover
  • Of every burning thought
  • That Love's will, that Love's skill
  • Within his breast has wrought.
  • Lovely girl, look on him ,
  • Soft as music's measure;
  • Yield him, when you've won him,
  • Joys and toys at pleasure;
  • But to win your treasure,
  • 20 Softly look upon him.
  • My young lord's the lover
  • Of every tender grace
  • That woman, to woo man,
  • Can wear in form or face.
Image of page 295 page: 295
  • Take him to your bosom
  • Now, girl, or never;
  • Let not your new blossom
  • Of sweet kisses sever;
  • Only guard for ever
  • 30 Your boast within your bosom.
  • My young lord's the lover
  • Of every secret thing,
  • Love-hidden, love-bidden
  • This day to banqueting.
  • Lovely girl, with vaunting
  • Never tempt to-morrow:
  • From all shapes enchanting
  • Any joy can borrow,
  • Still the spectre Sorrow
  • 40 Rises up for haunting.
  • And now my lord's the lover
  • Of ah! so many a sweet,—
  • Of roses, of spouses,
  • As many as love may greet.
Image of page 296 page: 296

( Leopardi.)
  • ‘Torn from your parent bough,
  • Poor leaf all withered now,
  • Where go you?’ ‘I cannot tell.
  • Storm-stricken is the oak-tree
  • Where I grew, whence I fell.
  • Changeful continually,
  • The zephyr and hurricane
  • Since that day bid me flee
  • From deepest woods to the lea,
  • 10 From highest hills to the plain.
  • Where the wind carries me
  • I go without fear or grief:
  • I go whither each one goes,—
  • Thither the leaf of the rose
  • And thither the laurel-leaf.’
Image of page 297 page: 297

( Dante.)

  • When I made answer, I began: ‘Alas!
  • How many sweet thoughts and how much desire
  • Led these two onward to the dolorous pass!’
  • Then turned to them, as who would fain inquire,
  • And said: ‘Francesca, these thine agonies
  • Wring tears for pity and grief that they inspire:
  • But tell me,—in the season of sweet sighs,
  • When and what way did Love instruct you so
  • That he in your vague longings made you wise?
  • 10 Then she to me: ‘There is no greater woe
  • Than the remembrance brings of happy days
  • In misery; and this thy guide doth know.
  • But if the first beginnings to retrace
  • Of our sad love can yield thee solace here,
  • So will I be as one that weeps and says.
  • One day we read, for pastime and sweet cheer,
  • Image of page 298 page: 298
  • Of Lancelot, how he found Love tyrannous:
  • We were alone and without any fear.
  • Our eyes were drawn together, reading thus,
  • 20 Full oft, and still our cheeks would pale and glow;
  • But one sole point it was that conquered us.
  • For when we read of that great lover, how
  • He kissed the smile which he had longed to win,—
  • Then he whom nought can sever from me now
  • For ever, kissed my mouth, all quivering.
  • A Galahalt was the book, and he that writ:
  • Upon that day we read no more therein.’
  • At the tale told, while one soul uttered it,
  • The other wept: a pang so pitiable
  • 30 That I was seized, like death, in swooning-fit,
  • And even as a dead body falls, I fell.

London: Printed by Strangeways and Sons, Tower Street,

Upper St. Martin's Lane.
Image of page [299] page: [299]




Crown 8 vo. Bound from the Author's Design .

Price 12 s.

Revised and Re-arranged Edition, crown 8vo. price 14 s.


With the Italian Poets preceding him.


A Collection of Lyrics,

Edited and Translated in the Original Metres,


This Work includes a translation of ‘The Vita Nuova’ of Dante.
Image of page [300] page: [300]
Note: blank page
Electronic Archive Edition: 1