Rossetti Archive Textual Transcription
Document Title: William and Marie
Date of Composition: 1841
Type of Manuscript: fair copy
Scribe: Dante Gabriel Rossetti
full Rossetti Archive record for this transcribed document is available.
- “O whither awaye, myne owne true love?
- O whither awaye sae soone?
- The rayne will splash thy 'broiderie
- And soak thy gilded shoone.”
- “I heed not the winde, and I heed not the haile,
- And I heed not the storme, Mary:
- Before an hour hath passed awaye
- In my owne halle mote I be.”
- “But the lightning will startle thy berrie-browne
10And he will snort and shy;
- And long ere thou mayest reach thy halle
- On the cauld earth shalt thou lie.”
- “Thou knowest not my berrie-browne steed, Mary,
- Nor the dangers we have past;
- He would bear one free through the raging sea,
- Like an arrowe before the blast.
- But telle me true, myne onlie love,
- And truelie tell to me;
- And why dost thou praye that I thys daye
20In thy bower so long sho'd be.”
- She put her armes about his necke,
- And he felt her hearte beat highe;
- And she hid her face within his breaste
- As she spoke righte dolefullie.
- “O there is a knight of the north countrie;
- Sir Richard is his name;
- And long years syne, ere my mother died,
- A wooing to me he came:
- “And he standes below in the castle-halle,
30And his sworde is in his hande;
- And when you have passed the corridor
- He will slaye you where you stande.
- “Then staye with me, my dearest love,
- And hearken to my prayer;
- Or I'll not see thy face again,
- Nor hear thy voice nae mair.”
- Lord William turned him round about,
- And grasped his trustie brande;
- “And I'll not yield a foot,” quoth he,
40“While the hilte holds in my hande.”
- And she heard the trampling of hurried feete
- And the sound of men in strife;
- And she knelt her down on the stonie floore,
- And prayed for Willie's lyfe.
- At last there rose a loud, loud shriek,
- And it woke the echoes neare:
- The ladie started to her feete
- And quaked for verie feare:
- And she ran full quicklie down the staires,
50And she oped the iron doore;
- And she was aware of her lover's corpse
- Lay weltering in his gore.
- And o'er him stood that recreant knight,
- As he wiped his bloodie sword:
- The ladie threw her on her knees
- And kissed her fallen lord.
- “Assassin! on thy guiltie head
- May Heaven's vengeance falle;
- For thou hast slayne my dearest friende,
60My life — my soul — my all.
- O he was gentler than the lamb,
- And milder than the dove;
- God knows he was the onlie man
- That ever I did love.
- And now pure angels
- bear his soul
- To brighter realmes on
- But thou shalt dwell
- with fiendes belowe
- In endlesse miserie.”
- He took her up into his armes,
70And his lookes were blacke as deathe,
- And he dashed her down from the windowe highe
- To the moat which rolled beneath.
- The wind was moaning through the trees;
- It whistled and it sang;
- And the crash of heaven's artillery
- Though the echoing welkin rang.
- The lightning flashed across the waste
- With a wild and ghastly glare,
- And it mingled in its fitful gleams
80With the hot and sulphurous air:
- And it danced on high, and it skimmed along
- O'er the parched and blasted heath;
- And the flowers withered where it passed
- Beneath its fiery breath.
- Sir Richard dashed across the plain;
- His spurs were red with gore;
- And he thought that spectres followed him,
- Above — behind — before.
- He heard their wailings on the wind;
90Their shrieks upon the blast.
- What would he not have given to know
- That dreary heath was past?
- But brighter flashed the levin-glare,
- And deeper rolled the thunder;
- And shrubs were strewn along the ground,
- And oaks were riven asunder.
- And the lightning glanced on the murderer's face,
- And showed its livid hue,
- As faster o'er the lonesome waste
100In mortal fear he flew.
- And it glimmered on his crested helm,
- And dashed him from his horse,
- And stretched him writhing on the earth,
- A burnt and blackened corse.
Manuscript Addition: (Gabriel Charles Rossetti)
Manuscript Addition: G. Rossetti.
Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Copyright: Digital images courtesy of the Rosenbach Library.