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.
by Gabriel Rossetti the Younger.
written when he was 15.
Note: the note beneath the title was added at a later time, apparently by WMR
- “O whither awaye, myne own true love?
- O whither awaye sae soon?
- The rayne will splash thy 'broiderie,
- And soak thy gilded shoon.”
- “I heedna the wynde, and I heedna the hayle,
- And I heedna the storme, Marie; —
- Before an hour hath passed awaye,
- In my own 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 knowst not my berrie-browne steed, Marie,
- Nor the dangers we have passed;
- He would bear one free through the raging sea
- Like an arrowe before the blast.
- “But tell me true, my onlie love,
- And truelie tell to me;
- And why dost thou praye that I thys daye
20In thy bowere so long should be?”
- She put her arms about his necke,
- And he felt her heart beate 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 ranne fulle quicklie down the stairs,
50And she oped the iron doore, —
- And she was awayre of her lover's corpse
- Laye 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.
- “Assasin! on thy guiltie head
- May Heaven's vengeance falle;
- For thou hast slayne my onlie friende,
60My life, my soul, my alle.
- “O he was gentler than the lambe,
- And milder than the dove:
- God knows he was the onlie manne
- That ever I did love.
- “And now pure angels beare his soulle
- To brighter realmes on highe,
- But thou shalt dwelle with fiendes belowe
- In endlesse miserie.”
- He took her up into his arms,
70And his lookes were blacke as deathe,
- And he dashed her downe from the win-
- -dowe highe
- To the moate 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 mur-
- -derer'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.
Note: This is a letter which accompanies and references the ballad.
50 Charlotte St. Portland Pl.
Should you consider the accom-
-panying Ballad not wholly
-thy of a place in your magazine, you
would highly oblige me by
If it meet not with a favorable recep-
-tion, and should
you answer me
among your “correspondents,” would you
by doing so under the in-
-itials “A.B.” instead of my
I am, Sir,
P.S. I have also executed the enclosed
sketch which is intended, if
-sidered sufficiently good, as a
headpiece to the Ballad.
Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Copyright: Special Collections Library, Duke University