Rossetti Archive Textual Transcription
Document Title: A Prayer (corrected fair copy)
Author: Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Date of Composition: 1869
Type of Manuscript: fair copy with one revision
full Rossetti Archive record for this transcribed document is available.
Note: Bookplate with standing female angel blowing trumpet and seated female
angel. Between the two figures is a flowing banner on which is inscribed
the owner's name. Below the figures and the ower's name is an inscribed poem.
- BOOKS BRING ME FRIENDS
- WHERE'ER ON EARTH I BE.
- SOLACE OF SOLITUDE-
- BONDS OF SOCIETY!
- Lady, in thy proud eyes
- There is a weary look,
- As if the spirit we know through them
- Were daunted with rebuke
- To think that the heart of man henceforth
- Is read like a read book.
- Lady, in thy lifted face
- The solitude is sore;—
- The true solitude follows the crowd.
10 Will it be less or more
- When the words have been spoken to thee
- Which my heart is seeking for?
- Lady, canst thou not guess
- The words which my thoughts seek?
- Perhaps thou deem'st them well to spurn
- And better not to speak.
- Oh! thou must know my love is strong,
- Hearing my voice so weak.
- Lady, ah! go not thus:
20 Lady, give ear again:
I would show to thee
O learn from me that yet
- There may one thing remain
- Which stands not in the knowledge thou hast
- And in thy lore of men.
- Lady, the darkness lasteth long
- Ere the dawn touch the skies;
- Many are the leagues of wilderness
- Till ye come where the green lies;
- Nay often betwixt doubt and doubt
30 Death whispers and makes wise.
- Lady, has not my thought
- Dared much? For I would be
- The ending of darkness and the dawn
- Of a new day to thee,
- And thine oăsis, and thy place of rest,
- And thy time of peace, lady.
Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Copyright: By permission of the British Library