Rossetti Archive Textual Transcription

Document Title: A Prayer (fair copy, earliest manuscript)
Author: Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Date of Composition: 1846
Type of Manuscript: fair copy

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

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A Prayer.

  • Lady, in thy proud eyes
  • There is a weary look
  • As if the spirit which shows through them
  • Frightened itself and shook
  • To think that henceforth the heart of man
  • 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 thought is seeking for.
  • Lady, can'st 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!
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Manuscript Addition: 1846
Editorial Description: Date added in pencil in unknown hand at lower left
  • Lady, do not rise up;
  • 20 Lady, give ear again;
  • Lady, I would show to thee 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 speaks, and maketh 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
Source File: 2-1846.dukems.rad.xml
Copyright: Special Collection Library, Duke University