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
full Rossetti Archive record for this transcribed document is available.
- 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!
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
Copyright: Special Collection Library, Duke University