Rossetti Archive Textual Transcription

Document Title: Mater Pulchrae Delectionis (fair copy fragment, Duke U. Library)
Author: Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Date of Composition: 1847
Type of Manuscript: fair copy MS
Scribe: DGR

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

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Songs of the Art Catholic.


“Mater Pulchrae Delectionis.”
  • Mother of the fair Delight,
  • From the azure standing white
  • And looking golden in the light;—
  • With the shadow of the Heaven-roof
  • Upon thy hands lifted aloof
  • And a mystic quiet in thine eyes
  • Born of the hush of Paradise,
  • Seated beside the Ancient Three,
  • Thyself a woman-Trinity—
  • 10 Being the dear daughter of God,
  • Mother of Christ, from stall to rood,
  • And wife unto the Holy Ghost;—
  • Oh when our need is uttermost
  • And the sorrow we have seemeth to last,—
  • Though the future falls not to the past
  • In the race that the Great Cycle runs,
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An Epitaph for Keats.*

  • Through one, years since hanged and forgot,
  • Who stabbed backs by the Quarter,
  • Here lieth one who—while Time's stream
  • Runneth, as God hath taught her,
  • Bearing man's fame to men,—will have
  • His great name writ in water.

Transcribed Footnote (page [1v]):

* Nowadays, when the Poems of John Keats are

in every library, and the Quarterly Review at

every butterman's and fishmonger's, (by the way,

it is surprising that these worthy people are not

afraid of dirtying their goods by the contact,)

my reader is almost sure to remember that

the young poet, lying worldsick on his deathbed,

requested that his epitaph might be:—“Here

lies one whose name was writ in water.”

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: 2-1847.duke.rad.xml
Copyright: Digital images used with permission of the Duke University Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library.