Rossetti Archive Textual Transcription

Document Title: Sister Helen (fair copy of lines 204-245, Lilly Library collection): Rossetti Archive Document
Author: Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Date of Composition: 1881
Type of Manuscript: fair copy manuscript
Scribe: DGR

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

Image of page [1] page: [1]
Printer's Direction: N.B. insert these stanzas at page 142 after / “The way is long, between Hell & Heaven
Editorial Description: Note to locate the placement of the lines in the poem
Manuscript Addition: 91
Editorial Description: Pagination number at bottom right
  • “A lady's here, by a dark steed brought,
  • Sister Helen,
  • So darkly clad, I saw her not.”
  • “See her now or never see aught,
  • Little brother!”
  • ( O Mother, Mary Mother,
  • What more to see, between Hell & Heaven?)

  • “Her hood falls back, & the moon shines fair,
  • Sister Helen,
  • 10 On the Lady of Ewern's golden hair.”
  • “Blest hour of my power & her despair,
  • Little brother!”
  • ( O Mother, Mary Mother,
  • Hour blesth blest and bann'd, between Hell and Heaven! )
  • “Pale, pale her cheeks, that in pride did glow,
  • Sister Helen,
  • 'Neath the bridal-wreath three days ago.”
  • ”One morn for pride and three days for woe,
  • Little brother!”
  • 20 ( O Mother, Mary Mother,
  • Three days, three nights, between Hell & Heaven!)
Image of page [2] page: [2]
Manuscript Addition: 92
Editorial Description: Pagination number at bottom right
  • “Her clasped hands stretch from her bending head,
  • Sister Helen;
  • With the loud wind's wail her sobs are wed.”
  • “What wedding-strains hath her bridal-bed,
  • Little brother?”
  • ( O Mother, Mary Mother,
  • What strains but death's, between Hell & Heaven? )
  • “She may not speak, she sinks in a swoon,
  • 30 Sister Helen,—
  • She lifts her lips and gasps on the moon.”
  • “Oh! might I but hear her soul's blithe tune,
  • Little brother!”
  • ( O Mother, Mary Mother,
  • Her woe's dumb cry, between Hell & Heaven!)
  • “They've caught her to Westholm's saddle-bow,
  • Sister Helen,
  • And her moonlit hair gleams white in its flow.”
  • “Let it turn whiter than winter snow,
  • Little brother!”
  • ( O Mother, Mary Mother,
  • Woe-withered gold, between Hell & Heaven!)
Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: 2-1851.lillyms.rad.xml
Copyright: Used with permission of Lilly Library, Indiana University.