Rossetti Archive Textual Transcription

Document Title: Beauty and the Bird (fair copy, Huntington Library)
Author: Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Date of Composition: 1858
Type of Manuscript: Fair copy
Scribe: DGR

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

Image of page [1] page: [1]
Manuscript Addition: MS. of DGRossetti's—This is his handwriting towards 1858, but I think the sonnet was composed some years earlier—It relates to Miss Siddal, whom he married in 1860—There is some reason (but not certain) for thinking that this MS. was one of those wh[ich] in 1862 were buried in her coffin—Published title “Beauty and the Bird”. WMR
Editorial Description: This is WMR's note on the verso of the manuscript.
The Bella's Bullfinch

Note: The alteration of the title was made at the time that the manuscript was originally scripted.
  • [Sh]e fluted with her mouth as when one sips,
  • [A]nd waved her golden head, brave head & kind,
  • [Ou]tside his cage close to the window-blind;
  • [T]ill her sweet bird, with little turns and dips,
  • [Pi]ped low to her of sweet companionships.
  • And when he stopped, she took some seed, I vow,
  • [A]nd fed him from her rosy tongue, which now
  • [Pee]ped as a piercing bud between her lips.
  • [A]nd like the child in Chaucer, on whose tongue
  • 10 The Blessed Mary laid, when he was dead,
  • A grain,—who straightway praised her name in song:
  • Even so when she, a little lightly red,
  • Now turned on me & laughed, I felt made strong
  • [To] honour and to praise her golden head.
Manuscript Addition: next
Editorial Description: Our transcription of this word is tentative. It is written diagonally below the last line of the poem and appears to be in DGR's handwriting.
Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Copyright: ©The Huntington Library