Rossetti Archive Textual Transcription

Document Title: Ballads and Sonnets (1881), proof Signature B (Delaware Museum, author's first proofs)
Author: Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Date of publication: 1881 April 5
Publisher: F. S. Ellis
Printer: Chiswick Press, C. Wittingham and Co.
Issue: 1

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

Image of page 1 page: 1
Manuscript Addition: 1
Editorial Description: Printer's proof-sequence number in upper left corner.
Manuscript Addition: [Charles Wittingham and Chiswick Press Printer's Stamp, dated 5 Apr. 81]
Editorial Description: Stamped at upper left.
Sig. B
Image of page 2 page: 2
Note: blank page
Image of page 3 page: 3
Note: The second word in line 5 is type-damaged and marked for correction by the printer.
  • Of her two fights with the Beryl-stone , :
  • Lost the first, but the second won.
  • “MARY mine that art Mary's Rose,
  • Come in to me from the garden-close.
  • The sun sinks fast with the rising dew,
  • And we marked not how the faint moon grew;
  • But the hidden stars are calling you.
  • “Tall Rose Mary, come to my side,
  • And read the stars if you'd be a bride.
  • In hours whose need was not your own,
  • While you were a young maid yet ungrown,
  • 10You've read the stars in the Beryl-stone.
Image of page 4 page: 4
  • “Daughter, once more I bid you read;
  • But now let it be for your own need:
  • Because to-morrow, at break of day,
  • To Holy Cross he rides on his way,
  • Your knight , Sir James of Heronhaye.
  • “Ere he wed you, flower of mine,
  • For a heavy shrift he seeks the shrine.
  • Now hark to my words and do not fear;
  • Ill news next I have for your ear;
  • 20But be you strong, and our help is here.
  • “On his road, as the rumour's rife,
  • An ambush waits to take his life.
  • He needs will go, and will go alone;
  • Where the peril lurks may not be known;
  • But in this glass all things are shown.”
Image of page 5 page: 5
Printer's Direction: This correction I have overlooked till now.
Editorial Description: DGR's note at the foot of the page on the right. It seems to refer only to the correction for line 39.
Note: The first two stanzas are crossed through by DGR.
  • Pale Rose Mary sank to the floor:—
  • “The night will come if the day is o'er!”
  • “Nay, heaven takes counsel, star with star,
  • And help shall reach your heart from afar:
  • 30A bride you'll be, as a maid you are.”
  • The lady unbound her jewelled zone
  • And drew from her robe the Beryl-stone.
  • Shaped it was to a shadowy sphere,
  • World of our world, the sun 's compeer,
  • That bears and buries the toiling year.
  • With shuddering light 'twas stirred and strewn
  • Like the cloud-nest of the wading moon:
  • Freaked it was as the bubble's ball,
  • Rainbow-hued through a misty pall ,
  • 40Like the middle light of the waterfall.
Image of page 6 page: 6
Note: The stanzas on the page are crossed through by DGR.
  • Shadows dwelt in its teeming girth
  • Of the known and unknown things of earth;
  • The cloud above and the wave around,—
  • The central fire at the sphere's heart bound,
  • Like doomsday prisoned underground.
  • A thousand years it lay in the sea
  • With a treasure wrecked from Thessaly;
  • Deep it lay 'mid the coiled sea-wrack,
  • But the ocean-spirits found the track;
  • 50A soul was lost to win it back.
  • The lady upheld the wondrous thing:—
  • “I'll fare”(she said) “with a fiend's-fairing:
  • But Moslem blood poured forth like wine ,
  • Can hallow Hell, 'neath th y e s Sacred s Sign;
  • And my lord brought this from Palestine.
Image of page 7 page: 7
  • “Spirits who fear the Blessed Rood ,
  • Dr a ove forth the accursed multitude
  • That heathen worship housed herein,—
  • Never again such home to win,
  • 60Save only by a Christian's sin.
  • “All last night at an altar fair
  • I burnt strange fires and strove with prayer;
  • Till the flame paled to the red sunrise,
  • All rites I then did solemnize;
  • And the spell lacks nothing but your eyes.”
  • Low spake maiden Rose Mary:—
  • “O mother mine, if I should not see!”
  • “Nay, daughter, cover your face no more,
  • But bend love's heart to the hidden lore,
  • 70And you shall see now as heretofore.”
Image of page 8 page: 8
  • Paler yet were the pale cheeks grown
  • As the grey eyes sought the Beryl-stone:
  • Then over her mother's lap leaned she,
  • And stretched her thrilled throat passionately,
  • And sighed from her soul, and said, “I see.”
  • Even as she spoke, they two were 'ware
  • Of music-notes that fell through the air;
  • A chiming shower of strange device,
  • Drop echoing drop, once , twice , and thrice,
  • 80As rain may fall in Paradise.
  • An instant come, in an instant gone,
  • No time there was to think thereon.
  • The mother held the sphere on her knee:—
  • “Lean this way and speak low to me,
  • And take no note but of what you see.”
Image of page 9 page: 9
  • “I see a man with a besom grey
  • That sweeps the flying dust away.”
  • “Ay, that comes first in the mystic sphere;
  • But now that the way is swept and clear,
  • 90Heed well what next you look on there.”
  • “Stretched aloft , and adown I see
  • Two roads that part in waste-country:
  • The glen lies deep and the ridge stands tall;
  • What's great below is above seen small,
  • And the hill-side is the valley-wall.”
  • “Stream-bank, daughter, or moor and moss,
  • Both roads will take to Holy Cross.
  • The hills are a weary waste to wage;
  • But what of the valley-road's presage?
  • 100That way must tend his pilgrimage.”
Image of page 10 page: 10
Printer's Direction: 2
Editorial Description: DGR's marginal numbering to indicate that the last stanza on this page should be transposed with the succeeding stanza on the next page.
  • “As 'twere the turning leaves of a book,
  • The road runs past me as I look;
  • Or it is even as though mine eye
  • Should watch calm waters filled with sky
  • While lights and clouds and wings went by.
  • “In every covert seek a spear;
  • They'll scarce lie close till he draws near.”
  • “The stream has spread to a river now;
  • The stiff blue sedge is deep in the slough,
  • 110But the banks are bare of shrub or bough.”
  • “Keep heedful watch by the water's edge,
  • Some boat might lurk 'neath the shadowed sedge.”
  • “One slid but now 'twixt the winding shores,
  • But a peasant woman bent to the oars
  • And only a young child steered its course.
Image of page 11 page: 11
Printer's Direction: 1
Editorial Description: DGR's marginal numbering to indicate that the first stanza on this page should be transposed with the last stanza on the preceding page.
  • “Is there any roof that near at hand
  • Might shelter yield to a hidden band?”
  • “On the further bank I see but one,
  • And a herdsman now in the sinking sun
  • 120Unyokes his team at the threshold-stone.”
  • “Mother, something flashed to my sight!
  • Nay, it is but the lapwing's flight.
  • What glints there like a lance that flees?—
  • Nay, the flags are stirred in the breeze,
  • And the waters bright through the dart-rushes.
  • “Ah! vainly I search from side to side:
  • Woe's me! and where do the foemen hide?
  • Woe's me! and perchance I pass them by,
  • And under the new dawn's blood-red sky
  • 130Even where I gaze the dead shall lie.”
Image of page 12 page: 12
  • Said the mother: “For dear love's sake,
  • Speak more low, lest the spell should break.”
  • Said the daughter: “By love's control,
  • My eyes, my words, are strained to the goal ! ;
  • But oh! the voice that cries in my soul!”
  • “Hush, sweet, hush! be calm and behold.”
  • “I see two floodgates broken and old:
  • The grasses wave o'er the ruined weir,
  • But the bridge still leads to the breakwater;
  • 140And—mother, mother, O mother dear!”
  • The damsel clung to her mother's knee,
  • And dared not let the shriek go free;
  • Low she crouched by the lady's chair,
  • And shrank blindfold in her fallen hair,
  • And whispering said, “The spears are there!”
Image of page 13 page: 13
  • The lady stooped aghast from her place,
  • And cleared the locks from her daughter's face.
  • “More's to see, and she swoons, alas!
  • Look, look again, 'ere the moment pass!
  • 150One shadow comes but once to the glass.
  • “See you there what you saw but now?”
  • “I see eight men 'neath the willow-bough.
  • All over the weir a wild growth's spread:
  • Ah me! it will hide a living head
  • As well as the water hides the dead.
  • “They lie by the broken water-gate
  • As men who have a while to wait.
  • The chief's high lance has a blazoned scroll,
  • He seems some lord of tithe and toll
  • 160With seven squires to his bannerole.
Image of page 14 page: 14
  • “The little pennon quakes in the air,
  • I cannot trace the blazon there:
  • Ah! now I can see the field of blue,
  • The spurs and the merlins two and two;—
  • It is the Warden of Holycleugh!”
  • “God be thanked for the thing we know!
  • You have named your good knight's mortal foe.
  • Last Shrovetide in the tourney-game
  • He sought his life by treasonous shame;
  • 170And this way now doth he seek the same.
  • “So, fair lord, such a thing you are!
  • But we too watch till the morning star.
  • Well, June is kind and the moon is clear:
  • Saint Judas send you a merry cheer
  • For the night you lie in Warisweir!
Image of page 15 page: 15
  • “Now, sweet daughter, but one more sight,
  • And you may lie soft and sleep to-night.
  • We know in the vale what perils be:
  • Now look once more in the glass, and see
  • 180If over the hills the road lies free.”
  • Rose Mary pressed to her mother's cheek,
  • And almost smiled but did not speak;
  • Then turned again to the saving spell,
  • With eyes to search and with lips to tell
  • The heart of things invisible.
  • “Again the shape with the besom grey
  • Comes back to sweep the clouds away.
  • Again I stand where the roads divide;
  • But now all's near on the steep hillside,
  • 190And a thread far down is the rivertide.”
Image of page 16 page: 16
  • “Ay, child, your road is o'er moor and moss,
  • Past Holycleugh to Holy Cross;
  • Our hunters lurk in the valley's wake,
  • As they knew which way the chase would take:
  • Yet search the hills for your true love's sake.”
  • “Swift and swifter the waste runs by,
  • And nought I see but the heath and the sky;
  • No brake is there that could hide a spear,
  • And the gaps to a horseman's sight lie clear;
  • 200Still past it goes, and there's nought to fear.”
  • “Fear no trap that you cannot see,—
  • They'd not lurk yet too warily.
  • Below by the weir they lie in sight,
  • And take no heed how they pass the night ,
  • Till close they crouch with the morning light.”
Electronic Archive Edition: 1