Rossetti Archive Textual Transcription

Document Title: Ballads and Sonnets (1881), proof Signature B (Delaware Museum, third revise, printer's copy)
Author: Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Date of publication: 1881 April 22
Publisher: F. S. Ellis
Printer: Chiswick Press, C. Whittingham and Co.
Issue: 4

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

Image of page [1] page: [1]
Manuscript Addition: 5
Editorial Description: Printer's proof-sequence number in upper left corner.
Manuscript Addition: [Charles Whittingham and Chiswick Press Printer's Stamp, dated 22 Apr. 81]
Editorial Description: Stamped at upper left.
Manuscript Addition: X
Editorial Description: Printer's mark in upper right corner.
Sig. B
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Note: blank page
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  • 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.
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  • “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.”
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  • “Spirits who fear the Blessed Rood
  • Drove forth the accursed multitude
  • That heathen worship housed herein,—
  • Never again such home to win,
  • 30Save 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,
  • 40And you shall see now as heretofore.”
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  • 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,
  • 50As 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.”
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  • “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,
  • 60Heed 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?
  • 70That way must tend his pilgrimage.”
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  • “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,
  • 80But the banks are bare of shrub or bough.”
  • “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
  • Unyokes his team at the threshold-stone.”
Electronic Archive Edition: 1