Rossetti Archive Textual Transcription

Document Title: Ballads and Sonnets (1881), proof Signature D (Delaware Museum, fragment of the WMR proof copy)
Author: Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Date of publication: 1881 April 13
Publisher: F. S. Ellis
Printer: Chiswick Press, C. Whittingham and Co.

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

Image of page 41 page: 41
  • She opened the packet heedfully;
  • The blood was stiff, and it scarce might be.
  • She found but a folded paper there,
  • And round it, twined with tenderest care,
  • 240A long bright tress of golden hair.
  • Even as she looked, she saw again
  • That dark-haired face in its swoon of pain:
  • It seemed a snake with a golden sheath
  • Crept near, as a slow flame flickereth,
  • And stung her daughter's heart to death.
  • She loosed the tress, but her hand did shake
  • As though indeed she had touched a snake;
  • And next she undid the paper's fold,
  • But that too trembled in her hold,
  • 250And the sense scarce grasped the tale it told.
Image of page 42 page: 42
Manuscript Addition: long or e'er is I think the true phrase—i.e. / long other than (before) ever
Editorial Description: WMR's marginal note to line 258, which induced DGR to make the correction here.
  • “My heart's sweet lord,” ('twas thus she read,)
  • “At length our love is garlanded.
  • “At Holy Cross, within eight days' space,
  • “I seek my shrift; and the time and place
  • “Shall fit thee too for thy soul's good grace.
  • “From Holycleugh on the seventh day
  • “My brother rides, and bides away:
  • “And long or e 'er he is back, mine own,
  • “Afar where the face of fear's unknown
  • 260 “We shall be safe with our love alone.
  • “Ere yet at the shrine my knees I bow,
  • “I shear one tress for our holy vow.
  • “As round these words these threads I wind,
  • “So, eight days hence, shall our loves be twined,
  • “Says my lord's poor lady, Jocelind.”
Electronic Archive Edition: 1