Rossetti Archive Textual Transcription
Document Title: Ballads and Sonnets (1881), proof Signature F (Delaware Museum, early proof fragment)
Author: Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Date of publication: 1881 April 7 (circa)
Publisher: F. S. Ellis
Printer: Chiswick Press, C. Whittingham and Co.
full Rossetti Archive record for this transcribed document is available.
- An instant shriek that sprang to the shock
- As the ship's keel felt the sunken rock.
90'Tis said that afar—a shrill strange sigh—
- The King's ships heard it and knew not why.
- Pale Fitz-Stephen stood by the helm
- 'Mid all those folk that the waves must whelm.
- A great King's heir for the waves to whelm,
- And the helpless pilot pale at the helm!
- The ship was eager and sucked athirst,
- By the stealthy stab of the sharp reef pierc'd:
- And like the moil round a sinking cup,
- The waters against her crowded up.
100A moment the pilot's senses spin,—
- The next he snatched the Prince 'mid the din,
- Cut the boat loose, and the youth leaped in.
- A few friends leaped with him, standing near.
- “Row! the sea's smooth and the night is clear!”
- “What! none to be saved but these and I?”
- “Row, row as you'd live! All here must die!”
- Out of the churn of the choking ship,
- Which the gulf grapples and the waves strip,
- They struck with the strained oars' flash and dip.
110'Twas then o'er the splitting bulwarks' brim
- The Prince's sister screamed to him.
Electronic Archive Edition: 1