Rossetti Archive Textual Transcription

Document Title: Ballads and Sonnets (1881), proof Signature G (Delaware Museum, early proof revise fragment)
Author: Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Date of publication: 1881 April 7
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 83 page: 83
  • The Prince that was and the King to come,
  • There in an instant gone to his doom . ,
  • Despite of all England's bended knee
  • And maugre the Norman fealty!
  • He was a Prince of lust and pride;
  • 140He showed no grace till the hour he died.
  • When he should be King, he oft would vow,
  • He'd yoke the peasant to his own plough.
  • O'er him the ships score their furrows now.
  • God only knows where his soul did wake,
  • But I saw him die for his sister's sake.
Image of page 84 page: 84
  • By none but me can the tale be told,
  • The butcher of Rouen, poor Berold.
  • ( Lands are swayed by a King on a throne.)
  • 'Twas a royal train put forth to sea,
  • 150Yet the tale can be told by none but me.
  • ( The sea hath no King but God alone.)
  • And now the end came o'er the waters' womb
  • Like the last great Day that's yet to come.
  • With prayers in vain and curses in vain,
  • The White Ship sundered on the mid-main:
  • And what were men and what was a ship
  • Were toys and splinters in the sea's grip.
Image of page 89 page: 89
  • At last the morning rose on the sea
  • Like an angel's wing that beat tow'rds me.
  • Sore numbed I was in my sheepskin coat;
  • Half dead I hung, and might nothing note,
  • Till I woke sun-warmed in a fisher-boat.
  • The sun was high o'er the eastern brim
  • As I praised God and gave thanks to Him.
  • 210That day I told my tale to a priest,
  • Who charged me, till the shrift were releas'd,
  • That I should keep it in mine own breast ! .
  • And with the priest I thence did fare
  • To King Henry's court at Winchester.
Image of page 90 page: 90
  • We spoke with the King's high chamberlain,
  • And he wept and mourned again and again,
  • As if his own son had been slain:
  • And round us ever there crowded fast
  • Great men with faces all aghast:
  • 220And who so bold that might tell the thing
  • Which now they knew to their lord the King?
  • Much woe I learnt in their communing.
  • The King had watched with a heart sore stirred
  • For two whole days, and this was the third:
  • And still to all his court would he say,
  • “What keeps my son so long away?”
Electronic Archive Edition: 1