Rossetti Archive Textual Transcription

Document Title: Ballads and Sonnets (1881), proof Signature L (Delaware Museum, incomplete 31 May revise, copy 1)
Author: Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Date of publication: 1881 May 31
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 145 page: 145
Manuscript Addition: [Charles Whittingham's printer date stamp, 31 May 81]
Sig. L
  • And now the ladies fled with the Queen;
  • And thorough the open door
  • The night-wind wailed round the empty room
  • And the rushes shook on the floor.
  • And the bed drooped low in the dark recess
  • Whence the arras was rent away;
  • And the firelight still shone over the space
  • Where our hidden secret lay.
  • And the rain had ceased, and the moonbeams lit
  • 630The window high in the wall,—
  • Bright beams that on the plank that I knew
  • Through the painted pane did fall
  • And gleamed with the splendour of Scotland's crown
  • And shield armorial.
Image of page 146 page: 146
  • But then a great wind swept up the skies,
  • And the climbing moon fell back;
  • And the royal blazon fled from the floor,
  • And nought remained on its track;
  • And high in the darkened window-pane
  • 640The shield and the crown were black.
  • And what I say next I partly saw
  • And partly I heard in sooth,
  • And partly since from the murderers' lips
  • The torture wrung the truth.
  • For now again came the armèd tread,
  • And fast through the hall it fell;
  • But the throng was less; and ere I saw,
  • By the voice without I could tell
  • That Robert Stuart had come with them
  • 650Who knew that chamber well.
Image of page 159 page: 159
  • 810Last she stood up to her queenly height,
  • But she shook like an autumn leaf,
  • As though the fire wherein she burned
  • Then left her body, and all were turned
  • To winter of life-long grief.
  • And “O James!” she said,—“My James!” she
  • said,—
  • “Alas for the woful thing,
  • That a poet true and a friend of man,
  • In desperate days of bale and ban,
  • Should needs be born a King!”
Image of page [160] page: [160]
Note: blank page
Electronic Archive Edition: 1