Note: The signature letter is added here in manuscript.
Manuscript Addition: 1
Editorial Description: Printer's proof number added in upper left.
Manuscript Addition: [Charles Whittingham's printer date stamp, 25 Apr.81]
A Sonnet is a moment's monument,—
Memorial from the Soul's eternity
To one dead deathless hour. Look that it be,
Whether for lustral rite or dire portent,
Of its own arduous fulness reverent:
Carve it in ivory or in ebony,
As Day or Night may rule; and let Time see
Its flowering crest impearled and orient.
A Sonnet is a coin: its face reveals
The soul,—its converse, to what Power 'tis due:—
Whether for tribute to the august appeals
Of Life, or dower in Love's high retinue,
It serve; or,'mid the dark wharf's cavernous breath,
In Charon's palm it pay the toll to Death.
Printer's Direction: Each sonnet must occupy one / page only, even if the lines /
are closer together.
Editorial Description: DGR's note to the printer.
- I marked all kindred Powers the heart finds fair:—
- Truth, with awed lips; and Hope, with
- And Fame, whose loud wings fan the ashen Past
- To signal-fires, Oblivion's flight to scare;
- And Youth, with still some single golden hair
- Unto his shoulder clinging, since the last
- Embrace wherein two sweet arms held him fast;
- And Life, still wreathing flowers for Death to wear.
The House of Life / all along the top / lines
Editorial Description: DGR's note to the printer for printing the running heads.
- Love's throne was not with these; but far above
10 All passionate wind of welcome and farewell
- He sat in breathless bowers they dream not of;
- Though Truth foreknow Love's heart,
- And Fame be for Love's sake desirable,
- And Youth be dear, and Life be sweet to Love.
Editorial Description: DGR cancels the running head to indicate the printing design to be
followed (see DGR's note to the running head on page 164).
- As when desire, long darkling, dawns, and first
- The mother looks upon the newborn child,
- Even so my Lady stood at gaze and smiled
- When her soul knew at length the Love it nurs
- Born with her life, creature of poignant thirst
- And exquisite hunger, at her heart Love lay
- Quickening in darkness, till a voice that day
- Cried on him, and the bonds of birth were burst.
Editorial Description: DGR cancels the running header
- O thou who at Love's hour ecstatically
- Unto my heart dost evermore present,
- Clothed with his fire, thy heart his testament;
- Whom I have neared and felt thy breath to be
- The inmost incense of his
- Who without speech hast owned him, and, intent
- Upon his will, thy life with mine hast blent,
- And murmured, “I am thine, thou'rt one with me!”
- O what from thee the grace, to me the prize,
10 And what to Love the glory,—when
- Of the deep stair thou tread'st to the dim shoal
- And weary water of the place of sighs,
- And there dost work deliverance, as thine eyes
- Draw up my prisoned spirit to thy soul!
- When do I see thee most, beloved one?
- When in the light the spirits of mine eyes
- Before thy face, their altar, solemnize
- The worship of that Love through thee made known?
- Or when in the dusk hours, (we two alone,)
- Close-kissed and eloquent of still replies
- Thy twilight-hidden glimmering visage lies,
- And my soul only sees thy soul its own?
Note: DGR corrects the running header
- By what word's power, the key of paths untrod,
- Shall I the difficult deeps of Love explore,
- Till parted waves of Song yield up the shore
- Even as that sea which Israel crossed dryshod?
- For lo! in some poor rhythmic period,
- Lady, I fain would tell how evermore
- Thy soul I know not from thy body, nor
- Thee from myself, neither our love from God.
- Yea, in God's name, and Love's, and thine, would I
10 Draw from one loving heart such evidence
- As to all hearts all things shall signify;
- Tender as dawn's first hill-fire, and intense
- As instantaneous penetrating sense,
Spring's birth-hour, of other Springs gone by.
Manuscript Addition: X
Editorial Description: Printer's mark beside line 4 indicating broken type.
- What smouldering senses in death's sick delay
- Or seizure of malign vicissitude
- Can rob this body of honour, or denude
- This soul of wedding-raiment worn to-day?
- For lo! even now my lady's lips did play
- With these my lips such consonant interlude
- As laurelled Orpheus longed for when he wooed
- The half-drawn hungering face with that last lay.
- I was a child beneath her touch,—a man
10 When breast to breast we clung, even I and she,—
- A spirit when her spirit looked through me,—
- A god when all our life-breath met to fan
- Our life-blood, till love's emulous ardours ran,
- Fire within fire, desire in deity.
- To all the spirits of Love that wander by
- Along his love-sown harvest-field of sleep
- My lady lies apparent; and the deep
- Calls to the deep; and no man sees but I.
- The bliss so long afar, at length so nigh,
- Rests there attained. Methinks proud
- When Fate's control doth from his harvest reap
- The sacred hour for which the years did sigh.
- First touched, the hand now warm around my neck
10 Taught memory long to mock desire: and lo!
- Across my breast the abandoned hair doth flow,
- Where one shorn tress long stirred the longing ache:
- And next the heart that trembled for its sake
- Lies the queen-heart in sovereign overthrow.