Rossetti Archive Textual Transcription
Document Title: A Sea-Spell
Author: Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Date of Composition: 1870 April
Type of Manuscript: fair copy
full Rossetti Archive record for this transcribed document is available.
- Her lute hangs shadowed in the apple-tree,
- Whole flashing fingers weave the sweet-strung spell
- Between its chords; and as the wild notes swell
- The sea-bird for those branches leaves the sea.
- But to what sound her listening ear stoops she?
- What netherworld gulf-whispers doth she hear?
- In answering echoes from what planisphere,
- Along the wind, along the estuary?
- She sinks into the spell: and when full soon
10Her lips move and she soars into her song,
- What creatures of the midmost main shall throng
- In furrowed surf-clouds to the summoning rune:
- Till he, the fated mariner, hears her cry,
- And up her rock, bare-breasted, comes to die?
D G Rossetti April 1870
Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Copyright: By permission of The British Library