Rossetti Archive Textual Transcription

Document Title: A Sea-Spell
Author: Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Date of Composition: 1870 April
Type of Manuscript: fair copy

The full Rossetti Archive record for this transcribed document is available.

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A Sea-Spell.

  • 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
Source File: 23-1869.blms.rad.xml
Copyright: By permission of The British Library