Rossetti Archive Textual Transcription

Document Title: Wellington's Funeral (Lilly Library fair copy)
Author: Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Date of Composition: 1869
Type of Manuscript: fair copy
Scribe: DGR

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

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At Wellington's Funeral

18 th November 1852
  • “Victory!”
  • So once more the cry must be.
  • Duteous mourning we fulfil
  • In God's Name; but by God's will,
  • Doubt not, the last word is still
  • “Victory!”
  • Funeral,
  • In the music round this pall,
  • Solemn grief yields earth to earth;
  • 10 But what tones of solemn mirth
  • In the pageant of new birth
  • Rise and fall?
  • For indeed,
  • If our eyes were opened,
  • Who shall say what escort floats
  • Here, which breath nor gleam denotes,—
  • Fiery horses, chariots
  • Fire-footed?
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  • Trumpeter,
  • 20 Even thy call he may not hear;
  • Long-known voice for ever past,
  • Till with one more trumpet-blast
  • God's assuring word at last
  • Reach his ear.
  • Multitude,
  • Hold your breath in reverent mood:
  • For while earth's whole kindred stand
  • Mute even thus on either hand,
  • This soul's labour shall be scann'd
  • 30 And found good.
  • Cherubim,
  • Lift ye not even now your hymn?
  • Lo! once lent for human lack,
  • Michael's sword is rendered back.
  • Thrills not now the starry track,
  • Seraphim?
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  • Gabriel,
  • Since the Gift of thine “All hail!”
  • Out of Heaven no time hath brought
  • 40 Gift with fuller blessing fraught
  • Than the peace which this man wrought
  • Passing well.
  • Be no word
  • Raised of bloodshed Christ-abhorr'd.
  • Say: “'Twas thus in His decrees
  • Who Himself, the Prince of Peace,
  • For His harvest's high increase
  • Sent a sword.”
  • Veterans,
  • 50 He by whom the neck of France
  • Then was given unto your heel,
  • Timely sought, may lend as well
  • To your sons his terrible
  • Countenance.
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  • Waterloo!
  • As the last grave must renew,
  • Ere fresh death, the banshee-strain,—
  • So methinks upon thy plain
  • Falls some presage in the rain,
  • 60 In the dew.
  • And O thou,
  • Watching still, with angry an exile's brow
  • Unappeased, o'er death's dumb flood:—
  • Lo! the saving strength of God
  • In some new heart's English blood
  • Slumbers now.
  • Emperor,
  • Is this all thy work was for?—
  • Thus to see thy self-sought aim,
  • 70 Yea thy titles, yea thy name,
  • In another's shame, to shame
  • Bandied o'er? *
Transcribed Footnote (page [4]):

* Date of the Coup d'Etat: 2nd Dec r 1851.

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  • Wellington,
  • Thy great work is but begun.
  • With quick seed his end is rife
  • Whose long tale of conquering strife
  • Shows no triumph like his life
  • Lost and won.
Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: 3-1852.lillyms.rad.xml
Copyright: © Lilly Library, Indiana University