Rossetti Archive Textual Transcription

Document Title: Wellington's Funeral (Beinecke Library cancelled fair copy)
Author: Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Date of Composition: 1852
Type of Manuscript: fair copy
Scribe: DGR

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

Image of page i page: i
Note: The note here is by WMR.
This is one of the various M.S.S.

by my Brother which he buried in 1862

in the coffin of his wife, & which were

recovered thence in 1869
W. M. Rossetti
Image of page ii page: ii
Note: The note here is by WMR.
This is my brother's own M.S.

of his poem on Wellington's Funeral.

The writing is probably nearly

contemporaneous with the date when the

poem was composed, towards the end

of 1852. The M.S. came into my

hands with other papers at the date

April 1882, of my brother's death.
W. M. Rossetti

October 1888
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Note: The text is crossed through by DGR on this page and all the subsequent pages.
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?
  • Gabriel,
  • Since the Gift of thine “All hail!”
  • Out of Heaven no time hath brought
  • Image of page [3] page: [3]
    Note: The damage at the top of the manuscript has destroyed the document so that the word “fuller” is partly obliterated; its missing characters are editorially supplied.
  • 40 Gift with fu[ller] 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 ripe 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.
  • 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.
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  • And O thou,
  • Watching still, with angry 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?
  • 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.yalems.rad.xml
Copyright: © Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library