Rossetti Archive Textual Transcription

Document Title: Sunset Wings (Delaware draft manuscript)
Author: Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Date of Composition: 1871 August
Type of Manuscript: draft manuscript
Scribe: DGR

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

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Sunset Wings.

  • To-night this sunset is like spreads two golden wings
  • Cleaving the western sky;
  • Winged too with wild wind too it is, & with gatherings winnowings
  • Of birds, as if the day's last honor in rings
  • Of dizying strenuous flight did fly would must die.
  • Like winnowing fires Fan-tipped with Sun-steeped in fire the homeward pinions sway
  • Above the dovecote-tops;
  • And clouds of starlings, ere they rest with day,
  • Sink, loud-tongued as clamorous like mill-waters, at wild play,
  • 10By turns in every copse.
  • Each tree heart-deep the wrangling rout receives,—
  • But Save for the whirr within,
  • You could not tell the starlings from the leaves:
  • Then one great puff of wings, & the swarm heaves
  • Away with all its din.
  • So wayward Thought Hope in ever-varying flight
    Added TextEven thus Hope's hours, in circling ever-eddying flight,
  • To many a rest doth refuge tend:
  • With the first light she laughed, & the last light
  • Gladdens Calls on Plays round her still; who natheless in the night
  • 20At length must make an end.
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  • And now the gathering mustering rooks innumerable
  • Are seen to Together sail & soar,
  • While for the day's death, like a tolling knell,
  • Unto the heart they cry, “No more, farewell,
  • Farewell, no more!”
  • Hope too is plumed, as 'twere a fiery dart:
  • But oh thou dying day,
  • When shall Joy her wing return, that did doth depart?
  • For Sorrow folds her such pinions on the heart
  • 30 And never flies As will not fly away
Electronic Archive Edition:
Source File: 33-1871.delms.rad.xml