Rossetti Archive Textual Transcription

Document Title: World's Worth (late fair copy manuscript)
Author: Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Date of Composition: 1879-1880
Type of Manuscript: fair copy

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

Image of page [1] page: [1]
Printer's Direction: To follow / [?] after / [??] / An Old Song / Ended
Editorial Description: Directions for printing in DGR's 1881 Poems. A New Edition
World's Worth
  • 'Tis of the Father Hilary.
  • He strove, but could not pray; so took
  • The steep-coiled stair, where his feet shook
  • A sad blind echo. Ever up
  • He toiled. 'Twas a sick sway of air
  • That autumn noon within the stair,
  • As dizzy as a turning cup.
  • His brain benumbed him, void & thin;
  • He shut his eyes and felt it spin;
  • 10 The obscure deafness hemmed him in.
  • He said: “O world, what world for me?”
  • He leaned unto the balcony
  • Where the chime keeps the night & day;
  • It hurt his brain, he could not pray.
  • He had his face upon the stone:
  • Deep 'twixt the narrow shafts, his eye
  • Passed all the roofs to the stark sky,
  • Swept with no wing, with wind alone.
  • Close to his feet the sky did shake
  • Image of page [2] page: [2]
  • 20 With wind in pools that the rains make;
  • The ripple set his eyes to ache.
  • He said: “O world, what world for me?”
  • He stood within the mystery
  • Girding God's blessed Eucharist:
  • The organ and the chaunt had ceas'd.
  • The last words paused against his ear
  • Said from the altar: drawn round him
  • The gathering rest was dumb and dim.
  • And now the sacring-bell rang clear
  • 30 And ceased; and all was awe,—the breath
  • Of God in man that warranteth
  • The inmost utmost things of faith.
  • He said: “O God, my world in thee!”

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Copyright: Lilly Library, University of Indiana