Rossetti Archive Textual Transcription

Document Title: Hand and Soul (1869 Pamphlet, Texas Copy)
Author: Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Date of publication: 1869
Publisher: [privately printed]
Printer: Strangeways and Walden

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

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Note: DGR's addition appears written in the upper-right margin.

smite me.” Why shouldst thou rise up and tell God He is

not content? Had He, of his warrant, certified so to thee?

Be not nice to seek out division; but possess thy love in

sufficiency: assuredly this is faith, for the heart must believe

first. What He hath set in thine heart to do, that do thou;

and even though thou do it without thought of Him, it shall

be well done; it is this sacrifice that He asketh of thee, and

his flame is upon it for a sign. Think not of Him; but

of his love and thy love. For God is no morbid exactor: For with God is no lust of godhead:

He hath no hand to bow beneath, nor a foot, that thou

shouldst kiss it.’
And Chiaro held silence, and wept into her hair which

covered his face; and the salt tears that he shed ran through

her hair upon his lips; and he tasted the bitterness of

Then the fair woman, that was his soul, spoke again to

him, saying:—
‘And for this thy last purpose, and for those unprofit-

able truths of thy teaching,—thine heart hath already put

them away, and it needs not that I lay my bidding upon

thee. How is it that thou, a man, wouldst say coldly to the

mind what God hath said to the heart warmly? Thy will

was honest and wholesome; but look well lest this also be

folly,—to say, “I, in doing this, do strengthen God among

men.” When at any time hath He cried unto thee, saying,

“My son, lend me thy shoulder, for I fall?” Deemest thou

that the men who enter God's temple in malice, to the

provoking of blood and neither for his love nor for his

wrath will abate their purpose,—shall afterwards stand with

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thee in the porch, midway between Him and themselves, to

give ear unto thy thin voice, which merely the fall of their

visors can drown, and to see thy hands, stretched feebly,

tremble among their swords? Give thou to God no more

than He asketh of thee; but to man also, that which is man's.

In all that thou doest, work from thine own heart, simply; for

his heart is as thine, when thine is wise and humble; and

he shall have understanding of thee. One drop of rain is

as another, and the sun's prism in all: and shalt thou not

be as he, whose lives are the breath of One? Only by

making thyself his equal can he learn to hold communion

with thee, and at last own thee above him. Not till thou

lean over the water shalt thou see thine image therein:

stand erect, and it shall slope from thy feet and be lost.

Know that there is but this means whereby thou mayest

serve God with man:—Set thine hand and thy soul to

serve man with God.’
And when she that spoke had said these words within

Chiaro's spirit, she left his side quietly, and stood up as he

had first seen her: with her fingers laid together, and her

eyes steadfast, and with the breadth of her long dress

covering her feet on the floor. And, speaking again, she

‘Chiaro, servant of God, take now thine Art unto thee,

and paint me thus, as I am, to know me: weak, as I am,

and in the weeds of this time; only with eyes which seek

out labour, and with a faith, not learned, yet jealous of

prayer. Do this; so shall thy soul stand before thee always,

and perplex thee no more.’
Transcription Gap: 17-22 (no notable corrections)
Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Copyright: By permission of the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center