Rossetti Archive Textual Transcription

Document Title: Love and Loss. (Three Sonnets.) (fair copy, British Library)
Author: Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Date of Composition: 1871?
Scribe: DGR

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

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Love and Loss.

( Three Sonnets.)
I. The Lovers' Walk.

  • Sweet twining hedgeflowers wind-stirred in no wise
  • On this June day; and hand that clings in hand:—
  • Still glades; and meeting faces scarcely fann'd:—
  • An osier-odoured stream that draws the skies
  • Deep to its heart; and mirrored eyes in eyes:—
  • Fresh hourly wonder o'er the Summer land
  • Of light and cloud; and two souls softly spann'd
  • With one o'erarching heaven of smiles and sighs:—
  • Even such their path, whose bodies lean unto
  • 10 Each other's visible sweetness amorously,—
  • Whose passionate hearts lean by Love's high decree
  • Together on his heart for ever true,
  • As the cloud-foaming firmamental blue
  • Rests on the blue line of a foamless sea.

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II. Love's Antiphony.

  • “I love you, sweet: how can you ever learn
  • How much I love you?” “You I love even so,
  • And so I learn it.” “Sweet, you cannot know
  • How fair you are.” “If fair enough to earn
  • Your love, so much is all my love's concern.”
  • “My love grows hourly, sweet.” “Mine too doth grow;
  • Yet love seemed full so many hours ago.”
  • Thus lovers speak, till kisses claim their turn.
  • Ah! happy they to whom such words as these
  • 10 In youth have served for speech the whole day long,
  • Hour after hour, remote from the world's throng,
  • Work, friendship, fame, all life's confederate pleas,—
  • What while Love breathed in sighs and silences
  • Through two blent souls one rapturous undersong.

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Manuscript Addition: [Heaven's Trails?]
Editorial Note: There is faint text at the bottom left corner.
III. Without Her.

  • What of her glass without her? The blank grey
  • There where the pool is blind of the moon's face.
  • Her dress without her? The tossed empty space
  • Of cloud-rack whence the moon has passed away.
  • Her paths without her? Day's appointed sway
  • Usurped by desolate night. Her pillowed place
  • Without her? Tears, ah me! for love's good grace,
  • And cold forgetfulness of night or day.
  • What of the heart without her? Nay, poor heart,
  • 10 Of thee what word remains ere speech be still?
  • A wayfarer by barren ways & chill,
  • Steep ways and weary, without her thou art,
  • Where the long cloud, the long wood's counterpart,
  • Sheds doubled darkness up the labouring hill.

Dante G. Rossetti
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Editorial Note: Difficult to decipher, a word is written sideways on the page.
Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Copyright: By permission of the British Library