Rossetti Archive Textual Transcription
Document Title: Love and Loss. (Three Sonnets.) (fair copy, British Library)
Author: Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Date of Composition: 1871?
full Rossetti Archive record for this transcribed document is available.
Note: Bookplate with library accession number
- 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.
- “I love you, sweet: how can you ever learn
- How much I love you?” “You I love
- And so I learn it.” “Sweet, you
- 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.
Manuscript Addition: [Heaven's Trails?]
Editorial Note: There is faint text at the bottom left corner.
- 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
Manuscript Addition: [punctuation?]
Editorial Note: Difficult to decipher, a word is written sideways on the page.
Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Copyright: By permission of the British Library