Rossetti Archive Textual Transcription

Document Title: Dominus Fredericus (Rich Peace)
Author: Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Date of Composition: 1849?
Type of Manuscript: fair copy

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

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Dominus Fredericus (Rich Peace)

  • Sweet name, & strangest friend I ever knew,
  • Rich Peace of God—& is the promise true?
  • Knowest thou the land in very truth where grows
  • The purple pansy & celestial rose?
  • Ah me! I also have a lovely name,
  • And for my own those gladdening flowers claim.
  • They called me Joy: they knew not what they did,
  • Nor what dark marvels in the infant hid.
  • Now, should they not be friends to one another,
  • 10Those happy names—a Sister & a brother?
  • But marvels dwell within this thrice-sealed heart,
  • And thou remainest in a place apart.
  • My sacred mysteries thou mayst not see,
  • Nor can I fly across the gulf to thee.
  • Fair Son of God, most beautiful to me,
  • If thou art clothed in sincerity,
  • As are the poets who beside me walk
  • And comfort me with soul-maintaining talk,
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  • But come not glorious to the outward sight
  • 20With golden cups & robes of mystic light.
  • Oh! Son of God! A daughter of this life,
  • A traveller thro' the realms of sin & strufe,
  • Yet looking upward with beseeching eyes,
  • And fervent faith that never—never dies—
  • What more! Art thou beyond the poets wise,
  • With calmer words & holier exstasies?
  • More faithful art thou in the dangerous hour?
  • Fraternal more: more gentle in thy power?
  • More just in soul, more burning in thy zeal
  • 30To raise the fallen & the wounded heal?
  • Now, if I gave my hand & walked with thee
  • Would I thenceforth more free & vigorous be?
  • Would grander angels bend their pitying eyes,
  • And read me lessons thro' the varying skies?
  • I think not so. Then why hast thou the power
  • With name & look so piercing at this hour—
  • The middle hour to me of life's short day—
  • Away—for all the rest I watch & pray.
  • Poor Child—the sacred steps thou didst descend,
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  • 40They are too subtle for the heavenly way.
  • I will not walk beside their singing stream,
  • Nor trust the spirits, tho' they harmless seem.
  • And warrior Angels frowned & said to me:
  • “'Tis but a dream: thou must be strong & free.”
  • So fare thee well, sweet Peace—a sacred one
  • In very truth, whose Christian work is done
  • With daily smiles, where we should weep & faint,
  • In fond remembrance of some placid Saint
  • And the Divine Consoler—Holy Child—
  • 50Telling strange histories of the undefiled
  • In presence of the herd corrupt & vain.
  • Go forth & purify—go forth again,
  • And soothe the souls that lie in sin & pain.
  • And, from the distance, sitting far from thee,
  • Send sometimes benediction unto me.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: 55-1849.sangms.rad.xml
Copyright: Published with the permission of Iziko Museums of Cape Town