Rossetti Archive Textual Transcription
Document Title: Dominus Fredericus (Rich Peace)
Author: Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Date of Composition: 1849?
Type of Manuscript: fair copy
full Rossetti Archive record for this transcribed document is available.
- 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,
- 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,
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
Copyright: Published with the permission of Iziko Museums of Cape Town