Rossetti Archive Textual Transcription

Document Title: Johannes Ronge
Author: Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Date of Composition: 1847?
Type of Manuscript: fair copy

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

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Johannes Ronge

  • Silesian shepherd, blesed be
  • The sequel of that history
  • That I have read with heart elate,
  • Entwining it with my own fate;
  • So dear to me the visions seem
  • That thou, oh child unknown, didst dream—
  • In earliest days on mountain wild:—
  • How dreadful spirits sternly smiled,
  • And prophecied thy future days,
  • 10And pointed out untrodden ways,
  • And gave thee weapons strong & good,
  • As the wierd lady of the Wood
  • To young St. George. Must I compare
  • With those dove winged guardians fair
  • Who to the little English maid
  • In crowded streets brief visits paid;
  • For in the year that gave me birth
  • Didst thou appear upon this earth:
  • And we have wandered far & wide
  • 20Seeking for truth on every side.
  • Sweet dreadful spirits strengthed thee
  • Into a noble destiny
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  • Sweet smiling angels sang to me
  • Strains full of love and mystery.
  • Yet know I not what I should do
  • In worship of the good & true.
  • Oh! gentle shepherd, dost thou wear
  • Meek flowers on thy waving hair,
  • And dost thou pipe a simple song,
  • 30And love thy flock the whole day long?
  • Or, stately shepherd, comest thou
  • With flaming signs around thy brow
  • And God's commandment in thy hand?
  • And dost thou read & understand?
  • Deliverer—for the good & true
  • Within one day what shall we do?
  • How shall we build the mystic shrine?
  • What symbols shall be thine & mine?
  • 40Tell, modern priest, what robes should be
  • Emblems of richest charty?
  • What consecrations may there be,
  • What hope, what faith, what mystery?
  • And wilt thou walk thy people thro',
  • And sprinkle us with heavenly dew?
  • And shall we from the sacred door
  • Go forth & search the parish o'er,
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  • And mark what evil there is done,
  • And give some remedy, each one?
  • 50A cup of water, if no more.
  • As thou hast purified before,
  • With graceful step & action bland,
  • Shall we, with schemes of duty planned
  • By wisest hearts, walk daily thro'
  • With serious step devout & true.
  • Our spirits may in deepest rest
  • Sleep softly on the Savior's breast.
  • Permit it not, dear Lord, that we
  • Should ever fall from loving thee.
  • 60Countless I trust the spirits be
  • Who rest upon thee lovingly.
  • The holy Mary, beauteous light,
  • Who gazes on her face aright?
  • I think the world has yet to turn
  • Their looks toward her eyes, & learn.
  • There may they read of things unknown,
  • And make rare wonders all their own.
  • Canst thou within that house of gold,
  • Oh! shepherd, thy poor lambkins fold?

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: 56-1849.sangms.rad.xml
Copyright: Published with the permission of Iziko Museums of Cape Town