Rossetti Archive Textual Transcription
Document Title: Johannes Ronge
Author: Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Date of Composition: 1847?
Type of Manuscript: fair copy
full Rossetti Archive record for this transcribed document is available.
- 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
- 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,
- 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
Copyright: Published with the permission of Iziko Museums of Cape Town