Rossetti Archive Textual Transcription

Document Title: Sunday Morning: Catholic Church
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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Sunday Morning: Catholic Church

  • The Churches were lamps to my simple youth,
  • Each with its flame of celestial truth:
  • Among the Churches I linger still,
  • Seeking the keys of good & ill.
  • I revere this holy place,
  • Adorned with awful glory
  • here my soul essays to trace
  • The endless golden story
  • Of the world & of my heart.—
  • 10How I shall enact my part
  • On life's stage I study here,
  • To the music loud & clear.
  • All before me minister
  • Priests in garments shining;
  • All within me fancies stir
  • Starry wreaths entwining—
  • Gorgeous dream & flaming thought
  • From mysterious heaven sought.
  • Sure am I of grand intent,
  • 20For immortal I am meant.
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  • All the sorrows of old earth
  • On the window painted—
  • At my breast a newer birth,
  • Sorrow ever sainted:
  • From above calm angels look
  • With instruments & open book—
  • Books & music every day
  • Make life's journey fresh & gay.
  • The Churches were lamps to my simple youth,
  • 30Each with its flame of celestial truth.
  • Among the Churches I linger still
  • Seeking the keys of good & ill.
  • Religion was made for grief alone.
  • Now where shall gladness f[ind] her throne?

Sunday Morning: Protestant Church

  • The Church is happy: I, a child
  • Of woe-bewildered earth,
  • Love much this morning sweet & mild
  • After the days of mirth.
  • The days of mirth are holy too,
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  • The world is clear & gay.
  • Who can deny that paradise
  • Is with us still in May?
  • I love the anthems soft & proud,
  • 10Prayers true as true can be,
  • But not this man that talks so loud:
  • What can he preach to me?
  • I will beguile the tedious time
  • With the picture sad & fair:
  • The lofty Christ, so nobly pure,
  • Will tell me stories rare.
  • Oh! Jesus, once at break of day
  • The faithful Mary came.
  • “Why weepest thou?” the Angels say;
  • 20And Jesus said the same.
  • The lofty sadness asks this hour:
  • “Oh! English woman, why
  • Weepest thou oft within thy heart?
  • Why daily dost thou sigh?”
  • Oh! Jesus, I had once a friend,*
  • Who seemed an Angel bright.

  • Transcribed Note (page [3]):
    Note: * Rationalism
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  • I thought our love would never end,
  • So full of rich delight.
  • But now my friend is dull & cold,
  • 30False & unlovely too;
  • And hard it is to bear the change
  • From perfect to untrue.
  • Christ Jesus! I had once a love,*
  • Whose hair was made of gold;
  • With eyes all blue as heaven above,
  • And all of heavenly mould.
  • But now this love is dead to me,
  • He never more can rise:
  • And hard it is to look alone
  • 40Upon the summer skies.
  • Still every sabbath day I try
  • To purify my heart,
  • And make it like a melody,
  • The wonderful in art.
  • So thus I am a happy child,
  • Altho' I often weep:
  • And on the earth confused with woe
  • I innocently sleep.

Transcribed Note (page [4]):
Note: * Catholic Church
Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: 57-1849.sangms.rad.xml
Copyright: Published with the permission of Iziko Museums of Cape Town