Rossetti Archive Textual Transcription
Document Title: Francesca Da Rimini: Dante (fair copy manuscript)
Author: Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Date of Composition: 1862 September
Type of Manuscript: fair copy
full Rossetti Archive record for this transcribed document is available.
Note: Manuscript headed with date “Sept. 1862”
D. G. Rossetti. Sept. 1862
- “ When I made answer, I began: “Alas!
- How many sweet thoughts and how much desire
- Led these two onward to the dolorous pass!”—
- Then turned to them, as who would fain inquire,
- And said: “Francesca, these thine agonies
- Wring tears for pity and grief which they inspire:
- But tell me,—in the season of sweet sighs,
- When and what way did Love instruct you so
- That he in your vague longings made you wise?”
10 Then she to me: “There is no greater woe
- Than the remembrance of past happy days
- In misery; and this thy guide doth know.
- But if the first beginnings to retrace
- Of our sad love may yield thee solace here,
- So will I be as one that weeps and says.
- “One day we read, for pastime and sweet cheer,
- Of Lancelot, how he found Love tyrannous:
- We were alone, and without any fear.
- Our eyes were drawn together, reading thus,
20 Full oft, and still our cheeks would pale & glow;
- But one sole point it was that conquered us.
- For when we read of that great lover, how
- He kissed the smile which he had longed to win,—
- Then he whom nought can sever from me now
- For ever, kissed my mouth, all quivering.
- A pander was the book, and he that writ:
- Upon that day we read no more therein.”
Dante: Div. Com. Inf. c. V.
Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Copyright: Reproduced with permission of the Cecil Higgins Art Gallery.