Rossetti Archive Textual Transcription
Document Title: Francesca da Rimini (late fair copy manuscript)
Author: Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Date of Composition: 1879
Type of Manuscript: fair copy
full Rossetti Archive record for this transcribed document is available.
- When I made answer, I began: “Alas!
- How many sweet thoughts & 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 & grief that 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 longing made you wise?”
10Then she to me: “There is no greater woe
- Than the remembrance
past happy days
- In misery; and this thy guide doth know.
- But if the first beginnings to retrace
- Of our sad love can yield thee solace here,
- So will I be as one that weeps and says.
- One day we read, for pastime & sweet cheer,
- Of Lancelot, how he found Love tyrannous;
- We were alone and without any fear.
- Our eyes were drawn together, reading thus,
20Full oft, & 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 Galahalt was the book, & he that writ:
- Upon that day we read no more therein.”
- At the tale told, while one soul uttered it,
- The other wept: a
woe so pitiable
30That I was seized, like death, in swooning-fit,
- And even as a dead body falls, I fell.
Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Copyright: Lilly Library, University of Indiana