Editorial glosses and textual notes are available in a pop-up window. Line numbering reflects the structure of the Ashley Library manuscript text.
The most important feature of this early poem is the clear
relation it bears to
Damozel”, which DGR wrote about the same time. Images
and phrasings recall DGR's famous poem at several points. The poem also
recollects “My Sister's
Sleep”, and it reminds us of DGR's early
aptitude for constructing an ethos of Christian piety in his work.
WMR was the first to publish (part of) this
early work—ten stanzas from the original poem comprising
(he says) twenty-one stanzas. The excerpt is in his
1911 edition (pages
259-260). WMR informs us that the poem was written in September
1847 “some few months later than the original ‘Blessed Damozel’. It
is about the only thing my brother wrote ‘to order’: i.e.,
he was requested by a family friend, Cavalier Mortara, to write some verses
commemorative of a youthful member of the Stanhope family [Algernon Stanhope],
known to Mortara but not to Rossetti” (see
Written in September 1847, the poem descends to us in two fair copy manuscripts:
the shorter fair
copy in the Library of Congress; and
the fair copy in the Ashley Library, which has
two stanzas not in the Library of Congress manuscript. The Library of Congress
manuscript is undated but is written on lined paper torn from an early
notebook—paper very like that to be found in the Duke U. Library
early notebook materials. The manuscript also contains, at the end
of the transcript of the Stanhope elegy, a poor
satiric epigram on Louis Philippe,
King of France.
WMR's text was apparently printed from another manuscript,
which was dated September 1847 (according to WMR). This manuscript has not appeared.
The poem was first published by WMR in his edition of