Rossetti Archive Textual Transcription

Document Title: The Athenaeum, 1879, Part I
Author: John Francis (publisher)
Date of publication: 1879 January - 1879 June
Publisher: John Francis
Printer: E. J. Francis & Co.
Volume: 1879, Part I

The full Rossetti Archive record for this transcribed document is available.

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(Dante, Inf., c. V.)

  • 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 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 of 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 and 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, and still our cheeks would pale and 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, and 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.

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Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: ap4.a85.1879a.rad.xml