Rossetti Archive Textual Transcription
Document Title: Manuscript Pieces: Ashley A3862
Author: Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Date of Composition: 1873, 1881
Type of Manuscript: manuscript letter with enclosed verse and prose note
full Rossetti Archive record for this transcribed document is available.
Note: Letter to Theodore Watts-Dunton, 23 February 1873. DGR adds two new stanzas for his poem “The Cloud
Confines” to the end of his letter.
Transcription Gap: two manuscript pages of a letter to Watts (available in print)
Note: DGR intended these to be stanzas 3 and 4 of the poem, and asks Watts
immediately below them: “Do you think these stanzas a
gain or not?” He has numbered them accordingly.
- The Present is but one coil
- Of a snake wherewith we strive:
- It clings to all things alive
- But drops then dead to the soil:
- And yet it keeps as it goes
- Some print of our moulding throes,
- Some change from the vanished foes
- Whose crown it wears for a spoil.
- Still we say as we go, —
10Even as we writhe and strain,
- The Future is onward roll'd
- In the snake's course, fold on fold:
- Yet ah! do we 'scape the chain?
- Or shall not each life forth-hurl'd
- Again in new flesh be furl'd,
- And what we made of the world
- Fall back on ourselves again?
- Still we say as we go,—
Note: This is an advertisement DGR wrote but never used for the publication of his
two 1881 volumes of poetry.
Mr. D. G. R. has in the press a volume
of Ball entitled
“Ballads and Sonnets.”
It consists of ballads romantic and
the a completed series of the
House of Life, with
other sonnets and lyrics.
The issue/first volume of
“Poems” by the
same author will also be immediately
An augmented reissue of the
same author's prior volume of
also in preparation,
? the book
been for some time out of print.
Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Copyright: By permission of The British Library