Rossetti, Dante Gabriel
Writings: XXVII. Note Book III
Manuscript Addition: 38
Editorial Description: Pagination or numeration added by someone in upper right corner, not DGR or WMR
His own M.S.
[W. M. Rossetti]
- though all the rest go by,
- Ditties & dirges of the unanswering sky.
- For this can love, & does love, & loves me.
- (For this can love, & does, & loves but me.)
- A test for love. In every kiss sealed fast
- To feel the first kiss & forebode the last.
As one who falls asleep on a hill, &
waking sees sunset as he
the sky & forebodes a darkling night
further, but as the light
widens, finds that it is the dawn of
Note: This is a prose sketch for a sonnet that DGR never wrote.
- And heavenly things in your eyes have place
- Those breaks of sky in the twilight face.
- Aye, we'll shake hands, though scarce for love, we two;
- But I hate hatred worse than I hate you.
- And love & faith the vehement heart of all.
- If to grow old in Heaven is to grow young,
- (As the Seer saw & said)
- Even as the rose-tree's verdure left alone
- Will flush all ruddy when the rose is gone.
Note: DGR first drew a line across the page beneath the first verse but he later
cancelled the line break, joining what had been two separate scraps of verse
into a three line unit.
'Mid water-daisies & wild waifs of spring,
- There where the iris rears its gold-crowned sheaf
- With flowering rush & sceptred arrow-leaf
I loved thee ere I loved a
- Down on his silence the moon gazed
- Dumb from the unmeasured dome;
- And as each gulf-scooped wave rang home
- With hoary crest upraised,
- Like fire in snow the moonlight blazed
- Amid the champing foam.
Note: DGR wrote “Michael Scott” in parentheses above
- It seemed that through the forest boughs in flight
- The wind swooped onward brandishing the light.
- Or like a wisp that laughs upon the wall
- My world my work my woman all my own,—
- What face but thine has
taught me all that art
- Can be & still be Nature's counterpart?
- What form but thine within one bosom's zone
- Unto my star-beseeching eyes has shown
- The Zodiac of all beauty?
- To God at best, to Chance at worst,
- Give thanks for good things from thy Soul
Sphinx-faced with unabashed augury
All that he
might do rushed through his
—passion & wrongdoing and despotic will, as
wide eye fixed & his proud and scarcely
mouth half hidden in his beard, he acted
it through in his
soul & cast it out.
- a face that like a governing star
- Gathers and garners from all things that are
- Their silent penetrative loveliness
- The glass stands empty of all things it knew
- O Thou whose name, being alone, aloud
- I utter oft, & though thou art not there,
- Toward thine imaged presence kiss the air
mest maestrìa di Michelangelo
- Or give ten years of life's most bitter wane
- To see the loved one as she was again
- And of the cup of human agony
- Enough to fill the sea
- Even as the morn grows clearer on the sky
- While the sky darkens & her Venus' star
- Thrills with a keener radiance from afar
- imperatorial car
- And purple-dyed paludament of war
Note: The first four notebook entries on this page are all canceled by DGR in a
single set of cross-through strokes. The last three entries are cancelled in
the same way, and all appear to have been done at the same time (as does the
cancellation of the eighth entry on the page, from “Ardour and Memory”.
- The forehead veiled & the veiled throat of Death
Note: This fragment distinctly echoes various poems by Coleridge.
- Thou that beyond the real self doth see
- A self ideal, bid thy heart beware
- And plaintive days that haunt the haggard hills
- With bleak unspoken woe
Note: WMR marks this text in pencil in the left margin “Com
s” (i.e., “Commandments”).
- To know for certain that we do not know
- Is the first step in knowledge
furtive flickering streams
- mouth like the lips of a wound
- Think through this silence how when we are old
- We two shall think upon this place & day.
- the lifted eyes
- When all the daughters of the daybreak sing.
- An ant-sting's prickly at first
- But the pain soon dies away;
- A gnat-sting's worse the next day;
- But a wasp 'tis stings the worst.
The fragment bears an echo of line 4 of
“Life the Beloved”
, which was written in 1873.
- His face, in Fortune's favours sunn'd
- Was radiantly rubicund
- the bitter stage of life
- Where friend & foe are parts alternated
- Wild pageant of the accumulated past
- Which clangs & flashes for a drowning man.
- With airs new-fledged & valorous lusts of morn.
Note: The page comprises DGR's transcription of how to use Zaak in repainting.
It is transcribed on the recto of a stiff notebook page that is marbled on
the verso (and thus represents the final page in one of the typical DGR notebooks).
Transcription Gap: the text of the page (to be transcribed later)
In early life the affinities of man are upper-
most & draw
them together: later
their individualities become
& sunder them.
WMR marks this text in the left margin, vertically, “Com
, lines 57-63. The second part of this text was added later by
DGR in pencil.
An artist often hates his own best work
in the same way as an envious soul hates
the great works of others:
it is equally
a perpetual self-reproach
Keep thy works
equal. If not, thou
shalt come to hate &c.
Note: WMR marks this text in the left margin, vertically,
ous satirist should indeed bear a deal
of contempt in his
since he has
to find enough for others over and above
the amount he must
Art thou a slanderous satirist?
Then lay up stores of contempt for beyond all
thou must give to others thou wilt secretly need a
store for thyself.
Note: WMR marks this text in the left margin, vertically,
Remember As the waifs cast up by the sea change
changing season, so the
tides of the soul
may throw up their
drift on the sand: but the sea beyond
should be one for ever.
memmor memory of past pleasure
in pain brings a sting at
afterwards, a salve.
Thackeray is the Valet of Society, to whom
not one of his masters is a
lives upon small advantages which
he exacts from all alike.
Christina R.—the isolation of a bird,
minute, & distinct.
. . . . . . . belongs to that extraordinary
class of persons whom no
of intellect can prevent from being
to that extraordinart sect
whom no amount of intellect
can prevent from being fools
Dickens was an inspired bagman—
an articulate counter-jumper.
and such painters are the Vultures to Michael
Poetry is the apparent image of
Added TextRealities most far from thee.
Note: WMR marks this text in the left margin, vertically, “C
- Whom trees that knew our sires should cease to know
- And still stand silent
Aura & Aurora.— Descriptions of
Both belonging to one man.—Which did
cherish, & spurn the other? A question
answered by the scornful lip of
a devil in Hell.
Moderation is the highest law
of poetry. Experimental as
sometimes becomes, his
tuned but never twanged; and
this is his great distinction from
others who venture as far.
It is bad enough when there is a gifted
& powerful opposition
to the teachings
of the best minds in any period: but
when the best
minds themselves are
on a false tack, who shall stem the
In refined natures of humble birth,
breeding seems to have preceded as
a former existence, & the peasant
& is born a queen.
A friend is a welcome character in
the drama of life: an enemy is
second character, not unexpected,
& to whom no reasonable
be raised. But when the 2 parts run
into each other,
then it is time to
drop the curtain.
Why should an Inventor usurp
the critic's share of function by
to them, or refuse to admit (as
they practically assert)
was born to do work which they
were born to talk about?
There are certain passionate phases
of the soul when to know a thing
& to believe it are found two separate
He who knows how much too late it
is forebears to look at his watch
Manuscript Addition: 
Editorial Description: pagination added by someone, probably WMR, in upper right corner
- Was it thy friend or foe that spread these lies?—
- Nay, who but infants question in such wise?
- Twas one of my most intimate enemies.
- For the garlands of heaven were all laid by
- And the daylight sucked at the breasts of a lie.
To be a body desirable like any wine &c
strange! To be a soul purer than
man can reach
(end of octave &
opening of sestette—
“How strange a
Woman's desire only awakened by
desire in the
object of her soul's affection
—cold to all
side also influenced by her affections
Note: DGR marks lines 4 and its variant 4v as “Alternate ends”.
- The wounded hart & the dying swan
- Were side by side
- Where the rushes coil with the turn of the tide
- The hart & the swan
- The swan & the hart.
Note: “For ‘True Woman’” [DGR's headnote]
- the mystic seal
fringe of green
- Flecking the snow
[?] deep underneath the snow
- (“All things most unseen”—to lead
- Within those eyes the sedulous yearning throe
- And all the evil of my heart
- A thousand times forgotten
- Ah! if you had been lost for many years
- And from the dead today were risen again
- The clouds stooped low & the surf rode high,
- And where there was a line on the sky
- The gulls loomed dark between
- (Cath: Douglas)
- The sunrise blooms & withers on the hills
- Like any hillflower
Manuscript Addition: Died 9/5/80
Editorial Description: WMR's note in the upper left hand corner, giving the date of the death of Flaubert.
Note: WMR dates the epigram 1880 but it is virtually certain DGR wrote
it—at least in its first version—in 1873, just
after he read
- Gustave Flaubert, who
filled the imperial rôle
- Of Secretary
elect to Nero's soul,—
- And make French flesh to creep, French cock to crow
- O'er bloodred
- Lies here, in bloated body, as in the brain,
- Like to a Morgue-corpse tumid from the Seine.*
- What shall be writ above his honoured grave?
- Vitellius' or loved Nero's dying stave?
- “Fui Imperator vester!;
(shall it flow?)
10 Or “Qualis artifex pereo!”
- “Ah! lads, I knew your father.” What wide
- Of meaning in those words! They mean that he,
Being gone before,
has known that mystery
- From living Plato & Socrates fast-furl'd.
Note: CR had earlier written a narrative poem on this subject (from the
Indian Mutiny of 1857). The death of the garrison was regarded as a
martyrdom by most English people.
Subject for Picture—Round Tower at Jhansi
Note: This is written in pencil. “Murray” is Fairfax
Murray. The notation is a late one, probably 1880.
24 Sept. Lent Murray
Lined grey dress with long sleeves lined
Man's shoulder cloak
- I Catherine was a Douglas born,
- A name through Scotland
to all Scots dear;
- And Kate Barlass they've called me now
- Through many an aging year.
- This old arm's feeble now. 'Twas once
- Most deft 'mong maidens all
- To rein the steed, to wing the shaft,
- To smite the palm-play ball.
- In hall adown the close-linked
10It has shone most white and fair;
- It has been the rest for a true lord's head,
- And many a sweet babe's cradle-bed,
- And the bar to a King's chambère.
- Aye, lasses, draw round Kate Barlass,
- And hark with bated breath
- How good King James, King Robert's son,
- Was foully done to death.
Jaconet—a kind of coarse
viavai—a going to-&-fro
Almanda (almond tree)—Chaucer
Bill & Coo (Lovers' names)
The Press-Gang: A Satire
A Foul Fool— mum as a Muffin
Waterhay—meadow by a river
Inscribed on an urn—Ave Domina Vale Domina
Ship of Prey
Title—Aura & Aurora
Boar Hunt—see Dumas' Pauline
Tabret & timbrel
One of my most intimate enemies
Whether they be scavengers literary
Villemareuil. Monthéry. Éroalde.
Pippo Pipistrello. Farfalla la Fanciulla
Methuen. Gervaise. Maquelaure
Attreling. Hélie de Saint
Monthault. Ninian (man's name)
Teo Tolzi. Corida. Ronallane.
Straith (a quay or landing place)
Congener (as a rhyme)
Sairovir (German revolted
Merivale V 307)
The Temple of Foro
Carapresa—Gigliuzzo Liello (Bocc.)
Rome) Jean Datout
Malombra (real surname)
Buzzacarina (a real name)
Note: DGR's second query refers to Shakespeare, Sonnet 75. The first is strange,
but recalls most closely Peacock's “The
tailor's ninth &c
miser's starved in Shakspere sonnet
Note: The title presumably refers to Thoth, the Egyptian god of wisdom
(imaged with the head of an ibis).
The New Ibis—
a Satire by Anon
(Motto) Anon, anon, Sir
Note: The first two lines are actually truncated stanzas. DGR is indicating
that the song should be repeated with two alternate first words,
“Oltremonti” and “Oltremare”.
- Oltremonti. . . . . . . . . . . .
- Oltremare. . . . . . . . . . . .
tomba qualche cosa?
- E che ne dici?
- Saremo felici?
- Terra mai posa, e mar rimbomba.
- A Pippo Pipistrello
- Farfalla la fanciulla:—
- “O vedi quanto è bello
- Ridendo in questa culla!
- E noi l'abbiamo fatto,
- Noi due insiem d' un tratto,
- E senza noi fia nulla!”
Note: The two paragraphs are scripted in parallel columns in the manuscript.
a twelvefold Portrait
autotyped from the
studies of D. G. R.
One portrait in 12
studies autotyped from
the drawings of
D. G. R.
- Color di perla quai informa, quale
- Conviene a donna aver non fuor misura:
- Ella è quanto di ben
può far natura:
- Per esempio di lei beltà si prova.
N.B. A collection in autotype sh
d at some
made from my studies of
rs. M. under above title.
PFA Painter Fellow of Art
SFA Sculptor D
AFA Architect D
rs Eddy North (a real name in St. John's W
Note: DGR's note on his planned 1881 publications is written in pencil
diagonally across the page from lower left to upper right. The leaf is
one of the stiff end pages from DGR's typical notebooks.
It seems the Xtra Sonnets
will (incl House of Life)
all amount to
40 in new ed.
Manuscript Addition: [
ll. cancelled stanza,
following l. 710. See your own MS.]
Editorial Description: WMR's note.
- No ship came
though far away
aloof with held
tackedas still as death,
- For round our walls the
sea was dense
- With reefs, whose
- Was the grat stronghold's sure defense.
Manuscript Addition: [
Bride's Prelude, ll 731-735]
Editorial Description: WMR's note.
- 'Twas then my sire struck down the sword
And said with quivering lips With quivering lips
- She that to me this child did
- Smiled thus, he said, and I forgive:
- So, for my mother's sake, I live.
Note: blank page. It is the marbled side of one of DGR's typical notebooks' last
Lent Solomon bit
of Blue & Silver brocade
(Wareham ) &
N.B. £5 to Ellis
Miss L. Wilson
for favour of Mr.
introduced by A. Glover Esq
Lent Brown Velvet cote hardie
kirtle with ?
and angel's dress. Also
Sight of Tibullus
22 3/4 x 18 3/4
Lent Ned Jones David's
Cox 45 Glasshouse St, Regent
St, Ventilating hat
Lulworth Cover— go
to Wool — S.W. Station
Bell (Oxford St) Opiate Confection
Chlorodyne for ditto
Note: The page is entirely comprised of memoranda for bills and a few appointments.
Note: The page is entirely comprised of memos for late 1868 and early 1869.
The memoranda that comprise the top 2/3 of the page is scored through by
DGR. The poem DGR's translates at the bottom of the page is intact, the last stanza which is noted with the word "Stet" in
the left margin. In addition, a
of one or more female
figures appears in palimpsest.
- With golden mantle, rings, & necklace fair,
- It likes her best to wear
- Only a rose within her golden hair
Ha manto d'oro, collana ed anelli,
Ma vuole aver con quelli
- Non altro che una rosa ai suoi capelli.