Rossetti Archive Textual Transcription

Document Title: Notebook Pages (Duke Library Note Book II)
Author: Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Date of Composition: 1847-1848, 1878-1880
Scribe: DGR

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

page: [i]
Rossetti, Dante Gabriel

Writings: XXVI. Note Book II
page: [ii]
Note: DGR's notation
45 43 in the book
page: [iii]
Note: The page carries WMR's pencilled list of the contents of the note book in its original state.
1. Note on Bride's Prelude

2. Close of King's Tragedy

3. Soothsay

4. 4 sonnets (Raleigh &c)

5. Printed note on Rosemary.
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Manuscript Addition: [No. 1]
Editorial Description: WMR's numeration of the work.
Actual Size: 8 1/8 x 6 3/8 in
Paper Lineation: Lined
Paper Stock: light blue
Actual Watermark: LANGLEY & STEVENS
Note: This physical description is the same for all the pages carrying this work in this notebook.
On Mary's Portrait,

which I painted six years ago
  • Why yes: she looks as then she look'd;
  • There is not any difference;
  • She was even so on that old time
  • Which has been here but is gone hence.
  • Gaze hard, and she shall seem to stir;
  • Till the greenth, looking shadier
  • As her white arm parts it and cleaves,
  • Does homage with its bowing leaves.
  • And yet the earth is over her.
  • 10It seems to me unnatural
  • And a thing much to wonder on,
  • As though mine image in the glass
  • Should tarry when myself am gone.
  • While her mere semblance (I would say)
  • Has for its room, from May to May,
  • The open sunwarm library
  • Where her friends read and think, is she
  • In the dark always, choked with clay?
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  • It is not often I can read
  • 20When I sit here; for then her cheek
  • Seems to lean on me, and her breath
  • To make my stooping forehead weak
  • Again; and I can feel again
  • Her hand on my hand quickly lain
  • Whenever I would turn the leaf,
  • Bidding me wait for her; and brief
  • And light, her laugh comes to me then.
  • So that I gaze round from my chair
  • To see her portrait where it stands;
  • 30As it could smile me strength, or hold
  • Out patience to me with its hands.
  • Alas! it hath no smile: the brow,
  • Once joyous, is grown stately now;
  • And if I look into the eyes
  • I think they are quite calm and wise;
  • For while the world moves, she knows how.
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  • I mind the time I painted it.
  • Drinking in Keats—or Hunt mayhap,—
  • Half down a yellow dell, warm, soft
  • 40And hollowed, like a lady's lap,
  • (A golden cup of summer-heat
  • She called it once) I lay: my feet
  • Covered in the high grass. And through
  • My soul the music went, and grew
  • Solemn. and made my rest complete.
  • I was as calm as silence. I
  • Do think, perchance, when Spring comes back,
  • Leaving, along the path it treads,
  • Flowers, like a water-fowl's bright track,—
  • 50That some such quiet warmth may creep
  • About her in her heavy sleep
  • Till her shut senses half unclose,
  • Being part of Nature, and she knows
  • What time one cometh there to weep.
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  • So as I lay, I set my book
  • Down, with some grass between its leaves
  • To mark the place; and then fell back
  • And thought. Sometimes the mind receives
  • At such a moment that deep lore
  • 60Which wise men have toiled vainly for;—
  • There comes a sudden voice that saith
  • Only one word, taking the breath;
  • And a hand pusheth ope the door.
  • But my soul tottered, being drunk
  • With the sunshine in which its thoughts
  • Floated like atoms; and my feet
  • Stumbled among the mystic courts.
  • So I waxed weary, and did bend
  • My spirit but to apprehend
  • 70The beauty of the heard and seen—
  • The water-noise and the strong green;
  • And wondered if these things would end.
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  • Fronting me was a shade of trees
  • Through whose thick tops the light fell in
  • Hardly at all; a covert place,
  • Where you might think to find a din
  • Of doubtful talk, and a live flame
  • Wandering, and many a shape whose name
  • Not itself knoweth; and wet dew,
  • 80And red-mouthed damsels meeting you.
  • It was through those trees that she came.
  • Her hands were lifted to put back
  • The branches from her path; her head
  • With its long tresses gathered up,
  • Looked cool and nymphlike in the shade
  • That reached her waist; but the white dress
  • Beneath was yellow with the press
  • Of sunshine; and her soundless feet
  • Seemed to move heavily for heat;
  • 90And the low boughs fell round her face.
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  • Scarcely a moment in the porch
  • Of that dim house of leaves she stood;
  • Her face and shoulders coming thence,
  • Shook off the shadow like a hood.
  • Then, as she walked past through the noon,
  • She saw where I was stretched; and down
  • From the broad bosom's slope, her eyes
  • Smiled to me in a kind surprise:
  • She came near in her rustling gown.
  • 100(So, along some grass-bank in Heaven,
  • Mary the Virgin, going by,
  • Seeth her servant Raphaël
  • Laid in warm silence happily;
  • Being but a little lovelier
  • Since he hath reached the eternal year.
  • She smiles; and he, as though she spoke
  • Feels thanked; and from his lifted tocque
  • His curls fall as he bends to her.)
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Manuscript Addition: end
Editorial Description: Added, not by DGR, at foot of the page. It indicates some reader's (erroneous) judgement that this is the end of the poem. But in fact the reader has transposed the sequence of this and the next page.
  • How long we sat there, who shall say?
  • 110There was no time while we sat there.
  • But I remember that we found
  • Very few words, and that our hair
  • Had to be untangled as we rose.
  • The day was burning to its close:
  • This side and that, like molten walls
  • The skies stood round; at intervals
  • Swept with long weary flights of crows.
  • Early the morrow morn, I went
  • Full of most noble memories
  • 120Unto my task; and painted her
  • Outstepping from the clustered trees.
  • I moved not till the work was grand,
  • Whole, and complete. You understand,
  • I mean my thought was all expressed
  • In that one morning: for the rest—
  • Mere matters of the eye and hand.
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  • These being finished, I showed her
  • What I had done: and when she saw
  • Herself there, opposite herself,
  • 130She marvelled with a kind of awe.
  • And bending back her head to see
  • The whole great figure perfectly,
  • Her sweet face fell into my breast,
  • And remained, knowing its own nest,
  • And with grave eyes looked up to me.
  • Your pardon,—I have wearied you;
  • To you these things are cold and dead;
  • But I look round and see nought else
  • Alive. Yea, Time weigheth like lead
  • 140Upon my soul. Do you not think
  • That when the world shelves to the brink
  • Of that long stream whose waters flow
  • Hence some strange whither, I may now
  • Kneel, and stoop in my mouth, and drink?
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Manuscript Addition: [No. 2]
Editorial Description: WMR's notation in the upper left corner of the page.
Manuscript Addition: 1
Editorial Description: DGR's notation in the lower right corner of the page.
Editorial Note (page ornament):
Actual Size: 8 3/4 x 7 1/8 in
Paper Lineation: unlined
Paper Stock: white
Actual Watermark: J WHATMAN/TURKEY MILL 1847
Condition: yellowed
Note: The text is written on the left, with some variants on the right. The two epigraphs are on the right, the Shelley passage being written crosswise and below the (spurious) Sterne passage. On all nine numbered leaves the text is scripted on the left side of each page, with the right left free for corrections and additions. The first four leaves are the WHATMAN watermarked paper, the last five are BACKHOUSE stock.
The St. Agnes At Perugia. (An Autopsychology.)
Note: This is an early draft manuscript.

Added Text


“In all my life,” said my uncle in

his customary voice, made up of goodness

and trusting simplicity, and a spice of

piety withal, which, an't pleased your worship,

made it sound the sweeter,—“In all my life,”

quoth my uncle Toby, “I have never heard

a stranger story than one which was told me by

a sergeant in Maclure's regiment, and which,

with your permission Doctor, I will relate.”

“No stranger, brother Toby,” said my father testily,

than a certain tale to be found in Slawkenbergius

(being the eighth of his third Decad), and called by

him the History of an Icelandish Nose.”

“Nor than the golden legend of Saint Anschankus of

Lithuania,” added Dr. Slop, “who, being

troubled digestively while delivering his discourse

‘de sanctis sanctorum,’ was tempted by the Devil

in imagine vasis in contumeliam,—which is to

say,—in the form of a vessel unto dishonour.”

Now Excentrio, as one mocking, sayeth,“— etc., etc.”—

——Tristram Shandy

Added Text


  • “It shall be told. Ere Babylon was dust,
  • The Magus Zoroaster, my dead child,
  • Met his own image walking in the garden.
  • That apparition sole of men, he saw.”

My father had settled in England

only a few years before I was

born to him. He was one of that vast

multitude of exiles who almost from

year to year lustrum to lustrumfor a season of

half nearly a century have been scattered

from Poland France over all Europe—

over the world indeed. Not all

however of these are so fortunate as

my father. Few indeed
Few among these

can have less of riches than he

had wherein to seek happiness;

but I believe that there are

still fewer who could be so happy

as he was, without riches; in exile

and labour.
Deleted Text

The narrative which

I sit down to copy

Added Text

Though my father Though was an

Englishman & the

son of an Englishman,

was remotely of foreign

our family is re-

motely of foreign foreign

extraction; and perhaps


Among my earliest recollections,

there are none are is stronger than

that of my father, standing

before the fire when he came

home in the winter evenings, and singing

to us in his fine voice the

patriotic songs familiar to his

youth: those of France—times

which have beaten time for rung

the world 's changes since '89, and those

to which Italy gave birth about
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the unlucky year '20;
Added Textand others, harsher and of

less skillful, from his own desolate

this land of his own desolate birthright
I used

to sit on the carpet, listening

to him, and look between

his legs knees into the fire till it

scorched my face. And the shapes

would swarm up in the fire, and

change; faces and figures and

all [?] of objects; all
many of

them so distinct and clearly

perceived that sometimes I

would look/ often sometimes took paper & pencil,

and tried to fix them before they

crumbled. For I was to be

a painter.
The first book I remember to

have read, of my own accord,

(I could not read at all till

nearly eight seven years of age)

was an old-fashioned work

on Art which my mother had,

—Hamilton's “English Cognoscente.”

It was a kind of Continental

Tour,—sufficiently Della-Cruscan,

from what I can recall of it,—

and contained notices of some

works of Art which the author

had seen in Italy abroad, with en-

gravings after some of them.

These were in the English fashion

of that day, executed in dots

and printed with red ink;

tasteless enough, no doubt,—
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but I yearned towards them

and would toil over them for

hours. One of them especially

possessed for me a strong and

indefinable charm. It was a

Saint Agnes in glory, by Bucciolo d'Orli Angiolieri Guido

da Prato Vergnese
, the contempo-

rary and friend of Ghirlandaio Benozzo Gozzoli.

This plate I could copy from

the first with much more suc-

cess than I could any of the

others: and it was not long

before repeated efforts trials enabled

me to produce an almost perfect a very tolerable

imitation of it. I believe. Indeed, it

was mainly my love of the

figure, and the a desire to obtain

some knowledge regarding it,

which impelled me, by one mag-

nanimous effort upon the

“Conoscente,”, to master in a

few days more of the difficult

Art of reading than has my

mother's laborious inculcations

had accomplished during se-

a year or two. Most however

of what I managed to

spell and puzzle out rela-

ted merely to the execution

and mechanical qualities

of the picture, which could

be but little understood by a
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child like me: of the author

artist himself, Mr. the author

of the book appeared to know but

scarcely anything. I

may almost say that upon

this figure,—copied, and re-

copied, and much considered in

during a long period of childhood,—

my life will be found to ? ?

and the story with it.
As I became older, my boyish

impulse towards art grew

into a vital passion; but it

was not till i was fifteen thirteen/

that my father, consi-

dering my determination diffi-

to be now sufficiently

rooted & secure, took me from

school and permitted me my

own bent of study. Upon those

years of my life which now followed

I shall not dwell with any

particularity. The beginning of

Art, entered on earnestly, is

confused an alteration of extremes:—on the

one hand, the most vague

and bewildering phases of

mental endeavour,—on the

other, a labour toil so rigidly exact,

and dealing so much with

Added Textwhat was then the precise

shape of the cloud within

my tabernacle, I could

hardly say now, even then or if indeed

I knew it even then through

so thick a form veil, or could

be sure of its presence

there at all:—and as to which

statue at the Museum

I drew most or learnt

least from,—or which

professor at the Royal Academy

“set” the model in the worst

taste.— These are things

which no one need care

to know.
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Deleted Texttrifles, as scarcely to surpass

the drudgery of any trade. And

through this manner of daily life

will the true artist (even when

the mists are cleared, as they soon

are, from his spirit) keep his thought

holy in silence, until it he be

made perfect by labour. But

this patient faculty of trust is

not for all. To many God

gives great enjoyments are given &

to many great energies, and

to some the whole glow of life

which is power: that/the grace

which is vouchsafed to the

smallest number, and to these

seldom from the first, is self-

denial. It is a flame of the

inner shrine that the priest

bows over in secret; and whence

only, at long intervals he comes

forth to the people, his face

still trembling with the presence

of God.
For myself, I was wayward

enough,— in the pursuit, if

not in the purpose; & From the

even at the outset, with the

endurances of Art I laid

claim to its indulgences.

No sooner was I fairly [engaged?]

in the first painful acquisi-

tion of technicalities, than

I began also to attempt also
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an embodiment expression of my own

fancies and ideas; without

appealing to the study of nature.

as an auxiliary. It was

well that I had at least

the enough of judgment to

deter me from any wish to

exhibit these first essays,

though I allowed them to oc-

cupy a portion of time

which might probably have

been better employed. However,

the mannerisms of which I

stood in danger through this

hazardous kind of guesswork

probably may have formed, to some

extent, their antidote in

the portraits which I painted

when opportunity offered, to

assist in pursuing my studies.

I had already, for several

years, been in the habit of thus

painting subjects from imagination,

when, at the age of twenty

two, I ventured to send one

of my pictures, for the first

time, to a public exhibition.

But of this I shall have to

speak presently.
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In all most cases where study,— such

study, at least, as involves any

practical elements,— has

engrossed and benumbed as it

that subtle transition

which brings youth out of boyhood,

it will be found that there is

a point, after some while,

when, the mind having lost its

suppleness and remaining being

riveted merely by the continuance

of the mechanical effort, the

constrained senses gradually

assume/attain assume their utmost tension,

and any urgent impression

from without will suffice

to scatter the spell. The stu-

dent looks up: the film

of their own fixedness drops

at once from before his eyes,

and for the first time he

sees the world his life in the face.
At the time I was twenty In my twentieth year, I

may say that, what with one path

of study
between one path of

Art and another, I worked hard.

One afternoon, I was returning,

after an unprofitable morning,

from a day class for the model

which I attended. The day was

one of those oppressive lulls

in Autumn, when application,

except unless under sustained ex-

citement, is all but im-
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possible,— when the very senses being

seem as it were curdled and and bewildered

and the brain full of dry sand.

On ascending the stairs to my

room, I heard voices there: and

when I entered, found my sister

Catherine, with another young

lady, busily turning over my

sketches & papers, apparently

in search of something. Cathe-

rine laughed when she saw

me, and introduced her com-

panion as Miss Mary Ethel.

I fancy I may have looked

rather awkward
there was

a little malice in the laugh; for

I remembered to have heard the lady's

name before, and ? to have then made in fun,

some disparaging inquiries questions about

her, as one will of one's sisters'

friends. I bowed for the intro-

duction, and stood rebuked.

She stood with had her back to

the window, and where the

light was strong; & I could

not well distinguish her features:

but I made sure she was very

lovely beautiful, from the way she held

her hands and her beautiful

tranquil body. Catherine

told me they had been looking

together for a book of hers, which

I had had by me for some

time, and which she had pro-

mised to Miss Ethel, who wished
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Editorial Note (page ornament):
Actual Size: 8 13/16 x 7 3/16 in
Paper Lineation: unlined
Paper Stock: blue-gray
Actual Watermark: BACKHOUSE & CO 1848
Note: The stock changes with this page and remains uniform for the rest of the document of this work.

to read it. I accordingly

joined in the search: the work

was found, and soon after

they left my room. I had

come in utterly spiritless;

but now I sat down fell to and

worked well for several hours.

In the evening, when I went

down stairs to the family, I found

Miss Ethel still there with them: she re-

mained rather late: till

she left, I did not return

to my room, nor, when there,

was my work resumed that

night. I had seen her well

? and
thought her more

beautiful than at first.
After that, every time that I

saw her, her beaut ies y seemed

to grow on my sight by gazing,

as the stars do in water. It

was some time before I ceased

to think of her beauty

alone; & even then, it was

still of her that I thought.

For about a year I neglected

my studies almost entirely,

except indeed so much of them as

became a duty by the com-

pensation it brought promised; and

when that year was upon
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its close, she and I were

promised in marriage.
Her stationMiss Ethel's station

in life, though not lofty, was

one of more ease than my

own; and I had the satisfac-

tion of knowing that it was

the earnestness of her attachment

to me which had withheld

her parents from placing

any obstacle in the way of

our union. At the same

time, all the more rigidy

on this account did the

task now devolve upon me

of obtaining, by my own exer-

, a position which should

preclude secure me from ever having

to reproach myself with any

sacrifice made by her for

my sake. It was in this

determination that I now

set to work at once with all the

energy of which I was ca-

pable, upon a picture of

some size, involving many

aspects of study. The subject

was a modern one, and

indeed it has often seemed
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to me that all work, to be

truly worth y ily done, must should be wrought

out of the age itself, as well

as out of the soul of its

producer, which must needs

be a soul of the age. At

this picture I laboured con-

stantly and unweariedly,

my days and my nights;

and Mary sat to me for

the principal female figure.

The exhibition to which I sent

it opened a few days after

the completion of my 22 nd

It will not excite wonder was natural enough that I should be

was present upon the opening day.

My [?] picture, I knew, had been

accepted, but I was ignorant of

[?] a matter perhaps still

more important,—its situation

on the walls. Upon From that will now de-

pended its success; from its success

the fulfilment of my most cherished

hopes might almost be said to

depend. That is not the least curious

feature of life as evolved in society

—which, where the average strength

and the average mind are equal,

as th in this world, becomes to each

life another name for destiny,—

when a man, having endured labour,

gives its fruits into the hands of other

men, that they may do their work between

him and mankind: confiding it to them,

unknown, without seeking knowledge
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of them; to them, who have probably done

in like wise before him, without

an appeal to the sympathy of

kindred experience: submitting

to them his naked soul, himself,

blind and unseen: and with no

thought of retaliation when, it

may be, by their judgement, more

than one year from his dubious three-

score and ten, drops alongside, un-

profitable, leaving its baffled labour

for its successors to recommence.

There is perhaps no proof more

complete, how sluggish & little

arrogant, in aggregate life, is the

consciousness sense of individuality.
I dare say something like this may

have been passing in my mind as

I entered the lobby of the exhibition,

though the principle, with me as with

others, was subservient to its appli-

cation; my thoughts, in fact, starting

from and tending towards myself

and my own picture. The kind

of uncertainty in which I then was,

is rather a nervous affair; and

when, as I shouldered my way through

the press, I heard my name spoken

close behind me, I believe that

I could have wished the speaker further off

without being particular as to

the distance. I could not well,

however, do otherwise than look

round; & on doing so, recognized

in him who had addressed me, a

gentleman to whom I had been

introduced overnight at the house

of a friend, and to whose remarks
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Editorial Description: DGR's notation in the upper right corner of the page.
Note: Text on the left, right blank except for one small correction.

on the Corn question and the National

debt I had listened perhaps with

a wish for deliverance, somewhat

akin to that which I now felt.

The more so, perhaps, that my

distaste was coupled with surprise;

his name having been for some

time familiar to me as that of

a writer of poetry.
As soon as we were rid of the

crush, we spoke and shook hands;

and I said, to conceal my chagrin,

some platitudes as to Poetry

being present to support her

sister Art in the hour of trial.
“Oh just so, thank you,” said he;

“have you anything here?”
While he spoke, it suddenly

struck me that my friend, the

night before, had told informed me that

this gentleman was a critic as

well as a poet; so that, most

likely, he was here in the former

capacity. And indeed, for the

heavy Cornish-looking man,

with his gaunt jaws and

shambling gait, it seemed

the more congenial ocupation vocation

of the two. In a moment, the

Deleted TextI did not tell him so, but I

refrained from answering his

enquiry with any precision,

and between the artist and the

reviewer there sprang up at

once a feeling of instinctive

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instinctive antagonism wedged

itself between the artist and the

reviewer, and I avoided his

He had taken my arm, & we

were now in the gallery together.

My companion's scrutiny was

limited almost entirely to the

“line”; but my own glance wan-

dered furtively to among the suburbs

& outskirts of the ceiling; since as

a misgiving possessed me that

I might requ have a personal

interest in those unenviable

“high places” of Art. Works which

at another time would have ab-

sorbed my whole attention, could

now obtain from me but a restless

and hurried examination: still,

I dared not institute an open

search for my own, least, thereby I

might should reveal to my companion

its presence in some dismal

condemned corner, which might

otherwise escape his notice.

Added TextHad I procured my catalogue,

I might at least have known

in what room to look; but I had

omitted to do so, hoping thinking

thereby to know my fate the sooner,

and never anticipating so vexatious

an obstacle to my search.

I must answer his questions,

listen to his criticism, observe

and discuss. After half nearly an hour

of this work, we were not through

the first room: My thoughts were

already bewildered, and my cheeks face

burning with excitement.
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By the time we reached the second

room, the crowd was more dense

than ever, and the heat more

and more oppressive. A glance

round the walls could reveal

but little of the consecrated

“line,” before all parts of

which, the backs were clustered more

or less thickly; except, perhaps,

where, at intervals, hung the

work of some venerable Member,

whose glory was departed from

him. The seats in the middle

of the room were for the most

part empty as yet: here

and there only some an unen-

thusiastic lady had been left

by her party, and sat in stately

unruffled toilet, her eye ranging

apathetically over the upper por-

tion of the walls, where the gilt

frames were packed together

in desolate parade. Over these

my gaze also passed uneasily,

but without encountering the

object of its solicitude.
In this room my friend the critic

came upon a picture, ?

? and to which

we could not at first get

for the press

hung, which interested him

sincerely prodigiously, and on which he

seemed determined to have

my opinion. It was one of
Image of page [24] page: [24]
Note: Text on the left, right blank except for one addition to the text.

those tender and tearful works,

those “labours of love,” Since fa since

familiar in their engraved frames

to all print-shop flâneurs,—

in which the wax doll is made

to occupy a position in Art which

it can never have contemplated

in the days of its humble origin.

The silks heaved and swayed in

front of this picture the whole

day long.
All that we could do was to

stand behind, and catch a

glimpse of it now and then

through the whispering bonnets,

whose “curtains” brushed our

faces continually. I hardly

knew what to say; but my

companion was lavish of

his admiration, and gave

began to give symptoms of

the gushings of the poet-soul.

It appeared that he had already seen the picture; knew the

painter and had seen the pic-

ture before it went in
& being

but little satisfied with my

monosyllables, he was at

great pains to convince me.

and While he chattered, I

trembled with anger and im-

“You must be tired,” said he sud-

at last; “so am I; let us
Image of page [25] page: [25]
Note: Text on the left, right blank except for two additions to the text.

rest a little.” He led the way to a

seat. I was his slave, bound hand

and foot: I followed him.
The crisis now proceeded rapidly.

When seated, he took from his

pocket some papers, one of

which he handed to me. Who does not

know the dainty action of a poet fingering

M.S.? The knowledge forms a

portion of those wondrous instincts

implanted in us for self- preser-

vation. [?] I was past

resistance, however, and took

the paper submissively. “They

are some verses,” he said, “suggested by

the picture you have just seen.

I mean to print them in our

next number, as being the

only species of criticism adequate to such

a work.”
I read the poem twice over,

for after the first reading I

found I had not attended to

a word of it, and was ashamed

to give it him back. The same

repetition was not, however,

much more successful, as re-

garded comprehension,—a

fact which the/ I then attri-

buted to my wandering

have since believed, (having

seen it again) may have

been dependent upon other

causes besides my distracted

thoughts. The poem, which is

now included among the works

of its author, runs as follows:—
Image of page [26] page: [26]
Printer's Direction: this poem should be printed in a smaller type
Editorial Description: DGR's notation in the upper right of the page.
Note: Text on the left, right blank except for several revisions to the text. The text breaks off on this page.
  • “ O thou who art not as I am
  • Yet knowest all that I must be,—
  • O thou who livest certainly
  • Full of deep meekness like a lamb
  • Laid in close Close laid for warmth under its dam,
  • On pastures bare towards the sea:—
  • Look on me, for my soul is bleak,
  • Nor owns its labour in the years,
  • Because of the deep pain of tears:
  • 10 It hath not found and will not seek,
  • Lest that indeed remain to speak
  • Which, passing, it believes it hears.
  • Like a calm repose ranks in calm unipotence
  • That sways Swayed past, compact and regular,
  • Time's purposes and portents are:
  • But in the soul and Yet the soul sleeps, while in the sense
  • The graven brows of Consequence
  • Lie faint sunk, as in blind wells the star.
  • O gaze along the wind-strown path
  • 20 That curves distinct upon the road
  • To the dim purplehushed abode.
  • Lo! autumntide and aftermath!
  • Remember that the year has wrath
  • If the ungarnered wheat corrode.
  • It is not that the fears are sore
  • Or that the evil pride repels:
  • But there where the heart's knowledge dwells
  • The heart is ? at gnawed within the core,
  • Nor loves the perfume from that shore
  • 30 Faint with bloom-powdered pulvered asphodels.
After atone Having atoned for

non-attention by a second perusal,

whose only result was non-compre-

hension, I thought I had done my
Image of page [27] page: [27]
Manuscript Addition: [No. 3]
Editorial Description: Number added, not by DGR, at top right hand corner
Editorial Note (page ornament):
Actual Size: 4 1/2 x 7 1/4 in
Paper Lineation: unlined
Paper Stock: blue-gray
Actual Watermark: BACKHOUSE & CO./1848
Note: This is a half sheet of the same paper as the previous 5 leaves in this notebook.
Nearest of Kindred
  • Have you not noted in some family
  • Where two remain from the first marriage-bed,
  • How still they own their fragrant bond, though fed
  • And nurst upon the an unknown forgotten breast & knee?—
  • That to their father's children they shall be
  • In act and word thought of one goodwill; but each
  • Shall for the other have, in silence speech,
  • And in one a word complete community?
  • Even so, when first I saw you, seemed it, love,
  • 10 That among souls allied to mine was yet
  • One nearer kindred than I wotted of.
  • Together O born with me somewhere that men forget,
  • And though in years of sight & sound unmet,
  • Known for my life's own sister well enough!
Aug. 1854
Image of page [28] page: [28]
Manuscript Addition: [No. 4]
Editorial Description: Number added by WMR at top left hand corner
Editorial Note (page ornament):
Actual Size: 7 x 4 1/2 in
Paper Lineation: unlined
Paper Stock: white note paper with black border
Known in Vain
  • As they two whose love, first foolish, widening scope,
  • Knows suddenly, with music high and soft,
  • The Holy of holies; who because they scoff'd
  • Are now amazed with shame, nor dare to cope
  • With the whole truth aloud in words, lest Heaven should ope;
  • Yet, at their meetings, laugh not as they laught
  • In speech; nor speak, at length; but sitting oft
  • Together, within hopeless sight of hope
  • For hours are silent:—So it happeneth
  • 10 When Work and Will awake too late, to gaze
  • After their life sail'd by, and hold their breath.
  • Ah! who shall dare to search through what sad maze
  • Thenceforth their incommunicable ways
  • Follow the desultory feet of Death!
January 1853
Image of page [29] page: [29]
Editorial Note (page ornament):
Actual Size: 7 1/8 x 8 7/8 in
Paper Lineation: lined
Paper Stock: white
Note: A notebook leaf containing ten distinct memoranda on various matters DGR means to attend to, plus a draft of a passage from his commentary on William Blake. This notepaper is the same as that in several other disbound notebook leaves: see the commentary for the leaves containing the earlier draft of “Dis Manibus”.
Note: DGR refers, respectively, to Marie Spartali Stillman and Jane Morris.

To paint head large head of M. S. &

smaller one of J. M. for 2 versions of

Salutatio Beatricis (from the two drawings

particularly the latter which is my best of her.)

Note: The Pandora mentioned here was a smaller oil that DGR projected but never executed.
To make design of Desdemona

subject to show —also full length Pandora

To complete the Dante Predella drawings

and the revise from the picture the

studies for the 2 altered figures before

picture leaves

Query? To print Rose Mary by itself &

add all the other things to a new Ed: of Poems

To re-design the Magdalene & Cassandra .

subjects, & to make a descriptive list of

all projected compositions. (!!)

Congediata. Sei Marzo

Lent 2 vols Roccheggiani to Shields. 13 March

Sent DOlive green dress to the shrubbery for Mrs

Stillman (14 Via Alfieri, Florence), 13 March

Image of page [30] page: [30]
Returned “Unseen World” to Haden who

promised me to bring it back shortly. March 13

Note: DGR refers to the Arabian Nights.
April Lent Watts Vol 1 of Lane's A. N.

Note: The text is a passage that DGR composed for the 1880 edition of the Gilchrist Life of William Blake. See WMR's 1911 edition of DGR's works.
This is not the place where any attempt

could be made to appraise the thanks

due for such a work as Mr Swinburne's

“Critical Essay” on Blake. The task chiefly

undertaken in it—that of explaining

& expounding the System which of thought

& creed pervading the pages which pervades the “Prophetic Books”

has been undertaken fulfilled not as task work by piecework

or analysis but as by creative intuition.—

The fiat of form & Light has gone forth, and as

far as such a chaos could respond, it

has responded. All else that has been

said about done for Blake, compared to this, is

but the work of industry and intelligence results, at most, united with learning.

To the book itself, & to that only, the reader

can any reader be referred for its stores

of intellectual wealth & eloquent splendour

reach of elquent dominion.
Image of page [31] page: [31]
Manuscript Addition: This is a transcript from the / amusing (but not publishable) / lines near the end of this page— / I make the transcript as the / original writing is far from / distinct. 6/1/3
Editorial Description: WMR's note written vertically on the right side of the sheet from top to bottom.
Manuscript Addition: [No. 6]
Editorial Description: Number added by WMR at top left hand corner
Editorial Note (page ornament):
Actual Size: 4 1/2 x 6 15/16 in
Paper Lineation: unlined
Paper Stock: white
Note: WMR's date on the leaf is 6 January 1903. The first seven lines are written in ink, the last two in pencil. WMR's transcript is incorrect in lines 6 and 9, as well as in line 2 (where the reading remains problematic). The verso is blank. The notebook leaf seems to date from about 1878.
  • Yon skunk's not rid of his own name
  • Tho' sensing those that give the same.
  • He leaves his precious works to the
  • Posteriors of posterity;
  • Albeit a sound refract therefrom
  • Wh. to his eagerness may come
  • Most like the trumpet-blast of fame,
  • Added Text
  • It is the apparent image cast
  • From unapparent veritas
Transcribed Footnote (page [31]):

The word written does not appear to be really “sensing”: I cannot

decipher it.

Image of page [32] page: [32]
Manuscript Addition: NB II
Editorial Description: Number added, apparently by WMR, at bottom right of the page, indicating “Note Book II”.
Editorial Note (page ornament):
Actual Size: 9 1/16 x 7 1/16 in
Paper Lineation: unlined
Paper Stock: white
Actual Watermark: 1877
Condition: soiled
Note: The paper is not from a notebook. It was once folded into four pages so that the several texts, all written by DGR in pencil, would have been separated into the following units. Page [32], folded into two pages, has on one page “Anomalies against all rules” and “ Yon skunks” (these written horizontally but one upside down from the other); and on the other, “In early life”, which is a prose draft of a section of “Soothsay”. The verso, page [33], has on one page a sequence of eight short notes (the first four cancelled) and on the other a sequence of four other notes (the first two cancelled).
  • Yon skunks not rid of his own name
  • Though [sensing?] those that give the same.
  • Yon scribbler leaves his/ He leaves his precious works to the
  • Posteriors of posterity;
  • Albeit a trumpet be ? catch/be caught sound refract therefrom
  • Which to his eager ears dare may come
  • Most like the trumpet-blast of fame,
  • It is the apparent image cast
  • From unapparent veritas
  • 10Yon skunks
  • Anomalies in earth's/earth's against all rules
  • Acknowledge, though beyond the schools:—
  • Those passionate states when to know true
  • Some things, & to believe, are two:
  • And that extraordinary sect
  • Whom no amount of intellect
  • Can save, alas! from being fools.
Note: See “Soothsay“ lines 36-42.
In early life the affinities of men are

uppermost to drive them together; later

their individualities become tyrannous

& sunder them
Image of page [33] page: [33]
Note: The first eight notations on this page appear written vertically left to right at the bottom; the next four veertically at the top. They were originally written in normal fashion top to bottom on the two sides of the sheet as originally folder.
Deleted Text
  • and we
  • Whom trees that knew our sires should cease to know
  • And still stand silent

    Deleted Text
  • Sphinx-faced with unabashed augury

Deleted Text
  • Or like a wisp that laughs upon the wall

Deleted Text
  • The upheaved forest trees mossgrown today
  • Whose roots are hillocks where the children play

  • The forehead veiled & the veiled throat of Death

  • And plaintive days that haunt the haggard hills
  • With bleak unspoken woe

  • inexplicable blight
  • And mad revulsion of the tarnished light

  • that some last
  • Wild pageant of the accumulated past
  • Which clangs & flashes for a drowning man.

    Deleted Text
  • Some prisoned moon in steep cloud fastnesses

Deleted Text
  • some dying sun whose pyre
  • Blazed with momentous memorable fire

  • Some close-companioned inarticulate hour
  • When twofold silence was the song of love.

  • Who knoweth not love's sounds & silences
Image of page [34] page: [34]
Manuscript Addition: No. 7
Editorial Description: WMR's numeration for the notebook sequence.
Manuscript Addition: Not in the printed Soothsay Chimes
Editorial Description: WMR's note written in the left margin not beside the extract from “Chimes” on the page but beside the fragmentary lines for “A Death-Parting”.
Editorial Note (page ornament):
Actual Size: 8 5/8 x 7 in
Paper Lineation: lined
Paper Stock: white
Original Watermark: J ALLEN & SONS/ SUPERFINE
Note: This is the same notebook paper as found in Note Book III.
Note: DGR's efforts to draft several parts of the internal refrains of the poem.
  • Water-willow and wellaway,
  • With a wind blown night and day.
  • The willow's wan & the water white,
  • With a wind blown day and night!
  • The willows wave on the water-way,
  • With a wind blown night & day.
  • The willows wail in the waning light,
  • With a wind blown day & night!
  • Honey flowers to the honey comb,
  • And the honey-bee's from home.
  • A honey-comb and a honey-flower,
  • And the bee shall have his hour.
  • A honeyed heart for the honey comb,
  • And the humming bee flies home.
  • A heavy heart in the honey flower,
  • And the bee has had his hour.
  • A honey-cell's in the honeysuckle,
  • 10And the honey-bee knows it well.
  • The honey-comb has a heart of honey,
  • And the humming bee's so bonny.
  • A honey flower's the honeysuckle,
  • And the bee's in the honey bell.
  • The honeysuckle is sucked of honey,
  • And the bee is heavy and bonny.
Image of page [35] page: [35]
The Palimpsest

(Subject for Tale or Humorous Poem)
Note: title added later by DGR in pencil
The jealousies of two rival Scholars, a classical & a

theological one, respecting a palimpsest.

The classical one takes years to decipher

this his Pagan author, while the

Theologian considers the only value

of the scroll to consist in the Early

Father above it on the surface,

whom he is to edit in due course.

The Theologian is in bad health,

& expects to die before the classic

has finished. This drives him

to desperation, and impels him

at last to murder his rival;

who in dying shows him in triumph the

scroll, from which the Early Father

has been completely erased by

acids, leaving a fair MS. of the

Pagan poet.
Image of page [36] page: [36]
Note: DGR has laid a clipping from Notes and Queries on a page; it is signed “R. Wood” and gives an account of “The Rosemary, and Superstitions Connected with It”.
Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: nb0004.duke.rad.xml
Copyright: Digital images used with permission of the Duke University Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library.