Rossetti Archive Textual Transcription

Document Title: Pandora. A Picture. In mem. 11th Jan 1870
Author: Unknown
Date of Composition: 1870 January 23
Type of Manuscript: holograph fair copy

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Pandora. A Picture. In mem. 11th Jan 1870

  • From the great city's ever-surging sea
  • And multitudinous murmur forth we fared,
  • My friend and I, and talking as we went
  • Of this and that the trifles of the hour
  • And with the hour forgotten, came at length
  • Upon the river edged with aged elms,
  • Where dwells the poet-painter; him we sought,
  • And entering, hushed our idle breath, as one
  • Who treads a solemn temple, for even here—
  • 10Nor seldom—time hath kissed eternity,
  • And lo! their brood immortal, demigods
  • And nymphs, nor human all nor all divine,
  • Large limbed, Olympian, of that elder day
  • When great Hyperion, rising out of night
  • Usurped the earth, and made a golden time.
  • And chief among that goodly company,
  • Fairest and first of women, dowered of gods,
  • Pandora, giver of all evil and good,
  • 20The sweet sweet bitter, bitter bitter sweet
  • Of love unloved, and tenderest jealousy,
  • And beauty, that the wise man and the fool
  • Maddeneth alike and slayeth like a sword,
  • And doubtful hope, that fades, and will not die,
  • And phantom fear, that haunts, and hath no hope
  • Wherewith to grapple, and will, that will not yield
  • To stronger fate, and all the ancient strife
  • That Venus fears, and wise Athena hates
  • But not avails to heal. A woman wierd
  • 30And wan, what wonder that thine ominous eyes
  • Darken with dire misgiving. Lo! escaped,
  • Nay, nay, too late to close the casket now—
  • Into the air, that is the life of man,
  • They melt accepted. Thou hast given a gift
  • Nor thou nor all the gods can e'er recall.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: poem002.sangms.rad.xml
Copyright: Published with the permission of Iziko Museums of Cape Town