Rossetti Archive Textual Transcription

Document Title: Sonnets and Fragments (Princeton/Troxell bound manuscript volume)
Author: Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Date of Composition: 1848-1881
Scribe: DGR

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

Image of page bookcover page: bookcover
page: endpapers
Note: book plate of Charles Fairfax Murray
Manuscript Addition: D G Rossetti Sonnets and Fragments / original MSS with two drawings by DGR / and 25 MSS
Editorial Description: Charles Fairfax Murray's note in upper right hand corner. The drawings have been removed from the materials.
page: coversheet
Note: pasted down typed identifying label
Manuscript Addition: Spring Marillier p. 4 written 1873 / pub. Athenaeum 30 May 1874 / Thames Valley Sonnets
Editorial Description: WMR's pencil note.
ROSSETTI (DANTE G.). Sonnets and Fragments. The Original

Manuscript with 2 two drawings by D. G. Rossetti, About 24 25 Manuscripts.
page: coversheet
Note: blank page
page: coversheet
Note: blank page
page: [x]
Note: Engraved bust portrait of DGR
Image of page [1] page: [1]
Actual Size: 21.8 x 18 cm
Paper Lineation: ruled
Actual Watermark: J ALLEN & SONS / SUPER FINE
Manuscript Addition: [?]
Editorial Description: Additional line variation written by DGR at bottom left corner of the page.
Manuscript Addition: [?]
Editorial Description: Note by another hand in a lighter ink in the lower right corner of the page.

  • Soft-littered is the new-year's lambing-fold,
  • And in the hollowed haystack at its side
  • The shepherd lies o'nights now, wakeful-eyed
  • At the ewes' travailing call through the dark cold.
  • The young rooks cheep 'mid the thick caw o'the old:
  • And near unpeopled streamsides, on the ground,
  • By her spring-cry the moorhen's nest is found,
  • Where the drained flood-lands flaunt their marigold.
  • Chill are the gusts to which the pastures cower,
  • 10 And chill the current where the young reeds stand
  • As green and close as the young wheat on land:
  • Yet here the cuckoo and the cuckoo-flower
  • Pledge to the heart Spring's perfect imminent hour
  • Whose breath shall soothe you like your dear one's hand.

Image of page [1v] page: [1v]
Note: blank page
Manuscript Addition: [?]
Editorial Description: Note on the back of the sonnet "Spring," possibly by Charles Fairfax Murray.
Image of page [2] page: [2]
Actual Size: 19.1 x 22 cm
Paper Lineation: ruled
Paper Stock: whit
Manuscript Addition: 10 12/35
Editorial Description: DGR's numeration for placing the poem.
Place de la Bastille, Paris.

  • How dear the sky has been above this place!
  • Small treasures of this sky that we see here
  • Seen weak through prison-bars from year to year;
  • Eyed with a painful prayer upon God's grace
  • To save, and tears that stayed along the face
  • Lifted at sunset. Yea, how passing dear,
  • Those nights when through the bars a wind left clear
  • The heaven, and moonlight soothed the limpid space.
  • So was it, till one night the secret kept
  • 10 Safe in low vault and stealthy corridor
  • Was blown abroad upon swift tongues on gospel-tongues of flame.
  • O ways of God, mysterious evermore!
  • How many on this spot have cursed & wept
  • That all might stand here now & own thy Name.
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Note: blank page
Image of page [3] page: [3]
Actual Size: 22.1 x 18 cm
Paper Lineation: ruled
Paper Stock: white
Actual Watermark: J ALLEN & SONS / SUPER FINE
  • How large that thrush looks on the bare thorn-tree!
  • A swarm of such, three little months ago,
  • Had hidden in the leaves and let none know
  • Save by the outburst of their minstrelsy.
  • The A white flake here and there—a snow-lily
  • Of last night's frost—our naked flower-beds hold;
  • And for a rose-flower on the purple darkling mould
  • The redbreast gleams, —poor hungry wanderer he!
  • The current rattles at its shudders to its ice-bound sedge:
  • 10 Where the ice splits Nipped in their bath, the stiff stark reeds one by one
  • Flash each its clinging diamond in the sun:
  • Deleted Text
  • Like wealthy withered fingers: while the sedge
  • Sails to the blast which for this winter's pledge
  • Shall leave memorial forest-king's o'erthrown.
  • While winds afar, for winter's sovereign pledge
  • While winds as far &c.
  • Added Text
  • 'Neath gales winds which for this winter's sovereign pledge
  • Shall curb great king-masts to the water's ocean's edge
  • And leave memorial forest-king's o'erthrown.
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Note: blank page
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Actual Size: 18 x 22.5 cm
Paper Lineation: ruled
Paper Stock: white
Czar Alexander the Second.

13th March, 1881.

  • From him did forty thousand million serfs, endow'd
  • Each with six feet of death- claimed due soil, receive
  • Rich freeborn lifelong land, whereon to sheave
  • Their country's harvest. Who today aloud
  • Demand of Heaven their Father's blood,—sore bow'd
  • With tears and thrilled with wrath; and born to achieve,
  • On every guilty head without reprieve
  • All torment by his edicts disallow'd.
  • He stayed the knout's red-ravening fangs; & first
  • 10 Of Russian traitors, his own murderers go
  • White to the tomb. While he,—laid foully low
  • With limbs red-lopped, with blood-clogged brain which nurs'd
  • The His nation's charter,—from full Nihil flown,
  • No Nought now finds now,— a God's [?] at God's the throne.

Image of page [4v] page: [4v]
Note: blank page
Manuscript Addition: 342 vol 1
Editorial Description: pagination notation in unknown hand
Image of page [5] page: [5]
Actual Size: 16.5 x 7.4 cm
Paper Stock: white
Actual Watermark: EY &
Condition: darkened
Note: The second manuscript on the page is unwatermarked and measures 18.2 x 11.1 cm
  • And not more lightly or more true
  • Fall there the dancers' feet
  • Than fall her cards on upon the bright board
  • With As 'twere a heart's measured that beat.
  • Deftly The fingers let them softly softly through,—
  • Smooth polished easy/? silent things;
  • And each one as it fell falls reflects
At the sun-rise, in 1848

  • God said, Let there be light; and there was light.
  • In the broad ? with ? hear Nature sing
    Added TextThen heard I sounds as though the Earth did sing
  • Even as a calm bird doth upon the wing And the Earth's angel cried upon the wing:
  • I saw priests fall together and turn white,
  • And covered in the dust from the sun's sight
  • A king I spied, and yet another king.
  • I said: “The round world keeps its balancing:
  • On this globe, they and we are opposite,—
  • If it is day with us, with them 'tis night.”
  • 10 Still, France, in thy just pride, remember this:—
  • Thou hadst not made that thy sons' sons shall ask
  • What the word king may mean in their day's task,—
  • But for the light that led: and if light is,
  • It is because God said, Let there be light.
Image of page [5v] page: [5v]
Note: The verso of the second manuscript is blank. The verso of the first manuscript scrap shows the cancelled epigraph and opening of “The Card-Dealer”.
Deleted Text

“And the name of the first siren is Telxiope,— she it

is who sings of high honour; the name of the second is

Telsinoe, and riches is her song; and the third is named

Aglaophemia, and her singing is all of pleasure and

solace. And they three oftentimes sing together.”

Travells of King Ulixes—(1550)

Deleted Text
  • Ambition, cupidité,
  • Et délicieuse volupté,
  • Sont les soeurs de la destinée
  • Après la vingt-première année.

(Calendrier de la Vie), 1630.

  • Could you not drink her eyes gaze like wine?—
  • [?] there [?] air
Image of page [6] page: [6]
Actual Size: 18.1 x 11.5 cm
Original Size: 18.1 x 22 cm
Paper Lineation: ruled
Paper Stock: white
Actual Watermark: SUPER
Original Watermark: J ALLEN & SONS / SUPER FINE
Note: The alternate version of lines 7-8 is written at the foot of the page.
Astarte Syriaca
  • Mystery: lo! betwixt the sun and moon
  • Astarte of the Syrians: Venus Queen
  • Ere Grecian Venus Aphrodite was. In silver sheen
  • Her twofold girdle clasps the infinite boon
  • Of bliss whereof the earth and heaven and earth commune:
  • And from her neck's inclining flower-stem lean
  • Love-freighted lips, and absolute eyes that wean
  • The pulse of hearts to the sphere's dominant tune.
  • Torch-bearing, her sweet ministers compel
  • 10 All thrones of light beyond the sky and sea,
  • The witnesses of Beauty's face to be:
  • That face, of Love's all-penetrative spell
  • Amulet, talisman and oracle,—
  • Betwixt the sun and moon a mystery.
  • and eyes that see the unseen,—
  • Their gaze instinct with the sphere's dominant tune.
Image of page [6v] page: [6v]
Note: blank page
Manuscript Addition: 361
Editorial Description: pagination notation in unknown hand
Image of page [7] page: [7]
Actual Size: 22.2 x 17.4 cm
Paper Lineation: ruled
Paper Stock: white
Actual Watermark: J ALLEN & SONS / SUPER FINE
Manuscript Addition: 10/22 20
Editorial Description: DGR's numeration for placing the poem

(Per un Quadro).

  • Lung i è la luce che in sù questo muro
  • Mi giunge Rifrange appena, un breve istante scorta
  • Del mio rio palazzo alla lontana soprana porta.
  • Lungi quei fiori d'Enna, O lido oscuro,
  • Dal frutto tuo fatal per cui Snaturo che omai mè duro
  • Lungi quel cielo dal tartareo manto
  • Che quì mi cuopre: e lungi ahi lungi ahi quanto
  • Le notti che saran dai dì che furo!
  • Lungi da me mi sento; e ognor sognando,
  • 10 Cerco e ricerco, e resto ascoltatrice;
  • E qualche cuore a qualche anima dice,
  • (Di cui mi giunge il suon di quando in quando,
  • Continuamente insieme sospirando,)—
  • “Oimè per te, Proserpina infelice!”
Image of page [7v] page: [7v]
Note: blank page
Image of page [8] page: [8]
Actual Size: 22.2 x 17.9 cm
Paper Lineation: ruled
Paper Stock: white
Actual Watermark: J ALLEN & SONS / SUPER FINE
Note: The cancelled version for line 11 are at the foot of the page.
Manuscript Addition: 4 13
Editorial Description: DGR's numeration for the placement of the poem.
The Antonine Needles
Added TextTiber, Nile — Thames.

  • The head and hands of murdered Cicero,
  • Above his seat high in the Forum hung,
  • Drew jeers and burning tears. When on the rung
  • Of a swift-mounted ladder, all aglow,
  • Fluvia, Mark Antony's shameless wife, with show
  • Of foot firm-poised and gleaming arm upflung,
  • Bade her sharp needle pierce that godlike tongue
  • Whose speech fed Rome even as the Tiber's flow.
  • Ah! And thou, Cleopatra's Needle, that hadst thrid
  • 10Great skirts of Time ere she and Antony hid
  • Dead hope!— and hast thou too reached, surviving death,
  • Our A city of sweet speech scorned,—on whose chill stone
  • Keats withered, Coleridge pined, and Chatterton,
  • Breadless, with poison froze the God- deriv'd fired breath?

Deleted Text
  • thou seekst, from Egypt's eldest death
  • [???] from thine eldest death
Image of page [8v] page: [8v]
Note: blank page
Image of page [9] page: [9]
Actual Size: 22.2 x 17.9 cm
Paper Lineation: ruled
Paper Stock: white
Actual Watermark: J ALLEN & SONS / SUPER FINE
Note: DGR writes alternative rhymes for line 5 at the upper left corner(in ink) and in the middle of the long pencil list at the bottom of the page; for line 14 at the lower left (in pencil), and for line 13 (in pencil) at the bottom of the page slightly to the left. DGR also copies variants of line 11 at the foot of the page.
Manuscript Addition: slow/blow / know/flow
Editorial Description: alternate possible rhymes for line 5, the second pair in pencil at the bottom of the page
Manuscript Addition: brave/gave/rave
Editorial Description: alternate possible rhymes for line 14
Manuscript Addition: tear?/jeer?/know/flow/hear/near/spear/clear
Editorial Description: alternate possible rhymes for line 13, with two trials for line 5

( Two Sonnets for a Design)
  • Rend, rend thine hair, Cassandra: he will go.
  • Yea, rend thy garments, wring thine arms, and cry
  • From Troy still towered to the unreddened sky.
  • See, all but she that bore thee mock thy woe:—
  • He most whom that fair woman arms, and now with show
  • Clenches her angry Of wrath on her bent brows; for in this place
  • This hour thou bad'st all men in Helen's face
  • The ravished ravishing prize of Death to know.
  • No What eyes, no what ears hath sweet Andromache,
  • 10 Save for her Hector's form and step?—as dear
  • Thrice dear, his mouth that owns yet feels the kiss she gave?
  • He goes. Cassandra's words beat heavily
  • Like crows above his crest, and at his ear
  • Ring hollow in the shield that shall not save.
  • as dear
  • Thrice dear, her arms still clasp the babe he gave.
  • as spear
  • And helm [?], the face of Fate to brave.
  • as tear
  • On tear make salt the sweet warm last kiss he gave.
Image of page [9v] page: [9v]
Note: blank page
Image of page [10] page: [10]
Actual Size: 22.2 x 17.9 cm
Paper Lineation: ruled
Paper Stock: white
Actual Watermark: J ALLEN & SONS / SUPER FINE

( for a Design*)
  • Even so, great Hector, go! Yea, “O Hector, gone, gone, gone! O Hector, thee
  • Two chariots wait, in Troy long blessed & curs'd;
  • And Grecian sword and Phrygian sand athirst
  • Crave from thy veins the blood of victory.
  • One brand upon our hearth long time had we,
  • Lit for the roof-tree's ruin. Lo! to-day
  • The ground-stone quits the wall,—the wind hath way,—
  • And higher and higher the wings of fire are free.
  • O Paris, Paris! O thou burning brand,
  • 10 Thou beacon of the sea whence Venus rose,
  • Lighting thy race to shipwreck! Even that hand
  • Wherewith she took thine apple let her close
  • Within thy curls at last, and while Troy glows
  • Stretch Lift thee her trophy to the sea and land.”
* The design represents The subject is Cassandra prophesying among her

kindred, while Hector goes to leaves them for his last battle. Helen is arming

It is on the platform of a fortress, from which the Trojan troops are [?] to battle marching out. Helen is arming Paris;

and Andromache has just holds the child in her arms.
Image of page [10v] page: [10v]
Manuscript Addition: 359
Editorial Description: Page number written apparently by DGR
  • The same was he who, lashed to his own mast,
  • Beside the sirens' singing island pass'd,
  • Till music died upon fainted on the inveterate sea
  • Say, soul, and doth no fatal song for us,
  • Prove yet than any crown more rapturous,
  • No d Death's lip shame the cheek of Victory?
Image of page [11] page: [11]
Actual Size: 22.3 x 18 cm
Paper Lineation: ruled
Paper Stock: white
Note: Two of the cancelled readings, for lines 8 and 13, are at the bottom of the page.

(For a Picture.)
  • “There is a budding morrow in midnight:”—
  • So sang our Keats, our English nightingale.
  • And here, as lamps across the bridge turn pale
  • In London's smokeless resurrection-light,
  • Dark breaks to dawn. But o'er the deadly blight
  • Of love deflowered & sorrow of none avail
  • Which makes this man gasp and this woman quail,
  • Can day with from darkness ever again unite take flight ever again grow light?
  • Ah! gave not these two hearts their mutual pledge,
  • 10Under one mantle sheltered 'neath the hedge
  • In gloaming courtship? And alas O God! to-day
  • He does but only knows he holds her;— and but what part
  • Life Can life now can take? She cries in her own locked heart,— in her shut heart
  • “Leave me—I do not know you—go away!”
Image of page [11v] page: [11v]
Note: blank page
Image of page [12] page: [12]
Actual Size: 22.1 x 17.7 cm
Paper Lineation: ruled
Paper Stock: white
Actual Watermark: J ALLEN & SONS / SUPER FINE
Printer's Direction: Print this / after no 8 / The Passover Pandora page 134
Mary Magdalene

at the Door of Simon the Pharisee

(For a Design.*)
  • “Why wilt thou cast the roses from thine hair?
  • Nay, be thou all a rose,—wreathe, lips, and cheek.
  • Nay, not this house,— yon that banquet-house we seek;
  • See how they kiss and enter; come thou there.
  • This delicate day of love we now two will share
  • Added TextTill at our ear love's whispering night shall speak.
  • And hear love's night in musical numbers speak
  • What, sweet one,—hold'st thou still the foolish freak?
  • Nay, when I kiss thy feet they'll leave the stair.”
  • “Oh loose me! See'st thou not my Bridegroom's face
  • 10 That draws me to Him? For His feet my kiss,
  • My hair, my tears I bring He craves to-day:—and oh!
  • What words can tell what other day and place
  • Shall see me clasp those blood-stained feet of His?
  • He needs me, calls me, loves me: let me go!”
Transcribed Note (page [12]):

*In the design Mary has left a festal procession, and is ascending by a sudden impulse the steps of the house where she sees Christ. Her lover has followed her and is trying to turn her back.

Image of page [12v] page: [12v]
Note: blank page
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Actual Size: 18 x 9.6 cm
Paper Lineation: ruled
Paper Stock: white
Actual Watermark: & SONS / FINE
Original Watermark: J ALLEN & SONS / SUPER FINE
Note: Two fragmentary manuscript leaves pasted on one page. The first, unwatermarked, measures 18. 6.1cm., and is from “Love's Nocturn”; the second, from “Smithereens” is described in the notes above.
  • Song shall tell how glad and strong
  • Is the night she soothes alway;
  • Moan shall grieve with that parched tongue
  • Of the brazen hours of day:
  • Sounds as of the springtide they,
  • Moan and song,
  • While the chill months long for May.
Added TextMammon's Ring-Posy
  • Uncertain-aged Miss Thereabouts,
  • Tough fossil of her teens,
  • Has lifted up with saving hand
  • The ruined Smithereens.
  • Down the dark steps of debt that hand
  • Sped like an angel's wing,
  • Deep dowered with gold, & for itself
  • Brought back a golden ring.
  • Ah lovely Lucy Lovandove,
  • 10 That ring's a snake, and means
  • Woe without end: therein lies crushed
  • Thy heart—to smithereens!
Image of page [13v] page: [13v]
  • My soul this hour has drawn thy soul
  • A little nearer yet.

  • And thin, alas! the shred of sleep
  • That wavers with the spirit's wind.

Deleted Text
  • To God at best, to Chance at worst,
  • Give thanks for good things, last as first.
  • But wind-strown blossom is that good
  • Whose apple is not gratitude.
  • Even if no prayer uplift thy face,
  • Let the sweet right to render grace
  • As thy soul's cherished child be nurs'd.
Image of page [14] page: [14]
Actual Size: 18 x 22.2 cm
Paper Lineation: ruled
Paper Stock: white
Actual Watermark: J ALLEN & SONS / SUPER FINE
  • Yon' Cur's not rid of his own name,
  • Though he to others give the same.
  • Yon Yelper Scribbler leaves his works to the
  • Posteriors of Posterity;
  • Though sounds may reach him from the sphere
  • Which seem to his long listening ears
  • Most like the trumpet-blast of Fame.

  • Se ne va la gioventù
  • Vidi come se ne va

  • The A Sonnet is a moment's monument,—
  • Memorial from the Soul's eternity
  • To one dead deathless hour—
Like a coin (face & obverse)—memories

connected with the coin &c.

As the features of a child recall now

the father & now the mother & yet

are different from both, so in a work

may be traced this or that passion or

experience of its author's life, though

all be turned to a fresh purpose.

(for Michael Scott's Wooing)
Ground-swell owing to a storm far out in mid sea.

Sea quite calm to horizon, except on the beach where

it rises falls & eddies in huge wrestling waves.

Effect like the outer dying circle when a pebble has

been dropped in rest centre of a pool.
  • That tempest had its pebble dropped
  • A hundred miles at sea &c.
Image of page [14v] page: [14v]
Deleted Text
  • In the life-drama's stern cue-call,
  • A friend's a part well-prized by all:
  • And if thou meet an enemy,
  • What art thou that such should/must should not be?
  • Even so: but should if the two parts run
  • Into each other and grow one,
  • Then comes the curtain's cue to fall.

  • Say, art thou proud? How feel'st thou fit
  • Thy mood with flatterers' silk-spun wit?
  • 10Does the sweet voice exalt thy crest,
  • As with the truth made manifest.
  • Nay, but then chaf'st at flattery? Pause:
  • Be sure that it thy wrath is not because
  • It makes thee feel thou lovest it.

  • One step in knowledge 'tis to grow
  • Quite certain that thou dost not know
  • How callous seems beyond revoke
  • The clock with its last listless stroke!
  • How much too late at length!—to snatch
  • A glance at the returning patch,
  • The thing for hours thou [???] darest not do!
  • 20 This may Behold, this may be thus! Ere true
  • It prove, arise and bear thy yoke.
  • spoke/broke
Image of page [15] page: [15]
Actual Size: 18 x 19 cm
Paper Lineation: ruled
Paper Stock: white
Actual Watermark: J ALLEN & SONS / SUPER FINE
  • Who knoweth not love's sounds and silences?

Deleted Text
  • and we
  • Whom trees that knew your sires shall cease to know
  • And still stand silent

  • The golden kingcup-fields with silence edge
  • Where the cow-parsley skirts the hawthorn-hedge.

Deleted Text
  • Tragical shadow & the realm of fear

    • One bliss but tarries for another's birth;
    • As the last cowslip in the fields we see
    • With the first corn-poppy.

    Amen to the Omen

    • As balmy as the breath of her you love
    • When deep between her breasts it comes to you.

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

    • Her hands lay open in the long deep grass,
    • And the sweet points looked through like rosy flowers
    Image of page [15v] page: [15v]
    • Even as a child, of sorrow that we give
    • The dead, but little at his heart can find,
    • Since without need of thought in his clear mind
    • Their turn it is to die and his to live:—

    • I looked and saw the love
    • At the bottom of your heart
    • As a diver sees a pearl
    • At the bottom of the sea:
    Deleted Text


    • And I murmured, not above
    • My breath, but all apart,
    • Ah! she can love, sweet girl,
    • And does love, and loves me.

    Deleted Text
  • How callous is the clock with its last stroke

  • Deleted Text
  • Faint like a flower the attenuated dream.

    • the fire
    • Put forth its withering fingers of pure flame

    • O happy he for whom first love & last
    • Are but one love for ever!
    Image of page [16] page: [16]
    Actual Size: 18 x 22.2 cm
    Paper Lineation: ruled
    Paper Stock: white
    Actual Watermark: J ALLEN & SONS / SUPER FINE
    • With furnaces
    • Of instant flame & petals of pure light

    Deleted Text
    • Would God I knew there were a god to thank
    • When thanks arise in me

    • Deep in the sun-searched grass the dragon-fly
    • Hangs like a blue thread loosened from the sky

    Deleted Text
    • The cuckoo-throb, the heartbeat of the Spring

    • Even as the dreariest swamps, in sweet Springtide,
    • Are most with Mary-flowers beatified
    Deleted Text
    • The rosebud's blush that leaves it as she it grows
    • Into the full-eyed fair unblushing rose.

    • Or reading in some sunny nook
    • Where grass-blade shadows fall across her book.

    • On the first day the priest
    • Could find no heart in the beast
    • ?
      Added TextAnd two on the second day.

    • I saw the Sibyl at Cumæ”
    • (One said) “with mine own eye.
    • She hung in a cage x & read her rune x
    • To all the passers-by:
    • Said the boys, ‘What wouldst thou, Sibyl?’
    • She answered ‘I would die.’”

    xsat on a stage xlife-runes
    Image of page [16v] page: [16v]
    Deleted Text
    • “I hate” says over and above
    • “This is a soul that I might love.”
    • None lightly says “My friend”; even so
    • Be jealous of that name, “my foe.”
    • An enemy for an enemy,
    • But dogs for what a dog can be.
    • Hold those at heart, and time shall prove.

    Deleted Text
    • These upheaved forest-trees moss-grown to-day
    • Whose roots are hillocks where the children play

    • Where the poets all,
    • Echoes of singing nature, list her call.

    Deleted Text
    • Hast ever say, “Lo, I forget”?
    • Such thought were to remember yet.

    • The loves that from our hands have dropped away,
    • Even as the beads of a told rosary.

    Deleted Text


    • Of natural foods she nothing needs,
    • A grain of rice rice a day
    (Aura & Aurora)

    Image of page [17] page: [17]
    Note: Some manuscript notes in unknown hand, perhaps WMR, querying some DGR manuscript scraps
    Transcription Gap: text of the page (image supplies information)
    Image of page [18] page: [18]
    Note: DGR scripted the first three stanzas originally with stanza 2 preceding stanza 3.
    • The kine might stem the tide & live
    • The nags might take no ill,
    • But it's woe the day for a fair woman
    • Laid half-way up the hill.
    • All white & still & dumb she lay
    • 10Six spans above the flood
    • It's “Janet, if ye be yourself,
    • Rise in the name of God!”
    • Often he's met her by the bank
    • And often by the brae,
    • And raced with her in April rains
    • And passed the birds in May.

    after “beside his chin”
    • But woe's my heart ever near for Father John
    • And the saints he clamoured to:
    • [???] There's never a saint but Christopher
    • To Might hale such buttocks through!

    • “They told me you were dead, Janet,—
    • So long you left from me.”
    • “They told me you were false, Lord Sands,
    • And I came here to die?”
    Image of page [19] page: [19]
    Note: This page and the next contain four separate small leaves, on each of which are drafted different parts of DGR's poem, "A Last Confession."
    • Beside a Before some [fresh?] Madonna newly decked,
    • Tinselled & gewgawed, a slight German toy,
    • I saw her kneel, still praying. At my step
    • She rose, and side by side we left the church.
    • I was much moved, & sharply questioned her
    • Of her transferred devotion; and at best but she seemed
    • Stubborn and ? heedless; till she lightly laughed
    • And “Aye, the old Madonna?” so she said,
    • She had my old thoughts,—this one has my new.”
    • 10 Then silent to the soul I walked with her held my way
    • And from the fountains of the public place
    • Unto the pigeon-haunted pinnacles,
    • Bright wings and water winnowed the bright air;
    • And stately with her laugh's subsiding smile
    • She stepped went, with well-poised feet & gleaming arms
    • And hands held light before her; and the face
    • Which long had made a day in all my life's night
    • Seemed night in day to me; as all men's eyes
    • Turned on her beauty, and she seemed to tread
    • 20 Beyond the my heart to the world made for her.
    Image of page [20] page: [20]
    • Father, the day I speak of was the first
    • For weeks that I had borne her company
    • Into the Duomo; and those weeks had been
    • Much troubled, for then first the thought arose
    • That she so loved was growing changed & cold. [?]
    • And as we loitered on that day, I bent
    • My eyes on the fair image, and I said
    • Within my heart, “Oh warm her heart to me!”
    • And so I left her to her prayers, and went
    • 30 To gaze on the great upon the pride of Monza's shrine,
    • Where in the sacristy the day still falls
    • Upon the Iron Crown of Italy,
    • How long the night, how fallen on the ?
      Added TextOn whose crowned heads the day has closed, nor yet
    • That make it/ May ? upon another head to crown The hour gilds another head to crown.
    • But coming back, I wondered when I saw
    • The image [?] Lady sovereign [?]That image stand alone; and till further off
    • Yet one more only thought in my mind thing comes back on me tonight
    • Were worth the ?/telling Which I may tell you: for it bore my soul
    • Dread firstlings of the brood that rend it now.
    • 40 It cha happened once when then that in our wanderings
    • We dwelt at Monza, far away from home,
    • If home we had: and in the Duomo there
    • I sometimes entered with her when she prayed.
    • There was/There dwells a sweet An image of Our Lady dwells there, wrought
    • In marble by some great Italian hand
    • In the great days when she and Italy
    • Sat on one throne together: and by him to her
    • She stood ? and told ?
      Added TextAnd to none else my loved one told her heart.
    • And many thoughts She was a woman then; And as she knelt below the sacred fane
    • 50 They seemed Her sweet brow in the neighbour's shadow there,—
    • They seemed two kindred things kindred forms that our dear land
    • Added Text(Whose work still serves the world for miracles)
    • Blent with herself in wondrous ?
    Image of page [21] page: [21]
    Manuscript Addition: After “Then his kiss”.
    • The flood was creeping round their feet.
    • “O Janet come, love, come away!
    • The hall is warm for the marriage-rite,
    • The bed for the birthday.”
    • “Nay, but I hear your mother cry,
    • ‘Go, bring this bride to bed!
    • And would she christen her babe unborn,
    • So wet she comes to wed?’
    • “I'll be your wife to cross your door s
    • 10 And meet your mother's e'e.
    • We plighted troth to wed i' the kirk,
    • And it's there I'll wed with ye.”
    Image of page [21v] page: [21v]
    Note: blank page
    Electronic Archive Edition: 1
    Source File: sonnets.prinms.rad.xml
    Copyright: Princeton University Library, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections