Rossetti Archive Textual Transcription

Document Title: Two Poems by F. G. Stephens
Author: Frederick Stephens
Date of Composition: 1849
Type of Manuscript: holograph fair copy

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

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A Burial place for me.

  • A boy,—I said
  • Bearing the vase of life above my head:
  • “Lay me upon the hill whose top
  • Gazes above the city's dim turmoil,
  • That I may look on these I love,
  • And some that climb may hold discourse with me.”
  • A Man,—I say:
  • “Hide me within some valley, shy, afar,
  • That none may see the grave of one
  • 10Who, with the strong right arm, declined the war,
  • Let slip the vase before his feet,
  • And sank, a weed, scorn of the garden-ground.”
  • I am: I was:—
  • Which now belongs to me—Being, or Been?
  • The silence & the shadows stretched afar,
  • Because the sun is low? or darkness brief
  • A little cloud before the noon?
F. G. S.
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  • Oh! weary falls the lapsing time:
  • Oh! weary comes the waking day:
  • Ah! sadly swerve the shadows round
  • By tall trees thrown & grassy mound.
  • Most sadly falls this life on me,
  • With noble purpose unwrought out:
  • The steeled soul rusteth thro' the day;—
  • My life it flitteth fast away.
  • Like shadows thrown from haughty trees,
  • 10My soul its purpose spreadeth out,—
  • And turns & wavers, left to right:
  • Will the meeting shadows ne'er make night?
F. G. S.
Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Copyright: Published with the permission of Iziko Museums of Cape Town