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