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Title: The Blessed Damozel
Author: Rossetti, Dante Gabriel
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Blessed Damozel" ***

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                        FLOWERS OF PARNASSUS—IV.

                         *THE BLESSED DAMOZEL*

[Illustration: "The blessed Damozel leaned out."]

                          *THE BLESSED DAMOZEL
                            BY DANTE GABRIEL
                            ROSSETTI.  WITH
                         ILLUSTRATIONS BY PERCY

                          JOHN LANE: PUBLISHER
                          LONDON AND NEW YORK

             Wm. Clowes & Sons, Limited, Printers, London.


"The blessed Damozel leaned out" . . . Frontispiece


"Surely she leaned o’er me"

"’We two will stand beside that shrine’"

"’And I myself will teach to him’"

"’Herself shall bring us, hand in hand’"

"And laid her face between her hands"


    [Illustration: Heading]


    The blessed Damozel leaned out
      From the gold bar of Heaven:
    Her blue-grey eyes were deeper much
      Than a deep water, even.
    She had three lilies in her hand,
      And the stars in her hair were seven.


    Her robe, ungirt from clasp to hem,
      No wrought flowers did adorn,
    But a white rose of Mary’s gift
      On the neck meetly worn;
    And her hair, lying down her back,
      Was yellow like ripe corn.


    Herseemed she scarce had been a day
      One of God’s choristers;
    The wonder was not yet quite gone
      From that still look of hers;
    Albeit to them she left, her day
      Had counted as ten years.


    (To _one_ it is ten years of years
      . . . Yet now, here in this place,
    Surely she leaned o’er me,—her hair
      Fell all about my face . . .
    Nothing: the Autumn-fall of leaves.
      The whole year sets apace.)

[Illustration: "Surely she leaned o’er me."]


    It was the terrace of God’s house
      That she was standing on,—
    By God built over the sheer depth
      In which Space is begun;
    So high, that looking downward thence,
      She could scarce see the sun.


    It lies from Heaven across the flood
      Of ether, as a bridge.
    Beneath, the tides of day and night
      With flame and blackness ridge
    The void, as low as where this earth
      Spins like a fretful midge.


    But in those tracts, with her, it was
      The peace of utter light
    And silence.  For no breeze may stir
      Along the steady flight
    Of seraphim; no echo there,
      Beyond all depth or height.


    Heard hardly, some of her new friends,
      Playing at holy games,
    Spake, gentle-mouthed, among themselves,
      Their virginal chaste names;
    And the souls, mounting up to God,
      Went by her like thin flames.


    And still she bowed herself, and stooped
      Into the vast waste calm;
    Till her bosom’s pressure must have made
      The bar she leaned on warm,
    And the lilies lay as if asleep
      Along her bended arm.


    From the fixt lull of heaven, she saw
      Time, like a pulse, shake fierce
    Through all the worlds.  Her gaze still strove,
      In that steep gulph, to pierce
    The swarm: and then she spake, as when
      The stars sang in their spheres.


    "I wish that he were come to me,
      For he will come," she said.
    "Have I not prayed in solemn heaven?
      On earth, has he not prayed?
    Are not two prayers a perfect strength?
      And shall I feel afraid?


    "When round his head the aureole clings,
      And he is clothed in white,
    I’ll take his hand, and go with him
      To the deep wells of light,
    And we will step down as to a stream
      And bathe there in God’s sight.

[Illustration: "’We two will stand beside that shrine.’"]


    "We two will stand beside that shrine,
      Occult, withheld, untrod,
    Whose lamps tremble continually
      With prayer sent up to God;
    And where each need, revealed, expects
      Its patient period.


    "We two will lie i’ the shadow of
      That living mystic tree,
    Within whose secret growth the Dove
      Sometimes is felt to be,
    While every leaf that His plumes touch
      Saith His name audibly.


    "And I myself will teach to him—
      I myself, lying so—
    The songs I sing here; which his mouth
      Shall pause in, hushed and slow,
    Finding some knowledge at each pause
      And some new thing to know."


    (Alas! to _her_ wise simple mind
      These things were all but known
    Before: they trembled on her sense,—
      Her voice had caught their tone.
    Alas for lonely Heaven!  Alas
      For life wrung out alone!

[Illustration: "’And I myself will teach to him.’"]


    Alas, and though the end were reached?
      Was _thy_ part understood
    Or borne in trust?  And for her sake
      Shall this too be found good?—
    May the close lips that knew not prayer
      Praise ever, though they would?)


    "We two," she said, "will seek the groves
      Where the lady Mary is,
    With her five handmaidens, whose names
      Are five sweet symphonies:—
    Cecily, Gertrude, Magdalen,
      Margaret, and Rosalys.


    "Circle-wise sit they, with bound locks
      And bosoms coveréd;
    Into the fine cloths, white like flame,
      Weaving the golden thread,
    To fashion the birth-robes for them
      Who are just born, being dead.


    He shall fear haply, and be dumb.
      Then will I lay my cheek
    To his, and tell about our love,
      Not once abashed or weak:
    And the dear Mother will approve
      My pride, and let me speak.

[Illustration: "’Herself shall bring us, hand in hand.’"]


    ’Herself shall bring us, hand in hand,
      To Him round whom all souls
    Kneel—the unnumber’d solemn heads
      Bowed with their aureoles:
    And Angels, meeting us, shall sing
      To their citherns and citoles.


    "There will I ask of Christ the Lord
      Thus much for him and me:—
    To have more blessing than on earth
      In nowise; but to be
    As then we were,—being as then
      At peace.  Yea, verily.


    "Yea, verily; when he is come
      We will do thus and thus:
    Till this my vigil seem quite strange
      And almost fabulous;
    We two will live at once, one life;
      And peace will be with us."


    She gazed, and listened, and then said,
      Less sad of speech than mild;
    "All this is when he comes."  She ceased;
      The light thrilled past her, filled
    With Angels, in strong level lapse.
      Her eyes prayed, and she smiled.

[Illustration: "And laid her face between her hands."]


    (I saw her smile.)  But soon their flight
      Was vague ’mid the poised spheres.
    And then she cast her arms along
      The golden barriers,
    And laid her face between her hands,
      And wept (I heard her tears).

[Illustration: THE END]

           *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *

                         *The Lover’s Library*

                      *Edited by Frederic Chapman*

                          Size, 5¼ X 3 inches

            Price 1/6 net Bound in Cloth Price 50 cents net
           Price 2/- net Bound in Leather Price 75 cents net


By Edmond Holmes

Vol. IV.  THE CUPID AND PSYCHE of Apuleius in English.

                     _Other Volumes in Preparation_

The title of The Lover’s Library is sufficiently descriptive to make
explanation of the purpose of the Series almost unnecessary.

It is sought to include in a group of compact little volumes the best
Love Poems of the great British poets; and from time to time a volume of
prose, or a volume of modern verse which may be considered of sufficient
importance, will be added to the Library.

The delicate decorations, on the pages, end papers, and covers, make the
little books dainty enough for small presents, and it is hoped that
those who do not receive them as presents from others will seize the
opportunity of making presents to themselves.

                      JOHN LANE, London & New York

           *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *

                         *Flowers of Parnassus*

                 _A Series of Famous Poems Illustrated_

                    *Under the General Editorship of
                          F. B. Money-Coutts*

                     Demy 16mo. (5½ X 4¼), gilt top

 Price 1/- net Cloth Price 50 cents net Price 1/6 net Leather Price 75
                               cents net

Vol. I.  Gray’s Elegy and Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College.
_With Twelve Illustrations by J. T. Friedenson_.

Vol. II.  The Statue and the Bust.  By Robert Browning.  _With Nine
Illustrations by Philip Connard_.

Vol. III.  Marpessa.  By Stephen Phillips.  _With Seven Illustrations by
Philip Connard_.

IV.  The Blessed Damozel.  By Dante Gabriel Rossetti. _With Eight
Illustrations by Percy Bulcock_.

Vol. V.  The Nut-Brown Maid.  A New Version by F. B. Money-Coutts. _With
Nine Illustrations by Herbert Cole_.

Vol. VI.  A Dream of Fair Women.  By Alfred Tennyson.  _With

Vol. VII.  A Day Dream.  By Alfred Tennyson.  _With Eight Illustrations
by Amelia Bauerle_.

Vol. VIII.  A Ballade upon a Wedding.  By Sir John Suckling. _With Nine
Illustrations by Herbert Cole_.

                    _Other Volumes in Preparation._

                      JOHN LANE, London & New York

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