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THE BLESSED DAMOZEL
HE blessed damozel leaned
And the stars in her hair were seven.
Her robe, ungirt from clasp to hem,
No wrought flowers did adorn,
For service neatly worn,
Was yellow like ripe corn.
Her seemed she scarce had been a day
One of God's choristers;
From that still look of hers;
Had counted as ten years.
It was the rampart of God's house
That she was standing on;
The which is Space begun;
She scarce could see the sun.
Of ether, as a bridge.
With flame and darkness ridge
Spins like a fretful midge. Around her, lovers, newly met
'Mid deathless love's acclaims Spoke evermore among themselves
Their heart-remembered names; And the souls mounting up to God
Went by her like thin flames. And still she bowed herself and stooped
Out of the circling charm, Until her bosom must have made
The bar she leaned on warm, And the lilies lay as if asleep
Along her bended arm. From the fixed place of Heaven she saw Time like a pulse shake fierce
Through all the worlds. Her gaze still
strove Within the gulf to pierce Its path; and now she spoke 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 Heaven?- on
earth, Lord, Lord, has he not prayed ? Are not two prayers a perfect strength?
And shall I feel afraid?”
She gazed and listened, and then said,
Less sad of speech than mild,"All this is when he comes.” She ceased.
The light thrilled towards her, fill'd With angels in strong level flight.
Her eyes prayed, and she smil'd. (I saw her smile.) But soon their path
Was vague in distant spheres;
The golden barriers,
-Dante Gabriel Rossetti.
SONNET FROM THE
IRST time he kissed me, he
but only kissed F The fingers of this hand
wherewith I write, And ever since it grew more
clean and white, Slow to world-greetings
quick with its “Oh, list, When the angels speak. A ring of
amethyst I could not wear here plainer to my
sight, Than that first kiss. The second passed
in height The first, and sought the forehead, and
half missed, Half falling on the hair. O beyond
meed! That was the chrism of love which love's
own crown, With sanctifying sweetness, did pre
cede. The third upon my lips was folded
down In perfect, purple state! since when
indeed, I have been proud and said, “My love,
urely pass by,
One after one; the sound
of rain, and bees
Murmuring; the fall of rivers, winds and seas, Smooth fields, white sheets of water, and
pure sky; By turns have all been thought of, yet I
lie Sleepless; and soon the small birds'
melodies Must hear, first uttered from my or
chard trees; And the first Cuckoo's melancholy cry. Even thus last night, and two nights
more, I lay, And could not win thee, Sleep! by any
stealth: So do not let me wear to-night away: Without Thee what is all the morning's
wealth? Come, blessed barrier between day and
day, Dear mother of fresh thoughts and joyous health!