Dream-Love – Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Young Love lies sleeping 

In May-time of the year, 

Among the lilies, 

Lapped in the tender light: 

White lambs come grazing, 

White doves come building there: 

And round about him 

The May-bushes are white. 
Soft moss the pillow 

For oh, a softer cheek; 

Broad leaves cast shadow 

Upon the heavy eyes: 

There wind and waters 

Grow lulled and scarcely speak; 

There twilight lingers 

The longest in the skies. 
Young Love lies dreaming; 

But who shall tell the dream? 

A perfect sunlight 

On rustling forest tips; 

Or perfect moonlight 

Upon a rippling stream; 

Or perfect silence, 

Or song of cherished lips. 
Burn odours round him 

To fill the drowsy air; 

Weave silent dances 

Around him to and fro; 

For oh, in waking 

The sights are no so fair, 

And song and silence 

Are not like these below. 
Young Love lies dreaming 

Till summer days are gone, – 

Dreaming and drowsing 

Away to perfect sleep: 

He sees the beauty 

Sun hath not looked upon, 

And tastes the fountain 

Unutterably deep. 
Him perfect music 

Doth hush unto his rest, 

And through the pauses 

The perfect silence calms: 

Oh, poor the voices 

Of earth from east to west, 

And poor earth’s stillness 

Between her stately palms. 
Young Love lies drowsing 

Away to poppied death; 

Cool shadows deepen 

Across the sleeping face: 

So fails the summer 

With warm delicious breath; 

And what hath autumn 

To give us in its place? 
Draw close the curtains 

Of branched evergreen; 

Change cannot touch them 

With fading fingers sere: 

Here first the violets 

Perhaps with bud unseen, 

And a dove, may be, 

Return to nestle here.

First Love Remembered – Dante Gabriel Rossetti

PEACE in her chamber, wheresoe’er 

It be, a holy place: 

The thought still brings my soul such grace 

As morning meadows wear. 

Whether it still be small and light, 

A maid’s who dreams alone, 

As from her orchard-gate the moon 

Its ceiling showed at night: 

Or whether, in a shadow dense 

As nuptial hymns invoke, 

Innocent maidenhood awoke 

To married innocence: 

There still the thanks unheard await 

The unconscious gift bequeathed: 

For there my soul this hour has breathed 

An air inviolate.

Soul’s Beauty – Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Under the arch of Life, where love and death, 

Terror and mystery, guard her shrine, I saw 

Beauty enthroned; and though her gaze struck awe, 

I drew it in as simply as my breath. 

Hers are the eyes which, over and beneath, 

The sky and sea bend on thee,—which can draw, 

By sea or sky or woman, to one law, 

The allotted bondman of her palm and wreath. 
This is that Lady Beauty, in whose praise 

Thy voice and hand shake still,—long known to thee 

By flying hair and fluttering hem,—the beat 

Following her daily of thy heart and feet, 

How passionately and irretrievably, 

In what fond flight, how many ways and days!