Height In Depth – Dante Gabriel Rossetti

HE turned his face apart, and gave a sigh 

And a strange whimper—such a pitiful thing 

As haunts the heart for days. “Yes, Love can bring 

Unto a pass so low that it seems high: 

And, when we see a brave and strong man cry 

With a poor infant’s feeble sorrowing, 

It is a nobler passion than to wing 

Shafts of small angers and small prides,” thought I. 

There is a love so deaf that it can hear 

Not even its own voice which bids it seek 

A name for its own meanness: it would find 

The outlet else. But thus it is a sheer 

Humility—an earnestness so meek 

That your knees bow and sharp tears make you blind.

Genius In Beauty – Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Beauty like hers is genius. Not the call 

Of Homer’s or of Dante’s heart sublime, — 

Not Michael’s hand furrowing the zones of time, — 

Is more with compassed mysteries musical; 

Nay, not in Spring’s Summer’s sweet footfall 

More gathered gifts exuberant Life bequeaths 

Than doth this sovereign face, whose love-spell breathes 

Even from its shadowed contour on the wall. 
As many men are poets in their youth, 

But for one sweet-strung soul the wires prolong 

Even through all change the indomitable song; 

So in likewise the envenomed years, whose tooth 

Rends shallower grace with ruin void of truth, 

Upon this beauty’s power shall wreak no wrong.

During Music – Dante Gabriel Rossetti

O COOL unto the sense of pain 

That last night’s sleep could not destroy; 

O warm unto the sense of joy, 

That dreams its life within the brain. 

What though I lean o’er thee to scan 

The written music cramped and stiff;— 

‘Tis dark to me, as hieroglyph 

On those weird bulks Egyptian. 

But as from those, dumb now and strange, 

A glory wanders on the earth, 

Even so thy tones can call a birth 

From these, to shake my soul with change. 

O swift, as in melodious haste 

Float o’er the keys thy fingers small; 

O soft, as is the rise and fall 

Which stirs that shade within thy breast.