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.

The Choice – Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Think thou and act; to-morrow thou shalt die.
Outstretch’d in the sun’s warmth upon the shore,
Thou say’st: ‘Man’s measured path is all gone o’er:
Up all his years, steeply, with strain and sigh,
Man clomb until he touch’d the truth; and I,
Even I, am he whom it was destined for.’
How should this be? Art thou then so much more
Than they who sow’d, that thou shouldst reap thereby?

Nay, come up hither. From this wave-wash’d mound
Unto the furthest flood-brim look with me;
Then reach on with thy thought till it be drown’d.
Miles and miles distant though the last line be,
And though thy soul sail leagues and leagues beyond,—
Still, leagues beyond those leagues, there is more sea.

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.

For A Virgin And Child By Hans Memmelinck – Dante Gabriel Rossetti

(In the Academy of Bruges) 

MYSTERY: God, man’s life, born into man 

Of woman. There abideth on her brow 

The ended pang of knowledge, the which now 

Is calm assured. Since first her task began 

She hath known all. What more of anguish than 

Endurance oft hath lived through, the whole space 

Through night till day, passed weak upon her face 

While the heard lapse of darkness slowly ran? 

All hath been told her touching her dear Son, 

And all shall be accomplished. Where He sits 

Even now, a babe, He holds the symbol fruit 

Perfect and chosen. Until God permits, 

His soul’s elect still have the absolute 

Harsh nether darkness, and make painful moan.

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.

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.

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.