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“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.
“Circlewise sit they, with bound locks
And foreheads garlanded;
Weaving the golden thread,
Who are just born, being dead.
“He shall fear, haply, and be dumb:
Then will I lay my cheek
Not once abashed or weak:
My pride, and let me speak.
“Herself shall bring us, hand in hand,
To Him round whom all souls Kneel, the clear-ranged unnumbered 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:-
With Love, only to be,
Together, I and he.”
She gazed and listened and then said,
Less sad of speech than mild,-
The light thrilled towards her, filled
Her eyes prayed, and she smiled.
(I saw her smile.) But soon their path
Was vague in distant spheres:
The golden barriers,
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
A SONG OF ANGIOLA IN HEAVEN 1
"LOWERS,—that have died upon my Sweet, r Lulled by the rhythmic dancing beat
Of her young bosom under you,
Betwixt the daylight and the dew,
Tells to the Rose.
For lo,-a garden-place I found,
Well flowered, with red fruit marvelous;
1 Reprinted through special arrangement with Mr. Alban Dobson and with the Oxford University Press.
With faces bent and amorous;-
My Love I found.
Alone she walked,-ah, well I wis,
Then when I called to her her name, -
At once across the sward she came:
“Where hast thou stayed?”
"Where hast thou stayed?”—she asked as though The long years were an hour ago;
But I spake not, nor answered,
And in her clear cheek's changeless red,
And Time was bound.
“This is well done,” she said, "in thee, O Love, that thou art come to me,
To this green garden glorious; Now truly shall our life be sped In joyance and all goodlihed,
For here all things are fair to us, And none with burden is oppressed, And none is poor or piteous, –
For here is Rest.
“No formless Future blurs the sky;
By shrouded shapes of Yesterday;
In one unwearying To-day,
And here is Heaven.”
At "Heaven” she ceased;—and lifted up
With rounded mouth, and eyes aglow;
And past things change to painted show;
I swooned, -and woke.
And now, O Flowers,-
Well am I comforted;
That, without dim distress
Of tears, or weariness,
For my dear Lady's sake
I am right fain to make
Grief for a golden garment unto me;
Knowing that I, at last, shall stand
In that green garden-land,
THE BALLAD OF DEAD LADIES
'ELL me now in what hidden
is Lady Flora the lovely Roman? Where's Hipparchia, and where is Thais,
Neither of them the fairer woman?
Where is Echo, beheld of no man,
She whose beauty was more than human?
Where's Héloïse, the learned nun,
For whose sake Abeillard, I ween,
(From Love he won such dule and teen!)
And where, I pray you, is the Queen
Sewed in a sack's mouth down the Seine?
White Queen Blanche, like a queen of lilies,
With a voice like any mermaiden, -
And Ermengarde the lady of Maine,
And that good Joan whom Englishmen
Mother of God, where are they then?
i Translated by Dante Gabriel Rossetti.