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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;
Into the fine cloth white like flame

Weaving the golden thread,
To fashion the birth-robes for them

Who are just born, being dead.

He shall fear, haply, and be dumb:

Then will I lay my cheek
To his, and tell about our love,

Not once abashed or weak:
And the dear Mother will approve

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:-
Only to live as once on earth

With Love, only to be,
As then awhile, for ever now

Together, I and he.”

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, filled
With angels in strong level Alight.

Her eyes prayed, and she smiled.

(I saw her smile.) But soon their path

Was vague in distant spheres:
And then she cast her arms along

The golden barriers,
And laid her face between her hands,
And wept. (I heard her tears.)

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

122

A SONG OF ANGIOLA IN HEAVEN 1

1

"LOWERS,—that have died upon my Sweet, r Lulled by the rhythmic dancing beat

Of her young bosom under you,
Now will I show you such a thing
As never, through thick buds of Spring,

Betwixt the daylight and the dew,
The Bird whose being no man knows-
The voice that waketh all night through-

Tells to the Rose.

For lo,-a garden-place I found,
Well filled of leaves, and stilled of sound,

Well flowered, with red fruit marvelous;
And 'twixt the shining trunks would fit
Tall knights and silken maids, or sit

1 Reprinted through special arrangement with Mr. Alban Dobson and with the Oxford University Press.

With faces bent and amorous;-
There, in the heart thereof, and crowned
With woodbine and amaracus,

My Love I found.

Alone she walked,-ah, well I wis,
My heart leapt up for joy of this!-

Then when I called to her her name, -
The name, that like a pleasant thing
Men's lips remember, murmuring, -

At once across the sward she came:
Full fain she seemed, my own dear maid,
And asked ever as 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,
For, looking in her eyes, I saw
A light not lit of mortal law;

And in her clear cheek's changeless red,
And sweet, unshaken speaking found
That in this place the Hours were dead,

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;
Men mourn not here, with dull dead eye,

By shrouded shapes of Yesterday;
Betwixt the Coming and the Past
The flawless life hangs fixen fast

In one unwearying To-day,
That darkens not; for Sin is shriven,
Death from the doors is thrust away,

And here is Heaven.

At "Heaven” she ceased;—and lifted up
Her fair head like a flower-cup,

With rounded mouth, and eyes aglow;
Then set I lips to hers, and felt,-
Ah, God,—the hard pain fade and melt,

And past things change to painted show;
The song of quiring birds outbroke;
The lit leaves laughed, ---sky shook, and lo,

I swooned, -and woke.

I see

And now, O Flowers,-
Ye that indeed are dead,–
Now for all waiting hours,

Well am I comforted;
For of a surety, now,

That, without dim distress

Of tears, or weariness,
My lady, verily, awaiteth me;
So that until with Her I be,

For my dear Lady's sake

I am right fain to make
Out from my pain a pillow, and to take

Grief for a golden garment unto me;

Knowing that I, at last, shall stand

In that green garden-land,
And, in the holding of my dear Love's hand,
Forget the grieving and the misery.

Austin Dobson

123

THE BALLAD OF DEAD LADIES

TELI

'ELL me now in what hidden

way

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,
Only heard on river and mere,

She whose beauty was more than human?
But where are the snows of yesteryear?

Where's Héloïse, the learned nun,

For whose sake Abeillard, I ween,
Lost manhood and put priesthood on?

(From Love he won such dule and teen!)

And where, I pray you, is the Queen
Who willed that Buridan should steer

Sewed in a sack's mouth down the Seine?
But where are the snows of yesteryear?

White Queen Blanche, like a queen of lilies,

With a voice like any mermaiden, -
Bertha Broadfoot, Beatrice, Alice,

And Ermengarde the lady of Maine,

And that good Joan whom Englishmen
At Rouen doomed and burned her there,–

Mother of God, where are they then?
But where are the snows of yesteryear?

i Translated by Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

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