Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Blessed Damozel

 The Blessed Damozel

By Dante Gabriel Rossetti


THE blessed Damozel lean'd out 
         From the gold bar of Heaven: 
Her blue grave eyes were deeper much 
         Than a deep water, even. 
She had three lilies in her hand, 
         And the stars in her hair were seven. 

Her robe, ungirt from clasp to hem, 
         No wrought flowers did adorn, 
But a white rose of Mary's gift 
         On the neck meetly worn; 
And her hair, lying down her back, 
         Was yellow like ripe corn. 

Herseem'd she scarce had been a day 
         One of God's choristers; 
The wonder was not yet quite gone 
         From that still look of hers; 
Albeit, to them she left, her day 
         Had counted as ten years. 

(To one it is ten years of years: 
         ...Yet now, here in this place, 
Surely she lean'd o'er me,--her hair 
         Fell all about my face.... 
Nothing: the Autumn-fall of leaves. 
         The whole year sets apace.) 

It was the terrace of God's house 
         That she was standing on,-- 
By God built over the sheer depth 
         In which Space is begun; 
So high, that looking downward thence, 
         She scarce could see the sun. 

It lies from Heaven across the flood 
         Of ether, as a bridge. 
Beneath, the tides of day and night 
         With flame and darkness ridge 
The void, as low as where this earth 
         Spins like a fretful midge. 

But in those tracts, with her, it was 
         The peace of utter light 
And silence. For no breeze may stir 
         Along the steady flight 
Of seraphim; no echo there, 
         Beyond all depth or height. 

Heard hardly, some of her new friends, 
         Playing at holy games, 
Spake gentle-mouth'd, among themselves, 
         Their virginal chaste names; 
And the souls, mounting up to God, 
         Went by her like thin flames. 

And still she bow'd herself, and stoop'd 
         Into the vast waste calm; 
Till her bosom's pressure must have made 
         The bar she lean'd on warm, 
And the lilies lay as if asleep 
         Along her bended arm. 

From the fixt lull of Heaven, she saw 
         Time, like a pulse, shake fierce 
Through all the worlds. Her gaze still strove, 
         In that steep gulf, to pierce 
The swarm; and then she spoke, as when 
         The stars sang in their spheres. 

'I wish that he were come to me, 
         For he will come,' she said. 
'Have I not pray'd in solemn Heaven? 
         On earth, has he not pray'd? 
Are not two prayers a perfect strength? 
         And shall I feel afraid? 

'When round his head the aureole clings, 
         And he is clothed in white, 
I'll take his hand, and go with him 
         To the deep wells of light, 
And we will step down as to a stream 
         And bathe there in God's sight. 

'We two will stand beside that shrine, 
         Occult, withheld, untrod, 
Whose lamps tremble continually 
         With prayer sent up to God; 
And see our old prayers, granted, melt
Each like a little cloud. 

'We two will lie i' the shadow of 
         That living mystic tree 
Within whose secret growth the Dove 
         Sometimes is felt to be, 
While every leaf that His plumes touch 
         Saith His name audibly. 

'And I myself will teach to him,-- 
         I myself, lying so,-- 
The songs I sing here; which his mouth 
         Shall pause in, hush'd and slow, 
Finding some knowledge at each pause, 
         And some new thing to know.'

I read this poem in Class X. I love the part which is highlighted which means that every prayer on earth lights a lamp in heaven and every time that is heard it goes up in smoke. Its so beautiful to imagine hundreds and millions and thousands of lamps. WOW !!!!!! And searching for this poem on the net also taught me a few things. You do find what you are looking for, if you look well. I just remembered the lines I like and that too in simple English not as written by the poet, I did not remember the name of the poem, nor the poet. But I did find it. I remembered i more line the about the girl have seven stars in her hair. Don't ask what all sites and results it got. You might say that in today's world google solves every question but then you need that effort. I think it would have easier to find it in the book. I would have looked up Class X poems , though the syllabus has changed. I did come across my Class Xth Board English paper during the search ... that was something!! Well just wanted to share a poem I liked, for the lack of my own creation. Also like the poem because of its love and loss theme. Its a longer poem than I have posted here. Do not remember reading the whole thing in school. I guess they wanted us to read till the hopeful part. How sweet !!!!! For those who want to read the whole poem the link is given below. 


  1. Nice poem...searching the past is something which i also do frequently...gr8 to know that others also do it :)

  2. yeah !! :) coming across my class X board paper was something !!!