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The Rossetti's were an English/Italian family of extraordinary literary and artistic talent. Dante Gabrielle Rossetti was tragically ill and unstable most of his life, but there can be no doubt he was a multi-talented artist -- poet, painter, architect, and translator. John Ruskin said he was the most outstanding creative force of his time. In 1872 he attempted suicide, was comatose for several days, but recovered and returned to prominence.

 

Of her I thought who now is gone so far:
    And, the thought passing over, to fall thence
    Was like a fall from spirit into sense
Or from the heaven of heavens to sun and star.
None other than Love's self ordained the bar
    'Twixt her and me; so that if, going hence,
    I met her, it could only seem a dense
Film of the brain,—just nought, as phantoms are.

Now when I passed your threshold and came in,
   And glanced where you were sitting, & did see
       Your tresses in these braids and your hands thus,—
I knew that other figure, grieved and thin,
   That seemed there, yea that was there, could not be,
       Though like God's wrath it stood dividing us.

 

I have been here before,
              But when or how I cannot tell:
          I know the grass beyond the door,
              The sweet keen smell,
    The sighing sound, the lights around the shore.          

You have been mine before,—
              How long ago I may not know:
          But just when at that swallow's soar
              Your neck turned so,
    Some veil did fall,—I knew it all of yore.          

Has this been thus before?
              And shall not thus time's eddying flight
          Still with our lives our love restore
              In death's despite,
    And day and night yield one delight once more?

 

Eat thou and drink; tomorrow thou shalt die.
Surely the earth, that's wise being very old,
Needs not our help. Then loose me, love, and hold
Thy sultry hair up from my face; that I
May pour for thee this golden wine, brim-high,
Till round the glass they fingers glow like gold.
We'll drown all hours: thy song, while hours are tolled,
Shall leap, as fountains vel the changing sky.

Now kiss, and think that there are really those,
My own high-bosomed beauty, who increase
Vain gold, vain lore, and yet might choose our way!
Through many years they tole, then on a day
They die not - for their life was death, - but cease;
And round their narrow lips the mould fall close.

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