Dante Gabriel Rossetti

(12 May 1828 – 9 April 1882 / London / England)

The Gloom that Breathes Upon Me


The gloom that breathes upon me with these airs
Is like the drops which stike the traveller's brow
Who knows not, darkling, if they bring him now
Fresh storm, or be old rain the covert bears.
Ah! bodes this hour some harvest of new tares,
Or hath but memory of the day whose plough
Sowed hunger once, -- the night at length when thou,
O prayer found vain, didst fall from out my prayers?

How prickly were the growths which yet how smooth,
Along the hedgerows of this journey shed,
Lie by Time's grace till night and sleep may soothe!
Even as the thisteldown from pathsides dead
Gleaned by a girl in autumns of her youth,
Which one new year makes soft her marriage-bed.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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