The Ballad of Dead Ladies

Original Text: 

The Complete Poetical Works of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, ed. William M. Rossetti (Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1887): 237-38. Internet Archive

1Tell me now in what hidden way is
2    Lady Flora the lovely Roman?
3Where's Hipparchia, and where is Thais,
4    Neither of them the fairer woman?
5    Where is Echo, beheld of no man,
6Only heard on river and mere, --
7    She whose beauty was more than human? ...
8But where are the snows of yester-year?
9Where's Héloise, the learned nun,
10    For whose sake Abeillard, I ween,
11Lost manhood and put priesthood on?
12    (From Love he won such dule and teen!)
13    And where, I pray you, is the Queen
14Who willed that Buridan should steer
15    Sewed in a sack's mouth down the Seine? ...
16But where are the snows of yester-year?
17White Queen Blanche, like a queen of lilies,
18    With a voice like any mermaiden, --
19Bertha Broadfoot, Beatrice, Alice,
20    And Ermengarde the lady of Maine, --
21    And that good Joan whom Englishmen
22At Rouen doomed and burned her there, --
23    Mother of God, where are they then? ...
24But where are the snows of yester-year?
25Nay, never ask this week, fair lord,
26    Where they are gone, nor yet this year,
27Except with this for an overword, --
28    But where are the snows of yester-year?
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
Data entry: Sharine Leung
RPO Edition: 
2012
Rhyme: