Mary's Girlhood (for a Picture)

Original Text: 
Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Poems (London: Ellis and White, 1881). end R677 A155 1881 Fisher Rare Book Library (Toronto).
2      God's Virgin. Gone is a great while, and she
3      Dwelt young in Nazareth of Galilee.
4Unto God's will she brought devout respect,
5Profound simplicity of intellect,
6      And supreme patience. From her mother's knee
7      Faithful and hopeful; wise in charity;
8Strong in grave peace; in pity circumspect.
9So held she through her girlhood; as it were
10      An angel-water'd lily, that near God
11           Grows and is quiet. Till, one dawn at home,
12She woke in her white bed, and had no fear
13      At all,--yet wept till sunshine, and felt aw'd:
14           Because the fulness of the time was come.


1] Printed in the Catalogue of the Free Exhibition of Modern Art, Hyde Park Corner, 1849, to accompany Rossetti's first exhibited painting, The Girlhood of Mary Virgin. Rossetti worked with equal ease in the two arts of painting and poetry, and frequently developed a single theme in the two media. He expressed a belief that art attains its highest form when picture and poem meet and approach identity. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Margaret Frances (Sister St. Francis) Nims
RPO Edition: 
3RP 3.270.