(For a Drawing. [of the same name])

Here meet together the prefiguring day
     And day prefigured. 'Eating, thou shalt stand,
    Feet shod, loins girt, thy road-staff in thine hand,
With blood-stained door and lintel,' — did God say
By Moses' mouth in ages passed away.
     And now, where this poor household doth comprise
     At Paschal-Feast two kindred families, —
Lo! the slain lamb confronts the Lamb to slay.

The pyre is piled. What agony's crown attained,
     What shadow of death the Boy's fair brow subdues
Who holds that blood wherewith the porch is stained
     By Zachary the priest? John binds the shoes
     He deemed himself not worthy to unloose;
And Mary culls the bitter herbs ordained.

*The scene is in the house-porch, where Christ holds a bowl of blood from which Zacharias is sprinkling the posts and lintel. Joseph has brought the lamb and Elisabeth lights the pyre. The shoes which John fastens and the bitter herbs which Mary is gathering form part of the ritual. [DGR's note]


Rossetti, Dante Gabriel. The Poetical Works. 2 vols. [Ed. William Michael Rossetti.] Boston: Little, Brown, 1913. I, 281-82. American printing of British edition published by Roberts Brothers, 1887. [Text scanned, edited, formatted, and linked by George P. Landow.]

Last modified 5 November 2003