A Valentine from Rossetti

Kindly contributed to this site by Gary Attlesey

Dante Rossetti: A Valentine

Published in Ruskin, Rossetti, and Pre-Raphaelitism by William Michael Rossetti (London, George Allen 1899)
I do not know which year this belongs to. It speaks of Miss Siddal as being absent, but (seemingly) as if she could enter any moment. This would exclude from count the year 1856, when she was away in Nice. The verses are amusing, and though they were not suited for Collected Works of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, they may come here.
[William Michael Rossetti 1899.]
[15 February 1855.]

Yesterday was St. Valentine.
Thought you at all, dear dove divine,
Upon the beard in sorry trim
And rueful countenance of him,
That Orson who’s your valentine?
He daubed, you know, as usual.
The stick would slip, then brush would
fall:
Yet daubed he till the lamplighter
Set those two seedy flames astir;
But growled all day at slow St. Paul.
The bore was heard ere noon; the dun
Was at the door by half-past one:
At least ’tis thought so, but the clock-
No Lizzy there to help its stroke-
Struck work before the day begun.
At length he saw St. Paul’s bright orb
Flash backĀ  the serried tide absorb
That burning West which it sucked up
Like wine poured in a water-cup;
And one more twilight toned his daub.
Some time over the fire he sat,
So lonely that he missed his cat;
Then wildly rushed to dine on tick-
Nine minutes swearing for his stick,
And thirteen minutes for his hat.
And now another day is gone:
Once more that intellectual one
Desists from high minded pursuits,
And hungry, staring at his boots,
Has not the strength to pull them on.
Come back, dear Liz, and, looking wise
In that arm-chair which suits your size,
Through some fresh drawing scrape a hole.
Your Valentine and Orson’s soul
Is sad for those two friendly eyes.

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