Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A SEA-SPELL (FOR A PICTURE), by DANTE GABRIEL ROSSETTI



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A SEA-SPELL (FOR A PICTURE), by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Her lute hangs shadowed in the apple-tree
Last Line: And up her rock, bare-breasted, comes to die?
Alternate Author Name(s): Rossetti, Gabriel Charles Dante
Subject(s): Sea; Sirens (mythology); Supernatural; Ocean


HER lute hangs shadowed in the apple-tree,
While flashing fingers weave the sweet-strung spell
Between its chords; and as the wild notes swell,
The sea-bird for those branches leaves the sea.
But to what sound her listening ear stoops she?
What netherworld gulf-whispers doth she hear,
In answering echoes from what planisphere,
Along the wind, along the estuary?

She sinks into her spell: and when full soon
Her lips move and she soars into her song,
What creatures of the midmost main shall throng
In furrowed surf-clouds to the summoning rune:
Till he, the fated mariner, hears her cry,
And up her rock, bare-breasted, comes to die?





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