THE BLESSED DAMOZEL by DG ROSSETTI published in 1850 was a poem that attempted to bring a Romantic spirit into the realm of art dominated by a decadent Classicism and Pre Raphaelite force.
The Blessed Damozel leaned out from the gold bar of heaven her eyes were deeper than the depth of waters stilled at even she had lilies in her hand and the stars in her hair were seven The blessed damozel perfectly justifies the fear of death to a person who is passionately in love.
For s/he fears not the death, the hell or the retribution but the separation from one’s lover. The damozel reaches heaven after her death but doesn’t cross over its threshold, awaiting her lover. She glorifies the exuberance of the heavenly beings and heavenly objects calling her lover so that they could both enjoy it together.
When around his head the aureole clings and he is clothed in white I’ll take his hand and go with him to the deep dwells of his light The poet pictures the damozel in heaven with superb beauty. Her gesture as she looks down thro’ the vastness of space into the void of universe, yearning for her earth bound lover. She sees time raging on as the sky darkens and the crescent moon appears.
And still she bowed herself and stooped out of the circling charm until her bosom must have made the bar she leaned on warm and the lilies lay as if asleep along her bended arm She’s innocent and expectant throughout the poem dreaming and longing for her lover to come and join her in heaven.
Towards the end of the poem she starts getting impatient and calls for him but is deeply distressed when she realizes that she has to enter the heaven alone. “all this is when he comes”, she ceased (I saw her smile) and then she cast her arms along the golden barriers and laid her face between her hands and wept (I heard her tears) There on the earth, her lover is lamenting her death. He’s recalling her voice her touch. Unaware of the fact that she’s pinning for him at the door of heaven, he thinks that he had an illusion where she called for him, reached out to him.
Surely, she leaned over me- her hair fell all about my face nothing! The autumn fall of leaves the whole year sets apace Ironic thing behind the poem is that it’s written by the poet at a very young age of 18 when understanding of the feeling of love is almost impossible yet this deep emotion of death being the everlasting distance between two loving souls is depicted flawlessly. Though the poem has fantastical foundations it appeals to the young hearts in love. Two inseparable souls on earth are put in two different worlds never to unite again.
In Plaintive outlook of such a scenario, the living one of the couple is aimed at and his/her remorse is noticed and sadness described but by focusing on the grief of the dead one the poet has broadened his perspective manifolds giving a very unusual and captivating theme to the readers. “I wish that he were come to me, for he will come”, she said have I not prayed in heaven? On earth Lord, has he not prayed? Are not two prayers a perfect strength? ” The language used is of adornment and fantastical nature as against the theme being solemn and melancholic.
Quite a lot of words in the poem are invested in relating the grandeur and splendor of heaven to the reader thro’ the damozel’s description, which in turn helps in accentuating the impending verdict of GOD that befalls the damozel in form of perpetual segregation from her lover. Circle wise the sit and with bound locks and foreheads garlanded into the fine cloth white like flame weaving the golden thread to fashion the birth robes for them who are just born being dead.