Ten years ago it seemed impossible
That she should ever grow as calm as this,
With self-remembrance in her warmest kiss
And dim dried eyes like an exhausted well.
Slow-speaking when she has some fact to tell,
Silent with long unbroken silences,
Centred in self yet not unpleased to please,
Gravely monotonous like a passing bell.
Mindful of drudging daily common things,
Patient at pastime, patient at her work,
Weary perhaps but strenuous certainly.
Sometimes I fancy that we may one day see
Her head shoot forth seven stars from where they lurk
And her eyes lightnings and her shoulders wings.
There is an excerpt from Rossetti’s Goblin Market on this site. Although I do not find Rossetti’s angels as terrifying as those written by Nagy or Atwood, I wonder at how the writer tells a metamorphosis.