Student Question

Why is the damozel in "The Blessed Damozel" unhappy?

Quick answer:

The damozel in Dante Gabriel Rossetti's poem “The Blessed Damozel” is unhappy even in Heaven because her beloved has not yet joined her, and she seems to wonder if he ever will.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In Dante Gabriel Rossetti's poem “The Blessed Damozel,” the titular lady is looking down from Heaven. She has been there ten years now, and she is more beautiful than ever. She holds the lilies of purity in her hand, and she looks out from eyes grown deeper than still waters. She is crowned with stars, and she gazes with wonder at her surroundings.

Yet all around this lady are “lovers, newly met / 'Mid deathless love's acclaims.” These lovers are greeting each other with joy and flying up to God together. But the lady's own lover (the speaker of the poem) is not beside her. “I wish that he were come to me,” she exclaims. She has prayed for him, and she believes that he, too, has prayed. These two prayers joined together, she thinks, should have “a perfect strength.”

The lady then dreams of what she and her beloved will do when he gets to Heaven. They will explore the “deep wells of light” and bathe in a beautiful stream “in God's sight.” They will sing together and learn new things all the time. They will visit the Blessed Virgin Mary in the groves. The lady will tell him of of her love, and they will be united forever.

Yet in spite of the lady's beautiful dreams, none of this has happened yet. “All this is when he comes,” she says with a prayer and a smile. Yet then she puts her “face between her hands” and weeps, for her beloved is not with her, and perhaps, somewhere deep down, she wonders if he will ever arrive.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial