Study Guide

The Blessed Damozel Summary

By Dante Gabriel Rossetti

The Blessed Damozel Summary

"The Blessed Damozel" starts off with a damozel who is…blessed. That's because she's up in heaven, leaning over a golden balcony to look back down at Earth. She's wearing a plain white robe; has golden, flowing hair; and is looking very fresh-faced.

You know who seems less fresh-faced? It's the person who interrupts this poem to lament being separated from this young woman—for ten years now. He's back on Earth, imagining being in her presence, but they're still separated by life and death, Earth and heaven.

It's quite a separation, too. Heaven is so high up that it's hard to even see the sun from where the damozel (damsel) is standing, and the Earth looks like a tiny bug.

Meanwhile, the damsel is surrounded by the souls of reunited lovers—happy to be together for eternity. No such luck for her, though. She can only lean on the balcony railing and feel bummed.

Back on Earth, her beloved thinks that he hears her voice in bird songs and feels her presence in bell chimes. Of course, this is just a fantasy.

The damsel, for her part, is also into fantasies. She wishes for her beloved to come to her, but then she convinces herself that he will come—dressed in a white robe and with his very own halo. They'll have a place alone to enjoy away from everyone, and then they'll go hang out together underneath the Tree of Life. It sounds like a pretty swell picnic.

The damsel goes on to fantasize that she'll teach her beloved how to sing like her, and that each time he pauses he'll be filled with new knowledge. Her beloved, though, is not so convinced. Back on Earth, he's worried that he'll never get into heaven. He thinks that loving the damozel is the only thing he's done to qualify for entrance.

The young woman has no such doubts. She continues to fantasize that, once they're together in heaven, she'll take her beloved to visit Mary, the mother of Jesus. She'll tell Mary and Mary's handmaidens all about her love for this dude—and she'll tell them all with pride.

Mary—according to the woman's ongoing fantasy—will approve of her message, taking her and her man by the hands and leading them to meet with Jesus. The damozel will then ask Jesus directly to allow her and her beloved to live forever in heaven "With Love"—just as they did back on Earth.

What will Jesus say? We're not told, as the damsel breaks off her fantasy with a pledge to do exactly that—once her beloved does meet her in heaven. In the meantime, though, she can only put her head down on the balcony railing and cry (sniff).