Dante Gabriel Rossetti, The Sonnet (1880)

From Angl-Am
Jump to: navigation, search


A sonnet is a moment's monument, --
Memorial from the Soul's eternity
To one dead deathless hour. Look that it be,
Whether for lustral rite or dire portent,
Of its own arduous fulness reverent:
Carve it in ivory or in ebony,
As Day or Night may rule; and let Time see
Its flowering crest impearled and orient.

A Sonnet is a coin: its face reveals
The soul, -- its converse, to what Power 'tis due: --
Whether for tribute to the august appeals
Of Life, or dower in Love's high retinue,
It serve, or, 'mid the dark wharf's cavernous breath,
In Charon's palm it pay the toll of Death.

Critical Edition

Dante Gabriel Rossetti. "The Sonnet [1881]." The Works. Ed. William Michael Rossetti. Hildesheim, New York: Georg Olms Verlag, 1972. 74.

Further Reading

  • Wagner, Jennifer A. "A Moment's Monument: Temporal Revision and the Sonnet Form of D. G. Rossetti." Journal of Pre-Raphaelite Studies, 4 (1995 Spring), pp. 75-84.

External Links