Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1881
Rhyme: a5b3c5b5a5c5a5c5d3b5d5
Meter: iambic
Genre: lyric

Scholarly Commentary


“Hardly more than metrical notes” is Baum's terse comment on this small late poem (Baum, Poems Ballads and Sonnets, 340n ). The remark is pertinent because the entirety of the “Lyrics &c.” section of Ballads and Sonnets is devoted to poems that exhibit more or less extravagant prosodic features. The poems are often quite cryptic as a result, but this piece is one the most enigmatic of the group.

Textual History: Composition

This is a late poem, composed in 1881. A fragment of the first stanza is drafted into the small Notebook I in the British Library. Two integral manuscripts survive: a fair copy at Texas and the printer's copy at Princeton.

Printing History

First published in the first edition of the 1881 Ballads and Sonnets, collected thereafter.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: 11-1881.raw.xml