Her Gifts

Alternately titled: My Lady's Gifts

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1871
Rhyme: abbaabbacddcee
Meter: iambic pentameter
Genre: sonnet


◦ WMR, DGR Designer and Writer, 203-204

◦ Baum, ed., House of Life, 107-109


Editorial glosses and textual notes are available in a pop-up window. Line numbering reflects the structure of the 1881 Poems First Edition text.

Scholarly Commentary


Baum (page 108) quotes Frederick Page to suggest that DGR wrote a commentary on this sonnet. But the quoted passage is actually from the fragmentary textual remains that we have for an imitation canzone DGR began in 1866, which he titled “My Lady”. Nonetheless, this sonnet and that fragmentary earlier work are related through their common descent from early Italian “praise of my lady” poems.

The sonnet plainly calls back to “Love's Testament”, which itself is a sonnet deeply invested in Dantean materials.

Textual History: Composition

The sonnet descends to us in five integral manuscripts, all fair copies: a loose copy in the Bancroft collection; a copy in the Fitzwilliam compilation of “The House of Life”; a copy made for Jane Morris and gathered in the Kelmscott Love sonnets sequence; and two copies in the Library of Congress, one in the H. B. Forman collection, the other the printer's copy manuscript.

Printing History

First published in the 1881 Ballads and Sonnets and collected thereafter.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: 16-1871.raw.xml