WMR, DGR Designer and Writer, 211-212
Baum, ed., House of Life, 126-127
The sonnet is explicitly linked to the previous sonnet in the sequence of “The House of
Overtaken”, and to the one immediately succeeding,
WInd”. Baum (127) rightly points out that this sonnet, like the previous
sonnet and so many others, “may be read in two ways”. He notes that the
octave would most easily be read in relation to DGR and his wife while the sestet is
torqued in the other direction. The phrase ending line 8, “for we are here”, is the
functional pivot for the equivocation. To the degree that the ambiguity pervades this sonnet,
that phrase necessarily acquires a haunted and haunting overtone.
An early draft of the sonnet is in the
library of the Delaware Art Museum. Three fair copies survive as well:
May Morris's fair
copy with DGR's alternate readings in the Fitzwilliam composite “House of
copy gathered in the Troxell composite “House of Life” sequence (this is the manuscript closest to the received text);
and the holograph fair
copy in the Bodleian Kelmscott Love Sonnets group.
First published in the 1881 Ballads and Sonnets and collected thereafter.