Do you know the Dreadful Nightman

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1881 May
Subject: Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Rhyme: a3a3b2b2a3
Meter: iambic

Scholarly Commentary


This limerick on Tennyson was not included among WMR's collection included in his 1911 edition. DGR sent it to Watts in a letter of 9 May 1881. It was first printed in Doughty and Wahl, Letters, IV. 1881 .

DGR's epigram was inspired by the recent (1880) appearance of Tennyson's “In the Children's Hospital” in his Ballads and Other Poems. Like many other Victorians, Tennyson imagined that athiests were specially subject to despair in the face of death, a view Swinburne found particularly amusing, and which he parodied.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: 37bb-1869.raw.xml