The poem interprets DGR's chalk drawing of his picture of
Its subtlety is perhaps most explicit in its final lines, where it is left
ambiguous whether the “gift” refers to DGR's picture or to Pandora's box. That
double reference, along with the realistic London setting, emphasizes the poem's view of
DGR's aesthetic idealism as a dark reflex of, and commentary upon, the artist's position
in the world of late nineteenth-century London. In that respect the poem draws
an arresting parallel between DGR's and Baudelaire's urbanized aesthetic practices.
In 1874 a similar poetical interpretation (written as a sonnet)
was composed for DGR's large oil
Dante's Dream at the
Time of the Death of Beatrice.
The manuscript poem has never been printed.