William Michael Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1850
Rhyme: a4b4a4c4 bdd4
Meter: iambic
Genre: poem on the subject of a picture


◦ Fredeman 145-148


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

Scholarly Commentary


The poem is WMR's. It clearly is placed so as to form a small unit with Coventry Patmore's essay on Macbeth, which immediately follows it. WMR undertook the poem—at DGR's urging—to accompany the drawing by Madox Brown which precedes it in The Germ as frontispiece. DGR was supposed to do the poem but failed to produce anything. WMR began the poem around mid-March (see Fredeman, The P.R.B. Journal, 63). The obligatory character of the work shows through in its distinct lack of vigour. Nonetheless, the poem is an interesting early example of a genre that DGR would make one of his special forms: the poem on the subject of a picture.

Printing History

First printed in The Germ no. 3, pages 97-98.


The poem accompanies Ford Madox Brown's Cordelia, which appears in an etching as frontspiece to the third number of The Germ.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1