Rossetti Archive Textual Transcription

Document Title: The Sonnet (Rosenbach Library second corrected copy)
Author: Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Date of Composition: 1880
Type of Manuscript: fair copy manuscript with corrections

The full Rossetti Archive record for this transcribed document is available.

Image of page [1] page: [1]
Manuscript Addition: 2
Editorial Description: DGR's numeration in the upper right corner
Manuscript Addition: ring to
Editorial Description: At the lower left: DGR's fair pencil variant for the word “guerdon” in line 11.
The Sonnet
  • A Sonnet is a moment's monument, —
  • Memorial from thy soul's eternity
  • To one dead deathless hour. Look that it be,
  • Whether for lustral rite or dire portent,
  • Of its own intricate fulness reverent:
  • Carve it in ivory or ebony,
  • As Day or Night claim rule; and let men see
  • Its every flower flowering crest impearled and orient.
  • A sonnet is a coin, whose face reveals
  • 10Thyself, and its reverse, to whom 'tis due : —
  • Whether it guerdon ring to guerdon Life's august appeals;
  • Or dower thy service in Love's retinue;
  • Or, nigh that wharf where sinks each all labouring breath,
  • In Charon's hand palm it pay the toll to Death.
Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Copyright: By permission of The Rosenbach Library