Rossetti Archive Textual Transcription
Document Title: The Sonnet (Yale fair copy)
Author: Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Date of Composition: 1880
full Rossetti Archive record for this transcribed document is available.
- A Sonnet is a moment's monument,—
- Memorial from the 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 in ebony,
- As Day or Night prevail; and let Time see
- It's flowering crest impearled and orient.
- A Sonnet is a coin: its face reveals
10Thy soul,—its converse, to what Power 'tis
- Whether for tribute to the august appeals
- Of Life, or dower in Love's high retinue,
- It serve; or, 'mid the dark wharf's cavernous breath,
- In Charon's palm it pay the toll to Death.
This is the original enclosure inserted in
Rossetti's letter printed at p.
Recollections of Rossetti
by me to my friend Eric S. Robertson.
T. Hall Caine.
Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Copyright: © Yale University, Center for British Art