Rossetti Archive Textual Transcription

Document Title: The Sonnet (Yale fair copy)
Author: Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Date of Composition: 1880

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

Image of page [1] page: [1]
The Sonnet
  • 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 due:—
  • 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.
D.G. Rossetti
Image of page [2] page: [2]
This is the original enclosure inserted in

Rossetti's letter printed at p. 254 of

Recollections of Rossetti and presented

by me to my friend Eric S. Robertson.

T. Hall Caine.
Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: 1-1880.yalems.rad.xml
Copyright: © Yale University, Center for British Art