WMR, DGR Designer and Writer, 200
Baum, ed., House of Life,
Editorial glosses and textual notes are available in a pop-up window. Line numbering reflects the structure of the Ballads and
Sonnets First Edition Text.
This is the sonnet where commentators perceive the first clear distinction
between the Beloved (the “Old Love”) and the
Innominata (the “New Love“). These two figures are not
here realistically coded (least of all more closely identified with
Elizabeth Siddall and Jane Morris) but instead enter as allegorical shapes.
As such they are most strongly coded as an internalized romantic psychomachia.
WMR dates the poem 1871, perhaps because of DGR's nostalgic letter of 2
August 1871 to William Bell Scott, perhaps even more because of the fragmentary drafts of
the sonnet that appear near the beginning of the small Notebook II (pages 3v, 4v, 9r) in the
Ashley collection, whose texts date from 1871-1879.
Four holograph manuscripts survive: an early, perhaps the first, draft where
it is titled “Love's Changes”; a corrected fair
copy in the Fitzwilliam compilation of “The House of Life” and two
other fair copies, one in the Library of Congress, the
other a late fair copy in the British Library (Ashley 3858), which appears to be the copy he sent to Hall Caine in a letter of 17 December 1880
Fredeman, Correspondence, 80. 383
First published in The Athenaeum (no. 2810, 3 September 1881, page 305). Published again shortly
afterwards in the 1881 Ballads and Sonnets and collected thereafter.