Secret Parting

Alternately titled: Love's Moments

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1869
Rhyme: abbaabbacddccd
Meter: iambic pentameter
Genre: sonnet


◦ Baum, ed., The House of Life, 129-131

◦ WMR, DGR as Designer and Writer, 212-213


Editorial glosses and textual notes are available in a pop-up window. Line numbering reflects the structure of the 1870 First Edition Text.

Scholarly Commentary


The argument of this sonnet is perhaps clearer in the Poems (1870) text than in the 1881 text—because in the former it comes into the sequence immediately after Sleepless Dreams. The sestet of “Secret Parting” connects directly to the thoughts and ideas of the latter.

Textual History: Composition

Before mid-Autumn 1869 (see WMR, Classified Lists, 7 ); but it would have been written before August 1869, for it is printed in the Penkill Proofs for the 1870 volume.

Two manuscripts survive, both gathered in the Fitzwilliam composite “House of Life” manuscript: DGR's fair copy and his heavily corrected draft.

Textual History: Revision

DGR altered the third line from its Penkill Proof text, but the sonnet remained stable thereafter.

Printing History

First printed in mid-August 1869 as part of the Penkill Proofs, the sonnet remained in all proof stages and was published in the 1870 Poems and thereafter. It is The House of Life Sonnet XX in the 1870 volume, and Sonnet XLV in 1881.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: 11-1869.raw.xml