Alternately titled: Unburied Death

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1848
Rhyme: abbaabbacdecde
Meter: iambic pentameter
Genre: sonnet


◦ Baum, Manuscripts in the Duke University Library 1931, 14-15, 56-65

◦ Winwar, “Dante Gabriel's or William Michael's?”, March 1933, 312-315

Scholarly Commentary


This is one of the group of sonnets that DGR and WMR wrote to rhymes set by each other. The brothers played this verse game between 1847-1849, and principally in 1848. The rule was that the sonnet should be written quickly, in five to ten minutes (see 1911, pages 673-674 ). Eighteen survive, six of which were published by WMR in his edition of 1911, pages 263-267 . Baum published the rest in his Manuscripts in the Duke University Library pages 56-65 , among which was this poem. The only authoritative source text is the Duke Library manuscript.

Printing History

Paull Baum noted a text of this sonnet (titled “Unburied Death”) in the Duke Library manuscript collection and he gave a collation of its variants from the text WMR printed in 1911 (see Baum, 15), where the sonnet was first published.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: 14-1848.raw.xml