The Moonstar

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1871
Rhyme: abbaaccadedeed
Meter: iambic pentameter
Genre: sonnet


◦ WMR, DGR Designer and Writer, 202-203

◦ Baum, ed., House of Life 106

Scholarly Commentary


Not much need be said of this sonnet, which is a conscious replication of a rhetoric widely dispersed in the poetry of Dante and his circle. DGR probably wanted it in the sequence exactly for that reason. In certain respects it “replaces” the lyric “Plighted Promise”, which was originally titled “The Moonstar” and which was the third of the lyrics included in the 1870 version of “The House of Life”.

Textual History: Composition

Four integral manuscripts come down to us: the Bancroft collection corrected draft; and three fair copies, one made for Jane Morris and the Kelmscott Love sonnets sequence; and two later copies, the fair copy in the Fitzwilliam compilation of The House of Life; and the one in the Library of Congress.

Printing History

First published in the 1881 Ballads and Sonnets and collected thereafter.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: 14-1871.raw.xml