The End of It (18th June 1815)

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1845
Rhyme: a4b3c4b3d4e3f4e3
Meter: iambic
Genre: ballad
The rhyme scheme and stanza structure vary in the third and second stanzas respectively. Stanza 2 has nine lines, and the last four all have three stresses; the rhyme is: abcbdefee. Stanza 3 rhymes: ababcdefe. Also, the ballad measure breaks into anapaests in an irregular way at several points in the poem.


◦ Baum, Manuscripts in the Duke University Library, 11

◦ Gregory, Life and Works of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, II. 102

◦ Mégroz, Painter Poet of Heaven and Earth, 40-41

◦ Wise, The Ashley Library, IV. 109-11


Editorial glosses and textual notes are available in a pop-up window. Line numbering reflects the structure of the Ashley Library Manuscript Text.

Scholarly Commentary


DGR sent the poem to Swinburne in a letter of 23 February 1870 as “one of fifty short pieces. . .which I have found among my reliques and rejected” from inclusion in the 1870 Poems volume. The latter volume would be published shortly after this letter, in April. DGR told Swinburne this was “what I may call my first poem (after still more childish things) I believe, and enclose it to you for a lark” (see Fredeman, Correspondence, 70. 32 ).

The poem serves to index the way DGR was thinking about his 1870 volume: as a book that was to represent the development and shape (both formal and historical) of his poetic work.

Textual History: Composition

The manuscript sent to Swinburne is dated 18 June 1845 by DGR—the thirtieth anniversary of Waterloo. A partial manuscript survives (Duke University library), probably from an early Notebook, which shows some revisions to the text. This manuscript is written on one of the leaves that comprise the Duke manuscript of “To Mary in Summer”.

Printing History

The poem was first printed (from the manuscript sent to Swinburne) in 1923 by T. J. Wise in the Ashley Library, IV. 109-111 ; Baum printed the Duke manuscript text in 1931 ( Manuscripts in the Duke University Library, 11 ).


The poem recreates the event of Waterloo (June 1815) at the moment that Napoleon realizes his defeat has been accomplished.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: 2-1845.raw.xml