Love and Hope

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1871
Rhyme: abbaabbacddcee
Meter: iambic
Genre: sonnet


◦ WMR, DGR Designer and Writer, 211-212

◦ Baum, ed., House of Life, 126-127

Scholarly Commentary


The sonnet is explicitly linked to the previous sonnet in the sequence of “The House of Life”, “Hope Overtaken”, and to the one immediately succeeding, “Cloud and WInd”. Baum (127) rightly points out that this sonnet, like the previous sonnet and so many others, “may be read in two ways”. He notes that the octave would most easily be read in relation to DGR and his wife while the sestet is torqued in the other direction. The phrase ending line 8, “for we are here”, is the functional pivot for the equivocation. To the degree that the ambiguity pervades this sonnet, that phrase necessarily acquires a haunted and haunting overtone.

Textual History: Composition

An early draft of the sonnet is in the library of the Delaware Art Museum. Three fair copies survive as well: May Morris's fair copy with DGR's alternate readings in the Fitzwilliam composite “House of Life”; a corrected copy gathered in the Troxell composite “House of Life” sequence (this is the manuscript closest to the received text); and the holograph fair copy in the Bodleian Kelmscott Love Sonnets group.

Printing History

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

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: 24-1871.raw.xml