On the Field of Waterloo

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1849 October
Rhyme: iambic pentameter
Meter: abbaaccadeffed
Genre: sonnet


Editorial glosses and textual notes are available in a pop-up window. Line numbering reflects the structure of the Manuscript text from DGR's letter to WMR .

Scholarly Commentary


This interesting sonnet should be compared with the very different sentiments expressed by Byron in his various famous verse reflections on Waterloo (see especially the Waterloo stanzas in Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, Cantos III). The religious ideas that shape DGR's secular view of the world produces his characteristically indifferent response. The tone is congruent with his cool, even cynical, attitude to contemporary political affairs. (Like Byron, however, he was anything but cool and indifferent to disfunctional social circumstances.)

Textual History: Composition

DGR wrote the poem late in October 1849.

Printing History

First printed in 1895 by WMR (see Family Letters, II. 79 ) and collected thereafter.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: 27-1849.raw.xml