Dawn on the Night Journey

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1855
Rhyme: abbaaccadefdef
Meter: iambic pentameter
Genre: sonnet


Editorial glosses and textual notes are available in a pop-up window. Line numbering reflects the structure of the 1911.

Scholarly Commentary


The sonnet distinctly recalls “The Hill Summit” and, to a lesser extent, “The Landmark”, both of which were written in the early/mid 50s. All three treat the theme of a journey shadowed by a sense of loss and ominous possibilities.

Textual History: Composition

No manuscript of the poem has appeared. WMR, who first published it, dated the sonnet 1855 but gave no reason for assigning that date.

Printing History

First published by WMR in his 1886 edition (I. 303), and collected thereafter.


If the date of 1855 is correct, and if we may take lines 12-13 to have a basis in reality, the poem may have been written in late June 1855 when DGR travelled to Clevedon, on the Somerset coast, to be with Elizabeth.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: 3-1855.raw.xml