A Little While

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Production Description

Document Title: A Little While
Author: DGR
Date of composition: 1859
Type of Manuscript: fair copy
Scribe: DGR


Current Location: Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, the University of Texas at Austin.
Catalog Number: Ms (Rossetti, DG) Works HANLEY II

Physical Description

Cover: black morocco, inscribed:




Scholarly Commentary


This small booklet contains both a fair-copy manuscript of DGR's A Little While and a preceding printed transcription. The manuscript contains no substantive variants. Only in the penultimate line does one find any accidental variants: the two commas present in all the printed versions are here absent. If intentional, the suppression of pointing brings the line in parallel with the penultimate lines of both the first and second stanzas, which also lack punctuation, and quickens the pace of the poem's finale. Instead of lingering, the final lines now rush to the conclusion of forgetfulness.

The transcription varies little from all other printings of the work. The only exception is the drop-capital that heads the first line. DGR used drop-capitals in both The Early Italian Poets and Dante and His Circle . In each case, the drop capital extends over two horizontal lines, not three as in the present example. None of DGR's other printed works use such a device. And none of DGR's works ever listed the date of composition, as this print does. Such evidence indicates the print was likely done up for a collector or bookseller. The printed transcription was also, with little doubt, set up from another printed version of the text, not the present manuscript. The transcription includes the punctuation missing from the manuscripts penultimate line and it adopts the indentation scheme of the printed versions as opposed to the manuscript, in which the final line of each stanza is indented the same as (not more than) other indented lines.

Textual History: Composition

The manuscript probably dates from 1859, the date when the poem was apparently composed.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: 3-1859.texms.rad.xml