Barcarola (“Oltre tomba”)

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1875
Rhyme: aabbcc
Meter: iambic dimeter
Genre: song

Scholarly Commentary

Textual History: Composition

As with the Italian cradle song “Bambino Fasciato” and the other Italian song titled “Barcarola”, we know this work from the manuscript drafts that DGR copied into notebooks he used in the 1870s. This short piece is the best of these songs and is, indeed, quite a delicate piece of work. The most complete draft is at Duke.

Printing History

First printed by WMR from an unknown manuscript in volume I (page 375) of his 1886 collected edition of DGR's works, and collected thereafter.


The song may be loosely rendered thus: What thing is more than a coffin? And who called it that? Will we be happy there? A land never still, and an unthundering sea.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: 38-1875.raw.xml