Algernon Stanhope. Sacred to the Memory of Algernon R.G. Stanhope (natus est 1838--obit 1847).

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1847 September
Rhyme: a4bc3bd4b3
Meter: irregular iambic
Genre: elegy


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

Scholarly Commentary


The most important feature of this early poem is the clear relation it bears to “The Blessed Damozel”, which DGR wrote about the same time. Images and phrasings recall DGR's famous poem at several points. The poem also recollects “My Sister's Sleep”, and it reminds us of DGR's early aptitude for constructing an ethos of Christian piety in his work.

WMR was the first to publish (part of) this early work—ten stanzas from the original poem comprising (he says) twenty-one stanzas. The excerpt is in his 1911 edition (pages 259-260). WMR informs us that the poem was written in September 1847 “some few months later than the original ‘Blessed Damozel’. It is about the only thing my brother wrote ‘to order’: i.e., he was requested by a family friend, Cavalier Mortara, to write some verses commemorative of a youthful member of the Stanhope family [Algernon Stanhope], known to Mortara but not to Rossetti” (see 1911 673n.).

Textual History: Composition

Written in September 1847, the poem descends to us in two fair copy manuscripts: the shorter fair copy in the Library of Congress; and the fair copy in the Ashley Library, which has two stanzas not in the Library of Congress manuscript. The Library of Congress manuscript is undated but is written on lined paper torn from an early notebook—paper very like that to be found in the Duke U. Library early notebook materials. The manuscript also contains, at the end of the transcript of the Stanhope elegy, a poor satiric epigram on Louis Philippe, King of France.

WMR's text was apparently printed from another manuscript, which was dated September 1847 (according to WMR). This manuscript has not appeared.

Printing History

The poem was first published by WMR in his edition of 1911.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: 8-1847.raw.xml