Rossetti Archive Textual Transcription
Document Title: Sonnet on a first reading of “Sordello” (fair copy,
Houghton Library, Harvard U.)
Author: Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Date of Composition: 1849
Type of Manuscript: fair copy
full Rossetti Archive record for this transcribed document is available.
- “Sordello's story,” (The Sphinx yawned and said,)
- “Who would has heard.” Is this enough? Who
- ('Twere not amiss to add,) has understood,—
- Who understood, perhaps has profited.
- For my part, I might tell a tale, instead,
- Of one who, dreaming of no likelihood
- Even that the Book was going to stop for good,
- Turned the last leaf—and lo! the book was read.
- Now shame on thee, weak soul of mine! With hand
10 Guarding thy gathered brows, thou peerest at
- A perfect Image built into the sun,
- And say'st, “'Tis small and dim.” Nay, 'tis too grand
- With heighth and sunshine: and because of that,
- Fools scoff. But wilt thou too be such an one?
Electronic Archive Edition: 1