Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1874 February
Rhyme: abbaaccadeedde
Meter: iambic pentameter
Genre: sonnet


Editorial glosses and textual notes are available in a pop-up window. Line numbering reflects the structure of the The first edition of the 1881 Ballads and Sonnets..

Scholarly Commentary


The sonnet contrasts sharply with its companion sonnet “Spring” written nearly a year earlier. The difference is not merely in the subject matter but in the stylistic treatment. The detail recorded in this sonnet is highly particular and immediate—not at all unlike the early PRB manner. The “Spring” sonnet is, by contrast, a study in imaginative surmise.

Textual History: Composition

DGR wrote the sonnet sometime shortly before 23 February 1874, as he told his mother in a letter of that date in which he enclosed a copy of the sonnet. There is an early draft fragment of three lines preserved in the second of the small Ashley note books. Two integral manuscripts survive: a fair copy from 1874 in the Bodleian, and the printer's copy manuscript for the 1881 printing.

Printing History

First published in the 30 May 1874 issue of The Athenaeum as the first of the two sonnets headed together “Thames Valley Sonnets”. DGR then republished it as a separate sonnet in the 1881 Ballads and Sonnets and it has been collected thereafter.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: 9-1873.raw.xml