The Sonnet (Texas proof copy)

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Physical Description

Paper: India paper
Dimensions of Document: 7 5/16 x 4 9/16 in.

Production Description


Current Location: Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the Univesity of Texas, Austin
Catalog Number: MS/ Rossetti, DG/ HANLEY II

Scholarly Commentary


This interesting document is clearly a proof copy that DGR presented to his patron Constantine Ionides in 1880. Another copy of the proof was given to William Sharp and a photocopy of it is preserved in the Yale Center for British Art.

The Sonnet (Texas proof copy)
Copyright: ©Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin.

Included Text

  • A Sonnet is a moment's monument,—
  • Memorial from the soul's eternity
  • To one dead deathless hour. Look that it be,
  • Whether for lustral rite or dire portent,
  • Of its own intricate fulness reverent:
  • Carve it in ivory or in ebony,
  • As Day or Night prevail; and let Time see
  • It's flowering crest impearled and orient.
  • A Sonnet is a coin: its face reveals
  • The soul,—its converse, to what Power 'tis due:— 10
  • Whether for tribute to the august appeals
  • Of Life, or dower in Love's high retinue,
  • It serve; or, 'mid the dark wharf's cavernous breath,
  • In Charon's palm it pay the toll to Death.
Manuscript Addition: / To Constantine A. Ionides With DG Rosseti's kind regards
Editorial Description: DGR's ink notation in lower right corner.
Electronic Archive Edition: 1