Death of a Wombat

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

1869 November 6

Physical Description

Medium: pen and ink
Dimensions: 7 x 4 1/2 in.
Date on Image: 6th November 1869
Note: Dated on the urn in the picture's background.

Production Description

Production Date: 1869 November 6
Model: Dante Gabriel Rossetti


Current Location: British Museum
Catalog Number: 1939-5-13-1.(6.)
Purchase Price: gift
Archival History: Jane Morris; May Morris; Dr. Robert Steele

Sources of the Work

Literary Source: Moore, Lallah Rookh.
Note: Surtees states that John Gere pointed out that this doublework parodies four lines from the beginning of “The Fire-Worshippers” in Lallah Rookh:
  • I never nurs'd a dear gazelle
  • To glad me with its soft black eye,
  • But when it came to know me well
  • And love me, it was sure to die!

Scholarly Commentary


The wombat came into DGR's care early in September (see DGR's letter to Jane Morris of 11 September 1869, in which he included a copy of his other wombat parody poem “Parted Love!”).


Death of a Wombat
Copyright: © Licensed by the Trustees of the British Museum

Included Text

  • I never reared a young Wombat
  • To glad me with his pin-hole eye,
  • But when he most was sweet & fat
  • And tail-less; he was sure to die!


  1. image

    Surtees, A Catalogue Raisonné , vol. 2, plate 440.
Electronic Archive Edition: 1
File Name: s606.rap.xml