Sharp made DGR's acquaintance in the fall of 1879 but did not enter closely into DGR's life until the next year. He sent this encomium as a Christmas gift to DGR (see DGR's letters to Watts of 24 September and 25 December 1879,
Fredeman, Correspondence, 79. 151, 215
). Later, when they had grown more intimate, he composed a sonnet that used DGR's sonnet group “Five English Poets” as the occasion for another act of poetic homage.