Sunday, November 25, 2007

Sunday sonnet: Dante Gabriel Rossetti

For today's sonnet, we turn to Dante Gabriel Rossetti, a painter as well as a poet, and his collection called The House of Life. This sonnet was written in 1847 and published in 1870.

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 arduous fullness reverent:
- Carve it in ivory or in ebony,
- As Day or Night may rule; and let Time see
Its flowering crest impearled and orient.

A Sonnet is a coin: its face reveals
- The soul--its converse, to what Power 'tis due:
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.

Rhyme scheme: abba abba cdcdee

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