The House of Life: 41. Through Death to Love

By Dante Gabriel Rossetti 1828–1882
Like labour-laden moonclouds faint to flee
         From winds that sweep the winter-bitten wold,—
         Like multiform circumfluence manifold
Of night's flood-tide,—like terrors that agree
Of hoarse-tongued fire and inarticulate sea,—
         Even such, within some glass dimm'd by our breath,
         Our hearts discern wild images of Death,
Shadows and shoals that edge eternity.

Howbeit athwart Death's imminent shade doth soar
         One Power, than flow of stream or flight of dove
         Sweeter to glide around, to brood above.
Tell me, my heart,—what angel-greeted door
Or threshold of wing-winnow'd threshing-floor
         Hath guest fire-fledg'd as thine, whose lord is Love?

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Poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti 1828–1882

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Subjects Relationships, Living, Love, Death, Romantic Love

Poetic Terms Sonnet, Simile

 Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Biography

Dante Gabriel Rossetti was born 12 May 1828 in London, the second child and eldest son of Italian expatriates. His father, Gabriele Rossetti, was a Dante scholar, who had been exiled from Naples for writing poetry in support of the Neapolitan Constitution of 1819. Rossetti’s mother had trained as a governess and supervised her children's early education. Few Victorian families were as gifted as the Rossettis: the oldest child, . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Living, Love, Death, Romantic Love

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Poetic Terms Sonnet, Simile

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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