The House of Life: 66. The Heart of the Night

By Dante Gabriel Rossetti 1828–1882
From child to youth; from youth to arduous man;
         From lethargy to fever of the heart;
         From faithful life to dream-dower'd days apart;
From trust to doubt; from doubt to brink of ban;—
Thus much of change in one swift cycle ran
         Till now. Alas, the soul!—how soon must she
         Accept her primal immortality,—
The flesh resume its dust whence it began?

O Lord of work and peace! O Lord of life!
         O Lord, the awful Lord of will! though late,
         Even yet renew this soul with duteous breath:
That when the peace is garner'd in from strife,
         The work retriev'd, the will regenerate,
         This soul may see thy face, O Lord of death!

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Poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti 1828–1882

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Subjects Death, Living, Religion, Faith & Doubt, Time & Brevity, God & the Divine

Poetic Terms Sonnet

 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 Death, Living, Religion, Faith & Doubt, Time & Brevity, God & the Divine

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Poetic Terms Sonnet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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