The House of Life: 73. The Choice, III

By Dante Gabriel Rossetti 1828–1882
Think thou and act; to-morrow thou shalt die
         Outstretch'd in the sun's warmth upon the shore,
         Thou say'st: "Man's measur'd path is all gone o'er:
Up all his years, steeply, with strain and sigh,
Man clomb until he touch'd the truth; and I,
         Even I, am he whom it was destin'd for."
         How should this be? Art thou then so much more
Than they who sow'd, that thou shouldst reap thereby?

Nay, come up hither. From this wave-wash'd mound
         Unto the furthest flood-brim look with me;
Then reach on with thy thought till it be drown'd.
         Miles and miles distant though the last line be,
And though thy soul sail leagues and leagues beyond,—
         Still, leagues beyond those leagues, there is more sea.

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Poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti 1828–1882

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Subjects Faith & Doubt, Nature, Time & Brevity, Religion, Living, Death, Seas, Rivers, & Streams

Occasions Funerals

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 Faith & Doubt, Nature, Time & Brevity, Religion, Living, Death, Seas, Rivers, & Streams

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Poetic Terms Sonnet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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