The Woodspurge

By Dante Gabriel Rossetti 1828–1882
The wind flapp'd loose, the wind was still,
Shaken out dead from tree and hill:
I had walk'd on at the wind's will,—
I sat now, for the wind was still.

Between my knees my forehead was,—
My lips, drawn in, said not Alas!
My hair was over in the grass,
My naked ears heard the day pass.

My eyes, wide open, had the run
Of some ten weeds to fix upon;
Among those few, out of the sun,
The woodspurge flower'd, three cups in one.

From perfect grief there need not be
Wisdom or even memory:
One thing then learnt remains to me,—
The woodspurge has a cup of three.

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Poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti 1828–1882

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Subjects Landscapes & Pastorals, Sorrow & Grieving, Living, Nature

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

 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 Landscapes & Pastorals, Sorrow & Grieving, Living, Nature

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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