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Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Poet, brother to Christina; in his later days he led the life of almost a recluse at his home, a picturesque old house in Cheyne Walk, Chelsea; shortly before his death he moved to Birchington on Sea near Margate, where he died and today lies "in the quiet little village graveyard within sound of the sea."
The House of Love, Love Enthroned
I marked all kindred Powers the heart finds fair:-
Truth, with awed lips; and Hope, with eyes upcast;
And Fame, whose loud wings fan the ashen Past
To signal-fires, Oblivion’s flight to scare;
And Youth, with still some single golden hair
Unto his shoulder clinging, simce the last
Embrace wherein two sweet arms held him fast;
And Life, still wreathing flowers for Death to wear.
Love’s throne was not with these; but far above
All passionate wind of welcome and farewell
He sat in breathless bowers they dream not of;
Though Truth foreknow Love’s heart, and Hope foretell,
And Fame be for Love’s sake desirable,
And Youth be dear, and Life be sweet to Love.
1 A Sonnet is a moment's monument,
2 Memorial from the Soul's eternity
3 To one dead deathless hour. Look that it be,
4 Whether for lustral rite or dire portent,
5 Of its own arduous fulness reverent:
6 Carve it in ivory or in ebony,
7 As Day or Night may rule; and let Time see
8 Its flowering crest impearl'd and orient.
9 A Sonnet is a coin: its face reveals
10 The soul,--its converse, to what Power 'tis due: --
11 Whether for tribute to the august appeals
12 Of Life, or dower in Love's high retinue,
13 It serve; or, 'mid the dark wharf's cavernous breath,
14 In Charon's palm it pay the toll to Death.
© 2000 Elena and Yacov Feldman