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Dante Gabriel Rossetti
1828-1882
( )


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The House of Love, Love Enthroned
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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, Oblivions 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.
Loves 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 Loves heart, and Hope foretell,
And Fame be for Loves sake desirable,
And Youth be dear, and Life be sweet to Love.


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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.


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