Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s Sonnet X: “The Portrait”

Dante Gabriel Rossetti (woodblock print on parchment paper)

Did this woodblock cut of the pre-Raphaelite artist and poet, Dante Gabriel Rossetti to illustrate his sonnet, ‘The  Portrait’ which I had posted before when the topic was the BBC’s six-part TV series, Desperate Romantics based on  Franny Moyle’s book of the same name.


Again, sonnet X from The House of Life which reflects Rossetti’s talent as both artist and poet:

                    SONNET X:  THE PORTRAIT
                      Dante Gabriel Rossetti

          O Lord of all compassionate control,
          O Love! let this my lady’s picture glow
          Under my hand to praise her name, and show
          Even of her inner self the perfect whole.
          That he who seeks her beauty’s furthest goal,
          Beyond the light that the sweet glances throw
          And refluent wave of the sweet smile, may know
          The very sky and sea-line of her soul.

          Lo! It is done. Above the enthroning throat
          The mouth’s mould testifies of voice and kiss,
          The shadowed eyes remember and foresee.
          Her face is made her shrine. Let all men note
          That in all years ( O Love, Thy gift is this! )
          They that would look on her must come to me.

A copy of the poem printed with a copy of the woodblock print can ge ordered at PoeticExpressions.

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