Dante Gabriel Rossetti

(12 May 1828 – 9 April 1882 / London / England)

Sonnet XLVIII: Death-in-Love


There came an image in Life's retinue
That had Love's wings and bore his gonfalon:
Fair was the web, and nobly wrought thereon,
O soul-sequestered face, thy form and hue!
Bewildering sounds, such as Spring wakens to,
Shook in its folds; and through my heart its power
Sped trackless as the immemorable hour
When birth's dark portal groaned and all was new.
But a veiled woman followed, and she caught
The banner round its staff, to furl and cling,—
Then plucked a feather from the bearer's wing
And held it to his lips that stirred it not,
And said to me, “Behold, there is no breath:
I and this Love are one, and I am Death.”

Submitted: Monday, April 12, 2010

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