THE HOUSE OF LIFE: THE SONNET - Christina Rossetti Poems


Poems » christina rossetti » the house of life the sonnet


A Sonnet is a moment's monument,
      Memorial from the Soul's eternity
      To one dead deathless hour. Look that it be,
Whether for lustral rite or dire portent,
Of its own arduous fulness reverent:
      Carve it in ivory or in ebony,
      As Day or Night may rule; and let Time see
Its flowering crest impearl'd and orient.

A Sonnet is a coin: its face reveals
      The soul,--its converse, to what Power 'tis due: --
Whether for tribute to the august appeals
      Of Life, or dower in Love's high retinue,
It serve; or, 'mid the dark wharf's cavernous breath,
In Charon's palm it pay the toll to Death.