Dante Rossetti

Brief Biography of Dante Rossetti

Rossetti was born in London on May 12, 1828 to parents Frances Mary Lavinia Polidori and Gabriele Rossetti. He later changed his name from Gabriel Charles Dante Rossetti to Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Rossetti attended King's College and the Royal Academy in London. There he met painters Sir John Everett Millais and Holman Hunt, together they formed the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Rossetti began writing poetry right around the time he began to study paintings. In 1860 he married Elizabeth Eleanor Siddal, who died two years later. Some of his painting such as Mary Magdalene at the Simon the Pharisee were based on her beauty. In 1881 Ballads and Sonnets was published, in which contained some of his best works such as "Rose Mary", "The White Soup", and "The King's Tragedy". Rossetti died in Berchington on April 10, 1882.
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Beata Beatrix by Dante Rossetti

Silent Noon

I think this poem is a sweet, romantic poem. Many similes are found in the poem and a few metaphors.
"Deep in the sun-search'd growths the dragon-fly hangs like a blue thread loosen'd from the sky..." is an example of a metaphor. The rhyme scheme of the first stanza is ABBAACCA. The theme is love and peace, because he is with the person he loves and they are relaxed, not really thinking about anything.


I found this poem an interesting way to look at how Lilith came to be in the human world. The third line "That, ere the snake's, her sweet tongue could deceive," is a simile comparing Lilith's tongue to a snakes using ere (like). The rhyme scheme of the first stanza is ABBAACBA. The theme is temptation, how men cannot stay away from beautiful women and they end up being overtaken by her powers.
Blessed DamozelI personally think this is a beautiful and romantic poem. It is a sad love story about how his Demozel died and she wishes to enter paradise (Heaven) but not without her soulmate. THe theme is lost love. Rossetti wrote this poem when he was only 18 and because of that many people believe his idea of love is immature and frivolous. Rossetti uses similes to give the reader a picture of his Damozel."Her hair that lay along her back was yellow like ripe corn."The rhyme scheme of the first stanza is ABCDEB.

Silent Noon

Your hands lie open in the long fresh grass,--
The finger-points look through like rosy blooms:
Your eyes smile peace. The pasture gleams and glooms
'Neath billowing skies that scatter and amass.
All round our nest, far as the eye can pass,
Are golden kingcup-fields with silver edge
Where the cow-parsley skirts the hawthorn-hedge.
'Tis visible silence, still as the hour-glass.

Deep in the sun-search'd growths the dragon-fiy
Hangs like a blue thread loosen'd from the sky:--
So this wing'd hour is dropt to us from above.
Oh! clasp we to our hearts, for deathless dower,
This close-companion'd inarticulate hour
When twofold silence was the song of love.


Of Adam's first wife, Lilith, it is told
(The witch he loved before the gift of Eve,)
That, ere the snake's, her sweet tongue could deceive,
And her enchanted hair was the first gold.
And still she sits, young while the earth is old,
And, subtly of herself contemplative,
Draws men to watch the bright net she can weave,
Till heart and body and life are in its hold.

The rose and poppy are her flowers; for where
Is he not found, O Lilith, whom shed scent
And soft-shed kisses and soft sleep shall snare?
Lo! as that youth's eyes burned at thine, so went
Thy spell through him, and left his straight neck bent,
And round his heart one strangling golden hair.

Excerpt from Blessed Damozel

The blessed damozel lean'd out
From the gold bar of Heaven;
Her eyes were deeper than the depth
Of waters still'd at even;
She had three lilies in her hand,
And the stars in her hair were seven.

Her robe, ungirt from clasp to hem,
No wrought flowers did adorn,
But a white rose of Mary's gift,
For service meetly worn;
Her hair that lay along her back

Was yellow like ripe corn.

Her seem'd she scarce had been a day
One of God's choristers;
The wonder was not yet quite gone
From that still look of hers;
Albeit, to them she left, her day
Had counted as ten years.

MLA Citation:




lilith.jpgLady Lilith by Dante Rossetti

external image 4829356384405&filename=DanteGabrielRossetti-TheBlessedDamozel.jpg
Blessed Damozel by Dante Rossetti