The House of Life

Sonnet 48: Death-In-Love


Dante Gabriel Rossetti


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."


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