display | more...

By Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882)

Like labour-laden moonclouds faint to flee
From winds that sweep the winter-bitten wold,--
Like multiform circumfluence manifold
Of night's flood-tide,--like terrors that agree
Of hoarse-tongued fire and inarticulate sea,--
Even such, within some glass dimm'd by our breath,
Our hearts discern wild images of Death,
Shadows and shoals that edge eternity.

Howbeit athwart Death's imminent shade doth soar
One Power, than flow of stream or flight of dove
Sweeter to glide around, to brood above.
Tell me, my heart,--what angel-greeted door
Or threshold of wing-winnow'd threshing-floor
Hath guest fire-fledg'd as thine, whose lord is Love?


"Through Death To Love" by Dante Gabriel Rossetti is a masterfully-written poem, fraught with literary devices, both mechanical and figurative in nature. The first five lines of the poem give a description of death, followed by a description of human reaction to death, but concluding by saying that where there is love, death cannot survive. (In this way, the piece blatantly ties into a love and death universal theme). Rossetti uses alliteration on many, many occasions throughout the short poem. "Labour-laden," (line 1), "Shadows and shoals," (line 8), "wing-winnow'd," (line 13), and "fire-fledg'd," (line 14) are only a few of the examples found in the text. There is a definite "th" consonance throughout the entirety of the work, but one particularly delightful instance, though not in adherence to a "th" pattern, is in line 3: "Like multiform circumfluence manifold." Rossetti also uses apostrophe, as he implores his heart to tell him how love chased away the gloom of death. "Tell me, my heart,--what angel-greeted door/Or threshold of wing-winnow'd threshing floor/Hath guest fire-fledg'd as thing, whose Lord is Love?" (lines 12-14). Lastly, Rossetti makes a very subtle Biblical allusion, again in lines 12-14. Chronicles 21:15 is the story of David, who saw an angel wielding a sword on the threshing floor.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.