Dante Gabriel Rossetti

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

Silent Noon Poem by Dante Gabriel Rossetti


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-searched growths the dragon-fly
Hangs like a blue thread loosened 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-companioned inarticulate hour
When twofold silence was the song of love.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

Form: Sonnet


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Comments about this poem (Silent Noon by Dante Gabriel Rossetti )

  • Rookie - 2 Points Leonard Wilson (2/4/2010 9:20:00 PM)

    I am sorry to disagree with Dave Rainbow, but this poem was written by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, not by Christina. The error is in also printing it among Christina's poems at PoemHunter.com. If you search any other poetry website, you will find that it is attributed to the brother, not to Christina. It is also found in numerous collections of poems as being written by Dante Gabriel Rossetti. I taught the poem many times as an English teacher at both high school and college levels.

    As to which is the greater poet, I consider both of them to be extremely talented poets. Dante Gabriel was much more prolific, and I think that he wrote more first-quality poems than Christina did, but her smaller output contains some brilliant pieces indeed. I dearly love both of them.

    This poem illustrates the influence of D. G.'s experience as a painter, showing his attention to environmental detail and the sense of color and of dark and light. He was also a highly emotional person and, I believe, had as great a depth of feeling as his sister did. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Dave Rainbow (3/21/2009 12:34:00 AM)

    It is very interesting to me that this poem is also found on this site attributed to Dante's sister Christina, and that when attributed to her, the same poem gets 4.7/10 and not 9.4/10 as it currently does here. It saddens me that this scores twice better for her brother, who I am quite sure was incapable of writing this.

    There are relatively few well known female poets, for whatever reason, and yet in my opinion Christina is the best poet ever, bar none. She was a consdierably greater poetic talent than her brother, better technically and capable of deeper feelings; at times the most passionate poet to be found anywhere. There are only three reasons I can imagine for not giving this 'ten':

    - It contains some poetic idioms from its own time that some modern readers may find hard to relate to.
    - Some people will not be familiar with the depth of passion that Christina was familiar with, imagining it to be a physical rather than an emotional or spiritual phenomenon.
    - But in my case the only reason for not giving this a ten would be that 11 was allowed instead.

    Yet since I am sure that this was written by Christina, I have given her the ten, and not voted here; this is not Dante Gabriel Rossetti's work, I am quite sure. (Report) Reply

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