‘Sonnets Are Full of Love’

Mother and Child. Jessie Wilcox Smith. 1908.


Christina Rossetti, 1881


Sonnets are full of love, and this my tome

Has many sonnets: so here now shall be

One sonnet more, a love sonnet, from me

To her whose heart is my heart’s quiet home.

To my first Love, my mother, on whose knee

I learnt love-lore that is not troublesome;

Whose service is my special dignity,

And she my loadstar while I go and come

And so because you love me, and because

I love you, Mother, I have woven a wreath

Of rhymes wherewith to crown your honored name:

In you no fourscore years can dim the flame

Of love, whose blessed grow transcends the laws

Of time and change and mortal life and death.


This is the dedicatory sonnet that prefaces “my tome”—Rosetti’s fourth collection, A Pageant and Other Poems.

2 thoughts on “‘Sonnets Are Full of Love’”

  1. This is one of my favorite Rossetti poems! Thanks for sharing!
    I read the Complete Poems of Christina Rossetti and have this one marked for future reading! So touching!

    1. You’re welcome, Fiona. I am glad you enjoyed this entry. This sonnet caught my eye while I browsed the pages of Rossetti’s volume in the series Everyman’s Pocket Poets.

      Anyone who enjoys this sonnet might also enjoy the excerpt from Aurora Leigh I posted in August. Search for “Women Know the Way to Rear Up Children.” Elizabeth Browning wrote about a mother’s nonsensical play, “children learn by such,/ Love’s holy earnest.”

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