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.