Songs of one Household
(My Sister's Sleep)

In his 1889 study of his brother, William Michael Rossetti says that "My Sister's Sleep" was first published in The New Monthly Belle Assemblee in 1847 or 1848, but he later concludes that Dante Gabriel Rossetti's attempts to have it published there were unsuccessful. However, the poem did appear anonymously in the Belle Assemblee for September 1848 with a critique by Elizabeth Youatt. (See Bentley in Victorian Poetry 12 [1974] for the Belle Assemblee version.)

The poem therefore makes its second, not first, appearance in the 1850 Germ. Despite its larger title, "Songs of One Household," William Michael Rossetti does not think DGR wrote any other poems for such a sequence. The poem, which is not autobiographical, uses the stanza-form later made famous by Tennyson's In Memoriam.

In DGR's 1870 Poems "My Sister's Sleep" is reprinted with several verbal revisions and with four stanzas (7,8,12,13) omitted entirely.

For more information see the 1911 edition of Rossetti's works