From the Cliffs: Noon

Rossetti wrote this sonnet on a cliff overlooking the sea at Boulogne, France in September 1849. He included a draft of the poem under the title "At Boulogne. Upon the Cliffs: Noon." in a letter to his brother William on September 28, 1849; this draft varies slightly in wording from the Germ version. [Click here to see "At Boulogne. Upon the Cliffs: Noon."] Later, he further revised the poem, added two stanzas, and republished it as "The Sea-Limits," the last of eleven "Songs" in the 1870 version of The House of Life. William Michael Rossetti wrote of this piece: "the reader will readily perceive that the writer was bent on the Pre-Raphaelite plan -- that of sharply realizing an impression on the eye, and through the eye on the mind." (Dante Gabriel Rossetti: His Family Letters, London, 1895: I:56.)