Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882)
Signed and dated 1880; inscribed "Proserpina" and with the artist's sonnet in Italian.
Coloured chalks on paper
47 x 22 inches, 119.5 x 56 centimetres
Afar away the light that brings cold cheer
Unto this wall, - one instant and no more
Admitted at my distant palace-door
Afar the flowers of Enna from this drear
Dire fruit, which, tasted once, must thrall me here.
Afar those skies from this Tartarean grey
That chills me: and afar how far away,
The nights that shall become the days that were.
Afar from mine own self I seem, and wing
Strange ways in thought, and listen for a sign:
And still some heart unto some soul doth pine,
(Whose sounds mine inner sense is fain to bring,
Continually together murmuring,) —
'Woe me for thee, unhappy Proserpine'.
— D. G. Rossetti
See commentary below