Behold Fiammetta, shown in Vision here.
Gloom-girt ’mid Spring-flushed apple-growth she stands;
And as she sways the branches with her hands,
Along her arm the sundered bloom falls sheer,
In separate petals shed, each like a tear;
While from the quivering bough the bird expands
His wings. And lo! thy spirit understands
Life shaken and shower’d and flown, and Death drawn near.
All stirs with change. Her garments beat the air:
The angel circling round her aureole
Shimmers in flight against the tree’s grey bole:
While she, with reassuring eyes most fair,
A presage and a promise stands; as ’twere
On Death’s dark storm the rainbow of the Soul.

The frame of Dante Gabriel Rosetti’s A Vision of Fiammetta, 1878, is inscribed with three texts: a sonnet by Boccaccio that inspired it, Rosetti’s translation, and a poem of his own, quoted above.

A Vision of Fiammetta was one of Rossetti’s last paintings. On Easter Sunday, 1882, he died at the country house of a friend, of a disease of the kidneys of which he had been suffering for some time. He was not yet fifty-four years old.

One thought on “Dante Gabriel Rosetti: A Vision of Fiammetta (1878)

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