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Poem by Dante Gabriel Rossetti


The House of Life. Sonnet 85. Vain Virtues


What is the sorriest thing that enters Hell?
None of the sins,--but this and that fair deed
Which a soul's sin at length could supersede.
These yet are virgins, whom death's timely knell
Might once have sainted; whom the fiends compel
Together now, in snake-bound shuddering sheaves
Of anguish, while the pit's pollution leaves
Their refuse maidenhood abominable.

Night sucks them down, the tribute of the pit,
Whose names, half entered in the book of Life,
Were God's desire at noon. And as their hair
And eyes sink last, the Torturer deigns no whit
To gaze, but, yearning, waits his destined wife,
The Sin still blithe on earth that sent them there.



Dante Gabriel Rossetti


Dante Gabriel Rossetti's other poems:
  1. The House of Life. Sonnet 3. Love's Testament
  2. The House of Life. Sonnet 20. Gracious Moonlight
  3. The House of Life. Sonnet 39. Sleepless Dreams
  4. The House of Life. Sonnet 99. Newborn Death - 1
  5. The Staff and Scrip


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