'The Maids of Elfen-Mere', Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Black and white image showing a young man sitting on the floor with three young women standing over him

Wood engraving by Dalziel brothers after Rossetti's design, published 1855, 12.6 x 7.6cm, The British Library, London

Rossetti evokes the haunting mood of the poem through the contrast between dark and light and through the rhythmic movements of the maids. They stand like the three Fates, dominating the man.

In the book illustration, Rossetti made changes to his drawing to produce a more contemporary image in which real and supernatural worlds are more clearly separated.