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Appendix Five. Ballads and Sonnets: Chronology 1879–82

Appendix Five. Ballads and Sonnets: Chronology 1879–82

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Appendix Seven


marked by him with corrections for the next edition.

A volume of bound proof pages from various states

of Poems assembled by WMR under his title Poems

Privately Printed has DGR’s revisions on every page

and some annotations by his brother. Besides the HL

volume, there is a MS Notebook called ‘Sonnets and

Fragments’ and the so-called Green Book titled

‘Original MS Sonnets’. At one time, Mrs Troxell

planned to publish criticism and analysis based on

her collection; her papers include lengthy

correspondence with Professor Paull F. Baum of

Duke, who edited HL (1928), and frequent references

to Frederick Page of Oxford University Press, who

was working on an edition of HL.

Besides her copious MS notes on her materials,

two of her unpublished typescripts merit attention:

one is a twenty-page study of DGR’s poetic

craftsmanship as revealed by his MS revisions; the

other, called ‘A Defense of Guinevere’, defends Jane

Morris against various attacks and slurs. Janet Camp

Troxell acquired and annotated Hall Caine’s muchmodified MS of his Recollections of Rossetti and in

letters to various correspondents made a shrewd

critical appraisal of A Victorian Romantic (Doughty).

Also at Princeton is the Robert H. Taylor

Collection containing much that is of interest to HL

students, especially sonnets in the bound volume

‘Poems in Manuscript 1869–71’.

There are MS letters in the Firestone relevant to

HL by WMR other members of the Rossetti family,

W. B. Scott, Jane Morris, publishers F. S. Ellis and

David White, Sir Sydney Cockerell, Theodore WattsDunton, Dr T. G. Hake and Hall Caine.

Princeton’s holdings are sketched in PRISM 4.5

and described more fully in a special issue devoted

to the Troxell Collection of The Princeton University

Library Chronicle (Fraser 1972).


Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

(HRHRC), University of Texas at Austin. There are

here a bound volume of DGR’s MS poetry called

‘Works’ and a Notebook of his MS Poems once the

property of Murray. They contain a small quantity of


Location of Sources

HL material. The huge collection of letters includes

some from WMR, CGR and the Rossetti family,

Murray, Scott, Jane Morris, Ellis and White,

Swinburne, Dr Hake, Joseph Knight, Allingham,

Forman, Ruskin, Patmore and the critic Ernest

Chesneau. Printed books include some with



University of British Columbia Library. The AngeliDennis Papers, Penkill Papers and Colbeck

Collection were acquired through the agency of

William E. Fredeman, author of PRISM and editor of

The Correspondence of Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Together

they comprise one of the most important PreRaphaelite collections anywhere, but they are not

especially rich in HL materials – there are no MSS or

proofs. However, the WMR Papers include more

than a thousand letters to and from the Rossetti

family and his invaluable MS Day Diaries, the

complete set from 1847 to 1916 containing a

multitude of HL references: only those from 1870–73

have been published (WMRD). This WMR archive

contains the documentary materials providing the

basis for the many editions of DGR’s poetry and

volumes of commentary, bibliography, biography

and reminiscence that he published together with

much more that he and his descendants never put in

print (see PRISM 3.10 & 4.1). There are also very

important HL references in the UBC letters: several

from his publishers Ellis and White concerning B&S,

Caine’s side of the extensive correspondence with

the poet in 1879–81 and letters from WMR, Scott and

his Penkill circle, Watts, Murray and Shields. These

collections are rich in printed materials, both primary

and secondary, as well as ephemera collected by

WMR in his ‘Miscellanies’.

Appendix Seven


Minor Sources


Birmingham City Museum has a pencil sketch of the

pen-and-ink design for the symbolical figure of ‘The

Sonnet’, item 329’04 in Birmingham 1939.


Boston Public Library has an MS of HL 26 and an MS

descriptive list of DGR’s residences and dwellingplaces between 1828 and 1882.


Brotherton Library, University of Leeds, has an MS

of HL 64 and letters by WMR, Scott, Watts, Brown,

Ellis and Sharp.


Butler Library at Columbia University has letters

from WMR, M. D. Conway and John McLennan.


Durham University Library has correspondence

between WMR and Scott.


Folger Shakespeare Library has a small group of

DGR poetry MSS and letters by WMR and Brown.


Houghton Library, Harvard University, has some

revised proofsheets of B&S and letters by WMR,

Wise, Caine, Charles E. Norton and Dr Hake.


Iowa Historical Archive, Des Moines, has in the

Charles Aldrich Collection an MS of HL 75 and other

poetry with notes by WMR. There are letters from

Watts, Caine, Scott and Forman.


University of Iowa, Iowa City (Special Collections)

has a revised proof page of Poems (HL) and letters

from Scott and Forman.


Maggs Bros. Booksellers of London have quotes from

DGR MSS they have sold in some of their Catalogues;

they also have an archive of correspondence between

Benjamin and Ernest Maggs and Wise concerning

these MSS.


Manx Museum, Douglas, Isle of Man, has DGR’s

letters to Hall Caine (Caine’s side is at UBC); Caine


Location of Sources

often conflated and misquoted these documents in

his various autobiographies and reminiscences.


The Estate of Simon Nowell-Smith possessed the

only perfect copy of the so-called ‘A Proofs’, Proof

State 3 of Poems, inscribed to Olivia Rossetti Agresti

by her father WMR, who made many annotations on

these sheets. See Appendix Two.


The Rosenbach Museum and Library, Philadelphia,

has several HL MSS, bound notebook pages

including MS fragments of HL sonnets and letters

from WMR. The HL MSS have been printed and

analysed (with some facsimiles) in Gates 1983.

Ros. Proofs

The Rosenbach Proofs, an almost complete set of

proofsheets heavily revised by DGR for B&S, are

later than any state in DAM or elsewhere. Once part

of the collection of Dr A. S. W. Rosenbach and fully

described by him in Rosenbach 1931, they then

became part of the collection of Halsted Billings

Vanderpoel. In 2004 they were sold in London at a

Christie’s auction. The editor has photocopies of



The J. Alexander Symington Collection in Rutgers

University Library has no HL MSS or proofsheets

but its ten thousand items include many letters: a

large quantity from Swinburne to WMR, numerous

Rossetti family letters, and others to and from

Brown, Caine, Watts, Wise, Forman, Cockerell,

Oswald Doughty, Maggs Bros., Ford Madox Ford,

William Sharp and Edmund Gosse. For a description

see PRISM 3.7 and Marchand 1948.


The Estate of Mrs Janet Camp Troxell. One of the

few items Mrs Troxell kept at her New Haven home

when her Rossetti collection went to Princeton was

the original illustrated MS of the proem-sonnet DGR

sent his mother for her eightieth birthday.


University of California at Los Angeles Library has

an F. S. Ellis Archive including the publishing firm’s

daybooks and correspondence between Ellis and his

Appendix Seven


partner David White and the Rossetti brothers

concerning B&S.

Union College

Schaffer Library, Union College, Schenectady NY,

has in its William J. Stillman Collection early MS

drafts of the four Willowwood sonnets (HL 49–52)

with numerous revisions and variants. These MSS

were described as Nos. 281–84 in Miller 1974 and

then published and analysed in Ullman 1985.


Victoria and Albert Museum, London, has letters

from Jane Morris and the album of photos of her

posed by DGR as well as a TS by Clara Watts-Dunton

of a selection of DGR’s letters to close friends which

she was intending to publish.


The Wormsley Trust, Wormsley Library, UK, set up

by the late Sir Paul Getty and his widow Lady

Victoria, holds his collection of Rossetti MSS. There

are two bound volumes, one called ‘The White Ship’

and another, larger one with thirty-five leaves

known as the ‘Rossetti Scrapbook’, which contains

letters from Jane Morris and Christina Rossetti and

many MS poems, including HL 64.

Appendix Eight

Unpublished and Excluded Sonnets

Rossetti worked on a few sonnets that may have been intended for

eventual inclusion in HL but that for some reason of his own

remained unfinished or suppressed. Two untitled love sonnets

written in Italian and sent to JM during the period of the ‘Kelmscott

love sonnets’ are too personal and too ‘fleshly’ for the sequence, even

if they had been translated. In addition, they are neither polished nor

idiomatic examples of Italian poetic diction of any era. They are

offered below (in translation) because of their obvious affinity with

other HL sonnets of the 1868–71 period that Oswald Doughty

labelled ‘regenerate rapture’. The same may be said of English May

(1869), written out of DGR’s concern for JM’s health as a sort of

private verse epistle, not published until 1886 in CW and there

misleadingly dated 1854 by WMR.

Some have argued that the bouts-rimés sonnets written between

1847–49 anticipate at times the style, diction, imagery and themes of

HL. Such anticipation as may be found is too general to repay study,

except in the case of Idle Blessedness (Works 267), which anticipates

Autumn Idleness (HL 69). These poems are games, at most exercises in

technique and convention, often mere verbal display in the manner

of the Italian improvisatore. I have not included them: they may be

found in PFB): 1) 14–16, 56–65 and Works 263–67. Another problem

with reading anything into them is that it is not always possible to

determine whether they were written by DGR, WMR or CGR: see

WMR’s accounts in SR 79–80 and Works 673–74, Baum’s in PFB):

1) 14–15 and Frances Winwar’s, cited in PRISM 27.86.

Appendix Eight



Would God your health were as this month of May

Should be, were this not England, – and your face

Abroad, to give the gracious sunshine grace

And laugh beneath the budding hawthorn-spray.

But here the hedgerows pine from green to grey

While yet May’s lyre is tuning, and her song

Is weak in shade that should in sun be strong

And your pulse springs not to so faint a lay.

If in my life be breath of Italy,

Would God that I might yield it all to you!

So, when such grafted warmth had burgeoned through

The languor of your Maytime’s hawthorn-tree,

My spirit at rest should walk unseen and see

The garland of your beauty bloom anew.




Date of Publication: 1886, CW I: 286

Date of Composition: May 1869, Fitzwilliam MS


(1) Fitzwilliam HL fol. 45b (2) Wormsley, ‘Rossetti Scrapbook’ fol. 18

WMR annotated his CW printing as follows: ‘This sonnet had not hitherto

been published. I regard it as addressed to Miss Siddal, whom my brother

married in 1860. Its date may probably have been 1854’ (I: 521). He repeated

this note in 1904 but reprinted the sonnet without comment in Works. Fitz. is

titled ‘May 1869’ and is written, cancelled, on the back of HL 39, Sleepless

Dreams, also dated 1869 (see note 4. to that sonnet and Doughty 389–92).

Wormsley, titled ‘English May’, is a fair copy.


Unpublished and Excluded Sonnets


(Due Sonetti).



O mouth, that in the moment of desire

So many times I saw and held [my] peace –

That in spirit my undaunted eye

Would always kiss, but never my lip! –

Alas, from you, mouth, what pleasure I desire,

O what hope that is not in vain?

Give me, if you please, one of your smiles

And some words, for the love of God?

Oh, poor hope! And how do you think

[You shall] obtain pleasure, with folded wings,

At the twin smiling gates?

Every word that would come after

Would be more lovely, [but] oh, for us

More a source of the silence of death!






O mouth, that in the hour of reward

So many times I have kissed, and so many times

I have heard from you, greeted with a thousand vows,

Those words of immortal assent: –

Oh, could the sacred incense of your kisses

Wrap always in thicker clouds

So many of the already buried antique shadows,

Filling the heavens with our immense love!

Come, beautiful mouth, O come again!

Thinking of you at length, Love desires

Sweet dew in your rosy path.

Are you not her in whom now and always

I live only – whom within my soul

Life – and Death, and Love – worships?

Date of Publication: 1931, PFB): 1) 53–54

Date of Composition: 1868–69, Fitzwilliam MSS, RP 396




Appendix Eight



(1) Bodleian Eng. Poet. d. 44 fols 27–28 (2) Duke MS VIII: PFB): 1) 7 & 53–54

(3) Fitzwilliam: HL fol. 56b {Compenso}; C. F. Murray MSS {Dìsio}

(4) Beinecke: Tinker MS 1798

The copy-texts for these sonnets are the fair copies sent to JM as Due Sonetti,

now at Bodleian, published in Wahl 28–29. The Fitz. MSS are dated in DGR’s

hand: for Dìsio he wrote ‘Marzo 1868’ and for Compenso ‘Maggio 1869’.

WMR recorded in his MS Diary that his brother showed him two Italian

sonnets on 5 June 1869 (RP 396). Fitz., Duke and Tink. have revisions and

variants; line 14 of Compenso is based on Duke and Fitz. since the Bod.

reading – ‘Mercede invita Amore, e Amore adora?’ – seems incoherent in

comparison with DGR’s familiar trinity of personifications: Life, Love and

Death. Wahl was right to include these poems in his group of ‘Kelmscott

Love Sonnets’ because they are rough sketches using themes and imagery

treated, with far more poetic success, in The Kiss and Supreme Surrender (7

and 8). Doughty translates the octave of Compenso and interprets the two

poems as direct outbursts of DGR’s fulfilled passion for JM, usually

expressed with more indirection in HL (391–92&n.). Although included in

WMR’s collection of ‘Sonnets by D. G. Rossetti written before 1850’ (Tink.),

the Italian verse was obviously tacked on at the end of this miscellany. Dan

Dematteis, Ornella De Stavola and Mario Frezzini translated DGR’s Italian

originals into English.


Fate claimed hard toil from Love, and did not spare:

Are the dues paid, and is all Love’s at last?

Cling round me, sacred sweetness, hold me fast;

Oh! as I kneel, enfold mine eyes even there

Within thy breast; and to Love’s deepest lair

Of memory bid thy soul with mine retreat,

And let our past years and our future meet

In the warm darkness underneath thine hair.

Say once for all: “Me Love accepts, and thee:

Nor takes he other count of bygone years

Not his, than do the affranchised earth and sea

Of hours wherein the unyoked inordinate spheres

Hurtled tumultuous round Time’s ringing ears

Ere yet one Word gave light the victory.”

Date of Publication: 1927, ALC, Vol. IX: 115

Date of Composition: 1871, Wahl





Unpublished and Excluded Sonnets


(1) Fitzwilliam ‘Poems and Sonnets of DGR’ Notebook fol. 57a (2) Bodleian

Eng. Poet. d. 43 fol. 22 (3) BL: Ashley 3847

Wise dated this sonnet ‘c.1869’ when he printed it from his MS in ALC, but

there is no evidence to support this date: it appears to have been written at

Kelmscott during the summer of 1871 (Wahl 23 & 36–37). On Ash. ‘H. of L.’

follows the title in parentheses. Since there is a draft of stanzas 1 & 79–81 of

‘The Wreck of the White Ship’ [published as The White Ship in B&S] verso on

this MS, perhaps Ashley 3847 dates from the period when this ballad was

being composed, 1879–80, and At Last was being revised for inclusion in the

final version of HL. It belongs to the group of sonnets that celebrate the

advent of the New Love while bidding farewell, without remorse, to the Old

Love, e.g., Pride of Youth (24), Life-in-Love (36) and The Love-Moon (37): it is

printed in full and interpreted in these terms by Doughty (398–99). Yet,

despite his attempts to banish the memory of EES, ‘that dead face’ continues

to haunt him, as we see in another unpublished sonnet below, Alone. The

sestet includes one of the semi-blasphemous conceits that the poet tried to

remove from HL in 1881 (cf. Sonnet 4, Love’s Testament): the fulfilled passion

of the lovers obliterates other loves of ‘bygone years’ just as God’s creative

Word replaced primordial chaos with light.


Was I most born to paint your sovereign face,

Or most to sing it, or most to love it, dear?

Full sweet the hope that unborn eye and ear

Through me may guess the secret of your grace.

Yet ah! neath every picture might I trace,

And note beside each song, – “Let none think here

To breathe indeed this beauty’s atmosphere,

To apprehend this body and soul’s embrace.”

Faint shadow of you at best I weave, except

That innermost image all unseen, which still

Proves me at heart your beauty’s crowned adept.

Yet was this nought, our hope’s high day to fill, –

That o’er us, while we kissed, with answering thrill,

Two Muses held Love’s hand, and smiled, and wept?

Date of Publication: 1927, ALC Vol. IX: 116

Date of Composition: 1871, Wahl




Appendix Eight



(1) Duke XXIII: printed PFB 1): 66, facs. opp. page (2) Bodleian Eng. poet.

d. 43 fol. 12 (3) BL, Ashley 3849: printed ALC Vol. IX: 116, facs. opp. page


1. Duke is the earliest version, with

many revisions:

4 may

picture must>

picture would>

Yet ah! ’neath

every picture might

6 < <> Give these

words: Ah! gazer<>,

listener<> think not here>/

And note beside each song:

“Let none think here


To breathe indeed this beauty’s

12 Yet

< ? ? ? ?>our hope’s

high day to fill, –

13 o’er

2. Bod. and Ash. are fair copies.

Wise dates Ash. ‘c.1869,’ but as with

At Last above the evidence given by

Wahl points to 1871. The

watermarks, size and appearance of

Ash. 3449 and 3448 (First Fire) are

similar to those of Ash. 3857, 3859,

3860 and 3861, which we know date

from 1879–80 when B&S was being

prepared. Like At Last, this sonnet

MS and that for First Fire below

may have been copied out by the

poet for possible inclusion in HL.

Therefore I have used it as copytext.

In line 8, Wise prints ‘at last.’ but all

MSS read ‘at best’, clearly a better

reading. Also in line 8, ‘weave’ is

followed by a semicolon in the Wise

and Baum printings and in the Duke

MS, but Ash. and Bod. have the more

correct comma.

3. Doughty prints the sonnet,

evidently from Wise since he

repeats the two errors in line 8,

adding some of his own (402).

There he notes similarities to other

HL sonnets such as The Portrait and

an exact echo of the phrase

‘sovereign face’ from Genius in

Beauty (18). A new trinity appears

in line 14, where Love joins hands

with the Muse of poetry and

(DGR’s newly created?) Muse of


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Appendix Five. Ballads and Sonnets: Chronology 1879–82

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