Gregory, “Life and Works of DGR”
Editorial glosses and textual notes are available in a pop-up window. Line numbering reflects the structure of the 1911.
DGR sent the poem to Swinburne in a letter of 23 February 1870 as “one of
fifty short pieces. . .which I have found among my reliques and rejected”
from inclusion in the 1870 Poems volume. The latter, nearing the elaborate process of its construction that was begun
the previous summer, would be published in April. “Among several rejected of a semicomic sort”, DGR thought
this “the best” but finally “not good
enough for the book” (see
Like “The End of It” which he sent in the same letter to Swinburne, this poem indexes the way DGR was
thinking about his 1870 volume: as a book that was to represent the entire shape (both formal
and historical) of his poetic work.
WMR dates the poem ca. 1860, though without any real certainty (see his edition of
First printed in Caine 256,
and first included in an authoritative edition in
collected thereafter. DGR thought
of including it in the 1870 volume and again considered publishing it in Hall Caine's collection
Sonnets of Three
(1882) but again decided otherwise. He did give a (revised)
copy of the sonnet to Caine, however.
DGR had an intense interest in Elizabethan drama and often went to the theatre. One can't be
sure what specific London “Revivals” he castigates in the sonnet.