Editorial glosses and textual notes are available in a pop-up window. Line numbering reflects the structure of the Poems (1881) first edition text.
When in the summer of 1869
DGR began to gather his poetry together for
printing and possible publication, this lyric written some ten years before
was one of the works he first included in his collection. The poem has
many of the qualities of a song, as is borne out by the fact that it has
been set to music a number of times. The poem is a good example of DGR's
deft (and deliberate) management of assonance and repetition. It has much
in common, stylistically, with a work like “Down Stream”.
The theme of love's transience and, in Swinburne's words,
“The Triumph of Time”,
is splendidly worked into the texture of this poem's language.
WMR assigns the date 1858 to this work, though he gives no
evidence for this dating (see WMR,
DGR as Designer and Writer, 293
), and offers the date
tentatively. In his 1911
edition he dates the poem 1859 in his index. DGR himself said (in August
1869) that the poem was
Correspondence, 69. 139
corrected holograph manuscript is not easy to date but it certainly
fair copy; the latter appears as one of the Three Songs fair copied
together as a unit under that collective title in 1869. There this
poem was titled “Belcolore”.
The poem was first printed as part of the
prepublication texts that DGR put together in 1869, as a prelude
to the publication of the 1870 Poems. It was printed in August
in the Penkill Proofs,
where it formed part of the section of “The House of Life”
poems. DGR moved the poem to the opening “Poems”
as the prepublication text of the 1870 volume moved into the proofs
for the first edition in early March
(see his letter to SAwinburne of 7 March 1870,
Correspondence, 70. 45
, letter to Swinburne of
7 March 1870). The poem was first published in the
first edition, republished in the “New Edition” of 1881, and collected thereafter.
In 1877 the poem was printed with a musical score by Florence