Georgiana Burne–Jones, Memorials.
The very last work in The Oxford and Cambridge Magazine is the only one that
is signed: the initials G. B. M., for Georgiana MacDonald ((1840-1920), appear at the
bottom of the last page. Whether the B stands for Burne-Jones is uncertain;
the couple were engaged in 1856, but did not marry until 1860 (Memorials
The poem reiterates the Romantic notion of childhood innocence, and in that
is similar to Fulford’s poem Childhood, published the previous month.
MacDonald complicates this common trope by asking whether adults, in their
fallen state, can begin comprehend the child’s mind. The last image is
striking, as she brings together the child at prayer and the angels who did
not follow Satan into the image of “soldiers in a conquer’d
town, / Who, in their Captain’s absence, had maintain’d / Their early
discipline and loyalty of heart.”
First printed in
The Oxford and Cambridge Magazine
, December, 1856.