Rossetti Archive Textual Transcription

Document Title: Letter to James Collinson, 25 October 1849
Author: DGR
Author: William Holman Hunt
Date of Composition: 1849 October 25
Type of Manuscript: letter
Scribe: DGR

The full Rossetti Archive record for this transcribed document is available.

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Between Ghent & Bruges

( Thursday Wednesday night, 24 th Oct)

  • Ah yes, exactly so: but when a man
  • Has trundled out of England into France
  • And half thro Belgium, always in this prance
  • Of steam, and still has stuck to his first plan—
  • Blank verse or sonnets; and as he began
  • Would end:—why, even the blankest verse may chance
  • To falter in default of circumstance,
  • And even the sonnet lack its mystic span.
  • Trees will be trees, grass grass, pools merely pools,
  • 10 Unto the end of time and Belgium. Points
  • Of fact which Poets (very abject fools)
  • Get scent of—once their epithets grown tame
  • And scarce. Even to these foreign rails—my joints
  • Begin to find their jolting much the same.
Transcription Gap: prose text of letter (to be added later)
Image of page [3] page: [3]
Manuscript Addition: [Here follows the / poem published / in the Germ]
Editorial Description: WMR's note beside the title
The Carillon.

(Antwerp & Bruges.)

  • At Antwerp, there is a low wall
  • About the city, and a moat
  • Beneath, that the wind keeps afloat.
  • You pass the gates in a slow crawl,
  • And if the air is warm at all
  • The Carillon will give you thought.
  • I climbed the stair in Antwerp Church,
  • What time the urgent weight of sound
  • At sunset spins the building round:
  • Far up, the Carillon did search
  • The wind; and the birds came to perch
  • Far under, where the gables wound.
  • In Antwerp harbour on the Scheldt
  • I stood along, a certain space
  • Of night. The mist was near my face;
  • 10 The Deep on, the flow was heard & felt:
  • The Carillon kept pause, and dwelt
  • In music thro the silent place.
  • At Bruges, when you leave the train,—
  • A singing numbness in your ears,—
  • The Carillon's first sound appears
  • Only the inner hum. Again
  • A little minute though—your brain
  • Takes quiet, and the whole sense hears.
  • John Memmelinck and John van Eyck
  • Hold state at Bruges. In sore shame
  • I scanned the works that keep their name.
  • The Carillon, which then did strike
  • Mine ears, was heard of theirs alike:
  • It set me closer unto them.

Column Break

I wish I had finished this blessed ditty, Dear PRB; but I have not “& there an end,”—or no end at all rather.
Transcription Gap: remainder of prose text of letter (to be added later)
Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: dgr.ltr.0557.rad.xml