Manuscript Addition: Poetry. Marzials. Morris's 1st book. / a sonnet. AB's Taliessin.
Editorial Description: A note, probably Scott's, giving the contents of the letter. "AB" is Alice Boyd.
I have such a nice letter from Marzials (detained in London it seems for ever so
long) that I send it you on. Never mind returning it till you are back again.
By the bye, you know very well that I despise the "fly in the foreground" &
never put him there in my life myself. What I spoke of was
good taste & good workmanship. Keats (whom you seem
to quote as a defaulter proving your case) had both supremely — no faults at all
later than Endymion, & those not monstrous.
Coleridge was perfect & the real
Shelley was ungrammatical now & then,
. As for the second & third-rate high-finishers
you speak of, I wot not of them. Nothing was ever finished to me that had
not backbone & sinew to work on.
young book of our time is Morris's first —
his best yet for stirring qualities & certainly this of Marzials (good as much
in it is) cannot stand by that or even very near it. The faults in Morris's are
only surface work.
I shall hope very much to meet Marzials who must be a brick.
I suppose you know that John Marshall has got in as
Professor of Anatomy at the R.A. What you tell me of old Hart is much what I
supposed. I shall always feel kindly towards him, for I believe he wrote a very
encouraging notice of my first picture in Athenæum long & long ago.
I'll copy you a Spring sonnet. By the bye, your old
" will be in
They wrote asking for something & I didn't like to say no though I have come
to the conclusion that little things printed here & there deflower one's
collected work to little purpose.
Bon Voyage à présent!
D. G. R.
Added TextI should have thought Lucy would prove a pleasant addition, as there are two men
to take care of ladies.
P.S. I almost think I have forgotten to say what a shame I think it (but then you
know I must) that Miss Boyd's best picture — a phoenix
among in female art — should
have been rejected. Never mind, she has done a good thing.
- Soft-littered is the new-year's lambing-fold:
- And in the hollowed haystack at its side
- The shepherd lies o' nights now, wakeful-eyed
- At the ewes' travailing call through the dark cold.
- The young rooks cheep 'mid the thick caw o' the old:
- And near unpeopled streamsides, on the ground,
- By her spring-cry the moorhen's nest is found,
- Where the drained flood-lands flaunt their marigold.
- Chill are the gusts to which the pastures cower,
10And chill the current where the young reeds stand
- As green & close as the young wheat on land:
- Yet here the cuckoo & the cuckoo-flower
- Pledge to the heart Spring's perfect gradual hour
- Whose breath shall soothe you like your dear one's
Note: blank page; verso of page 7.