Rossetti Archive Textual Transcription

Document Title: Letter to William Bell Scott, 22 May 1873
Author: DGR
Date of Composition: 1873 May 22
Scribe: DGR

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

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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.
22 May


Dear Scotus
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
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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 model. Shelley was ungrammatical now & then, through carelessness but never wrong prepensely after Alastor. As for the second & third-rate high-finishers you speak of, I wot not of them. Nothing was ever finished to me that had
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not backbone & sinew to work on.
The representative 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.
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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 favorite called
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" Sunset Wings " will be in Athenæum next Saturday. 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!

Ever yours,

D. G. R.
Added TextI should have thought Lucy would prove a pleasant addition, as there are two men to take care of ladies.
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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.
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  • 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 hand.
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Note: blank page; verso of page 7.
Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: dgr.ltr.0558.rad.xml
Copyright: Princeton University Library, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections