Fredeman, The P.R.B. Journal, 46
WMR said that he wrote these poems as bouts
rimés in 1849 with John Everett Millais.
Along with Patmore's “Moon and
Stars”, three of these poems (“Noon Rest”,
“A Quiet Place”,
and “A Fall of Rain”) were delivered to Tupper for the
original proofs as a replacement for
Cave Thomas's aborted article on “Nature”.
WMR decided to
include these in the second issue of The
Germ in place of his blank-verse poem “The
Castle”. In preparing the
original three poems for
publication, WMR wrote three more, also to be included among
the “Fancies at Leisure”: “In
“In Summer”, and “Sheer
Waste” (originally “The Far Niente”).
The latter was included with the first
three in the second issue, while the other two were
reserved for the third issue of the magazine.
WMR describes the second issue as
follows: “The first three of these were written to
bouts-rimes. As to No. 1, ‘Noon Rest’,
I have a tolerably clear
recollection that the rhymes were prescribed to
me by Millais, on one of the days in 1849 when I was sitting to him for
the head of Lorenzo in his first
Preraphaelite picture from Keats's ‘Isabella’.
No. 4, ‘Sheer Waste’ was
not a bouts
rimés performance. It was
chiefly the outcome of an early afternoon spent lazily in Regent's
Park” (“Introduction” to the 1901 facsimile reprint
of The Germ, p. 22).
The whole sequence comprises nine poems. They were
published, however, in two parts: four
in The Germ no. 2 and five others in no.
These poems are usefully compared with the series of
bouts rimés sonnets that DGR composed in 1848
to rhymes set by WMR. The difference is striking. In terms of a
traditional distinction made for Pre-Raphaelite work, WMR's poems are
distinctly Ruskinian whereas DGR's already display a strong element of
the Paterian. DGR's sonnets are gathered together by WMR in his
1911 edition at pages 263-267.
First printed in The
Germ no. 2, pages 76-78.