Christina Rossetti's "Song" was composed on February 6, 1849 and first appeared in _The Germ_. It was later included in:

_Goblin Market and Other Poems_ (1st edition, London: Macmillan's, 1862)

_Goblin Market and Other Poems_ (2nd edition, typesetting errors corrected, London: Macmillan's, 1865)

_Poems_ (Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1866)

_Goblin Market, The Prince's Progress, and Other Poems_, (Revised by Christina and completely reset, London: Macmillan's, 1875)

_Poems_ (Reprint with corrections of 1866 edition, Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1872)

_Poems_ (Revised reprint of 1872 edition, Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1876)

The notebook manuscript is located in the Bodleian Library and contains several notable differences from the published version. In the manuscript, the title of the poem is "A Song in a Song," and it contains three stanzas prior to the two that comprise the printed version:

They told me that she would not live,
  But how could I believe their word?
Her cheeks were redder than a rose,
    And smoother than a curd.

Her eyes were full of a deep light,
  Steady, unmoved by hope and fear:
And though indeed her voice was low,
    It was so sweet and clear.

But now that she is gone before,
  I trust I too shall follow fast:
And so I sit and sing her song,
    And muse upon the past.

The kind of frustration and longing for death detectable in "Song" can also be seen in "Have Patience," written only two weeks earlier, on January 23, 1849. Christina Rossetti's "Song" has been commended for its tightness and maturity, and has been frequently anthologized. Three other songs appear in _Goblin Market and Other Poems_; one begins "Two doves upon the selfsame branch," the second begins "SHE sat and sang alway," and the third begins "WHEN I am dead, my dearest."

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Morning Sleep

"Morning Sleep," a long, descriptive blank verse poem, was William Bell Scott's first submission to the _Germ_. It was later published in his volume of collected poems entitled _Poems by William Bell Scott: Ballads, Studies from Nature, Sonnets, Etc._. (London, 1875). Neither this nor his other contribution, "Sonnet" (see No. 1), is mentioned in his two volume _Autobiographical Notes_.

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Calder Campbell's "Sonnet" is his only poem which appears in any number of _The Germ_, and it does not appear again in any other publication. The proofs of the sonnet were corrected on January 25, 1850, just 6 days before the number's appearance.

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Stars and Moon

"Stars and Moon" is the second of two poems Patmore submitted to "The Germ." This lyric in dialogue was not only unsigned, but was never claimed by Patmore. It was never published again in any later volume, although Patmore's biographer Basil Champneys declared it "eminently characteristic of the poet's thought" (_Memoirs and Correspondence of Coventry Patmore_. Vol. 1. London: George Bell and Sons, 1900. p.86.).

"Stars and Moon" looks forward to Patmore's most noted achievement, _The Angel in the House_, both in theme and in style. The meter of each is the rhymed octosyllabic quatrain, which Patmore himself described as "a gay and jocund measure, eminently adapted to a story of successful love and happy marriage" (Champneys 161). In an 1890 letter, he called this meter "modest and unpretentious"--feeling it necessary to defend himself against attacks in the _Athenaeum_ (December 1890) calling his poetry in "The Angel in the House" and the "Victories of Love" "garrulous" and "prattling." His choice of metrics was intentionally simple, a choice which Champneys admits may have lain him open to ridicule and parody. Patmore replied to Champneys with the words of Byron: "Easy reading was often damned hard writing."

In 1847, Patmore married Emily Andrews, who became the subject of _The Angel in the House_--a work which celebrated her personality and his love for her. By the time of his involvement with the P.R.B. he was already beginning thought and work on that poem, the first part of which he was to finish several years later in only six weeks. "Stars and Moon" reveals an early working through of what was to him a very serious question throughout his career: the relation between innocence and passion, even within marriage.

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On the Mechanism of a Historical Picture

Ford Madox Brown wrote this article with the intention of publishing a sequel, which would address the problem of choosing a subject. This sequel was never written. "I know nothing further of it," William Michael Rossetti wrote; "Pity that the opportunity of printing it did not occur" (_Preraphaelite Diaries and Letters_, 261). In his preface to the 1901 Stock edition of "The Germ," W. M. Rossetti remarks, "It is by this time a well-recognized fact that Brown was one of the men in England, or indeed in Europe, most capable of painting a historical picture, and it is a matter of regret that "The Germ" came to an end before he had an opportunity of continuing and completing this serviceable compendium of precepts. He had studied art in continental schools; but I do not think he imported into his article much of what he had been taught,--rather what he had thought out for himself, and had begun putting into practice" (Preface to "The Germ," 21-2). Lucy Rabin explains that "The ideas expressed in the article...were a continuing syllabus of [Brown's] method of work. Many years later his last pupil, Harold Rathbone, confirmed his life-long adherence to the rules and methods set down in "The Germ" in 1850, saying, 'His advice to me as a pupil was precisely that contained in his early article in "The Germ".' " (Rabin, _Ford Madox Brown and the Pre-Raphaelite History Picture_)

Ford Madox Brown's particular interest in the historical picture set him apart from the other major painters of the movement. Rabin discusses Brown\325s predilection for historical painting: "From the outset of his career Brown preferred subjects of history, mainly English history, and as he showed by his choice of poetic and historical sources, he was drawn to emotionally charged dramatic events from the past. At the start he saw history as the truthful record of human interaction in a momentary event, and everything he did thereafter was designed to accentuate the momentary character of the representation. His clear artistic purpose was to define specific human personality, exact physical setting, and a particular psychological mood. As he took the trouble to explain, his zeal to show authentic costume was a result of his intention to locate his historical figures in their time. His eclecticism was selective and varied, based on an order of truth he perceived in the borrowed motif, verified by study from life and nature. He transformed his motifs into compressed linear images; his flat drawing froze his figures into tense dis-equilibrium; and the effect was one of marked compositional distortion. His significant new discoveries, real light and authentic landscape, he used for the purpose of fixing particular time of day or night in his rendering of the historical event. His eccentric gestures, strange faces, and totally exaggerated figural attitudes increased the sensation of an interrupted moment in time. Brown was attempting to represent history as if he (and the viewer) were witness to the event itself." (_Ford Madox Brown and the Pre-Raphaelite History Picture_)

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A Testimony

Christina Rossetti wrote "A Testimony" on august 31, 1849. Its first appearance was in The Germ, followed by appearances in:

Goblin Market and Other Poems (1st edition, London: Macmillan's, 1862)

Goblin Market and Other Poems (2nd edition, typesetting errors corrected, London: Macmillan's, 1865)

The Prince's Progress and Other Poems (1st edition, London: Macmillan's, 1866)

Goblin Market, The Prince's Progress, and Other Poems (revised by Christina and completely reset, London: Macmillan's, 1875)

Poems (revised reprint of 1872 edition, Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1876)

The Poetical Works of Christina Georgina Rossetti (London: Macmillan's, 1904)

The notebook manuscript is written in the handwriting of Christina Rossetti's sister, Maria Francesca Rossetti, and located in the Bodleian Library.

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O When and Where

Woolner wrote this song in May, 1849.

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Fancies at Leisure

Along with Patmore's "Moon and Stars," three of these four poems by William Michael Rossetti ("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'. W. M. Rossetti 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 "Germ" publication, W. M. Rossetti wrote three more, also to be included among the "Fancies at Leisure:" "In Spring," "In Summer," and "Sheer Waste" (originally "The Far Niente"). "Sheer Waste" was included with the first three in the second issue, while "In Summer" and "In Spring" were reserved for the third issue of the magazine. W. M. Rossetti describes the second issue "Fancies at Leisure" 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-rimes performance. It was chiefly the outcome of an early afternoon spent lazily in Regent's Park.

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The Sight Beyond

The title of this group of sonnets is changed to "The Light Beyond" in the 1901 Elliot Stock edition of The Germ, and W. M. Rossetti refers to it by that name in the accompanying introduction.

In his P. R. B. Journal, W. M. Rossetti first describes the work on January 26, 1850 as "3 sonnets of Deverell's" (p. 46) and only mentions the title "The Sight Beyond," in his entry for January 31, the day of the publication of The Germ's second number.

No publications of "The Sight Beyond" other than in The Germ are known to the writer of this account.

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The Blessed Damozel

"The Blessed Damozel" is certainly the most celebrated work which appears in The Germ, but it is also Rossetti's most famous poem. In the chapter on Rossetti in his Appreciations, Walter Pater treats "The Blessed Damozel" as a representative work both of Rossetti's work and of the Pre-Raphaelites as a group. He emphasizes "sincerity" as the central characteristic of the poem, the poet, and the movement: "...[T]he reader...may observe already, in The Blessed Damozel, written at the age of eighteen, a prefigurement of the chief characteristics of that school, [of Pre-Raphaelitism] as he will recognize in it also, in proportion as he really knows Rossetti, many of the characteristics which are most markedly personal and his own. Common to that school and to him, and in both alike of primary significance, was the quality of sincerity already felt as one of the charms of that earliest poem-a perfect sincerity, taking effect in the deliberate use of the most direct and unconventional experssion, for the conveyance of a poetic sense which recognised no conventional standard of what poetry was called upon to be. At a time when poetic originality in England might seem to have had its utmost play, here was certainly one new poet more, with a structure and music of verse, a vocabulary an accent, unmistakably novel, yet felt to be no more tricks of manner adopted with a view to forcing attention-an accent which might rather count as the very seal of reality on one man's own proper speech; as that speech itself was the wholly natural expression of certain wonderful things he really felt and saw. Here was one, who had a matter to present to his readers, to himself at least, in the first instance, so valuable, so real and definite, that his primary aim, as regards form or expression in his verse, would be but its exact equivalence to those data within. Pater goes on to comment on the relation between Rossetti and Dante, which he says consists in Rossetti's "definiteness of sensible imagery, which seemed almost grotesque to some, and was strange, above all, in a theme so profoundly visionary" as that of "The Blessed Damozel." Later in his life, Rossetti commented on "The Blessed Damozel" to a friend, relating it to Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven": "I saw that Poe had done the utmost it was possible to do with the grief of the lover on earth, and so I determined to reverse the conditions, and give utterance to the yearning of the loved one in Heaven." (quoted in F. S. Boas, Rossetti & His Poetry. (London: George G. Harrap & Company, 1914), p. 28) Textual History D. G. Rossetti is obsessive in his rewriting of much of his poetry, and "The Blessed Damozel" provides a particluarly interesting example. The earliest version of the poem was written for the Rossetti family magazine Hotch Potch. (Dante Gabriel Rossetti Family Letters, p. 293.) At the time, Rossetti was no older than nineteen. There are three distinct published versions of the poem, those printed in The Germ, The Oxford and Cambridge Magazine, and the 1870 Poems. The linguistic event of "The Blessed Damozel" thus extends through over a quarter of a century of revision and republication. Moreover, it is complicated by Rossetti's painting of the same name, executed between 1871 and 1879. (Click here to go to the Rossetti Archive, which has an image of the painting and other related materials.) In The P.R.B. Journal, William Michael Rossetti records that a crisis in the organization of the second number of The Germ occurred on Wednesday, January 23, 1850, only eight days before the publication date. William Michael Rossetti discovered, "by calling on him" that William Cave Thomas, who had committed to write an essay for the magazine, would not have it ready. The gap left by this essay would be filled, writes William Michael, by "what we have by us," which included "The Blessed Damozel". On January 25, William Michael writes that "Gabriel finished up his 'Blessed Damozel', to which he added 2 stanzas." But then on each of the twenty-sixth and the twenty-eighth, Gabriel adds another stanza to the poem. The result is the version we have in The Germ. A thorough account of the textual history and revisions of the poem is available in Paull Franklin Baum's The Blessed Damozel, (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1937). In addition, Jerome J. McGann's Rossetti Archive provides images of the various versions of the poem and is a useful resource for textual matters.

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The Strayed Reveller and Other Poems. By A.-Fellowes. Ludgate-street,-1849.

This is the second of William Michael's review series, one essay of which appears in each number of The Germ. The following entry from his The P. R. B. Journal indicates that he does in fact consider the four reviews as a series. It also gives insight into the composition of the piece: "The opening of the notice I wrote of The Strayed Reveller etc. is transferred to the other, [i.e. the other review, of Clough's The Bothie of Toper-na-fuosich in The Germ, Number 1] it being of a general character and consequently required in the first of the review series." To put W. M. Rossetti's review in context, it is useful to consider two others, those of Charles Kingsley (in the May 1849 issue of Fraser's Magazine.) and of W. E. Aytoun (in the September 1849 issue of Blackwood's Magazine. Both of these, along with William Michael's can be found reprinted in Carl Dawson, ed. Matthew Arnold: the Poetry. The Critical Heritage. (Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1973). Kingsley's (unsigned) review, in the May 1849 issue of Fraser's Magazine.Blackwood's Magazine. Aytoun writes that "One of the most painful features of our recent poetical literature, is the marked absence of anything like heartiness, happiness, or hope." He classes the poems of The Strayed Reveller in a broad category of "excessively unmirthful monologues". Aytoun also shares with Kingsley a concern with "what sort of companion the author...must be", though Aytoun seems to want to find in him a potential drinking companion rather than a fellow Christian social activist as Kingsley does. In his criticism of the poems themselves, Aytoun accuses the poet of both imitation and incoherence. In particular, he calls "The New Sirens" an "exact transcript from Mrs. Browning" in "sound and mannerism," but says that it is devoid of meaning. He also senses a Tennysonian influence in many of the poems. Aytoun's general verdict is that "in spite of imitation, and a taste which has gone far astray, this writer has powers, which, if properly directed and developed, might insure him a sympathy, which for the present, must be withheld." William Michael records in his The P. R. B. Journal on September 13, 1849 that he has read this review: "I procured this month's Blackwood, which contains a notice of The Strayed Reveller, and find, to my delight, that the review is,taken on the whole, highly condemnatory, instead of being, as I expected it would be, approving." In contrast to Kingsley's and Aytoun's responses, Dawson calls Rossetti's piece "[t]he most astute of the early reviews" and "the first truly sensitive appreciation" of Arnold's volume. Compared to Kinglsey's and Aytoun's articles, Rossetti's is "more exclusively aesthetic...and much William Michael had already finished one version of the review by 11 September 1849 when he records in The P. R. B. Journal that he read it to Collinson. However, as indicated above, he transferred the introduction of the piece to his review of Clough, and the Arnold essay reached its final form only after the publication of Germ Number 1. On January 6, William Michael writes in The P. R. B. Journal that he began to consider "a few introductory remarks to replace those now transferred" to the Clough review; and on January 9, he "completed the introductory addition." However, he then found that his desire to give extensive extracts from the poems led the piece to be too long for publication: "...I find, on reckoning it up, that it will occupy about 14 pages, which is more space than can possibly be allotted to it. I have therefore had to cut about 130 lines of extract." However, even in its final form in The Germ, the review gives a remarkable number of lines of Arnold's verse. This is one of the striking differences between Rossetti's review and other early responses to the poem, and it indicates the depty of his appreciation of "A's" poetry. No publications of this review other than in The Germ are known to the writer of this account.

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