Not currently on display at the V&A

Text of poem 'New Year's Eve' from 'Illustrations to Tennyson's Idylls of the King and Other Poems', vol. 2

Photograph
1875 (printed)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

In 1874, Julia Margaret Cameron's neighbor, and renowned poet, Alfred Tennyson suggested that Cameron create some illustrations for a new volume of his series of poems on Arthurian legends, "Idylls of the King." In the end, only three images were used, as woodcuts, but the full-size prints were later published in two volumes and were accompanied by excerpts from Tennyson's text and his signature. This is a section of verse from volume two.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Additional TitleIdylls of the King and other Poems, vol. 2 (series title)
Materials and Techniques
Ink on paper
Brief Description
Text of poem 'New Year's Eve' from 'Illustrations to Tennyson's Idylls of the King and Other Poems', vol. 2, 1875 illustrated with photographs by Julia Margaret Cameron
Physical Description
Printed page of poem text in book of poems with photographic illustrations.
Dimensions
  • Book cover height: 44.9cm
  • Book cover width: 39cm
  • Page height: 43cm
  • Page width: 33cm
Marks and Inscriptions
'New Year's Eve If you ’re waking, call me early, call me early, mother dear, For I would see the sun rise upon the glad new-year. It is the last new-year that I shall ever see,— Then you may lay me low i’ the mold, and think no more of me. To-night I saw the sun set,—he set and left behind The good old year, the dear old time, and all my peace of mind; And the new-year ’s coming up, mother; but I shall never see The blossom on the blackthorn, the leaf upon the tree. Last May we made a crown of flowers; we had a merry day,— Beneath the hawthorn on the green they made me Queen of May; And we danced about the May-pole and in the hazel copse, Till Charles’s Wain came out above the tall white chimney-tops. There ’s not a flower on all the hills,—the frost is on the pane; I only wish to live till the snowdrops come again. I wish the snow would melt and the sun come out on high,— I long to see a flower so before the day I die. The building-rook ’ll caw from the windy tall elm-tree, And the tufted plover pipe along the fallow lea, And the swallow ’ll come back again with summer o’er the wave, But I shall lie alone, mother, within the moldering grave. Upon the chancel casement, and upon that grave of mine, In the early, early morning the summer sun ’ll shine, Before the red cock crows from the farm upon the hill,— When you are warm-asleep, mother, and all the world is still. When the flowers come again, mother, beneath the waning light You ’ll never see me more in the long gray fields at night; When from the dry dark wold the summer airs blow cool On the oat-grass and the sword-grass, and the bulrush in the pool. You ’ll bury me, my mother, just beneath the hawthorn shade, And you ’ll come sometimes and see me where I am lowly laid. I shall not forget you, mother; I shall hear you when you pass, With your feet above my head in the long and pleasant grass. I have been wild and wayward, but you ’ll forgive me now; You ’ll kiss me, my own mother, upon my cheek and brow; Nay, nay, you must not weep, nor let your grief be wild; You should not fret for me, mother—you have another child. If I can, I ’ll come again, mother, from out my resting-place; Though you ’ll not see me, mother, I shall look upon your face; Though I cannot speak a word, I shall harken what you say, And be often, often with you when you think I ’m far away. Good night! good night! when I have said good night forevermore, And you see me carried out from the threshold of the door, Don’t let Effie come to see me till my grave be growing green,— She ’ll be a better child to you than ever I have been. She ’ll find my garden tools upon the granary floor. Let her take ’em—they are hers; I shall never garden more; But tell her, when I ’m gone, to train the rosebush that I set About the parlor window and the box of mignonette. Good night, sweet-mother! Call me before the day is born. All night I lie awake, but I fall asleep at morn; But I would see the sun rise upon the glad new-year,— So, if you ’re waking, call me, call me early, mother dear. A Tennyson' A Tennyson'
Object history
Originally part of a bound folio volume containing 11 photographs by Cameron and 11 pages of verse text by Tennyson and 3 other text pages (two photographs are missing, the frontispiece image of Tennyson and the last image, 'The Passing of Arthur'). Volume 2 of two albums of illustrations to Tennyson's 'Idylls of the King and other Poems' published by Henry S. King & Co., 1874-75). Each photograph is mounted on bluish mounts with gilt borders.
Associations
Literary Reference'Illustrations to Tennyson's Idylls of the King, and other poems', vol. 2, by Julia Margaret Cameron. London: Henry S. King & Co., 1875.
Summary
In 1874, Julia Margaret Cameron's neighbor, and renowned poet, Alfred Tennyson suggested that Cameron create some illustrations for a new volume of his series of poems on Arthurian legends, "Idylls of the King." In the end, only three images were used, as woodcuts, but the full-size prints were later published in two volumes and were accompanied by excerpts from Tennyson's text and his signature. This is a section of verse from volume two.
Associated Object
37-1939 (Part)
Collection
Accession Number
37:1-1939

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record createdMay 14, 2014
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