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William Blake (1757–1827).  The Poetical Works.  1908.
 
Poems from the Rossetti MS.: Earlier Poems
To my Myrtle
 
TO 1 a lovely Myrtle bound,
Blossoms show’ring all around,
O how sick and weary I
Underneath my Myrtle lie!
Why should I be bound to thee,        5
O my lovely Myrtle-tree?
 
Note 1. To my Myrtle] A revised version of the preceding .Thus in the MS. Book, deleted lines being indicated by italics:
To my Mirtle
  
5  ‘Why should I be bound to thee    *1
6  O my lovely mirtle tree
  Love free love cannot be bound
  To any tree that grows on ground.
1  To a lovely mirtle bound    *5
2  Blossoms showring all around
  Like to dung upon the ground
  Underneath my mirtle bound
3  O how sick & weary I    *9
4  Underneath my mirtle lie.’

  It will thus be seen that Blake began by transcribing, as it stood, the first stanza of the earlier version, beginning his second stanza with the couplet which he had rejected in the previous draft and adding … but in transposed order … two accepted couplets of the same stanza. He then struck out ll. *3, *4 and *7, *8, prefixing marginal numbers in his usual manner to indicate the position of the lines retained. Blake’s intention is perfectly plain; yet we find all Blake’s editors following Rossetti in restoring the deleted lines *3, *4, and printing the poem as two four-line stanzas. [back]
 
 
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