The Earthly Paradise. A Poem.
London: F.S. Ellis, 1870, 1871.
“Night passed, day dawned, and we grew full of mirth
As with the ever-rising wind
Still farther lay our threatened death behind,
Or so we thought : some eighty men we were,
Of whom but fifty knew the shipman’s gear,
The rest were uplanders ; midst such of these
As knew not of our quest, with promises
Went Nicholas dealing florins round about,
With still a fresh tale for each new man’s doubt,
Till all were fairly won or seemed to be
To that strange desperate voyage o’er the sea.”
[The Earthly Paradise, prologue.]
Fifth edition of parts one and two, and second edition of parts three and four. A fine set of Morris’s third book, later published by the Kelmscott Press. Based on classical and medieval sources, The Earthly Paradise is best known for its introductory poems on each month of the year, perhaps for the way in which they reflect the beautiful textile designs of their creator, William Morris : ‘O fair midspring, besung so oft and oft, / How can I praise thy loveliness enow? / Thy sun that burns not, and thy breezes soft / That o’er the blossoms of the orchard blow, / The thousand things that ‘neath the young leaves grow. / The hopes and chances of the growing year, / Winter forgotten long, and summer near.’.
Four volumes, octavo, bound in contemporary half dark green morocco, top edge gilt, others uncut.; contemporary manuscript inscriptions and attractive bookplates in each, a fine set.
Price (AUD): $1,185.00 other currencies