Holograph [handwritten by Kipling] version in Notebook 3, dated 19 August 1881. Another copy in Sundry Phansies, another handwritten notebook presented by Kipling to ‘Flo’ Garrard, the beautiful art student with whom he had fallen in love after meeting her in the summer of 1880, aged fourteen. (See Andrew Rutherford pp. 24-28 for details of the Notebooks.) Not to be confused with a very different poem, with the same title, published in the USC Chronicle in December 1881.
This is a love poem with a happy consummation. The last two lines, modernised, would read:
And you shall see, (with her head upon your breast)
That Love born from Waiting is the Most Perfect.
The spelling, with an extra ‘e’on the end of many words, “crampte” for “cramped”, ‘Pettie” for “Petty” and so on, is intended to give an archaic effect. As in so many of these early poems, he was seeking to echo earlier poets.
©Philip Holberton 2019 All rights reserved