1868. c. 1868-1869.
Small folio (12.75 x 7 inches), 1 p., four titled 4-line stanzas written in ink on blue paper. In fine condition.
§ An early manuscript draft of the poem which appeared under the title "The Lapse of the Seasons" in Morris's first major calligraphic manuscript, A Book of Verse, given to Georgiana Burne-Jones in 1870. This manuscript draft shows several strike-throughs and revisions and the text differs in numerous places from the published poem.
Edward Burne-Jones, who had helped to decorate and illustrate A Book of Verse along with Charles Fairfax Murray, was much inspired by the poem, and between 1869-1870 he painted a series of four watercolors entitled "The Seasons", with the verses incorporated beneath allegorical figures on a trompe l'oeil plaque (the verse for winter was changed). Morris later revised the poem and added two verses before publishing it again in Poems by the Way, 1891, as “Verses for Pictures."
Morris' poetical manuscripts from any period are uncommon, only five others having sold at auction in the last 25 years. There was no manuscript by Morris from this period in the Berger collection. Item #105794