A Chronology of Lampman's Poems

by L.R. Early


Since developing an interest in Archibald Lampman some years ago, I have become increasingly aware of the problem presented to his interpreters by our circumscribed knowledge of the dates at which his poems were written. Many of these dates are determinable, but have remained buried in the Lampman manuscripts held at various locations. Beginning with Carl Y. Connor in the 1920s, scholars have made use of these papers, but seldom in a systematic way.1 Lacking sufficient information about the dates of composition, most critics have either limited their study to a few poems, or viewed the poetry as a spatial configuration, with little reference to the sequence of composition and what it might reveal of the poet's changing art. Neither strategy will give us a really comprehensive sense of Lampman's work, which was as subject to the temporal order of things as was his life. The tension between a spatial aesthetic and a nervous awareness of time is fundamental both to Lampman's most characteristic poems and to the evolution of his poetry as a whole.

     I have tried to ascertain dates of composition for all of Lampman's poems which, to my knowledge, have appeared in print. Drafts of most of these exist in manuscript, where they are interspersed with unpublished work in various stages of abandonment or completion. Of a grand total of 353 published poems, more than two thirds appear, undated, in The Poems of Archibald Lampman (1900), edited by Duncan Campbell Scott after the poet's death in 1899. This collection reprints the contents of Among the Millet (1888), Lyrics of Earth (1895), and Alcyone (1899), and adds over one hundred more poems. Like Lampman, Scott favoured a generic arrangement, and observed chronology only in grouping the three earlier volumes in consecutive order. Of Lampman's more recently published work, forty-one new poems appeared in At the Long Sault (1943), edited by Scott and E.K. Brown, and twenty-eight were edited by Margaret Coulby Whitridge in Lampman's Kate: Late Love Poems of Archibald Lampman (1975). In addition, fourteen previously unpublished or uncollected pieces are included in Lampman's Sonnets 1884-1899 (1976), also edited by Whitridge, and twenty-five fugitive poems, assembled by myself, appear in Canadian Poetry: Studies, Documents, Reviews, No. 12 (1983), pp. 46-70. In these later selections, the dates of composition are usually, though not always (or always properly), specified. In the interest of greater precision and convenience, then, I have prepared this comprehensive chronology, based upon a recent examination of sources.

     These sources consist primarily of Lampman's rough notebooks, held in the Public Archives of Canada, and his finished manuscripts, dispersed in four main locations: the Public Archives, the Library of Parliament, the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library at the University of Toronto, and Simon Fraser University.2 These sources yield dates, more or less specific as to day and month, subscribed in Lampman's hand, for about two thirds of the poems in question. Many others in the notebooks may be assigned dates on the basis of their proximity to dated work. In some instances, Lampman's correspondence helps to establish or confirm the point at which a poem was written.3 Sometimes internal evidence is also helpful: Lampman's favourite subject was the seasons, and as his dated work shows that he usually wrote about them in season, we can infer approximate dates for some such poems within a given year. In more uncertain cases there are three less satisfactory approaches. We can look at the proximity of undated to dated work in Lampman's finished manuscript volumes, which are organized in loose--sometimes very loose--chronological fashion. We can consider form; for instance, it helps to know that Lampman tended to write his sonnets in bursts. And we can take into account the earliest date of publication, whether in periodicals or in Lampman's first three volumes while bearing in mind that often years passed before Lampman's poems saw print. While each of these latter criteria is a poor guide in itself, in combination they can provide strong circumstantial evidence.

     I have listed the poems chronologically, rather than alphabetically by title, because this method allows me to show where poems for which dates are approximate or conjectural probably fit into the sequence. Also, if a principal use of this information is to reveal Lampman's preoccupation at a given time, or his imaginative development over an extended period, or perhaps his most fertile year, then a chronology is the more convenient arrangement. For each entry I give (1) the title of the poem; (2) the date of composition, so far as determinable; (3) the most accessible place of publication, with page number.4 For the purpose of showing Lampman's own selections for the early volumes, I indicate the publication of poems in Among the Millet, Lyrics of Earth, and Alcyone, while citing their location in Scott's inclusive edition of 1900. Abbreviations used in the "Location" column are:

AM     Among the Millet (1888)

LE      Lyrics of Earth (1895)

A         Alcyone (1899)

PAL    The Poems of Archibald Lampman (1900)

ALS     At the Long Sault and Other New Poems (1943)

LK       Lampman's Kate: Late Love Poems of Archibald Lampman
            (1975)

LS        Lampman's Sonnets 1884-1899 (1976)

CP       Canadian Poetry: Studies, Documents, Reuiews, No. 12
            (1983)

Titles of poems are given as they appear in these places, and the first lines are provided of poems which have common or similar titles.

     The dates assigned to the poems are qualified as follows:

            Nov. 1889       --a date as recorded by Lampman himself.
            c. Nov. 1889  --a date determined from the poem's location(s) in Lampman's rough
                                      notebooks, or from references in his correspondence.
            Nov. 1889?     --a date conjectured from the poem's Iocation(s) in the finished manuscript
                                     volumes, or from other circumstantial evidence.

Sometimes the manuscripts specify different dates for various drafts of the same poem. For the purpose of this chronology, I enter long poems composed over long periods (e.g. "Winter-Store") under the latest date, as the date of completion. But on the premise that for lyrics, the date of conception is more significant, I enter shorter poems (e.g. "April in the Hills") according to the date of the earliest substantial version. Explanatory notes are provided in several especially complex or unusual cases. I realize that this procedure begs certain textual questions, but until a definitive edition of Lampman's poetry makes available all the details concerning variants and revision, this chronology may help us to refine our estimates of the poet and his work.

Chronology of Lampman's Poems



1881-May 1884

        Title of poem               Date of composition              Location 

Verses  1881-82? CP, p. 49
The Last Sortie c. May 1882 CP, p. 49
Derelict  c. Aug 1882 CP, p. 50
Winter Evening
     ("Westward the sunset  is
     waning slow")
22 Jan 1883 CP, p. 51
Winter's Nap 1 Feb 1883 CP, p. 52
Hope and Fear  10 Feb 1883 CP, p. 53
Spring on the River Apr 1883 AM (1888), PAL, p. 10
Godspeed to the Snow  Apr 1883 LE (1895), PAL, p. 126
The Hepatica 
     ("What faint sweet song")
Jun 1883 CP, p. 54
The Weaver Jun 1883 AM (1888), PAL, p. 57
An August Warning  Aug 1883 CP, p. 55
The Coming of Winter Sep 1883 AM (1888), PAL, p. 62
Three Flower Petals 22 Sep 1883 AM (1888), PAL, p. 43
An October Sunset 6 Oct 1883 AM (1888), PAL, p. 6
Ballade of Summer's Sleep Oct 1883 AM (1888), PAL, p. 23
A Fantasy  Oct 1883 CP, p. 56
A January Sunset 1884 LS, p. 8
Flight of Dreams c. Feb 1884 LS, p. 1
One Day Feb 1884 AM (1888), PAL, p. 41
Love and Death c. 1884 LS, p. 10
Maytime  1884 LS, p. 9
April  May 1884 AM (1888), PAL, p. 4
The Growth of Love VI-1  May 1884 ALS, p. 39
The Growth of Love VI-2  May 1884 ALS, p. 40

[Menu]                     

             
June 1884-May 1885

        Title of poem               Date of composition              Location

Song of the Stream Drops Jun 1884 AM (1888), PAL, p. 35
Bird Voices Jun 1884 PAL, p. 321
The Organist 31 Aug 1884 AM (1888), PAL, p. 71
The Little Handmaiden  1 Sep 1884 AM (1888), PAL, p. 52
Why Do Ye Call the Poet Lonely? 7 Sep 1884 AM (1888), PAL, p. 11
The Child's Music Lesson 7 Sep 1884 AM (1888), PAL, p. 88
Unrest   21 Sep 1884 AM (1888), PAL, p. 40
What Do Poets Want with         Gold? 24 Sep 1884 AM (1888), PAL, p. 50
The Usurer  c.1884 ALS, p. 18
In October5  Oct 1883-Oct 1884 AM (1888), PAL, p. 21
Sleep 
     ("If any man, . . .")
Oct 1884 AM ( 1888), PAL, p. 42
Love-Doubt or The Growth of  Love I 29 Oct 1884 AM (1888), PAL, p. 104;
     ALS, p. 37
The Growth of Love III  Oct 1884 ALS, p. 38
The King's Sabbath  3 Nov 1884 AM (1888), PAL, p. 51
The Growth of Love VIII  Dec 1884 ALS, p. 41
Perfect Love or The Growth of Love XI 1884-85? AM (1888), PAL, p. 105;
     ALS,
p. 42
Love-Wonder or The Growth of Love X 1884-85? AM (1888), PAL, p. 106;
     ALS,
p. 42
The Growth of Love V  Jan 1885 ALS, p. 39
The Growth of Love IX  Feb 1885 ALS, p. 41
The Growth of Love II Feb 1885 ALS, p. 37
The Three Pilgrims  4 Apr 1885 AM (1888), PAL, p. 59
Winter  10 Apr 1885 AM (1888), PAL, p. 24
Abu Midjan  Apr 1885 AM (1888), PAL, p. 54
A Ballade of Waiting  May 1885 AM (1888), PAL, p. 45
The Growth of Love IV  May 1885 ALS, p. 38

[Menu]                    

August 1885 - June 1887

        Title of poem               Date of composition              Location

Among the Timothy  5 Aug 1885 AM (1888), PAL, p. 13
Among the Millet  1885? AM (1888), PAL, p. 3
The Growth of Love VII  13 Aug 1885 ALS, p. 40
An Impression  1885? AM (1888), PAL, p. 10
A Song
     ("O night and sleep,")
1885? AM (1888), PAL, p. 48
Before Sleep Dec 1885 AM (1888), PAL, p. 46
Passion
     ("As a weed beneath
     the ocean")
1885-86? AM (1888), PAL, p. 44
Midnight  Feb 1886 AM ( 1888), PAL, p. 34
Storm  Mar 1886 AM (1888), PAL, p. 30
Morning on the Lièvre  2 Jun 1886 AM (1888), PAL, p. 19
Between the Rapids  Jun 1886 AM (1888), PAL, p. 36
Song
     ("Songs that could span
     the earth,")
1886? AM (1888), PAL, p. 40
Lament of the Winds c. 1886 AM (1888), PAL, p. 22
Easter Eve Dec 1886 AM (1888), PAL, p. 63
The Monk Dec 1886 AM (1888), PAL, p. 75
New Year's Eve [I]
     ("Once on the year's
     last eve. . .")
Jan 1887 AM (1888), PAL, p. 39
Music II
     ("I see thy fingers
     move. . .")  
c. 1887 LS, p. 33
March Mar 1887 AM (1888), PAL, p. 119
The Dog Mar 1887 AM (1888), PAL, p. 121
Sight May 1887 AM (1888), PAL, p. 110
Knowledge May 1887 AM (1888), PAL, p. 110
The Frogs May 1887 AM (1888), PAL, p. 7
Estrangement c. 1887 ALS, p. 22
The Loons c. 1887 AM (1888), PAL, p. 119
A Forecast Jun 1887 AM (1888), PAL, p. 116

[Menu]                     

June 1887 (cont'd) - January 1888

        Title of poem               Date of composition              Location

Freedom Jun 1887 AM (1888), PAL, p. 17
The Poets Jun 1887 AM (1888), PAL, p. 113
Gentlemen Jun 1887 LS, p. 27
Silence! c. Jun 1887 LK, p. 27
The Martyrs c. Jun 1887 AM (1888), PAL, p. 115
A Prayer Jun 1887 AM (1888), PAL, p. 109
She . . . A Fragment c. Jun 1887 LK, p. 38
The Truth Jun 1887 AM (1888), PAL, p. 114
Deeds c. Jun 1887 AM (1888), PAL, p. 112
The Faithful Lover c. 1887 LK, p. 26
Aspiration c. 1887 AM (1888), PAL, p. 113
The Railway Station c. 1887 AM (1888), PAL, p. 116
The City
     ("Beyond the dusky
     cornfields, . . .") 
c. 1887 AM (1888), PAL, p. 118
An Old Lesson from the Fields c. 1887 AM (1888), PAL, p. 111
The Power of Music c. 1887 ALS, p. 32
Heat Jul 1887 AM (1888), PAL, p. 12
Midsummer Night Aug 1887 AM (1888), PAL, p. 118
Autumn Maples c. 1887 AM (1888), PAL, p. 120
New Year's Eve [II]
     ("And all that strange
     unearthly multitude")
Nov 1887 AM (1888), PAL, p. 39
A Night of Storm Nov 1887 AM (1888), PAL, p. 115
Music
     ("Move on, light hands")
Nov 1887 AM (1888), PAL, p. 109
In November 
     ("The hills and leafless
     forests slowly yield")
Nov 1887 AM (1888), PAL, p. 117
Comfort  6 Jan 1888 AM (1888), PAL, p. 106
Despondency  20 Jan 1888 AM (1888), PAL, p. 107
Winter-Thought c. 1888 AM (1888), PAL, p. 112

[Menu]                      

June 1889 - September 1889 

        Title of poem               Date of composition              Location

Winter Hues Recalled c. 1888 AM (1888), PAL, p. 27
Outlook c. 1888 AM (1888), PAL, p. 107
April Night c. 1888 A (1899), PAL, p. 185
Gentleness  1888? AM (1888), PAL, p. 108
Solitude c. 1888 AM (1888), PAL, p. 120
An Athenian Reverie c. 1885-88 AM (1888), PAL, p. 90
To My Wife  1888? AM (1888), PAL, p. 1
The City
     ("Canst thou not rest,
     O city,")
1888 A (1899), PAL, p. 215
The Sun Cup c. 1888-89 LE (1895), PAL, p. 173
Emancipation c. 1888-89 CP, p. 56
A January Morning  1889? PAL, p. 286
A Morning Summons  1889? PAL, p. 255
April Voices c. 1889 PAL, p. 257
Music
     ("O take the lute. . .")
c. 1889 PAL, p. 260
After Rain c. 1889 LE (1895), PAL, p. 144
Drought c. 1889 PAL, p. 317
Evening c. 1889 A (1899), PAL, p. 198
To the Cricket c. 1889 A (1899), PAL, p. 193
Dead Cities I c. 1889 PAL, p. 269
Across the Pea-fields Jun 1889 PAL, p. 262
Sebastian Jul 1889 CP, p. 57
Comfort of the Fields Jul 1889 LE (1895), PAL, p. 148
Reality Aug 1889 LS, p. 61
To an Ultra Protestant Sep 1889 PAL, p. 285
The Moon-Path Sep 1889 LE (1895), PAL, p. 146

[Menu]                       

September 1889 (cont'd) - February 1890


        Title of poem               Date of composition              Location

The Cup of Life Sep 1889 PAL, p. 280
A Niagara Landscape Sep 1889 PAL, p. 272
"How dealt the world" Sep 1889 CP, p. 59
Among the Orchards Sep 1889 A (1899), PAL, p. 210
Goldenrod Sep 1889 PAL, p. 292
Fair Speech6 Sep 1889 ALS, p. 36
Good Speech Sep 1889 A (1899), PAL, p. 226
The Piano Sep 1889 PAL, p. 260
Life and Nature Sep 1889 LE (1895), PAL, p. 138
A Re-assurance  1889? LE (1895), PAL, p. 15
In November
     ("With loitering step")
Nov 1889 LE (1895), PAL, p. 158
Snowbirds  15 Nov 1889 LE (1895), PAL, p. 162
Night c. Nov 1889 PAL, p. 263
A Dawn on the Lièvre c. Nov 1889 PAL, p. 290
A Winter Dawn c. Nov 1889 PAL, p. 291
Falling Asleep c. Nov 1889 PAL, p. 278
The Poet's Possession c. Nov 1889 LE (1895), PAL, p. 157
An Invocation c. Nov 1889 PAL, p. 255
Avarice c. Nov 1889 PAL, p. 285
The March of Winter Nov 1889 PAL, p. 280
Sunset
     ("From this windy
     bridge at rest")
Feb 1890 LE (1895), PAL, p. 164
After Snow Feb 1890 PAL, p. 318
Snow Feb 1890 LE (1895), PAL, p. 162
Winter-Break Feb 1890 A (1899), PAL, p. 252
With the Night c. 1890 LE (1895), PAL, p. 139

[Menu]                     

May 1890 - October 1891

        Title of poem               Date of composition              Location

In March Mar 1890 A (1899), PAL, p. 179
The Meadow May 1890 LE (1895), PAL, p. 134
A Midnight Landscape c. May 1890 PAL, p. 270
The Better Day May 1890 A (1899), PAL, p. 226
In May Jun 1890 LE (1899), PAL, p. 137
A Thunderstorm Jul 1890 A (1899), PAL, p. 214
June Jul 1890 LE (1895), PAL, p. 140
In Absence Jul 1890 PAL ,p. 264
Man and Nature c. 1890 ALS, p. 13
Sunset at Les Eboulements Aug 1890 PAL, p. 273
September Oct 1890 LE (1895), PAL, p. 154
At the Ferry Oct 1890 LE (1895), PAL, p. 150
Virtue 28 Nov 1890 PAL, p. 277
Storm Voices 1 Dec 1890 PAL, p. 276
The Modern Politician 1 Dec 1890 PAL, p. 277
The Sweetness of Life 1890 LE (1895), PAL, p. 125
The Poet's Song7 [c. 1889-] 1890 A (1899), PAL, p. 210
A March Day Mar 1891 PAL, p. 289
Elemental Voices  c. Mar 1891 CP, p. 59
Voices of Earth Mar 1891 A (1899), PAL, p. 218
"Earth, heaven, and the
    mighty whole"
c. 1891 CP, p. 59
The Return of the Year May 1891 LE (1895), PAL, p. 129
Amor Vitae Jul 1891 A (1899), PAL, p. 250
Death
     ("I like to strech full-
     length upon my bed")
Jul 1891 PAL, p. 288
To a Millionaire Oct 1891 PAL, p. 276

[Menu]                      

October 1891 (cont'd) - September 1892

        Title of poem               Date of composition              Location

In the City Oct 1891 PAL, p. 259
Before the Robin8 c. Oct 1891-Apr 1892 PAL, p. 289
The Ruin of the Year c. Oct 1891 PAL, p. 279
By the Sea Oct. 1891 PAL, p. 272
The Lesson of the Trees  c. 1891 CP, p. 60
An Autumn Landscape Nov 1891 LE (1895), PAL, p. 157
By an Autumn Stream Nov 1891 LE (1895), PAL, p. 160
Sleep
     ("Behold! I lay in
     prison like St. Paul")
Dec 1891 LS, p. 96
Xenophanes Dec 1891 PAL, p. 266
Vision9  c. Jan 1892 CP, p. 60
A Forest Path in Winter  Jan 1892 PAL, p. 286
After Mist Jan 1892 PAL, p. 287
April in the Hills10 3 Apr 1892 LE (1895), PAL, p. 127
Favorites of Pan  May 1892 LE (1895), PAL, p. 131
After the Shower  Jun 1892 PAL, p. 264
On the Companionship
     with Nature
Jun 1892 PAL, p. 258
Beauty  c. Jun 1892 PAL, p. 258
Cloud-Break 30 Jun 1892 LE (1895), PAL, p. 145
At Dusk 10 Jul 1892 PAL, p. 269
David and Abigail11  c. 1887-1892 PAL, p. 357
The City of the End of Things 30 Jun 1892-Aug 1892 A (1899), PAL, p. 179
In the Pine Groves I  Aug 1892 PAL, p. 267
In the Pine Groves II  c. Aug 1892 PAL, p. 267
To the Warbling Vireo  Aug 1892 PAL, p. 265
Sirius Sep 1892 PAL, p. 268

[Menu]                     

September 1892 (cont'd) - November 1893

        Title of poem               Date of composition              Location

The Spirit of the House  24 Sep 1892 PAL, p. 257
With Weary Brain12  c. Oct 1892 LK, p. 28
The Wind's Word  Oct 1892 PAL, p. 320
Winter-Store13 c. 1887-1892 LE (1895), PAL, p. 165
On the Death of Tennyson
     ("Tonight while the grey
      wings of storm are spread")
5 Oct 1892 ALS, p. 33
The Autumn Waste  6 Oct 1892 A (1899), PAL, p. 228
The Death of Tennyson
     ("They tell that when
     his final hour drew near")
7 Oct 1892 PAL, p. 275
Indian Summer  17 Nov 1892 A (1899), PAL, p. 225
The Emperor's True-Love  17 Jan 1893 ALS, p. 11
The Frost Elves  31 Jan 1893 ALS, p. 5
Earth--The Stoic Feb 1893 PAL, p. 283
Winter-Solitude  Feb 1893 ALS, p. 21
Spirit of the Shining Eyes  c. 1893 LK, p. 29
Forest Moods 24 May 1893 LE (1895), PAL, p. 129
Inter Vias  30 May 1893 A (1899), PAL, p. 183
Tempest14 c. Jun 1893 LK, p. 33
The Settler's Tale  1 Jun 1893 CP, p. 60
The Bird and the Hour 6 Jun 1893 LE (1895), PAL, p. 143
An Ode to the Hills  11 Aug 1893 A (1899), PAL, p. 221
"From the seer with his
   snow-white crown"
c. Sep 1893 CP, p. 63
Personality  9 Sep 1893 A( 1899), PAL, p. 185
To the Prophetic Soul  10 Sep 1893 A (1899), PAL, p. 200
Fate  c. Sep 1893 ALS, p. 24
I May Not Love You  c. Oct. 1893 LK, p. 31
Alcyone  1 Nov 1893 A (1899), PAL, p. 177

[Menu]                       

November 1893 (cont'd) - May 1894

        Title of poem               Date of composition              Location

To Chicago  10 Nov 1893 LS, p. 118
To My Daughter 18 Dec 1893 A (1899), PAL, p. 186
Epitaph on a Rich Man  18 Dec 1893 ALS, p. l9
Love c. Dec 1893 PAL, p. 282
The Woodcutter's Hut  29 Dec 1893 A (1899), PAL, p. 247
The Clearer Self  Jan 1894 A (1899), PAL, p. l99
Magic  c. Jan 1894 LK, p. 32
Peccavi, Domine  20 Feb 1894 A(1899), PAL, p. 219
Loneliness  c. Feb 1894 ALS, p. 26
Would You Care?  Feb 1894 LK, p. 37
The True Life  2 Mar 1894 ALS, p. 35
Ottawa Mar 1894 ALS, p. 20
The Story of an Affinity15 [c. Nov 1892-] Apr 1894 PAL, p. 409
Patriotism  c. Apr 1894 LS, p.123
A la Patrie  c. Apr 1894 LS, p.122
The Song Sparrow  28 Apr 1894 A (1899), PAL, p.182
To a Flower  30 Apr 1894 PAL, p. 309
May  3 May 1894 PAL, p. 261
Euphrone  4 May 1894 PAL, p. 261
Nesting Time  4 May 1894 PAL, p. 256
The Pilot  5 May 1894 PAL, p. 273
A Smile  7 May 1894 LK, p. 30
Salvation  9 May 1894 PAL, p. 263
Stoic and Hedonist  12 May 1894 PAL, p. 284
Thamyris  18 May 1894 PAL, p. 274

[Menu]                       

May 1894 (cont'd) - March 1895

         Title of poem               Date of composition              Location

The Passing of the Spirit  27 May 1894 PAL, p. 266
White Pansies  Aug 1894 A (1899), PAL, p. 227
We Too Shall Sleep  Aug 1894 A (1899), PAL, p. 228
In Beechwood Cemetery  17 Aug 1894 PAL, p. 288
The Vain Fight  c. Aug 1894 PAL, p. 283
To Death
     ("Methought in dreams I
     saw my little son--")
20 Aug 1894 PAL, p. 282
The Largest Life I  Aug 1894 PAL, p. 300
Paternity  c. 1894 PAL, p. 310
Chione  Oct 1894 A (1899), PAL, p. 187
To Chaucer  27 Oct 1894 PAL, p. 271
Distance  c. 1894 LE (1895), PAL, p. 143
Vivia Perpetua  21 Dec 1894 A (1899), PAL, p. 229
War  8 Feb 1895 A (1899), PAL, p. 243
Wind and World  12 Feb 1895 CP, p. 63
Essential Grace  c. Feb 1895 LK, p. 34
The Islet and the Palm  5 Mar 1895 A (1899), PAL, p. 194
Dead Cities II  8 Mar 1895 PAL, p. 270
Ingvi and Alf  17 Mar 1895 PAL, p. 348
Man  c. 1895 LK, p. 38
The Cloud Fleet c. 1895 CP, p. 64
The Mystery of a Year  1895? A (1899), PAL, p. 242
Refuge16  1895? A (1899), PAL, p. 184
The Choice17  c. 1895 ALS, p. 17
Impromptu  c. 1895 CP, p. 64
Vanity  c. 1895 LK, p. 35

[Menu]                     

September 1895 - July 1896

        Title of poem               Date of composition              Location

A Vision of Twilight  19 Sep 1895 A (1899), PAL, p. 195
To My Mother  Oct 1895 LE (1895), PAL, p. 123
Sapphics  14 Oct 1895 A (1899), PAL, p. 217
The Virgin Spirit 15 Oct 1895 LK, p. 36
Sorrow
     ("At last I fell asleep")
19 Oct 1895 PAL, p. 281
Cloud and Sun  c. Oct 1895 ALS, p. 25
A Portrait in Six Sonnets III c. 1895 ALS, p. 44
A Portrait in Six Sonnets V 10 Nov 1895 ALS, p. 45
A Vision of April  28 Dec 1895 ALS, p. 8
Memories  c. Jan 1896 LK, p. 39
Passion 
     ("As slowly on a mountain
     slope toward spring")
30 Jan 1896 PAL, p. 279
The Land of Pallas18 c. Aug 1891-Feb 1896 A (1899), PAL, p. 201
Phokaia 11 Feb 1896 PAL, p. 328
Sostratus  15 Feb 1896 PAL, p. 327
The Song of Pan  23 Feb 1896 A (1899), PAL, p. 193
Peace 27 Feb 1896 PAL, p. 310
In a Copy of Miss Wetherald's  
     "House of the Trees"
2 Mar 1896 CP, p. 64
Poem 4 Mar 1896 LK, p. 40
"There was once a man"  Mar 1896 CP, p. 65
A May Song  13 Apr 1896 CP, p. 65
Spring Promise  14 Apr 1896 LK, p. 46
From an Idle Poem-Maker  c. Apr 1896 LK, p. 25
Ambition  1 May 1896 PAL, p. 295
A Summer Evening  14 Jul 1896 PAL, p. 298
To Me in My Unworthiness  1896? LK, p. 42

[Menu]                       

July 1896 (cont'd) - January 1897

        Title of poem               Date of composition              Location

A Portrait in Six  Sonnets I 17 Jul 1896 ALS, p. 43
A Portrait in Six Sonnets II 28 Jul 1896 ALS, p. 43
Sorrow
     ("In the morning early")
6 Aug 1896 PAL, p. 309
My Lady c. 1896 LK, p. 43
A Portrait in Six Sonnets VI c. 1896 ALS, p. 45
A Summer Figure c. 1896 LK, p. 48
A Summer Dream c. 1896 LK, p. 41
Crete I  Sep 1896 ALS, p. 30
Crete II  c. Sep 1896 ALS, p. 30
Crete III  14 Oct 1896 ALS, p. 31
"I kept the pure and 
    glassy floors"
1896? PAL, p. 303
The Minstrel  25 Oct 1896 PAL, p. 305
Old Indeed are You  1896? LK, p. 47
Temagami  24 Nov 1896 PAL, p. 292
Night in the Wilderness  24 Nov 1896 PAL, p. 294
On Lake Temiscamingue 25 Nov 1896 PAL, p. 293
The Violinist 5 Dec 1896 PAL, p. 345
King Oswald's Feast 17 Dec 1896 PAL, p. 325
A Spanish Taunt 18 Dec 1896 PAL, p. 344
The Largest Life II 29 Dec 1896 PAL, p. 300
In the Wilds 4 Jan 1897 PAL, p. 294
The Largest Life III 16 Jan 1897 PAL, p. 301
Strife and Freedom 1897? PAL, p. 312
True Passion 1897? LK, p. 44
One Woman c. 1897 LK, p. 45

[Menu]                       

August 1897 - Jan. 1899

         Title of poem               Date of composition              Location

Far Apart c. 1897 LK, p. 52
Gold and Dross c. 1897 LK, p. 51
Kindred Spirits c. 1897 LK, p. 50
Yarrow 8 Aug 1897 PAL, p. 308
An Invitation to the Woods  Sep 1897 CP, p. 65
The Lake in the Forest Sep 1897? PAL, p. 313
The Vase of Ibn Mokbil 1 Oct 1897 PAL, p. 336
Baki c. Oct 1897 PAL, p. 340
The Passing of Autumn 3 Oct 1897 PAL, p. 312
Persistence c. 1897 ALS, p. 23
New Year's Eve19
     ("Yonder through the
     darkness surging")
c. Dec 1895-Dec 1897 ALS, p. 15
Liberty 1 Jan 1898 ALS, p. 28
The Old House 18 Mar 1898 PAL, p. 321
The Robin 12 Apr 1898 LS, p. 175
To the Ottawa River
     ("O slave, whom many a
     cunning master drills")
16 Apr 1898 PAL, p. 297
Hepaticas
     ("The trees to their  
     innermost marrow")
Apr 1898? PAL, p. 321
The Passing of Spring 21 Apr 1898 PAL, p. 296
Uplifting 28 Apr 1898 PAL, p. 290
Man's Future 1 May 1898 ALS, p. 34
To the Ottawa
     ("Dear dark-brown waters
full of all the stain")
5 Aug 1898 PAL, p. 297
Wayagamack 29-30 Aug 1898 PAL, p. 298
The Sunset
     ("Worshipped no more 
     by lips that praise or pray")
18 Nov 1898 LS, p. 172
The Winter Stars 19 Nov 1898 PAL, p. 295
Last Child 5 Dec 1898 LS, p. 174
At the Long Sault:
     May, 1660
c. Aug 1898-Jan 1899 ALS, p. 1
Even Beyond Music c. Jan 1899 ALS, p. 27
A Portrait in Six Sonnets IV 29 Jan 1899 ALS, p. 44
Winter Uplands 29-30 Jan 1899 PAL, p. 299


Notes


  1. Carl Y. Connor, Archibald Lampman: Canadian Poet of Nature (1929; Ottawa: Borealis, 1977).[back]

  2. For detailed information, see Margaret Coulby Whitridge, "The Lampman Manuscripts--A Brief Guide," in The Lampman Symposium, ed. Lorraine McMullen (Ottawa: Univ. of Ottawa Press, 1976), pp. 131-36.[back]

  3. See An Annotated Edition of the Correspondence Between Archibald Lampman and Edward William Thomson (1890-1898), ed. Helen Lynn (Ottawa: Tecumseh, 1980); and unpublished correspondence in the manuscript collections listed in Whitridge, cited above.[back]

  4. For information on the periodical publication of Lampman's work, see George Wicken, "Archibald Lampman: An Annotated Bibliography," in The Annotated Bibliography of Canada's Major Authors, ed. Robert Lecker and Jack David, II (Downsview, Ont.: ECW, 1980), 104-12.[back]

  5. "In October": dated Oct. 1883 in Library of Parliament MS. PS 8473 /A 56/A 6, Miscellaneous Poems, fol. 18; but dated Oct. 1884 and titled "October" in an initialled ms, Fisher Library, Univ. of Toronto. Lampman sent the latter copy to a friend, explaining in the accompanying letter that "the first two stanzas were made last October, the two last, this one" (To May Blackstock McKeggie, n.d., ALS, microfilm copy in Trinity College Archives, Toronto). [back]

  6. "Fair Speech": this irregular sonnet was first published as a whole in ALS; however, the sestet had appeared independently as "Good Speech" in Youth's Companion, 25 May 1893, p. 264, and was also included in Alcyone in 1899. [back]

  7. "The Poet's Song": dated 1890 in a fair copy, Univ. of Toronto, Fisher Library MS. 5058, fol. 128, in a broken chronological sequence suggesting a date late in that year; however, an undated draft exists adjacent to poems written in the Spring of 1889, in P.A.C. Notebook 1, MS, inversed pp. 1335-33 (this and all other notebooks cited are in the Lampman Papers, MG 29 D59, Public Archives of Canada, Ottawa).[back]

  8. "Before the Robin": undated and untitled drafts appear with poems of Oct. 1891 in P.A.C. Notebook 9, MS, pp. 1960, 1963, however, there is a further draft titled "Before the Robin," with the cancelled title "The Dawn of Spring," later in the same scribbler, p. 1996, with poems of April 1892. Perhaps Lampman conceived this sonnet as an autumn poem, but six months later, in an unusual change of mind, decided that it was properly a Spring poem after all.[back]

  9. "Vision": this poem is signed "L." in "At the Mermaid Inn," The Globe LToronto], 19 Nov. 1892, p. 8, rpt. in At the Mermaid Inn: Wilfred Campbell, Archibald Lampman, Duncan Campbell Scott in The Globe 1892-93, introd. Barrie Davies (Toronto: Univ. of Toronto Press, 1979), pp. 191-92. In a slightly reorganized form, beginning "Subtly conscious, all awake," the three stanzas which compose "Vision" became the opening section of "Winter-Store," LE (1895), PAL, pp. 165-66.[back]

  10. "April in the Hills": stanzas 1-4 are dated 3 April 1892, Fisher MS., fol. 130 stanzas 4 (revised) and 5 are entered overleaf, dated 19 April 1895. The earlier version of four stanzas was published in Youth's Companion, 13 April 1893, p. 190; the revised and extended version of five stanzas appears in LE.[back]

  11. "David and Abigail": references in Lampman's letters to Thomson suggest that this lengthy verse drama was largely constructed during the 1880s, then taken up, refinished, and polished in 1891-92 (Correspondence, pp. 19, 22, 25, 46, 115, 119).[back]

  12. "With Weary Brain": these stanzas, from a small bound notebook, Manuscript Poems and Notes 1894-1899, p. 954, Lampman Papers, Vol. 2, P.A.C., were edited and given their title by Whitridge in LK; however, they are clearly an initial draft for "The Wind's Word," dated Oct. 1892 in P.A.C. Notebook 9, MS, p.2035, and first published in the Independent, 26 July 1894, p. 1.[back]

  13. "Winter-Store": undated fragments of the middle section of this work appear with drafts of poems written as early as mid-1887 (P.A.C. Notebook 16, MS, inv. pp. 2714-12); other parts of the poem emerge in notebooks of 1888, 1889, and 1892, as well as in Fisher MS. fols.57-65 (dated Dec. 1889). The last section ofthe poem as published inLE (11. 193-236), was evidently also the last written, in early Oct. 1892 (P.A.C. Notebook 9, MS, pp. 2036-38).[back]

  14. "Tempest": this "Iyric," edited by Whitridge in LK, is cobbled of two draft fragments from P.A.C. MS Poems and Notes 1894-1899, pp. 973-74; the lines properly belong to "The Settler's Tale," dated 1 June 1893 in 1893-1897 MS. Book, fol. 9, Lampman Collection Simon Fraser Univ. Library. "The Settler's Tale" was eventually edited by D.C. Scott for the Canadian Magazine, 42 (Dec. 1913), 113-16.[back]

  15. "The Story of an Affinity'': dated April 1894 on a card in the fair copy, Lib. of Parl. MS. PS 8473 /A56 /S8. Remarks in Lampman's letters indicate that this "small novel in blank verse," his longest poem, was begun c. Nov. 1892. See Correspondence, pp. 50, 55, 58, 76, 81, 103, 106, 119; and Archibald Lampman, Letter to Isabelle Lampman Voorhis, 3 Mar. 1894, ALS, Simon Fraser Univ. Collection. In her notes to the Lampman-Thomson correspondence, Lynn understands Lampman's allusions to his "long tale," in letters of 2 Feb. 1894 and 28 Feb. 1894 (pp. 103, 106), to mean "David and Abigail"; but both the immediate context of these allusions and their place in the larger sequence of references strongly suggest that Lampman meant "The Story of an Affinity," which he finished in April 1894, about the same time that he sent copies of "David and Abigail" and "Lisa," both written much earlier, to Thomson for an opinion (see Correspondence, pp.46, 115-20).[back]

  16. "Refuge": this little poem leaves me more doubtful than any other of its proper place in the chronology. Its location in the most orderly of Lampman's finished manuscript volumes, Simon Fraser MS. Book, fol. 53, points to a date c. March-April 1894; but its location in one of his more disorderly notebooks, P.A.C. MS Poems and Notes 1894-1899, p. 994, points tenuously to 1895. I prefer the latter, on the general principle that the notebooks are more authoritative for determining dates, and on the circumstantial evidence that "Refuge" is a Summer poem. There is also a letter to Thomson, 25 June 1895, which records precisely the experience expressed in the Iyric (Correspondence, p. 146).[back]

  17. "The Choice": an undated draft of this eight-line credo (given its title by Scott and Brown in ALS) appears with poems of the Summer or Autumn of 1895 in P.A.C. Notebook 15, MS, inv. p. 2556. Later Lampman revised and expanded it to form the sonnet "Ambition," dated 1 May 1896 in P.A.C. MS Poems and Notes 1894-1899, p. 999.[back]

  18. "The Land of Pallas": Lampman's original version, dated Aug. 1891 and titled "The Happy Land" in Fisher MS., fols. 103-11, lacks the final four stanzas of the poem as published in Alcyone, and ends with the speaker baffled and dejected, having permanently lost his way to Utopia:

                    Then I returned upon my footsteps, madly guessing,
                         And many a day thereafter with feet sad and sore
                    I sought to win me back into that land of blessing,
                         But I had lost the way, nor could I find it more.

    A draft of the final four stanzas of the published version, which ends more optimistically, appears in P.A.C. Notebook 15, MS, inv. p. 2522, adjacent to poems of early 1896.[back]

  19. "New Year's Eve": an undated, very rough draft appears with poems of late Dec. 1895 in P.A.C. Notebook 15, MS, inv. pp. 2530-29, and another undated but more advanced draft with poems of late Dec. 1897 in P.A.C. Notebook 13, MS, pp. 2338-39. There is also an undated autograph copy in the Lampman Papers, Vol. 2, P.A.C. Lampman seems to have conceived the poem for New Year's 1896, and reworked it two years later for New Year's 1898.[back]