Sunday, November 7, 2010

Limericks on Lizzie

Dear Lizzie Rossetti laughed to find that she and Swinburne had such shocks of the same coloured hair, and one night when we went in our thousands to see "Colleen Bawn," she declared that as she sat at one end of the row we filled and he at the other, a boy who was selling books of the play looked at Swinburne and took fright, and then, when he came round to where she was, started again with terror, muttering to himself "There's another of 'em!"

Gabriel commemorated one view of her appearance in his rhyme beginning "There is a poor creature named Lizzie, Whose aspect is meagre and frizzy," and there, so far as I remember, his muse halted; but she completed another verse on her to her great satisfaction, thus:
There is a poor creature named Lizzie
Whose pictures are dear at a tizzy;
And of this great proof
Is that all stand aloof.
From paying that sum unto Lizzie.

--From the Memorials of Edward Burne-Jones


Hermes said...

That's just lovely. I have a lot of sympathy for Lizzie, I think Rossetti was not exactly the best of partners.

Anonymous said...

I love that anecdote. It gives us a happy glimpse of Lizzie. There are so many books that gather their information about Lizzie from William Michael Rossetti and she is presented as humorless and without much personality. I think that DGR and Lizzie truly did care for each other (although Rossetti's version of 'caring' may not have been what Lizzie needed in a relationship). I think they both were passionate about art and that they loved the idea of their relationship much more than the actual relationship itself, if that makes sense.