THE BELFRY OF BRUGES and Other Poems. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.


["I shot an arrow into the air"] Cambridge: Published by John Owen, 1846. Original white wrappers decoratively lithographed in gold.

First Edition of this early collection of poems -- only nine of which are appearing in book form for the first time here, but notably, one of the nine is "The Arrow and the Song" ("I shot an arrow into the air, | It fell to earth, I knew not where..."). In addition, this volume contains Longfellow's "translation" (really his own phrasing) of the poem "Retribution" from a thought originated by a 16th Century German poet: "Though the mills of God grind slowly, yet they grind exceeding small; | Though with patience he stands waiting, with exactness grinds he all.").

Although THE BELFRY OF BRUGES's title page is dated 1846, it was actually published at Christmastime 1845: it was the custom to post-date title pages issued at the tail end of a year. It was intended that the wrapper be dated 1846, as well -- but Owen had already had the lithography done with "1845," and in view of the cost to re-do it, the error was allowed to stand. (In any case, there are no copies with that 1845 date on the title page.)

This copy is still in the original delicate paper wrappers. It is in near-fine condition (covers quite well preserved, spine a little browned and rubbed). Blanck 12083. Housed in a cloth clamshell case with leather label.

Provenance: the half-title bears the penciled signature of S.T. Darrah, and the inside front cover bears the bookplate of Robert Darrah Jenks ("Library of Robert K. Darrah | May 22nd, 1885"). Annie (Mrs. James T.) Fields wrote a lengthy obituary of RKD (1818-1885) of Boston; his nephew RDJ (1875-1917) was the subject of the privately-printed "A Memorial and a Tribute from His Friends" (Philadelphia 1917). Item #14080

Price: $795.00

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