Monday, 4 April 1864

Weather fine ― but strongish N. Wind. Everything was ready as early as I could manage, & G. took the last things away to Spiro’s room. ―

So only the 11 packages for the voyage remained. Wandered about miserably ― & had to get one or 2 little things at Courages ― & Taylor’s. Walking up the Ghetto ― spoke to Politi, who thinks all the Jews will go sooner or later. At 12.40 to De Veres ― & lunched with them for the last time.

Came away at 2 ― & came off at 3 with George & Spiro in a boat to the Austn. Lloyd’s ― “Stadium.” (Saw Capt. Deverill ― & heard that all the 10 little geese were dead or stolen.) Sad enough am I ― but in better spirits than when I went last year, for Evelyn Baring joined me soon after, & at 5. we left Corfu. ―

Once more I left the loveliest place in the world ― with a pang ― tho’ less this time thro’ not being alone. Dinner ― & afterwards, B. & I walked talked smoked & sate till 8 ― when there was tea ― & then we sate stargazing rill 9 ― when we went to bed. Slept till 10.30 ― but the rolling & cracking of the ship when we got out with full sea beyond Παξῶ bored & worried me terribly: later it grew calmer, & I slept from 12.45 ― to 6.15 ― when G. woke me.

She sits upon her Bulbul
Through the long long hours of night ―
Watching ˇ[And] Where ^[o’er] the dark horizon gleams
The Yashmack’s fitful light.
The dark lone Yaourt sails slowly down
The deep & craggy dell ―
And from his lofty nest, loud screams
The white plumed Asphodel.[1]

Alas! indeed yes! ―
(12 August 1865) ―
Yesterday H. de Vere was killed.


[1]This poem was published, without recording the variants, by Vivien Noakes in Edward Lear, The Complete Verse and Other Nonsense, p. 184; the note on p. 496, however, misdates it to 4 April 1863.


[Transcribed by Marco Graziosi from Houghton Library, Harvard University, MS Eng. 797.3. Image.]

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Filed under 1864, Diary Entry

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