CRABBE, GEORGE (1754-1832)
AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPTS OF SIX POEMS:
(i) 'ON REVISITING A PLACE UNEXPECTEDLY AFTER LONG ABSENCE', 16 lines, beginning 'Yes. I behold the very Place / That gave such Joy that gives such Pain...', 1 page, octavo, inscribed on the verso 'by Crabbe - & is his own writing given me 1817 A. Elphinstone', not dated
(ii) 'RELIGION AND PIETY', 16 lines, beginning 'Religion is the Duty that we owe / To the most High, by Forms & Words conveyed...', signed ('Geo: Crabbe'), 1 page, octavo, from an album, numbered p. 43, dated at the end 14 January 1824
(iii) UNTITLED POEM, 10 lines, one deleted and rewritten line at the end, beginning 'Oh Loud strike the String for my Bosom is cold, / The Sound has a Charm for my Tears...', 1 page, octavo, with one line of verse on the verso by Crabbe, with a contemporary note at foot of recto identifying Crabbe and stating that it is unpublished, not dated
(iv) THREE UNTITLED POEMS, 14 lines in all, with other notes towards poems, beginning 'Thus once again my native Land I come...' (Margaret Smith notes another manuscript in one of Crabbe's notebooks); 'Hark to ye Bells, what new or joyful Thing...', and 'That as a pleasant Scene appears to all...', 2 pages, octavo, with contemporary note identifying Crabbe as the author, not dated
The first piece is published in a substantially altered version under the title 'Parham Hall' and dated 1824. Parham in Suffolk was where Crabbe lived between 1792 and 1796 in a moated house. The poem is a lament for his son Edmund who died there (Margaret Smith notes a revised manuscript in the Morgan Library). The first piece in the fourth group is also published in an altered form as the last item in The Poetical Works entitled 'Lines' and dated from Aldborough, October 1823. The other pieces are apparently unpublished - not in the Complete Works.
Only one poetical manuscript by Crabbe has been sold at auction in the last forty years at least. Most of Crabbe's verse manuscripts are in notebooks in the National Library of Scotland, Cambridge University Library, Trinity College Library, Wellesley College, and Harvard. An unknown quantity, thought to be the largest collection, is believed to be in Belvoir Castle, Rutland. Margaret Smith notes that relatively few of Crabbe's manuscripts are on single sheets.
REFERENCES: The Poetical Works of George Crabbe, edited by A.J. and R.M. Carlyle, 1908; Index of Literary Manuscripts, Volume III, Part I, compiled by Margaret Smith, 1968; George Crabbe, The Complete Works, edited by Norma Dalrymple-Champney, 3 volumes, 1988.