Queen Victoria's bedroom in Buckingham Palace, with new baby
|Dean & Co|
The Royal Railroad Carriage
(Victoria, Albert, children and maids, with Windsor Castle in the distance)
|W.H.J. Carter (publisher)|
The Fearful Accident on the North London Railway
from For the Union Dead
The old South Boston Aquarium stands
in a Sahara of snow now. Its broken windows are boarded.
The bronze weathervane cod has lost half its scales.
The airy tanks are dry.
Once my nose crawled like a snail on the glass;
my hand tingled
to burst the bubbles
drifting from the noses of the cowed, compliant fish.
. . .
The Aquarium is gone. Everywhere,
giant finned cars nose forward like fish;
a savage servility
slides by on grease.
– Robert Lowell (1964)
|Anonymous printmaker after Henry Fuseli|
|A.M. Huffam after Alexandre Marie Collin|
|William Holl the Younger after Eden Upton Eddis|
The Most Noble the Marchioness of Stafford
|Richard James Lane|
Miss Vandenhoff as Juliet
Commemorative Portrait of Tom Sayers, Champion of England
|Richard James Lane after Franz Xaver Winterhalter|
Portrait of His Highness the Maharajah Duleep Singh
Pierre Loti Visits the Maharaja of Travancore
The country-side reminded him of France.
But dawns were different:
lodged in a European guest house,
he woke each morning to the clamor of crows.
"They infest India," he wrote.
But he welcomed the sparrows, so surprisingly
like home, who hopped in and out of his room,
pecking rice from his table.
When at last the maharaja summoned him,
it was to talk of Europe.
The maharani, splendid
in silks like crinkled poppy petals,
wished only to hear of styles and carriages.
He recorded sadly
that even had they desired to speak
of those spiritual things he thirsted for
his interpreter would not have known
the French words.
sent the royal musicians to the guest house
with vinas and tamburas carved from gourds,
and small, oiled drums.
"Harsh and monotonous"
the good Abbé du Bois had written,
"but let us remember, the heathen
has not our sensibilities."
The maharaja's guest
waited attentively before the "huge guitars
and tom-toms". When the music started
almost inaudibly, he was astonished,
having expected noise. Notes droned and slid,
too alien to grasp.
At last he thought
that these most subtle modulations
expressed all that the maharaja might have said.
He took no pleasure in a music
that lacked all harmonies,
but thought he could discern a pattern.
The singing, "strange and rare", moved him.
It seemed unbearably sad.
But halfway through the concert
a page announced "the elephant is here".
Fearing to bore his guest, the maharaja
had ordered a diversion.
The bewildered foreigner
mounted the great beast's trunk
with the drone of vina and mridangam
still sounding in his ears. He was borne, swaying,
outside the landscaped grounds. Monkeys
skipped before him. The sun beat down.
Beyond the palace crashed the desolate sea.
And nothing now reminded him of home.
– Erika Mumford (published in Poetry, 1984)
Portrait of William Shakespeare
|Henry Shaw after Isaac Oliver|
Queen Elizabeth I (after the portrait at Hatfield House)
Mary, Queen of Scots
|Henry Shaw after William Scrots|
Portrait of Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey