The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: japanese art
Record 3 of 10

System Number: 12603
Date: [July 1888/1889?][1]
Author: Algernon Charles Swinburne[2]
Place: [London]
Recipient: [unknown]
Repository: British Library, London
Call Number: Department of Manuscripts, Ashley 5097.14
Document Type: AD


Fly away, butterfly, back to Japan,[4]
Tempt not a pinch at the hand of a man,
And strive not to sting ere you die away.

So pert & so painted, so proud & so pretty,
To brush the bright down from your wings were a pity s
Fly away, butterfly, fly away!

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1.  [July 1888/1889?]
This probably dates from after JW's quarrel with Swinburne over his review of JW's 'Ten O'Clock' Lecture; Swinburne, Algernon Charles, 'Mr Whistler's Lecture on Art,' Fortnightly Review, vol. 43, no. 258, (new series), 1 June 1888, vol. 49, (old series), pp. 745-51.

2.  Algernon Charles Swinburne
Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837-1909), poet and critic [more].

3.  14
Written at top right.

4.  butterfly, back to Japan
JW's monogram took the form of a butterfly; at times, when signing attacks on enemies, it had a sting in its tail