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Poems by Siegfried Sassoon

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.10193

Scope and Contents

Notebook comprising fair copies, with some revisions, of poems by Siegfried Sassoon, together with illustrations and decorations. Some of the poems bear the date of their composition. Sassoon presented the notebook to Lady Ottoline Morrell in January 1917 and made additions to it in subsequent years. Contents:

Preliminary matter:

• [1r]. ‘To victory’ (newspaper cutting from The Times, 15 Jan. 1916) • [1v]. Feather • [2r]. Title page • [2v]. ‘Edition’ statement and date • [3r]. Dedication • [3v]. Epigraph: excerpt from Emily Brontë, ‘The prisoner. A fragment’ (stanza 10) • [4r]. Epigraph: excerpt from Thomas Traherne, Centuries (meditation 3, century 3)


• [5r]. ‘A mystic as soldier’ • [7r-10r]. ‘The death bed’ • [12r-23r]. ‘The last meeting’ • [25r]. ‘Before day’, 1909 • [26r]. ‘At Carnoy’, 3 July 1916 • [27r]. ‘Secret music’ • [29r-30r]. ‘The road’ • [31r]. ‘Two hundred years after’ • [32r]. ‘Butterflies’, Aug. 1918 • [33r]. ‘Vision’, Aug. 1918 • [34r]. ‘Idyll’, Feb. 1918 • [35r]. “I stood with the Dead, so forsaken and still...”, June 1918 • [36r]. ‘Reconciliation’, Oct. 1918 • [38r]. ‘Slumber song’, Dec. 1918 • [39r]. ‘Wraiths’, Sept. 1918 • [40r-42r]. ‘Limitations’, Sept. 1919 • [Between 41v and 42r]. ‘Everyone sang’, 12 Apr. 1919 • [44r]. ‘Clavichord recital’, Sept. 1922 • [45r]. ‘Vigil’, July 1922 • [46r]. ‘Invocation’ [The heart’s journey, I], Nov. 1923 • [47r]. ‘Prelude’ [The heart’s journey, VII], Dec. 1923 • [Between 47v and 48r]. ‘To an old lady, dead’ • [48r]. ‘All-souls day’ [The heart’s journey, XXVIII], Sept. 1925 • [49r]. ‘Presences perfected’ [written in a cartouche within a decorative watercolour background] • [50r]. “The mind of man environing its thought...” [written in a cartouche within a decorative watercolour background] • [51v]. “My past has gone to bed. Upstairs in clockless rooms...” [written in a cartouche within a decorative watercolour background]


• [6r]. ‘The skies were mine...’ • [11r]. ‘... silence in the summer night ..’ • [24r]. ‘... my body is the magic of the world ...’ • [28r]. ‘Death in his carnival ...’ • [37r]. ‘I stood with the Dead ....’ • [43r]. ‘... When tree-tops loomed enchanted for a child ...’


• [Inserted loose]. A duplicated typescript copy of Sassoon's statement against the conduct of the War, July 1917


  • Creation: 1916-[1930s]


Conditions Governing Access

The volume is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (


0.003 cubic metre(s) (1 volume)

Language of Materials


Custodial History

Produced by Siegfried Sassoon for Lady Ottoline Morrell and presented to her in January 1917.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased via Woolley and Wallis Salisbury Salerooms from the descendants of Lady Ottoline Morrell in August 2017.


All the poems in this notebook were published by Sassoon at various times, and with the exception of ‘Clavichord recital’ all appear in Siegfried Sassoon, 'Collected poems 1908-1956', London: Faber and Faber (1961). See also John Wells, ‘Poems: by Siegfried Sassoon’, in 'Bulletin of the Friends of Cambridge University Library', vol. 38 (2017).

Physical Description

A volume of 66 leaves. It has a limp, laced-case natural vellum binding with a long lacing path and alum-tawed ties, and the paper is watermarked throughout with a roundel device, positioned so as to be bisected by the folds of the gatherings. The front cover is inked with Sassoon’s double-S monogram within a roughly-drawn oval. At the head of the spine are the rubbed traces of a red label.


The foliation used in this description is the archivist's. Sassoon also foliated some leaves in the volume.

Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

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