IL PENSEROSO and L'ALLEGRO.
IL PENSEROSO and L'ALLEGRO.
IL PENSEROSO and L'ALLEGRO.

IL PENSEROSO and L'ALLEGRO.

(New York: Printed by the Thistle Press for the Limited Editions Club, 1954).

FIRST OF THE EDITION WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY WILLIAM BLAKE. William Blake's illustrations have been reproduced from the original drawings now in the possession of The Pierpont Morgan Library. The book is designed by Bruce Rogers and printed dos-a-dos and was issued unsigned.
'Il Penseroso (The Serious Man) is a vision of poetic melancholy first found in the 1645/1646 quarto of verses The Poems of Mr. John Milton, both English and Latin. It was presented as a companion piece to L'Allegro, a vision of poetic mirth. The speaker of this reflective ode dispels "vain deluding Joys" from his mind in a ten-line prelude, before invoking "divinest Melancholy" to inspire his future verses. The melancholic mood is idealised by the speaker as a means by which to "attain / To something like prophetic strain," and for the central action of Il Penseroso – which, like L'Allegro, proceeds in couplets of iambic tetrameter – the speaker speculates about the poetic inspiration that would transpire if the imagined goddess of Melancholy he invokes were his Muse. L'Allegro is a pastoral poem by John Milton also published in his 1645 Poems. L'Allegro (which means "the happy man" in Italian) has from its first appearance been paired with the contrasting pastoral poem, Il Penseroso ("the melancholy or serious man"), which depicts a similar day spent in contemplation and thought. The two poems served as a balance to each other and to Milton's Latin poems, including "Elegia 1" and "Elegia 6". Wiki
. Item #25835

Number 1258 of 1780 copies. This copy with the original prospectus and letter describing the book and its production. With illustrations by William Blake throughout. Small folio, bound dos-à-dos in the publisher's dark green cloth with gilt lettering to the spine and both covers and with marbled endpapers at the beginning and end of each of the two texts, and housed in the original green slipcase. 90 pp. A very fine copy, as pristine, the slipcase with a bit of mellowing at the edges.

Price: $150.00