Valete: Tennyson and other Memorial Poems (Glasgow, 1893)

Dedicated ‘with reverence to the memory of Alfred Lord Tennyson, Poet Laureate’, who had died on 6 October 1892.

The book had mixed reviews, one reviewer commenting that it ‘consists of some remarkably well-turned verses, with more than a trace of poetry in their composition’; and another writing: ‘“Valete” is a sort of neatly-kept and lovingly-tended cemetery, in which each tombstone has a poetic epitaph in sonnet form’.  Others were less impressed:

There are more than one hundred farewell poems collected in the volume, which Mr Rawnsley has styled “Valete”: and nearly all of them smack of the cemetery. He shows himself a conscientious observer of the technical forms of his art, and a fluent producer of lines which were best in place in a gravedigger’s Gradus ad Parnassum. But he is uniformly depressing. Epitaphs are tolerable at intervals, but a volume of them is to the taste of but few among the living. Atque in perpetuum frater ave atque vale is the kindest criticism possible of the author of “Valete”. 

 Alice Fletcher, Edith's sister, died on 24 February 1884.  Her sudden death devastated Hardwicke who poured out his grief in a series of sonnets that provide the final section of this book.



Tennyson. Obiit, Aldworth, October 6th, 1892 (p. 3)

Somersby (p. 15)

*Clevedon (p. 16)

*Farringford. 1883 (p. 17)

*On Leaving Farringford (p. 18)

*To Alfred, Lord Tennyson. January 18th, 1884 (p. 19)

*To Lord Tennyson. On His 80th Birthday, August 6th, 1889 (p. 20)

A Story from the “Arabian Nights.” 1889 (p. 21)

A Farewell to the “Sunbeam.” 1889 (p. 22)

* On Hearing Lord Tennyson Read His Ode on the Death of the Duke of Wellington (p. 23)

*After the Epilogue to the Charge of the Heavy Brigade (p. 24)

Death and Fame (p. 25)

“I have Opened the Book.” At Aldworth, October 5th, 1892 (p. 26)

The Poet’s Death-Chamber (p. 27)

The Laureate Dead (p. 28)

Tennyson’s Home-Going (p. 29)

*Leaving Aldworth. October 11th, 1892 (p. 30)

The Two Poets (p. 31)

*Charles Tennyson Turner (p. 33)

*At Mablethorpe. An Episode in the Publication of the “Poems by Two Brothers,” 1827 (p. 34)

To a Portrait of the Mother of the Poets (p. 35)


The Royal Dead


In the Church of St. George (p. 39)

The Emperor William I. On His 90th Birthday (p. 40)

The Dying Kaiser. March 8th, 1888 (p. 41)

The Kaiser at Peace. March 9th, 1888 (p. 42)

A Brave Empress (p. 43)

The Crown of Thorns (p. 44)

Mourner’s Absent from the Kaiser’s Funeral (p. 45)

*The Letter of Fredrick III to Prince Bismarck (p. 46)

The Emperor Frederick. June 15th, 1888 (p. 47)

Frederick III. 1888 (p. 48)

Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence. January 14th, 1892 (p. 49)

The Crown of Tears. St. George’s Chapel, Windsor, January 20th, 1892 (p. 50)


Heroes Among Men


Sir John Franklin (p. 53)

To the Memory of Lady Jane Franklin. July 23rd, 1875 (p. 54)

Commander Wyatt Rawson. September 13th, 1882 (p. 55)

General Gordon. January 26th, 1885 (p. 56)

Father Damien. April, 1889 (p. 57)

At Livingstone’s Funeral. Westminster Abbey, April, 1874 (p. 58)


Leaders of Men


At Hughenden. 19th April, 1881 (p. 61)

*W. E. Forster. April 5th, 1886 (p. 62)

*John Bright. March 27th, 1888 (p. 63)

Lord Carnarvon. June 28th, 1890 (p. 64)

Field Marshal von Moltke. April 24th, 1891 (p. 65)


Shepherds of Men


At Keble’s Grave (p. 69)

Charles Kingsley. 1819-75. (Off Bideford Bay) (p. 70)

Dean Stanley. July 18th, 1881 (p. 71)

Dean Stanley. Buried in Westminster Abbey, July 27th, 1881 (p. 72)

The Stanley Monument in Rugby Chapel (p. 73)

*Moffat the Missionary. August 8th, 1883 (p. 74)

*Principal Shairp. September, 1885 (p. 75)

Bishop Fraser. October 2nd, 1885 (p. 76)

Bishop Hannington, Massacred with His Followers in Masai Land, Central Africa, October, 1885 (p. 77)

*Principal Tulloch. 1886 (p. 78)

Edward Thring. Headmaster of Uppingham (p. 79)

Edward Thring. October 22nd, 1887 (p. 80)

Bishop Lightfoot. December 21st, 1889 (p. 81)

Dean Oakley. June 10th, 1890 (p. 82)

Archbishop Thomson. Christmas Day, 1890 (p. 83)

Cardinal Newman (p. 84)


Canon Liddon. Buried at St. Paul’s, September 16th, 1890 (p. 85)

Archbishop Magee. Translated from Peterboro’. Died May 4th, 1891(p. 86)

Bishop Goodwin. November 25th, 1892 (p. 87)

At Bishop Goodwin’s Grave. The Day after the Funeral, November 27th, 1892 (p. 88)

Cardinal Manning. On Hearing of His Last Illness, January, 1892 (p. 89)

At the Lying in State of Cardinal Manning. January 19th, 1892 (p. 90)

Spurgeon. February 4th, 1892 (p. 91)

Bishop Phillips Brooks. Died at Boston, 23rd January, 1893 (p. 92)


Singers Among Men


Dante Gabriel Rossetti. April 9th, 1882 (p. 95)

Jenny Lind. November 2nd, 1887 (p. 96)

Matthew Arnold. In Laleham Churchyard, April, 1888 (p. 97)

*Horatius Bonar. 31st July, 1889 (p. 98)

Robert Browning. December 12th, 1889 (p. 99)

Robert Browning. Westminster Abbey, December 30th, 1889 (p. 100)

A Cry from Florence. December 12th, 1889 (p. 101)

James Russell Lowell. August 12th, 1891(p. 102)

Lowell’s Last Dream (p. 103)

The Centenary of Mozart. December 4th, 1891 (p. 104)

Walt Whitman. March 26th, 1892 (p. 105)

*John Greenleaf Whittier. September 7th, 1892 (p. 106) 


Thinkers Among Men


Carlyle. Chelsea, February 5th, 1881 (p. 109)

Thomas Hill Green. Oxford, March 26th, 1882 (p. 110)

Dr. John Brown. Died at Edinburgh, May 11th, 1882 (p. 111)

John Richard Green. 1837-1883 (p. 112)

Dr. Hollinger. January 10th, 1890 (p. 113)

Lord Justice General Inglis. August 20th, 1891 (p. 114)

Sir George Airy. Died January 2, 1892, in His 91st Year (p. 115)

John Couch Adams. The English Discoverer of the Planet Neptune, Died at Cambridge, January 21st, 1892 (p. 116)

  1. E. Nettleship. Died on Mount Blanc, August 25th, 1892 (p. 117)

Renan. Obiit, Paris, October 2nd, 1892 (p. 118)

Sir Richard Owen. December 18th, 1892 (p. 119)


Friends and Neighbours


  1. P. Seeley. Died in Lebanon, Engaged in Mission Work, October 25th, 1881 (p. 123)

The Painter’s Home-Going. In Memoriam G. Q. P. Talbot, Obiit May 28th, 1885 (p. 124)

Auguste Guyard. Barmouth (p. 125)

A Peaceful End. Cross Syke, 1886 (p. 126)

  1. R. and F. S. S. B. Drowned whilst Sailing on Derwentwater in a Squall, September 9th, 1886 (p. 127)

John Richardson. Cumberland Poet and Schoolmaster, St. John’s Vale. April 30th, 1886 (p. 128)


Life-boat Heroes. The Upsetting of the St. Anne’s Lifeboat. December, 1886 (p. 129)

Life through Death. The Colliery Explosion at St. Helen’s, Workington. April 19th, 1888 (p. 130)

Ned Brown. Killed at His Post, Thornthwaite Mines, 1889 (p. 131)

The Poet’s ‘Lilian.’ In Memory of S. E. Shawell, October 14th, 1889 (p. 132)

Mary Stanger. Fieldside, Keswick, February 5th, 1890 (p. 133)

Last of the Dorothys that Rydal knew. Green-Bank, Ambleside (p. 134)

Good-bye, Old friend, Good-bye! The Funeral, February 25th, 1890 (p. 135)

James Lappin. Late Chairman of the Liverpool Stock Exchange, October 25th, 1890 (p. 136)

*William Greenip, the Village Naturalist. Died at Keswick, November 2nd, 1890 (p. 137)

Robert Graves, the Village Weaver. 1891 (p. 138)

*Joseph Hawell. February 20th, 1891 (p. 139)

*A.L., Derwent Bank. July 13th, 1891 (p. 140)

  1. D. Sedding. In Holy Trinity Church, Sloane Street, 1891 (p. 141)

To the Memory of Oliver Heywood. Manchester, March 17th, 1892 (p. 142)

Joe Cape, the Clogger. February 25th, 1893 (p. 143)

The Gate of Rest. To the Memory of Mrs. Sarah Thring and Her Son, Theodore. September 26th, 1891 (p. 144)

*Elizabeth Atlee. Wife of the Vicar of Buttermere, Who, While Engaged in Mission Work, Died on Mount Olivet. February 7th, 1892 (p. 145)



Alice Fletcher


Alice. February 24th, 1884 (p. 153)

Death the Enlightener (p. 154)

The Hush of Death (p. 155)

Vain Regrets (p. 156)

Alice Buried. February 26th, 1884 (p. 157)

In Brathay Churchyard (p. 158)

Present but Absent (p. 159)

A Sad Communion (p. 160)

The Haunted Room (p. 161)

A Drear Night-Walk (p. 162)

Star-Rising (p. 163)

Hymn. Sung at the Grave of A. F., Brathay Churchyard, February 26th, 1884 (p. 164)

(* Published previously)