‘In Memoriam’

Framed manuscript of a poem written in black ink
Framed autograph manuscript, 1895 (II/10/1)

Butler drafted this poem after bidding farewell to his friend Hans Faesch, who left England in ill health, bound for Singapore on a stormy night in February 1895. The poem’s title was somewhat pessimistic – Faesch survived the journey, settled in the East and went on to outlive Butler – but the sentiment was genuine. Butler referred to the poem as ‘the best thing I ever wrote’, but he did not publish it, realising his effusive expression of affection for his male friend might be misconstrued by the public.

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