Edenic Memory in Morris: Allegory in “A Garden by the Sea”

In a helpful companion, The Best Poems of the English Language: From Chaucer Through Robert Frost, its editor Harold Bloom describes William Morris (1834–1896) as a “gifted lyrical and narrative poet.” It’s an uncontroversial description but perhaps a tad laconic, as is the rest of his two paragraph summary of Morris’ poetic reputation. Nevertheless, Bloom’s selection contains what I believe to be a quite under-rated poem, his “A Garden by the Sea,” reproduced below.