Hymn to Intellectual Beauty

After the discovery of the Scrope Davies Notebook, two distinct versions of Hymn to Intellectual Beauty became known. The previously known version first appeared in Leigh Hunt’s The Examiner for 19 January 1817 (no. 473, p. 41). The poem was composed between 22 June and 29 August, perhaps first drafted during PBS’s voyage around Lake Geneva with Byron from 22-30 June 1816, as MWS recalls in her 1839 edition of PBS’s poetry. She copied it into SDN, as she had done for the two sonnets that also appear in that notebook. A third version of the poem appeared in PBS’s Rosalind and Helen volume (1819), though PBS did not have a chance to read and correct proof for the poem, resulting in what he deemed “errors in the sense.” A fair copy of Hymn to Intellectual Beauty can be accessed below, or in the context of the notebook in which it appears: British Library Loan MS 70/8.