White Stains, the literary remains of George Archibald Bishop, a
neuropath of the Second Empire, (n. p. London), 1898.
Small quarto, 131 pp.
On the back of the title pages these words are printed: “Un
nouveau Phedre a lui moins dure.” What this means is not
explained in the volume, and the accent on the name of the
incestuous heroine is wrongly placed. Then we have the
following lines: “The editor hopes that mental Pathologists, for
whose eyes alone this treatise is destined, will spare no
precaution to prevent it falling into other hands.” Why the
word “treatise” is used, I do not know, unless it be to keep up
the mad character of the work, which is nothing more than a
volume of obscene, blasphemous, and shamelessly filthy poetry,
devoted to the glorification of unnatural vices of all kinds.
It seems that only 100 copies were struck off, and it is a pity
that so much talent should have been wasted upon a clever
mystification, for I refuse to take the book seriously,
notwithstanding that there is a preface of infinite violence,
giving a sketch of the life of the mythical author, who is
supposed to have died mad:
He was commited [sic] to an asylum, for there could no longer be
any doubt of his complete insanity; for three weeks he had been
raving with a synthe, and satyriasis. He survived his
confinement no long time; the burning of the asylum with its
inmates was one of the most horrible events of the war of 1870.
I should like to know the address of that asylum, of which I
never heard, nor can any of my contemporaries call to mind the
conflagration in question.
This wonderful manuscript came to his mistress, whose name is
given in full, and she contracted a terrible disease in the last
few days of her life with him. This shock, mingled with her
splendid lover’s sequestration in a madhouse, unhinges her mind
as well, and she shoots herself on July 5, 1869. It is a great
satisfaction for the reader to know this date, I should say.
There are about three dozen poems, where it will be found that
the writer has cleverly parodied the style of the masters of the
fleshy school, besides some others whose manner will be easily
recognized by the general reader. A few of the poems are in
very bad French.
“Ode to Venus Callipyge,” “A Ballad or Passive Paederasty,” and
“Necrophilia,” are three of the most suggestive titles, and were
I writing a prospectus to push the sales of this most remarkable
and vile publication, I should add that none of the promises
foreshadowed by the index are belied. Those who can enjoy what
may be called the clever dressing-up of dirt, will revel in this
peculiar concoction, but for those who may not care to grace
their library shelves with Mr. Bishop’s verses, I venture to
print here one of his most singular effusions, as it treats of a
combination that I have never yet seen described by any poet,
and it will give some slight idea of the writer’s misdirected
With Dog and Dame: An October Idyl
The ways are golden with the leaves
That autumn blows about the air,
The trees sing anthems of despair,
And my fair mistress binds the sheaves
Of yellow hair more loose, and weaves
More subtly bars of song, that bear
Bright children of love debonair,
And laughter lightly comes, and reaves
The garland from our sorrow’s brow,
Life rises up, is girt with song,
Joy fills the cup, that flashes clear.
The year may fade in whispers now,
Shadow and silence now may throng
The seasons—we are happy here.
Autumn is on us as we lie
In creamy clouds of latticed light
That hint at darkness, but descry
A rosy flicker through the night,
My mistress, my great Dane, and I.
We linger in the dusk—her head
Lolls on the pillow, and my eyes
Catch rapture, as upon the bed
He licks her lazy lips, and tries
To tempt her tongue. My fires are fed.
Her heavy drooping breasts entice
My teeth to jewel them with blood,
Her hand prepares the sacrifice
She would desire of me, the flood
That wells from shrines of Paradise.
Her other hand is mischievous
To bid the monster Dane grow mad,
His red-haw gaze grows mutinous,
Her eyes have lost the calm they had,
My body grows all amorous.
My tongue within her mouth excites
Her dirtiest lust, her vilest dream;
Her greedy mouth her bosom bites;
He cannot hold, his eyeballs gleam;
He bums to consummate the rites.
I yield him place: his ravening teeth
Cling hard to her—he buries him
Insane and furious in the sheath
She opens for him—wide and dim
My mouth is amorous beneath.
Her lips devour me, and I rave
With pleasure to discern the love
They twain exert, my lips who lave
With double dew distilled above;
To dog and woman I am slave.
Nor move though now essays the Dane
To cool his weapon in my mouth;
Her lust bestrides me, and is fain
To quench in his sweet sweat her drouth
Her fingers probe my bowel again.
All three enjoy once more, and I
Am ready ever to renew
These bestial orgie-nights, whereby
Loose woman’s love is spiced, as dew
On tender spray of spring doth lie.
Like the cold moon to earth and sun
My mistress lingers in eclipse,
We wake her passion, either one
Licking each pouting pair of lips
Till new sweet streams of nectar run.
’Tis Autumn, and the dying breeze
Murmurs “embrace”; the moon replies
“Embrace”; the sighing of the trees
Calls us to linger loverwise,
And drain our passion to the lees.
’Tis Autumn. The belated dove
Calls through the beeches, that bestir
Themselves to kiss the sky above,
As I will kiss with him and her,
Leave us, sweet Autumn, to our love.
— Forbidden Books: Notes and Gossip on Tabooed
By an Old Bibliophile, Paris, 1902. Pages 68 - 71.