Title (Poems [1891]; Works [1903])— W. G. Collingwood gave the title “Lago Maggiore” to this poem, which is untitled in MS VIII draft. Collingwood does not justify this choice in his notes on the “Account”; but while no definitive internal evidence sanctions this identification, one can guess that Lago Maggiore was suggested to the editor by elements of the poetʼs description, as noted in the contextual glosses.




“So broadly stretched in sapphire sheet,— / . . . / And the moon she sits in her majesty” (Poems [1891]; Works [1903])—Without comment, W. G. Collingwood attached the eight lines, “So broadly stretched in sapphire sheet”, which appear on 78v of MS VIII, to the end of “It was an eve of summer mild” [“Lago Maggiore”]. In MS VIII, the eight lines on 78v are enclosed in parentheses—marks which were probably made by Ruskin (the ink is the same color as for the text), and which are most readily explained as separating the lines from the draft sections of prose essay for "Heidelberg" that immediately precede and follow them (parts 2 and 3, respectively, of the essay draft, “Cont. Heidelberg” [“The castle of Heidelberg is exceeding desolate”], and “All has yielded to it from time immemorial”). Otherwise, no meta‐discursive indication in the manuscript connects the two line groups.
Collingwoodʼs choice was probably aesthetic but also reasoned. Both the lines on 78v and the poem composed earlier on 64v–65r are fragments—the eight lines not only lacking context but also unrhymed in the final couplet, and the earlier poem ending apparently in mid‐sentence. Both sets of lines also describe sailing on a deeply blue lake as if in a liminal space between water, sky, and mountain glacier. Appending the eight lines to the earlier poem even creates an appearance of closure, with Ruskinʼs final line on 78v, “And the moon she sits in her majesty”, causing the combined lines to circle back to the image of the moon in the opening lines: “It was an eve of summer, mild, / As ever looked the pale moon through”. Still the seam shows at the join, the unfinished sentence in the earlier poem calling for a clause starting with “that” (“Yet was there such a softness shed . . .”), not the "so" starting the second fragment; and if the final lines of the earier poem are read as an exclamatory appreciation (“Yet was there such a softness shed . . .”), no further clause is required at all. Collingwoodʼs choice to combine these two sets of lines is justifiable, but remains speculative; and one must question why in this instance he departed from his editorial principle of omitting publication of fragmentary writing (see Poems [1891]).
In the Library Edition, the editors reprinted Collingwoodʼs text, including the interpolated lines, likewise without comment. They did compare the added lines with the MS VIII witness, however, as indicated by their correcting Collingwoodʼs version of the line, “Another heaven beneath our feet”, to “Another heaven ʼneath our feet”, preserving Ruskinʼs contraction as found in the manuscript witness.