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former we can never read too often, and we turn gratefully from the painful waste of genius which torments us in “ Maud,” to the temperate flow of lordly verse, the wisdom of thought, the lucidity of expression, which make this Ode incomparably the finest work of art that any Poet Laureate has ever produced in discharge of the functions of his office. Sometimes we are in. clined to think that, in this sort of subject, Mr. Tennyson has no independent power of origination; but is simply an involuntary focus, which collects into a shining point the existing condition of natural feeling and thought; and that “Maud” is the image of our present perplexities, as the Ode is that of the common deep feeling and general current of reflection, aroused by the death of the Duke. This volume contains, moreover, one or two small poems, sufficient to indicate that in the domain of tranquil fancy Tennyson's powers remain little impaired. We quote, in a connected form, what is unmistakeably the gem of all that is new in the book :

“I come from haunts of coot and hern,

I make a sudden sally
And sparkle out among the fern,

To bicker down a valley.
“ By thirty hills I hurry down,

Or slip between the ridges,
By twenty thorps, a little town,

And half a hundred bridges.
Till last by Philip's farm I flow

To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,

But I go on for ever.
“I chatter over stony ways,

In little sharps and trebles,
I bubble into eddying bays,

I babble on the pebbles.
With many a curve my banks I fret

By many a field and fallow,
And many a fairy foreland set

With willow-weed and mallow.
“I chatter, chatter, as I flow

To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,

But I go on for ever.
“I wind about, and in and out,

With here a blossom sailing,
And here and there a lusty trout,
And here and there a grayling.

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And here and there a foamy flake

Upon me, as I travel
With many a silvery waterbreak

Above the golden gravel.
And draw them all along, and flow

To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,

But I go on for ever.
· I steal by lawns and grassy plots,

I slide by hazel covers ;
I move the sweet forget-me-nots

That grow for happy lovers.
"I slip, I slide, I gloom, I glance,

Among my skimming swallows;
I make the netted sunbeam dance

Against my sandy shallows.
· I murmur under moon and stars

In brambly wildernesses;
I linger by my shingly bars;

I loiter round my cresses;
And out again I curve and flow

To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,

But I go on for ever.” What more are we to look for from Mr. Tennyson? “Maud" itself does not seem to indicate that his command over language and fancy is in the least contracted; it has no trace of the relaxed nerves of age, not even of that diminished boldness of imagination and vividness of fancy, which in general detract from the advantages of matured judgment and taste in a poet. Its faults are rawness and incoherence; it is just the poem which would have excited brilliant hopes for the poetical career of a boy of nineteen. It is the more lamentable that so great a poet should, in the unweakened vigour of his powers, want only those advantages which his own will could have secured him; that one whom nature has so lavishly endowed should be content to serve as a new example that severe and persevering efforts are necessary to the progress of a poet, necessary even to guard against sudden and rapid retrogression. The poet is born, not made : but this is all nature does for him.-Suddenly the saying is reversed. He does not grow; he must build up himself. Nature graces her young athlete with swiftness and strength, she brings him to the starting-place, she strips and anoints him ; but it is for him to run the race : the mere rejoicing in his faculties, effortless spurning of the dust, may carry him some way along the course; but not without toiling and sweat is the grasping of the crown. So her gifts to the poet—a fertile fancy, a passionateness or, in its place, an intensity of nature, swift imagination, and piercing vision-are but the instruments of the success he is to win for himself. They may flash with a brilliant heaven-aspiring pyramid of fire, to sink with swift decadence and play in feeble glimmerings, like fitful false auroras, or they may rise in full and glorious advance like the sun, from the morning to the mid-day, till

All the earth and air

With the song is loud." Keats was more richly endowed by nature with the special temperament, and some of the most important gifts of a poet, than any other modern writer. He was cut off when he had but shaken his young sword in the freshness and exultation of his strength, and he left it a perfectly open question, whether he could ever have fought his way to great things, or idly flourished the bright weapon till it rusted in his hand. What would have been Shelley's career, on the other hand, no one can doubt; partly because he lived longer; but his face was ever up the mountain, his nature softening and refining, his intellect broadening, and his imagination growing more searching and comprehensive, as, day by day, his unwearied shining sickle reaped the ever-springing golden harvest of beauty. Of him we may aver, safely, that had he lived, he would have ranked high-perhaps only second among the poets of England. Wordsworth, from a soil not naturally rich, gathered by patient and indefatigable spade-husbandry a noble and abundant crop. In him culture was carried something too far, or at least was too anxiously pursued, until it even took a taint of egotism, and wanted a perpetual discrimination, which should not have left the tares to ripen with the wheat, to the unbounded annoy. ance of the purchaser of six volumes.

Is Mr. Tennyson to stand as the instance of as disproportioned a neglect ? We earnestly trust that the truer view is, that “Maud" indicates only some sudden and passing perversion of taste and judgment; that it is the symptom of an acute seizure, not of a chronic failing; and that one to whom the English language is already so deeply indebted, has still the power and the will to add some things worthy of his genius and his fame.

ART. VII.-THE STATESMEN OF THE DAY.

Hansard's Parliamentary Debates.—Session of 1855.
Earl Grey's Speech on the Negotiations at Vienna. May 25th,

1855.

THE state of parliamentary politics at the present moment

cannot be viewed without grave uneasiness and unfeigned regret. It is not conducive to the public interest, and it is not creditable to public men. The nation-accustomed, in spite of its habitual murmurings, to look up to its leading senators and statesmen with some deference, and with much substantial reliance-has had its confidence rudely shaken, if not in their integrity, at least in their sound judgment and stanch patriotism. Men of the most unquestioned ability have acted and spoken in a manner that to ordinary understandings seems marvellously like folly ; politicians of the longest experience and of spotless reputation for high-minded honour have taken a course which no ingenuity can reconcile with our current notions of either wisdom or propriety; the most distinguished of our rulers have laid themselves open to the most grievous imputations; a crisis, that of all others demanded the most cordial union among those entrusted with the management of public affairs, has been marked above all others by severances and dissensions; and the most sudden, frequent, and incomprehensible changes in the personnel of Government, have followed one upon another precisely at the conjuncture of our national history when changes were most fraught with peril and discredit. And the people, spectators at once and victims of those strange evolutions, are bewildered, resentful and suspicious. There are many unmistakeable symptoms of the growth of that universal distrust of those who are high in character or eminent in station, which, of all maladies that can seize upon a country, is the most rapid in its progress and the most ominous of catastrophe and convulsion. Faith in men, like faith in God, lies at the foundation of all heroic effort and all firm endurance. A nation that has begun to doubt its deities and disbelieve its creeds is losing the very life-blood of its being; an army that suspects its generals of incapacity or treachery can win no further victories; an army that cashiers them one after another as unworthy of reliance can hardly, save by miracle, escape dispersion and defeat.

There is another very serious feature in the present aspect of affairs. We are carrying on a desperate war with a power of the first order—an adversary of vast strength and consummate skill. The country has embarked heart and soul in the struggle; it is confident in the justice of its cause ; it is determined to succeed; and its substantial resources are, we cannot doubt, amply sufficient to ensure success.

But in order that these resources should be turned to full account, it is essential that they should be wielded by the ablest hands of the kingdom; in order to command complete and certain victory, it is necessary that we should fight cum toto corpore regni—with all our moral force as well as with all our material means,—that there should be no divisions in our camp, that our statesmen and legislators should be as unanimous and resolute as the country which they govern, and in whose name they assume or are called upon to act. Are these things so ? On the contrary, there can hardly be a wider discrepancy between what is and what ought to be. When the war began, the Administration comprised all shades of Liberals; it was the broadest that could possibly be formed; it was supported by all except the regular Tory opposition and the irregular Manchester guerillas ; it included, with one single exception, every man of first-rate eminence and proved ministerial ability. Lord Grey alone, for some reason or other, had not joined the Cabinet of All the Talents. But since then, on various occasions, on pretexts more or less valid, in a manner more or less creditable, one after another of the most promisnent members of the Government have seceded, and joined the opposition, or set up a special opposition of their own; till only two statesmen of the highest standing as to ability and character-Lord Lansdowne and Lord Clarendon--remain at the head of affairs: the other members of the Cabinet to whom is committed the conduct of affairs at one of the gravest crises in the destiny of England, are all either discredited or second rate. That men like Lord Derby, Lord Ellenborough, Lord Malmesbury, and Mr. Disraeli, should find fault with the management of the war, and should thwart and embarrass the men whose places they covet, is natural and normal, and gives us no uneasiness. But that men like Lord Grey, Mr. Bright, Mr. Cobden, Mr. Gladstone, Sir James Graham, Mr. Sidney Herbert, the Duke of Newcastle, and Lord John Russell, should have seceded, or should stand aloof, --should be lost to the Government, should actually oppose the continuance of the war, and should refuse to stand by the country or aid it in the great cause it has embraced, this is a phenomenon which cannot be regarded without deep anxiety; since it would be affectation to deny that (with the exception of the two noblemen lately named) these are the most celebrated names in the ranks of Parliament, and are all eminent either for

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