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Whatever we may have to say on Mr. Tennyson's Maud,” he is still master of this art, as will be seen by the following extract from one of the poems in his new volume.


“So Lawrence Aylmer, seated on a stile
In the long hedge, and rolling in his mind
Old waifs of rhyme, and howing o'er the brook
A tonsured head in middle age forlorn,
Mused, and was mute. On a sudden a low breath
Of tender air made tremble in the hedge
The fragil bindweed-bells and bryony rings ;
And he looked up. There stood a maiden near,
Waiting to pass. In much amaze he stared
On eyes a bashful azure, and on hair
In gloss and hue the chestnut, when the shell
Divides threefold to show the fruit within :
Then, wondering, asked her, ‘Are you from the farin ?'
*Yes,' answered she. “Pray stay a little : pardon me,
What do they call you?' Katie.' That were strange.
What surname ?' *Willows. “No!' "That is my name.'
• Indeed!' and here he look'd so self perplext,
That Katie laughed, and laughing blushed, till he
Laugh'd also, but as one before he wakes,
Who feels a glimmering strangeness in his dream.
Then looking at her; Too happy, fresh, and fair,
Too fresh and fair in our sad world's best bloom,
To be the ghost of one who bore your name
About these meadows, twenty years ago.'



Have you not heard ?' said Katie,' we came back.
We bought the farm we tenanted before.
Am I so like her ? so they said on board.
Sir, if you knew her in her English days,
My mother, as it seems you did, the days
That most she loves to talk of, come with me.
My brother James is in the harvest-field :
But she-you will be welcome-0, come in !""

And Tennyson does more than excel in colloquial poetry. His style throughout is new, entirely different from any thing the world has seen before, and exactly adapted to the day. Wordsworth insisted on an every-day poetic vocabulary. Tennyson introduced a modern poetic phraseology

Nor is his matter less impregnated with the dominant feelings of his time. He sympathises with the modern bent of thought. He is touched with the triumphant, somewhat boastful temper of an age of physical discovery. He exults in endless development. He tells us that “The thoughts of men are widen'd with the process of

the suns." In this century men really have won new ground in one direction. They have enlarged the play of thought in the domain of science, and a fresh and rapid advance has given a forward attitude to our hopes and our philosophy. Tennyson is deeply tinged with this feeling. He loves to look onward over vast prospects of future time, and to imagine the heavenly order growing more clear and perfect. He leans upon the future; the "eternal process, moving on;" he would fain

“Take wings of foresight; lighten through

The secular abyss to come.” Moreover he subdues the results to his uses; he has made science subservient to poetry, and is perhaps the only man who has done so. Not his, the “Lives of the Steam-Engine" or the “Chemical Affinities in Verse;" but his genius has boldly availed itself of new scientific ideas, just as they became sufficiently familiar to make them adequate illustrations and expressions of his meaning. Take as a single instance the fifty-fourth poem in the "In Memoriam,” familiar to all from its beauty, and the fifty-fifth, of which we quote enough to show how he is pursuing the idea through a suggestion derived from geological discovery.

“The wish, that of the living whole

No life may fail beyond the grave;

Derives it not from what we have
The likest God within the soul ?

Are God and Nature then at strife,

That Nature lends such evil dreams?

So careful of the type she seems,
So careless of the single life ;
That I, considering everywhere

Her secret meaning in her deeds,

And finding that of fifty seeds
She often brings but one to bear;
I falter where I firmly trod,

And falling with my weight of cares

Upon the great world's altar-stairs
That slope through darkness up to God;
I stretch lame hands of faith, and grope,

And gather dust and chaff, aud call

To what I feel is Lord of all,
And faintly trust the larger hope."

6. So careful of the type ?' but no.

From scarped cliff and quarried stone

She cries "a thousand types are gone :
I care for nothing, all shall go.'


More than all this, when he has shared, sympathised with, used the scientific learning of modern thought, he can share too in the fears it excites ; can express the dangers it holds in its hands, can warn it against the pride of independence.

"Who loves not Knowledge ? Who shall rail

Against her beauty ? May she mix

With men and prosper! Who shall fix
Her pillars ? Let her work prevail.
But on her forehead sits a fire;

She sets her forward countenance

And leaps into the future chance,
Submitting all things to desire.
Half-grown as yet, a child, and vain-

She cannot fight the fear of death.

What is she, cut from love and faith,
But some wild Pallas from the brain

Of Demons? fiery-hot to burst

All barriers in her onward race

For power. Let her know her place ; She is the second, not the first.” There is another range of the characteristics of the present more important than these, and with which Tennyson's poetry is proportionally deeply occupied. It is he who, more than any other, echoes back the complexities, the subtleties, the difficulties of the more advanced stages of the world's history,--not as they appear on the broad historic ground, however, but as they spring froin, and affect individual minds. It is he, too, who treads with closer footsteps than any other on the heels of those whisperings of the unseen that never cease to haunt us ; it is he who grasps most eagerly at the spiritual world within us and beyond us, who presses behind the curtain, who "stretches lame hands of faith, and gropes;" to whom sometimes, like Stephen, the heavens are opened, and who sometimes fades into silence with the sad, almost despairing cry, " Behind the veil, behind the veil.” We believe the very reverse of that theory to be true, which represents the infant ages of the world as lying closest to the spiritual and invisible mystery which permeates and embraces our mortal life. That portion of Wordsworth's “Ode on the Intimations of Immortality in Youth,” which has made this doctrine so familiar, was probably suggested by Henry Vaughan's poem of the “Retreate," beginning

"Happy those early dayes when I

Shined in my angell-infancy !
Before I understood this place
Appointed for my second race,
Or taught my soul to fancy ought

But a white celestiall thought.” The older poem gives expression to the sad yearnings of our nature after a lost purity and innocence. Wordsworth has taken the exquisite idea and imagery there

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