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To hear each other's whispered speech;
Two bandfuls of white dust, sliut in an urn of brass ! The most prominent defects in these volumes of Mr. Tennyson were occasional quaintness and obscurity of expression, with some incongruous combinations of low and familiar with poetical images. His next work, The Princess, a Medley,' appeared in December 1847. This is a story of a prince and princess contracted by their parents without having seen each other. The lady repudiates the alliance; but after a series of adventures and incidents as improbable and incoherent as the plots of some of the old wild Elizabethan tales and dramas, the princess relents and surrenders. The mixture of modern ideas and manners with those of the age of chivalry and romancethe attempted amalgamation of the conventional with the real, the farci. cal with the sentimental-renders · The Princess' truly a medley, and produces an unpleasant grotesque effect. Parts of the poem, how. ever, are sweetly written; there are subtle touches of thought and satire, and some exquisite lyrical passages. Tennyson has nothing finer than these stanzas :
Song, 'The Splendour Falls.'
And snowy summits old in story:
And the wild cataract leaps in glory.
Ohark. O hear! how thin and clear,
And thinner, clearer, farther going!
The borns of Elfiind faintly blowing!
O love, they die in yon rich sky.
They faint on hill or field or river :
And grow for ever and for ever.
And answer, echoes, answer, dying, dyiug, dying.
For woman is not undereloped man
The man be more of woman, she of man;
He gain in swertness and in moral height,
Like perfect music unto noble words. In 1850 appeared, at first anonymously, 'In Memoriam,' a volume of short poems, divided into sections, but all devoted, like the Sonnets of Shakspeare, to one beloved object—a male friend. Mr. Arthur Hallam, son of the historian, and affianced to Mr. Tennyson's sister, died at Vienna in 1833, and his memory is here embalmed in a series of remarkable and affecting poems, no less than one hundred and twenty-nine in number, and all in the same stanza. This sameness of subject and versification would seem to render the work monotonous and tedious; so minute a delineation of personal sorrow is also apt to appear unmanly and unnatural. But the poet, though adhering to one melancholy theme, clothes it in all the hues of im. agination and intellect. He lifts the veil, as it were, from the inner life of the soul; he stirs the deepest and holiest feelings of our nature; he describes, reasons, and allegorises; flowers are intermingled with the cypress, and faith and hope brighten the vista of the future. His vast love and sympathy seem to embrace all nature as assimilated with his lost friend.
Thy voice is on the rolling air ;
I hear the where the waters run;
Tbou staudest in the rising sun,
And in the setting thou art fair. The ship containing his friend's remains is thus beautifully apostrophised:
In Memoriam, IX.
Shall glinmer on the dewy decks.
o'er. Sphere all your lights around, above;
Sleep gentle heavens before the prow; So draw bim bome to those that mourn Sleep gentle wluds as he sleeps now, In vain; a favourable speed
My friend, the brother of my love!
Till all my widowed race be run;
Dear as the mother to the son, Thy sliding keel, till Phosphor, bright More than my brothers are to me.
Arthur Hallam was interred in Clevedon Church, Somersetshire, situated on a still and sequestered spot, on a lone hill that overhangs the Bristol Channel:*
• Memoir prefixed to Arthur Hallam's Romains by his father, the historian. An interesting account of this volume is given by Dr. John Brown, Ediuburgh, in Tora Subxerira. Arthur Henry Hallain was born in London. February 1. 1811. He distinguished himself at Eton and at Trinity College. Cambridg and poetical productions. whích gave promise of fature excellence. lle died in his twenty-third year, September 15, 1833.
and was anthor
The Danube to the Severn gave
There twice a day the Severn fills; The darkened heart that beat no more; The salt seu-water passes by,
They laid him by the pleasant shore, And hushes half tlie babbling Wye, And in the hearing of the wave.
And makes a silence in the bills. We add one of the sections, in which description of external nature is finely blended with the mourner's reminiscences:
In Memoriam, XXII. The path by which we twain did go,
As we descended following hope,
And spread his mantle dark and From flower to flower, from snow to cold ;
And wrapt thee formless in the fold,
And dulled the murinur on thy lip,
And crowned with all the season lent, And bore thee where I could not see
Nor follow, though I walk in baste; · And glad at heart from May to May:
And think that somewhere in tho But where the path we walked began The shaduw sits and waits for me.
To slant the fifth autumnal slope, Winter scenes are described ; Christmas, with its train of sacred and tender associations, comes; but the poet is lu a new home:
Our father's dust is left alone
And silent under other snows. With the genial season, however, lis sympatjies expand, and in one section of noble verse be sings the dirge of t e old year and the advent of the new:
In Memoriam, CVI.
The faithless coldness of the times ; The year is dying in the nighi;
Ring out, ring out my mournful Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.
But ring the fuller minstrel in.
out false pride in place and blood, The year is going, let him go;
The civic slander and the spite; Ring out the false, ring in the true.
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the commou love of good. Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For thore that here we see no more; Ring out old shapes of foul disease ;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor, Ring out the narrowing lust of gold; Ring in redress to all mankind.
Ring out the thousand wars cf old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.
And ancient forms of party, strife; Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand : With sweeter mauners, purer law'B.
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be. The patriotic aspirations here expressed are brought out more fully in some of Tennyson's political lyrics, which are animated by true wisdom and generous sentiment.
The next publication of our author was an Ode on the Death of the Duke of Wellington' (1852)a laureate offering, which he afterwards revised and improved, rendering it not unworthy of the hero or the poet.
The Funeral of the Great Duke. O give him welcome, this is he,
Roll of cinnon and clash of arms,
And Eugland pouring on her foes.
Again their ravening eagle rose
In anger, wheeled on Europe-shadowing This is he that far away
wings, Against the myriads of Assaye
And barking for the thrones of kings; Clashed with his fiery few and won; Till one that sought but Duty's iron And underneath another sun, Warring on a later day,
On that loud Sabbath shook the spoiler Round attrighted Lisbon drew
doun; The treble work, the vast designs
A day of ousets of de-pair! Of his laboured rampart-lines,
Das ed on every rocky square Where he greatly stood at bay,
Their surging charges foamed themselves Wbence be issued forth anew,
a way : And ever great and greater grew,
Last, the Prussian trumpet blew; Beating from the wasted vines
I hrong the long turmented air Back to France ber bauded swarms, Heavıo lluslied a sudden jubilant ray, Back to France with countless blows, And down we swept and charged and Till o'er the hills her eagles dew
overthrew. Pust the Pyrenean pines,
So great a soldier taught us there Followed up in valley and glen
What long-enduring beurts could do, With blare of bugle, clamour of men, lu that world's earthquake, Waterloo !
In 1855 appeared · Maud, and other Poems'--the first, an allegorical vision of love and war, treated in a semi-colloquial bizarre style, yet suggestive and passionate. Maud is the daughter of the squire, and in the light of her youth and her grace' she captivates a mysterious misanthropic personage who tells the story. But Maud has another suitor, a 'new-made lord,' whose addresses are favoured by Maud's father and brother-the latter described as
That jewelled mass of millinery.
That oned and curled Assyrian ball. The squire gives a grand political dinner, ‘a gathering of the Tory," to which the Timon-lover is not invited. He finds, however, in the rivulet crossing his ground, a garden-rose, brought down from the Hall, and he interprets it as a message from Maud to meet her in the garden among the roses at night. He proceeds thither, and invokes the fair one in a lyric which is unquestionably the charm of the volume. It begins :
Come into the gorden Maud,
For the black bat. night, has flown.
I am here at the gate alone;
And the musk of the rose is blown. Maud obeys the call ; but her brother discovers them, insults the in truder, and a duel ensues, in which the brother is slain. The lover
E. L. v. 7-5
flees to France, but returns to England, for ever haunted by visions of Maud, and then, in another section, we are startled to find him declare himself dead, long dead,' and buried, but without finding peace in the grave! It is a vision, and the dreamer obtains a new excitement ; he rejoices to think that a war is arise in detence of the right:
That an iron tyranny now should bend or cease,
And as mouthy ran on, and rumour of battle grew,
Far into the north, and battle, and seas of death. And the Tyrtæan war-strain closes with a somewhat fantastic image:
And now by the side of the Black and the Baltic deep,
The blood-red blossom of war with a heart of fire. Maud' was the least successful of Mr. Tennyson's longer poems. But three years afterwards (1858) the poet redeemed himself by the publication of "The Idylls of the King,' consisting of four poems * Enid,' • Vivien,'• Elaine,' and 'Guinevere.' This Arthurian romance was completed in 1869, by another volume, entitled 'The Holy Grail,' and including The Coming of Arthur,' *Pelleus and Etarre,' and • The Passing of Arthur'-the whole of this Arthurian collection of idylls forming, according to Dean Alford, “a great connected poem, dealing with the very highest interests of man,' King Arthur being typical of the higher soul of man,' as shewn in the king's coming, his foundation of the Round Table, his struggles, disappointments, and departure. of the versification of the Idylls--pure, flowing, blank verse—we subjoin a brief specimen :
From · The Passing of Arthur.'