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vantage in St. Simeon Stylites,' a kind of | Here droops the banner on the tower,
On the hall-hearths the sestal fires, monological personation of a filthy and mad ascetic. We find exhibited, with the seri- The peacock in his laurel bower,
The parrot in his gilded wires. ousness of bitter poetic irony, his loathsome, yet ridiculous attempts at saintship, Roof-haunting martens warm their eggs: all founded on an idea of the Divinity fit In these, in those the life is stay'd. only for an African worshipping a scare. The mantles from the golden pegs crow fetish made of dog's bones, goose Droop sleepily: no sound is made, feathers, and dunghill rags.
This is no
Not even of a gnat ihat sings.
More like a picture seemeth all topic for Poetry: she has better tasks than to wrap her mantle round a sordid, greedy
Than those old portraits of old kings,
That watch the sleepers from the wall. lunatic.
How different, how superior is 'Ulysses!' Here sits the butler with a flask There is in this work a delightful epic Between his knees, half-drained; and there tone, and a clear unimpassioned wisdom The wrinkled steward at his task; quietly carving its sage words and grace
The maid-of-honour blooming fair: ful figures on pale but lasting marble. Yet The page has caught her hand in his; we know not why, except from schoolboy His own are pouted to a kiss:
Her lips are sever'd as to speak : recollections, a modern English poet should The blush is fix'd upon her cheek. write of Ulysses rather than of the great voyagers of the modern world, Columbus, Till all the hundred summers pass, Gama, or even Drake. Their feelings and The beams, that through the oriel shine, aims lie far nearer to our comprehension Make prisms in every carven
glass, reach us by a far shorter line. Even of Each baron at the banquet sleeps,
And beaker brimm'd with noble wine. * Godiva,' different as is the theme, a simi
Grave faces gather'd in a ring. lar observation holds. It also is admirably His state the king reposing keeps. well done ; but the singularity and bar He must have been a jolly king. barousness of the facts spur, no doubt, the fancy, even told in plain prose, yet are All round a hedge upshoots, and shows
At distance like a little wood; far from rendering the topic favourable for
Thorns, ivies, woodbine, misletoes, poetry The · Day-Dream,' the old and
And grapes with bunches red as blood; pretty tale of the `Sleeping Beauty,' is open All creeping plants, a wall of green to no such objection. Here the poetry was Close-matted, bur and brake and brier, made to the writer's hand, and one cannot And glimpsing over these, just seen, but wish that his grace, liveliness, and High up, the topmost palace spire. splendour had been employed on a matter of his own invention ;* or, if borrowed, of When will the hundred summers die,
And thought and time be born agen, some more earnest meaning. Yet, as grace. And newer knowledge, drawing nigh, ful and lively description, as truth playing
Bring truth that sways the soul of men ? behind the mask of fairy-tale, the whole Here all things in their place remain, poem is most agreeable. It opens thus : As all were order'd ages since.
Come Care and Pleasure, Hope and Pain, * The varying year with blade and sheaf And bring the fated fairy Prince.'
Clothes and reclothes the happy plains; Here rests the sap within the leaf,
At last-two sections intervene-he Here strays the blood along the veins.
comes and finds the lady :Faint shadows, vapours lightly curl’d, Faint murmurs from the meadows come,
'A touch, a kiss! the charm was snapp'd. Like hints and echoes of the world
There rose a noise of striking clocks, To spirits folded in the womb.
And feet that ran, and doors that clapp'd, Soft lustre bathes the range of urns
And barking dogs, and crowing cocks.
A fuller light illumined all, On every slanting terrace lawn.
A breeze through all the garden swept, The fountain to his place returns
A sudden hubbub shook the hall, Deep in the garden-lake withdrawn.
And sixty feet the fountain leapt.
The hedge broke in, the banner blew, * It is difficult to suppose that the poem was written before the exhibition of Mr. Maclise's picture of The fire shot up, the marten flew,
The butler drank, the steward scrawl'd, The Sleeping Beauty,' (1811)—a work displaying, like most of that rising artist's
, great wealth and The maid and page renew'd their strife,
The parrot scream'd, the peacock squallid, boldness of fancy and execution, but, like too many both of the paintings and the poems of our day, too
The palace bang’d, and buzz'd, and clack'd, ambitiously' crowded, and forced and glaring in its And all the long-pent stream of life περιεργια. ,
Dash'd downward in a cataract.
And last of all the king awoke,
author's characteristic power of distinct and And in his chair himself uprear'd,
deeply-dyed painting. But there is conAnd yawn'd, and rubb’d his face, and spoke, siderable affectation in some of the group
“By holy rood, a royal beard! How say you ? we have slept, my lords.
ings both of words and things, and what is My beard has grown into my lap."
worse, the meaning, the morality, is trivial, The barons swore, with many words,
and even mi ken. The writer's doctrine 'Twas but an after-dinner's nap.
seems to be, that the soul, while by its own
energy surrounding itself with all the most Pardy,” returnd the king, “ but still
beautiful and expressive images that the My joints are something stiff or so.
history of mankind has produced, and symMy lord, and shall we pass the bill I mention'd half an hour ago ?"
pathizing wholly with the world's best The chancellor, sedate and vain,
thoughts, is perpetrating some prodigious In courteous words return'd reply;
moral offence for which it is bound 10 reBut dallied with his golden chain,
pent in sackcloth and ashes. A more raAnd, smiling, put the question by.'
iional and not less religious view would Another section follows before we have seem to be, that we should repent of the that entitled The Departure:
errors we commit from the inactivity of our higher powers and feelings. We hardly
know a notion worthier of Simeon (Stylites), • And on her lover's arm she leant, And round her waist she felt it fold,
or of some crack-brained sot repenting in And far across the hills they went
the stocks, than this doctrine that the use In that new world which is the old : of our noblest faculties on their right objects Across the hills, and far away
is an outrage against our best duties. HapBeyond their utmost purple rim.
pily, Mr. Tennyson's practice is wiser than And deep into the dying day
the theory propounded in this piece; and The happy princess followed him.
his theory itself, if we may judge from the “I'd sleep another hundred years,
doctrinal parts of his second and more maO love, for such another kiss;'
ture volume, is also much improved. The “O wake for ever, love," she hears,
long and dull production called the Two “ O love, 'twas such as this and this." Voices,' a dispute on immortality, adding And o'er them many a sliding star,
nothing to our previous knowledge, and of And many a merry wind was borne,
which the substance might have been betAnd, stream'd through many a golden bar, The twilight melted into morn.
ter given in three pages (or one) than thirty,
has yet no such folly in it as the manyO eyes long laid in happy sleep!"
coloured mistake of the · Palace of Art.' "O happy sleep, that lightly fled !"
In all Mr. Tennyson's didactic writing “O happy kiss, that woke thy sleep!"
one sees too clearly that, unless when the O love, thy kiss would wake the dead!"
Image enchains his heart, the Thought has And o'er them many a flowing range
far too little hold upon him to produce any Of vapour buoy'd the crescent bark, And, rapt through many a rosy change,
lively movement of sonl. His speculations The twilight died into the dark.
have the commonplaceness, vagueness, and
emptiness of dreams, though the dreams of “ A hundred summers ! can it be?
genius; and hopefully do we trust that the And whither goest thou, tell me where ?"
poet will not again throw off his magic “O seek my father's court with me,
mantle for either the monkish gown or stoic For there are greater wonders there.”
robe. And o'er the hills, and far away Beyond their utmost rple rim,
We have now reached that class of poems Beyond the night, across the day,
which stand first in our list, and wbich we Through all the world she follow'd him.' have entitled IDYLLS. We have reserved
-vol. ii. p. 159. till now all special mention of them, as
holding them the most valuable part of Mr. The poems which we would class under Tennyson's writings, a real addition to our the head MORALITIES, in which Reflection literature. They have all more or less of lifts the rod to silence Feeling, are scattered the properly Idyllic character, though in up and down the volumes under various three or four of them marked with the ratitles. They almost all appear to us de- pid and suggestive style of the ballad. In cided and remarkable failures, and only one all we find some warm feeling, most often or two of the shorter and slighter at all love, a clear and faithful eye for visible worthy of Mr. Tennyson.
nature, skilful art and completeness of conThe Palace of Art, indeed, has the struction, and a mould of verse which for tints and force of poetry, and shows the smoothness and play of melody has seldom
been equalled in the language. The heart- rustic life and rounded into song. Espefelt tenderness, the glow, the gracefulness, cially, as compared with the antique mothe strong sense, the lively painting, in many dels, we see in them all the gain that of these compositions, drawn from the Christianity and civilisation bave brought heart of our actual English life, set them to the relation of the sexes, and to the chafar above the glittering marvels and musical racters of wonien. phantasms of Mr. Tennyson's mythological The Gardener's Daughter' is a husromances, at first sight the most striking band's recollection of his successful love, portion of his works.
the object of which has been withdrawn Among the happier specimens of this from him by death. The unrhymed verse class two are pre-eminent — the Gardener's has a quiet fulness of sound and all the Daughter,' and 'Dora.'. These are both of delineation a clear yet rich completeness them Idylls in the strictest sense of the of truth, that render the little work, though term, and might rank with the eclogues far from the loftiest, yet one of the most of Theocritus and Virgil, and with some delightful we know. As English landscapepoems of Goethe-as anecdotes drawn from painting, what can exceed this?
• Not wholly in the busy world, nor quite
The lime a summer home of murmurous wings.'
"There sat we down upon a garden mound,
The central wish, until we settled there.'-yol. ii. p. 29. • Dora,' though not so luxuriously beautiful, has less, indeed nothing, that could be spared without serious loss, and being only half the length of the former one, we shall extract it entire;
With farmer Allan at the farm abode
Then there came a day
She is my brother's daughter : he and I
Then, when the bells were ringing, Allan callid
And days went on, and there was born a boy
Then Dora went to Mary. Mary sat
“I have obey'd my uncle until now,
And Dora took the child and went her way
But when the morrow came, she rose and took
Whose child is that? What are you doing here ?"
So saying, he took the boy, that cried alood
Then Dora went to Mary's house, and stood
So the women kiss'd
“O Father!-if you let me call you so--
So Mary said, and Dora hid her face