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vantage in St. Simeon Stylites,' a kind of Here droops the banner on the tower,

On the hall-hearths the festal 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 bitier 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

Not even of a gnat ihat sings. topic for Poetry: she has better tasks tha.. Than those old portraits of old kings,

More like a picture seemeth all to wrap her mantle round a sordid, greedy

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,

And beaker brimm'd with noble wine. reach us by a far shorter line. Even of

Each baron at the banquet sleeps, * 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 litile 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-maited, 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 scrawld, · 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 rubbid 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 mistaken. 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,” return’d 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 wbich it is bound 10 reBut dallied with his golden chain,

pent in sackcloth and ashes. A more raAnd, smiling, put the question by.'

tional 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, And, stream'd through many a golden bar,

which the substance might have been betThe twilight melted into morn.

ter given in three pages (or one) than thirty,

has yet po such folly in it as the many“O eyes long laid in happy sleep!"

coloured mistake of the · Palace of Art.' “ happy sleep, that lightly fed !".

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!" And o'er them many a flowing range

Image enchains his heart, the Thought has

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.” And o'er the hills, and far away

robe. Beyond their utmost purple rim,

We have now reached that class of poems Beyond the night, across the day,

which stand first in our list, and which we Through all the world she follow'd him.' have entitled Idylls. We have reserved

- vol. .

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

222
Poems by Alfred Tennyson.

been equalled in the language. The heart-rustic life and rounded into song. Espe-
felt tenderness, the glow, the gracefulness, cially, as compared with the antique mo-
the 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 cha-
far above the glittering marvels and musical racters of women.
phantasms of Mr. Tennyson's mythological The Gardener's Daughter' is a hus-
romances, 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
Beyond it, blooms the garden thai I love.
News from the humming city comes to it
In sound of funeral or of marriage bells,
And sitting muffled in dark leaves, you hear
The windy clanging of the minster clock;
Although between it and the garden lies
A league of grass, wash'd by a slow broad stream,
That stirr'd with languid pulses of the oar,
Waves all its lazy lilies, and creeps on,
Barge-laden, to three arches of a bridge
Crown'd with the minster-towers. The fields between
Are dewy-fresh, brows'd by deep-udder'd kine,
And all about the large lime feathers low,

The lime a summer home of murmurous wings.'
Or take the companion picture, where this view is alive with human passion :

"There sat we down upon a garden mound,
Two mutually enfolded , Love, the third,
Between us, in the circle of his arms
Enwound us both; and over many a range
Of waning lime the grey cathedral towers,
Across a hazy glimmer of the west,
Reveal'd their shining windows: from them clash'd
The bells; we listen'd; with the time we play'd;
We spoke of other things; we coursed about
The subject most at heart, more near and near,
Like doves about a dovecote, wheeling round

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 ovly half the length of the former one, we shall extract it entire;

With farmer Allan at the farm abode
William and Dora. William was his son,
And she his piece. He often look'd at them,
And often thought, “ I'll make them man and wife."
Now Dora felt her uncle's will in all,
And yearn'd towards William ; but the youth, because
He had been always with her in the house,
Thought not of Dora.

Then there came a day
When Allan call'd his son, and said, "My son,
I married late ; but I would wish to see
My grandchild on my knees before I die:
And I have set my heart upon a match.
Now therefore look to Dora, she is well
To look to; thrifty, too, beyond her age,

She is my brother's daughter : he and I
Had once hard words, and parted, and he died
In foreign lands; but for his sake I bred
His daughter Dora : take her for your wife;
For I have wished this marriage, night and day,
For many years." But William answer'd short,
“I cannot marry Dora ; by my life,
I will not marry Dora.” Then the old man
Was wroth, and doubled up his hands, and said,
“ You will not, boy! you dare to answer thus !
But in my time a father's word was law,
And so it shall be now for me. Look to't.
Consider : take a month to think, and give
An answer to my wish; or by the Lord
That made me, you shall pack, and never more
Darken my doors again.” And William heard,
And answer'd something madly; bil his lips,
And broke away. The more he look'd at her
The less he liked her; and his ways were harsh ;
But Dora bore them meekly. Then before
The month was out he left his father's house,
And hired himself to work within the fields ;
And half in love, half spite, he woo'd and wed
A labourer's daughter, Mary Morrison.

Then, when the bells were ringing, Allan callid
His niece and said,“: My girl, I love you well;
But if you speak with him that was my son,
Or change a word with her he calls his wife,
My home is none of yours. My will is law."
And Dora promised, being meek. She thought,
“It cannot be: my uncle's mind will change!"

And days went on, and there was born a boy
To William; then distresses came on him ;
And day by day he pass'd his father's gate,
Heart-broken, and his father help'd him not.
But Dora stored what little she could save,
And sent it them by stealth, nor did they know
Who sent it; till at last a fever seized
On William, and in harvest time he died.

Then Dora went to Mary. Mary sat
And looked with tears upon her boy, and thought
Hard things of Dora. Dora came and said,

“I have obey'd my uncle until now,
And I have sinn'd, for it was all thro' me
This evil came op William at the first.
But, Mary, for the sake of him that's gone,
And for your sake, the woman that he chose,
And for this orphan, I am come to you:
You know there has not been for these five years
So full a harvest : let me take the boy,
And I will set him in mine uncle's eye
Among the wheat; then when his heart is glad
Of the full harvest, he may see the boy,
And bless him for the sake of him that's gone.”

And Dora took the child and went her way
Across the wheat, and sat upon a mound
That was unsown, where many poppies grew.
Far off the farmer came into the field,
And spied her not ; for none of all his men
Dare iell him Dora waited with the child;
And Dora would have risen and gone to him,
But her heart failed her; and the reapers reap'd,
And the sun fell, and all the land was dark.

But when the morrow came, she rose and took
The child once more, and sat upon the mound;
And made a little wreath of all the flowers
That grew about, and tied it round his hat
To make him pleasing in her uncle's eye.
Then when the farmer pass'd into the field
He spied her, and he left his men at work,
And came and said, “Where were you yesterday?

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VOL, LXX.

29

Whose child is that? What are you doing here ?"
So Dora cast her eyes upon the ground,
And answer'd softly, “ This is William's child !”
“ And did I not,” said Allan, " did I not
Forbid you, Dora ?” Dora said again,
“Do with me as you will, but take the child
And bless him for the sake of him that's gone!"
And Allan said, “I see it is a trick
Got up betwixt you and the woman there.
I must be taught my duty, and by you !
You knew my word was law, and yet you dared
To slight it. Well-for I will take the boy;
But go you hence, and never see me more.

So saying, he took the boy, that cried aloud
And struggled hard. The wreath of flowers fell
At Dora's feet. She bowed upon her hands,
And the boy's cry came to her from the field,
More and more distant. She bow'd down her head,
Remembering the day when first she came,
And all the things that had been. She bow'd down
And wept in secret: and the reapers reaped,
And the sun sell, and all the land was dark.

Then Dora went to Mary's house, and stood
Upon the threshold. Mary saw the boy
Was not with Dora. She broke out in praise
To God, that help'd her in her widowhood.
And Dora said, “My uncle took the boy;
But, Mary, let me live and work with you:
He says that he will never see me more."
Then answered Mary, “ This shall never be,
That thou shouldst take my trouble on thyself:
And, now I think, he shall not have the boy,
For he will teach him hardness, and to slight
His mother; therefore thou and I will go,
And I will have my boy, and bring him home;
And I will beg of him to take thee back:
But if he will not take thee back again,
Then thou and I will live within one house,
And work for William's child until he grows
Of age to help us."

So the women kiss'd
Each other, and set out, and reached the farm.
The door was off the latch; they peep'd and saw
The boy set up betwixt his grandsire's knees,
Who thrust him in the hollows of his arm,
And clapp'd him on the hands and on the cheeks,
Like one that lov'd him; and the lad stretch'd out
And babbled for the golden seal, that hung
From Allan's watch, and sparkled by the fire.
Then they came in; but when the boy beheld
His mother, he cried out to come to her,
And Allan set him down; and Mary said :

“O Father!-if you let me call you so--
I never came a-begging for myself,
Or William, or this child; but now I come
For Dora : take her back; she loves you well.
O sir, when William died, he died at peace
With all men: for I ask'd him, and he said,
He could not ever rue his marrying me;
I had been a patient wife; but, sir, he said
That he was wrong to cross his father thus.
«God bless him!' he said, “and may he never know
The troubles I have gone through! Then he turn'd
His face and pass'd--unhappy that I am !
But now, sir, let me have my boy, for you
Will make him hard, and he will learn to slight
His father's memory; and take Dora back,
And let all this be as it was before."

So Mary said, and Dora hid her face
By Mary. There was silence in the room ;
And all at once the old man burst in sobs :

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