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CHORIC SONG.

tre of their intellectual horizon, thence to All is allotted length of days, radiate its light on all topics that pass un

The flower ripens in its place, der review. If any of our readers should Ripens, and fades, and falls, and bath no toil,

Fast rooted in the fruitful soil. be induced, after perusal of this notice, to refer to the poems themselves of Mr. Ten- 'Hateful is the dark-blue sky, nyson, they must not be surprised if they Vaulted o’er the dark-blue sea; find we have left very little behind of a

Death is the end of life-ah! why

Should life all labor be? character to interest them.

Let us alone. Time driveth onward fast, Our first quotation shall be from The And in a little while our lips are dumb. Lotos Eaters. Ulysses and his companions Let us alone. What is it that will last ? enter the land of the lotos

All things are taken from us, and become

Portions and parcels of the dreadful past. land

Let us alone. What pleasure can we have Where all things always seem the same,'

To war with evil? Is there any peace

In ever climbing up the climbing wave ? and eat of the fruit which disposes to All things have rest, and ripen toward the

gravelanguor, and inaction, and deep repose.

In silence, ripen, fall, and cease:

Give us long rest or death, dark death, or dream• They sat them down upon the yellow sand,

ful ease! Between the sun and moon, upon the shore ; And sweet it was to dream of fatherland,

• How sweet it were, hearing the downward Of child, and wife, and slave; but evermore

stream, Most weary seemed the sea, weary the oar,

With half-shut eyes ever to seem Weary the wandering fields of barren foam. Then some one said, “ We will return no more;' To dream a dream, like yonder amber light,

Falling asleep in a balf dream!
And all at once they sang, Our island home Which will not leave the myrrh-bush on the
Is far beyond the wave; we will no longer roam.'

height;
To hear each other's whispered speech;
Eating the lotos, day by day,

To watch the crisping ripples on the beach, "There is sweet music here, that softer falls

And tender curving lines of creamy spray: Than petals from blown roses on the grass,

To lend our hearts and spirits wholly Or night-dews on still waters between walls To the influence of inild-minded melancholy; Of shadowy granite, in a gleaming pass;

To muse, and brood, and live again in memory, Music that gentlier on the spirit lies,

With those old faces of our infancy, Than lired eyelids upon tired eyes ;

Heaped over with a mound of

grass, Music that brings sweet sleep down from the Two handfuls of white dust, shut in an urn of blissful snies

brass! Here are cool mosses deep, And through the moss the ivies creep,

Dear is the memory of our wedded lives, And in the stream the long-leaved Rowers weep, And dear the last embraces of our wives, And from the craggy ledge the poppy hangs in And their warm tears: but all hath suffered sleep.

change;

For surely now our household hearths are cold : "Why are we weighed upon with heaviness,

Our sons inherit us; our looks are strange ; And utterly consumed with sharp distress,

And we should come like ghosts to trouble joy. While all things else have rest from weariness?

Or else the island princes, over bold, All things have rest, why should we toil alone? Have eat our substance, and the minstrel sings We only toil who are the first of things,

Before them of the ten years' war in Troy, And make perpetual moan,

And our great deeds, as half forgotten things. Still from one sorrow to another thrown:

Is there confusion in the little isle ? Nor ever fold our wings,

Let what is broken so remain. And cease from wanderings;

The gods are hard to reconcile : Nor steep our brows in slumber's holy balm ;

Tis hard to settle order once again. Nor hearken what the inward spirit sings

There is confusion worse than death, “ There is no joy but calm !"

Trouble on trouble, pain on pain, Why should we only toil, the roof and crown of Long labor unto aged breath, things?

Sore task to hearts worn out with many wars,

And eyes grown dim with gazing on the pilot Lo! in the middle of the wood, The folded leaf is wooed from out the bud, With winds upon the branch, and there Grows green, and broad, and takes no care, We have had enough of action and of motion, Sun-steep'd at noon, and in the moon Nightly dew-fed; and, turning yellow,

Roll'd to starboard, rolld to larboard, when the Falls, and floats adown the air.

surge was seething free, Lo! sweeten'd with the summer light,

Where the wallowing monster spouted his foam The full-juiced apple, waxing over-mellow,

fountains in the sea. Drops in a silent autumn night.

Let us swear an oath, and keep it with an equal VOL. VI.-No. II. 14

stars.

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mind,

With thy floating flaxen hair. In the hollow lotos-land to live and lie reclined

Thy rose lips and full black eyes On the hills, like gods together, careless of man

Take the heart from out my breast : kind.'

Wherefore those dim looks of thine,

Shadowy, dreaming Adeline? It is no objection to this charming little poem, but an additional merit, that it is not •What hope, or fear, or joy is tbine ? necessary to have eaten of the lotos to sym Who talketh with thee, Adeline ? pathize with the strain of feeling which it

For sure thou art not all alone :

Do beating hearts of salient springs so beautifully describes.

Keep measure with thine own! From the poems of Mr. Tennyson might

Hast thou heard the butterflies be selected quite a little gallery of female What they say betwixt their wings? portraits, all distinguished for their grace

Or in stillest evenings,

With what voice the violet woos and purity. We will present our readers

To his heart the silver dews? with a glance of the chief of them. First

Or, when little airs arise, in order is the young and laughing Lilian : How the merry

blue-bell rings

To the mosses underneath?
• Airy, fairy Lilian,

Wherefore that faint smile of thine,
Flitting fairy Lilian,

Shadowy dreaming Adeline ?
When I ask her if she love me,
Claps her tiny hands above me,

• Some honey.converse feeds thy mind, Laughing all she can;

Some spirit of a crimson rose
She'll not tell me if she love me,

In love with thee forgets to close
Cruel little Lilian'

His curtains, wasting odorous sighs

All night long on darkness blind. Next we have the wifely Isabel :

What aileth thee? whom waitest thou

With thy soften’d, shadow'd brow, • An accent very low

And those dew-lit eyes of thine,
In blandishment, but a most silver flow

Thou faint smiler, Adeline?'
Of subtle-paced counsel in distress,
Right to the heart and brain, though undescried,
Winning its way with extreme gentleness

Adeline has, it seems, a sister Margaret, Through all the outworks of suspicious pride.' who holds no such mysterious communion

with roses and violets—whose sympathies Of Madeline we shall report nothing but are more human; but whose portrait is, nevher

ertheless, worth studying. • Delicious spites and darling angers.'

MARGARET.

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The mystic Adeline must not be so briefly dismissed. Who has not, at least when his eyesight was very young, encountered some fair lady whose visual orbs seemed to be full of some profound, sweet melancholy, some super-terestrial meaning, which he in vain essayed to penetrate? In after-years we probably solved the riddle in a very cold and sceptical manner, concluding that, whatever beauty there might have been in those eyes, there was no peculiar thought of any kind—that, in fact, there was no meaning to divine, and this mysterious semblance of thought was but the play of our own imagination. This most prosaic explanation, we must, however, for the present dismiss, and listen to the fanciful conjectures of the poet:

• From all things outward you have won A tearful grace, as though you stood

Between the rainbow and the sun. . You love, remaining peacefully,

To hear the murmur of the strise,

But enter not the toil of life.
You are the evening star, alway,

Remaining betwixt dark and bright:
Lull'd echots of laborious day

Come to you, gleams of mellow light

That float by you in the verge of night. • A fairy shield your genius made

And gave you on your natal day;
Your sorrow only sorrow's shade,

Keeps real sorrow far away.
You move not in such solitudes,

You are not less divine,
But more human in your moods

Than your twin sister Adeline.
Your hair is darker, and your eyes

Touched with a somewhat darker hue,
And less aerially blue;

But ever trembling through the dew
Of dainty-woful sympathies.'

ADELINE.

• Mystery of mysteries,

Faintly smiling Adeline,
Scarce of earth, nor all divine,
Nor unhappy, nor at rest;
But beyond expression fair,

of the serene, imperial Eleänore, we have only room to quote the following lines.

They form in themselves an exquisite little And in my weak, lean arms I lift the cross,

And strive and wrestle with thee till I die : picture :

O mercy, mercy! wash away my sin. • His bow-string slackened, languid Love, O Lord, thou knowest what a man I am ; Leaning his cheek upon bis hand,

A sinful man, conceived and born in sin : Droops both his wings regarding thee, 'Tis their own doing; this is none of mine; And so would languish everuore,

Lay it not to me. Am I to blame for ibis,
Serene, imperial Eleanore.'

That here come those that worship me? Ha! ha!
They think that I am somewhat' What am I?

The silly people take me for a saint, St. Simeon Stylites is a poem of a very And bring me offerings of fruit and flowers, different and sterner character from any we And I, in truth (thou wilt bear witness here,) have hitherto referred to. It is a portraiture, Ilave all in all endured as much, and more we need hardly say, of that unfortunate Than many just and holy men, whose names enthusiast, who, thinking to win Heaven by Are register d and calendar'd for saints. inflicting tortures upon himself, at length "Good people, you do ill to kneel to me. contrived to live day and night upon the What is if I can have done to merit this ? narrow summit of a high pillar. Such I am a sinner viler than you all. fanatics as Simeon have their places, it is It may be I have wrought some miracles,

And cured some halt and maim'd. But what of true, in the history of Christianity, but their

that? monstrous penances are rather to be attrib- It may be, no one, even among the saints, uted to the previously current superstitions May match his pain with mine. But what of that? of the East, which intruded themselves into Yet do not rise : for you may look on me,

And in your looking you may kneel to God. Christianity, than to any perversions, how- Speak! is there any of you halt or maim'd? ever extraordinary, of the doctrines of our I think you know I have some power with Heaven religion. At all periods, indeed, many ex- From my long penance : let him speak his wish.' cellent but mistaken men have thought to earn tranquillity and peace of mind by inflic

We willingly turn from this gloomy porting pain and privation upon the body. They traiture to something of a gayer strain, might almost as reasonably have reversed which we shall not have long to seek for the experiment, and hoped to secure health

amongst the poems of this author. The of body by torturing the mind. But it was Talking Oak is a charming production. no mistake of this description, which such If the trees should take to talking in this fanatics as Simeon made. Peace and tran- style, mere human tongues may give up the quillity of mind were not amongst the ob- trade. But we feel that if we meddle with jects they were in search of. These Chris- this discourse of the talking oak, we must tian Fakirs held that so much torture was quote it all. There are some poems the so much merit, and was entitled to so inuch merit of which cannot be made known by recompense. It was present agony paid any extracts, however partially selected; so for future joy in paradise. Our poet has litile does the charm lie in this or that verse, presented us with a faithful sketch of this but in the grace diffused over the whole. If fanatical spirit, with its alternate exultation any one, after having been delighted by a and despondency, its fluctuations between piece of this description, wishes to make egregious pride and utter prostration of his friend participate in his adıniration, he mind, together with its moments of mental is surprised at the difficulty he finds in fixing wandering and self-bewilderment. Here is upon a passage which will justify his apa brief specimen

plause. The beauty of the poem seems to

evaporate when he reviews it verse by verse. Bethink thee, Lord, while thou and all the saints

He begins to suspect that he himself had

Just such a Enjoy themselves in Heaven, and men on earth strangely overrated its merit. House in the shade of comfortable roofs, piece is The Talking Oak. Therefore we Sit with their wives by fires, eat wholesome food, will pass it by, and select in preference And wear warm clothes, and even beasts have

some passages from The Day Dream. stalls, I, 'tween the spring and downfall of the light,

This is an elegant recital of a fairy legend, Bow down one thousand and two hundred times which tells how a king, with all his court, To Christ, the Virgin Mother, and the saints; and all the inmates of his palace, were Or in the night, after a little sleep,

drowned in deep slumber for a hundred years I wake; the chill stars sparkle; I am wet

-how a thick tall hedge grew round the With drenching dews, or stiff with crackling frost. I wear an undress'd goatskin on my back;

palace, and hid it from all intruders—how A grazing iron collar grinds my neck;

his daughter, the princess, lay in her apart

But yet,

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ment alone in the same deep sleep-and • The hedge broke in, the banner blew, how at the end of the hundred years, a

The butler drank, the steward scrawl'd,

The fire shot up, the martin flew, prince, led by a benevolent fairy to the

The parrot scream'd, the peacock squallid, spot, dissolves the charm by imprinting a The maid and page renew'd their strife, kiss on the fair sleeper, whom he thereupon, The palace bang'd, and buzz'd, and clackt, as in due course of all such narratives,

And all the long pent stream of life

Dash'd downward in a cataract. claims for his bride. Here is the picture of the hall, where the king and his court "And last of all the king awoke, hold perforce their 'permanent sitting.' And in his chair himself uprear'd,

And yawn'd, and rubb d his face, and spoke, • Roof-naunting martins warm their eggs :

• By holy rood, a royal beard ! In these, in those, the life is stay'd.

How say you? we have slept, my lords; The mantles from the golden pegs

My beard has grown into my lap.' Droop sleepily: no sound is made,

The barons swore with many words, Not even of a gnat that sings.

'Twas but an after-dinner's nap. More like a picture seemeth all Than those old portraits of old kings,

" Pardy,' returned the king, but still That watch the sleepers from the wall.

My joints are something stiff or so.

My lord, and shall we pass the bill · Here sits the butler, with a flask

I mention'd half an hour ago ?' Between his knees half-drain d; and there

The chancellor, sedate and vain, The wrinkled steward, at his task ;

In courteous words return'd reply ; The maid of honor blooming fair :

But dallied with his golden chain,
The page has caught her hand in his :

And smiling put the question by.'
Her lips are sever'd as to speak :
His own are pouted to a kiss :

Then the prince and the princess whom
The blush is fix'd upon her cheek.

he has released from her trance by a cere• Till all the hundred summers pass,

monial so much more simple and agreeable The beams, that thro' the oriel shine, than dealers in magic usually prescribe, Make prisms in every carven glass,

leave the palace in great happiness together. And beaker brimm'd with noble wine.

To this little tale is appended, by way of
Each baron at the banquet sleeps,
Grave faces gather'd in a ring.

'moral,' some lines which are worth quotHis state the king reposing keeps,

ing, as well for the meaning they convey, He must have been a jolly king.'

as for the felicity with which that meaning

is expressed. It is undoubtedly true, as the Alone in an inner apartment sleeps the fact intimates, and should be held in reprincess :

membrance by all critics, especially of the

severer order, that the exposition of the • Year after year unto her feet

beautiful alone, without further object, is a -She lying on her couch aloneAcross the purpled coverlet,

distinct and legitimate aim of the art of poThe maiden's jet-black hair has grown, etry as well as of sculpture or painting, and On either side her tranced form

is not without its beneficent influence.
Forth streaming from a braid of pearl :
The slumbrous light is rich and warm,
And moves not on the rounded curl.

“So, Lady Flora, take my lay, She sleeps : her breathings are not heard

And if you find no moral ihere,

Go, look in any glass, and say, In palace chambers far apart.

What moral is in being fair.
The fragrant tresses are not siirr'd

Oh, to w bat uses shall we put
That lie upon her charmed heart.
She sleeps : on either hand upswells

The wild-weed flower that simply blows?

And is there any moral shut
The gold-fringed pillow lightly pressed :

Within the bosom of the rose ?
She sleeps, nor dreams, but ever dwells
A perfect form in perfect rest.'

• But any man that walks the mead

In bud, or blade, or bloom may find, But at length the prince and the good fairy

According as bis humors lead, arrive.

A meaning suited to his mind.

And liberal applications lie • A touch, a kiss! the charm was snapt.

In Art like Nature, dearest friend; There rose a noise of striking clocks,

So 'twere to cramp its use, if I
And feet that ran, and doors that clapt,

Should hook it to some useful end.'
And barking dogs, and crowing cocks.
A fuller light illumined all,
A breeze through all the garden swept,

Mr. Tennyson has been much compli-
A sudden hubbub shook the hall,

mented by bis critics on his descriptive And sixty feet the fountain leapt.

powers. He is frequently, without a doubt,

MORAL.

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US.

extremely happy in his expressions. He of descriptions which have the same air of has very many lines and phrases of remark- abruptness, and which bring with them the ably graphic power. But at the risk of be- same uncomfortable feeling of effort, we ing deemed fastidious, we will venture on have a story so obscurely told, that we this objection, that the circumstances which would on no account take upon ourselves he seizes upon in his descriptions often ap- the responsibility of giving the briefest sumpear to have been sought after with effort; mary of it. We confess ourselves simple they are not such as would spontaneously and prosaic enough, wherever there is anysuggest themselves to the imagination; and thing like a story, to wish, like the children, consequently the reader has a similar effort to know what it is about. It is no answer to make, in putting these materials together to say, that there is magic and mystery in to form a picture for himself. They have it, and that it deals with the supernatural. the air of having been torn and wrenched | A fact may be as miraculous or as monstrous from their place; they could not be de- as you please, it is still a fact, and should scribed in the language of another poet as be intelligibly narrated. The enchantments being

of the Arabian Nights are as distinctly told • The harvest of a quiet eye.'

as the tamest incidents of a domestic novel.

If it had been otherwise, they would never Mariana has often been quoted as a re

have gained the ear of the world as they markable instance of Mr. Tennyson's power plete, where the events are unexplained,

have done. Even where the story is incomto paint a scene. Without denying its merits, we confess it does not altogether please leave us with a feeling of unsatisfied curios

and it is the very purpose of the writer to To us the description is marred by the violent effort to describe. The writer does ity, still so much of the narrative as is in

tended to be communicated, should be comnot appear to stand in singleness of mind before his object, and looking at it with his municated distinctly. We should know heart in his eyes, as is the manner of poets, it is that remains to be explained; we must

what it is that constitutes the marvel, what record what he sees; he rather seems to pry curiously about it in quest of poetic

see plainly some portion of the thread, if circumstance. Here is the commencement only to perceive that it breaks off. The of the poem, and we do not think we could poem is written, too, in a style of versificainake a more favorable extract.

tion which to us is extremely disagreeable. But to make our objection on this head in

telligible, we must quote two of the stanzas. Mariana in the moated grange.'-Measure for Measure. · With blackest moss the Aower-plots

« On either side the river lie, Were thickly crusted, one and all, The rusted nails fell from the knots

Long fields of barley and of rye,

That clothe the world and meet the sky; That held the peach 10 the garden-wall.

And through the field the road runs by The broken sheds look'd sad and strauge,

To many-tower'd Camelot; Unlifted was the clinking latch,

And up and down the people go, Weeded and worn the ancient thatch

Gazing where the lilies blow Upon the lonely moated grange.

Round an island there below,
She only said, 'My life is dreary,

The island of Shalott.
He cometh not,' she said;
She said, 'I am aweary, a weary ;

· Willows whiten, aspens quiver,
I would that I were dead!''

Little breezes dusk and shiver

Through the wave that runs for ever In this there are, without doubt, very By the island in the river, graphic touches, but we feel ourselves ab

Flowing down to Camelot.

Four gray walls and four gray lowers ruptly plunged amongst details, which we

Overlook a space of flowers, have to put together for ourselves in the best

And the silent isle imbowers manner we are able. An effect is produced

The Lady of Shalott.' as if the several objects had been cut out of a picture; and the brilliant fragments were And so on, through the whole poem, the thrown at hap-hazard before us.

first part of the stanza ending with 'CameThe Lady of Shalott is another poem lot,' and the second with The Lady of often cited with great applause by the pro- Shalott,' or 'Island of Shalott,' terminafessed admirers of Mr. Tennyson, and which tions which do not even form a rhyme; we like still less. Together with a series though perhaps we have no right to com

MARIANA.

THE LADY OF SHALOTT.

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