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heart; whose joys they reflect by The dead weight of the dead leaf bore it

down: their brightness, or trouble with ap

Thicker the drizzle grew, deeper the prehension by their gloom ; whose

gloom.” sorrows they soften by their mute sympathy, or increase by the seem- The former picture derives its siging mockery of sharp and violent nificance from contrast, this latter contrast. Such is the effect of this

one from resemblance; for the seadescription of “the beauteous hate- fog which swallows up the sunful isle,” which holds the humble shine is emblematic of the disapUlysses of the tale so long a pri- pointment which awaits the bright

hopes of Enoch's return. “ The mountain wonded to the peak, the

Were we writing of an author lawns

not yet known to fame, it would And winding glades high up like ways to be as right as it would be pleasant Heaven,

to make long extracts from the conThe lightning-flash of insect and of bird, cluding portion of the poem. But

the glows when reviewing a work which every And glories of the broad belt of the world,

one praises, which everybody has All these he saw; but what he fain had bought, and which it is therefore He could not see, the kindly human face,

fair to suppose that every one (but Nor ever heard a kindly voice, but heard those whose aversion to poetry is The myriad shriek of wheeling ocean-fowl, invincible) has read, it is needless The league-long roller thundering on the reef,

to extract any passages which are The moving whisper of huge trees.

not required to make the critic's No sail from day to day, but every day remarks intelligible. We may thereThe sunrise broken into scarlet shafts

fore briefly record our admiration Among the palms and ferns and preci- for the sustained power and absence

pices; The blaze upon the waters to the east; of maudlin sensibility with which The blaze upon his island overhead; the last scenes of 'Enoch Arden' The blaze upon the waters to the west;

are put before us. They are very Then the great stars that globed them. selves in heaven;

pathetic; and they are never foolThe hollower-bellowing ocean, and again ishly sentimental.

The way in The scarlet shafts of sunrise-but no sail.' which Enoch is stunned by the How pitilessly must these glories his longing to see her, and assure

news of his wife's second marriage; have seemed to mock the solitary himself that she is happy; the piccaptive's anguish! How natural it is that visions of home should

ture of peace and comfort within haunt his loneliness, presenting to Philip's house, which throws into him things most unlike his present stronger relief the anguish of the abode :

wretched husband and father as he

stands without; Enoch's grand (if

“ The chill November dawns, and dewy-glooming

not strictly just) self-sacrifice, as, downs,

recovering from the shock of seeing The gentle shower, the smell of dying what only to hear of had been woe

leaves, And the 'low moan of leaden-coloured sufficient, he repeats his resoluseas !

tion to himself, “ Not to tell her, Very good also are the aspects of things in the hands of a French

never to let her know;" all these nature which greet his return home :

writer, aiming at the déchirant

and the larmoyant, would have Bright was that afternoon, been morbidly painful. Mr TenSunny, but chill; till drawu thro’ either chasm,

nyson so tells them that they eleWhere either haven open'd on the deeps, vate our minds by the sight of a Rolld a sea-haze, and whelm'd the world spirit refining to its highest perfec

tion in the purgatorial fires of earth. On the nigh-naked tree the Robin piped Three similes in this part of the Disconsolate, and thro' the dripping haze poem deserve especial notice, For


in gray ;

merly often, ånd occasionally still, Ay, ay, I mind him coming down the

street; the Laureate has been known to

Held his head high, and cared for no man, indulge himself in a clever simile

he.' which, by its far-fetched air, sug- Slowly and sadly Enoch answer'd her, gests that the subject was made for * His head is low, and no man cares for

him. it, and not it for the subject. But

I think I have not three days more to live; it is not so here. How finely ap- I am the man.'” propriate it is to liken the attraction which his “lost wife's fireside"

The dying man's last victory over exercises on the returned sailor, to selfishness (when, forbidding the “the beacon blaze,” which “ allures

woman to fetch his children, he

sends to them and to his wife the “The bird of passage, till he madly strikes loving messages which it might Against it, and beats out his weary life !"* grieve them too much to hear from

Again, after Enoch's heroic de- his own lips), bespeaks not merely termination, we are told that, our pity for him, but our reverence. Prayer from a living source within the

There is also something profoundly will,

sad in the way in which that desoAnd beating up through all the bitter late heart, after half-claiming back

world, Like fountains of sweet water in the sea,

the living children, feels that, in Kept him a living soul.”

real fact, only the dead little one is

left it :And when his year of hopeless toil and living death has done its

" And now there is but one of all my

blood, I work, we read of him that

Who will embrace me in the world-to-be." No gladlier does the stranded wreck See thro' the gray skirts of a lifting squall

But his last words give us comThe boat that bears the hope of life ap- fort :

proach, To save the life despair'd of, than he saw

He woke, he rose, he spread his arms

abroad, Death dawning on him, and the close of all.”

Crying with a loud voice, “A sail ! a sail !

I am saved ;' and so fell back and spoke These three images are all good no more." in themselves ; but they derive an For they tell us that what he prayed especial excellence from the fact, for in those long years of banishthat they occur in a tale of sea

ment, to which his mind has wanadventure, narrated on a sea-beach. dered back, has come at last : the

And when Enoch’s lips, unsealed ship to take him to the true Haven : by approaching death, reveal his and that the exile has at length secret to his humble attendant, how been fetched home. few are the lines which set before There, in our judgment, the poem us that contrast which sounds with should have ended. Its author, such thrilling power in Job's long thinking differently, adds :lamentation ! the man as he once was, and the man such as calamity And when they buried him the little port

“ So past the strong heroic soul away. has made him

Had seldom seen a costlier funeral.” "Did you know Enoch Arden of this

What need of the first of these town?' * Know him?' she said ; 'I knew him far lines? What need to tell us that away.

the noble fisherman was strong and


* Contrast the same simile in 'The Princess,' where Ida is said to stand

« Fixt like a beacon-tower above the waves

Of tempest, when the crimson-rolling eye
Glares ruin, and the wild birds on the light

Dash themselves dead.” Not to speak of the disproportion between the terror raised by these words and the small amount of “ruin " which ensues, the image seems a violent one to apply to a beautiful girl, however steadfast in her anger !

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heroic, when the poet has just com- as the clerk's worthy wife proves pleted his fine delineation of his herself by her rejoinder :strength and heroism ? And what

“He that wrongs bis friend need of the two last? The costly Wrongs himself more, and ever bears about funeral sounds an impertinent in- A silent court of justice in his breast, trusion. We cannot doubt for a Himself the judge and jury, and himself

The prisoner at the bar, ever condemn'd." moment that Philip gave honourable burial to the man whom he While praising the clever imitation had so deeply, though so unwitting of the satire of the eighteenth cenly, wronged.But the atonement tury, with which the clerk brands is such a poor one, that it looks the hypocrite who has wronged him like a mockery; and we would (the two first lines of which might rather hear nothing of it. Why be sworn to as Pope's any day), he disturb in our minds the image might yet pertinaciously beg to be which what went before had left informed how a satire of the prethere ?—the humble bed on which sumed date could contain a referthe form, so often tempest-tossed, ence to Bible-meetings :reposes in its last sleep; the white

With all his conscience and one eye askew, face, serene in death, waiting for

So false, he partly took himself for true. the kisses which it might not receive in life.“ Ciò che'l viver non

Nor deeds of gift, but gifts of grace he ebbe, abbia la morte.”


And, snake-like, slimed his victim ere he Obeying that attraction to the

gorged ; sea which 'Enoch Arden' leaves be- And oft at Bible-meetings, o'er the rest hind it, we feel inclined next to Arising, did his holy oily best, cast a passing glance at the "Sea Dropping the too rough H in Hell and

Heaven, Dreams. As Theocritus, in one of To spread the word by which himself had his idyls, gives us the talk of two thriven." townswomen of his own dayAnd, lastly, he might point at the hastening to a festival, so here pomp of gorgeous

language in which the Laureate records for our edifi- the two dreams are told, as a reckcation the far weightier sayings of less expenditure of poetic wealth, two townspeople of our time,

dur- alike unsuited to the occasion and ing the festive rest from toil which

to the persons who employ it. a visit to the sea-side affords them. A stern critic might, indeed, be some truth in these observations.

Nor can we deny that there would find fault with them as somewhat But we might reply, and we do, too magniloquent. He might ask that in like manner our old friends whether it is not incongruous for a

Tityrus and Menalcas are more city clerk (however superior to city polite and more poetical than the clerks in general) to complain of shepherds of actual life; and that his treacherous friend in such if the clerk chose to pass off his own Shakspearean terms as the follow- composition as an old satire,” he ing

had a right (poetically speaking) to

do so. Indeed, what reasonable “ I found a hard friend in his loose

liberties can we forbid a man to accounts, A loose one in the hard grip of his hand, take, who has enriched our stock of A curse in his ‘God bless-you :' then my quotations with such a saying as

this: Pursued him down the street, and far

“How many will say, 'Forgive,' and find Among the honest shoulders of the crowd, A sort of absolution in the sound Read rascal in the motions of his back, To hate a little longer ?” And scoundrel in the supple-sliding knee."

Or this, which we like still better :He might inquire whether poor

"Is it so true that second thoughts are artists' daughters are usually so

best? well read in the ancient moralists,

Not first, and third, which are a riper

first ?"

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We can find no fault, and only audience. Mr Tennyson has avoided wish for ourselves visions as fair this first peril with his usual sucwhen next we sleep beside the sea His Farmer has no long hisas those two dreams ; in the last tory to relate. That of Tithonus of which we seem to hear the mu- may be safely supposed already sical roar of the swelling tide so known. And the Grandmother has plainly :

a right to tell as much as she pleases " But round the North, a light,

of her own story; both because her A belt, it seem'd of luminous vapour, lay young auditor cannot know much And ever in it a low musical note

of it, and because it is the privilege Swell’d up and died; and as it swell’d, a ridge

of old age to be garrulous. The Of breaker issued from the belt, and still

second, and greater difficulty, is one Grew with the growing note, and when the which the writer of the monologue note

has to overcome in common with the Had reach'd a thunderous fullness, on

dramatist. He must preserve the those cliffs Broke, mixt with awful light.

propriety of its speaker's character And then the great ridge drew, throughout. He must not suffer Lessening to the lessening music, back, him to reflect on his own case with And pass'd into the belt and swell’d again Slowly to music."

the sharp-sightedness of a by

stander. Nor must he make him The Laureate's reputation rests think aloud (unless in some excepon few firmer pillars than are tional cases of overmastering feelafforded it by some of the mono- ing); for that would be to confound logues among his earlier poems. the monologue with the soliloquy. It is natural, therefore, to turn Now we think that “Tithonus' will with eager expectation to the three be found (the exception stated bein his new volume. The third ing allowed) to satisfy these condimost amply satisfies ; the two first tions. In 'The Northern Farmer'we do not altogether disappoint it. seem to discover one or two slight No one of the three is (like 'Locks- inconsistencies. At least he quotes ley Hall' and the greater part of ‘St the Psalms very correctly for a man Simeon Stylites') a soliloquy. Nor who by his own account had such is any one of them like the conclu- faint perceptions of what went on sion of their author's 'Ulysses,' an in church during his attendance address to an audience, numerous there. And, though the boldness though mute. They are each, as with which he questions the dealare several of his other monologues, ings of Providence towards himself spoken to a single hearer. As the is conceivable as the thought of the mother in the Queen of May,' so in mind, it seems hardly so when it the 'Grandmother,' the little girl finds expression in words. A greater is the only listener. Eos alone authority than Mr Tennyson tells hearkens to the lamentations of us that when the fool said, “ There "Tithonus,'as mother Ida to those of is no God,” he said it in his heart. 'CEnone;' and the 'Northern Far- Surely when a yet greater fool owns mer' gives the whole benefit of his God, and nevertheless presumes to strange experience to the person blame the wisdom of His appointwho fills the unenviable place of ments, it will be done in his heart his sick-nurse.

too ! There is, however, someThere are two principal dangers thing very masterly in the life-like incurred in composing a

sketch of the man, with which logue. The one that of rendering his discourse furnishes us. The it, like an Euripidean prologue, subject is painful, but it is a conventional narration of facts very cleverly treated. How fine by a person who has no suffici- are the touches which set him beent reason for rehearsing them, fore us in his imperturbable selfapart from the dramatic neces- satisfaction, as he reflects on his sity of making them known to the landlord's confidence, the “qua

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lity's" admiration, and his own ex- own early life. There is something treme usefulness! His dislike to very pathetic in her simple account modern improvements ; his insensi- of her first great grief :bility to the rebuke of a man whom " But the first that ever I bare was dead he thinks less valuable to the world before he was born, than himself ; above all, his inabil- Shadow and shine is life, little Annie,

flower and thorn. ity to conceive how matters can go on at all after his own death (which His dear little face was troubled, as if with yet he would rather hasten than anger or pain: demean himself by taking the un

I looked at the still little body-his

trouble had all been in vain. palatable advice of a “tottler”), For Willy I cannot weep, I shall see him are put before us inimitably well. another morn: There is something in the state of But I wept like a child for the child that mind here described which we may

was dead before he was born." all be the wiser for considering ; Altogether the hand which penned and which we especially hope coun- "The Queen of the May' is not try rectors will see to be written disgraced by The Grandmother.' off for their instruction. That We say both of it and of “The respectable farmer, who seems to Northern Farmer' (more than we listen with such rapt attention to can say of some of the other minor his Reverence's sermon every Sun- poems here) that the two pictures day, perhaps, like his northern were so well worth painting, that brother, never knows what he to do so was no waste even of Mr means, only thinks he has "sum- Tennyson's precious time. mat to say.” And how many of 'Aylmer's Field,' the second us all are satisfied that we come up poem in this volume, differs in fairly to our own standard of duty, subject from the scenes of humwithout considering that, if not so ble life which we have hitherto eccentric as our poor friend's here, examined. Like ‘Maud, it is a it may yet be a long way from cor- tale of young affection blighted rect! Much would we like to think by parental cruelty ; but, unlike that he recovered and lived to un- ‘Maud, it is cast into a narrative, derstand the “Parson” better. not a lyrical shape. In that case

The representation of extreme old the pride of wealth, in this the age in the 'Grandmother’ is very pride of station and of lineage, deaccurate. The freshness with which stroys the happiness of two faithful long-past events live in aged minds, lovers. The date of the story is in as well as their loss of memory for, the closing decade of the last cenand interest in, recent occurrences, tury. are described with great truth. It is, we think, indisputable that The beginning of the poem is con- this poem (though abounding in fused ; and in its progress it runs fine passages) is, as a whole, less clearer, exactly like the talk of the satisfactory than ‘Enoch Arden.' very old. The only fault we have for this we are disposed to assign to find is, that the old woman ap- two reasons. The first is, that, pears too much alive to hèrown state. fully to engage our interest, the She explains why she cannot weep subject of a narrative poem should at the sad news she has just heard; have a certain remoteness from ourshe makes the sort of reflections on selves. If its hero is our contemage as a time of peace which we porary, he should be removed from might expect from a stranger look- us, either by place, as in stories of ing on. Now a mind so dead to the adventure in foreign lands, or by present as hers is, would hardly station, as in tales of lowly life. be capable of doing this. To our Sir Walter Scott chose no subthinking, the prettiest parts of the ject for his narrative poems more poem are the aged woman's recol- recent than Charles I.'s reign. lections of her children, and of her And it may be doubted whether

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