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PREFATORY POEM TO MY

BROTHER'S SONNETS

of Sermione (the Latin Sirmio), where Catul. lus had his country house, is about three miles and a half to the east of Desenzano. There are some slight remains of an ancient building on the edge of the lake, said to belong to the poet's villa ; and on a hill near by are fragments of Roman baths.

MIDNIGHT, JUNE 30, 1879
The collected edition of Charles Tennyson
Turner's 'Sonnets,' for which this poem was
written, was published in 1880.

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MIDNIGHT - in no midsummer tune
The breakers lash the shores;
The cuckoo of a joyless June
Is calling out of doors.

And thou hast vanish'd from thine own
To that which looks like rest,
True brother, only to be known
By those who love thee best.

Row us out from Desenzano, to your Sir

mione row ! So they row'd, and there we landed - 0

venusta Sirmio !' There to me thro' all the groves of olive in

the summer glow, There beneath the Roman ruin where the

purple flowers grow, Came that · Ave atque Vale' of the Poet's

hopeless woe, Tenderest of Roman poets nineteen hundred

urs ago, • Frater Ave atque Vale'- as we wander'd

to and fro Gazing at the Lydian laughter of the Garda

Lake below Sweet Catullus's all-but-island, olive-sil

II Midnight — and joyless June gone by, And from the deluged park The cuckoo of a worse July Is calling thro' the dark; But thou art silent underground, And o'er thee streams the rain, True poet, surely to be found When Truth is found again.

very Sirmio !

HELEN'S TOWER

(Written at the request of my friend, Lord Dufferin.]

III

And, now to these unsummer'd skies
The summer bird is still,
Far off a phantom cuckoo cries
From out a phantom hill;

son.

And thro’ this midnight breaks the sun
Of sixty years away,
The light of days when life begun,
The days that seem to-day,

When all my griefs were shared with

thee,
As all my hopes were thine
As all thou wert was one with me,
May all thou art be mine!

Inscribed on the walls of a tower erected in 1860 by the Earl of Dufferin on his estate near Belfast, as a tribute to his mother, the late Countess of Gifford, and named after her. The fourth line refers to a poetical inscription on the tower, written by Lady Gifford to her

Later, in 1861, Helen's Tower' was privately printed by Lord Dufferin. It was also printed in ‘Good Words' for January, 1884, before it appeared in the · Tiresias' volume.

HELEN'S TOWER, here I stand,
Dominant over sea and land.
Son's love built me, and I hold
Mother's love in letter'd gold.
Love is in and out of time,
I am mortal stone and lime.
Would my granite girth were strong
As either love, to last as long !
I should wear my crown entire
To and thro' the Doomsday fire,
And be found of angel eyes
In earth's recurring Paradise.

• FRATER AVE ATQUE VALE'

First printed in The Nineteenth Century' for March, 1883.

Desenzano is a town at the southern end of Lake Garda, in Italy. The narrow peninsula

EPITAPH ON LORD STRATFORD

DE REDCLIFFE

IN WESTMINSTER ABBEY

This and the two following epitaphs were published in the · Tiresias' volume. Thou third great Canning, stand among

our best And noblest, now thy long day's work

hath ceased, Here silent in our Minster of the West Who wert the voice of England in the

East.

Gladstone (who had appointed him to the of. fice in 1880) on the Irish Bill. Tennyson him. self said, in 1892: 'I love Mr. Gladstone, but hate his present Irish policy.' O Patriot Statesman, be thou wise to

know The limits of resistance, and the bounds Determining concession; still be bold Not only to slight praise but suffer scorn; And be thy heart a fortress to maintain The day against the moment, and the year Against the day; thy voice, a music heard Thro' all the yells and counter-yells of

feud And faction, and thy will, a power to make This ever-changing world of circumstance, In changing, chime with never-changing

Law.

EPITAPH ON GENERAL GORDON

IN THE GORDON BOYS' NATIONAL MEMO

RIAL HOME NEAR WOKING

HANDS ALL ROUND

For the first version of this song, which appeared in the London · Examiner for Febru. ary 7, 1852, see the Notes.

WARRIOR of God, man's friend, and ty

rant's foe, Now somewhere dead far in tbe waste

Soudan, Thou livest in all hearts, for all men know

This earth has never borne a nobler

man.

EPITAPH ON CAXTON

First pledge our Queen this solemn night,

Then drink to England, every guest; That man 's the best Cosmopolite

Who loves his native country best. May freedom's oak for ever live

With stronger life from day to day; That man 's the true Conservative Who lops the moulder'd branch away.

Hands all round ! God the traitor's hope confound ! To this great cause of Freedom drink, my

friends, And the great name of England, round

and round.

IN ST. MARGARET'S, WESTMINSTER

Fiat Lux (his motto)

The prayer was 'Light — more Light

while Time shall last!' Thon sawest a glory growing on the

night, But not the shadows which that light would

cast, Till shadows vanish in the Light of

Light.

To all the loyal hearts who long

To keep our English Empire whole ! To all our noble sons, the strong

New England of the Southern Pole! To England under Indian skies,

To those dark millions of her realm ! To Canada whom we love and prize, Whatever statesman hold the helm.

Hands all round ! God the traitor's hope confound ! To this great name of England drink, my

friends, And all her glorious empire, round and

round.

TO THE DUKE OF ARGYLL

The Duke was an intimate friend of Tennyson, and visited him occasionally at Aldworth. This poem was probably suggested by the course of the Duke in resigning the Privy Seal in 1881, on account of his disagreement with

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Old poets foster'd under friendlier skies, Old Virgil who would write ten lines,

they say, At dawn, and lavish all the golden day To make them wealthier in his readers'

eyes; And you, old popular Horace, you the wise

Adviser of the nine-years-ponder'd lay, And you, that wear a wreath of sweeter

bay, Catullus, whose dead songster never dies; If, glancing downward on the kindly

sphere That once had rollid you round and

round the sun.

V

Of Knowledge fusing class with class,

Of civic Hate no more to be,
Of Love to leaven all the mass,
Till
every

soul be free;

You see your Art still shrined in human Which froin her honsehold orbit draws the shelves,

child You should be jubilant that you

flourish'd To move in other spheres. The Mother here

weeps Before the Love of Letters, overdone, At that white funeral of the single life, Had swampt the sacred poets with them- Her maiden daughter's marriage; and her selves.

tears Are half of pleasure, half of pain — the

child TO H. R. H. PRINCESS BEATRICE

Is happy – even in learing her! but thou,

True daughter, whose all-faithful, filial eyes First printed in the London ‘Times,' July

Have seen the loneliness of earthly thrones, 23, 1885. The Princess was married to Prince Henry

Wilt neither quit the widow'd Crown, nor

let of Battenberg, on that day.

This later light of Love have risen in vain, Two Suns of Love make day of human life, But moving thro’ the Mother's home, beWhich else with all its pains, and griefs,

tween and deaths,

The two that love thee, lead a summer life, Were utter darkness one, the Sun of Sway'd by each Love, and swaying to each

dawn That brightens thro' the Mother's tender Like some conjectured planet in mid heaven eyes,

Between two suns, and drawing down from And warms the child's awakening world —

both and one

The light and genial warmth of double The later-rising Sun of spousal Love,

day.

Love,

LOCKSLEY HALL SIXTY YEARS AFTER, ETC.

This was the title of the volume published late in 1886, containing the 'Locksley Hall,' "The Fleet,'Opening of the Indian and Colonial Exhibition,' and · The Promise of May. The book had the following dedication :

TO MY WIFE

I DEDICATE
THIS DRAMATIC MONOLOGUE

AND
THE POEMS WHICH FOLLOW

this boy

LOCKSLEY HALL SIXTY YEARS And

you liken — boyish babble AFTER

love of yours with mine. LATE, my grandson! half the morning I myself have often babbled doubtless of a have I paced these sandy tracts,

foolish past; Watch'd again the hollow ridges roaring Babble, babble; our old England may go into cataracts,

down in babble at last.

Wander'd back to living boyhood while I Curse him !' curse your fellow-victim ? heard the curlews call,

call him dotard in your rage ? I myself so close on death, and death itself Eyes that lured a doting boyliood well in Locksley Hall.

might fool a dotard's age. So — your happy suit was blasted — she Jilted for a wealthier ! wealthier ? yet perthe faultless, the divine;

haps she was not wise;

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I remember how you kiss'd the miniature

with those sweet eyes.

Close beneath the casement crimson with

the shield of Locksley — there,

In the hall there hangs a painting - Amy's

arms about my neck Happy children in a sunbeam sitting on the

ribs of wreck.

All in white Italian marble, looking still as

if she smiled, Lies my Amy dead in childbirth, dead the

mother, dead the child.

In my life there was a picture, she that Dead — and sixty years ago, and dead her clasp'd my neck had flown;

aged husband now I was left within the shadow sitting on the I, this old white-headed dreamer, stoopt wreck alone.

and kiss'd her marble brow.

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She that in her heart is brooding on his Gone the comrades of my bivouac, some in briefer lease of life,

fight against the foe, While she vows 'till death shall part us,' Some thro' age and slow diseases, gone as she the would-be-widow wife.

all on earth will go. She the worldling born of worldlings — fa- Gone with whom for forty years my life in ther, mother — be content,

golden sequence ran, Even the homely farm can teach us there She with all the charm of woman, she with is something in descent.

all the breadth of man, Yonder in that chapel, slowly sinking now Strong in will and rich in wisdom, Edith, into the ground,

yet so lowly-sweet, Lies the warrior, my forefather, with his Woman to her inmost heart, and woman to feet upon the hound.

her tender feet, Cross'd! for once he sail'd the sea to crush Very woman of very woman, nurse of ailthe Moslem in his pride;

ing body and mind, Dead the warrior, dead his glory, dead the She that link'd again the broken chain that cause in which he died.

bound me to my kind. Yet how often I and Amy in the moulder- Here to-day was Amy with me, while I ing aisle have stood,

wander'd down the coast, Gazing for one pensive moment on that Near us Edith's holy shadow, smiling at the founder of our blood.

slighter ghost. There again I stood to-day, and where of Gone our sailor son thy father, Leonard old we knelt in prayer,

early lost at sea;

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