Page images
PDF
EPUB
[blocks in formation]

You, you, that have the ordering of her

fleet, If you should only compass her disgrace, When all men starve, the wild mob's mil

lion feet Will kick you from your place,

But then too late, too late.

THE FLEET 1

Contributed to the · Times,' April 23, 1885. The quotation from Sir Graham Berry's speech was added in 1886, when the poem was reprinted in the ' Locksley Hall' volume. Waugh (* Alfred Lord Tennyson,'2d ed., London, 1893) says that the poem was “suggested by the speech,' which was not delivered until more than a year after the poem was first printed; and others have made the same mistake.

I
You, you, if you shall fail to understand

What England is, and what her all-in-all, On you will come the curse of all the land, Should this old England fall

Which Nelson left so great.

ments and their prompt despatch when ordered to their colonial destination. Hence the necessity for manufacturing appliances equal to the requirements, not of Great Britain alone, but of the whole Empire. But the keystone of the whole was the necessity for an overwhelmingly powerful fleet and efficient defence for all necessary coaling stations. This was as essential for the colonies as for Great Britain. It was the one condition for the continuance of the Empire. All that Continental Powers did with respect to armics England should effect with her navy. It was essentially a defensive force, and could be moved rapidly from point to point, but it should be equal to all that was expected from it. It was to strengthen the fleet that colonists would first readily tax themselves, because they realized how essential & powerful fleet was to the safety, not only of that extensive commerce sailing in every sea, but ultimately to the security of the distant portions of the Empire. Who could estimate the loss involved in even a brief period of disaster to the Imperial Navy? Any amount of money timely expended in preparation would be quite insignificant when compared with the possible calamity he had referred to.' – Ertract from Sir Graham Berry's Speech at the Colonial Institute, 9th November, 1880.

1 The speaker said that he should like to be assured that other outlying portions of the Empire, the Crown colonies, and important coaling stations were being as promptly and as thoroughly fortified as the various capitals of the self-governing colonies. He was credibly informed this was not so. It was impossible, also, not to feel some degree of anxiety about the efficacy of present provision to defend and protect, by means of swift well-armed cruisers, the immense mercantile fleet of the Empire. A third source of anxiety, so far as the colonies were concerned, was the apparently insufficient provision for the rapid manufacture of arma

[blocks in formation]

WELCOME, welcome with one voice !
In your welfare we rejoice,
Sons and brothers that have sent,
From isle and cape and continent,
Produce of your field and flood,
Mount and mine, and primal wood;
Works of subtle brain and hand,
And splendors of the morning land,
Gifts from every British zone;

Britons, hold your own !

Written to be read at a dinner given to the actor, March 1, 1851, on his retirement from the stage; but not included in the poet's collected works until 1891.

II

May we find, as ages run,
The mother featured in the son;
And may yours for ever be
That old strength and constancy
Which has made your fathers great
In our ancient island State,
And wherever her flag fly,
Glorying between sea and sky,
Makes the might of Britain known;

Britons, hold your own !

FAREWELL, Macready, since to-night we

part; Full-handed thunders often have con

fessed Thy power, well-used to move the public

breast. We thank thee with our voice, and from

the beart. Farewell, Macready, since this night we

part, Go, take thine honors home; rank with

the best, Garrick and statelier Kemble, and the

rest Who made a nation purer through their

art.
Thine is it that our drama did not die,

Vor flicker down to brainless pantomime,
And those gilt gauds men-children swarm

to see.
Farewell, Macready, moral, grave, sub-

lime; Our Shakespeare's bland and universal eye Dwells pleased, through twice a hundred

years, on thee.

III

Britain fought her sons of yore
Britain fail'd; and never more,
Careless of our growing kin,
Shall we sin our fathers' sin,
Men that in a narrower day –
Unprophetic rulers they
Drove from out the mother's nest
That young eagle of the West
To forage for herself alone;

Britons, hold your own!

DEMETER

AND OTHER POEMS

The volume with this title was published in December, 1889, when Tennyson was eighty years old, and included the poems that follow, as far as ‘ In Memoriam: W. G. Ward,' and also. Crossing the Bar,' which the poet afterwards requested to have printed at the end of all collected editions of his works. Twenty thousand copies of the book were sold during the week after it appeared.

[blocks in formation]

VII

I

Make their neighborhood healthfuller, ON THE JUBILEE OF QUEEN Give your gold to the hospital, VICTORIA

Let the weary be comforted,

Let the needy be banqueted, Written in commemoration of the fiftieth

Let the maim'd in his heart rejoice anniversary of the Queen's accession, 1887, At this glad Ceremonial, and printed in ‘Macmillan's Magazine' for And this year of her Jubilee. April.

Henry's fifty years are all in shadow, FIFTY times the rose has flower'd and Gray with distance Edward's fifty sum. faded,

mers, Fifty times the golden harvest fallen, Even her Grandsire's fifty half forgotten. Since our Queen assumed the globe, the sceptre.

You, the Patriot Architect,

You that shape for eternity, She beloved for a kindliness

Raise a stately memorial, Rare in fable or history,

Make it regally gorgeous, Queen, and Empress of India,

Some Imperial Institute, Crowu'd so long with a diadem

Rich in symbol, in ornament, Never worn by a worthier,

Which may speak to the centuries, Now with prosperous auguries

All the centuries after us, Comes at last to the bounteous

Of this great Ceremonial, Crowning year of her Jubilee.

And this year of her Jubilee.

VIII

II

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

TO PROFESSOR JEBB

WITH THE FOLLOWING POEM

Addressed to Richard Claverhouse Jebb, Professor of Greek at St. Andrews, Scotland, and afterwards at Cambridge, England, one of the most eminent Hellenists of our day. The footnotes are the poet's own.

Saw thee, and flash'd into a frolic of

song And welcome; and a gleam as of the

moon, When first she peers along the tremulous

deep, Fled wavering o'er thy face, and chased

away That shadow of a likeness to the king Of shadows, thy dark mate. Persephone ! Queen of the dead no more — Again were human-godlike, and the Sun Burst from a swimming fleece of winter

gray, And robed thee in his day from head to

feet • Mother !' and I was folded in thine arms.

— my child!

Thine eyes

[blocks in formation]

20

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

DEMETER AND PERSEPHONE

(IN ENNA)

The present Lord Tennyson says in the *Memoir,' (vol. ii. p. 364): "The poem was written at my request, because I knew that he considered Demeter one of the most beautiful types of womanhood.'

40

Faint as a climate-changing bird that flies All night across the darkness, and at dawn Falls on the threshold of her native land, And can no more, thou camest, O my child, Led upward by the God of ghosts and

dreams, Who laid thee at Eleusis, dazed and dumb With passing thro’ at once from state to

state, Until I brought thee hither, that the day, Wben here thy hands let fall the gather'd

flower, Might break thro' clouded memories once

again
On thy lost self. A sudden nightingale

1 In Bologna
2 They say, for the fact is doubtful.

So in this pleasant vale we stand again, The field of Enna, now once more ablaze With flowers that brighten as thy footstep

falls, All flowers — but for one black blur of

earth Left by that closing chasm, thro' which

the car Of dark Aïdoneus rising rapt thee hence. And here, my child, tho' folded in thine

arms, I feel the deathless heart of motherhood Within me shudder, lest the naked glebe Should yawn once more into the gulf, and

thence The shrilly whinnyings of the team of

Hell, Ascending, pierce the glad and songful air, And all at once their arch'd necks, mid

night-maned, Jet upward thro' the midday blossom. No! For, see, thy foot has touch'd it; all the

space

10

« PreviousContinue »