Page images
PDF
EPUB

chise Bill was being discussed in the House of

She brought a vast design to pass, Lords; and afterwards printed in the ‘Pall

When Europe and the scattered ends Mall Gazette.'

Of our fierce world were mixt as friends

And brethren in her halls of glass. STEERSMAN, be not precipitate in thy act For an early version of the poem (from a MS.

Of steering, for the river here, my friend, in the Library of the Drexel Institute, Phila

Parts in two channels, moving to one end. delphia), see Jones's The Growth of the Idylls This goes straight forward to the cataract, of the King,' p. 152.

Nine of the thirteen That streams about the bend;

stanzas are entirely unlike the poem as finally But tho’ the cataract seem the nearer way, published. Whate'er the crowd on either bank may say, Page 2. And statesmen ut her councils met, etc. Take thou the bend, 't will save thee many a This stanza was once quoted by Mr. Gladstone day.

in the House of Commons with remarkable

effect. Lord John Manners, in an argument EXPERIMENT IN SAPPHIC METRE

against political change, had quoted the poet's

description of England as Contributed to Professor Jebb's Primer of

A land of old and wide renown Greek Literature,' 1877.

Where Freedom slowly broadens down.

The retort was none the less effective because Faded every violet, all the roses;

the passage was taken from a different poem. Gone the glorious promise, and the victim Broken in the anger of Aphrodite

Page 4. LEONINE ELEGIACS.

The title in 1830 was simply 'Elegiacs. In Yields to the victor.

line 6'wood-dove' was 'turtle,' and in 15 or'

was 'and.' The following 'unpublished fragment' was For the allusion in The ancient poetess singprinted in • Ros Rosarum,' an anthology edited eth,' etc., compare · Locksley Hall Sixty Years by Hon. Mrs. Boyle, 1885:

After ': Hesper, whom the poet call'd the The night with sudden odor reel'd,

Bringer home of all good things.' The refer The southern stars a music peal'd,

ence is to the fragment of Sappho:Warm beams across the meadow stole;

"Έσπερε, πάντα φέρεις: For Love flew over grove and field,

Φέρεις οίνον, φέρεις αίγα, Said, 'Open, Rosebud, open, yield

Φέρεις ματέρι παιδα. . Thy fragrant soul.'

Byron paraphrases it in ‘Don Juan' (iii. 107): The following prefatory stanza was contri- O Hesperus! thou bringest all good things buted in 1891 to ' Pearl,' an English poem of Home to the weary, to the hungry cheer, the 14th century, edited by Mr. Israel Gol. To the young bird the parent's brooding winge, lancz:

The welcome stall to the o'er-labor'd steer;

Whate'er of peace about our hearth-stone clings, We lost you for how long a time,

Whate'er our household gods protect of dear, True Pearl of our poetic prime!

Are gather'd round us by thy look of rest; We found you, and you gleam reset

Thou bring'st the child, too, to the mother's breast. In Britain's lyric coronet.

SUPPOSED CONFESSIONS, etc. (Other poems by Tennyson mentioned by of a Second-rate Sensitive Mind not in Unity

The original title was . Supposed Confessions Shepherd and Luce in their Bibliographies with Itself.' In the poem as restored the fol(neither of which is invariably accurate) as lowing lines, after line 39, were omitted : printed, but omitted in the collected editions, are the following: a stanza in the volume of

A grief not uninformed, and dull,

Hearted with hope, of hope as full his poems presented to the Princess Louise of

As is the blood with life, or night Schleswig-Holstein by representatives of the And a dark cloud with rich moonlight nurses of England ; lines on the christening of

To stand beside a grave, and see

The red small atoms wherewith we the daughter of the Duchess of Fife; and lines

Are built, and smile in calm, and say to the memory of J. R. Lowell. These are

* These little motes and grains shall be not referred to in the Memoir,' and I have

Clothed on with immortality not been able to find copies of them.]

More glorious than the noon of day.
All that is pass'd into the flowers,
And into beasts and other men,

And all the Norland whirlwind showers
VI. NOTES AND ILLUSTRA-

From open vaults, and all the sea
TIONS

O'erwashes with sharp salts, again
Shall fleet together all, and be

Indued with immortality.'
Page 1. TO THE QUEEN.

The following is the stanza referring to the The only other changes are rosy fingers' for Crystal Palace Exhibition of 1851, which origi- waxen fingers ' in 42, and 'man' for 'men'in nally followed the 6th:

169.

[ocr errors]

90. unrayed' for 'inlaid'; in 100 ‘I was borne'; in 125 'wreathed silvers'; and in 140 · Flowing beneath."

Page 13. ODE TO MEMORY.

In line 68, waken'd' was at first 'waked'; 103 was · Emblems or glimpses of infinity'; in 117 · And those' was. The few'; and 119-121 were :

My friend, with thee to live alone, Methinks were better than to own A crown, a sceptre, and a throne !

Page 14. THE POET.
In 1830 the 12th stanza read thus:-

And in the bordure of her robe was writ

WISDOM, a name to shake
Hoar anarchies, as with a thunderfit,

And when she spake, etc.

6

The Westminster Review' (January, 1831) recognized in this poem an extraordinary combination of deep reflection, metaphysical analysis, picturesque description, dramatic transition, and strong emotion.' Arthur Hallam, in the

Englishman's Magazine' (August, 1831), said of it: The “ Confessions of a Second-rate Sensitive Mind" are full of deep insight into human nature, and intn those particular trials which are sure to beset men who think and feel for themselves at this epoch of social development. The title is perhaps ill chosen; not only has it an appearance of quaintness, which has no sufficient reason,

but it seems to us incorrect. The mood portrayed in this poem, unless the admirable skill of delineation has deceived us, is rather the clonded season of a strong mind than the habitual condition of one feeble and second-rate.'

Page 7. ISABEL.

In 1812 wifehood' (line 16) was changed to marriage,' and 'blenched' (a misprint ?) to blanched.' Page 8. MARIANA.

In the 4th line the first reading was the peach to the garden-wall.' Bayard Taylor, writing in 1877 (in · International Review,' vol. iv.), quotes the poet as saying: There is my “Mariana," for example. A line in it is wrong, and I cannot possibly change it, because it has been so long published; yet it always annoys me. I wrote That held the peach to the garden-wall." Now this is not a characteristic of the scenery I had in mind. The line should be “ That held the pear to the gable-wall." ; Whether this conversation occurred during Taylor's visit to Tennyson in 1857 I cannot say; but the line was changed in the printed poem in 1860, or seventeen years before the review was written.

In line 43, the original reading was did dark ; ' retained in 1812, but changed in 1843.

In line 30, ' up and away' was at first 'up an' away' (changed in 1842). In line 63, the original 'sung i' the pane was retained down to 1850. Line 80 was originally, “Downsloped 1 was westering in his bower' (changed in 1842).

Page 9. To
The 1830 reading in the 3d and 4th lines was

The 9th had 'a' for 'one'; and the 14th hurl'd' for · whirl'd.'

In the 1st stanza, 'the hate of hate,' etc., clearly means the hatred of hate, etc. Rev. F. W. Robertson explains it thus: That is, the Prophet of Truth receives for his dower the scorn of men in whom scorn dwells, hatred from men who hate, while his reward is the gratitude and affection of men who seek the truth which they love, more eagerly than the faults which their acuteness can blame.' A very intelligent lady once told me that she had always understood hate of hate' to mean the utmost intensity of hate, etc., the poet's passions and sensibilities being to those of ordinary men 'as moonlight unto sunlight, and as water unto wine.'

The Poet's MIND.

Reprinted in 1842 with the omission of the following passage after line 7:

Clear as summer mountainstreams,
Bright as the inwoven beams,
Which beneath their crisping sapphire
In the midday, floating o'er
The golden sands, make evermore
To a blossomstarred shore.

Hence away, unhallowed laugher ! The 9th line in 1830 was • The poet's mind iş holy ground '; and the 35th had 'would never.'

Page 15. THE SEA-FAIRIES, For the original form of this poem, see p. 786. Page 16. THE DYING SWAN. Reprinted in 1842 with And loudly did lament' for 'Which loudly,' etc.; and in 1850 with · Above in the wind was the swallow' for sing the swallow.' Page 18. CIRCUMSTANCE.

The last line originally began, 'Fill up the round,' etc.

Page 20. ADELINE.

The only changes since 1842 are in the 5th stanza: 'the side of the morn' for 'the side o' the morn,' and 'locks a-drooping' for 'locks a-dropping.'

MARGARET.
In the 3d stanza the first reading was 'The

The knotted lies of human creeds,

The wounding cords which bind and strain. MADELINE.

Printed in 1830 without the division into stanzas, which was made in 1842. The only other change (except the spelling 'airy' for . aery') is .amorously' for three times three' in the last stanza (in the errata of the 1830 volume).

Page 10. RECOLLECTIONS OF THE ARABIAN Nights.

In line 29 the 1830 volume has 'Of breaded blosms'; in 78 'Blackgreen' for · Black'; in

1 In the volumes of 1830 and 1833, compound words are, with rare exceptions, printed without the hyphen; as 'silverchiming,' gardenbowers,'' mountainstreams, etc

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

lion-souled Plantagenet' (Richard I.). 'Chatelet' was proscribed in the Reign of Terror, and executed in December, 1793.

In the 4th stanza, the 1830 volume has · And more aerially blue,' with 'And' instead of But in the next line. Page 21. ROSALIND.

The only change in 1884 was the omission of the ‘Note printed on p. 789 above.

Page 22. ELEÄNORE. Line 99 was originally, ‘Did roof noonday with doubt and fear. The reading of 108-111

vas:

Sess,'

As waves that from the outer deep
Roll into a quiet cove,
There fall away, and lying still,
Having glorious dreams in sleep,
Shadow forth the banks at will:

Or sometimes they swell and move, etc. In 123 “While' was originally “When.' For 127 the reading was : –

I gaze on thee the cloudless noon
Of mortal beauty: in its place, etc.

VII
Sweet as the noise in parched plaing

Of bubbling wells that fret the stones
(If any sense in me remains),

Thy words will be; thy cheerful tones

As welcome to my crumbling bones. The 'Quarterly Review' for July, 1833, had its fling at the line, “If any sense in me remains. This doubt,' it says, is 'inconsistent with the opening stanza of the piece, and, in fact, too modest; we take upon ourselves to reassure Mr. Tennyson that, even after he shall be dead and buried, as much sense" will still remain as he has now the good fortune to pos

In the 4th stanza 'may' refers to the blossoms of the hawthorn. Compare • The Miller's Daughter:' The lanes, you know, were white with may.' Here, as there, some of the American reprints put · May' for 'may.'

EARLY SONNETS.

I. The original version has a confused dream in the 3d line; · Altho' I knew not in the 12th; and for the 14th And each had lived in the other's mind and speech.' In the 8th 'hath' is italicized.

III. In the 1st line 'full' was oxiginally • fierce'; and in the 12th' warm

great." VI. The 10th line was originally · How long shall the icy-hearted Muscovite.'

VII. The 1st line had originally 'dainty' for *slender.'

VIII. The 5th line had ‘waltzing-circle' for whirling dances.

X. The first line originally began · But were I loved, etc.

XI. The bridesmaid' was Emily Sellwood, who afterwards became the poet's wife; and the marriage was that of his brother Charles to Louisa Sellwood, May 24, 1836. See the · Memoir,' vol. i. p. 148.

Page 27. THE LADY OF SHALOTT.

The last four lines of the 1st stanza were originally as follows:

The yellowleaved waterlily,
The greensheathéd daffodilly,
Tremble in the water chilly,

Round about Shalott.
The next stanza began thus: -

Willows whiten, aspens shiver.
The sunbeam-showers break and quiver

In the stream that runneth ever, etc.
The first reading of the 3d and 4th stanzas

6

That of 134 was ‘Floweth; then I faint, I swoon.'

Page 23. KATE.

This poem, after being included in the onevolume English edition of 1897, has been omitted in the Globe' edition of 1898. On second thought, Lord Tennyson appears to have decided to add nothing to the collected works as last arranged by his father,

Page 24. “MY LIFE IS FULL OF WEARY DAYS.

The reading of the first two stanzas in 1833 was as follows:

was

6

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

was:

Underneath the bearded barley,
The reaper, reaping late and early,
Hears her ever chanting cheerly,
Like an angel, singing clearly,

O'er the stream of Camelot.
Piling the sheaves in furrows airy,
Beneath the moon, the reaper weary
Listening whispers, "'t is the fairy,

Lady of Shalott.'
The little isle is all inrailed
With a rose-fence, and overtraiku

If thou art blest, my mother's smile

Undimmed, if bees are on the wing: Then cease, my friend, a little while,

That I may hear the throstle sing His bridal song, the boast of spring.

6

With roses: by the marge unhailed
The shallop flitteth silkensailed,

Skimming down to Camelot.
A pearlgarland winds her head:
She leaneth on a velvet bed,
Full royally apparelled,

The Lady of Shalott.
Part II. goes on thus: –

No time hath she to sport and play:
A charmòd web she weaves alway.
A curse is on her, if she stay
Her weaving, either night or day,

To look down to Camelot.
She knows not what the curse may be;
Therefore she weaveth steadily,
Therefore no other care hath she,

The Lady of Shalott.
She lives with little joy or fear.
Over the water, running near,
The sheepbell tinkles in her ear.
Before her hangs a mirror clear,

Reflecting towered Camelot.
And as the mazy web she whirls,

She sees the surly village churls, etc. The next stanza (* Sometimes a troop,' etc.) is unchanged; and the only alteration in the next is went to Camelot' for 'came from Camelot.'

In Part III. the 5th line of the 2d and 3d stanzas had 'down from Camelot;' the last line of the 3d had 'over green Shalott;' the 8th line of the 4th was “Tirra lirra, tirra lirra; and the 3d line of the 5th had 'water-flower.'

In Part IV. the latter part of the 1st stanza was as follows: –

Outside the isle a shallow boat
Beneath a willow lay afloat,
Below the carven stern she wrote,

The Lady of Shalott.
Then followed this stanza:

A cloudwhite crown of pearl she dight.
All raimented in snowy white
That loosely flew (her zone in sight,
Clasped with one blinding diamond bright)

Her wide eyes fixed on Camelot,
Though the squally eastwind keenly
Blew, with folded arms serenely
By the water stood the queenly

Lady of Shalott.
The next stanza opened thus:

With a steady stony glance
Like some bold seer in a trance,
Beholding all his own mischance,
Mute, with a glassy countenance -

She looked down to Camelot.
It was the closing, etc.
The remaining stanzas were as follows: –

As when to sailors while they roam,
By creeks and outfalls far from home,
Rising and dropping with the foam,
From dying swans wild warblings come,

Blown shoreward; so to Carnelot
Still as the boathead wound along
The willowy hills and fields among,
They beard her chanting har deathsong,

The Lady of Shalott.
A longdrawn carol, mournful, holy,
She chanted loudly, chanted lowly,

Till her eyes were darkened wholly,
And her smooth face sharpened slowly,

Turned to towered Camelot:
For ere she reached, etc.
Under tower and balcony,
By gardenwall and gallery,
A pale, pale corpse she floated by,
Deadcold, between the houses high,

Dead into towered Camelot.
Knight and burgher, lord and dame,
To the planked wharfage came:
Below the stern they read her name,

• The Lady of Shalott.'
They crossed themselves, their stars they blest,
Knight, minstrel, abbot, squire, and guest.
There lay a parchment on her breast,
That puzzled more than all the rest,

The wellfed wits at Camelot.
The web was uoren curiously,
The charm is broken utterly,
Draw near and fear not -- this is I,

The Lady of Shalott.' The ending of the poem is much improved by the revision. The 'wellfed wits' (the epithet seems out of keeping here) might well be puzzled' by the parchment, which is as pointless as it is enigmatical; but the new ending, with its introduction of Lancelot, is most pathetic and suggestive.

In line 157 the reading in 1842 (and down to 1873) was A corse between,' etc.

According to Palgrave ( Lyrical Poems by Tennyson'), the poem was suggested by an Italian romance upon the Donna di Scalotta, in which Camelot, unlike the Celtic tradition, was placed near the sea.' It is in a very different form that the legend reappears in the Idylls of the King.' Page 29. MARIANA. The original form was as follows:

Behind the barren hill upsprung

With pointed rocks against the light,
The crag sharpshadowed overhung

Each glaring creek and inlet bright.
Far, far, one lightblue ridge was seen,

Looming like baseless fairyland;

Eastward a slip of burning sand,
Dark-rimmed with sea, and bare of green.
Down in the dry salt-marshes stood

That house darklatticed. Not a breath

Swayed the sick vineyard underneath,
Or moved the dusty southernwood.

Madonna,' with melodious moan
Sang Mariana, night and morn,

Madonna ! lo! I am all alone,

Love-forgotten and love-forlorn.'
She, as her carol sadder grew,

From her warm brow and bosom down
Through rogy taper fingers drew

Her streaming curls of deepest brown
On either side, and made appear,

Still-lighted in a secret shrine,
Her melancholy eyes divine,
The home of woe without a tear.

Madonna,' with melodious moan
Sang Mariana, night and morn,
"Madonna ! lo! I am all alone,

Love-forgotten and love-forlorn.'
When the dawncrimson changed, and past

Into deep orange o'er the sea,

low on her knees herself she cast,

Unto our lady prayed she.
She inoved her lips, she prayed alone,

She praying disarrayed and warın

From slumber, deep her wavy form
In the darklustrous mirror shone.

• Madonna,' in a low clear tone
Said Mariana, night and morn,
Low she mourned, 'I am all alone,

Love-forgotten and love-forlorn.'
At noon she slumbered. All along

The silvery field, the large leaves talked
With one another, as among

The spiked maize in dreams she walked.
The lizard leapt: the sunlight played:

She heard the callow nestling lisp,

And brimful meadow-runnels crisp,
In the full-leaved platan-shade.

In sleep she breathed in a lower tono,
Murmuring as at night and morn,
• Madonna! lo! I am all alone,

Love-forgotten and love-forlorn.'
Dreaming, she knew it was a dream

Most false: he was and was not thero.
She woke: the babble of the stream

Fell, and without the steady glare
Shrank the sick olive sere and small.

The riverbed was dusty-white;
From the bald rock the blinding light
Beat ever on the sunwhite wall.

She whispered, with a stified moan
More inward than at night or morn,
• Madonna, leave me not all alone,

To die forgotten and live forlorn.
One dry cicala's summer song

At night filled all the gallery,
Backward the latticeblind she flung,

And leaned upon the balcony.
Ever the low wave seemed to roll

Up to the coast: far on, alone
In the East, large Hesper overshone
The mourning guls, and on her soul

Poured divine solace, or the rise
Of moonlight from the margin gleamed,
Volcano-like, afar, and streamed
On her white arm, and heavenward eyes.

Not all alone she made her moan,
Yet ever sang she, night and morn,

Madonna ! lo! I am all alone,

Love-forgotten and love-forlorn.' The only change since 1842 is in line 53, which in that edition retains the original • Shrank the sick olive,' etc.

Page 30. THE Two VOICES.

Unaltered except in line 457, which was originally 'So variously seem'd all things wrought.'

The poem, according to Palgrave (who unquestionably writes with authority'), describes

the conflict in a soul between Scepticism and Faith.'

Lines 8-15 have been variously interpreted. Peter Bayne (who is followed by Professor Corson) understands the passage to mean that the shuffling off of this mortal coil may open to him new spheres of energy and happiness; ' and that * the reply of the poet is that man is nature's highest product, – the obvious suggestion being that there is no splendid dragon-fly into which the human grub, released by death, is likely to develop.' But (as I remarked in my Select

Poems of Tennyson,' in 1884) this suggestion, so far from being obvious,' seems to me merely a desperate attempt to make the reference to the higher nature of man a' reply' to what the critic assumes that the Voice means to say. For myself, I had no hesitation in adopting Tainsh's interpretation of the passage: 'A dragon-fly is more wonderful than you;' and Lord Tennyson afterwards explained it to me in almost the same words: *The dragon-fiy is as wonderful as you.'

In line 228, the allusion is to the old notion that man was composed of the four elements, earth, air, fire, and water, and that the wellbalanced mixture of these produced the perfection of humanity. Compare Shakespeare, * Julius Cæsar,' v. 5. 73:

His life was gentle, and the elements
So mix'd in him that Nature might stand up
And say to all the world, “This was a man!'
Page 33. THE MILLER'S DAUGHTER.

The poem originally began with this stanza:

I met in all the close green ways,

While walking with my line and rod,
The wealthy miller's mealy face,

Like the moon in an ivy-tod.
He look'd so jolly and so good,

While fishing in the mill-dam water,
I laugh'd to see him as he stood,

And dreamt not of the miller's daughter. The 2d stanza, now the 1st, remains unaltered, and the only change in the next is 'can make: for makes' in the last line. In the next (3d) stanza, the original reading in the 2d line was . My darling Alice,' and 'my own sweet wife ' in the 6th line.

The 4th stanza (* Have I not found,'etc.) was
added in 1842.
The 5th stanza originally stood thus: -
My father's mansion, mounted high,

Looked down upon the village spire.
I was a long and listless boy,

And son and heir unto the squire.
In these dear walls, where I and you

Have lived and loved alone so long,
Each morn my sleep, etc.
The 6th stanza began: -
I often heard the cooing dove

In firry woodlands mourn alone;

But ere I saw, etc.
The last line had the long' for those long.'
The 7th stanza was as follows:
Sometimes I whistled in the wind,

Sometimes I angled, thought and deed
Torpid, as swallows left behind

That winter 'neath the floating weed:
At will to wander every way

From brook to brook my sole delight,
As lithe eels over meadows gray

Oft shift their glimmering pool by night. The 8th stanza was the one now made the 13th, and the first quatrain read thus:

How dear to me in youth, my love,

Was everything about the mill —

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »