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asked him how it stood with him. Forsooth, said he, I am whole of body, thanked be our Lord; therefore, sirs, for God's love tell me where that I am? Then said they all that he was in the castle of Carbonek.'

862. Deafer than the blue-eyed cat. Compare Darwin, Origin of Species, chap. i.: Thus cats which are entirely white and have blue eyes are generally deaf; but it has lately been pointed out by Mr. Tait that this is confined to the males.'


Little altered since its first appearance in 1869 except for the insertion of a passage of seventeen lines (386-403). The story is from Malory (iv. 20–23), but the poet modifies many of the details and changes the dénoûment.

20. The forest call'd of Dean. See on “The Marriage of Geraint,' 146.

65. Pelleas gazing thought, etc. The 1869 edition reads: · And Pelleas gazing thought,' etc.

342. Prowest knight. That is, bravest, most valiant. Compare Spenser, ‘Faërie Queene, ii. 3. 15: "For they be two the prowest knights on grownd.'

379. Ay,' thought Gawain, 'and you be fair enow,' The 1869 edition has .ye' for ' you.'

386–404. Hot was the night .. and bound his horse, etc. For these nineteen lines the 1869 edition has only the following:

The night was hot: he could not rest but rode Ere midnight to her walls, and bound his horse, etc. 409. Then he crost the court, etc. The 1869 edition reads:

Then he crost the court,
And saw the poster portal also wide
Yawning; and up a slope of garden, all
Of roses white and red, and wild ones mixt, etc.
419. Then

was he ware of three pavilions rear'd, etc. The 1869 edition reads:

Then was he ware that white pavilions rose,

Three from the bushes, gilden-peakt. 421. Her lurdane knights. Her stupid, worthless knights. “Lurdane' (really from the Old French lourdin, dull, blockish, from lourd) was supposed by soine of our old authors to be a corruption of lord Dane,' formed in derision of the Danes. It was used as both adjective and noun. Compare the ‘Mirror for Magistrates ':

In every house lord Dane did then rule all, Whence laysie lozels lurdanes now we call. 455. Huge, solid, etc. The 1869 edition has • So solid,' etc.

553. * No name, no name,' he shouted. The 1869 edition reads: I have no name,' etc.

560. Yell'd the youth. The 1869 edition reads: yell'd the other.

565. Yea, between thy lips - and sharp. Littledale remarks: The metaphor of the slanderous tongue, that sharp weapon between the tips, is no doubt nearly as old as the human race itself.'

594. And all talk died, etc. Compare 'Sir Lancelot and Queen Guinevere’:

Sometimes the sparhawk wheel'd along

Hush'd all the groves for fear of wrong. Page 422. THE LAST TOURNAMENT.

Few changes have been made in this Idyll since its appearance in the Contemporary Review' for December, 1871. The outline of the story of Tristram and his two Isolts and the vengeance of Mark is taken from Malory, but the rest is Tennyson's own.

Littledale gives the following abstract of the Tristram story:

Tristram, having been wounded by an Irish spear, can only be healed by an Irish hand, so he goes to Ireland, and is treated by La Beale Isoud or Isolt, daughter of the Irish king. On his return he gives a glowing description of her to his uncle Mark, who sends him back as his envoy to ask for her hand. On the voyage from Ireland they innocently drink the potent philtre, and their fatal love for each other begins. Long after, when the effects of the philtre have become exhausted, Tristram is hurt by a poisoned arrow, and goes to Brittany to be cured by King Hoel's daughter, Isolt of the White Hands (Isoud la blanche Maynys), whom he loves and marries. Lancelot reproaches him for his inconstancy to La Beale Isoud, and the lady herself writes sadly to him. Tristram's old love revives, and he resolves to go to Cornwall to see his old love. There is a quarrel, and Tristram reproaches Isolt for her unfaithfulness to him. He goes mad, and throws Dagonet into a well. After many adventures Arthur knights him, and he runs away with Isolt, but is wounded in a tournament. Mark undertakes to nurse him, which he does by putting him into a dungeon. Tristram and Isolt again escape, and live in Lancelot's castle of Joyous Gard; he goes out riding with Isolt, both of them being clad in green attire, when probably the bower mentioned by Tennyson is constructed. He fights with many knights; but we need not go into the rest of his story, of which enough has been given to show its affinity to the Lancelot story, and to illustrate the love-scene with Isolt in the Idyll. We may, however, quote Malory's last words about them: “That traitor king Mark slew the noble knight Sir Tristram, as he sat harping afore his lady La Beale Isoud, with a trenchant glaive, for whose death was much bewailing of every knight that ever was in Arthur's days and La Beale Isoud died, swooning upon the cross of Sir Tristram, whereof was great pity.'

10. For Arthur and Sir Lancelot riding once, etc. Tennyson has apparently based his story of the ruby necklace on an incident in the life of Alfred, quoted in Stanley's Book of Birds, where it is credited to the Monast. Anglic.,' vol. i. : ' Alfred, King of the West Saxons, went out one day a-hunting, and passing by a certain wood heard, as he supposed, the cry of an infant from the top of a tree, and forthwith diligently inquiring of the huntsmen what that doleful sound could be, commanded one of them to climb the tree, when on the top of it was found an eagle's nest, and lol therein a swoet

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faced infant, wrapped up in a purple mantle, and upon each arm a bracelet of gold, a clear sign that he was born of noble parents. Whereupon the king took charge of him, and caused him to be baptized; and, because he was found in a nest, he gave him the name of Nestingum, and, in aftertime, having nobly educated him, he advanced him to the dignity of an earl.'

37 Those diamonds that I rescued from the tarn. See · Lancelot and Elaine,' 34 fol.

39. Would rather you had let them fall. Originally, 'ye' for you.'

51. A great jousts. This use of 'jousts' in the singular is peculiar, and is not mentioned in the dictionaries.

150. And vail'd his eyes again. Cast down his eyes. Compare Guinevere, line 657 below: 'made her vail her eyes. This word vail' has no connection with veil,' though often confounded with it. It is contracted from

avail,' or ' avale,' the French avaler' (Latin, ad vallem '). Compare · Hamlet,' i. 2. 70:

Do not forever with thy vailed lids

Seek for thy noble father in the dust. "Avail' occurs in Malory (v. 12); Then the King availed his visor, with a meek and lowly countenance,' etc.

216. A swarthy one. Originally, 'a swarthy dame.'

222. Come let us gladden their sad eyes. Originally, comfort their sad eyes.

252. And while he twangled, little Dagonet stood, etc. Littledale says that “ Dagonet's standing still is doubtless meant to recall St, Matthew, xi. 17: “We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced," etc.' It may or may not remind us of that passage, but I doubt whether it was 'meant’to do so.

256. And being ask'd, · Why skipt ye not, Sir Fool?' Originally, "Then being ask'd,' etc.

259. Than any broken music thou canst make. Originally, 'ye can make.' 'Properly speaking; “ broken music meant either (as Chappell explains) short unsustained notes, such as are made on stringed instruments when played without a bow; or concerted music, played by several instruments in combination (Littledale).

322. A Paynim harper. The allusion to Orpheus is obvious.

333. The Harp of Arthur. See on Gareth and Lynette,' 1281.

343. The black king's highway. The 'broad road leading to destruction.'

357. Burniny spurge. A plant of the genus Euphorbia, which burns with an acrid smoke.

371. But at the slot or fewmets of a deer. * Slot' and 'fewmets' (footprints and droppings) are old terms of venerie,' or woodcraft (Littledale).

373. From lawn to lawn. For 'lawn 'as an open place in a forest, compare · A Dream of Fair Women': On those long, rank, dark wood-walks drench'd in dew,

Leading from lawn to lawn. Malory (iv. 19) has the word in this sense: 'So

on the morn they rode into the forest of adverture till they came to a lawn, and thereby they found a cross,' etc.

450. The scorpion-worm that twists itself in hell, etc. A legendary creature, evidently suggested by the old notion (long since proved false by naturalists) that the scorpion, if surrounded by fire, will sting itself to death. The use of vorm is suggested by the obsolete sense of snake, dragon, etc. Compare Shakespeare, · Measure for Measure,' iii. 1. 17:—

For thou dost fear the soft and tender fork

Of a poor worm. It is in a similar sense that Venus (* Venus and Adonis,' 933) calls Death 'grim-grinning ghost, earth's worm.'

461. Fall, as the crest of some slow-arching wave. The elaborate simile seems out of keeping with the fall of the drunken knight from his horse; but it is an · Homeric echo,' like not a few others in the Idylls.

467. Then the knights, etc. Originally, 'while' for .then,'

477. Then, echoing yell with yell. Originally, · Then, yell with yell echoing.

479. Alioth and Alcor. Stars in the Great Bear Alcor is really a fifth-magnitude star close to Mizar, and distinguishable only by good eyes. For the reference to the Aurora borealis, compare • The Passing of Arthur,' 307.

481. As the water Moab saw, etc. See 2 Kings, iii. 22.

483. Lazy-plunging sea. Compare ‘The Palace of Art':

that hears all night
The plunging seas draw backward from the land

Their moon-led waters white; and 'A Dream of Fair Women':

I would the white cold heavy-plunging foam,
Whirl'd by the wind, had rollid me deep below,

Then when I left my home. 495. What if she hate me nou? Originally, an' for 'if,' as also in the next line. 501. Last in a roky hollow, belling, etc. Roky' (associated with reek) means misty, foggy. For 'belling' as applied to hounds, compare · A Midsummer-Night's Dream,'iv. 1. 128: -Slow in pursuit, but match'd in mouth like bells,

under each; that is, like a chime of bells.

502. Felt the goodly hounds Yelp at his heart. Littledale thinks this may mean that 'the belling of the hounds set the hunter's heart throb bing in harmony - he longed to follow the chase, but turned aside to Tintagil;' but I prefer Elsdale's explanation, that it is a presentiment of coming disaster.

504. Tintagil, half in sea and high on land. The ruins of the castle are still to be seen by the Cornish sea,' six miles from Camelford. The keep, the oldest part of the structure, is probably Norman, but there may have been Saxon, and perhaps also a British, stronghold on the same site.

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509. The spiring stone. The spiral stairway of stone. The dictionaries do not recognize this sense of spiring,' but I have no doubt that it was what Tennyson had in mind, rather than rising like a spire.

570. To sin in leading-strings. Referring to what he had just said about the sin of Guine

588. The King was all fulfill'd with gratefulness. For · fulfil’in the old sense of fill full, compare Shakespeare, Sonnet 136. 5:

• Will' will fulfil the treasure of thy love,

Ay, All it full with wills, and my will one. Wiclif has in Matthew, v. 6: ‘Blessid be thei that hungren and thirsten rigtwisnesse; for thei schal be fulfillid.'

627. The swineherd's malkin in the mast. Compare *The Princess,' v.: —

If this be he, -or a draggled mawkin, thou,

That tends her bristled grunters in the sludge ! Mawkin' is merely a phonetic spelling of * malkin,' which is probably a diminutive of *Mall,' or 'Mary,' though it was also connected with 'Matilda.' The 'Promptorium Parvulorum has: Malkyne, or Mawt, proper name Matildis.

629, Far other was the Tristram, Arthur's knight! This line is not in the 1st edition.

650. Vows! did you keep the vow you made to Mark? The 1st edition has ‘ye’ for you.'

690. The wide world laughs at it. "The 1st edition has great world.

692. The ptarmigan that whitens ere his hour, etc. The color of this bird varies, being brownish-gray in summer and white in winter. The changes of plumage enable it to harmonize with its surroundings at the various seasons. If the ptarmigan's feathers were to turn white before the winter snows began, it would be seen by the eagle-owls and falcons, and would soon be killed' (Littledale).

695. The garnet-headed yaffingale. The green woodpecker, Gecinus viridis; so called from its loud laughing notes. It is also known as the 'yaffle' (or.yaffil') and 'yaffler.'

743. He spoke, he turn'd, then flinging round her neck, etc. The 1st edition reads:

He rose, he turn'd, and, finging round her neck,
Claspt it; but while he bow'd himself to lay
Warm kisses in the hollow of her throat,

Out of the dark, etc. 752. The great Queen's bower was dark. She had fled, as the next Idyll explains.

Page 433. GUINEVERE.

The poet is indebted to Malory for only a few hints of the story – Arthur's discovery of the guilt of Lancelot and Guinevere; her condemnation to be burnt alive; her escape from the stake through Lancelot, who carries her off to his castle of La Joyeuse Gard; the siege of the castle by Arthur, who compels Lancelot to give up the Queen; and her retirement – but not until after Arthur's death to Almesbury, where she was ruler and abbess as reason would.'

9. For hither had she fled, etc. The 1859 reading was:

For hither had she fled, her cause of flight
Sir Modred; he the nearest to the King,
His nephew, ever like a subtle beast,

Lay couchant, etc. Littledale notes that by a curious coincidence, this is the very simile that Arthur Hallam used to describe Tennyson's fame waiting to come upon him': A being full of clearest insight,

whose fame
Is couching now with panther eyes intent,
As who shall say, 'I'll spring to him anon,

And have him for my own.' : Almesbury;' now Amesbury, is about eight miles from Salisbury, and the old Abbey Church is still standing;

15. Lords of the White Horse. See on Lancelot and Elaine,' 297.

22. Plumes that mock'd the may. That is, white as the hawthorn blossoms. Compare • The Miller's Daughter': • The lanes, you know, were white with may;' and see note on 'Gareth and Lynette,'642.

97, 98. And part for ever. Vivien, lurking, heard, etc. The 1859 ed. reads: 'And part for ever. Passion-pale they met,' etc. The addition is not in the ed. of 1884, but I find it in that of 1890. * They met 'is now ambiguous.

147. For housel or for shrift. For receiving the Eucharist, or for confession.

166. Late, late, so late! It is hardly necessary to say that the song is founded on the parable of the wise and foolish virgins (Matthew, xxv.).

289. Bude and Bos. Districts of Cornwall.

292. Of dark Tintagil. See page 860, note on 504. The 1859 edition has * Dundagil.'

400. Came to that point where first she saw the King. The 1859 edition has 'when first.'

470. To honor his own word as if his God's. This line is not in the 1859 edition.

481. Before I wedded thee. The 1859 edition has until I wedded.'

535. The flaming death. Being burned at the stake, a punishment for unfaithful wives mentioned several times by Malory.

569. Where I must strike against the man they call, etc. The 1859 edition reads: Where I must strike against my sister's son, Leagued with the lords of the White Horse and knights Once mine, and strike him dead, etc.

601. Moving ghostlike to his doom. That doom is told in “ The Passing of Arthur," but that he is already enwound by its misty pall, and himself a ghost in it, is nobly conceived, and as splendidly expressed '(Stopford Brooke).

642., 1 yearn'd för warmth and color. The 1859 edition has: "I wanted warmth,' etc.

657. Made her vail her eyes. See on "The Last Tournament,' 150.


This Idyll in its present form was first published in the · Holy Grail' volume, 1869; but, with the exception of 169 lines at the beginning and 30 at the close, it was printed in 1842 in * The Epic,' which is still included in the colo

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go with it to yonder water side, and when thou comest there, I charge thee throw my sword in that water, and come again, and tell me what thou there seest. My lord, said Bedivere, your commandment shall be done, and lightly bring you word again. So Sir Bedivere departed, and by the way he beheld that noble sword, that the pommel and haft were all of precious stones, and then he said to himself, If I throw this rich sword in the water, thereof shall never come good, but harm and loss. And then Sir Bedivere hid Excalibur under a tree. And as soon as he might he came again unto the king, and said he had been at the water, and had thrown the sword into the water. What sawest thou there? said the king. Sir, he said, I saw nothing but waves and winds. That is untruly said of thee, said the king; therefore go thou lightly again, and do my command as thou art to me lief and dear, spare not, but throw it in. Then Sir Bedi. vere returned again, and took the sword in his hand; and then him thought sin and shame to throw away that noble sword; and so eft he hid the sword, and returned again, and told to the king that he had been at the water, and done his commandment. What saw thou there? said the king. Sir, he said, I saw nothing but the waters wap and the waves wan. Ah traitor, untrue, said king Arthur, now hast thou betrayed me twice. Who would have wend that thou that hast been to me so lief and dear, and thou art named a noble knight, and would betray me for the riches of the sword. But now go again lightly, for thy long tarrying putteth me in great jeopardy of my life, for I have taken cold. And but if thou do now as I bid thee, if ever I may see thee, I shall slay thee with mine own hands, for thou wouldest for my rich sword see me dead. Then Sir Bedivere departed, and went to the sword, and lightly took it up, and went to the water side, and there he bound the girdle about the hilts, and then he threw the sword as far into the water as he might, and there came an arm and an hand above the water, and met it, and caught it, and so shook it thrice and brandished, and then vanished away the hand with the sword in the water. So Sir Bedivere came again to the king, and told him what he saw. Alas, said the king, help me hence, for I dread me I have tarried over long. Then Sir Bedivere took the king upon his back, and so went with him to that water side. And when they were at the water side, even fast by the bank hoved a little barge, with many fair ladies in it, and among them all was a queen, and all they had black hoods, and all they wept and shrieked when they saw king Arthur. Now put me into the barge, said the king: and so he did softly. And there received him three queens with great mourning, and so they set him down, and in one of their laps king Arthur laid his head, and then that queen said, Ah, dear brother, why have ye tarried so long from me? Alas, this wound on your head hath caught over much cold. And so then they rowed from the land; and Sir

THE PASSING OF ARTHUR.1 1 This last, the earliest written of the poems, is here connected with the rest in accordance with an early project of the author's.'

Apparently the addition of " Gareth and Lynette' and 'The Last Tournament afterthought; and later the poet decided to divide 'Geraint and Enid,' and to add · Balin and Balan,' making 'twelve books' in all,

The story of The Passing of Arthur' is taken from Malory (xxi. 5).

6-28. For on their march to westward, . 1 pass, but shall not die. These twenty-three lines are not in the 1869 edition, which goes on thus: “Before that last weird battle in the west,' etc.

61. Once thine whom thou hast loved, etc. The reading of 1869 was:

Once thine, whom thou hast loved, but baser now Than heathen scotfing at their vows and thee. 68. And brake the petty kings, and fought with Rome. This line is rot in the 1869 edition, in which the next line begins with 'And thrust,' etc.

85. And the long mountains, etc. Originally, the long mountain.'

129. Only the wan wave. Originally, “waste wave.

170. So all day long the noise of battle roll'd. With this sonorous line the early 'Morte d'Arthur' begins.

173. The bold Sir Bedivere uplifted him. After this line, the Morte J'Arthur' of 1842 has the line, Sir Bedivere, the last of all his knights; ' omitted here, of course, because the fact is mentioned in line 2 of the new matter.

195. Thou therefore take my brand Ercalibur, etc. Compare Malory (xxi. 5): “But my time hieth fast, said the king. Therefore said Arthur, take thou Excalibur, my good sword, and

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Bedivere beheld all those ladies go from him. Then Sir Bedivere cried, Ah, my lord Arthur, what shall become of me now ye go from me, and leave me here alone among mine enemies. Comfort thyself, said the king, and do as well as thou mayest, for in me is no trust for to trust in. For I will into the vale of Avilion, to heal me of my grievous wound. And if thou hear Dever more of me, pray for my soul. But ever the queens and the ladies wept and shrieked, that it was pity to hear. And as soon as Sir Bedivere had lost the sight of the barge, he wept and wailed, and so took the forest, and so he went all that night, and in the morning he was ware betwixt two holts hoar of a chapel and an hermitage.'

354. Dry clash'd his harness in the icy caves, etc. “We hear all the changes on the vowel a

every sound of it used to give the impression — and then, in a moment, the verse runs into breadth, smoothness, and vastness; for Bedivere comes to the shore and sees the great water:

And on a sudden, lo! the level lake

And the long glories of the winter moon. in which the vowel o in its changes is used as the vowel a has been used before' (Stopford Brooke).

379. And dropping bitter tears against a brow. The 1869 edition has his brow.'

435. Like some full-breasted swan. Compare "The Dying Swan.'

440. And on the mere the wailing, died away. Here the original ‘Morte d'Arthur' ends.

The next five lines are not in the 1869 edition, which goes on thus:

At length he groan'd, and turning slowly clomb The last hard footstep of that iron crag. 445. Even to the highest he could climb. The 1869 edition has * E'en,' for which the printer is probably responsible, as Tennyson never uses it.

To the Queen. This epilogue has not been altered since it first appeared in the Library Edition,' 1872-73.

3. That rememberable day. Referring to the public thanksgiving in February, 1872, on the recovery of the Prince of Wales from typhoid fever.

12. Thunderless lightnings striking under sea, etc. Congratulatory despatches by submarine telegraph.

14. That true North, etc. When Manitoba was added to the Dominion of Canada, complaint was made in England of the cost of maintaining the colonial possessions in North America. Mr. Justin McCarthy, in his * History of Our Own Times,' says: "For some years a feeling was spreading in England which began to find expression in repeated and very distinct suggestions that the Canadians had better begin to think of looking out for themselves. Many Englishmen complained of this country being expected to undertake the principal cost of the defences of Canada, and to guarantee her reilway schemes, especially when the commer

cial policy which Canada adopted towards England was one of a strictly protective character.'

20. The roar of Hougoumont. The battle of Waterloo. The Château of Hougoumont, with its massive buildings, its gardens and plantations, was occupied by the Allies, and formed the key to the British position. It is com puted that during the day the attacks of nearly 12,000 men were launched against this miniature fortress, notwithstanding which the garrison held out to the last.'

35. For one to whom I made it, etc. Referring to the dedication of the 'Idylls' to the memory of Prince Albert.

38. Ideal manhood closed in real man. This line does not appear in any English or American edition up to the present time (1898); but the ‘Memoir' (vol. ii. p. 129) states that the poet, thinking that 'perhaps he had not made the real humanity of the King sufficiently clear in his epilogue,' inserted this line'in 1891, as his last correction. It is probably through mere oversight that it has not been inserted in the editions published since 1891.

41. Geoffrey's book, or him of Malleor's. Geoffrey of Monmouth and Malory, whose name was also written Malorye, Maleore, and Malleor.

55. With poisonous honey stolen from France. Compare · Locksley Hall Sixty Years After,' 145 : Set the maiden fancies wallowing in the troughs of Zolaism,' etc.

Littledale quotes Goldwin Smith, · Essays ': 'As to French novels, Carlyle says of one of the most famous of the last century that after reading it you ought to wash seven times in Jordan; but after reading the French novels of the present day, in which lewdness is sprinkled with sentimental rosewater, and deodorized, but not disinfected, your washings had better be seventy times seven.'


The poem is an idyll of the hearth inspired with life: Nelly and Harry are lifelike in the very respect in which Annie and Philip in “Enoch Arden" are idealized. They speak the rough, genuine language of the fisherfolk' (Waugh).

Page 454. RIZPAH.

A reviewer in . Macmillan's Magazine' for January, 1881, says of the poem: “ As the recital in lyric form of a weird tale of misery and madness, this poem is unmatched in Mr. Tennyson's work. An old woman, in her fierce and at the same time trembling dotage, tells a lady who has come to visit her how her boy had long ago been hung in chains, under the old laws of England, for robbing the mail; how he had done it not in wickedness but in recklessness, but how her plea to that effect had availed him nothing; how, when she had gone to visit him in prison, she had been forced from him by the jailer, with his cry of mother, mother!” ringing in her ears; how the same cry rang afterwards in her brain while she lay bound and beaten in a madhouse; and how, when she was at last set free, she used to steal out on stormy

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