« PreviousContinue »
When, lo! her Enoch sitting on a height,
Under a palm-tree, over him the Sun:
"He's gone," she thought-" he is happy; he is singing
'Hosanna in the highest :' yonder shines
Resolved, sent for him, and said wildly to him—
So these were wed, and merrily rang the bells-
After twelve long years, poor old Enoch returns to his native place from his shipwreck and exile on a desert isle; he finds all things changed, and is told of his own death, of his wife's long sorrow, of Philip's friendship, and how that friendship was at last repaid, by a kindly gossip of the village, who can see no trace of Enoch Arden in the bent, gray-haired, worn-out old man who seeks the shelter of her half-ruined roof. Bowed down by unspeakable sadness, one wish only is present to him,—to see her face once again, and "know that she is happy." He yields to the irresistible longing, and from Philip's garden he gains a sight of the comfort and the genial happiness of Philip's hearth :
Now when the dead man come to life beheld
Which in one moment, like the blast of doom,
Lest he should swoon, and tumble, and be found,-
And there he would have knelt, but that his knees
His fingers into the wet earth and prayed :
"Too hard to bear! why did they take me thence?
O God Almighty, blessed Saviour! Thou
A little longer! Aid me, give me strength
So like her mother, and the boy, my son."
It would, indeed, be hard to parallel the homely and tragic pathos of this picture.
Tennyson's muse is characterized by exquisite finish, rich colouring, and dramatic energy. How graceful and delicate is this sketch, from the Day-Dream:
Year after year unto her feet, she lying on her couch alone,
The slumbrous light is rich and warm, and moves not on the
She sleeps: her breathings are not heard in palace chambers far
The fragrant tresses are not stirred that lie upon her charmed heart.
She sleeps on either side upswells the gold-fringed pillow lightly
She sleeps, nor dreams, but ever dwells a perfect form in perfect rest.
Take another instance of his power of condensation-that of The Dead Warrior :
Home they brought her warrior dead: she nor swooned nor uttered cry:
All her maidens, watching, said-"She must weep, or she will die.”
As a specimen of his grand heroic verse, his Charge of the Light Brigade is an instance too well known to require comment.
R. H. STODDARD, of New York, has contributed many graceful and beautiful lyrics; the following are from his pen :-
The wild November comes at last
Beneath a veil of rain;
The night-wind blows its folds aside,
The latest of her race, she takes
The Autumn's vacant throne:
A barren realm of withered fields;
Bleak woods of fallen leaves;
There are gains for all our losses, there are balms for all our pain; But when youth-the dream-departs, it takes something from our
And it never comes again.
We are stronger, and are better, under manhood's sterner reign: Still we feel that something sweet followed youth with flying feet And will never come again.