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Sobbing: “O, Sheik, I cannot leave thee so;
"Take thrice the gold,” said Yussouf, “for with thee
HELPS TO STUDY
Notes and Questions Where do you think the scene of To what tribes does the stranger
this poem was laid? Give the refer? reason for your answer.
What do you learn of Yussouf's What do you know of the habits character from the second and of people who live in tents ?
third stanzas? What virtues would men living in What emotions made the stranger's
this way most admireWhy? face “grand”? How do you think Yussouf had What do you suppose Yussouf's
won his title of “The Good ''f “one black thought” had been To what does the stranger com How did he avenge his son?
When does Yussouf show himself What does the bending of the bow most noble ?
Words and Phrases for Discussion
Sidney Lanier is a poet of the South who year by year appeals to a larger number of lovers of good literature. He was born in Georgia of Huguenot and Scotch ancestry and when only a small lad showed great talent and love for music. His mother encour
aged him in this, and from beginning with clapping bones it wag not long before he learned to play on the guitar, banjo, violin, and flute. On the Christmas when he was seven years old he was given a small one-keyed flute, and from that time on the flute became his favorite instrument. When he grew to manhood he became first flutist in the Baltimore orchestra. So passionately fond was he of music that he could scarcely decide between that and poetry as his choice for a profession.
He was graduated from a Georgia college at the age of eighteen, and in the following year, 1861, he enlisted in the Southern army. His younger brother, Clifford, of whom he was very fond, also enlisted, and when opportunities for promotion came to both they declined rather than be separated. They engaged in many battles, but Sidney Lanier found time, even during the war, to continue his study. In 1864 he was taken prisoner, while doing duty as a signal officer, and spent five months in Point Lookout prison. He came home from the hardships of war broken in health, so that from that time on his life was one fierce struggle against disease.
From the time when as a boy he spent hours in his father's library reading the tales of King Arthur, the stories of romantic chivalry were of absorbing interest to him. He understood and loved boys, for he had four of his own, and for these he has written “The Boy's Froissart,” “The Boy's King Arthur” and the "Knightly Legends of Wales.”
In 1879 he was appointed lecturer on English literature at the Johns Hopkins University, and his prospects were at last brightening when two years later he died. During the last seven years of his life, struggling ever with poverty and pain, he wrote his one volume of poetry. His poems show his great faith-indeed, his poem, “The Marshes of Glynn,” is religion set to music.
THE MARSHES OF GLYNN
O braided dusks of the oak and woven shades of the vine,
But now when the noon is no more, and riot is rest,
And the slant yellow beam down the wood aisle doth seem
my heart is at ease from men, and the wearisome sound of
the stroke 10 Of the scythe of time and the trowel of trade is low,
And belief overmasters doubt, and I know that I know,
And my spirit is grown to a lordly great compass within, That the length and the breadth and the sweep of the marshes of
Glynn Will work me no fear like the fear they have wrought me of yore 15 When length was fatigue, and when breadth was but bitterness
The vast, sweet visage of space.
So: 25 Affable live oak, leaning low,
Thus—with your favor—soft, with a reverent hand,
Sinuous southward and sinuous northward the shimmering band
of the land.
Softly the sand beach wavers away to a dim gray looping of light. 35 And what if behind me to westward the wall of the woods stands
high? The world lies east: how ample the marsh and the sea and the sky! A league and a league of marsh grass, waist-high, broad in the
blade, Green, and all of a height, and unflecked with a light or a shade,
Stretch leisurely off, in a pleasant plain, 40 To the terminal blue of the main. Oh, what is abroad in the marsh and the terminal sea ?
Somehow my soul seems suddenly free From the weighing of fate and the sad discussion of sin, By the length and the breadth and the sweep of the marshes of
Glynn. 45 Ye marshes, how candid and simple and nothing-withholding and
free Ye publish yourselves to the sky and offer yourselves to the sea ! Tolerant plains, that suffer the sea and the rains and the sun, Ye spread and span like the catholic man who hath mightily won
God out of knowledge and good out of infinite pain 50 And sight out of blindness and purity out of a stain.
As the marsh hen secretly builds on the watery sod,
I will heartily lay me a-hold on the greatness of God:
The range of the marshes, the liberal marshes of Glynn.
And the sea lends large, as the marsh: lo, out of his plenty the sea 60 Pours fast: full soon the time of the flood tide must be:
Look how the grace of the sea doth go
Here and there,
Everywhere, 65 Till his waters have flooded the uttermost creeks and the low-lying
Farewell, my lord Sun!
'Twixt the roots of the sod; the blades of the marsh grass stir; Passeth a hurrying sound of wings that westward whir; Passeth, and all is still; and the currents cease to run;
And the sea and the marsh are one.
The tide is in his ecstasy;
And it is night.
But who will reveal to our waking ken
Under the waters of sleep?
comes in 85 On the length and the breadth of the marvelous marshes of Glynn.
HELPS TO STUDY
Notes and Questions What can you tell of the coastal At sunset what appealed more plain in Georgia 8
strongly to him What effect on the poet had the How does the poet account for his
"dusks of the oak” at noon? lack of fear of the marshes now!