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374 The translation of a six-line poem by Callimachus (d, about 240 B.C.), given in the Anthol. Palat. vii. 80.
Είπε τις, Ηράκλειτε, τεόν μόρον, ες δε με δάκρυ
ήγαγεν, εμνήσθην δ' οσσάκις αμφότεροι ήλιον εν λέσχη κατεδύσαμεν αλλά συ μέν που,
ξείν’ Αλικαρνησεύ, τετράπαλαι σποδιή, αι δε τεαι ζώουσιν αηδόνες ήσιν ο πάντων
άρπακτήρ 'Aΐδης ουκ επί χείρα βαλεί. 1. Heraclitus : we know nothing more of this friend of Callimachus than what we are here told, that he lived at Halicarnassus, a city of Caria in Asia Minor.
375 Amaturus : ' ready to fall in love.'
. 34. golden rod of worider : Hermes was the messenger and herald of the gods of Olympus ; one of his functions was to conduct the souls of the dead to the lower world. Like other heralds he carried a staff (caduceus); but his possessed magic properties and was used to open or close the eyes of mortals. It is often represented as twined round with two serpents.
376 COVENTRY KERSEY DIGHTON PATMORE (1823-96) was for twenty-one years a librarian at the British Museum. His first volume of Poems was published in 1844, and The Angel in the House, a poem on the relation between human and divine love, and his best-known work, from 1854 to 1866. The piece here given is from Book II, Canto xii of that work, and appeared first in the second edition (1858).
5, 6. such That : this sentence is completed by,' she with happy favour feeds, etc. (1. 13).
8. familiarness : this ugly substitute for familiarity' was used in the 17th and 18th centuries, but is nowfortunately—rare.
21. Not with her least consent of will, etc. : i.e. she does not intentionally show me that her deference proceeds from her courtesy, but I can read it in her manner.
377 From The Unknown Eros and other Odes (1877). 2. wise : 'manner,' seen in 'likewise,'' otherwise.'
, 17. abraded : worn.'
378 SYDNEY THOMPSON DOBELL (1824–74) was a probably unique combination of poet and wine-merchant, whose first poem The Roman appeared in 1850 and achieved considerable success. Six years later appeared a volume inspired by the Crimean War, with the title England in Time of War. In this, with no great appropriateness, is a short poem ' A Nuptial Eve,' which is only a setting for the ballad · Keith of Ravelston which it contains. The introduction tells how on the eve of her marriage a maiden sings a dim sad legend old,' dealing with incidents which happened she knows not when or where. Her ignorance will probably be shared by the reader. The sadness' of the legend is considerably lessened by its “ dimness'; for it is impossible to determine what took place or who were the actors; in fact this ‘genuine ballad, as
' Professor Nichol calls it, is as unlike a genuine ballad as well may be ; for such are ever direct, simple, and intelligible.
3, 4. Possibly as an attempt to copy the old ballad style, these two lines occur five times in the poem, without, however, throwing any light on the incident narrated.
31. burnie : a Scottish diminutive of' burn,'' stream.'
379 DANTE GABRIEL ROSSETTI (1828–82) was equally celebrated as poet and painter ; in both arts he had a style all his own, which not merely won him great fame, but secured the following of a number of imitators, who failed to achieve the success of their master. With Millais, Holman Hunt, and others he founded the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, the main article of whose creed was that true art consisted in a return to a nearer following of nature, such as prevailed before Raphael led the way to a new conception of painting.
This poem was first published in the second number (February) of the Germ (1850), a small monthly periodical of only four numbers, the last two of which were called Art and Poetry. The second appearance of the poem was in the Oxford and Cambridge Magazine for November 1856 ; and its third in Rossetti's Poems of 1870. There are many variations of text in these three, the changes being most numerous in the version of 1856 ; but about fifteen alterations were made in the edition of 1870, which is the one given here, and one or two in the Collected Works brought out in 1886 after Rossetti's death by his brother. Almost without exception the changes made on each occasion were great improvements in point of expression.
Damozel : modern poets and romantic writers (led by Sir W. Scott) have recalled the 16th-17th century damosel, damozel, to express a more stately notion than is now conveyed by damsel,' N.E.D.
13. Herseemed : an archaism for 'it seemed to her,' revived by William Morris and Rossetti after a sleep of three centuries.
53, 54. as when The stars sang : this phrase, repeated in the next stanza, is borrowed from Job xxxviü. 7, · When the morning stars sang together.'
105. her five handmaidens : apparently there is no foundation for considering these, or any other saints, as special attendants on the Virgin ; Rossetti probably chose them for the sound of their names.
126. citherns and citoles : the former was an instrument like a guitar, but played with a plectrum or quill ; a citole was an instrument like a small harp, but with a sounding-board parallel to the strings.
380 CHRISTINA GEORGINA ROSSETTI (1830–94), sister to Dante Gabriel, had her brother's gift of poetical expression, but replaced his devotion to Art with a deep fervour for religion, which led to the rupture of an engagement to be married, whereby much of her subsequent verse was tinged with sadness. Her best work was in her first book, Goblin Market and other Poems
(1862), from which all the six pieces given here are taken.
382 13. Better by far : i.e. I shall think it better, etc.
384 3. an ivy branch : in ancient times the ivy was sacred to Bacchus, and hence in mediæval England it was hung outside a house to show that wine was sold within. In Christian art it was symbolical of eternal life; but I cannot find it used elsewhere as a symbol of premature old age.
385 2. a watered shoot : I take this to mean the rocks fringing a waterfall. 6. halcyon : calm. Cf. No. 62, l. 68 and note.
' 9. dais: here used for a seat on a platform at the end of a hall’; more commonly it is the platform itself.
10. vair : a fine fur used for lining robes ; the term is now used only in heraldry.
386 ALEXANDER SMITH (1830–67) began life as a patterndesigner in Glasgow, but even then contributed poetry to the Glasgow Citizen. His first long poem, A Life Drama (1851), secured him the recognition of the public, and he was rescued from manual work by being appointed Secretary to Edinburgh University in 1854. The following year he joined Dobell (see above, No. 378) in producing Sonnets on the War, an effusion which gained for them the title of the 'Spasmodic School.
This song is from · Horton' in City Poems (1857).
11. when rising : as it stands, this agrees with face,' which is absurd ; the poet meant it, of course, to agree with an unexpressed I.'
20. A purple stain of agony: i.e. the blood had forsaken her face, leaving her lips blue.
31. yon brink : satisfied with the rime, the poet
apparently did not think that the reader might reasonably ask, “brink of what ?'
54. selfish shores : it is not easy to see in what the selfishness of the shore lay, unless it was in declining to admit the encroachment of the sea, which was hurt and wounded' on that account. But the
Spasmodic School' seem to have attached more importance to sound than sense.
387 WILLIAM MORRIS (1834–96), poet, craftsman, printer, and Socialist, was educated at Marlborough School and Exeter College, Oxford, where he formed a lifelong friendship with Burne-Jones. Together with Rossetti he helped to found the Germ (see No. 379), and in 1856 the Oxford and Cambridge Magazine. His best-known poem is The Earthly Paradise (1868–70), and his most read prose work News from Nowhere, a sketch of the Socialist Utopia. He also helped to translate many Icelandic sagas, as well as the Odyssey and the Aeneid. He indulged in all his books in an inordinate love of archaisms, which gives them an air of artificiality that is doubly unfortunate in a man who was the embodiment of directness, clear vision, and sincerity.
This poem and the three which follow it are all from Morris's first book, The Defence of Guenevere and other Poems (1858). The first three of the four are taken in style or circumstance from Froissart's Chronicle, which deals with the wars of the 14th century. In the first old Sir John comes to see Sir Giles, a friend of his prime, who is living at the Duke's court; here he meets the Duchess, who before she married the Duke had loved Sir John, and he finds that his heart beats no whit the faster, and that he can criticize calmly the alterations which time had made in her and in his own feelings.
5. basnet : (or basinet), a small light steel headpiece, somewhat globular in shape with a point over the forehead.
6. salade : (or sallet), a similar headpiece, but without the point. Unless it was to follow a change of fashion I cannot see why Sir Giles's armour was altered
in this way