Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

O Swallow, Swallow, flying, flying

south, Fly to her, and fall upon her gilded eaves, And tell her, tell her, what I tell to thee.

There above the little grave, o, there above the little grave,

We kiss'd again with tears.

0, tell her, Swallow, thou that know

est each, That bright and fierce and fickle is the

South, And dark and true and tender is the

North.

O Swallow, Swallow, if I could fol.

low, and light Upon her lattice, I would pipe and trill, And cheep and twitter twenty million

loves.

Sweet and low, sweet and low,

Wind of the western sea, Low, low, breathe and blow,

Wind of the western sea ! Over the rolling waters go, Come from the dying moon, and blow,

Blow him again to me: While my little one, while my pretty one,

sleeps. Sleep and rest, sleep and rest,

Father will come to thee soon ; Rest, rest, on mother's breast,

Father will come to thee soon; Father will come to his babe in the nest, Silver sails all out of the west

Under the silver moon; Sleep, my little one, sleep, my pretty

one, sleep.

0, were I thou that she might take

me in, And lay me on her bosom, and her heart Would rock the snowy cradle till I died ! Why lingereth she to clothe her heart

with love, Delaying as the tender ash delays To clothe herself, when all the woods are

green? 0, tell her, Swallow, that thy brood

is flown ; Say to her, I do but wanton in the South, But in the North long since my nest is

made.

0, tell her, brief is life but love is long, And brief the sun of summer in the

North, And brief the moon of beauty in the

South.

The splendor falls on castle walls

And snowy summits old in story; The long light shakes across the lakes,

And the wild cataract leaps in glory. Blow, bugle, blow, set the wild echoes

flying, Blow, bugle; answer, echoes, dying,

dying, dying. 0, hark, O, hear ! how thin and clear,

And thinner, clearer, farther going ! 0, sweet and far from cliff and scar

The horns of Elfland faintly blowing ! Blow, let us hear the purple glens reply.

ing, Blow, bugle; answer, echoes, dying,

dying, dying. O love, they die in yon rich sky,

They faint on hill or field or river; Our echoes roll from soul to soul,

And grow for ever and for ever. Blow, bugle, blow, set the wild echoes

flying, And answer, echoes, answer, dying, dy.

ing, dying.

O Swallow, flying from the golden

woods, Fly to her, and pipe and woo her, and

make her mine, And tell her, tell her, that I follow thee.

As thro' the land at eve we went,

And pluck'd the ripen'd ears, We fell out, my wife and I, 0, we fell out, I know not why,

And kiss'd again with tears.
And blessings on the falling out

That all the more endears,
When we fall out with those we love

And kiss again with tears!
For when we came where lies the child

We lost in other years,

Thy voice is heard thro' rolling drums

That beat to battle where he stands; Thy face across his fancy comes,

And gives the battle to his hands.

A moment, while the trumpets blow,

He sees his brood about thy knee ; The next, like fire he meets the foe, And strikes him dead for thine and

thee.

The cloud may stoop from heaven and

take the shape, With fold to fold, of mountain or of

cape;
But o too fond, when have I answer'd
thee?

Ask me no more.
Ask me no more: what answer should I

give ?
I love not hollow cheek or faded eye:
Yet, O my friend, I will not have thee

die ! Ask me no more, lest I should bid thee live;

Ask me no more..

Home they brought her warrior dead;

She nor swoond nor utter'd cry. All her maidens, watching, said,

“She must weep or she will die." Then they praised him, soft and low,

Call’d him worthy to be loved, Truest friend and noblest foe;

Yet she neither spoke nor moved. Stole a maiden from her place,

Lightly to the warrior stepped, Took the face-cloth fronı the face ;

Yet she neither moved nor wept.
Rose a nurse of ninety years,

Set his child upon her knee-
Like summer tempest came her tears-

“Sweet my child, I live for thee."

Ask me no more: thy fate and mine are

seal'd ; I strove against the stream and all in

vain ; Let the great river take me to the

main. No more, dear love, for at a touch I yield ;

Ask me no more.

1847-1850.1

Ask me no more: the moon may draw

sea ;

1 The first two of these lyrics, included in the body of the work, were published in the original edition, 1847 ; the others, inserted between the sections of the poem, were first given in the edition 50.

IN MEMORIAM A. II. H.

1

OBIIT MDCCCXXXu' STRONG Son of God, immortal Love, We have but faith : we cannot know,

Whom we, that have not seen thy face, For knowledge is of things we see ;

By faith, and faith alone, embrace, And yet we trust it comes from thee, Believing where we cannot prove;

A beam in darkness : let it grow. Thine are these orbs of light and shade ; Let knowledge grow froni more to more, Thou madest Life in man and brute;

But more of reverence in us dwell; Thou madest Death; and lo, thy foot That mind and soul, according well, Is on the skull which thou hast made.

May make one music as before, Thou wilt not leave us in the dust:

But vaster. We are fools and slight; Thou madest man, he knows not why,

We mock thee when we do not fear : He thinks he was not made to die ;

But help thy foolish ones to bear; And thou hast made him: thou art just.

Help thy vain worlds to bear thy light. Thou seemest human and divine, The highest, holiest manhood, thou.

Forgive what seem'd my sin in me, Ou wills are ours, we know not how ;

What seem'd my worth since I began;

For merit lives from man to man, Our wills are ours, to make them thine.

And not from man, O Lord, to thee. Our litile systems have their day ; They have their day and cease to be ;

1 Arthur Henry Hallam, Tennyson's closest They are but broken lights of thee,

friend, and betrothed to Tennyson's sister Emily,

died at Vienna, September 15, 1833. See the Life And thou, O Lord, art more than they. of Tennyson, I., 49–55, 75-83, 104-108; and 295-887. 11: inust be particularly noticed that this introductory poein was among the last written of those which make up In Memoriam.

[blocks in formation]

V

(sometimes hold it half a sin

To put in words the grief I feel ;

For words, like Nature, half reveal And half conceal the Soul within.

But, for the unquiet heart and brain,

A use in measured language lies ;

The sad mechanic exercise,
Like dull narcotics, numbing pain.

In words, like weeds, I 'll wrap me o'er

Like coarsest clothes against the cold ; But that large grief which these en

fold Is given in outline and no more.

The early parts begin with No.II. or No. III.

On the development of thought and feeling in the poem as a whole, whici is fully shown in the parts here given, see Thomas Davidson's Prole. gomena to In Memoriam, Alfred Gatty's Key to In Memoriam, and J. . Gienung's In Memoriam. See also the special Bibliograplay, p. 460.

O, somewhere, meek, unconscious dove, That sittest ranging golden hair ;

And glad to find thyself so fair,
Poor child, that waitest for thy lore!
For now her father's chimney glows

In expectation of a guest;
And thinking “this will please him

best,"
She takes a riband or a rose;
For he will see them on to-night;

And with the thought her color burns;

And, having left the glass, she turns Once more to set a ringlet right; And, even when she turn'd, the curse

Had fallen, and her future lord

Was drown'd in passing thro'the forde Or kill'd in falling from his liorse. O, what to her shall be the end ? And what to me remains of good ?

To her perpetual maidenhood, And unto me no second friend.

VII

Dark house, by which once more I stand

Here in the long unlovely street, Doors, where my heart was used to

beat So quickly, waiting for a hand, A hand that can be clasp'd no more-

Behold me, for I cannot sleep,

And like a guilty thing I creep At earliest morning to the door. He is not here ; but far away

The noise of life begins again,

And ghastly thro' the drizzling rain On the bald street breaks the blank day.

Tb rest beneath the clover sod,

That takes the sunshine and the rains, Or where the kneeling hamlet drains The chalice of the grapes of God; Than if with thee the roaring wells

Should gulf him fathom-deep in brine.

And hands so often clasp'd in mine, Should toss with tangle and with shells.

XI

IX

Fair ship, that from the Italian shore

Sailest the placid ocean-plains

With my lost Arthur's loved remains, Spread thy full wings, and waft him o'er. So draw him home to those that mourn

In vain ; a favorable speed
Ruffle thy mirror'd mast, and lead
Thro' prosperous floods his holy urn,
All night no ruder air perplex

Thy sliding keel, till Phosphor, bright As our pure love, thro' early light Shall glimmer on the dewy decks. Sphere all your lights around, above; Sleep, gentle heavens, before the

prow: Sleep, gentle winds, as he sleeps now, My friend, the brother of my love ; My Arthur, whom I shall not see Till all my widow'd race be run;

Dear as the mother to the son, More than my brothers are to me.

Calm is the morn without a sound,

Calın as to suit a calmer grief.

And only thro' the faded leaf The chestnut pattering to the ground; Calm and deep peace on this high wold, And on these dews that drench the

furze, And all the silvery gossamers That twinkle into green and gold; Calm and still light on yon great plain That sweeps with all its autumn

bowers,
And crowded farms and lessening

towers,
To mingle with the bounding main;
Calm and deep peace in this wide air,
These leaves that redden to the fall,

And in my heart, if calm at all,
If any calm, a calm despair ;
Calm on the seas, and silver sleep,
And waves that sway themselves in

rest, And dead calm in that noble breast Which heaves but with the heaving deep.

XIII
Tears of the widower, when he sees

A late-lost form that sleep reveals,
And moves his doubtful arms, and

feels
Her place is empty, fall like these ;

х

I hear the noise about thy keel ;

I hear the bell struck in the night;

I see the cabin-window bright;
I see the sailor at the wheel.
Thou bring'st the sailor to his wife,

And travellid men from foreign lands;

And letters unto trembling hands; And thy dark freight, a vanish'd life. So bring him ; we have idle dreams;

This look of quiet flatters thus

Our home-bred fancies. O, to us, The fools of habit, sweeter seems

Which weep a loss for ever new,

A void wliere heart on heart reposed ; And, where warm hands have prest

and closed, Silence, till I be silent too;

Which weep the comrade of my choice

An awful thought, a life removed,

The human-hearted man I loved, A Spirit, not a breathing voice.

Come, Time, and teach me, many years,

I do not suffer in a dream;
For now so strange do these things

seem,
Mine eyes have leisure for their tears,
My fancies time to rise on wing,
And glance about the approaching

sails, As tho' they brought but merchants'

bales, And not the burthen that they bring.

XIV If one should bring me this report, That thou hadst touch'd the land to

day,
And I went down unto the quay,
And found thee lying in the port;
And standing, muffled round with woe,

Should see thy passengers in rank
Come stepping lightly down the

plank, And beckoning unto those they know ; And if along with these should come

The man I held as balf-divine,

Should strike a sudden hand in mine, And ask a thousand things of home; And I should tell him all my pain,

And how my life had droop'd of late,

And he should sorrow o'er my state And marvel what possess'd my brain ;

Ah yet, even yet, if this might be,

I, falling on his faithful heart, Would breathing thro' his lips impart The life that almost dies in me; That not, but endures with pain,

And slowly forms the firmer mind,
Treasuring the look it cannot find,
The words that are not heard again.

XIX
The Danube to the Severn gave

The darken'd heart that beat no more ;

They laid him by the pleasant shore, And in the hearing of the wave. There twice a day the Severn fills ;

The salt sea-water passes by,

And hushes half the babbling Wye, And makes a silence in the hills.

The Wye is hush'd nor moved along,

And hush'd my deepest grief of all, When fill'd with tears that cannot

fall, I brim with sorrow drowning song. The tide flows down, the wave again

Is vocal in its wooded walls ;
My deeper anguish also falls,
And I can speak a little then.

XXI
I sing to him that rests below,

And, since the grasses round me wave,

I take the grasses of the grave, And make them pipes whereon to blow. The traveller hears me now and then,

And sometimes harshly will he speak: “ This fellow would make weakness

weak, And melt the waxen hearts of men."

And I perceived no touch of change,

No hint of death in all bis frame,

But found him all in all the same, I should not feel it to be strange.

XVIII "T is well ; 't is something; we may

stand Where he in English earth is laid,

And from his ashes may be made The violet of his native land. 'T is little ; but it looks in truth

As if the quiet bones were blest

Among familiar names to rest And in the places of his youth.

Another answers : “Let him be,

He loves to make parade of pain,

That with his piping he may gain The praise that comes to constancy." A third is wroth : “Is this an hour

For private sorrow's barren song,

When more and more the people throng The chairs and thrones of civil power ?

Come then, pure hands, and bear the

head That sleeps or wears the mask of sleep,

And come, whatever loves to weep, And hear the ritual of the dead,

“ A time to sicken and to swoon,

When Science reaches forth her arms To feel from world to world, and

charms Her secret from the latest moon?”

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »