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But as the light of day enters some populous city, Shaming away, ere it come, by the chilly day-streak signal, High and low, the misusers of night, shaming out the gaslamps All the great empty streets are flooded with broadening clearness Which, withal, by inscrutable simultaneous access Permeates far and pierces to the very cellars lying in Narrow high back-lane, and court, and alley of alleys :He that goes furth to his walks, while speeding to the suburb, Sees sights only peaceful and pure ; as labourers settling Slowly to work, in their limbs the lingering sweetness of slumber ; Humble market-carts, coming in, bringing in, not only Flower, fruit, farm-store, but sounds and sights of the country Dwelling yet on the sense of the dreamy drivers ; soon after Half-awake servant-maids unfastening drowsy shutters Up at the windows, or down, letting in the air by the doorway, School-boys, school-girls soon, with slate, portfolio, satchel, Hampered as they haste, those running, these others maidenly

tripping ; Early clerk anon turning out to stroll, or it may be Meet his sweetheart-waiting behind the garden gate there ; Merchant on his grass-plat haply bare-headed ; and now by this

time Little child bringing breakfast to 'father' that sits on the timber There by the scaffolding ; see, she waits for the can beside him ; Meantime above purer air untarnished of new-lit fires : So that the whole great wicked artificial civilised fabricAll its unfinished houses, lots for sale, and railway out-works-Seems reaccepted, resumed to Primal Nature and Beauty :-Such—in me, and to me, and on me the love of Elspie !

[From Songs in Absence.)


Come back, come back, behold with straining mast,
And swelling sail, behold her steaming fast ;
With one new sun to see her voyage o'er,
With morning light to touch her native shore.

Come back, come back.

Come back, come back, while westward labouring by,
With sailless yards, a bare black hulk we fly.
See how the gale we fight with sweeps her back,
To our lost home, on our forsaken track.

Come back, come back.

Come back, come back, across the flying foam,
We hear faint far-off voices call us home,
Come back, ye seem to say; ye seek in vain ;
We went, we sought, and homeward turned again.

Come back, come back.

Come back, come back; and whither back or why? To fan quenched hopes, forsaken schemes to try; Walk the old fields ; pace the familiar street ; Dream with the idlers, with the bards compete.

Come back, come back.
Come back, come back; and whither and for what?
To finger idly some old Gordian knot,
Unskilled to sunder, and too weak to cleave,
And with much toil attain to half-believe.

Come back, come back.
Come back, come back; yea back, indeed, do go
Sighs panting thick, and tears that want to flow;
Fond fluttering hopes upraise their useless wings,
And wishes idly struggle in the strings ;

Come back, come back.

Come back, come back, more eager than the breeze,
The flying fancies sweep across the seas,
And lighter far than ocean's flying foam,
The heart's fond message hurries to its home.

Come back, come back!

Come back, come back!
Back flies the foam ; the hoisted flag streams back ;
The long smoke wavers on the homeward track,
Back fly with winds things which the winds obey,
The strong ship follows its appointed way.


Where lies the land to which the ship would go ?
Far, far ahead, is all her seamen know.
And where the land she travels from ? Away,
Far, far behind, is all that they can say.
On sunny noons upon the deck's smooth face,
Linked arm in arm, how pleasant here to pace ;
Or, o'er the stern reclining, watch below
The foaming wake far widening as we go.
On stormy nights when wild north-westers rave,
How proud a thing to fight with wind and wave!
The dripping sailor on the reeling mast
Exults to bear, and scorns to wish it past.
Where lies the land to which the ship would go?
Far, far ahead, is all her seamen know.
And where the land she travels from ? Away,
Far, far behind, is all that they can say.


Say not, the struggle nought availeth,

The labour and the wounds are vain,
The enemy faints not, nor faileth,

And as things have been they remain.
If hopes were dupes, fears may be liars;

It may be, in yon smoke concealed,
Your comrades chase e'en now the fliers,

And, but for you, possess the field.
For while the tired waves, vainly breaking,

Seem here no painful inch to gain,
Far back, through creeks and inlets making,

Comes silent, flooding in, the main,
And not by eastern windows only,

When daylight comes, comes in the light,
In front, the sun climbs slow, how slowly,

But westward, look, the land is bright.


(B Rn at Holne Vicarage, Devonshire, in 1819, and educated, partly at Helston Grammar School, and partly at King's College, London, and at Magdalene College, Cambridge. He was Rector of Eversley in Hampshire; Professor of Modern History at his old university from 1860 to 1869; and Canon of Westminster in 1872. Chief among his thirty-five publications are The Saint's Tragedy (1848), Alton Locke and Yeast (1849), Hypatia (1853), The Heroes (1857), Andromeda (1858), The Water-Babies (1863) and ProseIdylls (1873). He died in 1875.]

Charles Kingsley, author on the one hand of Cheap Clothes and Nasty, and of The Water-Babies on the other, was the type of a certain order of modern man : the man of whom much is expected, who is trained up to the fulfilment of many purposes, who is subject to many influences, open to many sorts of impressions, and possessed of many active holds upon life. He came of choice and generous stock; and from the first it was determined for him that he should do something and be somebody. It seems natural that he should have developed into one of the busiest men of his time. His, indeed, was a sane and active mind in a sane and active body, and he made noble use of the endowment. He died after a lifetime of such steady, earnest, and varied endeavour as is within the compass of but few.

As a writer, he is seen to greatest advantage in his prose, which is clear, nervous, full of vivacity and significance, and often very powerful and expressive. His verse, however, has a great deal of merit, and may be read with some true pleasure. He had a capacity for poetry, as he had capacities for many things beside, and he cultivated it as he cultivated all the others. His sense of Thythm seems to have been imperfect. His ear was correct, and he often hit on a right and beautiful cadence; but his music grows monotonous, his rhythmical ideas are seldom well sustained or happily developed. His work abounds in charming phrases and in those verbal inspirations that catch the ear and linger long about the memory :

:-as witness the notes that are audible in the opening verses of The Sands of Dee, the pleasant Isle of Avès' of The Last Buccanier, and the whole first stanza of the song of the Old Schoolmistress in The Water-Babies. But, as it is with his music, so is it with his craftsmanship as well. He would begin brilliantly and suggestively and end feebly and ill, so that of perfect work he has left little or none. It is also to be noted of him that his originality was decidedly eclectic-an originality informed with many memories and showing sign of many influences; and that his work, even when its purpose is most dramatic, is always very personal, and has always a strong dash in it of the sentimental manliness, the combination of muscularity and morality, peculiar to its author. For the rest, Kingsley had imagination, feeling, some insight, a great affection for man and nature, a true interest in things as they were and are and ought to be-above all, as they ought to be !--and a genuine vein of lyric song. His work is singularly varied in quality and tone as in purpose and style. Now it is hot and crude and violent - violent without power—as in Alton Locke's Song and The Bad Squire ; now, mannered and affected, as in The Red King and the Weird Lady; now, human and pathetic, as in The Last Buccanier and Airly Beacon; now, fierce and random and turbid, as in Santa Maura and The Saint's Tragedy; now, aesthetic, experimental, even imitative, as in The Longbeards' Saga, Earl Haldane's Daughter, and Andromeda ; now rhetorical and vague and insincere, and now natural, simple, direct, large in handling and earnest in expression, as only true poetry can be. There are fine passages everywhere in Kingsley, and of spirit and point he has an abundance. But it is as a writer of songs that the public have chosen to remember him, and they, as it seems to me, are right. The best of his songs will take rank with the second best in the language.

On the whole, Charles Kingsley was not so much a man of genius as a man of many instincts, many accomplishments, and many capacities. He will always be remembered with respect and admiration ; for he was, in John Mill's phrase, “one of the good influences of his time,' and an excellent writer beside.


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