Hide Articles List

14 articles on this Page

A SPARTAN LEAVING HIS MOTHER.…

THE LONDON SPARROW IN WALES.…

LLINELLAU

LINES

our library abtt. !

News
Cite
Share

our library abtt. ENOCH ARDEN. &C. By Alfred Tennyson, D.C.L., Poet Laureate. London: Edward Moxon & Co., Dover- street. This poem had been long announced, and under dif- ferent titles; but the public is in possession of it at last; and we doubt not that it has been eagerly read, for the name of the Laureate is sufficiently attmctive- I and we get so little poetry now, really worth taking the trouble to peruse, that we look to anything frf)ul Ten- nyson's pen with "great expectations." "Enoch Ar- den" will sustain the Laureate's fame, but it does not increase it. There is the same melodious flow of lan- guage, the same happy vein of thought, the same plea- sant rhythm, and the same deep feeling, that runs through the other works of the author; but we don't like the tele he tells. The scene lies in a seaside village, where Annie Lee, The prettiest little damsel in the port, And Philip Wray, the miller's only son, And Enoch Arden, a rough sailor's lad, Made orphan by a winter shipwreck, play'd Among the waste and lumber of the shore, Hard coils of cordage, swarthy fishing nets, Anchors of rusty fluke, and boats up drawn, And built their castles of dissolving sand To watch them overflow'd, or following up And flying the white breaker, daily left The little foot-print daily washed away." Both boys cherished a love for Annie; each called her "his little wife;" and they quarielled, as many boys have done before them; Enoch, from being the stronger, always coming off victor in any struggle. Then would Philip, his blue eyes All flooded with the helpless wrath of tears, Shriek out, 'I hate you, Enoch And at this The little wife would weep for company, And pray them not to quarrel for her sake, And say, she would be little wife to both." And so she was; but we wish the poet had caused her to become so, if at all, in a different way.—The feeling of childhood and boyhood, in the two youths, ripened and strengthened as they grew to manhood. And when The new warmth of life's ascending sun Was felt by either, either fix'd his heart On that one girl; and Enoch spoke his love, But Philip loved in silence; and the girl Seem'd kinder unto Philip than to him; But she lov'd Enoch, tho' she knew it not, And would, if ask'd, deny it." Enoch married her, and they had seve.i years of happy life. Two children were boru, a boy and girl, and all went happily for some time. Then misfortune came. An accident injured Enoch, from the effects of which, however, he recovered but his trade fell off; his wife bore him a third child, a sickly boy and all seemed gloomy; when the captain of a vessel, who knew and valued him, offered to take him a voyage to China as boatswain; and he resolved to go. Annie remonstrated, Yet not with brawling opposition, But manifold entreaties, many a tear, Many a sad kiss by day and night renew'd (Sure that all evil would come out of it) Besought him, supplicating, if he cared For her, or his dear children, not to go. He not for his own self caring, but for her, Her and her children, let her plead in vain; So grieving held his will, and bore it thro' He reasoned, argued with her, and held out pleasing anticipations of better times. Hopefully she heard, And almost hoped herself; but when he turn'd The current of his talk to graver things In sailor fashion roughly sermonizing Oil Providence and trust in Heaven, she heard, Heard and not heard him; as the village girl, Who sets her pitcher underneath the spring, M using on him that used to fill it for her, Hears and not hears, and lets it overflow." The parting of Enoch with his children, especially with the sick one, sleeping in bed, is narrated in few words, but with deep feeling. Annie would have raised the sleeping child, but Enoch said, Wake him not; let him sleep; how should the child Remember this ?' And kissed him in his cot. But Annie, from her baby's forehead dipt A tiny curl, and gave it; this he kept Through all his future." Ten years pass away. The sick child dies; Annie and her surviving children are reduced to poverty. Philip Wray, who is a wealthy and thriving miller, and has never forgotten his early love, is very kind to her. At length, hearing nothing of her husband and believing him dead, she became the wife of Philip but happiness at first was far distant, for "Never merrily beat Annie's heart, A footstep seemed to fall beside her path, She knew not whence; a whisper on her ear, She knew not what; nor loved she to be left Alone at home, nor ventured out alone. What ailod her then that, ere she entered, often Her hand dwelt lingeringly on the latch, Fearing to enter; Philip thought he knew; Such doubts and fears were common to her state; Being with child but when her child was born, Then her new child was as herself renew'd, Then the new mother came about her heart, Then her good Philip was her all-in-all, And that mysterious instinct wholly died." Time passes—Annie is happy, for she has every com- fort around her; and little dreams that her first love, her first husband, is still living. He bad been wrecked, with two companions, in Chinese waters, and cast upon an island, the description of which is, we think, the most beautiful passage in the poem. "The mountain wooded to the peak, the lawns And winding glades high up, like ways to Heaven, The slender coco's drooping crown of plumes, The lightning flash of insect and of bird, The lustre of the long convolvuluses That coil'd around the stately stems, and ran Ev'n to the limit of the land, the glows And glories of the broad belt of the world, All these he saw but what he fain had seen He could not see, the kindly human face, Nor ever hear a kindly voice, but heard The myriad shriek of wheeling ocean-fowl, The league-long roller thundering on the reef, The moving whisper of huge trees that branch'd And blossom'd in the zenith, or the sweep Of some precipitous rivulet to the wave, As down the shore he ranged, or all day long Sat often iu the seaward-gazing gorge, A shipwrecked sailor, waiting for a sail; No sail from day to day, but every day The sunrise broken into scarlet shafte Among the palms, and ferns, and precipices; The blaze upon the waters to the east; The blaze upon his island overhead; The blaze upon the waters to the west; Then the great stars that globed themselves in Heaven, The hollower-bellowing ocean, and again The scarlet shafts of sunrise—but no sail." A sail does come, and conveys him home But to what a home. His cottage deserted, and his Annie the I wife of another; these are the greetings which await him. He hears the tale from lliriam Lane, who keeps the village inn, and where he is unrecognised and he sees, without being seen himself, the wife of two lius bands" in her happiness. Philip, the slighted suitor of old times, Stout, rosy, with his babe across his knees; And o'er her second father stoop'd a girl, A later but a loftier Anna Lee, Fair-haired and tall, and from her lifted hand Dangled a length of ribbon and a ring To tempt the babe, who rear'd his creasy arms, Caught at and ever miss'd it, and they laughed; And on the left hand of the hearth he saw The mother glancing oft towards her babe, But turning now and then to speak with him, Her son, who stood beside her, tall and strong, And saying that which pleased him, for he smiled." This happiness Enoch resolves not to interrupt. He remains in the village, living at the inn, supporting him- self by his labour, and no one recognizing him, whilst he resolved Not to tell her, never to let her know." He tells his sad tale, however, to the widow Lane on his death-bed, especially referring to his dead child. And now there is but one of all my blood, Who will embrace me in the world to be; This hair is his; she cut it off and gave it, And I have borne it with me all these years, And thought to bear it with me to my grave; But now my mind is changed, for I shall see him, My babe in bliss; wherefore, when I am gone, Take, give her this, for it may comfort her; It will moreover be a token to her That I am he." The third night after this, When Enoch slumbered, motionless and pale, And Miriam watched, and dozed, at intervals, There came so loud a calling of the tea That all the houses in the haven rang. He woke, he rose, he spread his arms abroad, Crying with a loud voice, A sail! a sail I am saved aud so fell back, and spoke no more. So passed the strong heroic soul away. And when they buried him, the little port Had seldom seen a costlier fuueral." So ends Enoch Arden; who, we think, is wrougly styled a man of strong heroie soul." To entitle him to that epithet he should have died as he had lived -un- known and not by sending the well-reme:nbered token to Annie, embittered all the remainder of her life; though she had only been guilty of an involuntary fault. We like the poetry, but not the tale. There are several other poems in the volume of dif- ferent degrees of merit. Aylmer's Field, a story of 1723," as a tale is not more pleasing than Enoch Arden, whilst as a poem it is inferior. "Sea Dreams" is better; and The Grandmother" better still. She is telling a tale to her gr--iid-child-aud old passions, and old feel- ings revive fresh in the memory. For I remember a quarrel I had with your father my dear, All for a slanderous story, that cost me many a tear. I mean your grandfather, Annie; it cost me a world of woe, Seventy years ago, my darling; seventy years ago!" The May Queen" is, however, the best of the short poem3; though there i. much merit in the humourous, ballad of The Northern Farmer," in which the Lau- reate shews himself master of the north coun'.ry dialect. Nor is the nursery forgotten. For that domestic apart- meut, where little loves and little graces nestle, we have a fitting song in LITTLE BIRWB. I What does little birdie say In her nest, at peep of day ? Let me fly, says little birdie, Mother, let me fly away. Birdie, rest a little longer, Till the little wings are stronger. So she rests a little longer, Then she flies away. What does little baby say I In her bed, at peep of day ? Baby says, like little birdie, Let me rise and fly away. Baby sleep a little longer, Till the little wings are stronger. If she sleeps a little longer, Baby too shall fly away." Mr. Tennyson gives us, at the end of his volume some, experiments" which he has made in versifying in classic metres. These experiments are failures. Not so his translation of the close of the 8th book of the Iliad" into English verse. With an extract frota that notice we close our review of this new production of the Laureate, and turn from Our Library Table" till an- other week has passed its round. So Hector said, and sea-like roar'd his host; Then loosed their sweating horses from the yoke, And each beside his chariot found his own; And oxen from the city, and goodly sheep In haste they drove, and honey-hearted wine And bread from out the houses brought, and heap'd Their firewood, and the winds from off the plain Roll'd the rich vapour far into the heaven. Add these all night upon the bridge* of war Sat glorying; many a fire before them blazed; As when in heaven the stars about the moon Look beautiful, when all the winds are laid, And every height comes out, and jutting peak And valley, and the immeasurable heavens Broke ol)en to their highest, and all the stars Shine, and the shepherd gladdens in his heart. So many a fire between the ships and stream of Troy, A thousand on the plain and dose by each Sat fifty in the blaze of burning fire; And champing golden grain the horses stood Hard by their chariots, waiting for the dawn. t Or, ridge, t Or, more literally, "And eating hoary grain and pulse the steeds Stood by their cars, waiting the throned morn." LLANDUDNO AS IT WAS, AND AS IT IS. Liverpool. Egertou Smith and Co. This is a pleasantly written little pamphlet, by Lieut. Colonel Walmaley, who resides in the neighbour- hood of Llandudno, and who, it will be remembered, took such a warm and manly interest in the fate of poor Major-Serjeant Lilley, and which reflected so much upon his good feeling and love of justice. Llandudno as it was is from a description written in the year 1849, before the modern Llandudno, with its good and spacioui hotels, shops, and public buildings, came into existence, and will be perused both by visitors and the inhabitants, with much pleasurable curiosity, as it will enable them to compare the state of the "Queen of the Western Coast" at the present with what it was a few years ago, and the contrast is striking enough. The sketches are written in a free, off-hand, pleasant style and are characterized by truthful simplicity and correctness of detail. The little book should be purchased by every person who visits Llaududno/ind itwould bean admirable gift-book to their English friends at home, who may have some thoughts of paying a visit to North Wales. They will then be enabled to learn whilst in their own drawing rooms, what kind of a place Llandudno is, and what they are likely to see when they arrive there. We have no doubt but it will have a very large circulation. THE ACT PROVIDING FOR SUPERANNUATION ALLOWANCES TO OFFICERS OF UNION AND PARISHES, 27 and 28 Vic., c., 42), with introduction and Notes by R. Cecil Aus- tin, Esq., of Gray's Inn, Barrister-atlaw-Knight and Co., Fleet-street.. We have risen with satisfaction from the perusalof this little volume. It is very comprehensive on the subject of which it treats, and with its introduction and notes, valuable both to the officers who have to become recip- ients of its benefits and to the Guardians who have to confer them. By this Act superannuation allowances may be made by the Guardians to any officer whose whole time has been devoted to the service of the Union or Parish who shall become incapable of discharging the duties of his office with efficiency by reason of perman- ent informity of mind or body or of old age. Upon his resigning or otherwise ceasing to hold his office, an an- nual allowance not exceeding in any case two-thirds of his then salary this allowance not to be assignable, and not to be granted on the ground of age unless the officer shall be 60 years of age and served in some Union or Parish for 20 years at the least; but no grant can be made without one month's previous notice to be special- ly given in writing, to every Guardian of the Union or Parish of the proposal to make such grant and the time when it shall be brought forward. The provisions of this Act will thus exclude unworthy characters from its advantages, and will in general act as a stimulant to good conduct on the part of the officers. Books and Periodicals for Review to be sent to W. C- Stafford, Esq., No. 79, (late No. 4) York Road. Lam. beth, S., our London agent for the literary department of the Chronicle.

[No title]

MENAI BRIDGE. I

I THE COUNCIL OF " YR EISTEDDFOD"…

I THE LLANDUDNO EISTEDDFOD-…

A UNIVERSITY FOR WALES. I

A UNIVERSITY AND COLLEGES…

[No title]

BANGOR AND BEAUMARIS BOARD…

[No title]