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“There is sweet music here, that softer falls
Than petals from blown roses on the grass,
Or night-news on still waters between walls
Of shadowy granite, in a gleaming pass;
Music that gentlier on the spirit lies,
Than tir’d eyelids upon tir’d eyes;
Music that brings sweet sleep down from the blissful skies.
Here are cool mosses deep.
And through the moss the ivies creep,
And in the stream the long-leav'd flowers weep,
And from the craggy ledge the poppy hangs in sleep.


Why are we weighed upon with heaviness,
And utterly consumed with sharp distress,
While all things else have rest from weariness?
All things have rest: why should we toil alone?
We only toil, who are the first of things,
And make perpetual moan,
Still from one sorrow to another thrown:
Nor ever fold our wings,
And cease from wanderings,
Nor steep our brows in slumber's holy balm;
Nor hearken what the inner spirit sings,
“There is no joy but calm ''
Why should we only toil, the roof and crown of things?

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As a specimen of a great poet, in another phase, we have that wonderful condensation of the suggestive, (already referred to.)

In this, the matter is darkly hinted, and shadowed forth, giving a force and awe to it far beyond the most literal description. The enunciation is in hieroglyphics, but full of meaning.

“We were two daughters of one race,” &c.

The madness of the narrator is subtlely announced by the refrain, “The wind is blowing in turret and tree:” And the poet then throws a wonderful interest over the scene by the parallel line, “Oh the Earl was fair to see.”

This is done with the intention of first suggesting it as a doubt to the reader, and then taking it for granted, and insisting upon it as a truth, that the madness was produced by the struggle in the maiden's bosom between revenge and love. The common opinion as to the story is, that a young lady to revenge the seduction and death of her sister by a young nobleman, resolves to have vengeance: she therefore affects a great love for the seducer, inspires him with a passion, and in a moment of dalliance stabs him to the heart: she then has his dead body taken to his mother's feet. The more poetical version appears to us to be, that she did not actually commit the self-abandonment and murder, but went mad in the contemplation of the proposed vengeance, and imagines in her delirium all that is described: it is still heightened by the possibility that her love for her sister's betrayer, interfering with her vengeance, precipitates her insanity. With these preliminary suggestions we leave the poem to the understanding of our readers. We must not conclude our sketch without offering as a triumph of poetical skill the exquisite poem of Godiva; the opening lines, however, seem in bad taste : “I lounged with grooms and parties on the bridge,” &c.

Mr. Tennyson's last production is “The Princess, a Medley,” the largest and the most ambitious of his works; it is also his greatest failure. The subject is a sort of counterpart, or “female half” to the plot of Shakspere’s “Love's Labor Lost;” it may also be considered as a pleasing banter on the rights of woman. It relates to a certain philosophical princess, who founded a college of women, to be brought up in high contempt of the present lords of the creation. The royal champion of the rights of woman has been betrothed to a neighboring prince, and the poet, assuming the character of this prince, narrates the tale.

The royal mistress of a college, where no men are permitted to make their appearance, scouts the idea of being bound by any such pre-contract. The lover, however, will not resign the lady; he resolves to insist upon the fulfilment of the bond. He therefore sets forth with two companions, Cyril and Florian. They disguise themselves in female apparel, and gain admission to the palace college of fair damsels.

“There at a board by tome and paper sat,
With two tame leopards couched beside her throne,
All beauty compassed in a female form,
The princess; liker to the inhabitant
Of some clear planet close upon the sun,
Than our man's earth. She rose her height and said,
“We give you welcome; not without redound
Of fame and profit unto yourselves ye come,
The first-fruits of the stranger: aftertime,
And that full voice which circled round the grave
Will rank you nobly, mingled up with me.
What! are the ladies of your land so tall?"
“We of the court,” said Cyril. ‘From the courts'
She answered; “then you know the prince” And he,
• The climax of his age; as though there were
One rose in all the world—your highness that—
He worships your ideal.' And she replied:

“We did not think in our own hall to hear
This barren verbiage, current among men—
Light coin, the tinsel clink of compliment;
We think not of him. When we set our hand
To this great work, we purposed with ourselves
Never to wed. You likewise will do well,
Ladies, in entering here, to cast and fling
The tricks which make us toys of men, that so,
Some future time, if so indeed you will,
You may with those self-styled our lords ally
Your fortunes, justlier balanced, scale with scale.”
At these high words, we, conscious of ourselves,
Perused the matting.”

Singular to say, the princess has selected two widows, Lady Blanche and Lady Psyche, for the chief assistants in her new establishment; both of these have children, one an infant. The three disguised knights place them under the tuition of Lady Psyche, who proves to be the sister of Florian. This leads to a discovery:

“My brother! oh, she said,
What do you here? and in this dress? and these,

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All three appeal to Psyche's feelings; she agrees to conceal the discovery, on condition that they will steal away as soon as possible. The princess rides out, and summons her three new pupils to attend her; after much long and learned discourse, they sit down to a pic-nic. Here Cyril, forgetting his womanly reserve, sings a merry stave, which discovers all ; a general flight ensues. The Princess Ida falls into a stream, owing to her horse taking fright. The prince, of course, saves her; it, however, avails him nothing. He is brought before her, she sitting in state. She is guarded by eight mighty daughters of the plough. She then scornfully dismisses him. The prince's father arrives with an army to liberate his son; the fair virago's brother comes with another for her protection. A battle ensues, and the lover is dangerously wounded. Compassion rises in the heart of Ida, she nurses the wounded prince, and while she nurses, love finds an entrance. The college is broken up, and marriage closes the poem.

It is impossible for a true poet to write a long poem without revealing some snatches of his genius, and, although generally speaking, this poem is a mournful instance of mistaken powers, it abounds in fine passages. For example, the beauty of the following lament, made by Lady Psyche, when deprived of her child by the princess, is very striking:

“‘Ah me, my babe, my blossom, ah my child !
My one sweet child, whom I shall see no more ;
For now will cruel Ida keep her back;
And either she will die for want of care,
Or sicken with ill usage, when they say
The child is hers; and they will beat my girl,
Remembering her mother. O, my flower!
Or they will take her, they will make her hard;
And she will pass me by in after life .
With some cold reverence, worse than were she dead.
But I will go and sit beside the doors,
And make a wild petition night and day,
Until they hate to hear me, like a wind
Wailing for ever, till they open to me,
And lay my little blossom at my feet,
My babe, my sweet Aglaïa, my one child;
And I will take her up and go my way,
And satisfy my soul with kissing her.”

After the combat between Arac and the prince, when all parties had congregated on what had been the field of battle, this child is lying on the grass— “Psyche ever stole

A little nearer, till the babe that by us, -
Half lapt in glowing gauze and golden brede,

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