« 이전계속 »
of the Fall, that the latter could scarcely be endorsed without acceptance being virtually intimated of the entire theological scheme elaborated by the school in question; but Tennyson aims, in this poem, at being neither Evangelical nor Kitualist, neither Puritan nor High-Church; he writes in sympathy with the universal religious faith and the universal religious sentiment, in so far as these can be discriminated from all shades of sectarian speciality. The religion of all the Churches, in so far as it is sincere and of elevating tendency, open to knowledge and reverent in spirit, has his powerful support; but he adopts the catch-words of no party, and speaks bitterly of none. His religious sympathies are as broad as the face, as deep as the heart, of Christendom; and no better proof could be adduced of his magnanimity and of the generosity and geniality of his nature, than the fact that, son as he is of a clergyman of the State Church, there is not in his works one stanza into which has crept a supercilious or angry reference to Dissent. The religion of In Memoriam is more comprehensive and in the deepest sense more Christian than it would have been if as Evangelical as Pollok's Course of Time, or as High-Church as Keble's Christian Year.
But there is another reason why the sun was introduced into this verse. The two stanzas which immediately succeed are these:
And is it that the haze of grief
Makes former gladness loom so great?
That sets the past in this relief?
Or that the past will always win
A glory from its being far;
And orb into the perfect star
A sun seen at a sufficient distance becomes a star; and the harmony of the piece is finely enhanced by the preservation of
astronomical imagery throughout, instead of mixing up stars and gardens.
It may be irksome to some of my readers to have their attention directed to linguistic minutice like these; but poets of culture are crities as well as bards, and it is not uninstructive, nor ought it to be uninteresting, to follow Tennyson's hand in the delicately careful and, on the whole, judicious emendations which he has made upon the earlier editions of this celebrated poem.
CHRONOLOGICAL SEQUENCE AND GENERAL STRUCTURE OF IN MEMORIAM.
'TV/f ORE pleasant, however, and in a large sense more profit«*-'-'- able also, than the investigation of linguistic niceties, is it to survey In Mcmoriarn in its larger features as they combine into a whole—to consider the articulation of the landscape, its general framework and divisions, its alternations of plain and mountain, of brooding cloud or full sunlight. Mr. Tainsh, in his admirable analysis of the poem, has distinguished a few chronological landmarks which it is useful to keep in view. The first twenty-one pieces are occupied with the period intervening between Arthur's death and burial. In this section of the work the gloom lies deep, though it is at no time oppressive. Sorrow has entered the poet's world, and all nature feels the influence.
0 Sorrow, cruel fellowship,
0 Priestess in the vaults of Death,
0 sweet and bitter in a breath,
"The stars," she whispers, " blindly run;
"And all the phantom, Nature, stands—
He repels, not without contemptuous anger, the trite condolence that " loss is common to the race."
That loss is common would not make
To evening, but some heart did break.
0 father, whereso'er thou be,
Who pledgest now thy gallant son;
Has still'd the life that beat from thee.
0 mother, praying God will save
Thy sailor—while thy head is bow'd,
And yet—such is our human weakness—the community of sorrow is a legitimate theme of condolence.
The voyage of the ship that bears to England the body of Arthur suggests several very beautiful and solemn pieces. With brief, decisive, unerring strokes, like touches of a magic wand, the poet shows us the vessel as it moves onward in the night.
1 hear the noise about thy keel;
I hear the bell struck in the night;
Which is the best of these lays of the returning ship I do not undertake to say, but I can conceive nothing nobler cither in feeling, in imagery, or in language than No. XI. I select it for quotation for another reason. It affords illustration of the poet's mastery in two kinds of excellence, rare and precious apart, but far more rare and precious when combined: the first, vividness and truth of local color; the second, breadth. What could be more minutely correct or felicitous in local color than the "pattering" to the ground of the chestnut, or the "twinkle into green and gold" of the gossamers? What could be more magnificently broad than the very next verse, which describes the great English plain sweeping toward the sea, or the verse that portrays the billowy sleep of the ocean?
Calm is the morn without a sound,
Calm as to suit a calmer grief,
And only thro' the faded leaf
Calm and deep peace on this high wold,
That twinkle into green and gold:
Calm and still light on yon great plain
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,
Calm on the seas, and silver sleep,
Which heaves but with the heaving deep.
Note that the five stanzas of this glorious poem—for it is a complete poem in itself—constitute a single sentence. To do it justice in reading, one would require to modulate the voice to each change of scene—and there are several—without altering its pitch. As the tone of thought and feeling never changes for a moment, whether it is on the windy wold or on the autumn plain, or on the waves far out at sea, that the poet looks, the appropriateness of this continuity in language, preserved from clause to clause of the great sentence, is beyond