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TENNYSON. I am Merlin And I am dying, I am Merlin who followed the gleam; Tennyson's Merlin and gleam.
O TENNYSON! Of poets loved the best;
A rosebud, tear-stained, bring I for thy breast
(The full-moon, sailing slowly tow'rds the West This Autumn morn-after the wind and rain)
Or rugged verse, in all its poverty
Feebly to tell how dear thy poetry
Shall live—for Prophets' voice and vision thine “Thro' all the ages” till suns no more shall shine.
JOHN FULLERTON. -For The Magazine of Poetry.
Merlin has gone, has gone; and through the land,
The melancholy message wings its way
To careless-ordered garden by the bay
Merlin has gone; Merlin the wizard, who found
In the past's glimmering tide and hailed him king
Arthur, great Uther's son, and so did sing The mystic glories of the Table Round That ever its name will live so long as song shall
The brightest star in Britain's sky of fame
Has passed beyond the range of mortal sight; But on the hearts of men a deathless name
Is graved in characters of golden light.
Merlin has gone; Merlin who followed the gleam
And made us follow it, the flying tale
Of the last tournament, the Holy Grail, And Arthur's passing till the enchantress dream Dwells with us still awake, no visionary theme.
To-day is dole in Astolat, and dole
In Celidon; the forest dole and tears
In joyous garb blackhooded lean the spears, The nuns of Almesbury sound a mournful toll, And Guinevere kneeling weeps and prays for Mer
Avilions island valley; on the mere
blear A dusky barge, which without oar or sail Fades to the far-off fields where falls nor snow nor
Warbling as if awake, but what will bring
Droop like to bees belated in the rain.
The unmoving shadow of a pensive pain Lies on the lawn and lingers on the flowers. And sweet and sad seem one, in woodbine woven
bowers. In English gardens fringed with English foam
Or girt with English woods he loved to dwell,
Singing of English lives in thorp or dell, Orchard or croft, so that when now we roam Through them and find him not, it scarcely feels
Of all his wounds he will be healed now;
Wounds of harsh time and vulnerable life,
Fatigue of rest and weariness of strife, Doubt and the long deep questionings that plough The forehead of age but bring no harvest to the
And there he will be comforted; but we
Must watch like Percival the dwindling light
That slowly shrouds him darkling from our sight. From that great deep to the great deep hath he
passed, And if now he knows, is mute eternally. From Somersby's ivied tower there sinks and swells
A low slow peal that mournfully is rolled
Over the long gray fields and glimmering world, To where 'twixt sandy tracts and moorland fills Remembers Locksley Hall his musical farewells.
And England's glories stirred him, as the swell
Of bluff winds blowing from Atlantic brine
Stirs mightier music in the murmuring pine. Then sweet notes waxed too strong within his shell And bristling rose the lines, and billowy rose and
fell. So England mourns for Merlin, though its tears
Flow not from bitter source that wells in vain,
But kindred rather to the rippling rain That brings the daffodil sheaths and jonquil spears When winter weeps away, and April reappears. For hath England lacked a voice to sing
Her fairness and her fame, nor will she now.
Silence awhile may brood upon the bough, But shortly once again the isle will ring With wakening winds of March and rhapsodies of
spring. From Arthur unto Alfred, Alfred crowned Monarch and minstrel both, to Edward's day;
From Edward's to Elizabeth's the lay Of valor and love hath never ceased to sound; But song and sword are twin, indissolubly bound.
And many a sinewy youth on Cam to-day,
Suspends the dripping oar and lets his boat
Like dreaming water-lily drift and float; While murmuring to himself the undying lay, That haunts the babbling Wye and Severn's dirgeful
bay. The bole of the broad oak whose knotted knees,
Lie hidden in the fern of Cumnor Chase,
Feels stirred afresh as when Olivia's face Lay warm against its rind, though now it seesNot love, but death approach, and shivers in the
Nor shall in Britain taliessin tire
Transmitting through his stock the sacred strain,
When fresh renown prolongs Victoria's reign, Some patriot hand will sweep the living lyre And prove with native notes that Merlin was his sire.
In many a vicarage garden dense with age,
The haunt of pairing throstles; many a grange
Moted against the assault and siege of chance, Fair eyes consult anew the cherished sage, And now and then a tear falls, blistering the page.
April will blossom again. Again will ring
With cuckoo's call and yaffel's flying scream And in veiled sleep the nightingale will dream,
No moaning on the bar; sail forth strong ship,
lip, And praise, abounding praise, and fame's faint
Into the silence of the silent night
Not England's pride alone, the Lord of Song!
LOUISE CHANDLER MOULTON. -London Illustrated News.
Perchance it were relief
To speak our loved one's praise,
His gentle ways,
This poet was a lover of the peace
And sweet tranquility of Nature,
From toil and trial amid clover blooms,
Loved more the forest glooms,
That are the silent heralding of night,
Or the still flight
From which his soul drew ever sweet delight.
THE LAUREATE DEAD.
OCTOBER 6, 1892.
The laurels fall from off as high a brow
As since our Shakespeare wore the poet-bays,
Who breathed Sicilian music through his lays And felt great Homer's resonant ebb and flow; Who knew all art of word that man may know
And led us on by love's undying ways,
Who gave us back the old Arthurian days— The last of laureates, Tennyson, lies low.
And he loved, too, man's life upon the farms, Its kindly innocence from rude alarms,
Its simple maidens leading
Their rustic dance,
His heart was ever keeping
Its merry rhythmic time
He loved to watch the beat
Of autumn flails upon the wheat
With silent cattle feeding.
Our golden age is shorter, and the spheres
That sooner wane may swiftlier wax to prime;
Who wrought with Saxon purity of tongue
H. D. RAWNSLEY. -The Academy.
'Tis true, not all the favored sons of Fame
Can hope to wear her guerdon through the years;
But thy beloved name is writ with tears Through all our nation's life, through doubt,
through blame; Through hope, despair; through blood of sacrifice,
Deep-graven where no sands from any shore,
Nor frosts of time, can touch, forevermoreBeloved bard, upon our heart it lies!
JEANIE OLIVER SMITH.
"Of farmers as his brothers'; The toiling, patient mothers,
That lived for their dear boys,
Had saintly grace for him.
And so he sang his heart,
And people loved the singer,
He drew from field and farm;
But at the quick alarm, "The cry of hearts a-bleeding, He left his cattle feeding,
His uplands and the stillness of the morn,
And with a heart new born
Making it firm and true, "To shield the weak and helpless from the strong.
JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER.
BORN DECEMBER, 1807. DIED 7TH SEPTEMBER,
1892. FRIEND, thou and I had known each other long Thro' letters, legendary verse and song; And now to-day above thy tear-stained bier I mourn as for a father loved and dear. “The Eternal Gate" is passed, a Freeman thou The fadeless green leaf round thy sunlit brow.
Among the Hills" or on “The Beach” with thee At Nature's shrine I still will bow the knee.
“Voices of Freedom” these the nation's heart Stirred to its depths, as for the poor slave sold And scourged, and when but few would take his
part, Thou, his true friend, right fearlessly and bold Didst plead, till galled with chains no more he lay But walked with head erect and face as day.
John FULLERTON. ---For The Magazine of Poetry.
O, knightly hand,
Which others spurned!
O, tender heart, That ever longed to bear the sufferers' part, Ye now are, mid the sufferer's sorrow, laid at rest.
Defender of the oppressed!
Stout hater of the wrong!
To raise the Nation higher
Into God's purer light, On wings of lofty flight, Which oft have borne thee through the realm of
Bringing a crown for thee,
ALLEN EASTMAN CROSS.
TO J. G. WHITTIER ON HIS EIGHTIETH
BIRTHDAY. FRIEND, whom thy fourscore winters leave more
dear Than when life's roseate summer on thy cheek Burned in, the flush of manhood's manliest year;
Lonely, how lonely! is the snowy peak Thy feet have reached, and mine have climbed so
near! Close on thy footsteps mid the landscape drear I stretch my hand thine answering grasp to seek, Warm with the love no rippling rhymes can
speak! Look backwards! from thy lofty height survey
Thy years of toil, of peaceful victories won, Of dreams made real, largest hopes outrun!
Look forward! brighter than earth's morning ray Streams the pure light of Heaven's unsetting sun, The all unclouded dawn of life's Immortal Day!
Oliver WENDELL HOLMES.
ON READING “AN AUTOGRAPH." IF thou, O friend, canst say thy name is traced
On sands by waves o’errun, or frosted pane,
Then why should any seek far heights to gain? What human name but must be swift effaced ?