Part 6 out of 6
and nobler weal. In politics, as we know, he was a liberal
conservative,--a conserver of what was best in the present and the past,
and an advancer of all that tended to true and harmonious progress. His
knowledge of men and things was wide and deep; in the philosophic
thought and even in the science of his time he was deeply read; while he
was lovingly interested in all nature, and especially in the common
people, whom he often wrote of and touchingly depicted in their humble
ways of toil as well as of joy and sorrow. Above all, he was a man of
high and real faith, who believed that "good" was "the final goal of
ill;" and in "the dumb hour clothed in black" that at last came to him,
as it comes to all, he confidingly put his trust in Loving Omnipotence
and reverently and beautifully expressed the hope of seeing the guiding
Pilot of his life when, with the outflow of its river-current into the
ocean of the Divine Unseen, he crossed the bar. For humanity's sake and
the weal of the world in a coming time this was his joyous cry:--
"Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.
* * * * *
"Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.
* * * * *
"Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be!"
What our formative, high-wrought English literature has suffered in
Tennyson's passing from the age on which he has shed so much glory those
can best say who are of his era, and have been intimate, as each
appeared, with every successive issue of his works. To the latter, as to
all thoughtful students of his writings, his has been the supreme
interpreting voice of the past century, while his influence on the
literary thought of his time has been of the highest and most potent
kind. Especially influential has Tennyson been in carrying forward, with
new impulses and inspiration, the poetic traditions of that grand old
motherland of English song to which our own poets in the New World, as
well as the younger bards of the British Isles, owe so much. If we
except the Laureate, there have been few who have worn the singing robe
of the poet who, in these later years at least, have spoken so
impressively to cultured minds on either side of the ocean, or have more
effectively expressed to his age the high and hallowing spirit of modern
poetry. It is this that has given the Laureate his exalted place among
the great literary influences of the century, and made him the one
indubitable representative of English song, with all its tuneful music
and rare and delicate art. To a few of the great choir of singers of the
past Tennyson admittedly owed something, both in tradition and in
art,--for each new impulse has caught and embodied not a little of the
spirit and temper, as well as the culture and inspiration, of the
old,--but his it was to impart new and fresher thought and a wider range
of harmony and emotion than had been reached by almost any of his
predecessors, and to speak to the mind and soul of his time as none
other has spoken or could well speak. From the era of Shakespeare and
Milton and their chief successors, it is to Tennyson's honor and fame
that he has given continuity as well as high perfection to the great
coursing stream of noble British verse.
Brooke, Stopford A. Tennyson: his Art and Relation to Modern Life.
Van Dyke, Henry. The Poetry of Tennyson.
Bayne, Peter. Tennyson and his Teachers.
Brimley, George. Essays on Tennyson.
Tainsh, Ed. C. Study of the Works of Tennyson.
Waugh, Arthur. Tennyson: A Study of his Life and Work.
Stedman, E. C. Victorian Poets.
Buchanan, R. Master Spirits.
Forman. Our Living Poets.
Dowden, Ed. Tennyson and Browning.
Tennyson, Hallam. Memoir of the Poet (by his Son).
Kingsley, C. Miscellanies.
Thackeray-Ritchie, Anne. Records of Tennyson and Others.
Robertson, F. W. In Memoriam.
Dawson, Dr. S. E. Study of the Princess, annotated.
Genung, J. F. In Memoriam, its Purpose and Structure.
Woodberry, G. E. The Princess, with Notes and Introduction.
Farrand, Wilson. The Princess, with Notes and Introduction.
Gatty, Alfred. Key to In Memoriam.
Harrison, Frederic. Tennyson, Ruskin, and Mill.