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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.


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