English Victorian Poetry: An Anthology

English Victorian Poetry: An Anthology

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by Paul Negri
     
 

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This outstanding, modestly priced anthology presents over 170 poems by the major poets of the 19th century, including Alfred, Lord Tennyson; Robert Browning; Elizabeth Barrett Browning; Arthur Hugh Clough; Edward FitzGerald; Matthew Arnold; Dante Gabriel Rossetti; Christina Rossetti; Coventry Patmore; George Meredith; William Ernest Henley; Algernon Charles…  See more details below

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This outstanding, modestly priced anthology presents over 170 poems by the major poets of the 19th century, including Alfred, Lord Tennyson; Robert Browning; Elizabeth Barrett Browning; Arthur Hugh Clough; Edward FitzGerald; Matthew Arnold; Dante Gabriel Rossetti; Christina Rossetti; Coventry Patmore; George Meredith; William Ernest Henley; Algernon Charles Swinburne; Gerard Manley Hopkins; Rudyard Kipling; and many others. An introduction and brief biographical notes on the poets are included.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780486112633
Publisher:
Dover Publications
Publication date:
02/03/2012
Series:
Dover Thrift Editions
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
194,371
File size:
774 KB

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English Victorian Poetry

An Anthology


By Paul Negri

Dover Publications, Inc.

Copyright © 1999 Dover Publications, Inc.
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-486-11263-3



CHAPTER 1

ALFRED, LORD TENNYSON (1809-1892)


Considered by some to be the greatest poet of the Victorian period, Tennyson was in his lifetime certainly the most popular. One of twelve children, Tennyson was the son of a clergyman, who tutored him in classical and modern languages. He attended Cambridge, but was forced to leave in 1831 due to family and financial difficulties. Returning home, he continued to write verse, his early volumes in the 1830's receiving generally adverse criticism. Persevering, however, he developed and refined his technique, gaining stature throughout the 1840's, and achieved full critical recognition with the publication of In Memoriam in 1850, at which time he was appointed poet laureate, succeeding Wordsworth. He was made a peer in 1884.


    The Kraken

    Below the thunders of the upper deep,
    Far, far beneath in the abysmal sea,
    His ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep
    The Kraken sleepeth: faintest sunlights flee
    About his shadowy sides; above him swell
    Huge sponges of millennial growth and height;
    And far away into the sickly light,
    From many a wondrous grot and secret cell
    Unnumbered and enormous polypi
    Winnow with giant arms the slumbering green.
    There hath he lain for ages, and will lie
    Battening upon huge sea worms in his sleep,
    Until the latter fire shall heat the deep;
    Then once by man and angels to be seen,
    In roaring he shall rise and on the surface die.


    Mariana

    'Mariana in the moated grange.'

    Measure for Measure.


    With blackest moss the flower-plots
    Were thickly crusted, one and all;
    The rusted nails fell from the knots
    That held the pear to the gable-wall.
    The broken sheds look'd sad and strange:
    Unlifted was the clinking latch;
    Weeded and worn the ancient thatch
    Upon the lonely moated grange.

    She only said, 'My life is dreary,
    He cometh not,' she said;
    She said, 'I am aweary, aweary,
    I would that I were dead!'

    Her tears fell with the dews at even;
    Her tears fell ere the dews were dried;
    She could not look on the sweet heaven,
    Either at morn or eventide.
    After the flitting of the bats,
    When thickest dark did trance the sky,
    She drew her casement-curtain by,
    And glanced athwart the glooming flats.

    She only said, 'The night is dreary,
    He cometh not,' she said;
    She said, 'I am aweary, aweary,
    I would that I were dead!'

    Upon the middle of the night,
    Waking she heard the night-fowl crow;
    The cock sung out an hour ere light;
    From the dark fen the oxen's low
    Came to her; without hope of change,
    In sleep she seem'd to walk forlorn,
    Till cold winds woke the gray-eyed morn
    About the lonely moated grange.

    She only said, 'The day is dreary,
    He cometh not,' she said;
    She said, 'I am aweary, aweary,
    I would that I were dead!'

    About a stone-cast from the wall
    A sluice with blacken'd waters slept,
    And o'er it many, round and small,
    The cluster'd marish-mosses crept.
    Hard by a poplar shook alway,
    All silver-green with gnarled bark:
    For leagues no other tree did mark
    The level waste, the rounding gray.

    She only said, 'My life is dreary,
    He cometh not,' she said;
    She said, 'I am aweary, aweary,
    I would that I were dead!'

    And ever when the moon was low,
    And the shrill winds were up and away,
    In the white curtain, to and fro,
    She saw the gusty shadow sway.
    But when the moon was very low,
    And wild winds bound within their cell,
    The shadow of the poplar fell
    Upon her bed, across her brow.

    She only said, 'The night is dreary,
    He cometh not,' she said;
    She said, 'I am aweary, aweary,
    I would that I were dead!'

    All day within the dreamy house,
    The doors upon their hinges creak'd;
    The blue fly sung in the pane; the mouse
    Behind the mouldering wainscot shriek'd,
    Or from the crevice peer'd about.
    Old faces glimmer'd thro' the doors,
    Old footsteps trod the upper floors,
    Old voices called her from without.

    She only said, 'My life is dreary,
    He cometh not,' she said;
    She said, 'I am aweary, aweary,
    I would that I were dead!'

    The sparrow's chirrup on the roof,
    The slow clock ticking, and the sound
    Which to the wooing wind aloof
    The poplar made, did all confound
    Her sense; but most she loathed the hour
    When the thick-moted sunbeam lay
    Athwart the chambers, and the day
    Was sloping toward his western bower.

    Then said she, 'I am very dreary,
    He will not come,' she said;
    She wept, 'I am aweary, aweary,
    O God, that I were dead!'


    The Lady of Shalott

    PART I


    On either side the river lie
    Long fields of barley and of rye,
    That clothe the wold and meet the sky;
    And thro' the field the road runs by

    To many-tower'd Camelot;

    And up and down the people go,
    Gazing where the lilies blow
    Round an island there below,

    The island of Shalott.

    Willows whiten, aspens quiver,
    Little breezes dusk and shiver
    Thro' the wave that runs for ever
    By the island in the river

    Flowing down to Camelot.

    Four gray walls, and four gray towers,
    Overlook a space of flowers,
    And the silent isle imbowers

    The Lady of Shalott.

    By the margin, willow-veil'd,
    Slide the heavy barges trail'd
    By slow horses; and unhail'd
    The shallop flitteth silken-sail'd

    Skimming down to Camelot:

    But who hath seen her wave her hand?
    Or at the casement seen her stand?
    Or is she known in all the land,

    The Lady of Shalott?

    Only reapers, reaping early
    In among the bearded barley,
    Hear a song that echoes cheerly
    From the river winding clearly,

    Down to tower'd Camelot;

    And by the moon the reaper weary,
    Piling sheaves in uplands airy,
    Listening, whispers "T is the fairy

    Lady of Shalott.'


    PART II

    There she weaves by night and day
    A magic web with colors gay.
    She has heard a whisper say,
    A curse is on her if she stay

    To look down to Camelot.

    She knows not what the curse may be,
    And so she weaveth steadily,
    And little other care hath she,

    The Lady of Shalott.

    And moving thro' a mirror clear
    That hangs before her all the year,
    Shadows of the world appear.
    There she sees the highway near

    Winding down to Camelot;

    There the river eddy whirls,
    And there the surly village-churls,
    And the red cloaks of market girls,

    Pass onward from Shalott.

    Sometimes a troop of damsels glad,
    An abbot on an ambling pad,
    Sometimes a curly shepherd-lad,
    Or long-hair'd page in crimson clad,

    Goes by to tower'd Camelot;

    And sometimes thro' the mirror blue
    The knights come riding two and two:
    She hath no loyal knight and true,

    The Lady of Shalott.

    But in her web she still delights
    To weave the mirror's magic sights,
    For often thro' the silent nights
    A funeral, with plumes and lights

    And music, went to Camelot;

    Or when the moon was overhead,
    Came two young lovers lately wed:
    'I am half sick of shadows,' said


    The Lady of Shalott.


    PART III

    A bow-shot from her bower-eaves,
    He rode between the barley-sheaves.
    The sun came dazzling thro' the leaves,
    And flamed upon the brazen greaves

    Of bold Sir Lancelot.

    A red-cross knight for ever kneel'd
    To a lady in his shield,
    That sparkled on the yellow field,

    Beside remote Shalott.

    The gemmy bridle glitter'd free,
    Like to some branch of stars we see
    Hung in the golden Galaxy.
    The bridle bells rang merrily

    As he rode down to Camelot;

    And from his blazon'd baldric slung
    A mighty silver bugle hung,
    And as he rode his armor rung,

    Beside remote Shalott.

    All in the blue unclouded weather
    Thick-jewell'd shone the saddle-leather,
    The helmet and the helmet-feather
    Burn'd like one burning flame together,

    As he rode down to Camelot;

    As often thro' the purple night,
    Below the starry clusters bright,
    Some bearded meteor, trailing light,

    Moves over still Shalott.

    His broad clear brow in sunlight glow'd;
    On burnish'd hooves his war-horse trode;
    From underneath his helmet flow'd
    His coal-black curls as on he rode,

    As he rode down to Camelot.

    From the bank and from the river
    He flash'd into the crystal mirror,
    'Tirra lirra,' by the river

    Sang Sir Lancelot.

    She left the web, she left the loom,
    She made three paces thro' the room,
    She saw the water-lily bloom,
    She saw the helmet and the plume,

    She look'd down to Camelot.

    Out flew the web and floated wide;
    The mirror crack'd from side to side;
    'The curse is come upon me,' cried

    The Lady of Shalott.


    PART IV

    In the stormy east-wind straining,
    The pale yellow woods were waning,
    The broad stream in his banks complaining,
    Heavily the low sky raining

    Over tower'd Camelot;

    Down she came and found a boat
    Beneath a willow left afloat,
    And round about the prow she wrote

    The Lady of Shalott.

    And down the river's dim expanse
    Like some bold seer in a trance,
    Seeing all his own mischance—
    With a glassy countenance
    Did she look to Camelot.

    And at the closing of the day
    She loosed the chain, and down she lay;
    The broad stream bore her far away,

    The Lady of Shalott.

    Lying, robed in snowy white
    That loosely flew to left and right—
    The leaves upon her falling light—
    Thro' the noises of the night

    She floated down to Camelot;

    And as the boat-head wound along
    The willowy hills and fields among,
    They heard her singing her last song,

    The Lady of Shalott.

    Heard a carol, mournful, holy,
    Chanted loudly, chanted lowly,
    Till her blood was frozen slowly,
    And her eyes were darken'd wholly,

    Turn'd to tower'd Camelot.

    For ere she reach'd upon the tide
    The first house by the water-side,
    Singing in her song she died,

    The Lady of Shalott.

    Under tower and balcony,
    By garden-wall and gallery,
    A gleaming shape she floated by,
    Dead-pale between the houses high,

    Silent into Camelot.

    Out upon the wharfs they came,
    Knight and burgher, lord and dame,
    And round the prow they read her name,

    The Lady of Shalott.

    Who is this? and what is here?
    And in the lighted palace near
    Died the sound of royal cheer;
    And they cross'd themselves for fear,

    All the knights at Camelot:

    But Lancelot mused a little space;
    He said, 'She has a lovely face;
    God in his mercy lend her grace,

    The Lady of Shalott.'


    The Lotos-Eaters

    'Courage!' he said, and pointed toward the land,
    'This mounting wave will roll us shoreward soon.'
    In the afternoon they came unto a land
    In which it seemed always afternoon.
    All round the coast the languid air did swoon,
    Breathing like one that hath a weary dream.
    Full-faced above the valley stood the moon;
    And, like a downward smoke, the slender stream
    Along the cliff to fall and pause and fall did seem.

    A land of streams! some, like a downward smoke,
    Slow-dropping veils of thinnest lawn, did go;
    And some thro' wavering lights and shadows broke,
    Rolling a slumbrous sheet of foam below.
    They saw the gleaming river seaward flow
    From the inner land; far off, three mountain-tops,
    Three silent pinnacles of aged snow,
    Stood sunset-flush'd; and, dew'd with showery drops,
    Up-clomb the shadowy pine above the woven copse.

    The charmed sunset linger'd low adown
    In the red West; thro' mountain clefts the dale
    Was seen far inland, and the yellow down
    Border'd with palm, and many a winding vale
    And meadow, set with slender galingale;
    A land where all things always seem'd the same!
    And round about the keel with faces pale,
    Dark faces pale against that rosy flame,
    The mild-eyed melancholy Lotos-eaters came.

    Branches they bore of that enchanted stem,
    Laden with flower and fruit, whereof they gave
    To each, but whoso did receive of them
    And taste, to him the gushing of the wave
    Far far away did seem to mourn and rave
    On alien shores; and if his fellow spake,
    His voice was thin, as voices from the grave;
    And deep-asleep he seem'd, yet all awake,
    And music in his ears his beating heart did make.

    They sat them down upon the yellow sand,
    Between the sun and moon upon the shore;
    And sweet it was to dream of Fatherland,
    Of child, and wife, and slave; but evermore
    Most weary seem'd the sea, weary the oar,
    Weary the wandering fields of barren farm.
    Then some one said, 'We will return no more';
    And all at once they sang, 'Our island home
    Is far beyond the wave; we will no longer roam.'


(Continues...)

Excerpted from English Victorian Poetry by Paul Negri. Copyright © 1999 Dover Publications, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Dover Publications, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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