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side when the snow is melted, he is no more under the influence of nature than Tennyson was when he wrote:

I would have said, "Thou canst not know,"

But my full heart, that work'd below,
Rain'd thro' my sight its overflow.

The only difference is that Homer, after the usage of his age and his own manner, goes into fuller detail, just as when he compares the jarring of a heavy and rusty bolt to the roaring of a bull, which he then goes on to de scribe as roaming through the flowery meads. Again, direct narration is out of court. When Virgil says of Dido, in the passage so exquisitely rendered by Tennyson, that she

Ever fail'd to draw The quiet night into her blood,

he is far more under the influence of nature than when he paints those pretty landscapes, many of which are quoted by Mr. Palgrave; because in the one case we see that the spirit of the night has been felt by him, and that it has unconsciously influenced his diction; while in the other case we find only the conscious artist engaged in the necessary task of unfolding or embellishing his narrative.

Nothing is more invidious than to complain that a writer has not done what he never attempted to do, especially when he has done what he has attempted excellently well. Probably, indeed, Mr. Palgrave's book is really far more interesting than it would have been if he had sought to find out the true relation of the external world to different epochs and to different individuals. A pharmacopoeia would be, perhaps, better reading if it passed over many healing herbs to linger rather among the lovely "flowers that the dædal earth puts forth." Yet an attempt to deal more directly with the question of the influence of landscape on poetry would have its own interest. It would be a difficult feat; but few are better equipped to essay it than Mr. Palgrave. It would have to be treated not inductively but deductively, and by

analysis rather than synthesis. It would be requisite to discard the historic method, and to devise certain categories or principles, to serve as a framework for a discussion which would tend to be vague and hard to keep within compass. Perhaps among them might stand the questions,-How far is nature felt, not merely described? How far is she appealed to in love and sympathy, and not merely in the inter

ests of clearness or of ornament? How

far is she analyzed with a poet's minute keenness of observation, as contrasted with the obvious reflections of an ordinary observer, however beautified by style and diction? Again, does nature sympathize with grief or mock at it? Is mental suffering more grievous amid beautiful or sordid surroundings? We fancy that the answer to most of these questions would go far to show that until quite modern times the influence of the external world on the mind of the poet was insignificant, or did not exist at all. We cannot fancy an ancient poet saying anything like Tennyson's

On the bald street breaks the blank day; or Burns's

Ye banks and braes o' bonny Doon,
How can ye bloom sae fresh and fair!
How can ye chant, ye little birds,
And I sae weary, fu' o' care;

or Lord Lytton's (Owen Meredith's,

The day comes up above the roofs All sallow from a night of rain.

Readers of Mr. Palgrave's excellent chapter on the "Later Roman Epic"

and the "Elocutio Novella" will see that at that epoch Latin poetry was making a closer approach to the modern spirit than was ever made by classical Latin poetry or by Greek or Mediæval. But, unless we are mistaken, between the ancient and the modern spirit there is a great gulf fixed. An anthologist, it is true,-Meleager, of Syrian Gadara (about 100 B.C.)-asks the meadows why they laugh in vain,—


Λειμῶνες τί μάταια κόμαις έπι φαιδρὰ γελάτε;

but it is only for the frivolous reason that they are so much less radiant than Zenophilé. But what Greek or Latin or Hebrew poet, not to talk of Celtic and other bards whom we are surprised that the lecturer mentioned all, could have said with Shelley:


I love snow and all the forms
Of the radiant frost;

I love waves and winds and storms,
Everything almost

Which is Nature's, and may be
Untainted by Man's misery!

Which of them had a heart that "danced with the daffodils" or was in love with the "sweet jargoning" of "all the little birds that are"?

Considerations like these seem to have sometimes suggested themselves to Mr. Palgrave; but the analyst is overborne by the anthologist. He is so charmed by beauty in literature that he sometimes gives us passages which are merely beautiful and have, as he owns, no bearing on his subject. He notices more than once the difference in the sentiments with which the ancient and the modern worlds have regarded nature, but he does not seem to realize fully that it was a difference in kind and not merely in degree; and principles now and then appear, but only to be soon ignored when he proceeds to illustration. For instance, though we read of that "union with human feeling which, whether by way of pathy or contrast, art itself and the human soul always imperatively call for," we look in vain for that union in his quotations from Greek, Latin, and Hebrew poetry at all events, to say nothing now of the rest. "More distinctly modern," he writes, "is the attempt to penetrate the soul of the landscape itself;" but it has not occurred to him that this attempt may be held to be wholly and solely modern, and quite uncharacteristic of the ancient or mediæval world. Is there a sign of even conscious sensibility to Nature, not to speak of an attempt to penetrate the soul of the landscape in Greek poetry before Theocritus? In Latin poetry, as Professor Sellar pointed out, there is a


good deal of conscious sensibility to nature, but something quite like the modern, the Wordsworthian and Tennysonian, attitude. Lucretius makes a shrewd and interesting remark: "How splendid would be, if seen for the first time, the clear blue color of the open sky, the wandering stars, and the moon and dazzling sun, to which now man scarce deigns to raise his sated eyes." The feeling for nature, we would say, in Latin poetry is to that of modern poetry as this passage from Lucretius is to Wordsworth's,

There was a time when meadow, grove and stream,

The earth, and every common sight
To me did seem
Apparel'd in celestial light,
The glory and the freshness of a dream.

But it is when we come to Horace that we are most puzzled to realize what it is that in Mr. Palgrave's opinion constitutes in a poet a real love of nature and susceptibility to her influence. Apparently the mere mention of a river, a mountain, a valley, is enough. What conceivable proof or sign of a feeling for nature can be

found in the lines

Cur valle permutem Sabina Divitias operosiores?1

Yet it is with reference to this very couplet that Mr. Palgrave indignantly observes, "Those who cannot find the great poet in Horace should lay aside poetry." Now it seems to us, that for even erroneous views on this subject, renewed study under intelligent direction would be a better treatment than the complete laying aside of poetry; but we cannot regard as erroneous the view which sees in Horace a great poet absolutely uninfluenced by nature, to which, indeed, he often refers with characteristic prettiness, but only to point some shrewd comment on life, its transitoriness and so forth. Surely it does not go for nothing that by far the most elaborate of his eulogies on country life is ironical, a very clever piece of

1 Why lose my Sabine dell to gain

The cares that swell the rich man's traine.

banter directed against practical men who think it graceful to go into ecstasies about the country,—indeed, the most decided protest in poetry against the main feeling which underlies what some now call the Lake School of English poetry. So far as we can gather Mr. Palgrave's meaning on page fiftytwo, we are to account for Horace's limited allusions to landscape by his limited opportunities of living in the country. But is it not strange that when he does dwell, sincerely and not in mockery, on the delights of a country life, it is on the noctes cænæque deûm, his dinner parties and country society, that he enlarges; not on the joys which the country offers, but on those which can be imported thither from the town? Yet Mr. Palgrave twice (pages 238 and 248) actually compares Horace and Wordsworth as lovers of the country.

In characterizing landscape poetry to the close of the eighteenth century, he gives us some excellent criticism which with the necessary modifications might well be applied to Horace: “Man and his works were the chief subject of Dryden's powerful Muse, and, although he looked back to Chaucer, his tales were so modernized by Dryden that the old poet became almost unree ognizable. The wonderful genius of Pope, who saw what his readers required, largely took for the object of his strenuous labor court life and the artificialities of society. Country life as such was to him intolerable dulness."

Though only too generous in his appreciation of the poets, and too ready to find, even in casual allusions, a heart attuned to the spirit of the country, Mr. Palgrave puts one poet alone outside the pale. This is that tunefulest of singers, Ovid. The late Doctor Henry thought the first book of the "Metamorphoses" better than any part of his favorite Virgil's works. With out going so far as this, we would venture to say that the scene in which Proserpina with her girl friends plucks flowers in Enna, though depreciated as "nothing but a gardener's catalogue,"

compares favorably as landscapepainting with any of Horace's vignettes inspired by a flask of Cæcuban under a tree, and is not inferior to most of the illustrations cited from the subsequent poets (except Shakespeare and Milton), until we come to genuine feeling for nature in recent poetry.

Quintilian, in an oft-quoted passage, pointed out that the Latin poets admired nature only for her amenity; bold and wild scenery, mountain pass and frowning scaur, were to them fœdi and tetri visu (shocking and hideous to behold). Tennyson's "Palace of Art," among its lovely pictures of peace, has its “iron coast and angry waves," its "foreground black with stones and slags," and its

Ragged rims of thunder brooding low With shadow-streaks of rain.

All these would have been repulsive to an ancient Roman whether in art or poetry.

A very similar criticism may be made on landscape in Hebrew poetry. Biblical poetry treats landscape mainly in relation to man. The beautiful scene is the field which the Lord has blessed, which will yield a good harvest. Even the 104th Psalm is hardly landscape poetry so much as a series of reflections on the relation of nature and na ture's God to living things, and espe cially to mankind. The one phrase in Hebrew literature which seems to show a real sympathy with nature in the modern sense is the allusion to the lilies of the field in the Sermon on the Mount, a passage which has always seemed to us as curiously unique as it is simply beautiful.

We have said that Mr. Palgrave here and there enunciates a principle which might have had a regulative influence on his quotations, but that his mind, so attuned to beauty in poetry, cannot resist the Muse when she lays herself out to please; and it has aiready been of pointed out how the condition "union with human feeling," or even the "sense of the Unity in Nature," is often neglected in the choice of illustrations. Though he quotes Beetho

ven's phrase, "Mehr Ausdruck der As to Celtic poetry, we must confess Empfindung als Malerei (more expres- that to us it seems to prove nothing so sive of feeling than painting)," he does clearly as the fact that sometimes the no ask his poets for rendering of in- more a poet writes about nature the ner sentiment, if they will only give more he betrays how little he is under him sufficiently beautiful or powerful her influence. Llywarch's dry catapainting, as in the garden of Alcinoüs, logues of the features of the external the convulsion of nature in the "Pro- world interspersed with moral platimetheus," the praises of Athens in the tudes seem to show a temper at the op"Edipus Coloneus." posite pole to that of the lover of nature:

It is only when he comes to Elizabethan poetry that he makes a distinction which, as we conceive, should have guided him throughout, and lays down that the statement of a natural fact, however true, is comparatively valueless for his purpose, if too obvious. The consistent application of this principle would deprive a very large number of his quotations of their claim to a place. Much the same may be said about another excellent rule, which appears, we think for the first time on p. 171, that it is not enough merely to describe nature, she must be described for her own sake, as she is by Shelley and Wordsworth. Again, at p. 202 he clearly sees how essential for his purpose it is that with "truth to nature" should be combined "personal feeling;" but he does not seem to have missed this quality in his many exquisite citations from early Italian and Elizabethan poetry. On p. 136 he quotes from Spenser a passage in which we have "a picture of the sea and of a vast royal ship of the day which has never been surpassed in English literature." The merit of the passage is perhaps exaggerated, but what one feels most disposed to protest against is the generalization drawn from it: "With what splendid landscape scenes might Spenser have endowed us, had he thus trusted to himself more freely!" Not so; neither in its sturdy boyhood in the hands of Chaucer, nor in its graceful adolescence in those of Spenser was English poetry under the influence of nature. When she desired to describe a natural scene she described it, and sometimes very well; but she never felt nature to be a present goddess, and fortunately she never pretended that she did.

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Yet Mr. Palgrave professes to find landscape poetry here, and indeed one might almost say everywhere. He is often obliged to qualify his eulogies, as when he says of Allan Ramsay that he deserves praise rather for his intention than for his performance, or characterizes a poem as "beautiful, but how inferior to the lyrics of Milton," or as "full of life and invention, if not highly poetical.”

But it is amazing how many delightful pieces he has put before us, not perhaps bearing closely on his theme, but still very delightful for themselves. Among them we would especially note an admirable rendering by Dean Plumptre of the opening of the twentyfourth canto of "The Inferno" (on p. 81), a passage from Ausonius (p. 65), the song of Phædria (p. 134), the rivergod's song to Amoret in "The Faithful Shepherdess" (p. 140), and scores of other beautiful pieces more familiar, but all unfailing in their charm.

It is when we come to the fifteenth chapter, on Coleridge, Keats, and Shelley, that at last we find ourselves exactly at the author's point of view. And this is because now for the first time landscape begins in the fullest sense of the word to influence poetry. Here we have the personal note which personifies nature and invests her with

our human sensibilities, as when (to is interesting to note that Eschylus take one example out of a thousand in (in the "Agamemnon,' 1408), applies modern poetry) Shelley asks the moon, this same epithet (purâs) to the sea, but the editors have unanimously struck it out as an error of the copyist and replaced it by the pale and colorless purâs (flowing). Other excellent

Art thou pale for weariness Of climbing heaven and gazing on the earth,

Wandering companionless Among the stars that have a different examples of this gift are "The blasts that blow the poplar white" in "In Memoriam;" in "The Brook"


And ever changing like a joyless eye
That finds no object worth its constancy?

In Wordsworth, of course, this is the very key-note; it is of the very fibre of his poetry, and is beautifully and copiously illustrated in the book before


We have also the vigorous image that presents nature to the mind as vividly as she could come before the eye in Coleridge's,

The ghtning fell with never a jag
A river steep and wide;

and in Keats's,

These green-robed senators of mighty

woods, Tall oaks;

and the minute observation of her moods, as when the latter paints the "swarms of minnows" in a passage closely imitated by Tennyson in "Enid and Geraint" where he compares the champions put to flight by wild Limours to

A shoal
Of darting fish that on a summer morn
Adown the crystal dykes of Camelot
Come slipping o'er their shadows on the

But if a man who stands upon the briak
But lift a shining hand against the sun,
There is not left the twinkle of a fin
Between the cressy islets white in flower.

These and all the other signs of the influence of landscape in poetry are fairly and fully illustrated and appreciated in the delightful chapter which Ideals with recent poetry. The work is especially pleasing in its illustration of what is happily called Tennyson's "gift of flashing the landscape before us in a word or two," such as "little breezes dusk and shiver" and "the wrinkled sea beneath him crawls." It LIVING ÅGE. VOL. XV. 757

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