« 前へ次へ »
Where Lies The Land?
Where lies the land to which the ship would go?
On sunny noons upon the deck's smooth face,
On stormy nights when wild north-westers rave,
Where lies the land to which the ship would go?
[From Miscellaneous Poems.]
Say Not The Struggle Nought Availeth.
Say not, the struggle nought availeth,
The enemy faints not, nor faileth,
If hopes were dupes, fears may be liars;
It may be, in yon smoke concealed,
And, but for you, possess the field.
For while the tired waves, vainly breaking,
And not by eastern windows only,
In front, the sun climbs slow, how slowly,
[bjrn at Holne Vicarage, Devonshire, in 1819, and educated, partly at Helston Grammar School, and partly at King's College, London, and at Magdalene College, Cambridge. He was Rector of Eversley in Hampshire; Professor of Modern History at his old university from i860 to 1869; and Canon of Westminster in 1872. Chief among his thirty-five publications are The Saint's Tragedy (1848), Alton Locke and Yeast (1849), Hypatia (1853), The Heroes (1856), Andromeda (1858), The Water-Babies (1863) and Proseidylls (1873). He died in 1875.]
Charles Kingsley, author on the one hand of Cheap Clothes and Nasty, and of The Water-Babies on the other, was the type of a certain order of modern man: the man of whom much is expected, who is trained up to the fulfilment of many purposes, who is subject to many influences, open to many sorts of impressions, and possessed of many active holds upon life. He came of choice and generous stock; and from the first it was determined for him that he should do something and be somebody. It seems natural that he should have developed into one of the busiest men of his time. His, indeed, was a sane and active mind in a sane and active body, and he made noble use of the endowment. He died after a lifetime of such steady, earnest, and varied endeavour as is within the compass of but few.
As a writer, he is seen to greatest advantage in his prose, which is clear, nervous, full of vivacity and significance, and often very powerful and expressive. His verse, however, has a great deal of merit, and may be read with some true pleasure. He had a capacity for poetry, as he had capacities for many things beside, and he cultivated it as he cultivated all the others. His sense of rhythm seems to have been imperfect. His ear was correct, and he often hit on a right and beautiful cadence; but his music grows monotonous, his rhythmical ideas are seldom well sustained or happily developed. His work abounds in charming phrases and in those verbal inspirations that catch the ear and linger long about the memory:—as witness the notes that are audible in the opening verses of The Sands of Dee, the 'pleasant Isle of Aves' of The Last Buccanier, and the whole first stanza of the song of the Old Schoolmistress in The Water-Babies. But, as it is with his music, so is it with his craftsmanship as well. He would begin brilliantly and suggestively and end feebly and ill, so that of perfect work he has left little or none. It is also to be noted of him that his originality was decidedly eclectic—an originality informed with many memories and showing sign of many influences; and that his work, even when its purpose is most dramatic, is always very personal, and has always a strong dash in it of the sentimental manliness, the combination of muscularity and morality, peculiar to its author. For the rest, Kingsley had imagination, feeling, some insight, a great affection for man and nature, a true interest in things as they were and are and ought to be—above all, as they ought to be !—and a genuine vein of lyric song. His work is singularly varied in quality and tone as in purpose and style. Now it is hot and crude and violent—violent without power—as in Alton Locke's Song and The Bad Squire; now, mannered and affected, as in The Red King and the Weird Lady; now, human and pathetic, as in The Last Buccanier and Airly Beacon; now, fierce and random and turbid, as in Santa Maura and The Saint's Tragedy; now, aesthetic, experimental, even imitative, as in The Longbeards' Saga, Earl Haldane's Daughter, and Andromeda; now rhetorical and vague and insincere, and now natural, simple, direct, large in handling and earnest in expression, as only true poetry can be. There are fine passages everywhere in Kingsley, and of spirit and point he has an abundance. But it is as a writer of songs that the public have chosen to remember him, and they, as it seems to me, are right. The best of his songs will take rank with the second best in the language.
On the whole, Charles Kingsley was not so much a man of genius as a man of many instincts, many accomplishments, and many capacities. He will always be remembered with respect and admiration; for he was, in John Mill's phrase, 'one of the good influences of his time,' and an excellent writer beside.
W. E. Henley.
Pallas In Olympus.
Blissful, they turned them to go: but the fair-tressed Pallas Athene1
Rose, like a pillar of tall white cloud, toward silver Olympus; Far above ocean and shore, and the peaks of the isles and the mainland;
Where no frost nor storm is, in clear blue windless abysses, High in the home of the summer, the seats of the happy Immortals,
Shrouded in keen deep blaze, unapproachable ; there ever youthful Hebe1, Harmonic, and the daughter of Jove, Aphrodite", Whirled in the white-linked dance with the gold-crowned Hours and the Graces, Hand within hand, while clear piped Phoebe, queen of the woodlands.
All day long they rejoiced: but Athene" still in her chamber Bent herself over her loom, as the stars rang loud to her singing, Chanting of order and right, and of foresight, warden of nations; Chanting of labour and craft, and of wealth in the port and the garner;
Chanting of valour and fame, and the man who can fall with the foremost,
Fighting for children and wife, and the field which his father bequeathed him. Sweetly and solemnly sang she, and planned new lessons for
Happy who, hearing, obey her, the wise unsullied Athene'.
The Last Buccanier.
O England is a pleasant place for them that's rich and high,
There were forty craft in Aves that were both swift and stout,
Thence we sailed against the Spaniard with his hoards of plate
O the palms grew high in Aves, and fruits that shone like gold
O sweet it was in Aves to hear the landward breeze,
But Scripture saith, an ending to all fine things must be;
Nine days I floated starving, and a negro lass beside,
Till, for all I tried to cheer her, the poor young thing she died;
But as I lay a-gasping, a Bristol sail came by,
And brought me home to England here, to beg until I die.
And now I'm old and going—I'm sure I can't tell where;