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she became priestess. Compare with Landor's treatment, stanzas 26-29 of Tennyson's Dream of Fair Women.
668. 649. Marston Moor, – Newbury,
Naseby. Battlefields of the war.
laboratory of the peoples. 669. 764-7. Brahma Osiris, etc. The
first three Hindu deities, the last two Egyptian
670. Enone was a nymph of Mt. Ida near
Troy, beloved by Paris, but deserted by him after Venus, as a reward for his decision that she was most beautiful of the goddesses, had promised him the fairest
woman in the world, Helen, for his wife. 671. 39, 40. As yonder walls, etc. According
to one form of the story Apollo raised the
81. Iris. Messenger of the gods. 672. 102. Peacock. Juno's bird.
170, 171. Idalian, Paphian. At Idalia and Paphos, in Crete, were special
shrines to Venus. 673. 220. The Abominable. Eris, goddess of
strife. 674. 257. The Greek woman. Helen. 259. Cassandra.
Daughter of Priam, gifted with a power of prophecy, but doomed never to be believed. She foretold the fall of Troy.
661. DeQuincey planned a series of approximately twenty papers,
Sighs from the Depths,” of which that here reprinted is one of the earliest. The series was never completed, only six being published. DeQuincey had himself experienced the sorrows he writes of,—the death of father and sisters, social ostracism, and a subjection to opium which might easily have
driven him mad. 662. 79. On the foundation. Holding
Based on Homer's account of how Ulysses and his mariners touched at the land of the lotos, the eating of whose flower produced forgetfulness of home.
A DREAM OF FAIR WOMEN
676. 5. Dan. Don, Master, from Latin
Latin testudo; the name applied to the mode of defence used by the Roman legionaries in attacking a walled city, the holding and interlocking of their shields over their heads to form a solid protection against missiles hurled
from the walls. 676. 85. A lady. Helen of Troy.
100. One that stood beside. Iphigeneia, daughter of Agamemnon, sacrificed to Artemis before the Greek fleet sailed for Troy. Cf. Landor's poem, p. 567.
127. A queen. Cleopatra. 577. 146. Canopus. One of the brightest stars
of the southern sky.
155. The other. Octavius Cæsar. 678. 195. Her that died. Jephtha's daughter;
cf. Judges, xi.
255. Eleanor. Wife of Henry II. 679. 259. To Fulvia's waist. Cleopatra puts
98. The Parcæ. The Fates.
simply "signalled," or * communicated
of the Pope's power.
294. The tents of Shem. Shem, son of
gracious ones, a euphemistic name for
the Furies. 566. 380. Accomplished. Made perfect.
THE DEATH OF ARTEMIDORA 566. 11. Iris. Messenger of the gods, who
liberated the souls of the dying by loosening their hair.
the name of the wife of her paramour
IPHIGENEIA AND AGAMEMNON
667. Because Agamemnon had slain a stag
sacred to Diana, the goddess held the Grecian feet, gathered for the Trojan war, in port at Aulis. Calchas, the soothsayer, reported that according to the oracle the goddess's wrath would endure until Iphigeneia, daughter of Agamemnon, should be sacrificed to her. According to one form of the story, Diana did not allow the sacrifice to be consummated, but carried Iphigeneia to Tauris, where
moon, not eyes, as has sometimes been
suggested. 591. 1. Wild bird. The nightingale, whose song
has always been celebrated for passionate
THE CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE 694. Written to commemorate a fatal charge
at Balaclava in the Crimean War, 1854; the poem
was based on a phrase in the London Times's account of the battle: “Some one had blundered.”
NORTHERN FARMER Written in the Lincolnshire dialect. “ It is a vivid piece out of the great comedy of man, not of its mere mirth, but of that elemental humorousness of things which belongs to the lives of the brutes as well as to ourselves, that steady quaintness of the ancient earth and all who are born of her ... continually met in the peasant and farmer class.” (Stopford Brooke: Tennyson, His Art and Relation to Modern Life).
597. Tennyson found the story in Raleigh's
spirited account; see p. 103.
699. Based on an incident read by Tennyson
in a magazine. For significance of title
see 2 Samuel, xxi. 600. 73. Election and Reprobation. Calvinis
tic doctrines; all men were supposed to be damned for original sin, except a chosen few whom God elected for salvation.
MERLIN AND THE GLEAM
601. An allegory of Tennyson's literary life.
For commentary see the preface to the present Lord Tennyson's Memoir of his father.
CROSSING THE BAR 603. Tennyson directed that this poem should
be placed at the end of all collected editions of his works.
In these three dashing lyrics Browning reflects the spirit of reckless loyalty to the King, and contempt for the Puritans, which animated the supporters of Charles I.
Antony for that of Eleanor, wife of Rosa
mond's paramour.” (Rolfe.)
to be submerged beneath the sea. 680. 21. Camelot. Arthur's capital.
23. Merlin. Arthur's magician and chief
woven with gold thread.
140. Moving isles. Icebergs.
with that of l. 65 and 1. 112.
five lines of this passage and the last two is one of the best examples in English verse of the fitting of sound to sense; for
a similar effect cf. ll. 49-51.
world. “ E. g., chivalry, by formation of
with_stormy weather. 684. 26. Every hour is saved. Every hour
that is saved is something more.
690. Composed in memory of Arthur Henry
Hallam, whose acquaintance Tennyson made at Cambridge, and who was later engaged to Tennyson's sister. He died at Vienna in 1833, and the lyrics composing the poem were written at various times between then and 1850, the date of their final arrangement and publication. 5. Orbs of light and shade. Sun and
2. Crop-headed. The Puritans wore their hair cut short in contrast with the he addresses, is so intense an admirer of Shelley that it seems to him that if he could once have seen and spoken with the poet the meeting would have dwarfed in importance all the other events of his life. Browning in his youth admired Shelley greatly.
Cavaliers, whose long curls fell upon their shoulders. “ Řoundheads,” the name frequently applied to the Puritans, has the same implication. Parliament. The Long Parliament, controlled by the
Puritan party. 603. 7. Pym. One of the Puritan leaders in
the Long Parliament, as were Hampden,
MEMORABILIA 616. The speaker, in contrast with the person
THE LOST LEADER
604. Suggested by Wordsworth's change from
Liberalism to Conservatism in politics, though Browning expressly denied that he was in any way attempting a portrait of Wordsworth.
HOW THEY BROUGHT THE GOOD NEWS 606. Browning wrote: “ There is no sort of
historical foundation about “Good News from Ghent.' I wrote it under the bulwark of a vessel off the African coast, after I had been at sea long enough to appreciate even the fancy of a gallop on the back of a certain good horse. York,' then in my stable at home.”
PARTING AT MORNING
606. Companion piece to Meeting at Night;
the speaker is, in each case, a man.
SOLILOQUY OF THE SPANISH CLOISTER 606. 39. Arian. The Arian heresy held that
MY LAST DUCHESS
The dramatic monologue, Browning's favorite poetic form, and one which he uses with the utmost skill, presents some difficulty to the reader on account of its directness and compression. It differs from the soliloquy, e. 8., of Shakespeare, in that the presence of a second person, a listener, is to be inferred; oftentimes the speaker responds to a question or gesture, implied only in the answer, on the part of this silent listener. Cf. My Last Duchess, 11. 53-54. It is a good plan for the student to read the poem through once or twice in an effort to get the situation and some conception of the speaker's character before trying to discover the meaning of each line. The poem may then be studied in detail; it should be noted that no break in the thought, no interjection, is without its significance.
The speaker is Duke of Ferrara, one of the oldest and proudest of the Italian
There could be no greater contrast in character than that between the Duke-of impeccable manners and exquisite artistic taste, but selfish to the core and absolutely heartless-and the young Duchess-naive, filled with the joy of life, whose graciousness springs from a heart pure and generous. 3. Frà.' Brother. Pandolf, an imaginary character, is a monk, like so many of the
painters of the Italian Renaissance.
thesis gives a hint of the Duke's esteem
Christ was created by God, and was
inferior to God in nature and dignity. 607. 56. Manichee. Manicheans were a sect
in the early Christian centuries who combined Persian and Christian beliefs.
HOME-THOUGHTS, FROM THE SEA The speaker is on shipboard, off the northwest coast of Africa. 1. Cape St. Vincent. On the southwest coast of Spain, where Nelson defeated a Spanish fleet in 1797. 3. Trafalgar. The
of Nelson's victory in 1805. 5. Say. Imperative; “ let him say.”
For the situation see i Samuel, xvi: 14-23.
IN A GONDOLA
617. 22. The Three. Enemies of the man,
unidentified; one seems to be closely re
lated to the woman: cf. l. 107.. 618. 127. Giudecca. One of the canals of
Venice. 619. 186–192. The pictures seem to be imagi
nary, though the artists are well known. Haste-thee-Luke. A nickname for Luca Giordano, a Neapolitan.
A GRAMMARIAN'S FUNERAL As My Last Duchess illustrates the artistic taste of the Renaissance period, and The Bishop Orders His Tomb the love of luxury, so this poem exemplifies the devotion to pure learning which characterized some of the Renaissance scholars. Grammarian should be taken in a rather wide sense; it is equivalent to philologist, one who loves learning. Certain of the Grammarian's disciples are carrying the body of their master for burial in one of the Italian hill towns. 26. 'Ware the beholders! An adjuration to the pall-bearers to make a good appearance before spectators:
" There are people watching us-put your best foot
forward!” 620. 33, 34.
Apollo was god of song and poetry, and patron of manly beauty; the implication is, therefore, that the Grammarian was not only a handsome man in his youth, but that, if he had chosen, he might have written lyric poetry. 45, 46. The world Bent on escaping. The masterpieces of classical literature which had for centuries lain mouldering in libraries.
50. Gowned. Put on the scholar's gown. 621. 129-131. Hoti, Oun, De.
Greek particles. Though to some these might have seemed subjects so minute as to be ridiculous, the Grammarian had said the last word on them.
liness, inconsistency, pride, hypocrisy, ignorance of itself, love of art, of luxury,
and of good Latin.” 621. 5. Gandolf. A fellow churchman of the
Bishop's, and a rival in matters ecclesias-
roof, borne upon nine columns. 622. 29. Peach-blossom marble. Particularly
fine marble of a pinkish hue.
inferior greenish marble,
THE BISHOP ORDERS HIS TOMB
Running around the sarcophagus, beneath the slab of basalt. 58. Tripod, thyrsus. Both Pagan symbols: the former connected with the worship of Apollo, whose priestess at Delphi sat upon a tripod when receiving the divine inspiration; the latter the vinewreathed staff carried by the followers of Bacchus. 74. Brown. I. e., with age. 77. Tully's. Cicero's, whose Latin style is the model of good use and elegance. 79. Ulpian. A Roman jurist of the second century A. D., whose Latin has not the classic perfection of Cicero's. Gandolf's. 82. God made and eaten. I. e., in the sacrament of the mass. 87. Crook. Symbol of the Bishop's au
thority as shepherd of his people. 623. 95. Saint Praxed at his sermon on the
mount. The dying man's mind confuses
“ The Bishop embodies certain tendencies of the Renaissance. No one who studies that marvellous period, whether in its history, its literature, or its plastic art, can fail to be profoundly struck by the way in which Paganism and Christianity, philosophic scepticism and gross superstition, the antique and the modern, enthusiastic love of the beautiful and vile immorality, were all mingled together without much, if any, consciousness of incompatibility or inconsistency.” (W. J. Alexander: Introduction to the Poetry of Robert Browning.) Ruskin says, in Modern Painters: “I know no other piece of modern English, prose or poetry, in which there is so much told, as in these lines, of the Renaissance spirit-its world
" This poem was suggested by a portrait
35-40. The key-note of the poem. 624. 57. Cartoon.
Cartoon. 'A preliminary sketch, or working design. 82. Low-pulsed forthright craftsman's hand. Mechanically facile and accurate, but uninspired. 93. Morello. A spur of the Apennines, north of Florence. 105. The Urbinate. Raphael, born in Urbino, died 1520. 106. Vasari. Italian painter and writer of the 16th century, author of Lives of the Painters; he includes a life of Andrea, to which Browning is indebted for ma
terial in this poem.
146. The Paris lords. Courtiers of
Abt (Abbé) Vogler (1749–1814), a Ger-
genii of the underworld. 628. 23. Rome's dome. The dome of St.
of their call; the Italian form is chiu.
creates by merely willing.
by the combination of any note with its
An interval exceeding an
RABBI BEN EZRA
Ben Ezra was a distinguished Jewish