« السابقةمتابعة »
ness, for unselfishness. It would be a rash folly were I to attempt prejudging the verdict of Time, or dare try to assign to Tennyson his final place in the great army of the poets. Yet I will hope for excuse if, as a mere individual opinion, I express the belief that great now as may be his fame -should our civilisation be maintained-a prospect sadly dubious, that fame a century hence ought to be found far greater. My ground for this expectation lies in his vast world. of subject, in his high moral range, in his perfect art. Few, if any, are the poets who have more consistently kept in view and truly poised those two great essentials-pleasure as the true final aim of poetry; wealth and nobleness of thought to confer on pleasure those few hundred years of life which man pleases himself with naming immortality—σkiâs övap, dream of a shadow. Meanwhile, let me quote a few fine words, as a little epitaph, from one of Petrarch's Latin poems—
Vivit amor, vivit dolor! ora negatur
dulcia conspicere; at flere et meminisse relictum est.
Alfred Tennyson always rated his own work so modestly, his heart was so fixed with sure but humble faith on the sight of his Pilot "face to face," on that Life which, in his own words, was to him "Life indeed," that earthly fame had in his eyes scarce any value. Yet we, looking at that work, may surely say, To have aims nobly unselfish, great gifts, and then his honoured fourscore years and more-the soul's range always expanding and mounting, as he sang, to delight, to teach, and to elevate mankind, wherever the world's destined masterlanguage is heard-was not this to crown his days on earth with Euthanasia ?