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Hellenic eye gazed fondly, but as his prayer for death, thrill us by yet uncritically, on the beauteous their tones of hopeless anguish ; as forms which stood around it; when they contrast the goddess in her Homer sang the loves and hates of immortal beauty with the man who gods and goddesses, without troub- shrinks even from her loved preling himself, like Pindar and Euri- sence that he may hide his sorrows pides, to make their doings agree in that grave, which he yet loves to with any ideal standard. The tears think she will visit with regretful of Zeus for Sarpedon in the Iliad' looks. How they paint in their justify these which Eos sheds for Homeric simplicity that weary spiTithonus. (Not to mention that rit which finds all its former joys no god has a better right to tears turned to wormwood, and now can than dewy Morn.) For the Eos of only long for death :Tennyson is the Homeric Eos seen closer. In the 'Iliad' we view her
“Coldly thy rosy shadows bathe me, cold from afar; her rosy fingers un
Are all thy lights, and cold my wrinkled
feet barring the eastern portals ; her Upon thy glimmering thresholds, when the saffron garments brightening the steam sky. Tennyson admits us into
Floats up from those dim fields about the “ The ever-silent spaces of the East, Of happy men that have the power to die, Far-folded mists, and gleaming halls of
And grassy barrows of the happier dead.
ind restore morn,"
ne to the ground;
Thou seëst all things, thou wilt see my to paint her nearer in those ex grave: quisite lines in which Tithonus
Thou wilt renew thy beauty morn by
morn; says :
I earth in earth forget these empty "Once more the old mysterious glimmer
And thee returning on thy silver wheels." From thy pure brows, and from thy shoulders pure,
We are inclined to give a very And bosom beating with a heart renew'd. high place indeed to this beautiful Thy cheek begins to redden tbro' the poem (shall we say the highest ?)
gloom, Thy sweet eyes brighten slowly close to among the Laureate's compositions mine,
on classical subjects. Not that we Ere yet they blind the stars, and the wild are insensible to the deep thought
team Which love thee, yearning for thy yoke,
in his ‘Ulysses,' to the rich loveliarise,
ness of his .Enone,' or to the varied And shake the darkness from their loosen'd melody of his ‘Lotos-Eaters;' but manes,
that his ' Tithonus' seems to us to And beat the twilight into flakes of fire."
exclude the intrusion of alien ideas There is a Titianesque beauty even more perfectly than they do, here, as well as in the passage a and to reach, if possible, a greater few lines farther on, in which, find height of poetic beauty. ing his " sorrow's crown of sorrow There are several standards by in remembering happier things," which the later poems of an author Tithonus paints Eos as his eyes saw may be tried, who occupies the posiher before age dimmed them :- tion held by Mr Tennyson. They may
be regarded as materials for form“Ay me! ay me! with what another
ing the judgment which is to assign
in the inds heart In days far-off, and with what other eyes their writer his permanent niche in I used to watch-if I be he that watch'd the Temple of Fame; and, with The lucid outline forming round thee; saw this view, compared with poems in The dim curls kindle into sunny rings; Changed with thy mystic change, and felt my blood
ages and of many lands. But such Glow with the glow that slowly crimson'd a proceeding would be premature. all
For the verdicts of contemporaries Thy presence and thy portals."
on the poets of their era are always And the concluding words, in very liable to be reversed by poswhich the hapless Tithonus renews terity. Like those who dwell at
the foot of high mountains, our verent admiration as do the finest nearness to men of very great genius parts of “Guinevere;' but neither hinders us, while they live among is there anything in it puerile and us, from estimating their full height. spasmodic, like the worst parts of On the other hand, the same cause 'Maud ;' or weak, as certain pasadds to the stature of genius of an sages in ‘Enid.' inferior order. These things are The simple pathos and freedom set right to succeeding genera- from straining after effect of 'Enoch tions. The farther off they grow, Arden;' the solemn seriousness of the more they lose sight of all the conclusion of‘ Aylmer's Field;' greatness which is not superemi- the sweet music to which the 'Seanent, and the higher what really Dreams' are set, no less than the unis so towers to their view. Again, expected might of satire developed at most periods a comparison may in that short poem, leave a sense of be instituted between the works of great satisfaction in the mind. Still one great poet and those of others (may we confess it?) we could bear living like himself, and an attempt the loss of all these better than we made to fix, not his place among could that of several we might menthe poets of all times, but amongst tion among Mr Tennyson's earlier those who adorn his own. For the poems — infinitely better than we reason just given, such an under- could endure to lose the two last of taking is always apt to be as un- the ‘Idylls of the King. For we satisfactory as it is invidious; and, should not feel in the former, as we after our own opening remarks, it should in the latter case, that unique will certainly not be expected from types of beauty had been taken us. We must, therefore, have re- from us. Not such is the feeling course to another and a very na- with which we regard Tithonus.' tural standard of comparison; that, It inspires us with a deeper sense namely, with which the expecta- of admiring love than do its fellows. tions raised by previous works of In its perfection alike of form and the same author furnish us. And colouring, it affects us as do the then the subject for our considera- mournful glories of the autumn tion narrows into the following woods, or the setting sunbeams of question : Is this volume equal to a day at whose dying we are moved those which have gone before it ? to weep. It is of poems like 'TiIs it worthy of its author ? To the thonus' that the words are emphatilast of these two queries we answer cally true—“ A thing of beauty is with little hesitation, Yes. Not that a joy for ever.” It, at least, may the subjects of these latest poems its author bequeath to succeeding are so grand as some of those which generations with little fear that inspired the Laureate in former days. they will regard it with less admirNot that we should not vastly have ation than that with which his conpreferred (what we hope yet to re- temporaries behold it now—an adceive from his pen) a fresh series miration filled by which we close of pictures from the legends of King this volume, saying (not for the Arthur; but that these later themes first time) that, whether we conare treated with unabated force, sider the gifts bestowed on its auand that the power displayed in thor, or the use to which he puts handling them is more equal in its them, we have reason to render exercise than of old. We dare not thanks that we have lived to hear say that there is anything in the such a poet sing, and that we may book we are closing which impresses hope to live to hear him sing yet the mind with such a sense of re- again.
THE HISTORY OF OUR LORD.
RELIGION has in all ages been world was made ready for the comthe noblest inspiration of Art. The ing of Christ. And so, in like mantruths which came from God and ner, was the earth tempered and led to God, which served as a guide moulded for Christian art. The upon earth, and spake of a glory in Roman Empire, where the fury of heaven, quickened the soul of the the north mingled with the fire of artist to lofty conception. And the south and the light of the east, thus, if the highest forms of art gave first to pagan, and then to have risen around all religions, so Christian art, the wide diffusion of far as in them dwelt the universal universal dominion. The Greeks, light, we can easily understand how with whom beauty had grown into much more glorious were those religion, in like manner imparted manifestations which sprang from to the successive arts of the pagan a revelation perfect in truth, pure and Christian world a subtle symin beauty, and untainted in good- metry of form. And then, coming ness. The nations of the heathen to Judea, not to be forgotten are world reached, perhaps, the utmost the grand revelations which neither civilisation compatible with the sculptor nor painter had ventured holding of dogmas corrupt and to touch-the inheritance handed malevolent. And so their national down from patriarchs, traditions arts received even mighty develop- stretching through the dim disment, and then stopped short, ar- tance from out the times when God rested, as humanity itself, in the spake with man; then, too, must path towards ultimate perfection. be remembered the cloud of witThus in Egypt the arts were stayed nesses, who spake of the glory in icy petrifaction ; in Assyria, which should be revealed ; then, sculpture did not rise above rude likewise, must live in memory naturalism; and even in Greece, Moses, who stood face to face beunsurpassed to this day at least in fore Jehovah in the mount-Isaiah, plastic art, the sculptor was content whose torch of prophecy still burns to rest in the ideal of physical form. through the far-off ages—and the It was reserved, then, for a more Psalmist King whose harp reverperfect religion to give to art, even berates in every land,--all these as it extended to the human race, must be remembered when we rethe possibility of a higher and a count the heritage showered so richwider development. And just as ly upon Christian art. And thus it history in divers nations had pre- was, when the Roman Empire had pared for the advent of the new broken down, when the Greek phirevelation, so did the arts known losophy had confessed to foolishness, to the Old World stand around the that there came from the cradle of cradle and watch the growth of the Bethlehem, there arose from the senew-born art of Christendom. It pulchre of the Catacombs, a power, has been said that the Jews pre- a wisdom, and a matchless beauty served the knowledge of the true to crown the art of Christendom. God, that the Greeks sowed the We have said that art has ever seeds of a divine philosophy, that taken its noblest inspiration from the Romans laid the foundations of religion. The reason of this is obuniversal empire, and that thus the vious. Religion is itself an inspira
The History of our Lord, as exemplified in Works of Art: with that of his Types ; St John the Baptist; and other Persons of the Old and New Testament.' Commenced by the late Mrs Jameson, continued and completed by Lady Eastlake. In two volumes. London: Longman.
tion, and therefore becomes in manity yet divinity of Christ himturn the source of inspiration, self. And this revelation, which But a cause more specific and transcended in its brightness all perhaps scarcely so obvious, is the scattered rays of light whence worthy of a moment's further medi- genius had before caught lustre, tation. Religion seeks to satisfy was henceforth to shine in the face the craving of the heart for perfec- of that Christian art which, like its tion, it brings the Divine Being great Master, became both human into communion with his creatures, and divine. The import of this it raises man into fellowship with consummation for the world of art his Maker. Thus even the false throughout all time it is not easy religions of the earth have ofttimes sufficiently to extol. Until humangiven to the truth-seeking mind ity had this seal of divinity set unwonted power and elevation. upon the forehead, we find artists There is indeed the best authority of all nations committed to ignofor the belief that men reverently ble motives; and even when an seeking after the highest goodideal had to be sought, vice but too have in all times found access to a often was magnified into heroism. power above themselves, and that But the Christian artist, taking, as thus, in a way they know not, the Christian believer, Christ for the labour of their hands has the great example, had at once grown and exalted itself beyond placed before his imagination an the measure of their feeble strength. unerring type of absolute perfection. Plato in his philosophy caught glim- Henceforth unrighteous actions, merings of the coming light; nor unworthy motives, and unholy were it reasonable to suppose that thoughts, were to find no shelter the fountains open to the sage be- within that fold of art which should came dry to the poet and the artist, gather the faithful into a heavenly thirsting after a beauty not of flock. The floodgates of inspiration earth. The history of pagan art were now verily thrown open for indeed abundantly shows that from Christian art, which became bapage to age there was present the tised into the fellowship of apostles, one common desire to clothe hu- martyrs, saints, and angels, Christ manity in lineaments divine. Hence himself being the shepherd and men were fashioned into heroes, bishop of every soul, the cornerand heroes became moulded into stone of that church which, in sculpgods, and thus Olympus and Par- tured aisle and in painted arch, was nassus were peopled with beings to tell of the mystery of God maninatural yet supernatural ; thus on fest in the flesh, and the glory of the brow sat an intellect that might Christ risen to the heavens. Here, rule the world, and the arm was of then, is the supremacy of Christian giant strength to wield the thun- art over and above every art that der. Yet though there were here had gone before—an art which, like present thoughts which carried the the Christian disciple, may be comwork of man upwards and onwards, passed with infirmity, but which still, as we have before said, it was yet seeks to walk the earth as Christ reserved for the religion of Christ walked; and so the will is ofttimes to bring to the world's art a accepted for the deed, the intenmore blessed fruition. The di- tion is valued even more than the vine in the human, which the act; and thus Christian art, conGreek sculptor had striven, and fessing Christ before men, has been not in vain, to inscribe in lines of confessed before God and the angels. beauty and of grandeur, was no It will be seen that “the hislonger the mere guess of a philo- tory of our Lord” lies at the very sopher, or the dream of a poet; centre of Christian art, as it is the it stood forth as an actual verity crowning point to all religion. And known in the experience of each even as we find that the world's believer, and manifest in the hu- philosophy wanted completion before Jesus taught, so did all na- tion and its essence ; in its birth it tional arts lack, as we have shown, was like the grain of mustard-seed; their consummation till man and in its growth it filled the world. God became united in Christ. The Finite though it be, it comprises artist had long sought, even as the within its form the infinite ; morphilosopher, though in vain, to tal though the outward fashion of fashion the perfect God and the it seem, yet does it contain the perfect man. The Greek moulded spirit of immortality, for as was the head of Jupiter as a lion god, the history of our Lord, such is the and conceived nobly of Apollo as beginning and progression of that a Phæbus god. But it is only in art which seeks to celebrate every such creations as the Cenacola at Christian perfection. Milan that we behold the Father These reflections have been sugand the Son in form incarnate. The gested by the works of the late Jews preserved awe-moving tradi- Mrs Jameson on 'Sacred and Letions of angry Deity thundering gendary Art,' as well as by the from Sinai : they knew of a mighty two volumes of Lady Eastlake on arm which had divided the sea and "The History of our Lord.' The driven out the heathen ; and then, central idea we have set forth is in the fulness of time, a Child was indeed the prelude to the boldly yet born in Galilee, and henceforth the delicately wrought treatise, which God who had been shrouded in gives its title to our present article. darkness was seen to walk in the “The History of our Lord as relight of common day. No wonder presented in Art," says Lady Eastthat for ever after artists in long lake,"is essentially the history of succession told the amazing story - Christian Art. Round His sacred no wonder that they shed around head, encircled in early medieval the infant in the manger a flood forms with the cruciform nimbus, of glory which blinded the eyes all Christian Art revolves, as a sysof simple pilgrim - shepherds - no tem round a sun. He is always wonder that every act in the drama the great centre and object of the which heaven here unfolded upon scene : since, whether represented, earth - the history of Mary, the according to the taste of the artist childhood of Jesus, the temptation or the requirements of the patron, in the wilderness, the triumph in as infant, youth, or man — as Jerusalem, the agony in the garden, teacher, physician, or friend - as the death upon the cross—was victim and sacrifice-as king or shown forth by the Christian artist judge - He is always intended, in forms of simplicity seemly for a under every aspect, real or ideal, child, yet with the majesty befit to be looked upon as God. For ting a God. And then follows the no philosophy "falsely so called' final scene, when He who was sent intrudes into the domain of Chrisof the Father returned unto the tian Art-no subtleties on His huhome in the heavens, whence He man nature, no doubts of His Godshall yet come to judge both quick head, no rationalistic interpretations and dead. A narrative such as of His miracles. Christian Art this was, we once again repeat, for pre-eminently illustrates faith in the Christian painter a prompting Christ as ‘God manifest in the power such as no artist had yet flesh,' as the Lamb slain from the known. Humanity had been crown- foundation of the world;' and ed in a glory not dreamt of, even without these great fundamental in the fabled apotheosis of the truths of Christianity there is no Greeks : the form which sin had Christian Art, either in fact or in marred was restored to its primal possibility.” It is not our wish purity; the ruin which the classic to raise religious art as an ensign artist had attempted to reinstate around which hostile theologians was at length built into a temple. may fight out doctrinal disputes. Such is Christian art in its unc- Rather would we emulate the