in their colouring and substance. It is characteristic that love is for him not that fleshly passion which has thrilled and burned in verse since Sappho. It is a kneeling adoration, an ideal emotion, the only love which one of his purity of life would avow. He has been well called the Sir Galahad of American literature. My springs shows how deep and sincere was the inspiration he received from his dearest partner in misfortune and ill-health. But there was mingled with the personal devotion to one woman a chivalric devotion to women which came partly from the Southern ideals of his day. There is in his poetry no better expression of this than in The Symphony. Nature was to him almost equally dear, and even more Southern in its appeal. He found nothing within to answer to the wild and rugged majesty of the mountains. He felt no expansion of the soul in viewing the limitless plains of Texas. The broad sand-flats of Florida roused only a longing for the Georgia hills. Indeed, the only scene which called forth a love of broad, free places was the long and often viewed marshes at Brunswick, Georgia, which will go down in American literature in the eloquent and musical Marshes of Glynn. It remains true, however, that his love for nature was a delicate and passionate love, the love of an attentive and scrupulous observer of leaves and plants and the thousand minute details of the summer woods. So personal was the solace and uplifting of nature that he addressed her various forms with terms of endearment, more warm than Tabb, yet precisely like St. Francis of Assisi. He sings of the ‘fair cousin Cloud,’ the ‘friendly, sisterly, sweetheart leaves.’ Of himself it was true that,
With hands agrope he felt smooth nature's grace,The Southern aspect of nature lives again in his verse. Though his abiding interests were Southern, he was not narrowly Southern in his outlook. On the contrary, it has already been indicated that much of Lanier's distinction among Reconstruction poets lies not only in his interest in the problems of his own time but likewise his sympathy and comprehension in voicing the new idea of nationality. The
Drew her to breast and kissed her sweetheart face.