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The Daily Dispatch: September 14, 1861., [Electronic resource] 2 0 Browse Search
The Daily Dispatch: November 24, 1860., [Electronic resource] 1 1 Browse Search
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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Irene E. Jerome., In a fair country, My out-door study (search)
en nearest into Nature's bosom, perhaps,—an odd triad, surely, for the whimsical nursing mother to select,—are Wordsworth, Bettine Brentano, and Thoreau. Yet what wonderful achievements have some of the fragmentary artists performed! Some of Tennyson's wordpictures, for instance, bear almost as much study as the landscape. One afternoon, last spring, I had been walking through a copse of young white birches,—their leaves scarce yet apparent,—over a ground delicate with wood-anemones, moist of last year's reeds, and absolutely flaming with the gayest yellow light from great clumps of cowslips. The illumination seemed perfectly weird and dazzling; the spirit of the place appeared live, wild, fantastic, almost human. Now open your Tennyson:— And the wild marsh-marigold shines like fire in swamps and hollows gray. Our cowslip is the English marsh-marigold. History is a grander poetry, and it is often urged that the features of Nature in America must seem tame because they
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Harvard Memorial Biographies, 1852. (search)
ds as full of business, and my thinking powers taxed quite as much as I care to have them. In fact, my only anxiety now is lest I should not prove equal to the task assigned me; but the best I can I shall do, and I trust the General will be satisfied. The General tells me this shall certainly not prevent my accompanying him if he takes the field, which I feared until to-night it might. In a letter written at midnight of December 31st he says:— Before going to bed I just picked up Tennyson, which was lying on my table, and opening it at random, the first lines which caught my eye were in In Memoriam:— Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky, The flying cloud, the frosty light, The year is dying in the night, Ring out, wild bells, and let him die. They brought to my mind, what I had before forgotten, that this is the last night of 1862, and this the last chance to write to you in the old year; so, though I ought to go to bed, I will sit up a little while to cross, in im
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Harvard Memorial Biographies, 1857. (search)
the scholarly and literary tastes which had been so marked in him during his college life, but from which it might have been apprehended that the activities of business and army life would have a tendency to divorce him. When he and his brothers left home for the army, it was remarked that, though they, unwilling to be drawn aside from the study of their new profession, were content to take with them only books of a purely military character, he could not be happy unless he had Shakespeare, Tennyson, and Macaulay for his daily companions. The hard-worn volumes give evidence of his constant use of them. After leaving college he repeatedly expressed himself tempted to follow the bent of his tastes, and continue his education in some foreign university; but other considerations had weight with him, and he soon turned his attention to manufacturing, with the purpose, to use his own language, of making himself master of its theory. He was thus occupied until the summer of 1859, when it
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Harvard Memorial Biographies, 1859. (search)
et he was a likely candidate for any prize that could tempt him. We expected him to take the Bowdoin and the Boylston prizes, if he desired them, and he took both. The first was for Latin versification. The subject proposed was a portion of Tennyson's Lotos-Eaters. He used to come to our room, while he was writing it, and I thought the poem never sounded so nobly as in his fluent Latin verses. He was strong in debate, taking front rank in the Institute; and his manly oratory always won foum he cared most for was the Delta. But for all that he was not indifferent to the humanities, and was passionately fond of certain favorite books. Shirley he used to read through regularly once a term, and he would pore over a deep passage of Tennyson or Wordsworth with an avidity that would have won him signal Commencement honors had it been turned in another direction. But the trait that most distinguished Jack was unquestionably his quick sense of the ludicrous. By all odds he was the be
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Harvard Memorial Biographies, 1863. (search)
ave not accomplished nearly all that I could wish. Greek and Latin I have kept at with a constancy of which, under all the circumstances,—hard work and scarcity of rest,—I think I may be justly proud. I find that I have lost none of my ability to read them easily, but from the want of grammars I feel that my knowledge of them is not nearly so exact as it once was. The Holy Bible,—the reading of which has been a daily duty and pleasure to me,—John Foster, De Quincey, Macaulay, Shakespeare, Tennyson, and Dickens have formed my leisure reading, if that time which I have stolen from my sleep can be called leisure. I can fairly say that they have been my greatest pleasure ever since I left home. I hope that a year's time, and possibly less, will see me again so situated that the bulk of my time, and not the spare minutes only, may be given up to them. I have been like the mother in Tom Hood's Lost child, who did not know the love she felt for her child till she lost it. I only hope th
James Russell Lowell, Among my books, Wordsworth. (search)
much in,— for example, Ruth. This is noteworthy, for Wordsworth's lyric range, especially so far as tune is concerned, was always narrow. His sense of melody was painfully dull, and some of his lighter effusions, as he would have called them, are almost ludicrously wanting in grace of movement. We cannot expect in a modern poet the thrush-like improvisation, the impulsively bewitching cadences, that charm us in our Elizabethan drama and whose last warble died with Herrick; but Shelley, Tennyson, and Browning have shown that the simple pathos of their music was not irrecoverable, even if the artless poignancy of their phrase be gone beyond recall. We feel this lack in Wordsworth all the more keenly if we compare such verses as Like an army defeated The snow hath retreated And now doth fare ill On the top of the bare hill, with Goethe's exquisite Ueber allen Gipfeln ist Ruh, in which the lines (as if shaken down by a momentary breeze of emotion) drop lingeringly one after anoth
Margaret Fuller, Memoirs of Margaret Fuller Ossoli (ed. W. H. Channing), chapter 1 (search)
I. Youth. Autobiography. Aus Morgenduft gewebt und Sonnenklarheit Der Dichtung Schleir aus der Hand der Wahrheit. Goethe The million stars which tremble O'er the deep mind of dauntless infancy. Tennyson. Wie leicht ward er dahin getragen, Was war dem Glucklichen zu schwer! Wie tanzte vor des Lebens Wagen Die luftige Begleitung her! Die Liebe mit dem sussen Lohne, Das Gluck mit seinem gold'nen Kranz, Der Ruhm mit seiner Sternenkrone, Die Wahrheit in der Sonne Glanz. Schiller What wert thou then? A child most infantine, Yet wandering far beyond that innocent age, In all but its sweet looks and mien divine; Even then, methought, with the world's tyrant rage A patient warfare thy young heart did wage, When those soft eyes of scarcely conscious thought Some tale, or thine own fancies, would engage To overflow with tears, or converse fraught With passion o'er their depths its fleeting light had wrought. Shelley. And I smiled, as one never smiles but once; Then fir
Margaret Fuller, Memoirs of Margaret Fuller Ossoli (ed. W. H. Channing), chapter 2 (search)
ired, black-eyed beauty, with clear olive complexion, through which the rich blood flowed. She was bright, beauteous, and cold as a gem,—with clear perceptions of character within a narrow limit,—enjoying society, and always surrounded with admirers, of whose feelings she seemed quite unconscious. While they were just ready to die of unrequited love, she stood untouched as Artemis, scarcely aware of the deadly arrows which had flown from her silver bow. I remember that Margaret said, that Tennyson's little poem of the skipping-rope must have been written for her,—where the lover expressing his admiration of the fairy-like motion and the light grace of the lady, is told— Get off, or else my skipping-rope Will hit you in the eye. Then there was B——, the reverse of all this,—tender, susceptible, with soft blue eyes, and mouth of trembling sensibility. How sweet were her songs, in which a single strain of pure feeling ever reminded me of those angel symphonies,— In
Margaret Fuller, Memoirs of Margaret Fuller Ossoli (ed. W. H. Channing), VI. Jamaica Plain. (search)
reine Zwecke: Nun! man kommt wohl eine Strecke. Goethe. My purpose holds To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths Of all the western stars, until I die. It may be that the gulfs will wash us down; It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles. Tennyson. Remember how august the heart is. It contains the temple not only of Love but of Conscience; and a whisper is heard from the extremity of one to the extremity of the other. Landor If all the gentlest-hearted friends I knew Concentred iird-like particle would skim and sing at these sweet places. It seems strange to leave them; and that we do so, while so fitted to live deeply in them, shows that beauty is the end but not the means. I have just been reading the new poems of Tennyson. Much has he thought, much suffered, since the first ecstasy of so fine an organization clothed all the world with rosy light. He has not suffered himself to become a mere intellectual voluptuary, nor the songster of fancy and passion, but has
Margaret Fuller, Memoirs of Margaret Fuller Ossoli (ed. W. H. Channing), chapter 9 (search)
the twilight of such day, As after sunset fadeth in the west; Which by and by black night doth take away,— Death's second self, that seals up all in rest. In me thou seest the glowing of such fire, That on the ashes of his youth doth lie; As the death-bed whereon it must expire, Consumed with that which it was nourished by. Shakspeare. [Sonnet LXXIII.] Aber zufrieden mit stillerem Ruhme, Brechen die Frauen des Augenblick's Blume, Nahren sie sorgsam mit liebendem Fleiss, Freier in ihrem gebundenen Wirken, Reicher als er in des Wissens Bezirken Und in der Dichtung unendlichem Kreiz. Schiller Not like to like, but like in difference; . Yet in the long years liker must they grow,— The man be more of woman, she of man; He gain in sweetness and in moral height, Nor lose the wrestling thews that throw the world; She mental breadth, nor fail in childward care, More as the double-natured poet each; Till at the last she set herself to man, Like perfect music unto noble words. Tennyson
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