Text: Edgar Allan Poe, Review of Elizabeth Barrett Barrett, The Drama of Exile and Other Poems [Part 02] (Text-02), Broadway Journal, Vol. I, no. 2, January 11, 1845, 1:17-20


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Reviews.

 

THE DRAMA OF EXILE, AND OTHER POEMS. By Elizabeth Barrett Barrett, Author of “The Seraphim,” and other Poems. New York: Henry G. Langley.

(Concluded.)

MISS BARRETT has need only of real self-interest in her subjects, to do justice to her subjects and to herself. On the other hand, “A Rhapsody of Life’s Progress,” although gleaming with cold corruscations, is the least meritorious, because the most philosophical, effusion of the whole: — this, we say, in flat contradiction of the “spoudiotaton kai philosophikotaton genos” of Aristotle. “The Cry of the Human” is singularly effective, not more from the vigour and ghastly passion of its thought, than from the artistically-conceived arabesquerie of its rhythm. “The Cry of the Children,” similar, although superior in tone and handling, is full of a nervous unflinching energy — a horror sublime in its simplicity — of which a far greater than Dante might have been proud. “Bertha in the Lane,” a rich ballad, very singularly excepted from the wholesale commendation of the “Democratic Review,” as “perhaps not one of the best,” and designated by Blackwood, on the contrary, as “decidedly the finest poem of the collection,” is not the very best, we think, only because mere pathos, however exquisite, cannot be ranked with the loftiest exhibitions of the ideal. Of “Lady Geraldine’s Courtship,” the magazine last quoted observes that “some pith is put forth in its passionate parts.” We will not pause to examine the delicacy or lucidity of the metaphor embraced in the “putting forth of some pith;” but unless by “some pith” itself, is intended the utmost conceivable intensity and vigour, then the critic is merely damning with faint praise. With the exception of Tennyson’s “Locksley Hall,” we have never perused a poem combining so much of the fiercest passion with so much of the most ethereal fancy, as the “Lady Geraldine’s Courtship,” of Miss Barrett. We are forced to admit, however, that the latter work is a very palpable imitation of the former, which it surpasses in plot or rather in thesis, as much as it falls below it in artistical management, and a certain calm energy — lustrous and indomitable — such as we might imagine in a broad river of molten gold.

It is in the “Lady Geraldine” that the critic of Blackwood is again put at fault in the comprehension of a couple of passages. He confesses his inability “to make out the construction of the words, ‘all that spirits pure and ardent are cast out of love and reverence, because chancing not to hold.’ “ There are comparatively few American school-boys who could not parse it. The prosaic construction would run thus: — “all that (wealth understood) because chancing not to hold which, (or on account of not holding which) all pure and ardent spirits are cast out of love and reverence.” The “which” is involved in the relative pronoun “that” — the second word of the sentence. All that we know is, that Miss Barrett is right: — here is a parallel phrase, meaning — “all [column 2:] that (which) we know,” etc. The fact is, that the accusation of imperfect grammar would have been more safely, if more generally, urged: in descending to particular exceptions, the reviewer has been doing little more than exposing himself at all points.

Turning aside, however, from grammar, he declares his incapacity to fathom the meaning of

She has halls and she has castles, and the resonant steam-eagles

Follow far on the directing of her floating dove-like hand — 

With a thunderous vapour trailing underneath the starry vigils,

So to mark upon the blasted heaven the measure of her land.

Now it must be understood that he is profoundly serious in his declaration — he really does not apprehend the thought designed — and he is even more than profoundly serious, too in intending these his own comments upon his own stolidity for wit: — “We thought that steam-coaches generally followed the directing of no hand except the stoker’s, but it, certainly, is always much liker [[sic]] a raven than a dove.” After this, who shall question the infallibility of Christopher North? We presume there are very few of our readers who will not easily appreciate the richly imaginative conception of the poetess: —  The Lady Geraldine is supposed to be standing in her own door, (positively not on the top of an engine), and thence pointing, “with her floating dove-like hand,” to the lines of vapour, from the “resonant steam-eagles,” that designate upon the “blasted heaven,” the remote boundaries of her domain. — But, perhaps, we are guilty of a very gross absurdity ourselves, in commenting at all upon the whimsicalities of a reviewer who can deliberately select for special animadversion the second of the four verses we here copy:

“Eyes, he said, now throbbing through me! are ye eyes that did undo me?

  Shining eyes like antique jewels set in Parian statue-stone!

  Underneath that calm white forehead are ye ever burning torrid

  O’er the desolate sand desert of my heart and life undone?”

The ghost of the Great Frederic might, to be sure, quote at us, in his own Latin, his favorite adage, “De gustibus non est disputandus;”  —  but, when we take into consideration the moral designed, the weirdness of effect intended, and the historical adaptation of the fact alluded to, in the line italicized, (a fact of which it is by no means impossible that the critic is ignorant), we cannot refrain from expressing our conviction — and we here express it in the teeth of the whole horde of the Ambrosianians — that from the entire range of poetical literature there shall not, in a century, be produced a more sonorous — a more vigorous verse — a juster — a nobler — a more ideal — a more magnificent image — than this very image, in this very verse, which the most noted magazine of Europe has so especially and so contemptuously condemned.

“The Lady Geraldine” is, we think, the only poem of its author which is not deficient, considered as an artistical whole. Her constructive ability, as we have already suggested, is either not very remarkable, or has never been properly brought into play: — in truth, her genius is too impetuous for the minuter technicalities of that elaborate Art so needful in the building up of pyramids for immortality. This deficiency, then — if there be any such — is her chief weakness. Her other foibles, although some of them are, in fact, glaring, glare, nevertheless, to no very material ill purpose. There are none which she will not readily dismiss [page 18:] in her future works. She retains them now, perhaps, because unaware of their existence.

Her affectations are unquestionably many, and generally inexcusable. We may, perhaps, tolerate such words as “ble,” “chrysm,” “nympholeptic,” “oenomel,” and “chrysopras” —  they have at least the merit either of distinct meaning, or of terse and sonorous expression; — but what can be well said in defence of the unnecessary nonsense of “‘ware” for “aware,” — of “bide,” for “abide” — of “ ‘gins,” for “begins” — of “ ‘las,” for “alas” — of “oftly,” “ofter,” and “oftest,” for “often,” “more often,” and “most often” — or of “erelong” in the sense of “long ago”? That there is authority for the mere words proves nothing; those who employed them in their day would not employ them if writing nom. Although we grant, too, that the poetess is very usually Homeric in her compounds, there is no intelligibility of construction, and therefore no force of meaning in “dew-pallid,” “pale-passioned,” and “silver-solemn.” Neither have we any partiality for “crave” or “supreme,” or “lament”; and while upon this topic, we may as well observe that there are few readers who do anything but laugh or stare, at such phrases as “L. E. L.’s Last Questio” — “The Cry of the Human” — “Leaning from my Human” — “Heaven assist the human” — “the full sense of your mortal” — “a grave for your divine” — “falling off from our created” — “he sends this gage for thy pity’s counting” —  they could not press their futures on the present of her courtesy  — or “could another fairer lack to thee, lack to thee?” There are few, at the same time, who do not feel disposed to weep outright, when they hear of such things as “Hope withdrawing her peradventure” — “spirits dealing in pathos of antithesis” — “angels in antagonism to God and his reflex beatitudes” — “songs of glories ruffling down doorways” —  God’s possibles” — and “rules of Mandom.”

We have already said, however, that mere quaintness within reasonable limit, is not only not to be regarded as affectation, but has its proper artistic uses in aiding a fantastic effect. We quote, from the lines “To my dog Flush,” amplification:

Leap! thy broad tail waves a light!

Leap! thy slender feet are bright,

Canopied in fringes!

Leap! those tasselled ears of shine

Flicker strangely, fair and fine,

Down their golden inches!

And again — from the song of a tree-spirit, in the “Drama of Exile:”

The Divine impulsion cleaves

In dim movements to the leaves

Dropt and lifted, drops and lifted,

In the sun-light greenly sifted, — 

In the sun-light and the moon-light

Greenly sifted through the trees.

Ever wave the Eden trees,

In the night-light and the noon-light,

With a ruffling of green branches,

Shaded off to resonances,

Never stirred by rain or breeze.

The thoughts, here, belong to the highest order of poetry, it they could not have been wrought into effective expression, without the instrumentality of those repetitions — those unusual phrases — in a word, those quaintnesses, which it has been too long the fashion to censure, indiscriminately, under the one general head of “affectation.” No true poet will fail to be enraptured with the two extracts above quoted — but we believe there are few who would not find a difficulty m reconciling the psychal impossibility of refraining from admiration, with the too-hastily attained mental conviction that, critically, there is nothing to admire.

Occasionally, we meet in Miss Barrett’s poems a certain far-fetchedness of imagery, which is reprehensible m the extreme. What, for example, are we to think of

Now he hears the angel voices

Folding silence in the room? —

undoubtedly, that it is nonsense, and no more; or of

How the silence round you shivers

While our voices through it go? —

again, unquestionably, that it is nonsense, and nothing beyond.

Sometimes we are startled by knotty paradoxes; and it is nat acquitting their perpetrator of all blame on their account to admit that, in some instances, they are susceptible of [column 2:] solution It is really difficult to discover anything for approbation, in enigmas such as

That bright impassive, passive angel-hood,

or — 

The silence of my heart is full of sound.

At long intervals, we are annoyed by specimens of repulsive imagery, as where the children cry:

How long, O cruel nation,

Will you stand, to move the world, on a child’s heart  — 

Stifle down with a mailed heel its palpitation? etc.

Now and then, too, we are confounded by a pure platitude as when Eve exclaims:

Leave us not

In agony beyond what we can bear,

And in abasement below thunder mark!

or, when the Saviour is made to say:

So, at last,

He shall look round on you with lids too straight

To hold the grateful tears.

“Strait” was, no doubt, intended, but does not materially elevate, although it slightly elucidates, the thought. A very remarkable passage is that, also, wherein Eve bids the infant voices

Hear the steep generations, how they fall

Adown the visionary stairs of Time,

Like supernatural thunders — far yet near,

Sowing their fiery echoes through the hills!

Here, saying nothing of the affectation in “adown;” not alluding to the insoluble paradox of “far yet near;” not mentioning the inconsistent metaphor involved in the “sowing of fiery echoes;” adverting but slightly to the misusage of “like,” in place of “as,” and to the impropriety of making any thing like thunder, which has never been known to fall at all; merely hinting, too, at the misapplication of “steep,” to the nations,’’ instead of to the “stairs” — a perversion in no degree to be justified by the fact that so preposterous a figure synecdoche exists in the school books; — letting these things is, for the present, we shall still find it difficult to understand how Miss Barrett should have been led to think the principal idea itself — the abstract idea — the idea of tumbling down stairs in any shape, or under any circumstances, — either a poetical or a decorous conception. And yet we have seen this very passage quoted as “sublime,” by a critic who seems to take it for granted, as a general rule, that Nat-Leeism is the loftiest order of literary merit. That the lines very narrowly missed sublimity, we grant; that they came within a step of it, we admit; — but, unhappily, the step is that one step which, time out of mind, has intervened between the sublime and the ridiculous. So true is this, that any person — that even with a very partial modification of the imagery — a modification that shall not interfere with its richly spiritual tone —  may elevate the quotation into unexceptionability. For example: and we offer it with profound deference — 

Hear the far generations — how they crash,

From crag to crag, down the precipitous Time,

In multitudinous thunders that upstartle,

Aghast, the echoes from their cavernous lairs

In the visionary hills!

We have no doubt that our version has its faults — but it has, at least, the merit of consistency. Not only is a mountain mote poetical than a pair of stairs; but echoes are more appropriately typified as wild beasts than as seeds; and echoes and wild beasts agree better with a mountain than does a pair of stairs with the sowing of seeds — even admitting that these seeds be seeds of fire, and be sown broadcast “among the hills,’’ by a steep generation while in the act of tumbling down the stairs — that is to say, of coming down the stairs in too violent a hurry to be capable of sowing the seeds as accurately as all seeds should be sown; nor is the matter rendered any better for Miss Barrett, even if the construction of her sentence is to be understood as implying that the fiery seeds were sown, not immediately by the steep generations that tumbled down the stairs, but immediately, through the intervention of the “supernatural thunders” that were occasioned by the “steep generations” that tumbled down the stairs.

The poetess is not unfrequently guilty of repeating herself. [page 19:] The “thunder cloud veined by lightning” appears, for instance, on pages 34 of the first, and 228 of the second volume The “silver clash of wings” is heard at pages 53 of the first, and 269 of the second; and angel tears are discovered to be falling as well at page 17, as at the conclusion of “The Drama of Exile.” Steam, too, in the shape of Death’s White Horse, comes upon the ground, both at page 244 of the first and 179 of the second volume — and there are multitudinous other repetitions both of phrase and idea — but it is the excessive reiteration of pet words which is, perhaps, the most obtrusive of the minor errors of the poet. “Chrystalline,” “Apocalypse,” “foregone,” “evangel,” “ ‘ware,” “throb,” “level,” “loss,” and the musical term “minor,” are forever upon her lips. The chief favorites, however, are “down” and “leaning,” which are echoed and re-echoed not only ad infinitum, but in every whimsical variation of import. As Miss Barrett certainly cannot be aware of the extent of this mannerism, we will venture to call her attention to a few — comparatively a very few examples.

Pealing down the depths of Godhead — 

And smiling down the stars — 

Smiling down, as Venus down the waves — 

Smiling down the steep world very purely — 

Down the purple of this chamber — 

Moving down the hidden depths of loving — 

Cold the sun shines down the door — 

Which brought angels down our talk — 

Let your souls behind you lean gently moved — 

But angels leaning from the golden seats — 

And melancholy leaning out of heaven — 

And I know the heavens are leaning down — 

Then over the casement she leaneth — 

Forbear that dream, too near to heaven it leaned

Thou, O sapient angel, leanest o’er — 

Shapes of brightness overleap thee — 

They are leaning their young heads — 

Out of heaven shall o’er you lean — 

While my spirit leans and reaches — 

Leaning from my human — 

When it leans out on the air  — 

etc. etc. etc.

In the matter of grammar, upon which the Edinburgh critic insists so pertinaciously, the author of “The Drama of Exile” seems to us even peculiarly without fault. The nature of her studies has, no doubt, imbued her with a very delicate instinct of constructive accuracy. The occasional use of phrases so questionable as “from whence” and the far-fetchedness and involution of which we have already spoken, are the only noticeable blemishes of an exceedingly chaste, vigorous and comprehensive style.

In her inattention to rhythm, Mrs. Barrett is guilty of an error that might have been fatal to her fame — that would have been fatal to any reputation less solidly founded than her own. We do not allude, so particularly, to her multiplicity of inadmissible rhymes. We would wish, to be sure, that she had not thought proper to couple Eden and succeeding — glories and floorwise — burning and morning — thither and aether —  enclose me and across me — misdoers and flowers — centre and winter — guerdon and pardon — conquer and anchor —  desert and unmeasured — atoms and fathoms — opal and people — glory and doorway — trumpet and accompted — taming and overcame him — coming and woman — is and trees — off and sun-proof — eagles and vigils — nature and satire — poems and interflowings — certes and virtues — pardon and burden — thereat and great — children and bewildering — mortal and turtle — moonshine and sunshine. It would have been better, we say, if such apologies for rhymes as these had been rejected. But deficiencies of rhythm are more serious. In some cases it is nearly impossible to determine what metre is intended. “The Cry of the Children” cannot be scanned: we never saw so poor a specimen of verse. In imitating the rhythm of “Locksley Hall,” the poetess has preserved with accuracy (so far as mere syllables are concerned) the forcible line of seven trochees with a final caesura. The’’double rhymes” have only the force of a single long syllable ca sure; but the natural rhythmical division, occurring at the close of the fourth trochee, should never be forced to occur, as Miss Barrett constantly forces it, in the middle of a word, or of an indivisible phrase. If it do so occur, we must sacrifice, in perusal, either the sense or the rhythm. If she will consider, too, that this line of seven trochees and a ca sure, is nothing more than two lines written in one — a line of four trochees succeeded by one of three trochees and a caesura — she will at once see how unwise she has been in composing her poem in quatrains of the long line with alternate rhymes, instead immediate ones, as in the case of [column 2:] “Locksley Hall.” The result is, that the ear, expecting the rhymes before they occur, does not appreciate them when they do. These points, however, will be best exemplified by transcribing one of the quatrains in its natural arrangement. That actually employed is addressed only to the eye.

Oh, she fluttered like a tame bird

In among its forest brothers

Far too strong for it, then, drooping,

Bowed her face upon her hands — 

And I spake out wildly, fiercely,

Brutal truths of her and others!

I, she planted in the desert,

Swathed her ‘wind-like, with my sands.

Here it will be seen that there is a paucity of rhyme, and that it is expected at closes where it does not occur. In fact, we consider the eight lines as two independent quatrains, (which they are), then we find them entirely rhymeless. Now so unhappy are these metrical defects — of so much importance do we take them to be, that we do not hesitate in declaring the general inferiority of the poem to its prototype to be altogether chargeable to them. With equal rhythm “Lady Geraldine” had been far — very far the superior poem. Inefficient rhythm is inefficient poetical expression; and expression, in poetry,  —  what is ti?  —  what is it not? No one living can better answer these queries than Miss Barrett.

We conclude our comments upon her versification, by quoting (we will not say whence — from what one of her poems) — a few verses without the linear division as it appears ai the book. There are many readers who would never suspect the passage to be intended for metre at all. — “Ay! — and sometimes, on the hill-side, while we sat down on the gowans, with the forest green behind us, and its shadow cast before, and the river running under, and, across it from the rowens a partridge whirring near us till we felt the air it bore  —  there, obedient to her praying, did I read aloud the poems made by Tuscan flutes, or instruments more various of our own — read the pastoral parts of Spenser — or the subtle interflowings found in Petrarch’s sonnets; — here’s the book! — the leaf is folded down!”

With this extract we make an end of our fault-finding —  end now, shall we speak, equally in detail, of the beauties of this book? Alas! here, indeed, do we feel the impotence of the pen. We have already said that the supreme excellence of the poetess whose works we review, is made up of the multitudinous sums of a world of lofty merits. It is the multiplicity —  it is the aggregation — which excites our most profound enthusiasm, and enforces our most earnest respect. But unless we had space to extract three fourths of the volumes, how could we convey this aggregation by specimens? We might quote, to be sure, an example of keen insight into our psychal nature, such as this:

I fell flooded with a Dark,

In the silence of a swoon — 

When I rose, still cold and stark,

There was night, — I saw the moon:

And the stars, each in its place,

And the May-blooms on the grass,

Seemed to wonder what I was.

And I walked as if apart

From myself when I could stand — 

And I pitied my own heart,

As if I held it in my hand

Somewhat coldly, — with a sense

Of fulfilled benevolence.

Or we might copy an instance of the purest and most imagination, such as this:

So, young muser, I sat listening

To my Fancy’s wildest word — 

On a sudden, through the glistening

Leaves around, a little stirred,

Came a sound, a sense of music, which was rather felt than heard.

Softly, finely, it inwound me — 

From the world it shut me in — 

Like a fountain falling round me

Which with silver waters thin,

Holds a little marble Naiad sitting smilingly within.

Or, again, we might extract a specimen of wild Dantesque vigor, such as this — in combination with a pathos never excelled:

Ay! be silent — let them hear each other breathing

For a moment, mouth to mouth — 

Let them touch each others’ hands in a fresh wreathing

Of their tender human youth!

Let them feel that this cold metallic motion

Is not all the life God fashions or reveals — 

Let them prove their inward souls against the notion

That they live in you, or under you, O wheels!

Or, still again, we might give a passage embodying the [page 20:] most elevated sentiment, most tersely and musically thus expressed:

And since, Prince Albert, men have called thy spirit high and rare,

And true to truth, and brave for truth, as some at Augsburg were — 

We charge thee by thy lofty thoughts and by thy poet mind.

Which not by glory or degree takes measure of mankind,

Esteem that wedded hand less dear for sceptre than for ring

And hold her uncrowned womanhood to be the royal thing!

These passages, we say, and a hundred similar ones, exemplifying particular excellences, might be displayed, and we should still fail, as lamentably as the skolastikos with his brick, in conveying an idea of the vast totality. By no individual stars can we present the constellatory radiance of the book. — To the book, then, with implicit confidence we appeal.

That Miss Barrett has done more, in poetry, than any woman, living or dead, will scarcely be questioned: — that she has surpassed all her poetical contemporaries of either sex (with a single exception) is our deliberate opinion — not idly entertained, we think, nor founded on any visionary basis. It may not be uninteresting, therefore, in closing this examination of her claims, to determine in what manner she holds poetical relation with these contemporaries, or with her immediate predecessors, and especially with the great exception Which we have alluded, — if at all.

If ever mortal “wreaked his thoughts upon expression” it was Shelley. If ever poet sang (as a bird sings) — impulsively — earnestly — with utter abandonment — to himself solely — and for the mere joy of his own song — that poet was the author of the Sensitive Plant. Of Art — beyond that which is the inalienable instinct of Genius — he either had little or disdained all. He really disdained that Rule which is the emation from Law, because his own soul was law in itself. His rhapsodies are but the rough notes — the stenographic memoranda of poems — memoranda which, because they were all-sufficient for his own intelligence, he cared not to be at the trouble of transcribing in full for mankind. In his whole life he wrought not thoroughly out a single conception. For this reason it is that he is the most fatiguing of poets. Yet he wearies in having done too little, rather than too much; what is in him the diffuseness of one idea, is the conglomerate concision of many; — and this concision it is which renders obscure. With such a man, to imitate was out of the question; it would have answered no purpose — for he spoke to his own alone , which would have comprehended no alien tongue; — he was, therefore, profoundly original. His quaintness arose from intuitive perception of that truth to which Lord Verulam alone has given distinct voice: — “There is no exquisite beauty which has not some strangeness in its proportion.” But whether obscure, original, or quaint, he was at all times sincere. He had no affectations.

From the ruins of Shelley there sprang into existence, affronting the Heavens, a tottering and fantastic pagoda, in which the salient angles, tipped with mad jangling bells, were the idiosyncratic faults of the great original — faults which cannot be called such in view of his purposes, but which are monstrous when we regard his works as addressed to mankind. A “school” arose — if that absurd term must still be employed — a school — a system of rules — upon the basis of the Shelley who had none. Young men innumerable, dazzled with the glare and bewildered with the bizarrerie of the divine lightning that flickered through the clouds of the Prometheus, had no trouble whatever in heaping up imitative vapors, but, for the lightning, were content, perforce, with its spectrum, in which the bizarrerie appeared without the fire. Nor were great and mature minds unimpressed by the contemplation of a greater and more mature; and thus gradually were interwoven into this school of all Lawlessness — of obscurity, quaintness, exaggeration — the misplaced didacticism of Wordsworth, and the even more preposterously anomalous metaphysicianism of Coleridge. Matters were now fast verging to their worst, and at length, in Tennyson, poetic inconsistency attained its extreme. But it was precisely this extreme (for the greatest error and the greatest truth are scarcely two points in a circle) — it was this extreme which, following the law of all extremes, wrought in him — in Tennyson — a natural and inevitable revulsion, leading him first to contemn and secondly to investigate his early manner, and, finally, to win now from its magnificent elements the truest and purest of all poetical styles. But not even yet is the process complete; and for this reason in part, but chiefly on account of the mere fortuitousness of that mental and moral combination which shall unite in one person (if ever it shall) the Shelleyan abandon, the Tennysonian [column 2:] poetic sense, the most profound instinct of Art, and the sternest Will properly to blend and vigorously to control all; — chiefly, we say, because such combination of antagonisms must be purely fortuitous, has the world never in the noblest of the poems of which it is possible that it may be put in possession.

And yet Miss Barrett has narrowly missed the fulfilment of these conditions. Her poetic inspiration is the highest — we can conceive nothing more august. Her sense of Art is pure itself, but has been contaminated by pedantic study of false models — a study which has the more easily led her astray, because she placed an undue value upon it as rare — as alien to her character of woman. The accident of having been long secluded by ill health from the world has effected, moreover, in her behalf, what an innate recklessness did for Shelley — has imparted to her, if not precisely that abandon to which I have referred, at least a something that stands well in its stead — a comparative independence of men and opinions with which she did not come personally in contact — a happy audacity of thought and expression never before known in one of her sex. It is, however, this same accident of ill health, perhaps, which has invalidated her original Will — diverted her from proper individuality of purpose — and seduced her in the sin of imitation. Thus, what she might have done we cannot altogether determine. What she has actually accomplished is before us. With Tennyson’s works beside her, and a keen appreciation of them in her soul — appreciation too keen to be discriminative; — with an imagination even more vigorous than his, although somewhat less ethereally delicate; with inferior art and more feeble volition; she has written poems such as he could not write, but such as he, under her conditions of ill health and seclusion, would have written during the epoch of his pupildom in that school which arose out of Shelley, and from which, over a disgustful gulf of utter incongruity and absurdity, lit only by miasmatic flashes, into the broad open meadows of Natural Art and Divine Genius, he — Tennyson — is at once the bridge and the transition.


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Notes:

None.


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[S:0 - BJ, 1845 (fac, 1965)] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Criticism - Review of Drama of Exile and Other Poems [Part 02](Text-02)