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pings, and inexplicable openings and tain Hamilton had sufficiently recovershuttings of doors.
ed his strength Gamache took him up At another time, in low, sad tones, on his own sloop to Rimouski, where and with eyes fixed intently upon the they parted with many expressions of leaping flames in the huge fire-place, he esteem. profoundly moved his hearer's heart On his return to Quebec, emptywith the story that lay behind those handed, the Captain had, of course, to lines so deeply furrowed by sorrow on run the gauntlet of his friends' raillery. his rugged features. Twice, it seemed, Considerably to their surprise he not had he found a woman sufficiently fond only bore this trial with altogether unand brave to share his strange, solitary wonted patience, but even championed life, but alas ! both had fallen victims to its terrible privations.
The saddest case was that of his second wife, who had died suddenly in midwinter while he was absent on a hunting trip, rendered necessary by urgent need of food, and he had returned heavily 1a den with game, only to find her prostrate form before the extinguished fire with her two children huddled close to her, all three frozen into statues of death.
“They will find me like that some day,” added Gamache mournfully as he concluded his moving narrative.
"I have lived here always, and I shall die here when my time comes. When Cap
“ They will find me like that some day.”
DRAWN BY J. S. O'HIGGINS.
the cause of the famous wrecker at tidings from the Isle of Shipwrecks every opportunity, suffering no asper that touched him deeply. Gamache's sion upon his reputation to pass un mournful prediction as to his own fate challenged.
had been fulfilled during the winter. Some time elapsed, however, before Some fishermen who had run into the he mustered up courage to tell the cove for shelter, seeing no sign of life story of his trip to the one person of about the house; had finally made bold all others whose verdict upon it was of to investigate. They found the body most importance to him.
of the old man lying in all the dignity When he did make the venture, to of death upon his own bed. With no his bewildering joy, instead of merry one near to close his eyes he had gently banter he was given tender sympathy, passed away, the last of his race, beand this so heartened him that he queathing by a will written in a fair dared to put his fate to the touch with clerkly hand his entire possessions to the happy issue of winning the prize he his good friend, Captain Hamilton, “as sought.
some small compensation for his futile In the following spring there came
voyage to Anticosti."
J. Macdonald Oxley.
TENNYSON'S “CROSSING THE BAR."
BY PROFESSOR WILLIAM CLARK, D.C.L., F.R.S.C.
be associated with the death of the usually printed as the last poem poet. in the collected edition of Lord Tenny It is hardly too much to say that son's works. And with perfect pro this exquisite gem was received with
priety. Yet it did not originally ap delight, and even with surprise, by the pear in the last published of his vol lovers of Tennyson and by the world umes. It was first put forth in the at large. We were to have another volume entitled “Demeter and Other surprise when the play of “ The ForPoems,” in 1889. Two others appear esters” appeared, a work which was ed subsequently : the one containing as youthful and fresh in its tone as the charming play of “The Foresters,' though its author had been five-andin 1892, and the other, the last we twenty, and not over four score years were destined to receive from his
of age. Tennyson had done so much hand, entitled “The Death of Onone, good work that we might have expectAkbar's Dream, and other poems,' ed anything of him Yet there were also in 1892. This volume contained some ready to say that the precise note a poem, "The Silent Voices," pointing of " Crossing the Bar” was now heard also to the “dumb hour clothed in for the first time. Without discussing black;” but it is the earlier poem, this question, or even inquiring too
Crossing the Bar," which will always nicely into its meaning, we can have
no hesitation in speaking of the poem with a kind of enthusiasm.
Nevertheless, as it so often happens, as it has almost always happened with Tennyson (even the glorious "Ode on the Death of the Duke of Wellington” was scoffed at!), there arose voices, carping at some lines in this perfect poem, showing, for the most part, a mere want of understanding of the allusions or of insight into the significance of the imagery.
For this reason it may not be entirely superfluous to offer a few remarks which may help to bring the meaning out a little more clearly, with the hope that something better may be done by some one better qualified. But first let us have the poem before us.
CROSSING THE BAR.
And one clear call for me !
When I put out to sea.
Toy full for sound and foam,
And after that the dark !
When I embark ;
The floyd may bear me far,
The title of the poem at once demands comment. What is the bar ?" Without asking how many such objects may exist, the present writer knows at least one, the Harbour Bar at the mouth of the river near Bideford, in Devonshire. It is probably this which Tennyson intended; and this is certainly what Kingsley meant in his poem of the “ Three Fishers." The bar is a ridge of sand, pebbles and mud, which runs across the river and stops navigation except when the tide is high. At low water the tide, washing backwards or forwards, strikes against this obstruction, producing a dull, resonant sound, which may properly be described as moaning. Tennyson compares the passage from time to eternity to the outflow of the
river to the ocean, or to the sailing on the river out into the boundless deep. When the tide is high the bar is unseen, and no sound comes from it : there is “no moaning of the bar”“ But such a tide as, moving, seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam." And the poet prays that his passage from the temporal to the eternal may, likewise, be calm and peaceful.
A similar thought is expressed, with a different reference, in the nineteenth and twentieth cantos or sonnets of “In Memoriam,” where the poet compares the deeper griefs which can find no utterance to the almost total silence of the Wye passing into the Severn; and the lesser griefs to the "babbling" of the river entering the estuary at low water. “ The Wye is hushed, nor moved along,
And hushed my deepest grief of all,
When filled with tears that cannot fall, I brim with sorrow, drowning song."
So it is when the Severn fills, and the salt water
“Hushes halt the bubbling Wye,
And makes a silence in the hills." But again : “ The tide flows down, the wave again
Is vocal in its wooded walls ;
My deeper anguish also falls, And I can speak a little then." The reference, of course, is different, although the imagery is substantially the same.
Then he asks that his voyage to the unseen may be as quiet as the passage over the bar in a high tide.
This is all quite clear, and there cannot be much difficulty in explaining the rest of the poem in the light of these considerations. But still a difficulty has been raised in regard to one phrase in the last two lines : “I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar." In the first place, there can surely be no doubt as to Who the Pilot is ; and one cannot but wonder at some of the suggested explanations which have been offered, but which need claim no attention from us here. The Pilot is undoubtedly that “strong Son of God, immortal love,” to whom the author
dedicated “ In Memoriam,” that great “May there be no moaning of the bar Light of whom our little systems are
When I put forth to sea. but broken lights, “human and div- In the thitd stanza there is a sense ine," "the highest holiest, manhood.” of being nearer to separation from the
But a still stranger mistake has been things of time and the dear ones here: made, when the objection is offered,
“May there be no sadness of farewell and it has been offered gravely, that it When I embark." is inaccurate to speak of meeting his
Doubtless there is much more here to Pilot face to face, after passing away from earth and putting out into the
be dwelt upon, for we can see how
every word in this beautiful utterance ocean. It is not on the ocean, say
of that great soul deserves to be medithese critical persons, but when we are
tated. coming into port or going out, that we
The prayer of the poet was answerneed the pilot. Very well; but here is
ed. “Sadness of farewell," in such a most thorough misunderstanding of the poet's meaning. As it seems by
cases, must ever be present; but if
sadness, then also true gladness some to be so misunderstood, let us try
and thankfulness, first from her who to make it clear. Whither is the poet bound? He is
has now gone to join him, and then
from all who loved and honoured him ; bound for home. The ocean is his home. It is at once the vast infinite
and they are a great number not easy
to number. He fell asleep, his hand and the “harbour where he would do." There is no contradiction, for the Ocean
resting on the page of him who is the
master of all the poets, the glory of is God—“the Ocean of His love ;” and He is also the Refuge of the soul
English literature and of human genius,
on the volume of Shakespeare, of Cymwhen the tempest is high. From the eternal he had come. His soul is
beline, on the dirge of that play which
he had asked to have read to him. “ that which drew from out the bound
The volume lies with him in his grave less deep.” And now it goes back to
in Westminster Abbey. With these the eternity from which it came ; it "turns again home.” And to this
great words we may well conclude and home in the bosom of the Eternal the
cover some of the weakness of our own : soul is guided by its Pilot, by Him who “ Fear no more the heat o' the sun,
Nor the furious winter's rages; is “the Way” to the Father. Well, therefore, may he say:
Thou thy worldly task hast done,
Home art gone and ta'en thy wages ; “I hope to see my Pilot face to face
Golden lads and girls all must
As chimney-sweepers, come to dust. So far, it is hoped, all is quite clear. “ Fear no more the frown o' the great ; One other point may be noted, chiefly
Thou art past the tyrant's stroke ;
Care no more to clothe and eat ; of practical interest. If we compare
To thee the reed is as the oak : the first and third stanzas, we shall The sceptre, learning, physic, must see something of progression in the All follow this and come to dust. thought. In the first he writes :
“ Fear no more the lightning flash, “Sunset, and evening star,
Nor the all-dreaded thunder-stone;
Fear not slander, censure rash ;
Thou hast finished joy and moan : In the third the night is creeping All lovers young, all lovers must the sun has set, and then Consign to thee and come to dust.
“No exorciser harm thee ! “ Twilight, and evening bell,
Nor no witchcraft charm thee!
Ghost unlaid forbear thee !
Nothing ill come near thee ! So also there is a correspondence
Quiet consummation have ; in the thoughts connected with these And renowned be thy grave." moments. In the first place the prayer (Act iv., Scene 2.)
ton by representatives of the Gov- had had, as history records, a slight ernment to obtain a reciprocity treaty difference of opinion with one element recalls previous efforts of the same in Canada, and this element, with kind. For many years these attempts colonial exuberance, had expressed its have been made. On one occasion vigourous condemnation of him both in only were they successful, and then epithets and eggs. He knew that a under conditions which are not likely to treaty would be popular in all the be repeated. The result of the negotia- British provinces, and he met the obtions now about to begin must surelyjections of the President with characterdetermine for long years to come the istic audacity: “If I can convince you policy of Canada in this matter, since that a majority of Senators are not the self-respect of this country, and the hostile, will you consider our proposicommon sense of its commercial men, tion?” And Mr. Marcy, who thought ought to hasten the conclusion that, if himself safely entrenched behind Demwe fail to obtain a treaty this year, our ocratic opposition, made this conditionfuture course should leave reciprocity al promise, which he was forced afterwith the United States entirely out of wards reluctantly to redeem. Lord the calculation as a practical question. Elgin, assisted by Sir Philip Crampton,
As everyone knows, the adoption by the British Minister, then set himself to England of free trade and the abolition work to cultivate the friendship of the of preferential duties with her colonies Senators. He flung himself into the led Canada to consider seriously the social life of the Capital with zest and development of trade with the United energy. States. The famous annexation mani- We owe to the agreeable indiscrefesto of 1849 was one of the early tions of his secretary, Lawrence Oliepisodes of the agitation which cul- phant, a record of the plan of camminated in the visit to Washington of paign. The secretary could not at Lord Elgin and Sir Francis Hincks. first perceive what, to use a familiar The prospects in 1854 looked as black expression, his chief was driving for reciprocity as they have done at at, and remarked one day, with some any period since. Both President Pierce wonderment, that their most intimate and Mr. Marcy, the Secretary of State, friends appeared to be Democrats. were of opinion that as long as the Lord Elgin retorted drily that he obDemocratic majority in the Senate served this fact also. Practising all opposed reciprocity with Canada, it the arts of the courtier and man of was useless to send down a treaty for the world he set himself to win friends their consideration. But Lord Elgin for his proposed treaty. To the rather