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While, then, a few modern poets, at times as phisticated nature and life, in their regret for absorbed as Greeks in their work, have been inaction, their yearning for new light, their bestrenuously impulsive in temper and the con- lief that love and hope are the most that we duct of life,— among them Alfieri, Foscolo, can get from this mortal existence. It was ArMazzeini, Landor, Horne, and various lights nold's sensitive and introspective temperament, of the art-school from Keats onward,—the ar- so often saddening him, that brought his inteltist's temperament usually in the end determines lect into perfect comprehension of Heine, Jouthe order of his product: clearly so in such cases bert, Sénancour, and, doubtless, Amiel. His as those of Leopardi, James Thomson, Baude- career strengthens my belief that the true way is laire, Poe. Sympathetic examination of the the natural one-that way into which the artist poetry will give you the poet. A fine recent is led by impulse, modified by the disposition of instance of an introspective nature overcoming his time. Burns was a force because he was not the purpose formed by critical judgment was Greek, nor even English, but Scottish, entirely that of Matthew Arnold. A preface to the sec- national, and withal intensely personal. Scott's ond edition of his poems avowed and defended epics are founded in the true romantic ballads his poetic creed. Reflection upon the antique, of the North. A few of us read and delight and the study of Goethe, had convinced him in “ Balder Dead”; “ Marmion," a less artistic that only objective art is of value, and that the poem, gave pleasure far and wide, and still most of that which is infected with modern sen- holds its own. I confess that this again suggests timent is dilettantism. Art must be preferred my old question concerning Landor, “Shall to ourselves. Action is the main thing; more not the wise, no less than the witless, have their than human dramatic greatness alone saves poets ? ” and that, whether wise or otherwise, I even Shakspere's dramas from being weakened prefer to read “ Balder Dead"; but I have obby “ felicities” of thought and expression. The served that poetry, however admirable, which
“ poet-critic accordingly proffered his two heroic appeals solely to a studious class, rarely becomes episodes, “ Balder Dead” and “ Sohrab and in the end a part of the world's literature. PalRustum ” — both “Homeric echoes,” though grave, in the preface to“The Golden Treasury," in their slow iambic majesty violating his own significantly declares that he “has found the canon that the epic movement should be swift. vague general verdict of popular Fame more just These are indeed the tours de force of intellect than those have thought who, with too severe and constructive taste. There are fine things a criticism, would confine judgments on poetry in both, but the finest passages are reflective, to “the selected few of many generations.'" Arnoldian, or, like the sonorous impersonation Like Arnold, nearly all his famous peers of of the river Oxus, and the picture of Balder's the recent composite period have made attracfuneral pyre, elaborately descriptive, and un- tive experiments in the objective and antique related to the action of the poems. Now, these fields, though less openly upon conviction. Yet blank-verse structures are not quite spontane- Tennyson and Browning are essentially Engous; they do not possess what Arnold himself lish and modern, as Emerson, Longfellow, calls the note of the inevitable." The ancients, Whittier, are American and New-English, doing by instinct what he bade us imitate, had while Lowell's memorable verse is true to the no cause to lay down such a maxim as his— atmosphere, landscape, national spirit, dialect, that the poet “is most fortunate when he most of his own land, and always true to his ethical entirely succeeds in effacing himself.” They convictions. Our minor artists in verse succeed worked in the manner of their time. Schlegel as to simplicity and sensuousness in their renaispoints out that when even the Greeks imitated sance work, but fail with respect to its passion — Greeks their triumph ended. A modern, who for to simulate that requires vigorous dramatic does this upon principle, virtually fails to profit power. The latter is rarely displayed; its subby their example. In the end he has to yield. stitute is the note of Self. If this be so, let us Arnold was beloved by his pupils — by those make the best of it, and furnish striking indiwhom he stimulated as Emerson stimulated vidualities for some future age to admire, as we American idealists— for the poetry wherein he admire the creations of our predecessors. At was in truth most fortunate, that is, in which all events, the poet must not dare anything he most entirely and unreservedly expressed against nature. Let him obey Wordsworth's himself; in verse, for the tender, personal, injunction, subtly reflective lyrics that seem like tremulous if thou indeed derive thy light from Heaven, passages from a psychical journal; most of all, Then, to the measure of that heaven-born light, perhaps, for those which so convey the spirit Shine, Poet! in thy place, and be content. of youth - the youth of his own doubting, searching, freedom-sworn Oxonian group -- a But are there, then, no dramatic works in group among whom he and Clough, his scholar- recent literature ? Yes; more than in any forgipsy, were leaders in their search for unso- mer time, if you do not insist upon poetic form
and rhythm. While the restriction adopted for few world-poems exhibit the absolute epic and these lectures excludes that which is merely dramatic impersonality, it by no means follows inventive composition, you know that prose in spite of common assertion—that the worth fiction is now the principal result of our dra- of other poetry is determined by an objective matic impulse. The great modern novels are standard. The degree of self-expression is of more significant than much of our best poetry. less moment than that of the poet's genius. What recent impersonal poem or drama, if you Subjective work is judged to be inferior, I take except “ Faust,” excels in force and character. it, from its morbid examples. The visits of the ization " Guy Mannering" and the “ Bride of creative masters have been as rare as those of
. Lammermoor,” “ Notre Dame de Paris,” “Les national demigods, and ordinary composers Trois Mousquetaires,” “ Père Goriot,” “On the fall immeasurably short of their station. We Heights," " Dimitri Rubini,” “Anna Karenina,” have the perfect form, historical or fanciful im“With Fire and Sword,” “Vanity Fair," "Henry personations, but few striking conceptions. The Esmond,” “ The Newcomes," “ Bleak House," result is less sincere, less inevitable, than the “ The Tale of Two Cities,” “ The Cloister and spontaneous utterance of true poets who yield the Hearth,” “Westward Ho!” “Adam Bede,” to the passion of self-expression. "Romola," “Lorna Doone," "Wuthering Heights," " The Pilot,” “ The Scarlet Letter," Yet we have seen that a line can be rather and other prose masterpieces with which you are clearly drawn between the pagan and Chrisas familiar as were the Athenians with the plays tian eras, and that there has been a loss. To of Euripides ? Some of them, it is true, reflect think of this as a loss without some greater their authors' inner life (but so does “Faust”), compensation is to believe that modern exisand are all the more intense for it. The free tence defies the law of evolution and is inferior nature of the novel seems to make subjectivity as a whole to the old; that the soul of Chrisitself dramatic. Certainly, the individuality of a tendom, because more perturbed and introBronté, a Thackeray, a Hawthorne, or a Mere- spective, is less elevated than that of antiquity. dith does not lead us to prefer G. P. R. James, Contrast the two, and what do we find ? First, or put them on a lower plane than the strictly a willing self-effacement as against the distincobjective one of De Foe, Jane Austen, Dumas. tion of individuality; secondly, the simple zest Our second-rate novels are chiefly mechanical of art-creation, as against the luxury of human inventions turned off for a market which the feeling-a sense that nourishes the flame of modern press has created and is ominously en- consolation and proffers sympathy even as it larging. However, with such an outlet for the craves it; play of the invention which, three centuries ago, spent its strength upon the rhythmical drama, That from its own love Love's delight can tell, it is no wonder that even our foremost poets
And from its own grief guess the shrouded look out to rival ranges, with now and then still from its own joyousness of Joy can sing;
Sorrow; another peak above them; and these lectures
That can predict so well would seem an anachronism were it not that
From its own dawn the lustre of to-morrow, it is a good time to observe the nature of an The whole flight from the flutter of the wing. object when it is temporarily inactive.
Except for this prose fiction superadded to This sympathy, this divinely human love, is the best poetic achievements of the modern our legacy from the Teacher who read all joys schools, the nineteenth century would not have and sorrows by reading his own heart, being of been, as I believe it to have been, nearly equal like passions with ourselves—a process wisely in general literary significance (as in science it learned by those fortunate poets who need not is superior) to the best that preceded it. It is fear to obey the maxim, “Look in thy heart difficult for critics to project themselves beyond and write!” their time; perceiving its shortcomings, they The Christian motive has intensified the selfare prone to underestimate what in after time expression of the modern singer. That he is may seem a peculiar literary eminence. To all subject to dangers from which the pagan was the splendor of our greatest fiction must be exempt, we cannot deny. His process may reunited the romance of the Georgian poetic sult in egotism, conceit, the disturbed vision of school and the composite beauty and thought eyes too long strained inward, delirious exof the Victorian, that this statement may be tremes of feeling, decline of the creative gift. sund with respect to the literature of our own Probably the conventual, middle-age Church, Language. While poetry and fiction both have with its retreats, penances, ecstasies, was the to do with verities, Mill was not wrong when nursery of our self-absorption and mysticism, he said that the novelist gives us a true picture the alembic of the vapor which Heine saw inof life, but the poet, the truth of the soul. folding and chilling the Homeric gods when the
From our survey, after granting that only a pale Jew, crowned with thorns, entered and laid
his cross upon their banquet-table. It is not universalist, who sees the excellence of either the wings alone of Dürer's mystic “ Melen- phase of expression according as it is natural colia” that declare her to be a Christian fig- to one's race and period. A laudable subjecure. She sits among the well-used emblems of tivity dwells in naturalness — the lyrical force all arts, the ruins of past achievements, the ma- of genuine emotions, including those animated terials for effort yet to come. Toil is her in- by the Zeitgeist of one's own day. All other spiration, exploration her instinct: she broods, kinds degenerate into sentimentalism. she suffers, she wonders, but must still explore If we have lost the antique zest, the animal and design. The new learning is her guide, happiness, the naïveté of blessed children who but to what unknown lands ? The clue is al- know not the insufficiency of life, or that they most found, yet still escapes her. Of what use shall love and lose and die, we gain a new poare beauty, love, worship, even justice, when tency of art in a sublime seriousness, the heabove her are the magic square and numbers roism that confronts destiny, the faculty of of destiny, and the passing-bell that sounds the sympathetic consolation, and that “most muend of all? Before, stretches an ocean that sical, most melancholy” sadness which conhems her in. What beyond, and after? There veys a rarer beauty than the gladdest joy - the is a rainbow of promise in the sky, but even sadness of great souls, the art-equivalent of the beneath that the baneful portent of a flaming melancholy of the Preacher, of Lincoln, of star. Could Dürer's “Melencolia” speak, she Christ himself, who wept often but was rarely might indeed utter the sweet and brave, yet seen to smile. The Christian world has added pathetic, poetry of our own speculative day. the minor notes to the gamut of poesy. It dis
Our view of the poetic temperamentis doubt- covers that if indeed “our sweetest songs are less a modern conceit. The ancient took life as those which tell of saddest thought,” it is better he found it, and was content. Death he accepted to suffer than to lose the power of suffering. as a law of nature. Desire, the lust for the un- Commonplace objective work, then, is of no attainable, aspiration, regret,— these are our worth compared with the frank revelation of endowment, and our sufferings are due less to an inspiring soul. Our human feeling now seeks our slights and failures than to our own sensi- for the personality of the singer to whom we tiveness. Effort is required to free our intro- yield our heart. Even Goethe breaks out with spective rapture and suffering from the symp- “ Personality is everything in art and poetry," toms of a disease. It is in modern song that Schlegel declares that “A man can give nothing great wits to madness nearly are allied. In to his fellow-man but himself,” and Joubert – feverish crises a flood of wild imaginings over- whom Sainte-Beuve has followed — says, “We whelms us. Typical poets have acknowledged must have the man ... It is human warmth this — Coleridge, Byron, Heine, who cite also and almost human substance which gives to the cases of Collins, Cowper, Novalis, Hoff- all things that quality which charms us.” This man, and other children of fantasy and sorrow. fact is a stronghold for the true impressionists. Coleridge pointed to those whose genius and The special way in which his theme strikes the pursuits are subjective, as often being diseased; artist is his latter-day appeal. And what is while men of equal fame, whose pursuits are style? That must be subjective. Some believe objective and universal, the Newtons and Leib- it to be the only thing which is the author's nitzes, usually have been long-lived and in ro- own. The modern mind understands that its bust health. Bear in mind, however, the change compensation for the loss of absolute vision is latterly exemplified by Wordsworth, Tennyson, the increase of types, the extension of range Browning, Hugo, and our vigorous American and variousness. These draw us nearer the Pleiad of elder minstrels, who have exhibited plan of nature, that makes no two leaves alike. the sane mind in the sound body. But the ques- The value of a new piece of art now is the tone tion of neurotic disorder did not occur to the peculiar to its maker's genius. Death in art, as age of Sophocles and Pindar. Impersonal effort in nature, is now the loss of individuality — a is as invigorating as nature itself: so much resolution into the elements. We seek the man so that Ruskin recognizes the great writer by behind the most impersonal work; more, the his guiding us far from himself to the beauty world conceives for itself ideals of its poets, not of his creation; and Couture, a virile fig- artists, and heroes, plainly different from what ure, avowed that “the decline of art com- they were, yet adapted to the suggestions remenced with the appearance of personality.” ceived from their works and deeds. Goethe, in spite of his own theory, admitted that the real fault of the new poets is that “their My summary, then, is that the test of poetry subjectivity is not important, and that they can- is not by its degree of objectivity. Our inquiry not find matter in the objective.” The young concerns the poet's inspiration, his production poets of our own tongue are not in a very dif- of beauty in sound and sense, his imagination, ferent category. The best critic, then, is the passion, insight, thought, motive. Impersonal work may be never so correct, and yet tame It is the same with all other speculations and ineffective. Such are many of the formal upon art: with that, for instance, concerning dramas and pseudo-classical idyls with which realism and romanticism, of late so tediously modern literature teems. Go to, say their au- bruited. Debate of this sort, even when relatthors, let us choose subjects and make poems. ing to the Southern and the Wagnerian schools The true bard is chosen by his theme. Lowell of music, or to impressional and academic " waits” for “subjects that hunt me.” Where modes of painting, is often inessential. It has, the nature of the singer is noble, his inner life perchance, a certain value in stimulating the superior to that of other men, the more he members of opposing schools. The true quesgives us of it the more deeply we are moved. tion is, How good is each in its kind ? How We suffer with him; he makes us sharers of his striking is the gift of him who works in either own joy. In any case the value of the poem fashion ? Genius will inevitably find its own lies in the credentials of the poet.
fashion, and as inevitably will pursue it.
Edmund Clarence Stedman.
MUSE on yonder barren autumn field,
Rains fall, comes June, comes spring,
And white, and summer's feet
Left many an imprint sweet,
The western slopes, nor night's
Pale flock of stars the heights ;
We question her in vain,
And bootless strive to gain
And comfort man with sheaves,
To please him with her leaves
Not of the waters' strife:
Faint tones, as though some life
That comforts and uplifts,
A light that never shifts
There 's something waits for me
That I may never see
Half hide, invites the soul
Unto some hidden goal,
William Prescott Foster.
MOUNT SAINT ELIAS REVISITED.1
HE National Geographic condition of the surf, except at high tide, the Society,in connection with landing of our party with its stores, instruments, the United States Geologi- etc., was not completed until early on the morn. cal Survey, sent a small ing of June 8. As our landing was accompanied exploring party to Mount by a sad accident, in which the lives of six brave St. Elias, Alaska, in the men were lost, I shall pass briefly over the painsummer of 1890.2 The ful incident. The boats that took us ashore were
country visited during that in command of Lieutenants G. McConnell, H. expedition proved to be so interesting that a M. Broadbent, D. H. Jarvis, and L. L. Robinsecond expedition to the same region was de- son. Three of the boats capsized, one of which cided on. The object of the second expedition was in charge of Lieutenant Robinson, and from was the extension of the surveys previously that boat only one man reached shore alive. begun, and the ascent of Mount St. Elias. Lieutenant Robinson, four of his boat's crew, Like the first, it was placed in my charge. My and Will C. Moore of my party were drowned. party consisted of six camp hands, but did not I cannot speak too highly of the kindness we include any scientific assistants. The camp received from Captain Healy and from the ofhands were Thomas P. Stamy, J. H. Crum- ficers associated with him, or of the bravery with back, Thomas White, Neil McCarty, Frank G. which the lieutenants I have mentioned, and Warner, and Will C. Moore. The first three the men under their command, faced imminent were also members of the expedition of 1890. danger and suffered no small hardships in orThe necessary preparations for camp life were der to facilitate the work of our expedition. made at Seattle, Washington, late in May, 1891. Lieutenant Robinson's body was recovered by We sailed from Port Townsend early on the his comrades and taken to Sitka for interment. morning of May 30, on the United States rev- The remainder of the men lost were buried near enue steamer Bear, in command of Captain M. where their bodies were washed ashore. A. Healy, and after a pleasant voyage reached The Bear steamed away to the southwest Yakutat, Alaska, on June 4. Arrangements about three o'clock in the morning of June 8, were made there with the Rev. Karl J. Hen- leaving my party to begin the work which was dricksen, in charge of the Swedish Mission, to to occupy us for several months. Our first efmeet us on our return at the head of Yakutat fort after landing was to remove our “outfit" Bay on September 25, with a boat and some from the low sand-bar, where it was liable to provisions which we left at the Mission. be washed away should a high tide be accom
The weather on June 5 being thick and panied by a shoreward-blowing gale, to a place stormy, the Bear remained at her anchorage of safety in the edge of the forest to the eastuntil early the next morning, when she started ward. There we established a camp in a detoward Icy Bay, fifty miles west of Yakutat, lightful spot, about a mile from the sea, and the locality chosen for beginning our work. on the border of an open meadow, which was At nine o'clock we were about a mile off shore white with strawberry blossoms. West of the at the place designated on the charts as Icy Yahtse, and beyond a plateau of broken ice ten Bay, although, as previously known, no bay or fifteen miles broad, formed by a lobe of the now exists there. The weather was calm. Malaspina glacier, rises a range of “hills," as Scarcely a ripple disturbed the surface of the we called them, in contrast with the greater sea, but the usual ocean swell was breaking in mountains near at hand, which present abrupt long lines of foam on the low sandy beach. A precipices between three and four thousand feet boat was lowered, and Lieutenant D. H. Jarvis high, to the south. Their northern slopes are went shoreward to examine the surf and choose more gentle, and are deeply buried beneath a place for landing. He returned in about an snow-fields which contribute to swell the flood hour, and reported that landing seemed prac. of the great Guyot glacier. This
splendid range ticable at a point which we found afterward has been named the Robinson Hills, in memory was about a mile east of the principal mouth of Lieutenant L. L. Robinson. Our general of the Yahtse River. Owing to the unfavorable line of march from Icy Bay was almost due
north. For about five miles we traversed broad, 1 The pictures in this article have been drawn from barren openings through the forest, formed by photographs taken by the expedition. 2 A brief account of the expedition of 1890 appeared
the flood-plains of swift glacial streams. The in The CENTURY MAGAZINE for April, 1891, and more conditions of travel were very favorable, except fully in the National Geographic Magazine for May,1891. where the streams were too swift and too deep