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This is lovelier and sweeter,

Men of Ithaca, this is meeter,

In the hollow rosy vale to tarry,

Like a dreamy Lotos-eater, a delirious Lotos-eater!
We will eat the Lotos, sweet

As the yellow honeycomb,

In the valley some, and some

On the ancient heights divine;
And no more roam,

On the loud hoar foam,

To the melancholy home

At the limit of the brine,

The little Isle of Ithaca, beneath the day's decline.
We'll lift no more the shattered oar,

No more unfurl the straining sail;
With the blissful Lotos-eaters pale
We will abide in the golden vale

Of the Lotos-land, till the Lotos fail;
We will not wander more.

Hark! how sweet the horned ewes bleat

On the solitary steeps,

And the merry lizard leaps,

And the foamwhite waters pour ;

And the dark pine weeps,

And the lithe vine creeps,

And the heavy melon sleeps

On the level of the shore:

Oh! islanders of Ithaca, we will not wander more.
Surely, surely slumber is sweeter than toil, the shore
Than labour in the ocean, and rowing with the oar.
Oh! islanders of Ithaca, we will return no more.'

63, 2. —starbord. The right hand side of the ship as one faces the bow. (A.S. stēorbord, steor, rudder, bord, side.) 63, 2.-larbord. The left-hand side as one faces the bow. (Mid. E. laddebord, the side for lading the vessel.) 63, 3.—wallowing monster. 'The whale.'

63, 4.-equal. 'Undisturbed,'' unchanging.' The phrase 'equal mind' is classical; cf. Horace,

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63, 5. --the hollow Lotos-land. Cf. 56, 8; 57, 4.

63, 6.-like the Gods...careless of mankind.

The concep

tion of the gods and their attitude to mankind is that of Epicurus and his school, and was immediately suggested by Lucretius, De Rerum Nat. iii. 15ff. (Collins). But a closer parallel to the picture here is furnished by Goethe, Iphigenie auf Tauris, iv. (Bayne):

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Substitute men for Titans and we have Tennyson's conception.

63, 7,--nectar.

The fabled drink of the gods, served to

them by the cup-bearers, Hebe and Ganymede. 63, 7.-bolts. Zeus wielded the thunderbolt. 63, 9.-golden houses...gleaming world. The palace of Zeus was fabled to be on the summit of Mount Olympus in Thessaly; the epithet 'golden' is commonly used with the possessions of the gods, though the effect of sunlight on the mountain-tops may here be intended; around the palace spread the sunny and starry heavens.

63, 11.-roaring deeps and fiery sands. deep and of the desert.

The perils of the

63, 13.-centred. 'Consisting essentially."

63, 15.—a tale of little meaning. This is Macbeth's cry.

"Life's but a walking is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing."

-Macbeth, v. v.

The ancient tale' here is the complaints of mankind, rising to the gods from the earliest ages, which, though uttered in bitter words, affect them no more than an idle tale.

63, 18.-little dues.

'Scanty returns.'

The tortures of Tantalus,

64, 2.-Suffer endless anguish. Sisyphus, Ixion, etc., are here alluded to.

64, 2.—Elysian valleys. Elysium or the Elysian fields represented paradise to the Greeks. Amidst its groves and on its meadows set with asphodel, wandered the blessed dead, the heroes who died in battle, the noble poets, the benefactors of humanity.

64, 3.-asphodel. The white asphodel, a sort of lily, with a pale blossom. It grows freely in waste places, such as burial-grounds, and so was associated with death and the shades.



First publication. The part of The Day-Dream entitled The Sleeping Beauty appeared first in 1832. Expanded it reappeared in its present form in the second volume of the 1842 edition of Tennyson's poems. Verbal alterations from this edition are noticed among the notes.

Its source. The inner story of The Day-Dream is of course the well-known fairy tale of the Sleeping Beauty. The notion of the resumption of life after ages of sleep pervades all literatures from the Norse story of Brynhild to the Greek of Endymion. Tennyson's version is most nearly associated with the Belle au Bois dormant (Beauty in the Sleeping Wood') and Grimm's Dornröschen (‘Little Briar-rose'). But in Perrault the king and queen were not brought under the influence of the fairy's spell; no bones of unsuccessful suitors lay bleaching in the close; the princess awakes the moment the prince kneels down; and the mother-in-law plays after the marriage a very wicked role. In Grimm the details of the story are almost exactly as Tennyson narrates, and he alone gives the picture of the instantaneous arrest and resumption of life, which is so admirably repeated by the poet. We must therefore look to Tennyson's knowledge of the German version to account for the story as here told.

Some suggestions of the framework and setting of the story may lie in the lines of the poet Rogers (1763-1855), entitled The Sleeping Beauty, beginning:

"Sleep on, and dream of Heaven awhile-
Tho' shut so close thy laughing eyes,

Thy rosy lips still wear a smile

And move, and breathe delicious sighs!
Ah, now soft blushes tinge her cheeks
And mantle o'er her neck of snow.
Ah, now she murmurs, now she speaks
What most I wish-and fear to know!"

Its literary value. The poem is one of many early efforts to depict not the passion but the 'grace, perfume and delight of the springtime of love.' It is not so successful as The Gardener's Daughter, or The Miller's Daughter, because it lacks the lovely setting of English scenery and the tender idyllic sweetness of those poems. It is more formal, more

artificial, there is a touch of stiff English fashion in it: Lady Flora and her Macaw embroidery and a young man trying to tell her he loves her by means of a nursery tale! Yet the situation is more than redeemed by the sprightly vigour of the tale, never better told, by the airy grace and gay sportiveness united with truth and earnestness in the lover; so that while the poem belongs to the vers de société, rather than the literature of life, it is highly successful in its own sphere.


65, 5.—damask. The pink colour of a damask rose (the rosa damascena, a native of Damascus). The sense in 39, 11 is due to the fabric originally made in Damascus.

65, 7.-lattice. 'The lattice window.' The various suggestions in this picture are made to recall the fairy-tale-the sleeping beauty, the mansion, the woods behind, the lover,


65, 9,-behind.

That is behind me.'

65, 10.—summer crisp, etc.

foliage.' See note 16, 18.

'Summer landscape wavy with

65, 13.—reflex. The memory, copying the old legend as the reflected image copies the original.


"Like the reflex of the moon

Seen in a wave."

-Shelley, Prometheus Unbound, iii. 4.

65, 18.-Macaw. (ma kaw'). An American parrot, having a long tail and magnificent plumage, sometimes brilliant with Here the embroidered design of a macaw. In metrical order.'

crimson and blue.

65, 22.-order'd.

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