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A comparison of the printed text of the following lyric with that of the MS. shews a striking improvement through revision:

Thy voice is heard thro' rolling drums,
That beat to battle where he stands;
Thy face across his fancy comes,

And gives the battle to his hands;
A moment, while the trumpets blow,
He sees his brood about thy knee;
The next, like fire he meets the foe,
And strikes him dead for thine and thee.'

The first two lines of the MS.
cation, "and" inserted at the
"them" changed to "thine."
tantara!" in the MS. does not appear in the printed text.

copy were recast before publibeginning of the last line, and The trumpet blare, "Tara ta

It will be seen that the lyric "Ask me no more," has been changed in two words only. They are here printed in italics :

'Ask me no more: the moon may draw the sea;

The cloud may stoop from heaven and take the shape,
With fold to fold, of mountain and of cape;

But O too fond, when have I answer'd thee?

Ask me no more.

Ask me no more: what answer should I give !
I love not hollow cheek or faded eye:
Yet, O my friend, I will not have thee die !
Ask me no more, lest I should bid thee live;
Ask me no more.

Ask me no more: thy fate and mine are seal'd:
I strove against the stream and all in vain:
Let the great river take me to the main :
No more, dear love, for at a touch I yield;
Ask me no more.'

Perhaps in none of the examples of revision which I have given from The Princess is that deftness of touch for which the Poet Laureate stands pre-eminent revealed more delicately than in the two slight verbal changes in this song.


'Lady, let the rolling drums

Beat to battle where thy warrior stands:
Now thy face across his fancy comes,

And gives the battle to his hands.

Lady, let the trumpets blow,

Clasp the little babes about thy knee;
Now thy warrior father meets the foe,

And strikes him dead for thine and thee.'

The lines in italics in the last lyric were added to those of the MS. prior to its publication in The Princess:

'As thro' the land at eve we went,
And pluck'd the ripen'd ears,
We fell out, my wife and I,
O we fell out I know not why,
And kiss'd again with tears.
And blessings on the falling out
That all the more endears,

When we fall out with those we love

And kiss again with tears!

For when we came where lies the child

We lost in other years,

There above the little grave,
O there above the little grave,
We kiss'd again with tears.'

The addition of these repetends gives a wonderful emphasis and charm to the song. Mrs. Browning shares with Tennyson the power to use with splendid effect this emphasis of refrain so native to the Hebrew poets.

Composition in its very nature implies plan and sustained effort. In presenting a specimen of Tennyson's work as a striking illustration of the importance of limae labor, I am not to be understood as ignoring or under-valuing spontaneity, but rather as emphasizing the practical truth that unstinted painstaking is an essential element in the production of literary work of the highest quality.



[Of the following poems the first eleven with the accompanying questions are selected from examination papers set by the University of Toronto and the Education Department of Ontario during the past five years. With the remaining poems, they are intended to furnish the material for a slight study of literature without special preparation and without notes and other critical apparatus.]

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Like to the summer's rain;

Or as the pearls of morning's dew,
Ne'er to be found again.

-Robert Herrick.


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1. State fully

(a) the circumstances of time, place, and mood under which this poem has been professedly (that is, as appears from the poem) written; and

(b) the subject of each stanza and of the poem.

2. Explain fully the meaning, sentence by sentence, commenting especially upon those expressions that seem to you most beautiful and suggestive.

3. Explain the metrical structure; and shew, as well as you can, that it and the language are in harmony with the poet's mood and thoughts. 4. (a) What is the prevailing sentiment, and how should it be brought out in reading?


(b) Mark, with reasons, the especially emphatic words in the first (c) How would you make plain in reading the likeness expressed in the second stanza.


Dear Harp of my Country! in darkness I found thee,
The cold chain of silence had hung o'er thee long,
When proudly, my own Island Harp, I unbound thee,
And gave all thy chords to light, freedom, and song!

The warm lay of love and the light note of gladness
Have waken'd thy fondest, thy liveliest thrill;
But, so oft hast thou echo'd the deep sigh of sadness,
That ev'n in thy mirth it will steal from thee still.

Dear Harp of my Country! farewell to thy numbers,
This sweet wreath of song is the last we shall twine!
Go, sleep with the sunshine of fame on thy slumbers,
Till touch'd by some hand less unworthy than mine;

If the pulse of the patriot, soldier, or lover,

Have throbb'd at our lay, 't is thy glory alone;
I was but as the wind, passing heedlessly over,
And all the wild sweetness I waked was thy own.

-Thomas Moore.




1. Explain, in concise and simple language, the meaning of this poem, clause by clause.

2. Indicate, in detail, the various devices which give a poetical character to the expression of the third stanza, and which elevate it above the style of simple prose.


Fear death?-to feel the fog in my throat,
The mist in my face,

When the snows begin, and the blasts denote

I am nearing the place,

The power of the night, the press of the storm,


The post of the foe,

Where he stands, the Arch Fear in a visible form,

Yet the strong man must go :

For the journey is done and the summit attained,

And the barriers fall,


Though a battle's to fight ere the guerdon be gained,
The reward of it all.

I was ever a fighter, so-one fight more,

The best and the last!

I would hate that death bandaged my eyes, and forbore, 15 And bade me creep past.

No! let me taste the whole of it, fare like my peers

The heroes of old,

Bear the brunt, in a minute pay glad life's arrears
Of pain, darkness and cold.

For sudden the worst turns the best to the brave,
The black minute's at end,

And the elements' rage, the fiend-voices that rave,
Shall dwindle, shall blend,

Shall change, shall become first a peace out of pain,
Then a light, then thy breast,

O thou soul of my soul! I shall clasp thee again,
And with God be the rest!

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-Robert Browning.


One feast, of holy days the crest,

I, though no Churchman, love to keep,
All-Saints, the unknown good that rest
In God's still memory folded deep;
The bravely dumb that did their deed,
And scorned to blot it with a name,

Men of the plain heroic breed,

That loved Heaven's silence more than fame.


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