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The Porgress of Spring by Alfred Lord Tennyson
Posted by: marian222 (86.155.32.---)
Date: March 28, 2009 05:10AM

Recently came across the first 2 verses of this, so searched the web to see if there is more. There is plenty, but I am very puzzled by the word 'oll' which appears in all the online versions I've checked - half a dozen - including e-mule!) (capitalized in the one below, towards the end of the 6th verse. I think it may be a typo and wonder if anyone has it in a book (my Tennyson's Poetical Works doesn't have it in) and could check it.

THE groundflame of the crocus breaks the mould,
Fair Spring slides hither o'er the Southern sea,
Wavers on her thin stem the snowdrop cold
That trembles not to kisses of the bee:
Come Spring, for now from all the dripping eaves
The spear of ice has wept itself away,
And hour by hour unfolding woodbine leaves
O'er his uncertain shadow droops the day.
She comes! The loosen'd rivulets run;
The frost-bead melts upon her golden hair;
Her mantle, slowly greening in the Sun,
Now wraps her close, now arching leaves her bar
To breaths of balmier air;

Up leaps the lark, gone wild to welcome her,
About her glance the tits, and shriek the jays,
Before her skims the jubilant woodpecker,
The linnet's bosom blushes at her gaze,
While round her brows a woodland culver flits,
Watching her large light eyes and gracious looks,
And in her open palm a halcyon sits
Patient--the secret splendour of the brooks.
Come Spring! She comes on waste and wood,
On farm and field: but enter also here,
Diffuse thyself at will thro' all my blood,
And, tho' thy violet sicken into sere,
Lodge with me all the year!

Once more a downy drift against the brakes,
Self-darken'd in the sky, descending slow!
But gladly see I thro' the wavering flakes
Yon blanching apricot like snow in snow.
These will thine eyes not brook in forest-paths,
On their perpetual pine, nor round the beech;
They fuse themselves to little spicy baths,
Solved in the tender blushes of the peach;
They lose themselves and die
On that new life that gems the hawthorn line;
Thy gay lent-lilies wave and put them by,
And out once more in varnish'd glory shine
Thy stars of celandine.

She floats across the hamlet. Heaven lours,
But in the tearful splendour of her smiles
I see the slowl-thickening chestnut towers
Fill out the spaces by the barren tiles.
Now past her feet the swallow circling flies,
A clamorous cuckoo stoops to meet her hand;
Her light makes rainbows in my closing eyes,
I hear a charm of song thro' all the land.
Come, Spring! She comes, and Earth is glad
To roll her North below thy deepening dome,
But ere thy maiden birk be wholly clad,
And these low bushes dip their twigs in foam,
Make all true hearths thy home.

Across my garden! and the thicket stirs,
The fountain pulses high in sunnier jets,
The blackcap warbles, and the turtle purrs,
The starling claps his tiny castanets.
Still round her forehead wheels the woodland dove,
And scatters on her throat the sparks of dew,
The kingcup fills her footprint, and above
Broaden the glowing isles of vernal blue.
Hail ample presence of a Queen,
Bountiful, beautiful, apparell'd gay,
Whose mantle, every shade of glancing green,
Flies back in fragrant breezes to display
A tunic white as May!

She whispers, 'From the South I bring you balm,
For on a tropic mountain was I born,
While some dark dweller by the coco-palm
Watch'd my far meadow zoned with airy morn;
From under rose a muffled moan of floods;
I sat beneath a solitude of snow;
There no one came, the turf was fresh, the woods
Plunged gulf on gulf thro' all their vales below
I saw beyond their silent tops
The steaming marshes of the scarlet cranes,
The slant seas leaning OLL the mangrove copse,
And summer basking in the sultry plains
About a land of canes;

'Then from my vapour-girdle soaring forth
I scaled the buoyant highway of the birds,
And drank the dews and drizzle of the North,
That I might mix with men, and hear their words
On pathway'd plains; for--while my hand exults
Within the bloodless heart of lowly flowers
To work old laws of Love to fresh results,
Thro' manifold effect of simple powers--
I too would teach the man
Beyond the darker hour to see the bright,
That his fresh life may close as it began,
The still-fulfilling promise of a light
Narrowing the bounds of night.'

So wed thee with my soul, that I may mark
The coming year's great good and varied ills,
And new developments, whatever spark
Be struck from out the clash of warring wills;
Or whether, since our nature cannot rest,
The smoke of war's volcano burst again
From hoary deeps that belt the changeful West,
Old Empires, dwellings of the kings of men;
Or should those fail, that hold the helm,
While the long day of knowledge grows and warms,
And in the heart of this most ancient realm
A hateful voice be utter'd, and alarms
Sounding 'To arms! to arms!'

A simpler, saner lesson might he learn
Who reads thy gradual process, Holy Spring.
Thy leaves possess the season in their turn,
And in their time thy warblers rise on wing.
How surely glidest thou from March to May,
And changest, breathing it, the sullen wind,
Thy scope of operation, day by day,
Larger and fuller, like the human mind '
Thy warmths from bud to bud
Accomplish that blind model in the seed,
And men have hopes, which race the restless blood
That after many changes may succeed
Life, which is Life indeed.


Re: The Porgress of Spring by Alfred Lord Tennyson
Posted by: LindaD (91.110.200.---)
Date: March 28, 2009 01:37PM

I don't have it in my books either, but the OED doesn't recognise it as a word.


Re: The Progress of Spring by Alfred Lord Tennyson
Posted by: IanAKB (124.168.65.---)
Date: March 29, 2009 08:33AM

If I can find my complete Tennyson, maybe it will provide the answer.

But maybe the error arose in the original printing of this poem when some typesetter mistook for "ll" a tall, manuscript "n" in "on"; and because the poem is so turgidly overwritten, until Marian happened by with her special interest, no browsing reader with enough discrimination to spot typos bothered to read as far as stanza 6.

Or it could be an OCR error, a misrecognition of "o'er", propagated on the Internet. The typo gremlin has his happiest stamping ground there. In the poem version posted above, I'm pretty sure "bar"at the end of S1L12 should be "bare"; and there's another typo in S4L3.

Tennyson obviously relished using rare words. Sometimes they succeed brilliantly in evoking just the right atmosphere, as in Morte d'Arthur. Other times, as in The Progress of Spring, they get the better of him and turn the poem into something ridiculous like a Christmas tree weighed down to collapse by an excess of baubles.

So a rare word collector can find here "culver", "halcyon" [as a noun], "sere", "brakes", "celandine", "lours", "birk", "blackcap", "kingcup" and "changeful". In that company, were it not for Marian's sharp eye, the enigmatic "oll" might well have escaped challenge!

Ian


Re: The Porgress of Spring by Alfred Lord Tennyson
Posted by: JohnnyBoy (24.189.156.---)
Date: March 29, 2009 11:49AM

LOL@OLL


Re: The Progress of Spring by Alfred Lord Tennyson
Posted by: IanAKB (203.217.76.---)
Date: April 01, 2009 09:11PM

Another possibility is that "oll" was a typo for "roll".

AT's use of the word "copse" to describe mangroves seemed so strange that I wondered whether he had ever actually seen mangroves growing, standing in water, but he can be allowed that vocabulary stretch and be credited with sharp observation if he was describing waves rolling them, in the sense of causing them to sway to and fro (one of the meanings the SOED lists for "roll" as a transitive verb) as the waves passed through them.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/03/2009 08:37AM by IanAKB.


Re: The Progress of Spring by Alfred Lord Tennyson
Posted by: IanAKB (203.217.76.---)
Date: April 02, 2009 10:47AM

It's interesting to compare Tennyson's effort with this one of about a century earlier, which Tennyson must have known, as it was highly regarded then.


The Progress Of Poesy: A Pindaric Ode 
by Thomas Gray (1716-1771)

I.1
Awake, ∆olian lyre, awake,
And give to rapture all thy trembling strings.
From Helicon's harmonious springs
A thousand rills their mazy progress take:
The laughing flowers, that round them blow,
Drink life and fragrance as they flow.
Now the rich stream of music winds along
Deep, majestic, smooth, and strong,
Thro' verdant vales, and Ceres' golden reign:
Now rolling down the steep amain,
Headlong, impetuous, see it pour:
The rocks and nodding groves rebellow to the roar.

2
    O Sovereign of the willing soul,
Parent of sweet and solemn-breathing airs,
Enchanting shell! the sullen Cares
    And frantic Passions hear thy soft control.
On Thracia's hills the Lord of War,
Has curb'd the fury of his car,
And dropp'd his thirsty lance at thy command.
Perching on the sceptred hand
Of Jove, thy magic lulls the feather'd king
With ruffled plumes and flagging wing:
Quench'd in dark clouds of slumber lie
The terror of his beak, and lightnings of his eye.

3
Thee the voice, the dance, obey,
Temper'd to thy warbled lay.
    O'er Idalia's velvet-green
    The rosy-crownŤd Loves are seen
On Cytherea's day
    With antic Sports and blue-ey'd Pleasures,
    Frisking light in frolic measures;
Now pursuing, now retreating,
    Now in circling troops they meet:
To brisk notes in cadence beating
    Glance their many-twinkling feet.
Slow melting strains their Queen's approach declare:
    Where'er she turns the Graces homage pay.
With arms sublime, that float upon the air,
    In gliding state she wins her easy way:
O'er her warm cheek and rising bosom move
The bloom of young Desire and purple light of Love.

II.1
    Man's feeble race what ills await!
Labour, and Penury, the racks of Pain,
Disease, and Sorrow's weeping train,
    And Death, sad refuge from the storms of Fate!
The fond complaint, my song, disprove,
And justify the laws of Jove.
Say, has he giv'n in vain the heav'nly Muse?
Night, and all her sickly dews,
Her spectres wan, and birds of boding cry,
He gives to range the dreary sky:
Till down the eastern cliffs afar
Hyperion's march they spy, and glitt'ring shafts of war.

II.2
In climes beyond the solar road,
Where shaggy forms o'er ice-built mountains roam,
The Muse has broke the twilight gloom
    To cheer the shiv'ring native's dull abode.
And oft, beneath the od'rous shade
Of Chili's boundless forests laid,
She deigns to hear the savage youth repeat
In loose numbers wildly sweet
Their feather-cinctur'd chiefs, and dusky loves.
Her track, where'er the Goddess roves,
Glory pursue, and generous Shame,
Th' unconquerable Mind, and Freedom's holy flame.

II.3
Woods, that wave o'er Delphi's steep,
Isles, that crown th' ∆gean deep,
    Fields, that cool Ilissus laves,
    Or where Mśander's amber waves
In ling'ring Lab'rinths creep,
    How do your tuneful echoes languish,
    Mute, but to the voice of anguish?
Where each old poetic mountain
    Inspiration breath'd around:
Ev'ry shade and hallow'd Fountain
    Murmur'd deep a solemn sound:
Till the sad Nine in Greece's evil hour
    Left their Parnassus for the Latian plains.
Alike they scorn the pomp of tyrant Power,
    And coward Vice, that revels in her chains.
When Latium had her lofty spirit lost,
They sought, O Albion! next thy sea-encircled coast.

III.1
    Far from the sun and summer gale,
In thy green lap was Nature's darling laid,
What time, where lucid Avon stray'd,
    To him the mighty Mother did unveil
Her awful face: the dauntless child
Stretch'd forth his little arms, and smiled.
This pencil take (she said) whose colours clear
Richly paint the vernal year:
Thine too these golden keys, immortal boy!
This can unlock the gates of Joy;
Of Horror that, and thrilling Fears,
Or ope the sacred source of sympathetic tears.

III.2
    Nor second he, that rode sublime
Upon the seraph-wings of Ecstasy,
The secrets of th' abyss to spy.
    He pass'd the flaming bounds of place and time:
The living throne, the sapphire-blaze,
Where angels tremble, while they gaze,
He saw; but blasted with excess of light,
Clos'd his eyes in endless night.
Behold, where Dryden's less presumptuous car,
Wide o'er the fields of Glory bear
Two coursers of ethereal race,
With necks in thunder cloth'd, and long-resounding pace.

III.3
Hark, his hands the lyre explore!
Bright-eyed Fancy, hovering o'er,
    Scatters from her pictur'd urn
    Thoughts that breathe, and words that burn.
But ah, 'tis heard no more!
    O Lyre divine! what daring spirit
    Wakes thee now? Tho' he inherit
Nor the pride, nor ample pinion,
    That the Theban Eagle bear,
Sailing with supreme dominion
    Thro' the azure deep of air:
Yet oft before his infant eyes would run
    Such forms, as glitter in the Muse's ray
With orient hues, unborrow'd of the Sun:
    Yet shall he mount, and keep his distant way
Beyond the limits of a vulgar fate,
Beneath the Good how far--but far above the Great.


I can't be certain I have all the punctuation and upper-casing right. The versions on the Internet aren't all the same [when are they ever?!]. The line indentations appear to follow no particular pattern, so may not be Gray's, but I have reproduced them as they appear in an authoritative looking anthology 'Great Poems of the English Language' published by Harrap in 1926.

Ian

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/30/2009 08:20AM by IanAKB.


Re: The Progress of Spring by Alfred Lord Tennyson
Posted by: misterF (91.111.102.---)
Date: April 02, 2009 05:47PM

Hi Marian

You can relax. According to my collected Alf, it's "on".

Sleep well.

Stephen


Re: The Progress of Spring by Alfred Lord Tennyson
Posted by: marian222 (86.155.32.---)
Date: April 03, 2009 04:22AM

Thanks so much, Stephen - the other typos Ian spotted,which I hadn't noticed, are relatively easy to guess, but that one had me proper flummoxed! Presumably all the online copies I'd consulted were clones of one original.

Thanks to all those who took an interest in this and posted. I liked the argument for roll and thought it a bit of a pity it turned out not to be that. The Thomas Gray poem reminds me of Ted Hughes' effort for Sarah Ferguson's and Prince Andrew's wedding - very wordy with lots of complicated allusions but tending to lose this reader on its meandering way - I'm afraid I find Dicken's novels much the same - probably a fault in me (impatience) - I much prefer the Tennyson one, more straightforward but not lacking in romance and interest.

Have just discovered my own typo in the original post title - how galling!

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/03/2009 04:25AM by marian222.


Re: The Porgress of Spring by Alfred Lord Tennyson
Posted by: hpesoj (69.116.241.---)
Date: April 04, 2009 04:48PM

very wordy with lots of complicated allusions but tending to lose this reader on its meandering way - I'm afraid I find Dicken's novels much the same - probably a fault in me (impatience)...

Your are not alone Marian. With the exception of A Tale of Two Cities, I find Dickens' novels to be ponderous. My reading of Martin Chuzzlewit was one of the most painful journeys I've ever taken through a book. Perhaps having to complete it in 3 days for a final in a Victorian Novel course at Rutgers had something to do with it, but I suspect I'd feel the same way even if I had chosen to read it on my own.

Joe

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/04/2009 04:49PM by hpesoj.


Re: The Porgress of Spring by Alfred Lord Tennyson
Posted by: kartangle1 (122.163.131.---)
Date: July 16, 2009 03:51AM

But maybe the error arose in the original printing of this poem when some typesetter mistook for "ll" a tall, manuscript "n" in "on"; and because the poem is so turgidly overwritten,

So a rare word collector can find here "culver", "halcyon" [as a noun], "sere", "brakes", "celandine", "lours", "birk", "blackcap", "kingcup" and "changeful". In that company, were it not for Marian's sharp eye, the enigmatic "oll" might well have escaped challenge!

Teeth whitening


Re: The Porgress of Spring by Alfred Lord Tennyson
Posted by: IanAKB (124.168.32.---)
Date: July 27, 2009 06:26AM

Why are you re-posting my words as your own, Kartangle?


Re: The Porgress of Spring by Alfred Lord Tennyson
Posted by: IanAKB (124.168.32.---)
Date: July 27, 2009 06:29AM

I have been away for most of the last month? What's happened to this thread to cause the long poems posted by Marian and me to lose all their line end carriage returns?

Ian


Re: The Porgress of Spring by Alfred Lord Tennyson
Posted by: petersz (24.7.60.---)
Date: July 28, 2009 11:53PM

Ian,

I've reported this problem a half dozen times to the administrators and have gotten not response.

Peter


Re: The Porgress of Spring by Alfred Lord Tennyson
Posted by: kulaworaa (120.50.18.---)
Date: August 19, 2009 12:38PM

It could be an OCR error, a misrecognition of "o'er", propagated on the Internet. The typo gremlin has his happiest stamping ground there. In the poem version posted above, I'm pretty sure "bar"at the end of S1L12 should be "bare"; and there's another typo in S4L3.

Tennyson obviously relished using rare words. Sometimes they succeed brilliantly in evoking just the right atmosphere, as in Morte d'Arthur. Other times, as in The Progress of Spring, they get the better of him and turn the poem into something ridiculous like a Christmas tree weighed down to collapse by an excess of baubles.

Ashley Madison


Re: The Porgress of Spring by Alfred Lord Tennyson
Posted by: IanAKB (203.217.76.---)
Date: August 30, 2009 08:38AM

Kulaworaa,

Go for a long walk on a short pier.

This is a poetry discussion site. Your spam has no place here. And I object to you reposting my post as your own.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/30/2009 08:39AM by IanAKB.




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