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the conceited manner, the darling and besetting sin of that day, where the situation is violently forced into the mould of some far-fetched and incongruous image :

To 'cide this title is impannelèd
A quest of thoughts, all tenants to the heart,
And by their verdict is determined

The clear eye's moiety and the dear heart's part; or again, the literary antithetic style, which was to have such a crowded future and to descend so far from this height of poetry and sincerity :

And gilded honour shamefully misplaced,
And maiden virtue rudely strumpeted,
And right perfection wrongfully disgraced,

And strength by limping sway disabled ; or, to take but one more, that manner which seems to give the very soul of the Romantic movement two hundred years before its time, not the literary, external, merely human romance of Elizabethanism, but the inward, spiritual, universal romance of Wordsworth and Keats and Hugo :

Not mine own fears, nor the prophetic soul

Of the wide world dreaming on things to come. All these manners are in this wonderful series of poems ; what is certainly not there, as I venture to think, is any general or pervading unity of the Grand Style.

One might extend such illustrations indefinitely without going outside our own poets. Do we find the Grand Style in Chaucer ? Seldom or never, I think. The ambling ease, the wandering garrulity, of that most companionable of men is a thing not very compatible with grandeur. Do we find it in Spenser ? Perhaps we do ;

Open the temple gates unto my love,
Open them wide that she may enter in,
And all the postes adorne as doth behove,
And all the pillours deck with girlands trim,
For to receive this Saynt with honour due
That cometh in to you.

But the long-drawn melodies of Spenser's rich music, his luxuriance of fancy, his exuberance of eloquence and learning and curiosity of speech, do not often allow of this fiery directness of style. And even here the treatment is mueb more expansive than the strict masters of the Grand Style would allow themselves. The difference is of course far more conspicuous in the commoner mood of Spenser :

Long were to tell the travell and long toile
Through which this shield of love I late have wonne,
And purchasèd this peerless beauties spoile,
That harder may be ended then begonne.
But since ye so desire your will be done.
Then hearke, ye gentle knights and ladies free,
My hard mishaps that ye may learn to shonne ;
For though sweet love to conquer glorious be

Yet is the pain thereof much greater than the fee. Perhaps there is more of it in the poet whom Spenser called his master, in Sidney ; for though the pupil went far beyond the master, it is Sidney and not Spenser who is the discoverer of the English language as we have known it in English poetry ever since. And that perfect simplicity and purity of language is one of the things most demanded by the Grand Style. But they are not enough by themselves, as the delightful song-writers of the Elizabethan, Jacobean, and Caroline periods are enough to show. These poets are too slight, too occasional, too personal, they have too narrow an outlook, to give the large impression of which we are in search. Herrick came nearest to it, perhaps, but even he can only approach it and fall away :

If after rude and boisterous seas
My wearied pinnace here finds ease;
If so it be I've gained the shore
With safety of a faithful oar;
If having run my barque on ground
Ye see the aged vessel crown'd;
What is to be done ? but on the sands
Ye dance and sing and now clap hands.
-The first act 's doubtful, but we say)
It is the last commends the Play.

The rich sound and large suggestion of the first couplet might have been a fit prelude to the true Grand Style, but is the simplicity of 'What 's to be done' in this context a noble simplicity? And, if it were, could anything redeem the ninth line with its hideous succession of 'first', 'act', 'doubt', 'but ’, and its final tag' we say 'stuck in to save the rhyme ? No, whatever this is, it is not the Grand Style. Nor is that style often discoverable in the great Dryden, whose greatness is rather of the mind than the imagination, while his simplicity begins to be rather that of prose than that of poetry. I am one of those who, in spite of Swinburne, think that Gray is a greater poet than Collins, but nothing in Gray seems to me to attain so perfectly to the Grand Style as the opening of Collins's famous Ode.

If aught of oaten stop or pastoral song
May hope, chaste eve, to soothe thy modest ear,

Like thy own solemn springs

Thy springs, and dying gales

O nymph reserved has, to my ear, a sterner and grander simplicity than

The Curfew tolls the knell of parting day. Still, one would be sorry to deny that the note of the great Elegy and of the best parts of the Odes comes very near that of the Grand Style. No one in that day, certainly, would have understood what is meant by it so well as Gray. There is nothing of it in Pope ; and, when we get a little later on, there is nothing of it, I think, in Goldsmith, nothing in Crabbe, nothing in Cowper, except perhaps the Loss of the Royal George. Wordsworth exhibits, as I have said, the two extremes—its presence in sovereign perfection, its blank and irremediable absence. Scott is too local and physical, too lacking in universality and serious thought, to attain to it. Byron can achieve it, as he can achieve everything else, for a moment, but his fitfulness, and his rhetorical cast of mind,

prevent any considerable exhibition of a manner so grave and quiet. Shelley has it often in those golden moments when neither his cloudy love of the abstract and unconditional, nor the incoherent restlessness of his mind, deprives him of the necessary simplicity ; in such stanzas as :

Out of the day and night
A joy has taken flight;

Fresh Spring, and Summer, and Winter hoar,
Move my faint heart with grief, but with delight

No more-oh, never more! or in such an astonishing single line, great even beyond the greatness of the poem in which it occurs, as :

O Wind, If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind ? Of Keats we have already spoken; and after those days we get very near our own, and these always delicate distinctions do not grow easier. But Landor, though as certainly not one of our great poets as he assuredly is one of our very greatest masters of prose, touched these heights of style, it seems to me, not only in a thousand places of his prose, not only in that most perfect of all epitaphs :

Literarum quaesivit gloriam : videt dei ; but also once or twice in his verse

Death stands above me, whispering low

I know not what into my ear :
Of his strange language all I know

Is, there is not a word of fear. Tennyson has abundance of it when his conscious search after the verbal felicities in which he has no modern equal allows him enough simplicity. One supreme instance is enough, another epitaph, the finest that exists in English verse, as Landor's is perhaps the finest in Latin prose : Not here ! the white North has thy bones ; and thou,

Heroic sailor-soul,
Art passing on thine happier voyage now

Toward no earthly pole.

I will mention only one other poet. Swinburne’s exuberant verbosity is not easily compatible with grandeur, and produces the curious result that the poet is perhaps more apt to attain the Grand Style in translation than in his own original poetry. Is his style ever more nobly simple than in

Take heed of this small child of earth;

He is great ; he hath in him God most high ?or again in

Men, brother men, that after us yet live,

Let not your hearts too hard against us be. Still, no doubt such a gift of style as his could not be confined to the translations. Whole poems full of it are to be found in every volume Swinburne issued : Seeing death has no part in him any more, no power

Upon his head;
He has bought his eternity with a little hour,

And is not dead. And brief fires of it shine for a moment in a thousand poems, too soon extinguished by rhetoric and repetition, by too many words and too little matter to fill them :

For being in such poor eyes so beautiful,
It must needs be, as God is more than I,

So much more love He hath of you than mine. or

Me these allure, and know me; but no man
Knows, and my goddess only. Lo now, see

If one of all you these things vex at all. But it is time to leave individual poets and sum up the general position. What I have been trying to argue is that the Grand Style is not just any style that makes good poetry, but a particular kind of style. It is the style which takes its spirit from the poet's overpowering consciousness of the presence of greatness. Therefore let thy words be few' is the secretly, perhaps unconsciously, heard message which it obeys in its supreme manifestations. In

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