xt7h707wmk5n https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7h707wmk5n/data/mets.xml Noe, James Thomas Cotton, 1864-1953 19  books b92-238-31299632 English s.n., : [S.l. : Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. American poetry Southern States. Southern poets  / J.T.C. Noe. text Southern poets  / J.T.C. Noe. 19 2002 true xt7h707wmk5n section xt7h707wmk5n 


     J. T. C. NOE, Lirr. D.
       Professor of Education
       University of Kentucky






 This page in the original text is blank.


                   SOUTHERN POETS
                       J. T. C. Noe.

    Every age produces hundreds of poets and would-be poets
who write rhyme and verse with more or less facility and grace.
sit no man may hope to win a permanent place in poetical
literature who does not produce one or more poems of unusual
power and originality. Few names are better known to lovers
of poetry than that of Thomas Gray, but not one out of a hun-
dred who know a large part of The Elegy by heart can name
another poem by Gray or quote a line from him not taken from
The EletJ. William Cullen Bryant is known almost exeuluively
by Thanatopsis and the Lines to a Waterfowl. The fame of
Holmes is limited to The Vhambeved Naurlhis. TLe Last Leaf,
The One Hoss Shay, and TAh Boys: And yet he wrote a con-
siderable volume of verse. About all that eaten sehool people
know of Lowell is his Sir Lci Afal anti his Ceuirftn . Longfellow
is the most popular American poet, with the excepti3n of Riley,
and though more than a dozen ef his poems are well known, his
fame as a poet rests upon three or four. Poe was fortunate be-
cause of his limitations and the small number of poems he pro-
    There are more than a hundred writers of verse listed in
the Library of Soitthern Literutitre. Much of the work of these
southern singers ranks shell with the bulk of poetry produced
by the New EndIand writers, with the exception of their out-
standing poems. But if we except Poe from consideration as
a southern poet. no name except that of Sidney Lanier ranks
with the New England group. Lanier was a true genius and
next to Poe the greatest master of musical verse in American, if
not all literature, Tennyson. alone, it seems to me, ranking with
these two American singers in sheer beauty of musical rhythm.
But when I say that Lanier is the only southern poet but Poe
who could be regarded as of first rank in American poetry, I
do not mean that the South has not produced good verse. Every



southerner is a singer, and it is an easy matter to mention twenty
or thirty whose work is a delight to the ear and heart. The
name of Danske Dandridge, I dare say, is unknown to most read-
ers of verse, and yet much of her poetry is of surpassing beauty.
A few lines taken at random from her pages will justify this
statement. Note the lilt, the grace and delicacy of these lines:

                It was a spot by man untrod,
                   Just where
                I think is only known to God.

                The spirit, for a while,
                Becavee of beauty freshly made
                Could only smile;
                Then grew the smiling to a song,
                And as he sarg he played
                Elton a moont ear-mwired cithole
                Shaped like a soul.

                There was no ear
                Of far or near,
                Save ore sn all sparrow of the wood,
                That song to hear.
                This, in a bosky tree,
                Heard all, and understood-
                As much as a small sparrow could
                By sympathy.

                'Twas a fair sight
                That morn of Spring,
                When on the lonely height,
                The spirit paused to sing,
                Then through the air took flight,
                Still lilting on the wing.
                And the shy bird,
                Who all had heard,
                Straightway began
                To practice o'er the lovely strain;
                Again, again;
                Though indistinct and blurred,
                He tried each word,
              Until he caught the last far sounds that fell
              Like the faint tinkles of a fairy bell.


    Who ever put more fire and energy into a heroic lyric than
John  Reuben   Thompson breathed into his Ashby        If his
stirring ballad, The Death of Stuart, sent that bold southern
knight riding down the years, as Mrs. Preston said, his lines on
Ashby make the light of dying day linger longer around that
hero's grave, the showers of summer fall softly and even the
gloom seems gay.

               To the brave all homage render,
                 Weep, ye skies of June!
               With a radiance, pure and tender,
                 Shine, 0 saddened moon!
               "Dead upon the field of glory,"
               Hero fit for song or story,
                 Lies our bold dragoon.

               Well they learned whose hands have slain him,
                 Braver, knightlier foe
               Never fought with Moor or Paynim,
                 Rode at Templestowe;
               WVt't a rn-.r V-w. hf h a nd joyous,
               'Gainst the hordes that would destroy us
                 Went he forth we know.

               There throughout the coming ages
                 When his sword is rust,
               And his deeds in classic pages
                 Mindful of her trust,
                 Shall Virginia, bending lowly,
                 Still a ceaseless vigil holy
                 Keep above his dust.

    It seems that only poets ever truly understand poets. And
unfortunately jealousies and envy often blind the eyes and close
the hearts of poets to the beautyf and power of their brothers'
work. But Waitman Barbe understood Sidney Lanier, though
born after the heroic struggle lwas over with Lanier. He knew
that Life shall ever walk out upon the slipping sands because of
                  Thy life was hedged about by ill
                As pitiless as any northern night;
                Yet thou didst make it as thy "Sunrise" bright.
                The seas were not too deep for thee; thine eye
                Was comrade with the farthest star on high.



                  The marsh burst into bloom for thee
                  And still abloom shall ever be!
                Its sluggish tide shall henceforth bear alway
                A charm it did not hold until thy day.

    Another of the young soutlhern poets whose work is but
fairly begun is Stark Young. His music, his power of inducing
atmosphere and casting the spell of romance and superstition
over his readers. mal be seen in a few lines from Gordia.
          The nightbird crieth a long wall,
          'Tis a ghostly hour, the stars are pale,
          The horned moon drifts down the west,
          The spectre day hath stirred, and soon
          The sea-meews chatter in the nest.
          Why goeth Prosper on the sands
          Lo! phantom mists are on the plain,
          Cold the wind comes from off the main.
          Out in the melancholy stars
          The ghosts of dear lost things must come
          And many, many a weary day
          Prosper hath his wont to roam.
          'Tis follow, follow, ah, welaway!
          Tarry, young Prosper, and go pray;
          Light thy taper and tell thy beads,
          Criste's moder hath ear for lovers' needs.

    I wish it were possible in this brief address to speak at
leng-th of the work of the two sonthern priest-poets. Father Ryan
and Father Tahb. Fath.er Roan is fne 'f the best known singers
of the south. He did not possess great originality, but he was
master of music and rhvme. He has few if any magic phrases
and none of the felicitous lines of Madison Cawein. But he had
fire and patriotism and deep religious fervor and faith that go
home to the heart. A stanza of the Conquered Banner is all the
space I can spare him here.
          Furl that Banner, for 'tis weary;
          Round Its staff 'tis drooping dreary;
          Furl It, fold it, It is best;
          For there's not a man to wave It,
          And there's not a sword to save it,
          And there's not one left to lave it
          In the blood which heroes gave It;
          And its foes now scorn and brave it;
            Furl It, hide it-let it rest!



    Father Tabb like Robert Loveman has given the world his
message in short swallow flights of song that rarely go beyond
a dozen lines and more often express a brief but throbbing
thought in a single quatrain. His voice is like the snowbirds-
a never frozen rill.

          Since that the dewdrop holds the star
            The long night through,
          Perchance the satellite afar
            Reflects the dew.

          And while thine image in my heart
            Doth ste-,idfast shine;
          There haply, in thy heaven apart
            Thou keepest mine.

          Out of the dusk a shadow,
            Then, a spark;
          Out of the cloud a silence,
            Then, a lark;
          Out of the heart a rapture,
            Then, a pain;
          Out of the dead, cold ashes,
            Life again.

            How many an acorn falls to die
            For one that makes a tree!
            How many a heart must pass me by
            For one that cleaves to me!

            How many a suppliant wave of sound
            Must still unheeded roll,
            For one low utterance that found
            An echo in my soul!

     The name of Robert Loveman is not found in any of the
anthologies of southern literature that I have seen, but I have
spent many a happy hour with his vuatrains, his rondeaus and
rondels. Many of his lines are mere conceits but always they
are brilliant.



               Some vast despair, some grief divine,
                   Doth vigil keep
               Forever here; before this shrine
                   The waters weep.

               Methinks a God from some far sphere,
                   In sportive part,
               In ages past wooed Nature here,
                   And broke her heart.

                     .MY JOSEPHINE.
               There was a France, there was queen,
               There was another Josephine,
               Whoge gentle love and tender art
               Subdued Napoleon's soldier heart.

               But she of France was ne'er, I ween,
               Fairer than thou, my Josephine;
               To storm thy heart I'll boldly plan,
               God! if I were the Corsican!

                    TO LONDON TOWN.
               To London town Will Shakespeare went,
               Ambitious, eager, and intent,
               To one vast end his being bent,
                              To London town.

               He hugged his precious manuscript
               Close to his heart, his fancy tripped
               All feather-footed through the day.

               And she-poor, lone Ann Hathaway-
               Taught Judith, Hamlet, how to pray
               For him-her lord, away, away
                              To London town.

    And may I say of this southern poet so little known but so
well beloved by those who know him that

               He knew Will Shakespeare's human heart
                 And felt his God-like brain,
               And sang his soul a kindred part
                 In rondeau and quatrain.



    Margaret Junkin Preston was born in Pennsylvania, but
married a Virginia professor who became a colonel in the Con-
federate army. She was the greatest woman poet of the south,
and it has been said of her, of all America. Her pen was a force
in arousing and inspiring the knights of the Confederacy. The
Shade of the Trees is one of her best knownIi poems celebrating
the last hours of Stonewall Jackson and his final words to his
soldiers. A few lines from the Color-bearer will give us an idea
of her poetic passion and inspiration.
           The shock of battle swept the lines,
           And wounded men and slain
           Lay thick as lie in summer fields
           The ridgy swathes of grain.

           The deadly phalanx belched its fire,
           The raking cannon pealed,
           The lightning-flash of bayonets
           Went glittering round the field.

           On rushed the steady Twenty-fourth
           Against the bristling guns,
           As if their gleams could daunt no more
           Than that October sun's.

           It mattered not though heads went down,
             Though gallant steps were stayed,
           Though rifles dropped from bleeding hands,
           And ghastly gaps were made

           "Olose up!" was still the stern command,
           And with unwavering tread,
           They held right on, though well they knew
             They tracked their way with dead.

           As fast they pressed with laboring breath,
             Clinched teeth and knitted frown,
           The sharp, arrestive cry rang out-
             "The color-hearer's down!"
           Quick to the front springs, at the word,
             The youngest of the band,
           And caught the flag still tightly held
             Within the fallen hand.
           With cheer he reared it high again,
             Yet claimed one instant's pause
           To lift the dying head and see
             What comrade's face it was.



          "Forward!" the captain shouted loud,
            Still "Forward!"-and the men
          Snatched madly up the shrill command,
            And shrieked it out again.

          But like a statue stood the boy,
            Without a foot's advance,
          Until the captain shook his arm,
            And roused him from his trance.

          His home had flashed upon his sight,
            The peaceful, sunny spot!
          He did not hear the crashing shells,
            Nor heed the hissing shot.

          And when the stubborn fight was done,
            And from the fast-held field
          The order'd remnant slow retired,
            Too resolute to yield-

          They found a boy whose face still wore
            A look resolved and grand,
          Who held a riddled flag close clutched
            Within his shattered hand.

    It is beyond the limitations of this paper to consider the
poetry of Edgar Allen Poe. He was born in Boston and grew
up in Virginia, but his poetry is not indigenous to southern
soil. Indeed his poc.r-,- Lelongs to no time arnd no country.
The music and atmosphere of his verse wvere induced by moods
common to all people and every age. And though his poetry is
not of the popular type, it is probably the most universal literary
note that has ever been sounded. His poems have no definite
meaning but like wierd music they sing themselves into our
senses with an irresistible po-wer. I' xxe Jisregrd Poe in the
discussion of southern poets, Henry Timrod next to Lanier, is
the most original and natural poet of the south. Lanier re-
sembles Poe more than any one else in American or English
poetry in his mastery of rhyme and haunting iteration, his musi-
cal technique; and he is all but as individual and original as
Poe. But his art is sometimes conscious and apparently less
spontaneous than that of Poe. Timrod on the other hand is
always spontaneous but less musical than Lanier. There is no
strain in the verse of Timrod, no affectation. In this respect he



is far superior to his brother poets of the south who for the
most part are not strikingly original either in form or substance.
Timrod did not originate new forms in poetry but lie did put new
wine into old bottles, wine too of unusual sparkle and flavor.
    The life of Henry Timrod, like that of Sidney Lanier, was
an inspiring. heroic struggle with poverty and disease. He
and Paul Hamilton Hayne were born in thle old city of Charles-
ton and were seat mates in school. They grew up together and
after the death of Timrod his brother poet wrote a beautiful
memoir of his friend, which was published in the first collected
edition of Timrod's poems. Timrod's early life was a struggle
with poverty, but Paul Hamilton Hayne's family was rich and
he grew up in a palatial home. When Sherman drove the jug-
gernaut of destruction through Charleston to the sea, the palace
and the humble cottage of the two poets went down together.
Hayne retired to an obscure spot which he named Copse Hill,
just outside of Augusta, Georgia, and spent the rest of his life
keeping the wolf from the door with his pen.
    How well he did his work as the consort of the muse may
be inferred from his dream of the south winds.

       0 fresh, how fresh and fair
       Through the crystal gulfs of air,
The fairy South Wind floateth on her subtle wings of balm!
       And the green earth lapped in bliss,
       To the magic of her kiss
Seems yearning upward fondly through the golden-crested calm!

        From the distant Tropic strand,
        Where the billows, bright and bland,
Go creeping, curling round the palms, faint undertune,
        From its fields of purpling flowers
        Still wet with fragrant showers,
The happy south wind linge ing sweeps the roval blooms of June.

        All heavenly fancies rise
        On the perfume of her sighs,
Which steep the inmost spirit in a languor rare and fine,
       And a peace more plure than sleep's,
       Unto dim half conscious deeps,
Transports me, lolled and dreaming, on its twilight tides divine.



       Those dreams! ah mo! the splendor,
       So mystical and tender,
Wherewith like soft heat lightenings they gird their meaning round,
       And those waters calling, calling,
       With a nameless charm enthralling,
Like the ghost of music melting on a rainbow spray of sound!

       Alas! dim, dim, and dimmer
       Grows the preternatural glimmer
Of that trance the South Wind brought me on her subtle wings of balm,
       For behold its spirit flieth,
       And its fairy murmur dieth,
And the silence closing round me is a dull and soulless calm.

    Timrod's fight with disease augmented by poverty, was
heroic to the end, but he succumbed at the age of thirty-seven.
His genius cannot, therefore, be judged  by   his performance,
for his vitalitv was so reduced in the last years of his life by
ravages of disease and want that he was unable to live up to his
earlier promises in the character of work turned out. It is re-
markable that there is no bitterness in all of Timrod's poetry,
only joyousness and hope. His Spring is one of the best poems
ever done on that hackneyed theme. Its individuality, fresh-
ness and originality are quite as remarkable as is spring itself.
A few stanzas of this poem will evidence the truth of my obser-
           Spring with that nameless pathos in the air
           Which dwells with all things fair,
           Spring, with her golden suns and silver rain,
           Is with us again.

           Out in the lonely -woods the jasmine burns
           Its fragrant lamps, and turns
           Into a royal court with green festoons
           The banks of dark lagoons.

           In the deep heart of every forest tree
           The blood is all aglee,
           And there's a look about the leafless bowers
           As if they dreamed of flowers.

           Yet still on every side we trace the hand
           Of winter in the land,
           Save where the maple reddens on the lawn,
           Flushed by the season's dawn;



           Or where, like those strange semblances we find
           That age to childhood bind,
           The elm puts on, as if in Nature's scorn,
           The brown of Autumn corn.

           As yet the turf Is dark, although you know
           That, not a span below,
           A thousand germs are groping through the gloom,
           And soon will burst their tomb.

    His heart was with his beloved south, but not with war.

           Ah! who would couple thoughts of war and crime
           With such a blessed time!
           Who in the west wind's aromatic breath
           Could hear the call of death

           Oh! standing on this desecrated mould,
           Methinks that I behold,
           Lifting her bloody daisies up to God,
           Spring kneeling on the sod,

           And calling, with the voice of all her rills,
           Upon the ancient hills
           To fall and crush the tyrants and the slaves
           Who turn her meads to graves.

    Timrod's poetic creed is found in his longest poem, A Vision
of Poesy:
           Once, on a cold and loud-voiced winter night,
             The three were seated by their cottage fire
           The mother watching by its flickering light
             The wakeful urchin, and the dozing sire;
           There was a brief, quick motion like a bird's,
           And the boy's thought thus rippled into words:

           "O mother! thou hast taught me many things,
           But none I think more beautiful than speech-
           A nobler power than even those broad wings
           I used to pray for, when I longed to reach
           That distant peak which on our vale looks down,
           And wears the star cf evening for a crown.

           "But, mother, while our human words are rife
           To us with meaning. other sounds there be
           Which seem, and are, the language of a life
           Around, yet unlike ours: winds talk; the sea
           Murmurs articulately, and the sky
           Listens, and answers, though inaudibly.



     "By stream and spring, in glades and woodlands lone,
       Beside our very cot I've gathered flowers
     Inscribed with signs and characters unknown;
       But the frail scrolls still baffle all my powers:
     What is this language and where is the key
     That opes its weird and wondrous mystery

     "The forests know it, and the mountains know
       And it Is written in the sunset's dyes;
     A revelation to the world below
       Is daily going on before our eyes;
       And, but for sinful thoughts, I do not doubt
       That we could spell the thrilling secret out.

       "O mother! somewhere on this lovely earth
       I lived, and understood that mystic tongue,
       But, for some reason, to my second birth
       Only the dullest memories have clung,
       Like that fair tree that even while blossoming
       Keeps the dead berries of a former spring.

       "Who shall put life in these-my nightly dreams
       Some teacher of supernal powers foretell;
       A fair and stately shape appears, which seems
       Bright with all truth; and once, in a dark dell
       Within the forest, unto me there came
       A voice that must be hers, which called my name."

Timrod felt a responsibility in his art.

      "The poet owes a high and holy debt,
        Which, if he feel, he craves not to be heard
      For the poor boon of praise, or place, nor yet
        Does the mere joy of song, as with the bird
      Of many voices, prompt the choral lay
      That cheers that gentle pilgrim on his way.
      "Nor may he always sweep the passionate lyre,
        Which Is his heart, only for such relief
      As an impatient spirit may desire,
        Lest, from the grave which hides a private grief,
        The spells of song call up some pallid wraith
      To blast or ban a moral hope or faith.
      "Yet over his deep soul, with all its crowd
        Of varying hopes and fears, he still must brood;
      As from its azure height a tranquil cloud
        Watches Its own bright changes in the flood;
        Self-reading, not self-loving-they are twain-
      And sounding, while he imourns, the depths of pain



           "Thus shall his songs attain the common breast,
             Dyed in his own life's blood, the sign and seal,
           Even as the thorns which are the martyr's crest,
             That do attest his office, and appeal
           Unto the universal human heart
           In sanction of his mission and his art.

           "Much yet remains unsaid-pure must he be;
             Oh. blessed are the pure! for they shall hear
           Where others hear not, see where others see
             With a dazed vision: who have drawn most near
           My shrine, have ever brought a spirit cased
           And mailed in a body clean and chaste.

           "The poet to the whole wide world belongs,
             Even as the teacher is the child's I said
           No selfish aim should ever mar his songs,
             But self wears many guises; men may wed
           Self in another, and the soul may be
           Self to its centre, all unconsciously.

           "And therefore must the Poet watch, lest he,
             In the dark struggle of this life, should take
           Sta n' vwhich he mlT.t not notice; he must flee
           Falsehood, however winsome, and forsake
           All for the Truth, assured that Truth alone
           Is beauty, and can make him all his own.

           "And he must be as armed warrior strong,
           And he must be as gentle as a girl,
           And he must front, and sometimes suffer wrong,
           With brow unbent, and lip untaught to curl;
           For wrath, and scorn, and pride, however just,
           Fill the clear spirit's eyes with earthly dust."

    The Cotton Boll has been higly- praisedl by critics. It con-
tains some of the finest descriptive lines to be found in all the
range of American poetry.

           Yonmle or(1.
           Which floats, as if at rest,
           In tCice oclue tracts above the thunder, where
           No vapors cloud the stainless air,
           And never sound is heard.
           Unless at such rare time
           When, from the City of the Blest,
           Rings down some golden chime,
           Sees not from his high place



So vast a ctrque of summer space
As widens round me in one mighty field,
Which, rimmed by seas and sands,
Doth hail its earliest daylight in the beams
Of gray Atlantic dawns;
And, broad as realms made up of many lands,
Is lost afar
Behind the crimson hills and purple lawns
Of sunset, among plains which roll their streams
Against the Evening Star!
And lo!
To the remotest point of sight,
Although I gaze upon no waste of snow,
The endless field is white;
And the whole landscape glows,
For many a shining league away,
With such accumulated light
As polar lands would flash beneath a tropic day!

But these are charms already widely blown!
His be the meed whose pencil's trace
Hath touched our very swamps with grace,
And round whose tuneful way
All Southern laurels bloom;
The Poet of "The Woodlands," unto whom
Alike are known
The flute's low breathing and the trumpet's tone,
And the soft west wind's sighs;
But who shall utter all the debt,
o land wherein all powers are met
That bind a people's heart,
The world doth owe thee at this day,
And which it never can repay,
Yet scarcely deigns to own!
Where sleeps the poet who shall fitly sing
The source wherefrom doth spring
That mighty commerce which, confined
To the mean channels of no selfish mart,
Goes out to every shore
Of this broad earth, and throngs the sea with ships
That bear no thunders; hushes hungry lips
In alien lands;
Joins with a delicate web remotest strands;
And gladdening rich and poor,
Doth gild Parisian domes,
Or feed the cottage-smoke of English homes,
And only bounds its blessings by mankind:



           In offices like these, thy mission lies,
           My Country! and It shall not end
           As long as rain shall fall and Heaven bend
           In blue above thee; though thy foes be hard
           And cruel as their weapons, it shall guard
           Thy hearth-stones as a bulwark; make thee great
           In white and bloodless state;
           And haply, as the years increase-
           Still working through its humbler reach
           With that large wisdom which the ages teach-
           Revive the half-dead dream of universal peace!

     His patriotism and faith in his country are revealed in his

           Hath not the morning dawned with added light
           And shall not evening call another star
           Out of the infinite regions of the night,
           To mark this day in Heaven At last, we are
           A nation among nations; and the world
           Shall soon behold in many a distant port
                   Another flag unfurled!
           Now, come what may, whose favor need we court
           And, under God, whose thunder need we fear
                   Thank Him who placed us here
           Beneath so kind a sky-the very sun
           Takes part with us; and on our errands run
           All breezes of the ocean; dew and rain
           Do noiseless battle for us; and the year.
           And all the gentle daughters in her train,
           March in our ranks, and in our service wield
                   Long spears of golden grain!
           A yellow blossom as her fairy shield,
           June flings her azure banner to the wind,
                   While in the order of their birth
           Her sisters pass, and many an ample field
           Grows white beneath their steps, till now, behold,
                   Its endless sheets unfold
           The snow of Southern Summers! Let the earth
           Rejoice! beneath those fleeces soft and warm
                   Our happy land shall sleep
                   In a repose as deep
               As if we lay intrenched behind
           Whole leagues of Russian ice and Arctic storml



    And finally and best of his musical technique and mastery
of rhythm is a Summer Shower.

                      Welcome, rain or tempest
                        From yon airy powers,
                      We have languished for them
                        Many sultry hours,
           And earth is sick and wan, and pines with all her flowers.

                      What have they been doing
                        In the burning June
                      Riding with the genii
                        Visiting the moon
           Or sleeping on the ice amnid an arctic noon

                      Bring they with them Jewels
                        From the -sunset lands
                      What are these they scatter
                        With such lavish hands
          There are no brighter gems in Raolconda's sands.

                      Pattering on the gravel,
                        Dropping from the eaves,
                      Glancing in the grass, and
                        Tinkling on the leaves,
          They flash the liquid pearls as flung from fairy sieves.

                      Wait, thou jealous sunshine,
                      Break not on their bliss;
                      Earth will blush in roses
                        Many a day for this,
          And bend a brighter brow beneath thy burning kiss.

    But we cannot longer linger with this brave spirit. Had
he lived out his natural life under more favorable circumstances
he might have ranked with the greatest American poets.
    Sidney Lanier is the best known azndl bet loved of the
southern group. His life was an inspiring example of faith,
courage and energy, equaling, if not surpassing that of Timrod.
He accomplished vastly more though living only a few years
longer than did his precursor in southern song. He was pri-
marily, if not chiefly, a musician. Poetry to him was only an-
other musical instrument, the flute being the one of which ie
was the greatest master. His theories of poetry are probably



the soundest to be found in all criticism. But it would have
been better for his reputation as a poet if he had never formu-
lated these principles into prose. His poetry should have spoken
for itself. One who is familiar with his work entitled Music and
Poetry, is apt to have these theories in mind as he reads Lanier's
verse. Poetry should never suggest theories of any sort.
    The Song of the Chattahoochee is one of the finest lyrics
ever written, equalling if not surpassing Tennyson's Brook. If
I had a reputation as a critic, I might hesitate to make this
statement, but being only desirous to tell the truth, I have no
hesitancy in saying that I have gotten more joy and inspiration
out of Lanier's poem than out of Tennyson's Brook, much as I
love that wonderful lyric. Oi-dinarily I do not care to fish for
the allegory in poetry