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bloom are still upon that unique force: the poetic beauty remains. It flower, grown in the troubled solitudes is to be hoped that the day will not of spiritual desire. Nor, to vary the come when the youth of Italy will no metaphor, have the echoes yet died more be stirred by the magic of the away, in any country, of that clanging lines of the famous "Hymn":tocsin, that war-song of the pagan spirit. If, nowadays, no one even in
Tra le odorifere
Palme d' Idume, Italy anathematizes Carducci
Dove biancheggiano worshipper of evil because of his “Iu
Le ciprie spume. no a Satana," there are few probably, in Italy or elsewhere, who would not If the “Inno a Satana" be so characnow regard the Satanic epithets and teristic of Carducci, not less characterallusions as somewhat pantomimic istic of his mental attitude, of the and grotesque. For, of course, Car- ethical aspect of his splendid achieveducci does not mean, never did mean, ment, are those other words of histo invoke the Prince of Evil! All that “Send forth upon the wind the cry of the celebrated and technically mar- the watchman: "The age renews itself, vellous) "Hymn" means is, Let us be the day of fulfilment is nigh.' done with what is outworn; let us In this sense the "Hymn" is typical worship only what makes for divinity;
of all Carducci's poetry; the rhetorical let us rejoice in our mortal destiny part served its purpose; what is of and in our world, and not cry shame sheer beauty remains. We doubt if upon our humanity; let us be done the achievement of any living poet with shams; let us be up and rejoice; could stand comparison with that of let us be up and doing. It is but the Giosuè Carducci in the qualities principle of new birth, of revolt, the
of distinction, strength, and classic law of material, as of spiritual, resur. beauty. rection which the poet invokes in his Within limited
range, Hérédia “Satan":
is the sole
to suggest; but
Hérédia is a sculptor in ivory, CarSalute, O Satana,
ducci is of the kindred of Michel AnO ribellione,
gelo; or, again, Hérédia is as one of O forza vindice Della ragione!
the exquisite minor poets of the An
thology, Carducci a latter-day CatulAnd it is not to the conventional lus, with a far greater intellectual “Prince of this World," but to no other and national inspiration and range. than Alastor, the Spirit of Beauty, Neither Hérédia nor Arturo Graf, not whom every poet has worshipped since even Leconte de Lisle, has more truly poetry became the dream of the bu- cherished and given us anew “the an
soul, that he cries, "For thee tique beauty." For Carducci, the Adonis lived; for thee Astarte; for beauty that was of old is the one imthee came into being the marbles, the mortal thing in this world of mortal pictures, and golden verse, when, change and chance. For him, as he from the Ionian wave, Aphrodite arose says in the "Primavere Elleniche," with her great joy; for thee roared the “though all other gods may die,” the forests of Lebanon .. for thee sang divinities made immortal by the Greek the chorus ... for thee raved the genius “live still among ancient woods dances."
and in the eternal seas." The rhetorical fires have long ere To Carducci, also, belongs the honor this expended their inflammatory of having restored to Italian poetry
its long-lost dignity. This true brother to accept both harvests; but above all of Catullus has not only moulded anew he has lived to rejoice that the nation the form of lyric verse, but has set up at large is not only the richer but the a strenuous ideal for his countrymen stronger for what he has given of his who would strive to re-create and not best. to imitate.
respect, at least, Gabriele
D'Annunzio is to be mentioned with Odio l' usata poesia: concede
his great compatriot, for whatever be Comoda al vulgo.
the shortcomings of this brilliant and A me la strofe vigile,
fascinating personality-we speak of as he writes in the famous “Prelude," him solely as author and artist-he in rhymeless Catullian verse, in the has the unique poetic temperament. first series of the “Odi Barbare." For him, too, the “word” is sacred, a But Carducci is much more than
secret minister, an ally to be won, at “the high-priest of impeccable form.” once slave and tyrant. For him, too, He is a poet inspired by a lofty pa
the one dominant ideal is "far l' arte," triotism, a poet troubled by the deep
"to make art." D'Annunzio does not problems of modern life, a prophet of
fall short of Carducci because of any high destinies, national and mundane.
lack of those shaping and coloring Even "the pagan note" throughout his
qualities which make for the rarest work, sane and wise as no small part
and highest art, but because, in the of it indubitably is, must not be over
main, he has failed to see that it is emphasized. We find this pagan note,
not mere imagination that triumphs, it is true, in every personal utterance
but controlled imagination; that song even of the graver poet of mature age;
must be the outcome of long spiritual but now it is the utterance of one who meditation, so that from the greater realizes that in the pagan spirit alone depth it may soar to greater height; lies no. likelihood of escape from the that spiritual understanding is as Slough of Despond. In contemporary
much the poet's concern as the swift Italian literature Carducci stands pre
flame of lyrical emotion. In a word, eminent as the poet who has given his
though D'Annunzio has all the artistic whole life to the service of his art, to qualities, he has them to excess, so the persistent ideal to re-create in that there is no equipoise as with Carbeauty and distinction, to make his
ducci. Nor, with all his culture, his own art (“far l'arte”) in his own way:
wide range, bis cosmopolitan sympathe poet who writes
thies, has he the like instinctive schol.
arship-a scholarship that is someOr destruggiam. Dei secoli
thing more than erudition, for we are Lo strato è sul pensiero:
thinking of a mental quality rather O pochi e forti, all' opera,
than of intellectual accomplishment. Chè nei profundi é il vero.16
On the other hand, while more derivaFor fifty years Carducci has led the tive than Carducci, he is not less lackvan of the literary Risorgimento. To- ing in originality. He is an instance, day he stands higher than ever, as simply, of the literary temperament in immeasurably the greatest modern alliance with that order of creative Italian poet. He has lived to see the genius which must gather from many seed both of his wise and unwise "pa- gardens, and in the gathering is both ganism” flourish, and philosophically heedless as to what honey is stolen,
18 Now perforce we destroy. The highway of the ages is built upon thought. To the work,
tben, Ofew and strong, for truth is of the depths.
and indifferent to what accusations are enough before the public for judgment bandied. After all, the honey which to be passed on his limitations, for an the poet brings is all that need con- estimate all but certain as to what he cern the critic of poetry. A poet's meth- can not do. But it must be rememods may be interesting; it is the re- bered that the author of “Primavere" sults that convince, or do not convince. was but a boy of fifteen; that the poet,
Moreover, D'Annunzio is less deriva- dramatist, novelist of to-day is even tive in his poetry than in his prose. now still a young man, being on the At any rate he does not "convey" in sunny side of forty. the one as he sometimes too auda. It is as a poet of nature that D'Anciously does in the other; though there nunzio is at his best. With the excepare notable exceptions to this general- tion of Giovanni Pascoli (to compare ization, as, for example, in the very whom would be, as it were, to comMaeterlinckian 'passage in the drama pare André Chénier and Baudelaire, "La Gloria,” where the group of physi- or the author of "Endymion” with the cians and others keep the vigil of author of "Poemns and Ballads”), he death near the dying patrician. Of has in this respect no rival. He has course as a young man he imitated, the compelling passion of the now Carducci, now Leopardi, now so characteristic of Swinburne; the Baudelaire, now Catullus or the poets love of mountain-solitude and lonely of the Greek Anthology, now Shelley, wilds so characteristic of Wordsworth, now de Musset. But these imitations though a love less simple in sentiment were the tentative efforts of a potent and less natural in expression; somepersonality that had not yet learned thing of the charm, too, that we find the height or direction of its true in Theocritus; something of the 'delicourse.
cate and intimate touch of Tennyson. Whether as poet or novelist, how- To this is added a rapt intensity of ever, D'Annunzio is not properly un- vision and emotion sometimes considderstood in this country. This is partly ered characteristically Celtic, though because he is an extreme exemplar of it is in truth too primitive and univerthe pagan side of the Latin temper, sal a quality to be adequately exand of the Latin habit of mind. More pressed by any literary label. We and more, as we consider his already come to think of him at times, not as notable and variegated achievement, the D'Annunzio of scandal and crimiwe believe that D'Annunzio's super- nal passion, but the poet pure and abundant faults and shortcomings simple, as a faun become a man and a blind northerners, not only to his mar- modern singer, who remembers old vellous art, but to his power and influ- songs and the antique world, and at ence as an accepted type, as a signal heart is a faun indeed, or at least genius of the Latin race. The gulf "veritamente un figlio della terra anbetween the Latin and the Anglo- tica,” as in the “Song of the Sun” in Saxon is greater than is commonly “Canto Novo":recognized in these days, when it is a
Sta il gran meriggio su questa di flutti commonplace that racial distinctions e di piante tend to disappear. It is, on the con- Verde azzurrina conca solitaria: trary, possible, perhaps probable, that
Ed io, come il fauno antico in agguathis gulf grows deeper.
Platano sacro, qui fra le chiome Nor bas D'Annunzio yet said all
tue. . . that he has to say. It might indeed
16 The high noon stands above this lonely dell, be urged that he has now been long
filled with blue-green foliage, as a shell with the waves of the sea; and I, like a faun of olden days in ambush, crouch beneath thy tresses, O sacred plane-tree!
But if we are allured at times into love, from Catullus or Omar Khayyam this wonder-world of intimate nature, to Leconte de Lisle and Carducci. we are more often recalled to the sad Read, for instance, “The Triumph of world of weariness and disillusion, Iseult” (itself a metrical triumph in hearing the supersensuous, decadent, the difficult manner of Lorenzo di ennuyé poet crying, “O cessate! la mu- Medici), recalling as it does Villon and sica mi stanca,” or “Chi potrà darmi Swinburne and William Morris, and un qualche nuovo senso?” There is one yet so unmistakably the poet's own, thing inevitable for him who drinks with its monotonously sweet refrain, too long and too deep from the cup of "for everything save love is vain":experience. If weariness and disillusion may inspire, they must also
Torna in fior di giovinezza
Isaotta Blanzesmano, weaken the art of the poet who has
Dice: Tutto al mondo è vano. thus drunken and not known when to
Nè l'amore ogni dolcezza! 19 throw the cup aside.
That, too, is the poet's own-the Sono spogliati tutti i miei rosai.
stanza of Death, as a beautiful womNon più ghirlande! E la mia coppa d an, closing the procession, however vuota.
much the Guinevere and other stanzas Bevvi, bevvi e ribevvi. Al fine ignota
suggest comparison with familiar lines Non me nessuna ebrezza.
of the poets named above:It is the salutary part of this poetry
Chiude il gran corteo la Morte; of weariness, so characteristic, not
Non la dea de' cemeteri, only of D'Annunzio, but of all he Ma una fresca donna e forte stands for in that decadent phase of Cui valletti lusinghieri thought and literature and life of Sono i Sogni ed i Piaceri
Da 'l gentil volto pagano. which, on one side at least, he is the
Dice: Tutto al mondo è vano, foremost exemplar, that, when revul
Ne l'amore ogni dolcezza! 20 sion is at hand, the reader is almost always won back by some beautiful
Perhaps one reason why D'Annunzio vision of the world we know and love, appeals more strongly than Carducci or by some deep and sincere cry from to the Italians of the North, to the the poet's heart—“Allor che su 'l vento French of the North, to the Germans maestrale mi balzava la strofe ... and ourselves, is that he has more of squillando annanzi, O mare, o mare, the love of the mysterious. In one of O mare!"' 18
his most beautiful short poems, the In his so-called decadent verse, too, “Vas Mysteri," in the “Poema Parathere is much of great beauty, some disiaco” volume of 1893, he makes inof it at least being no more “decadent” deed a direct invocation to that veiled than is that poetic melancholy which Muse: “Apriti al fine, o tu che l' urna is the habit of mind of all the poets of sei del Mistero!" And, again, because
17 Despolled are all my rose-beds: no garlands now! And my cup is empty. I have drunk of it, I have drunk of it, again and again. And, at last, no intoxication is left to me to know. ... 18 Then
on the tempestuous wind my song turns, crying, with great longing, O sea, O sea, O sea!
19 Cometh again, in her flower of youth, Iseult of the White Hands. She says: “All the world is vain: in love only doth all sweetness live."
20 At the end of the noble cortege, Deatb; not the sombre Lady of Graves, but a woman fresh and strong, whose Battering train-bearers are Dreams and Delights, each of a noble pagan beauty. And she too says: "All the world is vain: in love only doth all sweetness live."
he is a prophet of "the joy to come” there is also much mere rhetoric and
that “far-off day of the travailing at times a bathos sinking to the level generations"
of distinctly commonplace prose.
Here, as in matters of deeper import, Cantate, O venti! Ne l' ignoto mare
it is to be wished that D'Annunzio E l'Isola promessa:
had more of the intellectual pride and La come in sommo d' an immenso al
artistic control of his greater compatare E la gioia promessa.
triot, Giosuè Carducci; the more so as
his influence is becoming steadily Gabriele D'Annunzio is now before
more potent in Italy, despite obstacles his countrymen as a “national” poet.
of all kinds, and notwithstanding the We do not think that his essentially animadversions, both wise and lyrical and emotional genius is well
wise, of perhaps the majority of the fitted for a sustained flight; but of this
critics and of the reading-public. Carperhaps no foreigner can properly ducci's high place is now beyond cavil. judge. Meanwhile the lyrical epic of
He for his part has ever thought of his Garibaldi is in part given to the
to-morrow. Gabriele D'Annunzio has world. In judging this lyrical epic,
owed so much to French writers that or "epical series of lyrical chants," one
it is to be wished he could more conmust bear in mind the author's own
sistently have borne in mind, that he comment that the poems should be
may henceforth bear in mind, the recited aloud rather than silently read,
memorable words of Sainte-Beuve, "per vivere della sua piena pita musi
“C'est à ce lendemain sévère que tout cale, ella ha bisogno di passare nella
artiste sérieux doit songer."
And bocca sonante del dicitore." But it
what better watchword could he, too, must be admitted that, with many fine
have than that of his master, the vetlines, and frequent subtle and en
eran Carducci, already adopted by chanting effects as in
Young Italy, fervent and hopeful: “O
“To the Ei si ricorda nell'alba di Novembre: pochi e forti, all'opera!" Quando salpò da Quarto era la sera, good work, then, Oye few and Sera di Maggio conridere di stelle, strong!” The Quarterly Review.
THE RELIC MARKET.
Notwithstanding the incidence of conditions of celebrities have been taxation, the growth of the butcher's represented in the relic market of late, bill, and the expansion of the coal from Kruger to Charles "le Roi," merchant's account, the market in rel- whose remains have proved in the ics has for some time past been of a past, as in the present, veritable gold distinctly firm character, the “bulls" mines to those who possess them. for the most part having everything so Relics of Shakespeare and Garrick, entirely their own way that the Wellington, Napoleon, and Nelson, "bear" is likely to become as rare as Gladstone and Beaconsfield, have also the legendary dodo. All sorts and occupied the attention of purchasers
2 The “Canzone di Garibaldi," published in & series of seven. In time we are to have the 1901, is not, as many imagine, a complete work. other "books" or sections: (1) "The Birth of The present instalment is a poem of twenty- the Hero"; (2) “The Ocean and the Pampas"; two sections, amounting in all to one thousand (4) "From Rome to the Pontine Marshes"; (6) and four lines. The actual title of this section "Aspromonte and Mentana"; (6) “The Crown Is "The Nigbt of Caprera," and it is the third in of Peace"; (7) “The Hero's End."