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raise, like him, a tidal wave affecting the | around the sun, in a path very little whole Auid substance of the earth; and, changed from that which she at present owing to her much greater proximity, the follows, and, by such wave motion as the tidal wave she thus raised must of neces- sun can produce in the moon's mass, he sity have been very much greater than would tend slowly to diminish her rate of that raised by the sun. This tidal wave, rotation. The neighborhood of the earth like that now raised by the moon, would prevents any such change from occurring, retard the earth's rotational spin, and and would do so, even if the sun could much more effectively. The retardation raise a large tidal wave in deep lunar seas of the earth's spin would then, as now, or in the moon's entire mass. It will be be accompanied by a gradual retardation seen presently that this is a consideration of the moon's motion, and recession of of some importance.
There is also some the moon from the earth. And while work for the earth to do – though it is these changes were taking place, the but slight-in diminishing the moon's earth, by her attraction on the then Auid rate of rotation so as to correspond exmass of the moon, would be producing actly with the slow, gradual increase in similar effects. The moon (supposing her her period of revolution. Students of the then to have rotated in less time than sbe moon could well wish this were otherwise, occupied in revolving round the earth) so that the farther side of the moon, which would be acted upon tidally by the earth. we never see, might come, however slowly, A mighty wave of Auid or at least plastic into our ken. matter would circle around the moon in a The earth, then, acting on the moon direction contrary to that in which she caused the moon to adopt that mode of was rotating; she would, therefore, grad-motion which we recognize in her, turning ually lose her rotational spin, just as the once on her axis while she revolves once earth was losing hers, only at a more around the earth. In this peculiarity of rapid rate. The reaction corresponding the moon's motion we recognize one piece to this action would be, in the earth's of evidence, which of itself is absolutely case, as in the moon's, shown by increased convincing, as to the vastness of the timedistance. In other words, the earth's intervals which have elapsed since the rotation and the moon's rotation would moon first began her independent exist. both be reduced in rate, the moon's the ence. Whatever the moon's original romore rapidly, and both changes would tation period may have been it was combine reactionally in increasing the certainly very much shorter than her pres. distance separating the two bodies. ent rotation period. If we suppose it
Only one of these processes is now identical originally with her period of rev going on the moon's action is dimin-olution there would have been an enorishing the earth's rotational spin (and the mous amount of work for the earth to do moon's distance is therefore increasing by in gradually reducing the period to its reaction), the earth's action is not dimin- present value — both periods, in point of ishing the rotational spin of the moon. fact, simultaneously. We have, then, to The reason why the latter action no longer carry back the earth's history so far that, produces any effect is that it has done its independently of all other evidence to work, it no longer has anything left to that effect, we find ourselves forced to
The moon's rotation now accept the conclusion that, at the beginsynchronizes with her revolution around ning of the separate existence of earth the earth, there is no tidal wave (there and moon, our earth was a globe rotating could be none if the moon's entire sur. much more rapidly than at present and face were covered by ocean, or even if much nearer to the moon. the moon's entire mass were Auid), and And here the question arises whether therefore there is no loss of rotational we can find in this inference any explanaspin. I have said the earth no longer has tion of the undoubted discrepancy beany work to do so far as modifying the tween the teachings of geology and those moon's rotation is concerned. This is of astronomy as to the earth's age. On nearly true, but not quite. The earth has the one hand the study of the earth's still some work to do, in preventing the crust tells us of one hundred millions of rotation rate of the moon from diminish. years at the very least during which the ing, as it would otherwise tend to do, earth has been the scene of changes such under the sun's action. If the earth as are now in progress, chiefly — one may were suddenly destroyed, or rather re say, altogether - under solar influence. moved entirely away from the solar sys: On the other hand, regarding the sun's tein, the moon would continue to travel | emission of heat as resulting, in the main,
from the contraction of his mass, we find and the great currents they produce? In the that, assuming his density uniform, or great primeval tides will probably be found nearly so, the contraction of his mass to the explanation of what has long been a reits present dimensions, even from a for: proach to geology. The early palæozoic rocks mer infinite extension, would have re. form a stupendous mass of ocean-made beds, sulted only in generating as much beat as twenty miles thick up to the top of the Silurian
which, according to Professor Williamson, are would last, at the present rate of emis.
beds. sion, about twenty millions of years. We how such a gigantic quantity of material could
It has long been a difficulty to conceive do not gain by supposing the rate of emis- have been ground up and deposited at the sion less in former ages of the earth, for bottom of the sea. The geologists said, “The then, the rate of solar work on the earth rivers and other agents of the present day will being less, the length of time necessary do it if you give them time enough.” But, to complete the work which has actually unfortunately, the mathematicians and the been done would have been proportion natural philosophers would not give them time ately greater.
enough. The mathematicians had other rea.
sons for believing that the earth could not The difficulty is very serious. Dr. Croll, who was one of the first to call Now, however, the mathematicians have dis
have been so old as the geologists demanded. attention to it, suggested the explanation, covered the new and stupendous tidal grinding which I take to be inconceivable, that our engine. With this powerful aid the geologists sun was generated by the collision of sev- can get through their work in a reasonable eral orbs which had been rushing through period of time, and the geologists and the space with enormous velocity, and that mathematicians may be reconciled. his supply of heat represents the energy of those rushing suns, as well as that re: I am disposed to doubt seriously wheth. sulting from compression. My own solu. er mathematicians and astronomers have tion of the difficulty is one which is con- done more than to somewhat alleviate the firmed by other researches, including an pressure of the difficulty we are considimportant investigation by Mr. G. Dar-ering. That they have subtracted some. win, that the sun is not of nearly uniforın what from the work which had formerly density throughout his apparent globe, been assigned to the sun must be admitbut that he is enormously compressed to ted. We need not inquire what the forwards the centre, and that, in point of mer height of the tides, or to discuss the fact, the surface we see lies very far above action of the tidal wave in detail. the real surface of the sun.
consider only that the tidal wave, accordDr. Ball believes that in the former ing to the very theory we are considering, proximity of the moon we may find a has, by its reaction against the earth, recomplete answer to the enigma. In the duced the earth's rotation spin from a primitive oceans, he says, the moon raised rate of one rotation in perhaps not more tides as she does now, but when she was than three hours, certainly not more than nearer the tides were much bigher than six, to one rotation only in twenty-four at present. For instance, when the moon's hours, we see that the work done on the distance was but forty thousand miles, or, earth's crust must have been enormous. roughly, a sixth of her present distance, It represents the friction products, so to her iide-raising power was not six times, speak, of all that work. The wonder but two hundred and sixteen (six times might rather be that the ocean-made beds six times six) times greater than at pres are not much thicker than they are, than ent. So far Dr. Ball's reasoning is sound ; that they are so thick. But here is our but I cannot follow him in saying that difficulty returning to us in another form. therefore, the tides would have been two Is it clear that the beds considered by hundred and sixteen times as high as at Dr. Ball were not made subsequently to present. (There is no such simple rela- the time when the moon was at the com. tion as this betiveen tide producing en- paratively small distance he mentions? ergy and the height of the tidal wave.) Can we for a moment imagine that the Still, we may adıit that ile tides were tremendous work of checking the earth's very much higher then than now. rotation spin to less than a quarter of gift which astronoiners have now made to the I done while still the greater part of the These mighty tides [says Dr. Ball) are the what it was, has only left such traces as
these? Must not that work have been working machinery of the geologist. They constitute an engine of terrific power to zid in eartlı’s mass was fluid, and the water tidal the great work of geology. What would the wave bave begun its work long after ? puny efforts of water in other ways accom. Geologists have other reasons than the plish when compared with the majestic tides | thick, ocean-made strata for their belief in
the vast periods of time which form the
From Fraser's Magazine.
THE POETRY OF DANTE GABRIEL great difficulty of the problem. There is the evidence derived from the study of organic matter, the evidence derived from
THE lyric poet has many outlets for the the remains of once living creatures application of his special powers; he may animal and vegetable. The moon might express himself in the song, the ode, the have raised a tidal wave as high as Chim- sonnet, and the various forms of the balborazo without hastening the progress of lad. If the narrative tendency is strong, what may be called the development of and possessed along with an unflagging the earth nay, she would very seriously power over varied cadences and subtle have checked this progress. It may be and elaborate harmonies, then the lyric doubted, even, whether life, belonging to narrator may blossom into full fruition as any save the lower forms, could have ex. an allegorist or a master of epic story. isted during the time when such tidal When we think of Spenser and Milton we waves as Dr. Ball pictures careered round directly associate them with “The Faerie the swiftly rotating globe.
Queene” and “ Paradise Lost” respectIt remains to be noticed that, though ively; but it is an easy transition that the day will continually increase as the leads us back to the sweet fluency of the moon recedes, and, vice versa, the length “ Echo Song,” or the dainty notes in the of the month, measured in days, attained “ Calendar that celebrate is faire Elisa.” long since its maximum. It was then — It is superfluous to say a word as to the some millions of years ago — about twen- perfect movement of Shakespeare's narraty-nine days long, and is now but twenty- tives, or as to the majestic measures of seven and one-third days, as days are his songs and sonnets, but we may rea
As the moon recedes, the lunar sonably regret that the fashion of his time month – which is also the moon's day did not induce bim to write an ode. Then will contain fewer and fewer of our terres- surely had there been such a clang and trial days. For our day grows longer, interchange of instruments, such triumnow, at a greater rate than the lunar phant surging floods and quiet expressive month increases. Our day will continue rills of perfect music, as it would have to grow longer and longer as the moon done the world good to hear! At the recedes. In one hundred and fifty mil- same time, a great poet's genuine strength lions of years, or thereabouts, our day is usually best seen in his own favorite will be about one thousand four hundred way of expressing himself. Dryden's inof our present hours long; this period, imitable ode, for example, is such an acci. also, will then be that in which the moon dental and exceptional product of his gencircles around the earth — about fifty- ius that Gray is warranted in speaking of eight and one-third of our present days. him simply as the master of the heroic Dr. Ball goes on to consider how the sun couplet, driving his would affect this state of things. There would be a tide raised by the sun on the Two coursers of ethereal race, earth after the moon had ceased to raise With necks in thunder cloth’d, and long-re
sounding pace. any tide (the earth's rotation exactly synchronizing with the moon's revolution); Gray himself is known only to the student and, as a result of this, Dr. Ball says, that as the author of exquisite odes and that the earth would begin to rotate in a longer delicately finished sonnet of his on the time than the moon circles round her. It death of: Richard West; to the average appears to me that the moon's action reader of poetry he is simply the writer of would check any tendency of this sort, the wonderful elegy. So it is with Cowjust as the earth's action on the moon per and Thomson, both of whom did work has, as we know, prevented the moon in key and form different from the sober from rotating in a longer period than that and stately blank verse by which they are of her revolution round the earth. The popularly known. It is the same with the state of compromise with a moon circling great poets of the present century. Shelonce in one thousand four hundred hours ley, for example, is well-nigh forgotten as round the earth rotating in the same a sonneteer, and even Wordsworth is raptime, the moon also so rotating, would idly coming to be thought of as simply a be, I believe, a state of stable equilib- writer of elaborate didactic blank verse. rium. It is not a very pleasant future It is unnecessary to speak of Coleridge, to look forward to. Fortunately it is Southey, and Byron, all of whom are very remote.
quietly becoming the special property of RICHARD A. PROCTOR. the professional literary man. To the
VOL. XXXVII, 1924
quick observer the process is seen going It is as useless to talk of the gratuitous on in our own time, and it would perhaps limitation of the sonnet as it would be not be difficult to predict from what works (and why should it not as well be ?) to keep posterity will quote when they speak of harping upon the particular fashion of any Mr. Tennyson, Mr. Browning, Mr. Wil structure whatever, whether artistic or liam Morris, and Mr. Swinburne. Let us mechanical. It is no fault of a sonnet note, however, in passing, that the popu. that it is not something else – it is not, lar verdict in such matters is not necessa- for example, discreditable to it that it canrily the true one, especially if (as in the not be sung, or declaimed, or used piece. cases of Milton and Wordsworth, as well meal by the exhibitor of " literary beau. as several living poets) the writer has ties," and the like — but it is distinctly shown decided power in various provinces meritorious that the genuine speciinen of his art.
should be instantly discernible, shining Such a forecast as that just indicated forth a perfect diamond with indubitable would be particularly difficult as yet in fascination of purity and symmetrical reference io Mr. Rossetti. His poetry grace. Let it be, of course, an English has been before the world for something sonnet, if the preference is for that form, like twelve years altogether, while it is and the result in the hands of a true masonly now, from the two volumes just is. ter of his art will be a beautiful and persued (with much work entirely fresh, and fect English sonnet, for which the reader of great importance), that a fair judgment of poetry, according to his measure of can be formed as to his matured expres. insight and appreciation, will have reason sion. He challenges attention as a son to be duly thankful. On the other hand, neteer, a writer of ballads, and of narrative given the construction of a sonnet accordand reflective lyrics. One is not surprised, ing to the Petrarchan model, with its much after a perusal of his poems in various older pedigree, and the worthy poetical forms, to find that he has not tried the ode. craftsman will, without fail, produce that We are not more ready to regret that as his taste and strength may direct Shakespeare never attempted an ode than him. Mr. Rossetti works at the sonnet we are to acquit Mr. Rossetti of the task. in the spirit of the true lover of his art. His passion is incapable of rising into The architectural features of every sepa. great billowy surges, and rolling forward rate unity are marked by deliberation, in tempestuous harinonies; nor is bis judgment, finish, taste, and chaste elabopower over pathos adapted to the deli- ration. There is no loose grouping of decate and penetrating tenderness of the tached fragments of masonry, with indolonely Aute. One could not possibly im- lent trust that somelrow they will fit into aginé Mr. Rossetti sitting up all night, one another and produce a harmonious and producing in the morning a trium- result. On the contrary, even a slight phant ode for a Handel by-and-by to set analysis will show how interdependent are worthily to music. The ode demands im- the different parts of the structure, and pulse of genius, quick, energetic fervor, how well rounded and compact is the enmastery of rapid transition, and a com- tire composition. As Mr. Rossetti himprehensive sense of multitudinous move- self well says, ments, as well as a clear perception of
A sonnet is a moment's monument, delicate, single effects. Mr. Rossetti's method is incapable of application to any.
Memorial from the soul's eternity
To one dead deathless hour. thing of this kind. His work is characterized by intellectual subtlety, calm Acting upon this idea - and perhaps, dignity of emotional reference, and pun- too, influenced in some measure by the gent ideal sympathy, rather than by depth existence of the “Vita Nuova" of his reand overflow of feeling, and storm and more godfather the poet has worked out majesty of passion; while it is marked by a sonnet sequence which he calls “ The patient elaboration and exquisite grace of House of Life.” The different members finish rather than by strength of structu- of this remarkable canticle are so many ral design and massive grandeur of form moments' monuments, while the whole is and feature. It is by the assiduous culti-a transcript of the soul's experience in its vation of such powers as are clearly indi. more or less successful endeavors after cated by workinanship of this kind that an ideal. An attitude of philosophic melMr. Rossetti has at length proved himself ancholy
:- a wooing of despair — is charto be one of the finest poetical artists in acteristic of the traditional sonneteer. He our literature, and particularly one of the is Narcissus by the fountain ; he is perfew really great sonneteers.
petually fascinated by the reflection or the
projection of himself; his lady continues Two considerations must, of course, to elude his fond grasp, and to send thrills affect the verdict as to the prevalence of of painful regret and disappointment down this warm and rather enervating imagery through his bosom. Mr. Rossetti has - the first, that the poet is occupying a adopted so far the recognized formality of representative attitude as the interpreter attitude, and the first part of the work in (too candid, perhaps, and too indifferent particular (entitled “ Youth and Change") to the feelings of the lady) in the touchis charged with devoted enthusiasm, and ing mystery of love's young dream; and weighted with rich and luscious imagery. the second, that he is allegorizing. Bear
The elaborate figurative rapture will now ing this in mind we shall have less anxand then, as in the great Old Testament iety about the feelings of ladies in the canticle, the Song of Solomon, startle, and matter, and we shall with perfect propriety even shock the unwary reader when off dismiss the thought of mixed audiences his guard for a moment, and forgetful of altogether. Mr. Rossetti writes for the allegorical reference. This may happen intelligent and the sympathetic; his readwhen, for example, the poet tells how his ers must not dwell with commonplace inlady and himself are suddenly revealed to terpretation at all, but they inust be able each other by Love, who continues mas. to grasp the fact that these things are a ter of the situation, as
So understanding the poet's
attitude, they will see that “The House Now, shadowed by his wings, our faces yearn of Life" is a work of remarkable ingenuity Together;
and elaboration. It follows the human or again, as he tells of the rapture that soul from the time of its dim, early efforts comes when
after perfection through ideal duality, onIn the dusk hours, (we two alone),
ward through the wild phase of passion. Close-kissed and eloquent of still replies
ate enthusiasm, to the awakened sobriety
and chastened calm of that reflective Thy twilight-hidden glimmering visage lies;
period when absolute possession is found or, as he makes the apparently weak con- to be impossible, and the only relief to fession that his lady's lips had just been weary memories is "the one hope's one forming with his “such consonant inter name” that lasts while the soul itself has lude” as Orpheus, no doubt, was longing individuality. The sonnets are not all of for when his impatience destroyed his equal beauty, either of form or sentichances forever.
Then the entire sonnet ment; but they are one and all remarkof “Supreme Surrender,” to say nothing able for intellectual subtlety, terse and of many more, both in general conception vigorous emotional purpose, and evenness and particular details, is so loaded with and grace of movement. Sometimes, as ornamental, amorous conceits that its in the various details of the following on real motive and purpose are at first read. “Silent Noon,” delicate glimpses of outing apt to be obscured. This considera: ward nature are given with singular feliction, as well as the extremely fine and ity and nicety of touch. There is a gentle subtle character of the prevalent allegory, susurrus breathing over this description, will certainly militate against the popular. while the dragon-fly introduced with ity of Mr. Rossetti's sonnet canticle. It wonderful picturesqueness and truthfulwas one of the triumphs of the author of ness of detail: “ Euphues " that he could commend his romantic treatise to the diligent perusal Your hands lie open in the long fresh grass, of young ladies, with a confident belief The finger-points look through like rosy
blooms : that they would not misunderstand him. It is questionable whether one could with
Your eyes sinile peace. The pasture gleams similar confidence propose the study of
and glooms " The House of Life" to the same class
’Neath billowing skies that scatter and amass. of readers. Would it not need considera. all round our nest, far as the eye can pass, ble precautionary comment before reading aloud to a mixed audience such lines as
Are golden kingcup fields with silver edge
Where the cow-parsley skirts the hawthorn these from the tercets of “Youth's Spring
hedge. Tribute”? –
Tis visible silence, still as the hourglass. But April's sun strikes down the glades to-day;
So shut your eyes upturned, and feel my kiss Deep in the sun-searched growths the dragonCreep, as the Spring now thrills through every fly spray,
Hangs like a blue thread loosened from the Up your warm throat to your warm lips.