The Palace of Art
|First published in the 1833 volume, this poem was considerably altered when reprinted in 1842, so much so as almost to make of it a new poem. New stanzas were added and others omitted, and many verbal alterations were introduced into the remaining stanzas. Following are the more important stanzas cancelled after 1833.|
SO that my soul beholding in her pride
And, being both the sower and the seed,
Still changing, as a lighthouse in the night
Changeth athwart the gleaming main,
From red to yellow, yellow to pale white, again.
Then back to red
“From change to change four times within the womb
“All nature widens upward: evermore
“I take possession of men’s minds and deeds.
Four ample courts there were, East, West, South, North,
All round the cool green courts there ran a row
From those four jets four currents in one swell
And round the roofs ran gilded galleries
Huge incense-urns along the balustrade,
Far-off ’twas wonderful to look upon
And round the terraces and round the walls,
Likewise the deepset windows, stained and traced,
. . . . .
And underneath freshcarved in cedarwood,
Angels who sway the seasons by their art,
And in the sunpierced Oriel’s colored flame
Cervantes, the bright face of Calderon,
Isaïah with fierce Ezekiel,
. . . . .
As some rich tropic mountain, that infolds
Full of her own delight and nothing else,
With piles of flavorous fruits in basket-twine
Our growths, and such as brooding Indian heats
With graceful chalices of curious wine.
Making sweet close of his delicious toils,
Ranged on the fretted woodwork to the ground.
1. Il maefstro di color chi sanno.—Dante, Inf., iii. [back]
2. [Note by Tennyson in 1833 volume.] When I first conceived the plan of the Palace of Art, I intended to have introduced both sculptures and painting into it; but it is the most difficult of all things to devise a statue in verse. Judge whether I have succeeded in the statues of Elijah and Olympias.
3. If the Poem were not already too long, I should have inserted in the text the following stanzas, expressive of the joy wherewith the soul contemplated the results of astronomical experiment. In the centre of the four quadrangles rose an immense tower.