• warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home2/ph4410/public_html/classiq.net/modules/taxonomy/taxonomy.pages.inc on line 33.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home2/ph4410/public_html/classiq.net/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 906.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home2/ph4410/public_html/classiq.net/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 607.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home2/ph4410/public_html/classiq.net/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 607.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_boolean_operator::value_validate() should be compatible with views_handler_filter::value_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home2/ph4410/public_html/classiq.net/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_boolean_operator.inc on line 159.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /home2/ph4410/public_html/classiq.net/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 134.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /home2/ph4410/public_html/classiq.net/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 134.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home2/ph4410/public_html/classiq.net/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 906.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home2/ph4410/public_html/classiq.net/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 906.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home2/ph4410/public_html/classiq.net/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 906.

H.E. Marshall

    SHOULD auld acquaintance be forgot, 
        And never brought to min'? 
    Should auld acquaintance be forgot, 
        And days o' lang syne?

FOUR hundred years after Malory wrote his book, another English writer told the tales of Arthur anew. This was the poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson. He told them in poetry.

Tennyson calls his poems the Idylls of the King. Idyll means a short poem about some simple and beautiful subject. The king that Tennyson sings of is the great King Arthur.

AND now, lest you should say, "What, still more poetry!" I shall give you next a chapter about a great story-teller who wrote in prose. We use story-teller in two senses, and when we speak of Sir John Mandeville we use it in both. He was a great story- teller.

But before saying anything about his stories, I must first tell you that after having been believed in as a real person for five hundred years and more, Sir John has at last been found out. He never lived at all, and the travels about which he tells us so finely never took place.

WHEN Henry signed Surrey's death-warrant he himself was near death, and not many weeks later the proud and violent king met his end. Then followed for England changeful times. After Protestant Edward came for a tragic few days Lady Jane. Then followed the short, sad reign of Catholic Mary, who, dying, left the throne free for her brilliant sister Elizabeth. Those years, from the death of King Henry VIII to the end of the first twenty years of Elizabeth's reign, were years of action rather than of production.

"THERE is but one Milton,"* there is, too, but one Shakespeare, yet John Milton, far more than William Shakespeare, stands a lonely figure in our literature. Shakespeare was a dramatist among dramatists. We can see how there were those who led up to him, and others again who led away from him. From each he differs in being greater, he outshines them all. Shakespeare was a man among men. He loved and sinned with men, he was homely and kindly, and we can take him to our hearts. Milton both in his life and work was cold and lonely. He was a master without scholars, a leader without followers.

WHILE Burns was weaving his wonderful songs among the Lowland hills of Scotland, another lover of nature was telling of placid English life, of simple everyday doings, in a quiet little country town in England. This man was William Cowper.

THE story of Arthur has led us a long way. We have almost forgotten that it began with the old Cymric stories, the stories of the people who lived in Britain before the coming of the Romans. We have followed it before the coming of the Romans. We have followed it down through many forms: Welsh, in the stories of The Mabinogion; Latin, in the stories of Geoffrey of Monmouth; French, in the stories of Wace and Map; Semi-Saxon, in the stories of Layamon; Middle English, in the stories of Malory; and at last English as we now speak it, in the stories of Tennyson.

WHILE Chaucer was making for us pictures of English life, in the sister kingdom across the rugged Cheviots another poet was singing to a ruder people. This poet was John Barbour, Archdeacon of Aberdeen. An older man than Chaucer, born perhaps twenty years before the English poet, he died only five years earlier. So that for many years these two lived and wrote at the same time.

SPENSER'S plan for the Faery Queen was a very great one. He meant to write a poem in twelve books, each book containing the adventures of a knight who was to show forth one virtue. And if these were well received he purposed to write twelve more. Only the first three books were as yet published, but they made him far more famous than the Shepherd's Calendar had done. For never since Chaucer had such poetry been written.

AND now for twenty years the pen of Milton was used, not for poetry, but for prose. The poet became a politician. Victory was still uncertain, and Milton poured out book after book in support of the Puritan cause. These books are full of wrath and scorn and all the bitter passion of the time. They have hardly a place in true literature, so we may pass them over glad that Milton found it possible to spend his bitterness in prose and leave his poetry what it is.

Syndicate content