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of

Note how at the end of Maud he fixes the time

year by an astronomical description

It fell at a time of year

When the face of night is fair on the dewy downs,
And the shining daffodil dies, and the Charioteer
And starry Gemini hang like glorious crowns
Over Orion's grave low down in the West.

Orion's belt appears also in The Princess.

Like those three stars of the airy Giant's zone
That glitter burnish'd by the frosty dark,

And as the fiery Sirius alters hue

And bickers into red and emerald, shone

Their morions, wash'd with morning, as they came.

It is almost superfluous to quote the well-known couplets from Locksley Hall :

Many a night from yonder ivied casement, ere I went to rest,

Did I look on great Orion sloping slowly to the West.

Many a night I saw the Pleiads, rising through the mellow. shade,

Glitter like a swarm of fire flies, tangled in a silver braid.

Less familiar is the comparison of a burning tower to the Aurora Borealis as it pulses among the Northern constellations :

The live North

Red-pulsing up thro' Alioth and Alcor.

*

Many know the Pleiads, Orion, Auriga and Sirius who are not familiar with the stars here named : Tennyson is at home among them all.

Arthur's harp (Lyra), tho' summer-wan,

In counter motion to the clouds allured
The glance of Gareth.

He has seen Saturn's ring through a telescope; and just as Milton, having seen the moon through the telescope of Galileo, utilised his experience for poetic purposes, so Tennyson finds an observation of that kind too good to be thrown away. Consequently we have in The Palace of Art the following

:

Still as, while Saturn whirls, his steadfast shade
Sleeps on his luminous ring.

A few other passages may be cited :

At noon or when the lesser wain

Is twisting round the Polar Star.

This is the poetic rendering of midnight. Again, the Princess was

liker to the inhabitants

Of some clear planet close upon the sun.

Till this outworn Earth be dead as yon dead world the moon.

We have by no means exhausted Tennyson's science, yet we have covered most of the ground, except that we have not dealt separately with his

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