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CHAPTER III

Blake's removal to Felpham—Intercourse with Hayley—Return to London "Jerusalem"—Connection with Cromek—Illustrations of Blair's "Grave—Illustration of Chaucer's "Canterbury Pilgrims"—Exhibition of his Works and "Descriptive Catalogue."

Blake was now about to make a change in his external environment, which would have been momentous to any artist whose themes had been less exclusively discerned by the inner eye. It is an extraordinary fact, but there is absolutely no evidence that the poet who "made a rural pen" had as yet ever seen the country beyond the immediate neighbourhood of London. It is vain to speculate upon the precise modification which might have been wrought in his genius by rural nurture or foreign travel. Now he was actually to become a denizen of the country for some years. An introduction from Flaxman had made him acquainted with William Hayley, a Sussex squire and scholar, now chiefly remembered as his patron and the biographer of Cowper, but esteemed in his own day as one of the best representatives of English poetry at what seemed the period of its deepest decrepitude, though he is unaccountably omitted in Porson's catalogue of the bards of the epoch.[1] Hayley, having lost his son, a pupil of Flaxman, and his friend Cowper within a week of each other in the spring of 1800, resolved to solace his grief by writing Cowper's life, and suggested that Blake should live near him during the progress of the work to execute the engravings by which it was to be illustrated. In August, 1800, Blake removed from Lambeth to Felpham, near Bognor, on the Sussex coast, where Hayley occupied a marine villa, his own residence at Eastham being let on account of the embarrassment of his affairs. The cottage was not provided by him for Blake, but the rent was paid by Blake himself. The change from Lambeth to a beautiful country of groves, meadows, and cornfields, with sails in the distance,

Half lost in the liquid azure bloom of a crescent of sea,
The shining sapphire-spangled marriage ring of the land,

affected Blake with enthusiastic delight. "Felpham," he wrote to Flaxman, "is a sweet place for study, because it is more spiritual than London. Heaven opens here on all sides her golden gates; her windows are not obstructed by vapours; voices of celestial inhabitants are more distinctly heard, and their forms more distinctly seen, and my cottage is also a shadow of their houses." He continues: "I am more famed in Heaven for my works than I could well conceive. In my brain are studies and chambers with books and pictures of old, which I wrote and painted in ages of eternity before my mortal life; and those works are the delight and study of archangels. Why then should I be anxious about the riches or fame of mortality?" It is clear that, notwithstanding his theories of the deadness of the material creation, Blake valued natural beauty as an instrument for bringing him into more intimate connection with the visionary world. At first the desired effect was fully produced. Blake began to compose, or rather, according to his own account, to take down from supernatural dictation the Jerusalem, the most important in some respects of his mystical writings. Walking by the shore—the very shore where Cary was afterwards to encounter Coleridge—he habitually met Moses and the Prophets, Homer, Dante, and Milton. "All," he said, "majestic shadows, gray but luminous, and superior to the common height." A description so fine, that some may be inclined to deem it something more than a mere fancy. Unfortunately he also fell in with a fairies' funeral, a stumbling-block to the most resolute faith. By and by, however, the dampness of the cottage proved provocative of rheumatism, and, which was much more disastrous, the mental climate proved unsympathetic. Hayley's patronage of so strange a creature as he must have thought Blake does him the highest honour. He appears throughout, not only as a very kind man, but, what is less usual in a literary

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From Blake's "America."

personage, a very patient one. He actually instructed Blake in Greek. His kindness and patience did not, however, render him any the better poet; he was an elegant dilettante at the best, and Blake must have chafed at the obligation under which he felt himself to illustrate his verses. One ballad of some merit, however, "Little Tom the Sailor," inspired Blake with a striking if somewhat rude design, and he adorned Hayley's library with ideal portraits of illustrious authors. The engraving work which he had to execute for Hayley's life of Cowper was also little to his taste, but there seems no valid reason to charge him with neglect of it. His own self-reproach, indeed, ran in quite a different channel: he accused himself most seriously of unfaithfulness to his high vocation as a revealer and interpreter of spiritual things. Absence from town led him to write frequently to his friend and patron Butts, and these letters are invaluable indications not only of the frame of his mind at the time, but of its general habit. "I labour," he says, "incessantly, I accomplish not one-half of what I intend, because my abstract folly hurries me often away while I am at work, carrying me over mountains and valleys, which are not real, into a land of abstraction where spectres of the dead wander. This I endeavour to prevent; I, with my whole might, chain my feet to the world of duty and reality. But in vain! the faster I bind, the lighter is the ballast; for I, so far from being bound down, take the world with me in my flights, and often it seems lighter than a ball of wool rolled by the wind. . . . . If we fear to do the dictates of our angels, and tremble at the tasks set before us, if we refuse to do spiritual acts because of natural fears or natural desires, who can describe the dismal torments of such a state? . . . . Though I have been very unhappy, I am so no longer. I have travelled through perils and darkness not unlike a champion. I have conquered and shall go on conquering. Nothing can withstand the fury of my course among the stars of God and in the abysses of the accuser." In plain English Hayley strongly advised Blake to give up his mystical poetry and design and devote himself solely to engraving, and Blake looked upon the advice as a suggestion of the adversary. We do not know what Hayley said. If he thought that one of the Poetical Sketches or the Songs of Innocence was worth many pages of Urizen apart from the illustrations, he had reason for what he thought. But Blake's lyrical gift had all but forsaken him; he was incapable of emitting "wood-notes wild," and the only way in which he could give literary expression to the inspiration by which he justly deemed himself visited was through his rhythmical form, which to Hayley may well have seemed monstrous. It is highly probable that the pictorial part of Blake's work found no more favour with Hayley than the poetical; at all events it is very certain that he greatly preferred his engraving, and wished Blake to follow the art by which he had the best prospect of providing for himself. Johnson and Fuseli, by Blake's own admission, had given the same advice; and an obscure line in one of his rather undignified and splenetic epigrams against his well-intentioned friend may be interpreted as meaning that Hayley had tried to bring his wife's influence to bear upon him for this end. In any case he lost temper with Hayley, and wrote to Butts (July, 1803): "Mr. Hayley approves of my designs as little as he does of my poems, and I have been forced to insist on his leaving me in both to my own self-will; for I am determined to be no longer pestered with his genteel ignorance and polite disapprobation. I know myself both poet and painter, and it is not his affected contempt that can move to anything but a more assiduous pursuit of both arts." Two months afterwards he returned to London, but on better terms with Hayley; partly on account of the latter's generous conduct in providing for his defence against a charge of using seditious language, trumped up against him by a soldier whom he had turned out of his garden. "Perhaps," he wrote to Butts, "this was suffered to give opportunity to those whom I doubted to clear themselves of all imputation." The case was tried in January, 1804, and terminated in Blake's triumphant acquittal. An old man who had attended the trial as a youth said that he remembered nothing of it except Blake's flashing eye.

The engravings executed by Blake for Hayley during his residence at Felpham were six for the life and letters of Cowper; four original designs for ballads by Hayley, including "Poor Tom," and six engravings after Maria T. Flaxman for Hayley 's Triumphs of Temper. He did some work for Hayley after his return to town—engravings for the Life of Romney, and original designs for Hayley's Ballads on Animals—and corresponded with him in a friendly spirit, but the intimacy gradually died away.

Blake was profoundly influenced by his residence at Felpham in one respect; he became acquainted with opposition, and distinctly realised a power antagonistic to his aspirations. He was thus stung into self-assertion, and became hostile to the artists whose aims and methods he was unable to reconcile with his ideas. The first hints of this attitude appear in the praises he bestows upon the work of his own which chiefly occupied him at Felpham, the Jerusalem. "I may praise it," he says, "since I dare not pretend to be any other than the secretary; the authors are in eternity. I consider it as the grandest poem that this world contains. Allegory addressed to the intellectual powers, while it is altogether hidden from the corporeal understanding, is my definition of the most sublime poetry." Blake's allegory so effectually eludes both the reason and the understanding that Messrs. Ellis and Yeats frankly tell us that it is not for a moment to be supposed that their own elaborate interpretation will convey any idea to the mind unless it is read conjointly with the poem; and if such is the commentary what must the text be? If they are right the confusion is greatly increased by a wrong arrangement, and by the numerous interpolations which Blake subsequently introduced into the poem, which, though nominally issued in 1804, was not, they think, actually completed until about 1820. It suffers from being nearer prose than any of his former books "When this verse was dictated to me," he says, "I considered a monotonous cadence, like that used by Milton, Shakespeare, and all writers of English blank verse, derived from the modern bondage of rhyming, to be a necessary and indispensable part of the verse. But I soon found that in the mouth of a true orator such monotony was not only awkward, but as much a bondage as rhyme itself." What can be said of the ears that could find Shakespeare's and Milton's blank verse monotonous? The truth is that Blake's originally exquisite perception of harmony had waned with his lyrical faculty, and he scoffs at what he is no longer able to produce. Yet the general grandiose effect of Jerusalem is undeniable. Little as we can attach any definite idea to it, it simultaneously awes and soothes like one of the great inarticulate voices of nature, the booming of the billows, or the whisper of the winds in the wood. Occasionally we encounter some beautiful little vignette like this:—

She creates at her will a little moving night and silence,
With spaces of sweet gardens and a tent of elegant beauty,
Closed in by sandy deserts, and a night of stars shining;
A little tender moon, and hovering angels on the wing,
And the male gives a time and revolution to her space
Till the time of love is passed in ever-varying delights:
For all things exist in the human imagination.

This seems an illustration of what we have said of the dependence of Blake's poetry upon his pictorial imagination, for it is clearly nothing but a magnificent expansion of the midsummer night idyl of the glowworm shining for her mate, "with her little drop of moonlight," as Beddoes beautifully says.

In artistic merit Jerusalem is fully equal to any of Blake's works. There is less of the grotesque than in the others, and even more of the impressive. Much, however, depends upon the colouring, which varies greatly in different copies. Mr. Gilchrist warns us that it cannot be judged aright if we have not seen the "incomparable" copy in the possession of Lord Crewe. "It is printed in a warm reddish-brown, the exact colour of a very fine photograph; and the broken blending of the deeper lines with the more tender shadows—all sanded over with a sort of golden mist peculiar to Blake's mode of execution—makes still more striking the resemblance to the then undiscovered handling of Nature herself." The general character of the design is excellently described by Gilchrist. "The subjects are vague and mystic as the poem itself. Female figures lie among waves full of reflected stars: a strange human image, with a swan's head and wings, floats on water in a kneeling attitude and drinks; lovers embrace in an open water-lily; an eagle-headed creature sits and contemplates the sun; serpent-women are coiled with serpents; Assyrian-looking, human-visaged bulls are seen yoked to the plough or the chariot; rocks swallow or vomit forth human forms, or appear to amalgamate with them; angels cross each other over wheels of flame; and flames and hurrying figures wreathe and wind among the lines." It may indeed, like Blake's other productions of the kind, be

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From Blake's "America"

described as a gigantic arabesque, imbued with a passion and pathos not elsewhere attempted in this branch of art.

The subject of Milton, from which one of our illustrations is selected,


William Blake, painter and poet (page 47 inset).png

Design from "Milton" By W. Blake.


is, in Mr. Swinburne's words, the incarnation and descent into earth and hell of Milton, who represents redemption by inspiration. Something similar, as we have seen, is the idea of Blake's fine mystical book, Tiriel, and the pilgrimage through a lower sphere is also found in the oldest Assyrian poetry. The book, like Jerusalem, is dated 1804, but, like its companion, must have been composed at Felpham. Nothing save actual and present contact with country scenes could have inspired such a passage as this, the crown of all Blake's unrhymed poetry:—

Thou hearest the nightingale begin the song of spring:
The lark sitting upon his earthly bed, just as the sun
Appears, listens silent: then springing from the wavy corn-field loud
He leads the choir of day: trill, trill, trill, trill:
Mounting upon the wings of light into the great expanse;
Re-echoing against the lovely blue and shining heavenly shell:
His little throat labours with inspiration, every feather
On throat and breast and wings vibrates with the effluence divine:
All nature listens silent to him, and the awful sun
Stands still upon the mountain looking on this little bird
With eyes of soft humility, and wonder, love, and awe.

Such a passage shows how greatly Blake might have gained as a poet had he been more intimate with external nature. Very splendid lines might be quoted from "Milton," such as "A cloudy heaven mingled with stormy seas in loudest ruin," but they are glowing light upon a black core of obscurity. Mr. Housman's judgment applies to it as to all the works of its class. "They are the sign chiefly of a beautiful nature wasted for lack of equipment in formulating disputatively what grew out of his better work with all the thoughtlessness and glory of a flower."[2]

Several lyrical poems printed in Blake's works may be assigned to this date. Some, such as "The Crystal Cabinet" and "The Mental Traveller," are extremely mystical; others, such as "Mary," are of simply human interest; others, such as "Auguries of Innocence," seem little remote from nonsense. "The Everlasting Gospel" expresses his profoundest ideas with startling crudity. None are wholly unmelodious, but the old bewitching melody has gone from all, unless from the lines introductory to "Milton":—


And did those feet in ancient time
   Walk upon England's mountains green;
And was the holy Lamb of God
   On England's pleasant pastures seen?

And did the countenance divine
   Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here
   Among these dark Satanic mills?

Bring me my bow of burning gold,
   Bring me my arrows of desire:
Bring me my spear: O clouds unfold!
   Bring me my chariot of fire!

I will not cease from mental fight,
   Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand,
Till we have built Jerusalem
   In England's green and pleasant land.


Blake, who had settled at 17, South Molton Street, Oxford Street, was in the meantime dealing with a very different patron from Hayley, Robert Cromek, a "stickit" engraver turned printseller, who tricked if he did not actually defraud him, but who is entitled to the credit of having recognised his genius, and of having brought forward works of his more adapted to attract public notice than anything he had yet done. These were the twelve illustrations to Blair's Grave, full of Blake's peculiar genius and at the same time intelligible to all. They had been executed in 1804 and 1805. Cromek, who afterwards admitted that they were worth sixty guineas, obtained them for twenty from the artist, who had intended to publish them himself. It had been understood that Blake should have engraved them, but Cromek, wisely from his own point of view, but wrongfully as regarded Blake, intrusted the task to Schiavonetti. As a frontispiece, they were accompanied by a portrait of Blake from a drawing by Phillips, also engraved by Schiavonetti, which we have reproduced. Thanks to Cromek's judicious engineering, and the popularity of the poem illustrated, the adventure proved a considerable success. "It is the only volume with Blake's name on the title-page," says Mr. Gilchrist, "which is not scarce." The publication took place in 1808.
William Blake, painter and poet (page 50).png

Portrait of William Blake. From the engraving by L. Schiavonetti, after T. Phillips, R.A.

In the interval Cromek, calling upon Blake, had seen a pencil sketch of a design for the procession of Chaucer's Canterbury Pilgrims. Failing to obtain a finished drawing from the artist, who resented his previous treatment, he proposed the subject to Stothard, withholding as apart from all questions of Stothard's "frigid and exemplary" character would be most natural for him to do, all mention of Blake's drawing. Stothard accepted the commission; his elaborate oil picture was exhibited in 1807 with great success, but at the cost of a breach with Blake, who went so far in his denunciation, not only of Cromek's underhand dealing but of the defects which he found in Stothard's work, that when he afterwards sought a reconciliation Stothard remained impervious. Determined to vindicate his superiority, Blake completed, exhibited, and engraved his own fresco. The exhibition, accompanied by a remarkable "descriptive catalogue," to which we shall return—was not the success it might have been in the hands of the shrewd Cromek. The exhibition room was watched by Blake's brother James, whom Crabb Robinson asked whether he should be allowed to come again free in consideration of having bought four copies of the descriptive catalogue. "As long as you live," answered the overjoyed custodian. The success of the engraving was proportionate to that of the exhibition; though it might have been otherwise if the roughness of the original design had been smoothed down by the deft Schiavonetti. "Blake's production," says Mr. Rossetti, "is as unattractive as Stothard's is facile; as hard and strong as Stothard's is limp; one face in Blake's design means as much on the part of the artist, and takes as much scrutiny and turning over of thought on the part of the spectator, as all the pretty fantoccini and their sprightly little horses in Stothard's work." The engraving of the Pilgrimage in Gilchrist's biography evinces the justice of this criticism; though Ellis and Yeats rightly add that Blake has given all his personages the eyes of visionaries. "A work of wonderful power and spirit, hard and dry, yet with grace," says Charles Lamb. The original fresco was purchased by Elijah's raven, the ever-ready Butts.

We must now return to the illustrations to Blair's Grave, which are not only the most popular of Blake's works, but among his greatest. He showed in general more vigour in dealing with the conceptions of another than with his own, the latter imbibing an element of fanciful grace from the gentle spirit which produced them. Hence The Soul Exploring the Recesses of the Grave, reproduced from Thel, though one of the most poetical of the designs, is one of the least powerful. His rendering of Blair's thoughts is marvellously direct and impressive, whether the passion depicted be joy, as in The Reunion of the Soul and the Body (given here), or horror, as in The Death of the Strong Wicked Man, or an intermediate shade, as in The Soul hovering over the Body. None of these and few of the series, once seen, will easily be forgotten. The most famous, and deservedly so, is the marvellous one, a combination of two designs in America and The Gates of Paradise, where the aged man, impelled by a strong wind, totters towards the portal of the sepulchre, on the summit of which sits the rejuvenated spirit, personified by a strong youth, rejoicing in his deliverance, but dazzled by the as yet unwonted light. In all these designs the element of seemly, yet slightly formal and conventional grace which Blake had learned from Stothard, is very conspicuous. The least successful, as seems to us, is The Last Judgment, where Blake appears as a minor Michael Angelo, but this work as engraved differs widely from his description of the work as exhibited. It may well be believed that the modified version was distinguished by great splendour of colouring.

Other works of this period were two small frescoes exhibited at the Academy in 1808, Christ in the Sepulchre and Jacob's Dream; the "ornamental device" engraved (by Cromek) along with the frontispiece to Malkin's Father's Memoirs of his Child, a graceful and pathetic composition; three illustrations to Shakespeare, one of which, the highly imaginative conception of the appearance of the Ghost to Hamlet, is engraved in Gilchrist's biography; The Babylonian Woman on the Seven-headed Beast (1809) reproduced here; a continuous series of designs produced for Mr. Butts, to be mentioned more fully hereafter; and the pictures displayed along with The Canterbury Pilgrims at its exhibition (1809). We must now devote some attention to Blake's appearance as an æsthetic writer in the Descriptive Catalogue he put forth on this occasion, with which his other principal deliverances on the subject of art may be advantageously grouped.

Blake's Descriptive Catalogue and his Appeal to the Public to judge between himself and his rivals in the department of engraving, are a singular mixture of gold and clay. The dignity which characterised his demeanour in life forsakes him as soon as he takes the pen into his hand,
William Blake, painter and poet (page 53).png

The Reunion of Soul and Body. From Blair's "Grave" illustrated by W. Blake.

and he reviles Stothard, Woollett, and others in a strain inconsistent with self-respect on his own part, even had his criticism been well founded. As a matter of fact, it seems to have had no foundation, and assuredly has not affected the reputation of his antagonists in the smallest degree. At the same time it is impossible not to be moved by his earnestness. He is evidently contending for principles of great importance to himself, and through the mist of his confused and ungrammatical expression we seem to catch glimpses of high and serious truth. A refreshing contrast is afforded by the passages devoted to Chaucer, which are truly admirable for their felicitous insight into the old poet. "For all who have read Blake," justly say Messrs. Ellis and Yeats, "Chaucer is something more than the sweet spinner of rhyming gossip that he seems to most." Like Ruskin, and indeed all men of creative power, Blake is on much safer ground when he extols than when he censures. To much the same period belongs a remarkable paper on his Last Judgment, published by Gilchrist from his MS. Nothing of his admits us so fully into the sanctuary of his mind. "The Last Judgment" he begins, "is not fable or allegory, but vision. Fable, or allegory, is a totally distinct and inferior kind of poetry. Vision, or imagination, is a representation of what actually exists, really and unchangeably." Then follows an extremely graphic and vivid description of the painting, interspersed with profound remarks, such as "Man passes on, but states remain for ever; he passes through them like a traveller, who may as well suppose that the places he has passed through exist no more as a man may suppose that the states he has passed through exist no more; everything is eternal." "I have seen, when at a distance, multitudes of men in harmony appear like a single infant."[3] "In Hell all is self-righteousness; there is no such
William Blake, painter and poet (page 55).png

The Babylonian Woman on the Seven-headed Beast. From a water-colour drawing by W. Blake. British Museum.

thing there as forgiveness of sin. He who does forgive sin is crucified as an abettor of criminals." "Angels are happier than men and devils, because they are not always prying after good and evil in one another, and eating the tree of knowledge for Satan's gratification." "The Last Judgment is an overwhelming of bad art and science." Finally, in words that state his own case as respects his reputed delusions, he says: "I assert for myself that I do not behold the outward creation, and that to me it is hindrance and not action. 'What!' it will be questioned, 'when the sun rises, do you not see a round disc of fire, somewhat like a guinea?' Oh! no! no! I see an innumerable company of the heavenly host, crying, 'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty!' I question not my corporeal eye, any more than I would question a window concerning a sight. I look through it, and not with it."

Blake's conception of the sun may be compared with Dante's vision of the angels with the cloud:—

Then lifting up mine eyes, as the tears came,
I saw the Angels, like a rain of manna,
In a long flight flying back heavenward;
Having a little cloud in front of them,
After the which they went, and said, "Hosanna!"
And if they had said more, you should have heard.

An earlier acquaintance with Dante would undoubtedly have exerted a great influence upon Blake.

Not the least interesting part of Blake's catalogue is his description of the pictures accompanying his Canterbury Pilgrims, which include the strange patriotic allegories of Nelson guiding Leviathan and Pitt guiding Behemoth, the latter of which is now in the National Gallery; Satan calling up his Legions; The Bard, described by Rossetti as "a gorgeous piece of colour tone"; an idyll, charming in conception whatever it may have been in execution, representing goats nibbling the vine leaves that form the sole drapery of savage maidens; and Arthur's battle of Camlan, whence only three—the strongest, the most beautiful, and the ugliest of champions—escaped with their lives. This picture Seymour Kirkup thought Blake's best, and Allan Cunningham his worst. Kirkup, Mr. Swinburne tells us, remembered to the last "the fury and splendour of energy there contrasted with the serene ardour of simply beautiful courage, the violent life of the design, and the fierce distance of fluctuating battle." Blake's estimate of his powers, as conveyed in his descriptions of his works, certainly does not err on the side of modesty; perhaps he thought with Goethe that "Nur die Lumpen sind bescheiden." It is a more serious matter that the descriptions are crammed with statements far more significant than Blake's visions of a condition of mental disorder, such as that the Greek marbles are copies of the works of the Asiatic patriarchs; that no one painted in oil, except by accident, before Vandyke; that ancient British heroes dwell to this day on Snowdon "in naked simplicity": a species of Welsh Mahatmas, as it would appear. It would have been a judicious emendation if any one had suggested the substitution of "lying spirits" when the artist spoke of himself as "molested by blotting and blurring demons."

More important than these idle extravagances, though extravagant enough, are the annotations on Reynolds's discourses, written a few years afterwards. To read Blake's abuse of this great artist with any patience, one must remember that his expressions require to be translated out of his peculiar dialect into ordinary speech; as when, for example, he says that Correggio is a most effeminate and cruel demon, he only means that he is a bad model for artists to follow. Yet there is a great and serious truth lying at the bottom of Blake's declamation, and his protest against the apparent tendency of Reynolds to inculcate the feasibility of manufacturing genius by study was not uncalled for. What he did not sufficiently remember was that the number of artists capable of what Plato calls divine insanity, must always be very small, and that Reynolds's precepts may be very serviceable for the rank and file of the great army. As his denunciation of Reynolds was partly prompted by personal grievances (not the less real, if the apparent paradox may be excused, for being imaginary), it is the more to his honour to find him breaking out into genuine admiration whenever, in Swedenborg's phrase, the dry rod blossoms as Reynolds affirms a truth. It is also pleasant to receive Samuel Palmer's assurance that Blake's splenetic outbreaks in print astonished those accustomed to his catholicity of criticism in conversation.

  1. Poetis nos lactamur tribus,
    Pye, Petro Pindar, parvo Pybus;
    Si ulterius ire pergis,
    Adde his Sir James Bland Burges.

  2. Blake is seldom detected in borrowing, but when he tells us that

    Milton's shadow fell
    Precipitant, loud thundering, into the sea of Time and space,

    he is clearly, though perhaps unconsciously, reminiscent of Dyer's

  3. The same remark is the subject of one of the finest passages of Lucretius:—

    Praeterea, magnae legiones quom loca cursu
    Camporum complent, belli simulacra cientes,
    Fulgur ibi ad cœlum se tollit, totaque circum
    Acre renidescit tellus, subterque virum vi
    Excitur pedibus sonitus, clamoreque monies
    Icti rejectant voces ad sidera mundi;
    Et circumvolitant equites, mediosque repente
    Tramittunt, valido quaticntes impete, campos;
    Et tamen est quidam locus altis montibus, unde
    Stare videntur, et in campis consistere fulgur.