by Larry Fyffe
Our rowboat journey across the wide and wavy Jungian Sea continues.
Sentimental Bayard can be grouped in with the anti-Puritan Romantic Transcendentalist poets providing you consider his Quaker’s ‘inner light’ of love and pity be a part thereof – Joan Baez, an anti-war, anti-creed, this-worldly Quaker herself.
Admittedly, attempts at such classifications are fuzzy at best.
In the poem below, a delightful life apparently awaits the lonely faithful, but die first they must:
No more an outcast on her sod Or at her board a stinted guest But now in purple raiment dressed And heir to all delight, that She receives of God (Bayard Taylor: Love And Solitude)
In the song lyrics beneath, that one last hope gets tossed overboard without a life jacket into the deep blue sea:
When the Reaper's task had ended Sixteen hundred had gone to rest The good, the bad, the rich, the poor The lovliest, and the best (Bob Dylan: Tempest)
Romantic/Existentialist thoughts from the poetry of Percy Shelley pop up in Taylor’s poems as they do in those of Thomas Hardy:
Thou seest, beyond, the cool kiosk And far away the pencilled towers That shoot from many a stately mosque Thou hast no world beyond the chamber (Bayard Taylor: The Odalisque)
As in the lines quoted beneath:
Column, tower, and dome, and spire Shine like obelisks of fire Pointing with inconstant motion From the altar of dark ocean To the sapphire-tinted skies (Percy Shelley: Euganean Hills)
More directly paid tribute to in the following song lyrics:
There's a woman on my lap And she's drinking champagne Got white skin, got assassin's eyes I'm looking up into the sapphire-tinted skies (Bob Dylan: Things Have Changed)
Up jumps poet William Wordsworth as well in the Quaker’s works:
If she but smile the crystal calm will break In music, sweeter than it ever gave And when a breeze breathes over some sleeping lake And laughs in every wave (Bayard Taylor: The Return Of The Goddess)
As observed in the sentimental lines presented below:
When all at once I saw a crowd A host, of golden daffodils Beside the lake, beneath the trees Fluttering and dancing in the breeze (William Wordsworth: I Wandered Lonely As a Cloud)
The song lyrics beneath darken the delight that pervades Nature in the poem above:
I walk by tranquil lakes and streams As each new season's dawn awaits I lay awake at night with troubled dreams The enemy is at the gate (Bob Dylan: Tell Old Bill)
Like poet Emily Dickinson, the singer/songwriter is more likely to encounter a slithering snake rather than a sweet smile, a laughing wave, or a dancing flower:
When stooping to secure it It wrinkled, and was gone (Emily Dickinson: A Narrow Fellow In The Grass)