The socialistic tendencies of subsequent thinkers have emphasized the ethical importance of altruistic action, but it must be remembered always that it is ultimately only a form of action, that it may be commended in all types of ethical theory, and that it is a practical guide only when it is applied in accordance with a definite theory of "the good."
From Paris he journeyed to Switzerland, where he resided for some time, taking an active share in all socialistic movements.
Of his poems may be mentioned The Oath, a series of most beautiful ballads, with a tragical love-story of the 17th century as their base, but with many and happy satirical allusions to modern life; JOrundr, a long poem about the convict king, the Danish pirate Jorgensen, who nearly succeeded in making himself the master of Iceland, and The Fate of the Gods and The Men of the West (the Americans), two poems which, with their anti-clerical and half-socialistic tendencies, have caused strong protests from orthodox Lutheran clergy.
He was a strong Liberal with somewhat socialistic views, and was preferred by Mr. Gladstone to the living of Stokenham and Chivelstone in Devon in 1884.
About this time he went to Paris, where he lived a poor, ascetic and studious life - making acquaintance, however, with the socialistic ideas which were then fomenting in the capital.