13 MARCH 1897, Page 17



0 SADDEST of all sounds that be, Sweet Virgil's sad "Sunt lacryma3": A jewel'd thought, a gracious line Set in a music half divine ; With murmur like the enchanted sea Beneath his own Parthenope : Where at the last, sad Ocean's lover, He rests ; a laurel hanging over.

And he had beard it, he had known Humanity's sad silent moan, And felt the waste of human things That mounts from beggars up to kings ; A young Marcellus, early taken, Like fruit by tempest rudely shaken; Or great Catullas' starry fame, That sunk, and left but half a name ; Or, rapture of a night, the bride, Like Psyche, stolen from our side; Or perished worth, and friendship old, In dust and darkness lying cold.

And we have beard it, we have known Yet deeper sorrow's sadder tone; Beethoven's passion, Shelley's pain, The splendid gloom of Byron's strain ; With Misereres of a song Complaining to the years, how long ? This heirloom of an ancient wrong? And we have heard the pillow-cry Of strong men's sleepless agony, O God! how slow the hours go by !

But song more sweet shall never twine The rue and rose in one short line ; Or more pathetic give to grief An outlet, for a moment brief, To loose awhile the captive woe, Whose prison'd drops refuse to flow ; And, like a draught of myrrh in wine, To mix in tears an anodyne; Than in, that world's epitome, Sad Virgil's sweet "Sunt lacrymm." A. G. B.