16 APRIL 1881, Page 22


A livusehold Queen, and other Poems, By Alsager Hay Hill. (London Labour News Ottioe.)—The little volume of verses by Mr. Alsager Hay Hill has the merit of being unassuming and unaffected. Much of contemporaneous poetry has not a chance of living, except in the passing interest of personal friends, but among Mr. Hill's songs there are a few that appeal to a wider range of sympathy.. For besides writing poetry, Mr. Alsager Hill is a well-known philan- thropist, and whoa his experience and his sympathies 'meet, he produces some telling verses. Of these, " Lilies in the City," " Mrs. Grundy's Sunday," and " The Great God Gin," are good examples. Of Nature, too, Mr. Hill writes as if he both knew and loved her. In a song called " Quiet Lives," he touches with delicacy the contrast between lives filled with,—

tender thoughts of happy country ways,

That spring as COWSUPS by time meadow sale,'

and those cast in the " City's foam and fret," in whose " waters wild unrest,"—

"Forever strewn with wreck of heart and lump°,

we had no rest."

Among flowers and books also Mr. Hill can take his ease, and forgets, as his preface tells us, that there are newspapers to edit and philan- thropy to organise. The sonnets are more ambitious and less satis- factory, but a sonnet forces comparison with the highest achievements of poetry. It is only one or two verse-makers in a generation who- can really stuccoed in them, but the one to the memory of Edward Denison will appeal to all those who, in their sorrow for the early death of Mr. Denison, regret it especially for what he might have accomplished for the poor of London.