24 AUGUST 1878, Page 22


pieces of humorous verse, which have appeared in various periodicals. He dedicates them as a " gratefal admirer" to Mr. Frederick Locker. The comparison thus suggested is not an unfair one, or one of which Mr. Leigh need be afraid. His verse has not the dainty, delicate grace of the "lyric's" with which Mr. Locker has too rarely favoured the world. Nor can they be matched with the "Verses "and " Fly-leaves" in which Mr. Calverley displays such marvellous ease and force. But they are good enough to entitle their writer to the reputation of a decided success in the line which he has chosen. His humour is not indeed overpowering. One does not laugh aloud as one reads. But he has no inconsiderable share of the vis cornice. His verse does not show the marvellous tours de force with which Mr. Calverley delights and astonishes, but it is always easy and musical, nor over stumbles at a rhyme. We have been somewhat puzzled to choose a specimen for the reader. If our selection does not seem particularly striking, he may reflect that there are a hundred or so others which might have taken its place:—

" MEDITATIONS (BY A LOWTHER ARCADIAN.) " Shall I seek out a gift for my fair—

For a damsel of sweet seventeen, With a forest of gold-coloured hair, And the bluest of eyes ever seen?

From the ardent assaults of the sun I retreat for a while to the shade ;

Cannot some little traffic be done

While I lounge through the Lowther Arcade ?

What a galaxy beams on my sight As I blithely but leisurely roam!

What a chance for conferring delight On a too-thickly tenanted home!

Here the grandpapa's heart and his dame's,

And the hearts of the girls and the boys, /day all proffer their manifold claims,

From pop spectacles down to you toys.

Shall! purchase a fife and a drum ? E'en for babyhood music hath charms.

What a terror such things may become

In the hands of an infant in arms!

But affrighted humanity shrinks From such barbarous weapons In dread; I will treat her young brother, methinks, To a boxful of soldiers instead.

I must think of her sister, of course, Cris a sweet, pretty, innocent thing !)— Shall my choice be a small wooden horse, Or a dainty wax doll with a spring ? She will cherish the latter, perhaps,

And at first be so proud of her prize;

But, alas not a month will elapse Ere she pokes out Its bright little eyes.

It is time that I thought of my fair

(As my fair may be thinking of me)—

Far from easy the task, I declare,

To decide what my present shall be. But, behold, there is sunshine above—

Let me quit the Arcade for the Strand.

By and by I will call on my love, And present her—my heart and my hand."