24 NOVEMBER 1866, Page 19

..Religio Anima and Other Amts. By Alfred B. Richards. (Moion.)—

Mr:Richards is a man of generous impulses and warm sympathies. Ile denounces selfishness Wherever he finds it, whether amongst kings, or poor-liw guardians,- or piditiCal economists, or persons of unpatriotically pacific tendencies; and if indignation can make verse, there 'is no doubt that his volume is fall of it. But we are afraid that in his excessive anxiety to be emphatic he will be considered at times to hire passed those limits beyond which satire ceases to be effective ; and that when he addresses-the parish 'officers as

"Fiends economic l with your Dead Sea fruit, *Harder than stones that pave the abyss of fire, Yotirs hard-WaUed breasts, girt,' too, with treacherous wire ; At your foul deeds would blush with redder flame The poet's Hell, and demons glow with shame ; Hatred abhors your !"

—he is getting intethe regions of burlesque, and will not produce the im- pression that we should desire upon the delinquents in question. Again, much as we dislike the people "who'd yield our colonies out of pure cowardice and hatred of war-taxes, or rather because We do-dislike them, we are inclined to protest against the application to them of lines like the fallowing :— "Sy Heaven I say that wretches like to these,

Sbotdd hang in Mammon's courtyard•naii'd like kites, - Roped withvile spume and tetter'd with decay," inasmuch as we think that they will not be any the worse for it, even if we understand the meaning of the last line, about which we are not sure. In his lighter mood our author is not quite innocent of the tendency to string together a number of pretty words without much sense. These stanzas from the Religio Aninaw,— do not seem to have much connection amongst themselves or with what goes before and follows, and we are quite at a loss to know why we should "go " to autumn, " kneel " in the spring, " think " by the ocean, what we are to get from these various proceedings, why eternity is the text of the spring, and what is the process of the hollow thunder strik- ing dumb the shuddering bay. On the whole, we must say of this volume that it contains, not poetry in the strict sense of the word, but verse that is frequently vigorous and tuneful, sometimes bombastic and unmeaning. " Go l where the autumn flowers Fade from the ripening tree ; Kneel ! where the warm spring His text, eternity ; [preaches, Think ! where the ocean ripples, In sunlit glory spread, Paths for bright angel missions, That come with noiseless tread. Hark ! how the hollow thunder Smites dumb the shuddering bay; Out leaps the tawny levin, As serpents strike their prey ; Till the loud surges answer Like wolves from out the dark, And foaming worry ribless The seaman's shattered bark,"