2 DECEMBER 1911, Page 39


THOUGH Mr. Graham has, perhaps, never quite reached the Olympian heights of his first book of verses, ".Ruthless Rhymes for Heartless Homes" with their almost divine calm -and detachment, still his new volume " Canned Classics " is an exceedingly entertaining work. "Ruthless Rhymes " was a book worthy of the immortals, having in it the true elixir of nonsense, and we do not doubt that it will long be treasured . among "those old books that used to he in the.nursery. .and which I must have in my new room " by many a child who is rapidly turning into-that despicable being, a,grown-up person. 'The canned classics, which give the present volume its title, are really its least interesting -part. Not so the poem entitled "The Solitary Flapper" (after Wordsworth's "Solitary Reaper"), which will delight all judicious readers with its extreme and touching beauty .:- :I.

"ABehold her- singleln the street,

Yon solitary Suffrage lass, •

Where `coppers' with enormous feet

'Beeline to let her. pass.

Alone she kicks and'bites her-way 'Through crowds-of constables at bay.

.0,..listen, all the world, it.seems, Be-echoes with the -maidens screams.

IL No peacock on a garden lawn, No infant pig attacked by'bees, No rooster at-the break of dawn, Can make such.sounds as these," &e.

Thus every phrase of the noble original is -tracked down even to the line "And bottles 'long ago:" Even if one sighs as a devotee of Wordsworth one must laugh as an Anti- -Suffragist or even as a moderate advocate of the vote. Other poems which we would recommend to the diligent student are "Topical Ethics," "The Dirt Cure "4" Abandon soap all ye who enter here "), and " The Complete _Sportsman," which, after ".Q's " famous dour-de-foree,is _perhaps the most "-com- plete " poem ever written on theaul4ject, and with,asquotation from which we will conclude :—

" You should see me clad 'in •pigskin when 'the starter shouts `offside,' A.nd.my,filly.takes the °rapper in his teeth; You should see ins when-at Wimbledon' (lance:to serve a wide; You should see, me wield the willow,at.Blackbeath.

-When I represent my county in a foursome up at Lord's, How thepeople cheer my famous 'anchor-stroke' !

How the -umpire blows his whistle whenthe seeringboard records A revoke ! '