31 JANUARY 1903, Page 41


Mr. Le veson Gower's Poems (W. Heinemann, 7s. 6d.) afford agree- able evidence of wide culture allied- to considerable command of versification. True, he does not embark on any long-breathed flight, but there are few forms of lyric poetry that he has not essayed, and if we cannot quite say nihi/ quod tetigit non ornavit, at least in sentiment and expression he never sinks below a pleas- ing level. His versatility can best be nzferred from the fact that the collection includes not only songs, sonnets, ballads, descrip- tive and elegiac pieces, and impressions de voyage, but translations from Petrarch, from Ronsard., from the Greek anthology, and from the Japanese. Of his original pieces we like best those which give lyrical utterance to a simple emotion, as, for example, the little song entitled "Love's Reckoning" :— " If you can count the grains of wheat That last year's harvest bore, Or all the'restless waves that beat Against the ocean shore ;

If you can count the flowers of Spring, The sands beside the sea, How many leaves are quivering Upon the aspen tree ; If you can tell night's starry fires When heavens are deep and blue, Then you can number my desires And all my thoughts of you."

Lastly, in proof of his skill in handling the sonnet form, we give the lines headed "In Winter" :— " Each season has its beauty ; not alone

When Spring comes girt with sunshine and with showers, Or grassy June with wealth of leaves sad flowers, Or glowing Autumn fiery-hued is shown The Earth's continuous pageant ; not unknown Is the still charm of Winter's briefer hours.

High on the hill a lonely beech-tree towers Columnar, round its buttressed stem are strewn The red-brown leaves, while up against the sky Where softest white fades into palest blue Stand in clear tracery the branches here; Thin streaks of snow in you brown field hard by Lie bright between bold ridges shouldering through, And there's a touch of frost within the air."