4 MAY 1907, Page 28

New Zealand Verse. Collected by W. F. Alexander and A.

E. Currie. (Walter Scott Publishing Company. 18.)—The introduc- tion is not the least interesting part of this volume. "Of the writers in this book," say the compilers, "with one or two excep- tions, none are by profession literary people purely, for there is no literary life in the State. It is only a small percentage of any population that supports artistic effort, and in New Zealand the gross population is not large enough for this percentage to have any apparent power." One might ask, How about Athens ? New Zealand must have a population many times greater. But, then, it may be answered, the seventy or eighty thousand of Attica were not scattered over a region nearly as large as Great Britain. But the essay as a whole is well worth study. If there is no " literary society," there is no lack of literary feeling and taste. Some fifty poets are represented here. The two great

New Zealand names, Frederick Napier Broome and Alfred Doinett (Browning's " Waring," it will be remembered), are in the list; three poems of the first and eight of the second are given, but as the rule of selection is that the. poems have all been written in the country, the later work of these two was not eligible. Six of the hundred and seventy-three poems are pub- lished for the first time, and a stanza of one of these we give as a specimen, though it has the fragrance of a Scottish moor rather than of the other side of the world. It has the title of "A Leaf from a Fly-book" and bears the name of Seaforth Mackenzie

Afoot, the wash of waders, and aloft, the hascbreited The heart it needeth nothing so the east falls clean and tens. • 0 most of the running reel, and flash of mottled back I And who will take the Ma& white road and who the cocksfoot track