2 SEPTEMBER 1882, Page 21


Through Dark to Light. (Remington and Co.)—"To are sorry that we cannot find much to admire in this work, as the author rightly terms it. It is divided into two parts, called " Rain " and " Sun- shine." The " Rain" part is subdivided into three rhymed addresses. —to a child, a parrot, and a woman. The child, after being treated to a series of mournful verses on the general hopelessness of things, appears from stanza xvi. (" You're tired, love, isn't it true ?") to be somewhat bored; and the author turns to a parrot, in hopes of finding a bettor listener. As a specimen of the address to the parrot, wo quote the following :— " I weal your though' you would bond

To take particular note, Though a parrot you be, my friend, Why must you talk by iota P I plaint in your supple claw A biscuit for you to take, Now, will you lay down the law For mine or the biscuit's sake."

The parrot is requested to teach " the measured swing, the monotonous to and fro,—

The patient ride in the wing Of f °current human woe °

by swinging on the ring in his cage, but wo fail to guess bow he is to teach us,—

" That every pang that prinks our palpitant dust From the thrill of a blind f tree sprang, That bath nor limit nor lust."

The parrot, being 100 years old, is also expected to give an account of his whole life, and to have deep Darwinian theories as to the genesis of parrots and their place on the " hanght " (P) ladder of life. But the Parrot at last is also found to be a dull listener, " of changeless plume and cloudless eye ;" so the poet turns to a " pictured shape of the womanly beautiful." But the woman, fair without, is false within. This woman—or her picture, we know not which—answers his rebuke by the counter-statement that she is forsaken. Two priests are then asked the same weary questions about life and death and the world to come, but are given no opportunity of reply. The stanzas in most of these addresses remind us somewhat of the game of poetry at which we played in our youth. A series of rhymes is given, and each person has to write some sense or nonsense which will fit the words. Thus "dogs," "hate," "clogs," "straight," become,-

" 0 best of possible dogs, So steadiest in love and hate I No reason your impulse o'ogs,

So its aim is true and straight ;"

or, as in our version, it might be,—

" Lover of all kinds of dope, I run perfectly, sure yon hate

That men shottid hick them with clogs And make them in carts go straight."

The hest parts of the book are the songs, of which wo give what appears to us the best specimen ,-

" I've seen them again,

As the Dream stood by, The beautiful years I once lot die.

As the Dream stood by, He whispered a word, And the beautiful years Once more appeared. He whispered a word, And its sound in truth Was strong as a spell,

For that word was ` Youth.'

'0 beautiful years,'

I eagerly cried, ' You will stay here now But no voice replied, And I saw them fade Away through my tears. They were dreams themselves, Those beautiful years."

The second part, "Sunshine," is much better than "Rain." It eonsiata of two addresses, to a dog and to a wife ; and of a concluding Eel: of stanzas, called "The Christ Picture." We quote stanza three ;- " Were it only a myth thin wove On a lest world'e threadbare Hope, Which could but our longing prove With the tyrant Death to oopo, Still, it were sweetest, beat, , Of dreams dreamed under the Sue,

Making men's lives to he blest, By making men's hearts to be one. There sorrow and gladness meet, And the crossing of wills is there. And the living that makes death sweet, And the dying that makee life dear. There, at the foot of the Cross, In the perfect type of His kind,

Man learns his gain in a to ,s,

And his lose in a gun to find. The life that is freely spent, And eager itself to give,

To bring to a brother content,—

In a love like this men live.

While the life that itself would save, Setting Self all things above, D.es, e'er it reaohes the grave, In the dismal dearth of love,"

The author sees, and rightly sees, in Christ crucified the only possible solution of the mysteries of our present life.