7 OCTOBER 1882, Page 20


POET1Y.—A Birth-song, and Other Poems. By William Freeland. (Jam' a Maclohose and Sons, Glasgow.) —This is a volume of fairly nadable verse; while scarcely rising above the level of respectability anywhere, some lines and passages are imbued by poetic feeling of a higher order. Affectations and jarring notes are not wanting, however,—as, for example, in the following lines from the " Tragedy of the Nightingale" :- " Those envious murder-songs of field and space Who, finding in pare Phil9mel to grace Beyond the teaches of their tensest art, Smote into silence earth's divineat heart."

The figure employed here is not a happy one. What can bo more alien to the innocent manners of our native songsters, than to enter into a conspiracy against the leader of the sylvan choir. In a sense, our birds are hospitable to strangers. Does not the hedge sparrow tend with rather more than a mother's care, if that be possible, the wandering cuckoo's progeny ? Some two or three sonnets are included in this collection which are better then the average. Of these, we quote : —


The river flows with hasty flood and keen,

Biting the red earth from the broken ledge:

'I ho shill•eyed sparrow dozes on the hedge, Dreaming the world is clothed in f natal green, And only wakes to hunger and the spleen.

Lean hlaetbirde dig for grubs with gulden wedge ;

The water hen stares wildly from the sedge, Hnlf.crazed that not a minnow can she glean Within her wonted pool. I, too, am ()rest, And wander like an uuforgiven ghost In the dark meadow by the whirling stream, Seeking redemption. Lo, the holy sign I A half.blown daisy lends her patient gleam,

And all the world is clothed in light div.ne I " A few lines from "Pelagius the Heretic" are worth quoting:— " What Church can limit the Illimitable I'

What mortal power define Eternal Trill II, That flows from year to year, from lea, to more, Shall flow from mere to most in far off ycars,—

A flood, as from the mountain to the plain; A spring, dim welling as from hidden deeps Or in the mighty Book, or mighty heart That beats to music of the Infinite? All truth is God's, how poor soe'or it seem, From whatsoever source it come; for God Rath made all sources and all substances, Of matter, or of mind, or prophecy, Or arts, or sciences, through which His voice, A ported melody In diverse tones,

Comes to His people of all times and climes."

—Poems. By Arthur Bridge. (Richard Bentley and Sons.)—Here we have a miscellaneous collection, the longer pieces of which are "The History of the Haunted Dell," " A Tale of Hindustan," and "Cromwell : a Drama." A certain facility of stringing rhymes to- gether is possessed by the writer, but no poetic power, that we can discover. Of such productions, it can only be said they have no raison d'elre. The leisure half-hour of a busy man might surely be better employed than in wading through a few pages of such plati- tudes done into verso.—Yenta, and Other Poems. By the Author of " Pericula Urbis." (D. Nutt.)—This is a small volume, com- prising four longer piooes,—namely, " Vents, a Classic Reverie," " Ishmael," " Elijah," and " Nicias," besides sonnets and short poems, as also translations from Virgil,'Catullus, and Martial. Of the original compositions, it may lxt said that they aro creditable to the writer ; and of the translations, that they bear the impress of a scholarly hand. Here is a specimen :- " MASS OF THE VANN, POMPEII.

Campania's skiee, set In the marble frame Of you twin columns, edge with twinkling blue The mountain's ashy cone, that darts the flame

Sun-kissed once more,—this banquet-chamber's hue Is crimson yet. Was it that eve the FILEN3,

Then when the reveller by the plashing fountain Pushed back the roses on his brow, to gaze One moment on the tumult of the mountain, And the breeze played around him that would bear His shroud, quick-woven iu that opal haze; And Isis' distant °yell:ails clashed for prayer ? But, hark I upon the shore null up the 11.11 Bolls of another vespers fill the air, Though on his anvils Vulcan labours still."

—Ilyperninestra : a Graeco-Egyptian Myth. By George Gladstone Turner. (Longmans, Green, and Co.)—Not all bad as verso, but wanting in definiteness, lacking vividness and force, this present- ment of the ancient myth, like a faint photograph, weakens, if it does anything at all, our earlier impressions of the story. The book is but a small one, prettily and appropriately bound, typo good and clear ; this counts for something. We give, as an example, some linos from-

" TIM SONG OF THE Faunas.. Happy is the maiden,

happy is the Spring, When the year conic, laden With each sweetest thing. Hero, in meadows maying, 'Midst the daffodil, With her mates she's playing, Safe from every ill. Round her feet eufolden Clings the lush-long grass, Stirred with crocus guides, Loath to let her pass.

Sbe of care or sorrow Has uo weary thought; What may bring the morrow, She has never sought."

—Monaco Pazzo's Rhymes. (David Bogue.)—Whatever of merit the reader may discern in this collection of poems, wo take leave to doubt whether, on perusal or repernsal (if he be minded to take that trouble), he will endorse the author's own valuation of his work :—

" Read these poems once, and you will deem them fey! Road them twice, and you will think them good ;

Read them thrice, and you will think them bettor ; And the oftener you read them, the better you will deem them."

The longer pieces are "Giordano Bruno," "The Optimist," "The Death of Hollinger," "A Mock.heroio Suburban Idyll," and "Pour Tableaux ;" of these, the best is, perhaps, on "Lights near West- minster Bridge." The rhymes have occasionally an easy swing and resonance which show ingenuity, and now and then a touch of lyric, grace, but this is.about all that can bo said in commendation of them. —Priest and Poet, and Other Poems. By J. D. Lynch. (James Daffy and Sons, Dublin.).—This little volume gives evidence of some poetic feeling, but little power ; what there is in germ may be capable of development, but culture is needed. Faulty rhythm may be fre- quently noted, mistakes in spelling even occur, such as " iitchenetV for " lichened."—Margaret, and Other Poems. By Maud Eldryth. (Kegan Paul, Tronob, and Co.)—Of the first and longest poem in this collection, little can be said, except that it is too long for the reader's patience. Much the same may be affirmed of most of the other pieces, such as " An Old Man's Story of Love," " Venice," &c. The lines quoted below from "An Insight" seem little better

than nonsense :— " Aware

Of the chant's majesty, yet I, As still its echoes nestling fly About my heart, do oven dare Into this web of verse to entice The wingdd things, that so it may, AR shadowy twilight the fell day, Py some similitude that thrice Exalted song divulge, and by

Those lofty strains proclaim the whole.

Which can of vision to the soul Revealed be uttered ere we die."