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POEMS.

BY COSMO MONKHOUSE.

I.

UNDER THE OAK.

Soft the wind-blow and sunshine
In this garden which is mine ;
Scarce a hundred yards in girth,
Yet a part of all the earth!
World for carpet, roof of skies,
Walls of Nature's tapestries,
Naught between the sun and me
Save the curtain of a tree.

Here as 'neath the oak I sit, Whisperings come out of it ; Summer-fancies, half desires, Breaths that fan forgotten fires, Trembling little waifs of song, Seeking words to make them strong, Life that dies without a sorrow, Butterflies of no to morrow, Odors of a bygone day, All the sweets that will not stay, All the sweets that never cloy, Unembodied souls of joy, Sing and flutter, flash and go, With a ceaseless interflow ; Till at last some happier seed, Finds the rest its brothers need, Strikes a root and grows and climbs, Buds in words and flowers in rhymes.

Who sball tell me how it came !
Was it in this winnowed flame,
Golden dripping through the leaves
Like the grain of heavenly sheaves ?
From the voice of throstle clear
Was it filtered through the ear?
Came it thus, or did it come
Borne
upon

the wild bee's hum,
That a moment buzzed around
With a circle cbarmed of sound ?
Or did Zephyr in a dell
Steal it with a scent as well
From some hidden flower-bell,
To instil its life in me
With a subtle chemistry !

Little knew I, but a sense Solemn, delicate, intense, Filled my spirit with a bliss Sweeter, holier, than a kiss,

Liquid, radiant, unthonght,
That at once all being brought
Into rarer harmony,
Beast and bird, and sun and tree,
Air and perfume, God and me.

Just as one whose birthright lost,
Wonder struck and passion-tost,
After many a loveless day
Sails at length into a bay
Where he thinks his bones to lay,
Finds indeed an end to strife,
Not in dying, but in life,
Friends and kindred, birthright, all,
With dear love for coronal.

So at length I seemed at home
Underneath that distant dome,
Where the spirit holds at ease
Frank communion with the trees ;
Comrade of the boundless wind,
Linked in universal mind
With all things which live or are,
From the daisy to the star,
Part for once of Nature's plan,
Not the lonely exile-Man.

II.

THE TRUE LOVER.

To hin whose love flows on-beyond the shore

Of life, whose days are full of loneliness,

But who within the heart's remote recesses Hears the bright laughter of the living world ;To him Delight is as a ringlet curled

Around his finger for a little space,

That, slipping, leaves him thinking of a face Which laughed and wept, but now shall weep no more. To him there is no treason in new love

That wrongs not any old, no faith in giving

To wantless dead the crumbs that feed the living, Devotion none in watching wakeless sleep, For him his friends descend not to the deep

Of sunless graves, but with no clouded face

Remain to cheer the remnant of his race Between the green earth and the stars above.

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To him each year a benefactor seems

That leaves him stores of happiness and sorrow ;

He neither hugs to-day nor fears to-morrow ;
He welcomes winter as he welcomes spring ;
For he has shaken hands with suffering

And seen the wings of joy, nor does he scorn

The gift of any day however born,
In mist of tears or in the light of dreams.

To him the new is dearer for the old,

To him the old for each new day is dearer,

His unforgotten youth seems ever nearer,
As though the ends of life were made to meet ;
To him the mingled cup of bitter-sweet

Is grown familiar as his daily bread,

And in the awful dark he rests his head
With a hushed confidence that is not bold.

To him Death seems less terrible than sleep,

For he has seen the happiness of dying,

And no bad dreams disturb the tranquil lying
Of those who bear green grass above the breast ;
And if there be a waking after rest,

He shall not wake alone, but he shall be

With all he loves and all he longs to see ;
And if he shall not wake-he shall not weep.

-Blackwood's Magazine.

PRIDE AND MERIT.

It is curious to observe how proud Mr. quent tendency to question whether or not Stanley is of his own swift insight and he had decided wrongly. In enterprises resolution. In the speech at Cairo briefly such as those of Mr. Stanley, the power reported by telegraph on January 22d, he to discern quickly what is, on the whole, once more dealt, with apparently very un- the best course, and to adhere to a decinecessary emphasis, and surely a certain sion when taken without the sinallest diswant of taste, on Emin Pasha's vacillations position to waver or hark back

upon

forand the alternatives he had so peremptorily mer doubts, are endowments worth almost pressed upon him. Considering the very all other endowments put together. We critical state of Emin Pasha's health, this do not blame him in the least for attachreversion to the subject of the hesitating- ing the highest value to this promptness of ness of the one European, and the decisive- discernment, and this perfect confidence ness of the other, could hardly have taken in the justness of his own decision. Withplace had not Mr. Stanley's mind been out these qualities Mr. Stanley could no very full of it, - had he not, we may say, more have accomplished what he has acbeen a little too much inclined to thank complished, than Newton could have disGod that he was not as other men are, nor covered the law of gravitation without an. cven as this Emin.

Nor can there be any rivalled powers of mathematical reflection, doubt that this clearness and peremptori- or Milton have written “ Paradise Lost" ness of resolve are qualities for which Mr. without an imaginative ardor and a sense Stanley has the greatest reason to be of the rhythmic felicities of speech which thankful. Doubtless they distinguish him hardly any human being has surpassed. among men as nothing else distinguishes Mr. Stanley's pride is a fitting and reasona him, though he has no occasion to be so able pride, though it may have tempted very anxious to contrast his promptness him to indulge it in this instance at the of resolve with the German's reluctance to cost of good taste, and perhaps even good take his final decision, and with his subse

But we take note of it not so NEW SERIES. – VOL. LI., No. 3,

27

manners,

As a

much in order to show that Mr. Stanley ings. And so, too, a great musician is a understands how to appreciate accurately thousand times as proud of gifts of earhis own strong points, as to illustrate the and touch which he can prove that be posfact that what men are almost always, and, sessed as an infant, when it was simply as we think, quite rightly, proudest of, is, impossible that he could have acquired not that which they can justly ascribe to them by any pains of his own, as he is of their own efforts and volitions, but that wbat he has made his own by hard induswhich they have inherited without the trious drill. The truth is, no doubt, that smallest merit on their own part. What, men regard the fruits of plodding as open for instance, men are perhaps on the to all the world, while they regard any rewhole most proud of, is their blood when markable heirooin, physical or spiritual, they are well descended, and yet no one as distinguishing them from the rest of can say that they are in the smallest degree mankind, and as conferring upon them a responsible for that ; or again of their distinction that is adventitious no doubt, genius or talents or physical strength if but exactly because it is adventitious, is they are not well descended, and all these also rare and significant. If Mr. Stanley things are endowments, and never in any had only that amount of prompt insight great degree due to self-culture. What and alert resolve which he might bave women are certainly proudest of, is their gained for himself by sedulous self-disbeauty or grace, and neither beauty nor cipline, he would not be so proud of it ; grace can be acquired without a consider- but thoroughly aware as be is, that it able original gift, beauty not in any de amounts in him to genius of a high order, gree, and even grace in very small degree, which distinguishes him far above the orfor a grace which is in any way artificial dinary traveller who has to run a multiis not grace

but a soft mannerism. tude of risks and to escape from them by rule, men show very distinctly how much presence of mind and strength of purpose, they prefer gifts for which they can claim he is excessively proud of it, and loves to absolutely no merit, to gifts for the pos- contrast it with the inferior endowment of session of which they have at least some another great traveller who has also dissmall share of merit, by being positively tinguished himself in the same field, but indignant if they find that anybody hap- distinguished himself in a very much lower pens to ascribe mere wealth that they have degree. All the most honorable pride is inherited from their fathers, to their own pride that, if properly analyzed, is strictly bard work. Seldom indeed is a family unselfish, that centres in what has been proud of being supposed to be "new" given us by others, not won by ourselves, when it is really old ; but a family that is like pride in our country, in our nation's really new” is generally delighted to be achievements, in our race, in our friends, mistaken for an old family. That only in our parents, and, of course, for the means that a family is prond, not of hav- most art, even in our children, who, ing earned its own wealth, but of having though they may owe much to our care in had its wealth transmitted to it. And yet bringing out all their higher qualities and wealth, if it be self-made, is just one of restraining all their lower qualities, owe the possessions which is in great measure very much inore to gifts which we had the due to mere effort, steady diligence, mi- power neither to bestow nor to withhold. nute care, and punctual habits,—all of All the more generous pride entertained which are usually more or less acquired or by human beings, is pride in the possescultivated qualities, and hardly ever the sion of either privileges or endowments mere results of transmitted talent. That which those who enjoy them could never shows that men are prouder of possessions have earned for themselves, and which which they can prove to be inherited, and they would not have valued a tenth-part. not due in any degree to their own efforts, as much as they do if it bad not been than they are of those which they have ac- quite out of their power to choose whether quired by hard service. And it is the they would have or would reject them. same with women. If

you

admire a wom. But the unquestionable truth that this an's jewels, for instance, she is twice as is so, is, as a matter of fact, forgotten by proud of them if she can prove that they the greater number of those who feel this are heirlooms, as she is if she should have pride even in its more generous forms. bought them herself out of her own earn- They do allow their pride to increase their sense of self-importance, instead of, as it thy of the trust which those possessions should do, tending rather to diminish it. impose? Most of all, how can a man be The man who is proud of being an Eng- proud of his genius without dreading that Jishman, for instance, is very apt to regard he may prove a spendthrift of that genius it as a sort of personal credit to himself instead of its skilful almoner ?

A man that he is an Englishman, in spite of the who takes a genuine pride in the public perfectly obvious truth that he has no love and esteem in which (suppose) his more credit in the matter than he has for father is held, can hardly help feeling all possessing two hands and two legs. The the more modest the deeper that pride is ; beauty, again, can very seldom contrive and yet that is, as we hold, precisely the not to think it a credit to herself that she attitude in which he should look

upon

his should be a beauty, or the man of genius rank or his wealth, or even his personal to doubt that he deserves all the better of strength and dexterity, though, of course, the world for having a genius. Yet these these latter gifts are not subjects for anygifts ought to be really regarded with that thing like an equal amount of pride. Even sort of modest pride in the possession of Mr. Stanley's legitimate pride in his own treasures to which we had no sort of nat- swiftness of insight and promptitude of ural right or inoral claim, that a man feels, resolve, would have been all the wiser and for instance, in living in fine scenery, or more legitimate if he could have shown in a refined and thoughtful society. In that he took no credit to hinself for what fact the very same feeling should dominate had been the free gift of Providence, and all the nobler kinds of pride which filled did not think of coniparing his own dethe hearts of the greater saints who said cision with Emin Pasha's vacillation, while that, but for the grace of God,—that is, he was studying how best to make his resobut for something which they could not luteness serve the purpose of extricating in any way cominand or control,—they the great German from the embarrassshould have been the most despicable and ments of a difficult and ambigu sus crisis. sinful of beings. Thus the better kind of If, indeed, pride were limited to the qualpride should add, not to the sense of merit, ities for which we could honestly take cred. but (rather of the two) to the sense of de- it as of our own fostering, there would merit, because it should deepen and inten: hardly be enough of pride among us to sify the consciousness of the lavish gifts, make it signify anything important in buthe inherited advantages, the high level of

man life.

It is not only not so limited, opportunity froin which we started, and but a vast deal more of it, and that, too, from which it might have been fairly of a vastly better kind, is felt in relation hoped that we should have been able to to privileges and possessions for which we achieve far more than we actually have are eager to assert that we can claim no achieved. The higher pride ought to credit at all, than in relation to either deepen modesty. How can a man be wealth or moral qualities which we have proud of his ancestry without feeling the painfully acquired. In other words, the extreme danger that he will not be able to best pride must go hand in hand with the justify his descent ? How can a man be deepest modesty in things secular as well proud of his possessions without fearing as in things religious. - Spectator. that he will be found to have been unwor

LITERARY NOTICES.

FOUNDATIONS OF SEMITIC RELIGION. need hardly be told that Dr. Robertson Smith

stands in the very first rank among the stuLECTURES ON THE RELIGION OF THE SEMITES. First Series, Fundamental Institutions. By few years since that the leaders of the Scotch

dents of comparative religion. It is only a W. Robertson Smith, M.A., LL.D., Fellow

Free Church called him to a rigid account for of Christ Church, and Professor of Arabic in

his lectures delivered at the University of the University of Cambridge. New York :

Edinburgh, in which he boldly propounded D. Appleton & Co.

the views entertained by the most advanced Those who have followed the religious con- biblical scholars of Europe. He was comtroversies of the last ten years with any care pelled to resign his post. Now we find him

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