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MARY BARRY SMITH.

189

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MARY BARRY SMITH.

ISS MARY BARRY SMITH was born in Charlottetown, Prince Edward's Island, which now forms part of the Dominion of Canada. Her father, Rev. William Smith, a highly-esteemed minister of the Methodist Church, was a native of Nottingham, England. Her mother was the youngest daughter of the late Robert Barry, a Loyalist, who settled in Shelbourne, Nova Scotia, and whose name is widely known and honored as one prominently connected with the early settlement and development of that province. He became connected by marriage with a southern family, his wife being the sister of Rev. William Jessop, a poet- preacher, whose name is honorably recorded in the annals of early Methodism. In accordance with the itinerant system of the denomination to which he belonged, Mr. Smith made frequent removals with his family to different spheres of labor, and through the years of a successful ministry he resided in various towns and villages of Nova Scotia and the adjoining province. After his death the family took up their residence in St. John, N. B. The children of these parents, inheriting from their mother a marked poetic talent and gifted with a keen appreciation of all intellectual pursuits, were reared in an atmosphere of simplicity and refinement. They early discovered considerable literary ability; even their recreations partook largely of this character. For several years the sisters conducted a journal called The Household Wreath, editing it in turn and contributing to it articles in prose and verse over various signatures. This was read once a fortnight to the assembled household. Fugitive poems from the pen of each have since found their way to the public through different periodicals, while Miss Mary Barry has been a regular contributor to several popular magazines. Some of her earliest pieces appeared in the pages of the Ladies' Repository, a literary journal published in Cincinnati, while those of maturer years have compelled recognition in a wider field.

Of Miss Smith's personal characteristics, of the sensibility of her imagination and the depths of her sympathies, much may be known by her writings. In social life she displays considerable versatility. She is animated in conversation and possesses a somewhat remarkable memory, which has been richly stored. She has given some attention to the study of elocution, and on occasions will consent to gratify her friends by the rendition of her favorite authors. Of late years artistic pursuits have divided her attention with those purely

literary. She is perhaps better known in St. John as an artist than as a writer. Her studio contains some very successful expressions of skill in oil and water colors, and she finds a rare pleasure on summer afternoons in transferring to canvas the picturesque bits of scenery, the rocks and wharves, 'fishing vessels and weirs with which the harbor of St. John abounds.

It is her intention at an early day to collect her poems and issue them in a volume, illustrated by her own pencil. A. H. E.

ELSWITHA.

ELSWITHA knitteth the stocking blue,

In the flickering firelight's glow;
Dyed are her hands in its ruddy hue,
And it glints on the shining needles, too,
And flashes her cap of snow.
Elswitha dreameth a waking dream,

As busy her fingers ply;

And it lights her eye with its olden gleam,
For the world seems now as it used to seem,
And the things far off are nigh,

The things far off in the lapse of years,
Dead faces and loves outgrown.
Oh, many a form at her side appears,
And many a voice in her soul she hears,
And many a long-hushed tone.

For Memory walks through her halls to-night,
A torch in her lifted hand,

And, lo! at the sound of her footstep light,
They shake them free from the dust and blight
And, trooping, around her stand.

Bright curls of auburn and braids of brown,
With the sunlight sifted through,

And foreheads, white as the hawthorn's crown,
And garlands fresh as when last thrown down,
Ay, fresher in scent and hue!

They come from aisles of the buried past,
From the faded long ago,

From sepulchers old, and dim, and vast,
They come, with their grave-clothes from them
cast,

To stand in this firelight glow!

And weird is the charm they weave, I trow!
Elswitha is young and fair,

Gone are the furrows and tear stains now,
Gone are the wrinkles from hand and brow,
The silver from shining hair.

Gone are the years with their heavy weight
(And heavy the years had grown),

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CHARLES H. CRANDALL.

191

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CHARLES H. CRANDALL.

OVE is a moving theme with poets, youth their chosen season, and perhaps the lines in which this particular young man first tried to approach poetic excellence were words of admiration written in a young lady's album when he was but eighteen. Since then he has given wings to many and varied fancies, grave and gay; yet the last produced from his pen would indicate that the muse is as dear as when he first fell in love with her.

A country-bred youth, thrown into busy mercantile life in the great metropolis, but still thrilling and vibrating with the memories of woods and fields, it was simply a question, it seemed to him, whether he should write poetry or surrender to melancholy. And it would not be strange if many a bit of rural sentiment or elusive charm of nature in his poems should strike his readers as it came to the writer, not with the photographic effect of being "taken on the spot," but with the softer, idealized coloring of a fondly remembered dream. So much dearer often is the country life after it is abandoned.

In 1880 Mr. Crandall bade adieu to his commercial life, and obtained a position on the staff of the New York Daily Tribune, where he served steadily for five years in various capacities, mainly as a reporter and correspondent, but contributing occasional poems and editorials.

The Tribune has printed over a score of his poems. Others have appeared in The Century, Christian Union, The Independent, Lippincott's Magazine, and other high-class periodicals.

As regards the form of his stanzas he appears to like, generally, simple ones, and yet loves to work an innovation. While he is strong and practiced in the sonnet, he has perpetrated but one rondeauno ballades. Neither ballads, epics nor the waterice sort of society verse appear to suit him. Poems of the heart, of friendship, both playful and sincere; nature, patriotism and earnest suggestions, the product of his graver moods, draw out his best poems. As he is yet but thirty-one he may gain much in grasp, in the power of elaboration and the disposition to do that irksome work of poets, to "revise and polish."

Mr. Crandall's birthplace, also the birthplace of his mother, was a modest farm-house, amid the beautiful, diversified region around the village of Greenwich, N. Y., and in his veins is perpetuated the blood of the hardy New England families, English, Welsh and Scotch, that settled the region. Scions of the paternal stock have filled not a few responsible and honored positions since the first Crandall in America, a Baptist preacher, followed

the fortunes of Roger Williams into Rhode Island. In 1884 he married “The Fair Copy Holder" of his muse, then, as now, a valued writer for a New York daily paper. Ill health has within a few years driven him to a quiet life in the country. If he was already worthy to be termed, according to Longfellow, "a graduate of the field and street," he is now taking his post-graduate course with nature, and producing prose and verse as well as live stock, fruit and vegetables. He now lives in Springdale, Fairfield county, Conn. F. W. W.

WAITING.

AS LITTLE children in a darkened hall
At Christmas-tide await the opening door,
Eager to tread the fairy-haunted floor
Around the tree with goodly gifts for all,
And in the dark unto each other call-

Trying to guess their happiness before-
Or knowing elders eagerly implore
To tell what fortune bright to them will fall-
Thus wait we in Time's dim and narrow room;
And with strange fancies, or another's thought,

Try to divine, before the curtain rise, The wondrous scene! Yet soon shall fly the gloom, And we shall see what patient ages sought,

The Father's long-planned gift of Paradise. WRITTEN IN A VOLUME OF SHAKESPEARE. BETWEEN these covers a fair country lies, Which, though much traversed, always seemeth

new;

Far mountain peaks of Thought reach to the blue, While placid meadows please less daring eyes, Deep glens and ivied walls where daylight dies

Tell of Romance, and lovers brush the dew

By moonlit stream and lake, while never few Are the rich bursts of song that shake the skies. This country's king holds never-ending court;

To him there come from all his wide domain Minstrels of love and spangled imps of sport, And messengers of fancy, joy and pain. Of man and nature he has full report; He made his kingdom, none dispute his reign.

SUNSET ON THE PALISADES. GIVE me a golden frame for yonder sky And let me hang it on my memory's walls, That I may not forget how sweetly fall The mellow hues which seem to sanctify The purple cliffs, the river, and more nigh, That old bare elm tree with its branches tall, Etched on the radiance, and yon manor hall, With gray stone walls whereon the lichens lie.

Now pales the brilliant zone the world doth wear And fleck by fleck the crinson tints retreat

From Night's grey robes that over me unroll; Across the hills the feet of Twilight fare, While sounds of vesper bells come soft and sweet, As if from yonder evening star they stole.

MUSIC.

YET still my heart, responsive, beat, And with my steps I marked the time; A subtle music moved my feet

Like that which makes a poem rhyme. And so to sounds that swiftly flew

Soldiers in fight have forward pressed, Still thinking their dead bugler blew Because his challenge fired each breast!

The every morning music brought,

And Time with gladness stepped along; No Ariel thought escaped uncaught

And every sound was turned to song!

It comes again, the glorious sound,

Immortal, wonderful, and strange; It wakes my pulses with a bound

And sets a step that shall not change. Sweet, o'er the hills that hide my youth, I hear the bells of morning chime; They ring for honor, love and truth, And head and heart are keeping time!

THE LITTLE MISSIONARY.

I HAVE met her many mornings,
With her basket on her arm,
And a certain subtle charm,
Coming not from her adornings,
But the modest light that lies
Deep within her shaded eyes.

And she carries nought but blessing,
As she journeys up and down
Through the never-heeding town,
With her looks the ground caressing;
Yet I know her steps are bent
On some task of good intent.
Maiden, though you do not ask it,
And your modest eyes may wink,
I will tell you what I think:
Queens might gladly bear your basket
If they could appear as true
And as good and sweet as you.

LOOKING FORWARD.

A GRECIAN frieze of godlike forms
Moves on and on before my gaze,
Their faces set for sun and storms,

Hands clasped, no traveler stops or stays. What if these lives and thoughts and years Should bring the race its golden age Whose beckoning promise onward cheers And glorifies the oldest page?

Faces that Phidias scarce had wrought,

Forms to make Spartans stop and gaze, Minds born to sovereignty of thought, Hearts tempered in the solar blaze!

Love on her throne and self her slave,
A willing slave, this life of ours,
Art, science borne on one great wave
To grander use, diviner powers!

Clasp closer hands, heroic forms,

Before, behind! Who would not fain
Set faces stern to sun and storms
To form a link in such a chain?

PLOWING.

You musn't think a pleasin' thing
Is lost on country people;
The birds that in that maple sing
Beat chimes in any steeple.

And as for good, fresh thinkin' stuff,
Paved streets can't be so given;
While this one field has got enough
To last you while you're livin'.

You'd like to hold the plough awhile?
All right, sir. I am willin'.
Whoa there, I say. Don't go a mile!
You ought to keep its bill in.

What threw the plough out? Oh, a stone.
They're rather apt to turn her.

I guess I'll go it best alone-
You do well for a learner.

Why, I have seen men lean and try
To push the plough before 'em!
'Twould make a horse laugh till he'd cry;
But one fool makes a quorum.

I s'pose they think that Kingdom Come
Depends on them for motion;
But of the power that's pullin' some
They haven't the slightest notion.

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