Puslapio vaizdai

O long, so long, my hours and life-
I know but Time as mortals know-
They say 'tis soon-they say the strife
Should shorten years-O heart, is't so?
They say my steps are hard because

The hills I climb look out so far;
O Lord of Heaven, they say Thy laws
To us, untaught, stupendous are.
O soul and life-O distance, death-
To-day is keen-to-morrow never:
I call and call-they say my breath
Shall pass-the meed remain forever.
I know but time as mortals know;
Alas, I know such pain and fear;
Joy is the promise, the payment woe,
Yonder the guerdon-the price is here.
The hills I climb look out so far-

O Lord of Heaven look down and sign; If these, my ways, so perilous are, Give me the sight and sound of Thine!


WHY one, openly with a shining gem,
Walks with the other, searching for a loss,
A hopeless loss and old, with thieves a-near,
Trading responsibility and crime;

Why one should vainly go, I, watching, asked.
She with the jewel-for the other's eyes
Continually searching, wavering fell,
Looked with much answer and a low reply:
"My brother took the jewel from her breast."


In all the outspread plains of afterwards
Love is a gainer, and his day of Time,
However sweet, fades in a flying dawn.

For Man is Space and Woman Light; and they,
In adaptation of simplicity,

Newly revealed do possibly combine.

Which formless glory sheds upon to-day's

Eager advance beatitude and flight.

Sweet Influence, securely intrenched

With power to work her deeds, looks out and sees
Nearly th' approaching end: calling aloud

All sidelong avenues she presses on-
In gazing over sees not things beside.


NOT only in cavernous homes of the sea

Are the quenchless stores of things divine, Nor does only the willing stars' heraldry

With the light of their wonderful birth-right shine;

For there are in the heart such things as come
Not over the sea, nor out of the night,
And the unknown speech of the Soul is a tongue
They may listen and wait for in fear and delight.

It may be there lieth in the lips of a Soul
Some exquisite blessing of peace unto them,
Which springs where the ideal spaces roll
That their luminous pathway may not stem;
For the Spirit is perfect, and they, enclosed
In the hidden life a thing aside,

May gather some joy from a Soul transposed
In the mystical sight of the glorified.

May the Spirit from out of itself and its Life
Ever pour on the bosom of earth and of sea
Such beauty-a hope of the vanished strife
Of the Soul and themselves in Eternity?
Shall it give from its viewless self impress
Of the shining things no star may see,
And sail far out in its sweet excess

To return with the freight of its sanctity?
O! is there still ever in the smiles of earth
One sweeter than any, and flashing bright,
Await for the Souls whose holy birth

Is where the numberless lamps of 'night
Needless shine? And do they in patience await
With all their glory outspread to be
As servitors unto the radiant state
Of beatitude bearing mortality?

Ah! is there remaining in cloud and in sky
The look of the measureless eyes that passed
All the heavenly courses quietly

Till they found the rest for themselves at last? Is there somewhere set in the things which bear The tranquil steps of a Spirit's pace

Its messages, left in the shining air,
And over the sea the light of its face?


So-so-merry and sinning,

Round is the world, and roundly it goes; Ever the lover the lovely is winning,

Beauty is blessing, misshapen are woes. So-so-greatly desiring

The eyes of the old ones follow the young; Money that's hoarded is spent in acquiring Dainties that truly not thither belong. So-so--deep Melancholy

Hobbles with Age, but ever anew Springs on the byways every folly Youth can devise, invent and pursue. -The Manikin.

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NE of my oldest and best tried friends is Myron B. Benton, and it gives me much pleasure to write this sketch of his life. We became acquainted nearly thirty years ago. I had written some sketches of country scenes and experiences in a New York paper which fell under his eye, and this led to a correspondence and then to a meeting. We have been fast friends ever since. We have read the same books, we have shared the same enthusiasms; we are both countrymen to the marrow of our bones; we are both farmers and the sons of farmers, who were also the sons of farmers; we have tramped and camped together, and together have essayed to take down other bars than those that confine the farmers' herds.

A cultivated American with a rural flavor and aroma is Myron Benton, such a man as is only the outcome of a family after it has dwelt long and lovingly in one spot, and its soil of life has become rich, as it were, in vegetable mold. He savors in his character and in his poetry of the placid Indian stream, a tributary to the Housatonic, upon the banks of which he was born, and of the rich, rolling alluvial meadows amid which he has passed his days.

The locality here alluded to is in Amenia, Dutchess county, N. Y., and within sight of the Connecticut line. Here Mr. Benton was born in August, 1834, and here he still lives and tills the paternal acres. His grandfather came to the place from Connecticut in 1794. The family originally came from the vicinity of Guilford, Surrey county, England, and was among the company of "planters" who settled in the "Colony of New Haven" in 1639. They filially brought their town name with them, and Guilford, Connecticut, which has just celebrated its 250th anniversary, in which Mr. Benton joined, has a mellowness and a charm of antique associations which few villages in this country possess. Mr. Benton's mother, a woman of rare breadth of mind and benignity of character, was a Reed, a descendant of John Reed, an officer who achieved important services in Cromwell's army and who fled to this country in 1660, on the accession of Charles II, settling in Norwalk, Connecticut.

The family has not kept up the American reputation for roving. It has been a set-fast family all around. From Edward Benton to Myron, the coming to Amenia in 1794 has been the only flitting in 250 years.

In answering some questions I put to him on the subject, Mr. Benton says: "We have hugged the soil close an unbroken line of farmers; how far back in England green and old I do not know, but doubt

less a long way. This bucolic association has permeated the very blood; I feel it in every heartbeat. My intense local attachment I doubt not has been fostered through many generations."

The events of Mr. Benton's life have not been such as to go to make up a picturesque biography. He has not challenged or courted attention, but has seen his days and years go by there in his charming and secluded Webutuck valley with the calmness of a philosopher and the enjoyment of a poet. His lines have fallen in pleasant places, his paths have been beside still waters, "Moab hath been at ease from his youth, and he hath settled on his lees and hath not been emptied from vessel to vessel,” and his cup of life is clear and sweet accordingly. In 1871 he married Miss Marianna Adams, of Poughkeepsie, a lady of Quaker ancestry and with tastes congenial to his own. Mr. Benton has contributed to various magazines and periodicals many poems, essays and sketches, but has never collected any of them into a book as so many of us do with less riches to draw from. Many of his poems have been put into various anthologies, but the volume his friends have a right to expect is not yet forthcoming. His poems are the work of a fine poetic spirit, a little secluded, a little withdrawn, and contemplating nature instead of man and his doings; but more genuine love of nature, closer and finer observation of her, and a more skillful touch in bringing out her charms, it would be hard to find in current poetry. My own favorites among his poems are "Embowered," "Haying," "The WhipPoor-Will's Shoe," "Pioneers," "Under the Linden," "The Mowers," and others of this stamp. They are very quiet and subdued in tone, but they are characteristic and breathe the air of the sweet, placid scenes among which they were written.

Mr. Benton has been an omnivorous reader, finding by a sure instinct the best books. From his early years he has never lost his taste for Shakespeare and Milton. The coterie of great poets who ushered in our own century-Wordsworth, Shelley, Keats, Hood, Coleridge-have profoundly influenced him. For a few years he was greatly under the influence of Shelley, but later there was a reaction from certain of the less healthy and sane elements of his wonderful genius. He owes a large debt to Emerson and has been a loving reader of Thoreau. Mr. Benton is a poet who writes his poetry in the landscape as well as in books. He is a beautifier of the land. One such lover of nature in every neighborhood would soon change the aspect of the whole country. Planter of trees and vines, preserver of old picturesque cottages, lover of paths and streams, beautifier of highways, friend of all wild

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