« AnkstesnisTęsti »
Thus the great problem of existence,
A myth, a phantom of a mystery.
Of infinite degrees all finites seemCircles in circles, links in endless chains we deem. -Kear.
Love is the spirit of our sympathies,
It overcomes all weakness, doubts and fears, And one with love supreme, it wipes away all tears. -Kear.
As the river glides
Past swiftly, bearing on its ceaseless tides The withered autumn leaves, once fresh and green,
So death sweeps us away, and naught besides Our voiceless dust and grass-grown graves is
Glory and life become as if they ne'er had been. -Ibid.
Had failed? God pity that impassioned soul Who, in the consciousness these words express, His life mispent, hath reached his earthly goal! -Ibid.
Each thought must have its own embodiment,
Nor thought nor word could be an entity,
Hence, Being must be Three in One enternally. -Infinite Plurality.
JEANIE OLIVER SMITH.
EANIE OLIVER SMITH is one of our "holy
women," whose avocation is letters, and who, without contributing bulk to our literature, has nevertheless added a quality of which there can not be an excess—a high-bred and earnest charm that is persuasive as it is gentle, and exhales like a fine incense from whatsoever work they set their hand to, whether it be prose or poetry.
Mrs. Smith (née Davidson) is of Scottish descent, but American by birth. Her father, a noted philanthropist of a generation ago, was a resident of Troy, N. Y., where this daughter was born. Upon the death of her mother, a highly-endowed lady of the Oliver family of the south of Scotland, the subject of this sketch accompanied an aunt to Scotland, and five years of her girlhood were spent in Edinburgh, where she received that cosmopolitan education so evident in her books. Returning to her native place after the completion of her education, she in due time became the wife of Hon. Horace E. Smith, Dean of the Albany Law School, a resident of Johnstown, N. Y. Mrs. Smith, since her marriage, with her inherited zeal for good works, has not failed to have her years filled with unselfish labor of many kinds. Besides rearing and educating her two interesting daughters, she has fulfilled nobly the office of stepmother to a large family of her husband's by a former marriage; is a society leader; is actively interested in Christian association work, literary societies, and in matters of higher education. But the literary instinct, in the two forms of a unique taste, and a creative impulse not to be wholly repressed, has kept her almost constantly before the better class of readers, first, by her occasional volumes of prose-tales, and later, by her frequent contributions, the greater part in verse, to the best periodicals of the country. This writer's work marks a general high level of thought and emotion, and has that distinction of phrase which couples it naturally with our choicest moods. Her poems, moreover, are distinctively womanly, and range well along the scale of feminine experiences, though we long sometimes in reading for the appropriate word of passion to fire up a beautifully executed image. O. C. A.
THE GIFT OF DAY-LILIES.
SOME Snow-white blossoms from the upland leas
But stayed my hand lest critic eyes should spurn.
Then came thy lilies pure beyond compare,
They came love-laden, and their freight was this: "These flowers, so fragile that they can not bear Night's finger-touch, nor zephyr's gentlest kiss,
"By subtle fragrance may perchance allure
Then, strong of purpose, light of heart, I came, And sought some blossoms which might hope impart,
Though not of stateliest grace or proudest name, And grouped them here-the lilies of the heart.
O GIFTED Soul
And loyal human heart! "We own our debt
Which some may mourn, and some perchance condemn.
Though thou hast joined the "choir invisible,”
They blindly say, "that pen had lost no power,
It might have gleamed untarnished in the blaze
And know how heart aim and motive more than açt,
But Lyra from her breast has lost the pearl,
For royal Vega has no sister star.
Friendship is an exotic rarely found
In this poor soil. If one heaven-wafted seed Should spring to birth to meet a heart's sore need, Some touch profane may sweep it to the ground. Like tender-veined mimosa, every breath
Bids shrink and quiver with foreboding fear, Lest some suspected danger lurk anear, And fear of dying sweeps it down to death. My heart! be thou so lost in that great Love Which blessed the world through sacrificial pain, That soul to soul grown dark, no more can move Than nature's silent night that falls amain, Nor think to see the flowers of Heaven arise Indigenous beneath earth's fitful skies.
Friendship is an exotic. Once 'twas found
On earthly soil. It chanced in Heaven one day; Beneath the Tree of Life an angel lay, And cast its healing fruits upon the ground. Upon the earth there fell and lay concealed Beside a river's bank, one tiny seed, Which sprang to life a beauteous flower indeed, With fragrance borrowed from celestial field. One culled the flower to wear upon her breast, But at her feet its snow-white petals fell. She found too soon it would not bear the test, So near a beating heart it could not dwell; The frost-breath of reserve no shield might prove; The flower was Friendship, but the fruitage-Love.
"TWIXT sun and earth there lies an empty space, So cold and dark-so dreary, cold and dark That naught can live; where the electric spark Which lights all worlds can find no abiding place.
Science may write great musty tomes to show
How far those orbs, how wide those spaces are; How light may pass from farthest star to star; May gauge the heat of suns in heaven that glow; May tell how subtle sun-rays penetrate
All interstellar depths, while day by day This modest earth, in her predestined way, Rolls on, scarce noticed by an orb so great.
O sage most blind-who never yet hast known, It is earth's heart which draws electric fire From soverign sun; cold space wakes no desire. Smile, happy earth! The secret, thine alone!
A POET born,
An artist, who with soulful pen
Could grasp the roseate hues of morn, Could picture all the moods of menBy wealth foresworn,
By pain's sharp tooth, remorseless torn, He lived, he loved, he died! and then-?
"And fame has passed me with averted eye." Fame has not passed thee with averted eye, But given thee royal pledge of constancy, And thou art favored many bards above, For Fame with thee is synonyme for Love.
BUT doth not love
Rank sweetest song above?
It dries the tear, bids want and sorrow cease, And gently whispers, Peace!
See yonder silvery clouds that lie
How, wafted by a breath, they float
The beauty of the angel face,
And wonder if those spirits bright
May not sometimes, in robes of light,
Be visible to mortal eye,
And look upon us from the sky.
LIBBIE C. BAER.
RS. LIBBIE C. BAER, née Riley, was born near Bethel, Clermont County, Ohio, November 18, 1849. Her ancestors on the paternal side were the two families, Riley and Swing. From the original family of the former descended the distinguished poet and humorist, James Whitcomb Riley, and from the latter the eminent philosopher and divine, Prof. David Swing, of Chicago. On the maternal side she is a descendant of the Blairs, an old and favorably known family of southern Ohio. It is not surprising, therefore, that through early associations, combined with a natural taste and aptitude for literary work, her genius for poetry was evinced during childhood. Her first poem, written when she was scarcely ten years of age, was a spontaneous and really remarkable production for one so young.
In November, 1867, the subject of our memoir was married to Capt. John M. Baer, whose gallant military record is well known. Upon organization of the Women's Relief Corps, as allied with the G. A. R., Mrs. Libbie C. Baer took an important part in the benevolent work of this order, and has held various responsible positions connected therewith, devoting much time and energy to the cause, solely as a labor of love. Many of her admirable poems published in various journals were inspired by the spirit of patriotism so characteristic of her nature.
Devotion to friends and to the cause of humanity, and warm sympathy for every deserving cause that needs assistance, are reflected in her poems. Her sensitive, generous, impulsive nature responds to all that appeals to the heart. Her verse flows smoothly, with an easy rhythm and unstudied grace, which seem to indicate their spontaneous origin.
Though always devoted to and proficient in poetical composition, Libbie C. Baer really began her literary career during the past decade, and the popular favor with which her poems have been received proves the real merit of her productions. A volume of intrinsic worth might be formed by judicious selection of the patriotic, practical, serious and sentimental stanzas which have appeared under her name. F. E. P.