Puslapio vaizdai

'Us knows not, dreams not,

Where you be,

Turvey, unless

In the deep blue sea;

But axcusing silver

And it comes most willing

Here's us two paying

Our forty shilling;

For it's sartin sure, Turvey,

Safe and sound,

You danced us square, Turvey,
Off the ground!""

We could not help but admit that Psyche had called our attention to a distinctive gift in Mr. de la Mare's poetry, though Jason merely to be perverse, I think, would not agree that it was more infectious than his other qualities.

"I'll like to see you' axcusing silver," " Psyche mocked Jason, as we prepared to return to The Farm.

"Well, it would be an adventure to have had Turvey's experience," laughed Jason, "with the shillings and the mermaids in the bargain."



"OUR verse this week," began Psyche, as she comfortably seated herself on a fallen log with that swaying grace which is one of her attractive possessions, "is full of fine essences."

"All good poetry is chiefly essence, isn't it?” queried Jason.

"Yes; but you can't always qualify it," I suggested. "And that is why criticism so often falls back upon generalities in explaining its mood and substance."

"But the four volumes we selected for discussion this week," Psyche went on, "have each a special kind of poetic essence, though I don't think they all have the same agreeable taste." "For instance," I prompted.

or is it a

"Before Psyche gives her theory theory?" Jason remarked "— of our four poets, I would like to ask, if so real a thing as poetry cannot be better characterized as a substance? I don't know, I merely ask."

"Let's have Psyche's view first," I proposed.

They are simply impressions," Psyche informed me with a glance. "Well," she began, settling to the theme, "Mrs. Barker's Songs of a

Vagrom Angel' is the essence of a faith, which she has not wholly and fully proved. These songs, she declares in her Preface, were dictated to her in twenty-two hours of a March day. They came from, well-really from no particular state of existence, though angels, of course, have a particular abode in our mortal fancy. The songs sing of the soul in relation to this life we live on earth; and this suggests a quality of human spirit one likes to believe really exists in us. But I know of only one other modern poet, though I suppose I ought to count in Evelyn Underhill,― the Indian mystic Tagore, who actually lives and believes in such an abstract reality. For us, then, these fifty songs are a compound of essences. Now, in another sense, Mr. Buck's Ephemera' is also a volume of essences the efflorescence of a modern American whose soul is really, and only, alive in antiquity. He calls his pieces Greek prose poems; they are an exquisite pattern of gems. The glow, the warmth, the color, have each a piquancy that bite into the emotions. I should call, too, Mr. Evans pagan; through his volume 'Two Deaths in the Bronx,' he extracts his essence from modern life. His poetic solution will not always filter clear, however, for he strains the turgid emotionalism of a futuristic temperament. Futurism, cubism, or whatever you choose to call this ultra-modern æsthetic note, is nothing more to my mind than paganism reaching passionately back toward primitive chaos. Mr. Evans is primitive, or should I say primal? of the jungle and the


cave in the manner of communication, though his substance is modern to the extreme. Strangely

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enough, too," Psyche affirmed with a gesture," Mr. Wright's One Way of Love,' is a volume of essences, fevers distilled, if you like, the strange mixture of the sensuous and ecclesiastical. His sensuous love-songs are ritualistic; his poems in which the influence of ecclesiasticism is evident, are physically emotional. In these he has fallen in love with the angel and is deaf to the message which the angel brings from heaven. Now, all these poets," Psyche summed up, "are not in touch with life as an actuality; as a simple, every day affair which men live, and wear as they do their clothes or their sorrows, but merely reflect it through the ground glass of dreams. We see on this side of the glass shadowy forms, and emotionally, shadows are always essences."

"We might expect Psyche," assented Jason, turning to me, “to seek the intangible in the form, but I do believe that she is right. You recall the twenty-first song in which Mrs. Barker's angel whispered its love of an invisible soul, out of a London sky on a certain day in the particular month of March."

"If we all could have an angel, like Mrs. Barker," I observed; " but I am afraid I am one of those skeptics she mentions in her preface, and rather credit her own splendid talents for the accomplishment of those twenty-two London hours."

"I think," said Cassandra, "that Jason did not refer to the appropriate poem from Mrs. Barker's

book for the proper understanding of the mystery of this angelic dictation. Read the opening song and it may throw some light on her peculiar privilege of developing this psychic intuition."

"I didn't," retorted Jason, " because it is arrogant to have your inspiration talk as reported in that poem, whether it is an angel or just yourself wishing to make a poem."

"Your irreverence is out of place," I rebuked Jason. "You can possibly countenance no angels except of your own acquaintance. I wonder if you could find one as accommodating as Mrs. Barker's?"

"Oh, I prefer shepherds," Jason replied sarcastically. "When it comes to vagueness they beat angels hollow. Between the two in modern literature there really seems to be no choice for

well, let us say, reality. That is why I would match Mr. Buck's shepherds against Mrs. Barker's angels any day. You have heard an angel speak, in divine-no, rather psychic accents; now listen to a shepherd in any accent you please, but don't charge the timbre to a modern Philadelphian:


When it is night, before the moon has risen and the skies are spattered thick with stars; when, in the distance, all things blend into one and the sleeping earth touches the arched sky, I stand before my tiny hut and pray.

"Below me on the hillside, their coats glowing softly in the starlight, lie my sheep. And from the

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