Puslapio vaizdai




'Ille terrarum mihi præter omnes Angulus RIDET."

-HOR. ii. 6.


T was an elm-tree root of yore, With lordly trunk, before they lopped it, And weighty, said those five who bore

Its bulk across the lawn, and dropped it
Not once or twice, before it lay,

With two young pear-trees to protect it,
Safe where the Poet hoped some day
The curious pilgrim would inspect it.

He saw him with his Poet's eye,

The stately Maori, turned from etching The ruin of St. Paul's, to try


Some object better worth the sketching :He saw him, and it nerved his strength

What time he hacked and hewed and

scraped it,

Until the monster grew at length

The Master-piece to which he shaped it.

To wit a goodly garden-seat,
And fit alike for Shah or Sophy,
With shelf for cigarettes complete,

And one, but lower down, for coffee;
He planted pansies 'round its foot,-

"Pansies for thoughts!" and rose and arum ; The Motto (that he meant to put) Was "Ille angulus terrarum."

But "Oh! the change" (as Milton sings)— "The heavy change!" When May departed, When June with its " delightful things"

Had come and gone, the rough bark started,— Began to lose its sylvan brown,

Grew parched, and powdery, and spotted; And, though the Poet nailed it down,

It still flapped up, and dropped, and rotted.

Nor was this all. 'Twas next the scene

Of vague (and viscous) vegetations;
Queer fissures gaped, with oozings green,
And moist, unsavoury exhalations,—
Faint wafts of wood decayed and sick,
Till, where he meant to carve his Motto,
Strange leathery fungi sprouted thick,

And made it like an oyster grotto.

Briefly, it grew a seat of scorn,

Bare, shameless,-till, for fresh disaster, From end to end, one April morn,

'Twas riddled like a pepper caster,— Drilled like a vellum of old time;

And musing on this final mystery,
The Poet left off scribbling rhyme,
And took to studying Natural History.

This was the turning of the tide ;

His five-act play is still unwritten; The dreams that now his soul divide

Are more of Lubbock than of Lytton; "Ballades" are verses vain" to him Whose first ambition is to lecture

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(So much is man the sport of whim!). On "Insects and their Architecture."



ITH Verse, is Form the first, or Sense?
Hereon men waste their Eloquence.

"Sense (cry the one Side),-Sense, of course.
How can you lend your Theme its Force?
How can you be direct and clear,
Concise, and (best of all) sincere,
If you must pen your Strain sublime
In Bonds of Measure and of Rhyme?
Who ever heard true Grief relate
Its heartfelt Woes in 'six' and 'eight'?
Or felt his manly Bosom swell
Beneath a French-made Villanelle?
How can your Mens divinior sing
Within the Sonnet's scanty Ring,
Where she must chant her Orphic Tale
In just so many Lines, or fail? . . .'

"Form is the first (the Others bawl);
If not, why write in Verse at all?
Why not your throbbing Thoughts expose
(If Verse be such Restraint) in Prose?
For surely if you speak your Soul
Most freely where there's least Control,
It follows you must speak it best
By Rhyme (or Reason) unreprest.
Blest Hour! be not delayed too long,
When Britain frees her Slaves of Song;
And barred no more by Lack of Skill,
The Mob may crowd Parnassus Hill!

Just at this Point-for you must know,

All this was but the To-and-fro

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Of MATT and DICK who played with Thought,

And lingered longer than they ought

(So pleasant 'tis to tap one's Box

And trifle round a Paradox !)—
There came-but I forgot to say,
'Twas in the Mall, the Month was May-
There came a Fellow where they sat,
His Elf-locks peeping through his Hat,
Who bore a Basket. Straight his Load
He set upon the Ground, and showed
His newest Toy-a Card with Strings.
On this side was a Bird with Wings,

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