« PreviousContinue »
EDWIN FRANCIS NASON.
Are there no islands girt by sunlit seas,
No summer-lands of music and of song,
Where souls shall joy to dwell, nor tales of wrong Shall enter there to mar their restful ease?
Must the great gods forever jeer and mock?
Are there no giants who of yore made war?
Are Titans but a myth? Is there no law Save that which rules the wave and earthquake's
Is life, then, but a shuttle without rest,
Aweary darting through a ceaseless loom?
Is it a light that breaks beyond the tomb ? Will heaven be less than heaven because possessed?
song, as we recognize it in the verses of Edwin F. Nason, is both innate and cultivated. His more serious poems possess a certain spiritual fineness while breathing an under-current of poetic passion. His insight into life is keen and his subtle analysis of human experience appears most strikingly in his short poems.
Edwin Francis Nason comes of staunch New England parentage, his ancestors being among the earliest settlers of Maine and noted for their mental and moral qualities through many generations. He was born in Hallowell, October 22, 1851, and has been from boyhood a lover of books and an indefatigable student. At the age of fourteen, he entered the Nichol's Latin School, at Lewiston, Me., and graduated from Bates College with well deserved honors, in 1872. He at once adopted teaching as a profession, and, by his scholarly acquirements and his enthusiastic and conscientious devotion to his work, he has won an enviable reputation as an instructor, while wielding a strong and helpful influence over a large circle of studentfriends. He was, for six years, teacher of Latin and mathematics in the Lynden Literary Institute, Lynden, Vt., whence, resigning his position on account of ill-health, he removed, in 1885, to Augusta, Me., where he has since resided devoting his time to study and literary work.
The poetic talent of Mr. Nason was recogized during his college career. He delivered the commencement poem before the alumni of his alma mater in 1878, and was also chosen “poet” for the “Alumni Dinner” given in Boston, December, 1886. To the mention of his poetical productions, should be added that of other excellent work in the way of editorials, reviews and critical essays, all of which bear the stamp of literary ability and thoughtful scholarship.
E. H. N.
We deemed so fair when shining on the tree,
Turneth to ashes and to mockery When we have plucked it from the parent shoot? Is it, indeed, that owning is not blest?
That only seeking bears the golden meed?
Is there no joy save in the eager greed,
Their radiant promise and content the soul
That longs to see the dim horizon's roll To distance measureless, remote from ill ?
Dim ghost that shuns the day-star's rising beam!
Art thou the type of every cherished dream? Dost ever hint of joys that may not last? I see thee crouching 'neath Time's chilling blast;
Gone are thy vestments, and thy jewels' sheen,
Withered thy roses, O, once stately queen,
Such piteous ruin of my heart's delight;
Yet now I sadly give thee to the night; Still ling'ring for a moment near to pray That Morrow's shade be not like Yesterday.
O RADIANT guest, who, decked in garmets fair,
Pausest upon the threshold of the morn!
Upon my waking eyes I see thee dawn,
Thy crimson lips, close-curved, yet not in scorn,
Will yield their treasures ere the night is born To seize us mid its shadows unaware.
I would not give a single, dewy rose
From out the meshes of thy sunny locks, E'en to be Paris when by Ida's snows,
With Oread fair, he tended alien flocks; But fain would sing one rapt and tender lay In praise of thee, O rare and sweet To-day!
Where dost thou linger while we wait for thee
Mid the vague silences that hold the air,
The deep'ning hush that spreadeth everywhere And wraps all nature in its mystery?
Let stars grow pale and waning swiftly flee,
Let darkness hide within her gloomy lair,
While thy rich banners, tinged with colors rare, Fill all the sky with throbbing ecstasy.
The bars that hold our souls apart,
O love, my love! I cannot break: I can but wait and onward fare
Until the higher life shall wake.
Long have we looked for thee with anxious eyes
That bore no hopefulness in their unrest; For night is irksome, none may hear our cries,
With thee and thee alone can we be blest; Draw nigh to us while darkness hastes away, That we may greet in thee the better day.
Yes, Thou art everywhere! and nature's heart
Beats close to thine through all her varied way;
Not solely when in springtime's fair, sweet day With smiles she wooes us to forget her art, Nor yet when autumn Alings a golden dart
Athwart the fields where summer hies away;
But e'en when winter, wrapped in clouds of gray, Comes halting o'er the plain to claim his part.
Why do I love thee? Do you ask me this ?
ELLA WHEELER WILCOX.
MR in Johnstown Center
, Wis. Her
Feast, and your halls are crowded;
Fast, and the world goes by. Succeed and give, and it helps you live,
But no man can help you die.
For a large and lordly train,
Through the narrow aisles of pain.
THE FAULT OF THE AGE.
were poor, but from them she inherited a literary bent. Her education was received in the public schools of Windsor, that State, and in the University of Wisconsin. She began to write poetry and sketches very early, and at the age of fourteen years some of her articles were published in the New York Mercury. Two years later she had secured the appreciation of local editors and publishers, and from that time on she contributed largely to newspapers and periodicals. Soon after, she published “Drops of Water" (New York, 1872), a small volume on the subject of total absti
A miscellaneous collection of verse entitled “Shells ” (1883), was not successful, and is now out of print. Her talents were used for the unselfish purpose of providing a comfortable home for her parents and caring for them during sickness, and perhaps to that may be due the fact that, although her poems were sometimes derided by the hypercritical, she has had the satisfaction of being a widely-read and much admired author, as also of receiving a good price and ready sale for all she produces. In 1884 she became the wife of Robert W. Wilcox, of Meridan, Conn., and since 1887 they have resided in New York City. Her other works are “Maurine" (Chicago, 1875); “Poems of Passion” (Chicago, 1883); “Mal Moulée," a novel, (New York, 1885), and “Poems of Pleasure" (Chicago, 1888). Of recent years she has published several novels and has written much for the syndicates,
L. E. J.
The fault of the age is a mad endeavor
To leap to heights that were made to climb;
We plan to forestall and outwit Time.
We want high noon at the day's dim dawn;
As our forefathers did in the old times gone. We force our roses, before their season,
To bloom and blossom for us to wear; And then we wonder and ask the reason
Why perfect buds are so few and rare. We crave the gain, but dispise the getting;
We want wealth-not as reward, but dower; And the strength that is waisted in useless fretting
Would fell a forest or build a tower.
To thirst for glory, yet fear to fight;
To mental languor and moral blight?
And counting small gains when the year is done, Than to use our force and our strength contriving,
And to grasp for pleasure we have not won.
LAUGH, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone; For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,
But has trouble enough of its own.
Sigh, it is lost on the air.
But shrink from voicing care.
Rejoice and men will seek you;
Grieve, and they turn and go.
But they do not need your woe.
Be sad and you lose them all. There are none to decline your nectared wine,
But alone you must drink life's gall.
I'm no reformer; for I see more light