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Would I could sing, in words of melody,
The hazy sweetness of this wondrous time! Low would I pitch my voice; the song should be A soft, low chant, set to a dreamy rhyme.
No loud, high notes for tender days like these! No trumpet tones, no swelling words of pride, Beneath these skies, so like dim summer seas, Where hazy ships of cloud at anchor ride
At peace are earth and sky, while softly fall The brown leaves at my feet. A holy palm Rests in a benediction over all.
O silent peace! O days of silent calm!
And passion, like the winds, lies hushed and still; A throng of gentle thoughts, sweet, calm and pure,
Knock at my door and lightly cross the sill.
Would that their feet might stay, their reign endure !
But storms will come. The haze upon the hills Will yield to blinding gusts of sleet and snow; And, for this peace that all my being fills,
The tides of battle shall surge to and fro.
Life is a struggle: and 'tis better so.
Who treads its stormy steeps, its stony ways, And breasts its wintry blasts, must battling go. And yet-it hath its Indian summer days.
A woman's pity is a dangerous thing;—
We call him strong who stands unmovedCalm as some tempest-beaten rock— When some great trouble hurls its shock; We say of him, His strength is proved:
But, when the spent storm folds its wings, How bears he then Life's little things?
OHN RUSKIN, M.A., LL.D., son of a London merchant, was born in Hunter Street, Brunswick Square, London, in February, 1819, and was educated privately, and at Christ Church, Oxford, where he gained the Newdigate Prize in 1839. He then devoted himself to painting, and worked under Copley Fielding and J. D. Harding. A pamphlet in defense of Turner and the modern English school of landscape painting was his first effort in the cause of modern art, and it was enlarged into a standard work, entitled "Modern Painters," the first volume of which appeared in 1843. The author's success as a writer on art was decided by the warm reception accorded to this volume, of which several editions have since been published. Mr. Ruskin's views, however, were combatted with bitter asperity by some of the art critics of the day, who resented with an affectation of contempt his free expression of dissent from the trammels of their school. In his second volume of "Modern Painters," written after a residence in Italy, and published in 1846, he took a much wider survey of the subject originally entered upon, including the works of the great Italian painters, and discussed at length the merits of their respective schools. This, his chief work, has been completed by the publication of three additional volumes, the last of which, published in 1860, contains illustrations by himself. Mr. Ruskin temporarily diverted his attention from the study of painting to that of architecture, and wrote "The Seven Lamps of Architecture," published in 1849, as a first result, followed by the first volume of "The Stones of Venice," in 1851, the second and third volumes of which appeared in 1853. The illustrations in the last-named productions, which excited some of the same professional hostility that his first publication evoked, displayed to much advantge his artistic powers. Mr. Ruskin has expounded his views both in lectures and in newspapers and reviews, having, as early as 1847. contributed articles to the Quarterly on Lord Lindsay's "Christian Art." In 1851 he advocated PreRaphaelitism in letters to the Times, and in 1853 he lectured in Edinburgh on Gothic architecture. In addition to the above-mentioned works, Mr. Ruskin has written "Notes on the Construction of Sheepfolds," the "King of the Golden River," a story for children, illustrated by Doyle, in 1851; "The Two Paths: Lectures on Architecture and Painting," in 1854; "Notes to Pictures in the Royal Academy, Nos. 1 to 5," in 1854-9; "Giotto and His Works in Padua," written in 1855 for the Arundel Society, of which he is a member; "Notes on the
Turner Collection," in 1857; "Cambridge School of Art," and Lectures on Art: Political Economy of Art," in 1858; Elements of Perspective," and "Lectures on Art: Decoration and Manufacture,' in 1859; "Unto this Last: Four Essays," republished from the Cornhill Magazine, in 1862; "Ethics of the Dust: Ten Lectures;" Sesame and Lilies: Two Lectures;" and "Study of Architecture in Our Schools," in 1865; "Crown of Wild Olive: Three, Lectures," in 1866; and "The Queen of the Air: Being a Study of the Greek Myths of Cloud and Storm." To the Art Journal he contributed the "Cestus of Aglaia," and he has written for various periodicals. Mr. Ruskin was appointed Rede Lecturer, at Cambridge, in April, 1867, and the Senate conferred the degree of LL. D. upon him, May 15. He was also elected Slade Professor of Fine Art at Oxford, and in 1872 published "Aratra Pentelici: Six Lectures on the Elements of Sculpture, given before the University of Oxford in Michaelmas Term, 1870." In 1871 he proposed to devote $15,000 for the purpose of an endowment to pay a master of drawing in the Taylor Galleries, Oxford, and this handsome offer was, with some modifications, accepted by the University in January, 1872. He was re-elected to the Slade Professorship of Fine Art, March 1, 1876. A collection of his letters, with a preface by himself, was published in 1880, under the title of Arrows of the Chase." In 1883 he was again elected Slade Professor, and at his inaugural lecture was received with unprecedented enthusiasm. So great was the crowd that thronged to hear his lectures that it was impossible to accommodate the audience, and Prof. Ruskin undertook to deliver each lecture twice. He was obliged to resign the post in 1884 on account of failing health. Of late he has been issuing, in parts, his autobiography, under the title of "Praeterita." In 1887 he published "Hortus Inclusus: Letters from Mr. Ruskin to the Ladies of the Thwaite." For several years he has lived in tranquil retirement at BrantG. W. M. wood, Coniston.
WHEN our delight is desolate,
And hope is overthrown;
And when the heart must bear the weight Of its own love alone;
And when the soul, whose thoughts are deep,
That fullness calm and sealed;
When love's long glance is dark with pain-
And words of woe are wild in vain
When earth is dark and memory
But what shall guide the choice within,
When to remember is to sin,
THE mountains have a peace which none disturb
The stars and clouds a course which none restrain
The wild sea-waves rejoice without a curb,
And rest without a passion; but the chain
If Death's captivity be sleepless thus,
CHRIST CHURCH, OXFORD.
FAINT from the bell the ghastly echoes fall,
From many a moldering oriel, as to flout,
Its pale, grave brow of ivy-tressed stone, Comes the incongruous laugh, and revel shout— Above, some solitary casement, thrown
Like the bow in the cloud that is painted so bright, Like the voice of the nightingale, heard through
Oh, sweet is remembrance, most sad though it be, For remembrance is all that remaineth for me.
From "Leoni: A Romance of Italy."
FULL, broad, and bright is the silver light Of moon and stars on flood and fell; But in my breast is starless night,
For I am come to say farewell. How glad, how swift, was wont to be The step that bore me back to thee; Now coldly comes upon my heart The meeting that is but to part.
I do not ask a tear, but while
To light me on my lonely way.
Through midnight, which can have no morrow, O'er the deep, silent surge of sorrow.
And in its hollow height there hung
Ever and anon it
Halfway round its whirling wheel;
Of startling memories, strangely strung,
Through its old stones, with long shiver,
-The Broken Chain.
MARY ELIZABETH BLAKE.
RS. MARY ELIZABETH BLAKE was born in Dungarven, County Waterford, Ireland, September 1, 1849. Her father's name was McGrath, a man of wide reading and much originality of thought When Mary was six years old the family came to America, settling at Quincy, Mass. Her education was acquired in the public and private schools of Boston, and at the Convent of the Sacred Heart, Manhattanville, N. Y. In June, 1885, she married Dr. John G. Blake, who has long held a prominent position among Massachusetts medical men. Up to the present time Mrs. Blake has published the following works: "Poems," (Boston, 1881), which has passed to a second edition; “On the Wing," (Boston, 1883), a volume of letters of western travel, in its fifth edition; "Mexico," (Boston, 1888), a volume of travel, written in colaboration with Mrs. Margaret Sullivan; "A Summer Holiday," (Boston, 1890), an account of her European impressions; and "Verses Along the Way," (Boston and Dublin, 1890). Mrs. Blake has for many years contributed at frequent intervals to the Boston Journal, the "Rambling Talks," over the initials "M. E. B.," being one of its most valued features. Much of her work in essays and poems has appeared in the Catholic World, Lippincott's Magazine, the Independent, St. Nicholas, and Wide Awake. At the invitation of the Boston city government she wrote the poem read on the occasion of the Wendell Phillips Memorial Service in that city, and also the poem read on the occasion of similar honors paid to the memory of Admiral Porter. Mrs. Blake's verse is lyrical rather than epic or dramatic, and its quality deepens and strengthens as time goes on. A comparison carefully made of her two books of verse, published ten years apart, shows a marked advance both in substance and technique, and leads one to look for still stronger work from her in the future.
A DEAD SUMMER.
WHAT lacks the summer?
Not roses blowing,
O. F. A.
Nor tall white lilies with fragrance rife, Nor green things gay with the bliss of growing, Nor glad things drunk with the wine of life, Nor flushing clouds in blue skies shining, Nor soft wind-murmurs to rise and fall, Nor birds for singing, nor vines for twiningThree little buds I miss, no more,
That blossomed last year at my garden door. — And that is all.
What lacks the summer? Not leaves a-quiver
With arrows of light from the land of dawn, Nor drooping of boughs by the dimpling river, Nor nodding of grass on the windy lawn, Nor tides upswept upon silver beaches, Nor rustle of leaves on tree-tops tall, Nor dapple of shade in woodland reaches,Life pulses gladly on vale and hill,
But three little hearts that I love are still,— And that is all.
What lacks the summer?
And message of healing the world above!
Now, that you come no more to me,
The fragrant messengers of June—
White jessamine and brier-roseBreathe through the golden afternoon
On every wind that comes and goes: I care for no sweet breath that blows, The whole world being out of tune.
What is an idle word to make
Such shadow where was sun before? When others sleep, I watch and wake, And restless pace my chamber-floor: Now that you come to me no more, O love, it seems my heart must break.
And these are days? How shall it be
How shall we live our lives again,