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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
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.
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. I 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
When love's long glance is dark with pain
With none to meet or cheer;
For those who cannot hear;
When earth is dark and memory
Pale in the heaven above, The heart can bear to lose its joy,
But not to cease to love.
But what shall guide the choice within,
Of guilt or agony,
And to forget-to die!
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 Brantwood, Coniston.
G. W. M.
The mountains have a peace which none dis
turbThe stars and clouds a course which none re
strainThe wild sea-waves rejoice without a curb,
And rest without a passion; but the chain Of Death, upon this ghastly cliff and chasm
Is broken evermore, to bind again,
Nor lulls nor looses. Hark! a voice of pain, Suddenly silenced;-a quick passing spasm,
That startles rest, but grants not liberty,–
A shudder, or a struggle, or a cryAnd then sepulchral stillness. Look on us, God! who hast given these hills their place of
pride, If Death's captivity be sleepless thus,
For those who sink to it unsanctified.
CHRIST CHURCH, OXFORD.
When our delight is desolate,
And hope is overthrown; And when the heart must bear the weight
Of its own love alone;
Faint from the bell the ghastly echoes fall,
That grates within the gray cathedral tower; Let me not enter through the portal tall,
Lest the strange spirit of the moonless hour Should give a life to those pale people, who Lie in their fretted niches, two and two, Each with his head on pillowy stone reposed, And his hands lifted, and his eyelids closed.
And when the soul, whose thoughts are deep,
Must guard them unrevealed, And feel that it is full, but keep
That fullness calm and sealed;
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
Alone, said I, dearest? O, never we part, -
When the planets roll red through the darkness of
night, When the morning bedews all the landscape with
light, When the high sun of noon-day is warm on the
hill, And the breezes are quiet, the green leafage still;
And in its hollow height there hung
The weight of the wide sound that clung To their inmost spirit, like the appeal
Of startling memories, strangely strung, That point to pain, and yet conceal. • Again with single sway it rung, And the black tower beneath could feel The undulating tremor steal Through its old stones, with long shiver, The wild woods felt it creep and quiver Through their thick leaves and hushed air, As fear creeps through a murderer's hair. And the gray reeds beside the river, In the moonlight meek and mild, Moved like spears when war is wild.
– The Broken Chain.
I love to look out o'er the earth and the sky,
Remember-remember. Those only can know How dear is remembrance, whose hope is laid
low; 'Tis like clouds in the west, that are gorgeous still, When the dank dews of evening fall deadly and
MARY ELIZABETH BLAKE.
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 rustle of leaves on tree-tops tall,
Life pulses gladly on vale and hill,
And that is all.
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, 1891), 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.
O. F. A.
What lacks the summer?
O light and savior,
Gone is the old-time peace and love!
Music of birds, as they sweep and fall, -
Because no longer mine eyes can see
And that is all.
Now, that you come no more to me,
O love, how dreary life has grown ! There is no song of bird or bee
That for your silence can atone;
And since I go my ways alone, There is no light on land or sea.
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.
A DEAD SUMMER.
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.
What lacks the summer?
Not roses blowing, 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 Aushing clouds in blue skies shining,
Nor soft wind-murmurs to rise and fall,
Three little buds I miss, no more,
And that is all.
And these are days ? How shall it be
If years must drag the lengthening chain Of sad and bitter memory?
How shall we live our lives again,
With all its sweetness spent in vain ? O love, come back once more to me!