THE SPIRIT OF PLACE With mimicry, with praises, with echoes, or with answers, the poets have all but outsung the bells.  The inarticulate bell has found too much interpretation, too many rhymes professing to close with her inaccessible utterance, and to agree with her remote tongue.  The bell, like the bird, is a musician pestered with literature. To the bell, moreover, men do actual violence.  You cannot shake together a... more...

THE RHYTHM OF LIFE If life is not always poetical, it is at least metrical.  Periodicity rules over the mental experience of man, according to the path of the orbit of his thoughts.  Distances are not gauged, ellipses not measured, velocities not ascertained, times not known.  Nevertheless, the recurrence is sure.  What the mind suffered last week, or last year, it does not suffer now; but it will suffer again next week or... more...

THE COLOUR OF LIFE Red has been praised for its nobility as the colour of life.  But the true colour of life is not red.  Red is the colour of violence, or of life broken open, edited, and published.  Or if red is indeed the colour of life, it is so only on condition that it is not seen.  Once fully visible, red is the colour of life violated, and in the act of betrayal and of waste.  Red is the secret of life, and not... more...

FELLOW TRAVELLERS WITH A BIRD, I. To attend to a living child is to be baffled in your humour, disappointed of your pathos, and set freshly free from all the pre-occupations.  You cannot anticipate him.  Blackbirds, overheard year by year, do not compose the same phrases; never two leitmotifs alike.  Not the tone, but the note alters.  So with the uncovenated ways of a child you keep no tryst.  They meet you at another... more...

SONNET—MY HEART SHALL BE THY GARDEN My heart shall be thy garden.  Come, my own,   Into thy garden; thine be happy hours   Among my fairest thoughts, my tallest flowers,From root to crowning petal, thine alone. Thine is the place from where the seeds are sown   Up to the sky enclosed, with all its showers.   But ah, the birds, the birds!  Who shall build bowersTo keep these thine?  O... more...


THE SHEPHERDESS She walks—the lady of my delight—   A shepherdess of sheep.Her flocks are thoughts.  She keeps them white;   She guards them from the steep.She feeds them on the fragrant height,   And folds them in for sleep. She roams maternal hills and bright,   Dark valleys safe and deep.Into that tender breast at night   The chastest stars may peep.She walks—the lady... more...

SOME THOUGHTS OF A READER OF TENNYSON Fifty years after Tennyson’s birth he was saluted a great poet by that unanimous acclamation which includes mere clamour.  Fifty further years, and his centenary was marked by a new detraction.  It is sometimes difficult to distinguish the obscure but not unmajestic law of change from the sorry custom of reaction.  Change hastes not and rests not, reaction beats to and fro, flickering... more...

CERES’ RUNAWAY One can hardly be dull possessing the pleasant imaginary picture of a Municipality hot in chase of a wild crop—at least while the charming quarry escapes, as it does in Rome.  The Municipality does not exist that would be nimble enough to overtake the Roman growth of green in the high places of the city.  It is true that there have been the famous captures—those in the Colosseum, and in the Baths of... more...

CERES’ RUNAWAY One can hardly be dull possessing the pleasant imaginary picture of a Municipality hot in chase of a wild crop—at least while the charming quarry escapes, as it does in Rome.  The Municipality does not exist that would be nimble enough to overtake the Roman growth of green in the high places of the city.  It is true that there have been the famous captures—those in the Colosseum, and in the Baths of... more...

A FATHER OF WOMEN Ad Sororem E. B. “Thy father was transfused into thy blood.” Dryden: Ode to Mrs. Anne Killigrew.       Our father works in us,The daughters of his manhood.  Not undoneIs he, not wasted, though transmuted thus,      And though he left no son.       Therefore on him I cryTo arm me: “For my delicate mind a casque,A... more...