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scription which is pictorial, but not presentment-rich, impressive, solemn, poetical. Now take the next :
or gorgeous as the procession of a
king. But a consideration of this “There the priest is on the beach alone, the
power, in which no prose writer ever sun setting. He prays to it as it descends ; flakes of its sheeted light are borne to him by
rivalled Mr. Ruskin, would beguile us the melancholy waves, and cast away with
from our purpose.
We must go no sighs upon the sand.”
more astray. Our design was not to This is a prose-poem.
It is a poem
wander in the wild and witching both in tone and cadence. Its words
regions of poetic prose, but to reckon have something of the power usually
up our stock of strict prose-poems. found only in the finest verse. Like And in truth, when we descend to the that, it steals upon the soul with
work of weaker writers, it is to find, music, dies off, and leaves it satisfied.
too often, that the Muse, released from And what is this on Venice ?
building verse into a finished structure,
is apt to prove contented with a heap - a ghost upon the sands of the sea, so of rich material. The pilgrim whom weak, so quiet, so bereft of all but her loveli
she undertakes to guide, far from findness, that we might well doubt, as we watched her faint'reflection in the mirage of the lagoon, ing himself ushered into some fair which was the City and which the Shadow.” Palace of Art, made beautiful with
loving skill, firm-built on its cragOr this on lichens ?
platform, fringed with its golden “Unfading as motionless, the worm frets gallery, a statue poised on every peak, them not, and the Autumn wastes not. Strong its pictured windows glowing like fixed in loveliness, they neither blanch in heat, nor flames, finds himself perpetually, like pine in frost. To them, slow-fingered, constant-hearted, is entrusted the weaving of the
Clarence, among the wedges of gold dark, eternal tapestries of the hills; to them,
and heaps of pearls, surrounded by slow-pencilled, iris-dyed, the tender framing waste wrecks of futile treasure. of their endless imagery. Sharing the still- What, then, of strict prose-poems ness of the unimpassioned rock, they share
have we left of the highest rank, also its endurance ! and while the winds of departing Spring scatter the white hawthorn that is, what have we? Hawthorn, blossom like drifted snow, and Summer dims to whom some may be disposed to on the parched meadow the drooping of its turn, is, at least to certain readers, cowslip-gold, far above, among the mountains, the silver lichen-spots rest, star-like, on the
Coleridge stone ; and the gathering orange stain upon
has given us “The Wanderings of the edge of yonder western peak reflects the
Cain and the 'Allegoric Vision ;' sunsets of a thousand years.'
Dickens has given us, ' A Child's Dream Or, as a last example, this on Imagina- Fairy's Funeral.' But these—and such
of a Star;' Christopher North, 'The tion?
as these are all we have remaining“ Imagination is a pilgrim on the earth, rank far below the highest. These and her home is in heaven. Shut her from
are no rivals of the power of verse. the fields of the celestial mountains, bar her from breathing their lofty, sun-warmed air ;
On the whole, our list of greatest and we may as well turn upon hér the last must consist of five names onlybolt of the Tower of Famine, and give the Landor, Poe, Lamb, Ruskin, and De keys to the keeping of the wildest surge that washes Capraja and Gorgona.
Quincey. Inter viburna cupressi
these are the cypresses among the Such a passage bears the highest vines. mark of the poetic mind; the mind Collections of verse-poems are not of which even the most abstract rare; but of prose-poems proper no thought comes forth in form and such collection has as yet been made. shape, calls up a train of glorious And this is strange.
It is true that imageries, as a sultan calls his slaves, the volume which collected our posand so appears before the eye in visible sessions would, if made, be far from
No. 324.-VOL. LIV.
bulky. Yet it is not too much to say cloud. There would be the crashing that such a volume would contain forest and the yellow ghastly marsh specimens of the noblest writing in beside the river Zaire, with the man our language. Glowing imagery, rich trembling on the rock, and the demon and varied music, would combine to hiding among the sighing lilies bemake its pages “a perpetual feast of neath the crimson moon. There would nectared sweets." In these would be the ghostly Island, and the frail meet together all the lovely and awful canoe, and the fading Fay upon the creations of the great men at whose shadowy waters; and the asphodels, writings we have been glancing. There the red flamingoes, the singing river would be Fiammetta, holding the vase and the golden clouds of the Valley of magic water, the lilies gleaming of the Many-coloured Grass. There in her hair. There would be the would be the Babe “who goeth lame caverns, the warm ocean, the innumer- and lovely," and the grave of Adah able arches, and the breezy sunshine by the river Pison; and there would of the mole of Baiæ; and the grottoes, be our Lady of Tears, with the diadem forts, and dells of Naples. There would about her brow, calling by night and be the dust of Posilippo, “soft as the day for vanished faces. Well might feathers in the wings of Sleep”; the the slender volume which gathered up form of Love hiding his arrow-barb such treasures bear for the motto of its behind his heels, and Hope, whose face title page this inscription, “ INFINITE is always shadowed by a coloured RICHES IN A NARROW Room.”
QUAIL-SHOOTING IN AMERICA.
One of the commonest of the many generally very plain fare and quarters. fallacies prevalent in England regard- Great as is the number of these, they ing our American kinsfolk is the one are lost to their friends in so vast a space that credits them with an indifference as the sporting-grounds of America. to field-sports. This is probably only an What is known as society contributes aggravated form of that egotism which largely to this annually increasing makes the lip of your true Britisher body; but society, having no conneccurl with scorn at all alien claims to tion with the land which produces the proficiency with horse or gun: I say game, has no motive for concerning an aggravated form of this insular itself about the doings of members creed, for Americans being one with who abjure its fascinations for a month us in blood might fairly be supposed in the Adirondacks, the Alleghanies, to inherit a portion at least of the or the Carolinas. So even the best“savage” instinct which is such a introduced traveller does not hear marked peculiarity of our common much sporting talk in the gay centres
which he visits; and when he adds So far as my experience goes the another book of first impressions sporting instinct is upon the whole as of America to the astounding list strong among our cousins as in the of such works already on Mr. Mudie's stock from which they sprang. The catalogue, he generally informs his practical absence of fox-hunting re- readers that “Americans don't care moves one element of a comparison for field - sports.” The admirable which in any case would be difficult. sporting papers circulating throughSport, too, in America lacks the pres- out every part of Canada and the tige that it owns in this country. Union, the gun-stores and tackleThe distinction that is secured in shops that abound in the main streets Great Britain by superior excellence of the principal cities, do not seem to in such things is in no way the same have any'effect in dispelling this extrabeyond the Atlantic. Our social ordinary delusion. . views of sport, which turn hundreds of To place the American or Virginian indifferent and lukewarm persons into quail (ortyx Virginiana) at the head ornamental and passable Nimrods, of the American game list might have not yet developed with our cousins. at the first sight seem
somewhat The well-to-do Englishman, unless arbitrary. To Englishmen the quail his tastes are distinctly adverse, mostly means the little migratory finds himself in the natural order of European or Eastern bird of that events on the moors, among the tur- species; and the latter, though entitled nips, or by the covert-side. All no doubt to honourable mention, can society is either taking part in the hardly be associated with so exalted a same performance or interesting itself position as that claimed for its larger in the matter. But the well-to-do American relative. The American American intent on such things has al- duck-shooter, moreover, from his sinkmost always to “cut out his own line," box on the Chesapeake shore or his to detach himself from the common club-house on Wisconsin lakes, will herd of his equals in the holiday-time no doubt protest against such an of the year, to plan his own campaign, elevation of the beautiful and game to look after his own dogs, to put up Virginian bird. The chicken-shooter of with a good deal of hard work and the west may perhaps affect contempt for the dimensions of our little friend his birds through the cycle of the year; “Bob White,” and point to the noble has listened to the “ Ah, Bob White ! form of the pinnated grouse, as with ah, Bob White !” that with the fall defiant crow and thunderous whirr he of the apple blossoms begins to fill the springs from the prairie grass. The air; has stumbled upon their nests frequenter of Appalachian forests may perchance later on among the clover swear there is no satisfaction like that fields, and protected the eggs from the of trudging homeward on an October teeth of the mower and the clutch of night with a hardly-earned four brace the ruthless Ethiopian. In the warm of ruffed grouse. The cock-shooter of days of August and September he has Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, or Maine, come again and again upon the infant may recall the delighted yap of his coveys, and watched them fluttering spaniel in the crisp autumn woods as up
sparrows from the thickets and the sweetest of all music, but for “the brushy watercourses where they hide greatest happiness of the greatest from the hawks which sweep unnumber,” and not only that, but as molested through the air. So when affording the highest class of sport, the strong, full-grown birds come out and demanding at the same time the upon the November stubbles to feed greatest smartness with the gun, the and become ripe for the sportsman, quail has no rival among American they occupy a position in the estimabirds. I venture to go even further, tion of the community somewhat difand affirm in my partiality that he ferent from any other Transatlantic has no equal anywhere. The quail
The quail game - bird. They are recognised, is, in short, over a considerable slice not merely by a written law that of North America what the partridge sometimes does not amount to much is with us. Other varieties of American beyond the Atlantic, but by a yet winged game vanish before civilisation, stronger unwritten law, as appurbut the quail, in a majority of the older tenances of the land which reared states, has survived the cultivation of them. The lower class American, two centuries ; nay, where that culti- who owns no land of his own, as vation is careless and natural condi- a general thing resents nothing more tions are favourable, he has flourished than the preservation of game and with unremitting vigour. His piping close seasons of all kinds, but even call in spring-time sounds from the he has been forced to tacitly acvery garden fences of homesteads knowledge the domestic position of whose walls and porches are tottering the quail. To open a cannonade with respectable old age. He springs within sight of a man's window, or to with his brood in autumn from stub- beat a stubble-field where his horses bles whence the stumps had rotted are ploughing, is not quite the same long before George Washington was thing as traversing a prairie, a mounborn. Civilisation, when not too vio- tain, or a forest in which, though lent, is to the quail rather a friend ownership exists, it has made no than a foe; wherever grain-growing visible impress. Private property in is most general, provided that wood- land is nowhere held more sacred than lands and running streams are plenti- in America. Legislation which interful, there in most abundance will fered with the rights of property would he be found. Like his cousin, the nowhere
earth be so resented as English partridge, the Virginian quail in the Western Republic. So when is a product of the soil and clings to the pursuit of game (theoretically in the lands that reared him. The land- America common property) entails owner feels a natural sense of pro- evident intrusion or trespass upon a prietorship in the quail that does not farmer's fields, the most democratic apply to the duck, the woodcock, or the and coarse-natured hunter instinctruffed grouse. The farmer has watched ively comes to a halt outside the gate.
In some shape or form he recognises them still lingers in their sporting that he only shoots inside it by favour, phraseology. The ruffed grouse with even if that favour till quite lately them is still the pheasant. The quail is could be had for the asking ; whereas no quail but still a partridge, nay, more on a mountain or a prairie, though than that, he is distinguished like his it might be just as much private English prototype by the significant property, he would have no such title of “bird.” By a sort of tacit feeling. The quail, therefore, being confession he thus takes precedence of the only indigenous «game-bird of the all other feathered fowl. Your inclosed portions of older America, Southerner knows nothing about occupies a peculiar position.
“bevies of quail." The expression is The home of the quail, so far as no doubt the orthodox one, but he the east of the Mississippi is con- talks as autumn approaches with a cerned, lies mostly in the old Slave- truly British proprietory pride of his States. Though found here and there “ coveys of birds." in the Northern and North-eastern The Virginian quail is regarded by States, and till recently in Western naturalists as standing so completely Canada, it is only from Maryland midway between the quail and the southwards that the birds are numer- partridge families that he may be ous enough to be a leading item in the classed with either. In size he is sportsman's calendar. Small farms and much larger than his European nameclean farming, acting in concert with sake, though barely two-thirds the harder winters and a much denser weight of an English partridge; his population, have almost extirpated habits and arrangements, domestic the quail from the regions north of and otherwise, are for general purthe Susquehanna River. The harvest, poses of description those of the moreover, in the North is late, and latter. I venture to think, however, no great growth of weeds has time if it be not sacrilege to say so, that before the early frosts to spring up the pursuit of the English bird is on the clean stubbles as a covert somewhat tame after a long devotion for the birds in autumn. Through- to the dashing little Virginian. The out all the South, on the other continuous tramp of turnip-fields in hand, the grain is cut late in June or line, unenlivened by the inspiring early in July The long ensuing companionship of the pointer or the period of heat and showers covers setter, hangs a bit heavy after the the stubbles with a growth of annual exhilarating variety of quail-shooting; weeds, which by the autumn are knee the want of variety not only in the high, a sea of green from fence to fence. nature of the covert from which the After the first two or three night game spring, but also comparatively frosts these become brown and brittle, speaking in the nature of the shot and invite the now fairly grown afforded, is in striking contrast to the coveys to come out and feed on the conditions of American quail-shooting. seed which bursts from them. These Both the partridge and the grouse pass vast fields of “rag-weed” that, like rapidly from the stage in which they a russet carpet, cover the stubbles of are easily killed to that in which they the Southern States in later autumn become unapproachable. The Virfrom Maryland to Georgia, are pretty ginian quail is never easy to kill, but much to the American sportsman he lies to dogs from the first day of what the turnips are to his English the season to the last. In most parts cousin.
of England the pointer and the setter In Virginia, as indeed in other have been abandoned as useless. In Southern States, the clinging of the some they are tolerated for a short earlier English settlers to the names time as pleasing and ornamental, if and forms of the life they left behind not necessary, adjuncts. Here and