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OHN TODHUNTER was born in Dublin, Dec.

30th, 1839. His father was a timber merchant; his grandfather a Cumberland man who had settled in Dublin as a merchant; his great-grandfather a ship-owner in a small way, who sailed his own ships as officer, trading as a coaster along the Irish Sea. His mother and immediate relations were Irish, and all good Quakers; and he still remembers the wearisomeness of the silent Quaker meetings.

Attwelve years old we find him at a Quaker boarding school learning some French and Greek, among other things, and telling stories, remembered or in. vented, to his school-fellows before going to sleep at night. At sixteen he was apprenticed to a Quaker firm of tea and sugar importers, where, as collector, he made acquaintance with well-nigh all the streets of dear, dirty Dublin, and something of the life that went on in them.

So far he had been almost shut out from literary and artistic influences, except that his father sketched a little, and now and then whistled an Irish air, though music was regarded by the Quakers, as the most diabolical of arts, all evil in their way. But now he got hold of Scott, Moore, above all, Byron, whom he used to carry in his pocket when going to pay duties at the Custom House, and read in some quiet corner while the sugar-hogsheads were a-weighing. After Byron came Spenser, Milton, Tennyson, Browning, Coleridge, Keats and Shelley. At about eighteen he began to write verses, a skit containing imitations of some of his favorite poets gaining him an introduction to Archbishop Whately. In 1860 a performance of Handel's “Messiah" in Christ-Church Cathedral came as a great awakening to his imagination. It was the first great music he had heard. Here was music not in any way a thing of the devil, but cer. tainly a divine revelation. After this he began timidly to go to the opera instead of prayer.meetings; heard the great singers, and became music mad.

At last, finding it impossible to settle down to business, Mr. Todhunter entered Trinity College in 1862, with the object of studying medicine. soon became a member of the Undergraduate Philosophical Society"(really a literary society ) and made the acquaintance of Edmund and George Armstrong, the poets, and of Edward Dowden, now the well-known professor of English literature. In college he tried to combine literature with science, and began his hospital work where he won the marked confidence of Dr. Hudson, and the famous Dr. Stokes, whose clinical clerk he was. The poet in him, however, asserted itself in the fact of his taking a much deeper interest in the patients as human beings than as


A sonnet should be like the cygnet's cruise
On polished waters; or like smooth old wine,
Or earliest honey garnered in May dews!
And all be laid before some fair love's shrine!

-On the Sonnet.

Sometimes thou leav'st us laughing on the night,
In wondrous vacant mirth; sometimes in tears,
Wide-eyed, and groping for the window light;
And often with strange music in our ears,
Born of the sky on some old, fabled height,
Voices of spirits, or the morning spheres.

- To Sleep.
You may blame the rain or no,
But it ever hath been so:
Something loveliest of its race
Perisheth from out its place,
For the lack of freshening care,
While the rain pours otherwhere.

-Left Out.
Thou that bendest shall not break;
Smiling in the tempest's wake,
Thou shalt rise, and see around
How the strong ones strew the ground;
Saving lightness thou didst wield, -
Frailest things have frailty's shield!

- Frailly's Shield.

The building bird, with straw or shred,
Holds askance her cunning head,

ries thy wisdom by her test, –
Canst thou build or weave a nest ?
"Then thou makest no reply,
Round the fields soft laughters fly,
And the rumor goes abroad
That this man, or demi-god,
Reaching for the Infinite,
Cannot, with his best of wit,
Solve what hath for ages lain
An open secret, fair and plain!

- The Sphinx.

What is the range that Nature gives her own?

With frost or fire she stays their flying feet,
And holdeth each within its native zone:

The pine its love — the palm, shall never meet;
Nowhere do roses bloom from beds of ice,
Nowhere in valleys laughs the edelweiss.

The god of Music dwelleth out of doors.


cases.' They in turn liked him, for he would al.



Dare not to tell me I have lost thee,

Thy heart will give thy tongue the lie; The hopes thou hast wrecked, the tears I've cost

thee, Like wailing ghosts against thee cry.

Mine, mine thou art - our spirits mingled

Eagerly once as fire and air, Fated for aye to live unsingled,

Or pine apart in pale despair.

ways listen to their stories sympathetically. In spite of much ill-health consequent upon a bad fever, he obtained several medical prizes, and after a trip to Switzerland for his health took his medical degree in 1867. While in college he three times won the Vice-Chancellor's prize for English verse, and in 1866 his first published poem appeared in the Cornhill Magazine, then edited by Thackeray.

In 1869 Mr. Todhunter went to Vienna and there completed his medical studies. Returning in the spring of 1870, he married Miss Ball, sister of the present Astronomer Royal for Ireland, Sir Robert Ball, and settled in Dublin as president physician to Cork St. Fever Hospital. In the autumn of 1870 he succeeded Professors Ingram and Dowden to the chair of English Literature at Alexandra College, Dublin, where he lectured twice a week for four years. In 1871 his wife died, leaving one child who died in 1874. After this Mr. Todhunter finding he had taken no root in Dublin, determined to abandon medicine for literature. In 1876 his first volume of poems,“Laurella and Other Poems,” appeared; in 1878, “Acestis"; and in 1879 he married Miss Digby, of Dublin, and finally settled in London. Since then he has published "A Study of Shelley,” The True Tragedy of Rienzi," " Forest Songs,' Helena in Troas,” and The Banshee and Other Poems,” the last a volume containing some fine Irish poems.

“ Helena in Troas”. is a drama, Greek in form. It was acted with great success in 1886, under the direction of Mr. E. W. Godwin, F. S. A.

W. B. Y.

Dare not to tell me thou hast found me

For thy great dreams too mean a thing; Thy faith that saved, thy love that crowned me,

Will plead for their anointed king.

Kiss me once more! thy sin's forgiven;

Forgive me mine. Oh, never more May we two sulk, so long unshriven,

While weeping Love holds wide the door!

NOCTURNE. Into the night, the odorous summer night, I wander, driven of Love, whose breath of joy Suffuses all the radiance of the sky And dimness of the earth like slumber now.

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The old house shudders and groans,

As the torrents of sleety rain Bluster and moan in the chimney

And rattle the drenched pane.

I sit by a dying fire,

Watching the embers red;
And the midnight is ghostly around me,

And the house abed.
And as gust after gust shrieks seaward,

Far off on the waves to die,
I seem to hear in the pauses drear,

The time throb audibly by.
O dreadful world, where one foolish fault -

One paltry mistake -
Will make such mischief as God Himself

Can never unmake!
I feel the wings of the ages

Sweep over me in their course,
And the wheels of the universe crush me

With irresistible force.


The Christ-child came to my bed one night,

He came in tempest and thunder;
His presence woke me in sweet affright,

I trembled for joy and wonder;
He bore sedately his Christmas-tree,

It shone like a silver willow,
His grave child's eyes looked wistfully,

As he laid a branch on my pillow.
And when he had left me alone, alone,

And all the house lay sleeping, I planted it in a nook of my own,

And watered it with my weeping. And there it strikes its roots in the earth,

And opens its leaves to heaven; And when its blossoms have happy birth

I shall know my sins forgiven.

THE DEAD NUPTIAL. It was a nuptial of the dead, Hope was a corse when she was wed, Her loathéd bridegroom was Decay, And Sorrow gave the bride away; And the wedding-priest was Care, And the bride-bed's fruit, Despair.

And her voice is everywhere,

Says the Shan van Vocht;
Though her eyes be full of care,
Even as Hope's, born of Despair,
Her sweet face looks young and fair,

Says the Shan van Vocht.

And she bears a sword of flame,

Says the Shan van Vocht,
And its flash makes tyrants tame,

Says the Shan van Vocht,
For she comes old rights to claim,
And old wrongs burn up in shame:
And 'tis Justice is her name,

Says the Shan van Vocht.

There's a land I've loved of old,

Says the Shan van Vocht,
For her tameless heart of gold,

Says the Shan van Vocht,
In her sorrows unconsoled,
With her thousand hearths made cold;
But that tale of shame is told,

Says the Shan van Vocht.

For a thing shall come to pass,

Says the Shan van Vocht,
Though her foes wear fronts of brass,

Says the Shan van Vocht,
They turn pale, they quake alas!
They have seen the Bodach-glas,
And they wither like the grass,

Says the Shan van Vocht.


Thou pale sad moon, slow-waning, night by

night, From thy fair throne, when nightly thou didst

busk Thy swelling bosom in more silvery light, I breathed on Como's shore the odorous dusk Of great magnolias! Whiter than the tusk Of Indian elephant, like beakers bright, Their Bacchic flowers they lifted in delight, And made libation of their winy musk. To thee they made libation, and their leaves Murmured of joy's increase; yet never more Shall they nor I renew beneath thy spell That joy. Thou changest; and my spirit grieves That naught may be as it hath been before, That welcome makes sad music with farewell.


I. THERE's a spirit in the air,

Says the Shan van Vocht,

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