« PreviousContinue »
SIMEON TUCKER CLARK.
ities, when they exist, in music and painting. His own melodious verses show so delicate a sense of both color and rhythm that they illustrate forcibly the principle alluded to, and certain quaint graces of rhyme in many of the poems recall the delightful word-music of the Minnesingers. Facility of expression, however, does not constitute Dr. Clark's sole claim to a place among our bards. Two poems peculiarly happy in this respect—"Toward Emmaus” and “ Love is Sweeter than Rest"—the latter developing a thought akin to the great Carmelite's exalted prayer-evidence what we cannot fail to remark throughout his work—that the idea is supreme, and abides with us even if the music of his verses be forgotten; and that the poet is most a Poet when singing of highest things. E. A. C.
St. Luke, Chap. xxiv, 32. “A JOURNEYING to Emmaus; The grandest man of men with usThe Christ of God was then with us,
As we went down to Emmaus. How burned our hearts upon the way At every word we heard Him say! We never may forget the day
We journeyed down to Emmaus!"
IMEON TUCKER CLARK was born in Canton, Mass., October
10, 1836, the child of the Rev. Nathan Sears Clark and Laura S. Swift. It may well be supposed that the poetic faculty came to him by inheritance, for Mrs. Clark wrote in verse easily and well, and in very early boy hood her son began to give outward signs of the grace that was in him, a grace, we may infer, carefully watched and cultivated by his gifted mother. To love of reading the future physician joined a hearty delight in the study of natural science, this latter disposition very probably influencing his subsequent choice of the medical profession as pre-eminently a calling in which he might most usefully to his fellowmen and most honorably to himself exercise those talents with which Heaven had so bountifully blessed him. In 1860 he was graduated from the Berkshire Medical College; and sometime later Genesee College gave him an honorary degree of Master of Arts.
The year 1861 saw Doctor Clark beginning practice in Lockport, N. Y., where ever since he has devoted himself unwearyingly to the multifarious duties of his vocation-at times turning from watches at the bedside to write a paper for some learned society, or from the teacher's chair summoned to take part in the debates of the ablest thinkers in his profession; everywhere leaving the impress of his strong individuality and many-sided genius. Inclination and experience having led him to give particular attention to medico-legal studies, he was offered, -and accepted—the Professorship of Medical Jurisprudence in Niagara University, the department of medicine in that school being then in the second year of its existence. His lectures, always attended by enthusiastic classes, attract no less through the charm of the lecturer's eloquence than by reason of the subjects treated. With Dr. Clark fidelity to the requirements of his profession has not meant disloyalty to his muse: rather have those close relations with suffering humanity which it entails stimulated the creative spirit, and he has sung when inspired to sing. Many of his poems have been contributed to our best periodicals, and many more have been first published in leading newspapers, the most popular among them reappearing in various collec. tions, notably in “Waifs and their Authors,” which contains a discriminating sketch of the poet's work. It can easily be understood that a man of such broad culture must feel strongly the influence of the sister arts of music and painting. Indeed, Dr. Clark has always been, as he himself expresses it, “a firm believer in the unity of the æsthetics," and holds that the same critical faculty guiding his appreciation of what is true and beautiful in poetry enables him to discern these qual
Oh! blest disciples-chosen two-
As you went down to Emmaus!
As He walked down to Emmaus!
But Jesus walks and talks with men
You walked with Christ to Emmaus!
Is journeying to Emmaus.
Ere the doughty Cain was born,
As she walked in the cool of morn; “Oh! what has come into your lives bright birds?
And why is your song so sweet?
As two souls upon the boundary which divides
that world from this, Met and parted, in the melting of a first and last
With a weary wail of welcome saw the little child
the day! With a song of praise triumphant passed the pa.
And what is this strange new joy that makes
Your happiness complete?” Then she carefully peeped in a sparrow's nest,
Where she knew four eggs were laid, And saw the very first baby-birds
That ever were hatched-not made And her heart felt a thrill so strange and wild
That she knew, when the days should bring Her fullness of joy with another's life,
She too, like the birds might sing!
A mother, so voiceless, quite,
A sleepy song for the night;
With the ransomed ones to rest,
As he slept on her peaceful breast;
Will welcome the tear-drop's gush,
"Now hush thee my darling! hush !”
All the same—the cradled cherub or the pulseless,
coffined clodLife and death alike are angels and the messen
gers of God.
CASSIE AND I.
1. Over the mountain road,
Watching a cloudless sky, Out in the morning air,
Ride I right royally! From my steed's bounding hoof
Rings out this roundelay“God and the beautiful
Everywhere”-all the way.
He wed my sister yesterday! Ah, me!
The while he gives to her love's golden grain
He feeds me husks; but I so love the twain That I can smile and starve! It shall not be
That ever he shall hear my heart complain! But when I greeted them, he kissed me thrice,
And it did seem, from out the husks he gave
And love itself lost in a living grave!
A soft little emerald.tinge
On the old brown trees is seen, A promise the springtime gives
Of a glorious garb of green, And the west wind murmurs low
The lesson on every tree, Is the little joy of now
And the glory that is to be!
THE EASTER MOON. THE Easter full-moon rises, Lo!
It shines not with its wonted sheen; But with a dusky, ruddy glow,
Unlike the virgin queen!
Dost thou, thus clad in crimson come,
Because all holy-days will fall According to thy coming, dumb
But nightly cardinal!
Grant me, O God! the glory of gray hairs!
To sit awhile among my friends-my peers,
My passions all subdued, my foolish fears Forever flown with all earth's cumbering cares! Life's morning hours were consecrate to prayers,
So be its evening! Penitential tears
May fade the stains of more ambitious years, Before fate falls upon ine unawares! Awaiting, not expecting Death that night
My lifelong, fondest friend shall sing, or say The grand old songs, in which we both delight,
Until I sleep and sleeping pass away, Nor shall she know, though gazing on my face, When Death usurps his sister-Slumber's place.
No! Paschal moon, thy rosy flood
Of light, that falls to-night on me, Is but the shadow of the blood
Poured out on Calvary!
“LOVE IS SWEETER THAN REST." LIFE brings no burden to be borne so great,
Heaven has no rest so sweet to offer me
That I would seek repose, if it must be
Is mine in thee. The fruit of every tree
Dies! and as falling the forest tree
MAY RILEY SMITH.
months ago, the responsible post of corresponding secretary of Sorosis, discharging her nervous and often irksome duties always with quiet patienc: and marked efficiency. There is no member of that large and distinguished organization more beloved and honored than she. She is also a prized member of other women's clubs, always a most acceptable speaker, with quick common sense to guide her vote, and a refreshing sense of humor, which tones into harmony the story ethical and didactic bent of her mind, with the practical and wise. Mrs. Smith's personality is marked. She is a sweet-faced blonde, dignified, refined, keenly interested in others, full of an eager delight in the success of her friends far greater than in her own, and womanly in the highest sense of that muchabused word. Men and women alike respect and love her, and there is probably not a literary woman in the land who is not proud and joyful in her success.
K. U. C.
IF WE KNEW
T is said to be the gift of genius which can take
a commonplace subject and invest it with the full charm of novelty and fresh beauty.
Thus a hackneyed love-story under the touch of Shakespeare or St. Pierre or Alfred Tennyson becomes a classic; and thus we now and then find among our singers one whose words, flowing spontaneously forth, present to us, as though we had never known them before, the old and common topics of home and motherhood, sorrow for sin, longings for a better life, and the doubts and fears and hopes familiar to every earnest soul. Among the most successful and sweet-voiced of the poets of our day in this direction is the author of His Name Shall Be Written on Their Foreheads," "Sometime,” “If," and other equally well-known verses. Wherever the English language is spoken and read, there these poeins have a foothold, for they appeal to the “universal and everlasting humanities" within us.
In contemplating the true and tender feeling which never fails to animate Mrs. May Riley Smith's work, and that indescribable charm of genius which pervades it, the literary merit which attaches to most of her lines is often lost sight of. Very many of them are polished to a high degree. Her images and phrases are original and striking, and the exquisite refinement of the artist is apparent throughout the whole. It is a source of regret to all who know and admire her work, that Mrs. Smith should have chosen to glean so continuously from so narrow a field. The essays she has made outside of this have been eminently successful, as in “The Weary Model” and “The Perfect Niche," and as she has not yet reached the zenith of her powers, it is to be hoped that she will venture still further in paths which she has hitherto seemed not to care to tread.
We gain a clue to the lack of variety and of extent in Mrs. Smith's writings, when we remember the saying that “out of the depths of anguish are born the vast majority of literary works.” Though no doubt into her life as into all human existences has entered that “intrusive guest,'
"The sullen foe Of every sweet enjoyment here below," yet surely she has had more than most mortals know, of delight. It is largely in imagination that she has borne the woes of life, and from that source that she has obtained that sympathy with grief which runs throughout her poems. Happily married in early life, enjoying every advantage of travel and of society, and with an almost ideal son, now developing into early manhood, she lives a life of great content in a beautiful home on 74th street, in New York City, surrounded by hosts of friends. She has held for years, and until a few
If we knew the baby fingers
Pressed against the window-pane Would be cold and stiff to-morrow
Never trouble us again; Would the bright eyes of our darling
Catch the frown upon our brow? Would the prints of rosy fingers
Vex us then as they do now?
Ah, these little ice-cold fingers,
How they point our memories back To the hasty words and actions
Strewn along our backward track!
As in snowy grace they lie,
For our reaping by and by!
Till the sweet-voiced bird has flown; Strange that we should slight the violets
Till the lovely flowers are gone; Strange that summer skies and sunshine
Never seem one-half so fair
Shake their white down in the air!
Lips from which the seal of silence
None but God can roll away, Never blossomed in such beauty
As adorns the mouth to-day; And sweet words that freight our memory
With their beautiful perfume, Come to us in sweeter accents
Through the portals of the tomb.