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THE MAGAZINE OF POETRY.

VOL. 1.

NO. 1.

RICHARD WATSON GILDER.

A

GOOD subject does not always find expres

In the time of this trudging on from the railroad office, by way of the reporter's beat and the country editor's den, to the beautiful sanctum of the Century Magazine, Mr. Gilder was singing, as a true poet must, come what may, and his songs were a genuine product from the higher slopes of Helicon.

Mr. Gilder is married to the daughter of Commodore De Kay. His wife's grandfather was Joseph Rodman Drake, the poet, author of “The Culprit Fay." There are four children in the beautiful Gilder home, two sons, two daughters. Indeed it is as a poet that we must think nost o! him, and we must be glad of anything that makes him sing. Let us not go into the charming house and household to explain why his poetry is the soul of love, the essence of tender and exalted purity. An ideal American home is the next place to heaven.

The most natural thing in the world would be for a man like Gilder to lead, without trying to lead, those with whom he comes most in contact, and so we find him at the head of certain significant and interesting movements of the artistic and literary people of New York. He helped to found the Society of American Artists and the Authors Club and was one of the originators of the Copyright League. His genius must have the magnetic quality as well as the creative power. The art reform which the Century swiftly wrought in America is not a more notable evidence of his taste, foresight and executive ability, than is his unsought personal prominence a proof of his fitness for a certain kind of quiet, gentle and always welcome leadership like that which has been put upon him by the Fellowcraft Club of New York, a brotherhood of journalists and artists. It is significant that such a club should have for its leader and president a poet pure and simple; it suggests, what is the truth, that the poet is no longer the man in the garret, the crust-gnawing and hypochondriacal sentimentalist. One of the greatest discoveries that time has vouchsafed to the nineteenth century is this close kinship of the poet's genius to the strongest and directest forces of our civilization. The man behind the Century Magazine has done a great deal for America. He can do a great deal more.

M. T.

sion in a sketch, for the manner of the sketch must have its value, still it is the figure, always the figure, that conveys the lasting interest. Among the younger poets of America, three at least of the most charming are editors, and, there. fore, somewhat withdrawn from familiar inspection into that mist of reserve which is the protection of judicial personages. Aldrich, Gilder, Bunner,Cloth of Gold, The New Day, The Way to Arcadie - there is a swarming hive of musicburdened associations set beside the editorial dens. Go in at the door, but hide your roll of manuscript.

Richard Watson Gilder. born at Bordentown, New Jersey, February 8, 1844, walked the royal American road to success, the broad highway of self-dependence and earnest labor. He began with a clerical engagement in the office of a railroad, pushed on into the sanctum of a country newspaper for which he was glad to be a reporter. Presently we find him in the editorial chair of the Newark Morning Register; but there was not enough work for him in editing one paper, he must needs find a monthly journal upon which to vent his surplus of literary and executive energy. A publication called Hours at Home, issued monthly in New York, offered him this extra work and a foot-hold in the great city upon which his eyes had been fixed from the first. A great deal of experience, with little money to show for it, finally led to the sale of Hours at Home to the Scribners just at the beginning of the new era in American art and letters which dates from the founding of Scribner's Monthly Magazine. Mr. Gilder was chosen by Dr. Holland to assist him in conducting that powerful journal. A wise choice as time has shown. Scribner's Magazine soon ripened into the Century and Mr. Gilder succeeded Dr. Holland. Immediately the magazine furged forward remarkably, gathering quality, solidity of interest and individuality for itself. The men behind the journal were Roswell Smith and Richard Watson Gilder. It is a pleasant truth to say, however, that Mr. Gilder knew well how to select his helpers. Mr. Robert U. Johnson and Mr. C. C. Buel have seconded him with notable energy, taste and judgment.

Copyright, 1889, by Charles Wells MOULTON. All rights reserved.

You may count the rings and the seasons,

May hold the sap to the sun, You may guess at the ways and the reasons

Till your little day is done.

A THOUGHT. ONCE, looking from a window on a land That lay in silence underneath the sun: A land of broad, green meadows, through which

poured Two rivers, slowly widening to the sea, Thus as I looked, I know not how nor whence, Was borne into my expectant soul That.thought, late learned by anxious-witted man, The infinite patience of the Eternal Mind.

But for me the golden crest

That shakes in the wind and launches Its spear toward the reddening West!

For me the bough and the breeze, The sap unseen, and the glint

Of light on the dew-wet branches, The hiding shadows, the hint

Of the soul of mysteries.

THE MASTER-POETS. He the great World-Musician at whose stroke The stars of morning into music broke; He from whose Being Infinite are caught All harmonies of light, and sound, and thought,Once in each age, to keep the world in tune He strikes a note sublime. Nor late, nor soon, A god-like soul, — music and passion's birth,Vibrates across the discord of the earth And sets the world aright.

0, these are they Who on men's hearts with mightiest power can

play, The master-poets of humanity, Sent down from heaven to lift men to the sky.

You may sound the sources of life,

And prate of its aim and scope; You may search with your chilly knife

Through the broken heart of hope. But for me the love-sweet breath,

And the warm, white bosom heaving, And never a thought of death,

And only the bliss of living.

THE SOWER.

THE SONNET.
What is a sonnet? 'Tis the pearly shell

That murmurs of the far-off murmuring sea;
A precious jewel carved most curiously;

It is a little picture painted well.
What is a sonnet? 'Tis the tear that fell

From a great poet's hidden ecstasy;
A two-edged sword, a star, a song - ah me!

Sometimes a heavy-tolling funeral bell.
This was the flame that shook with Dante's breath;

The solemn organ whereon Milton played,
And the clear glass where Shakespeare's shadow

falls:
A sea this is — beware who ventureth!

For like a fjord the narrow floor is laid
Mid-ocean deep to the sheer mountain walls.

I.
A SOWER went forth to sow,
His eyes were dark with woe;
He crushed the flowers beneath his feet,
Nor smelt the perfume, warm and sweet,
That prayed for pity everywhere.
He came to a field that was harried
By iron, and to heaven laid bare:
He shook the seed that he carried
O'er that brown and bladeless place.
He shook it, as God shakes hail
Over a doomed land,
When lightnings interlace
The sky and the earth, and his wand
Of love is a thunder-flail.

Thus did that Sower sow;
His seed was human blood,
And tears of women and men.
And I, who near him stood,
Said: When the crop comes, then
There will be sobbing and sighing,
Weeping and wailing and crying,
Flame, and ashes, and woe.

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Or that my love for thee did first befall.

Love me or late or early, fast or slow:
But love me, Love, for love is one and all!

The song of a sweet-voiced bird?
Nay- but the songs of many,
Thrilled through with praise and prayer.
Of all those voices not any
Were sad of memory:
But a sea of sunlight flowed,
And a golden harvest glowed!
And I said: Thou only art wise -
God of the earth and skies!
And I thank thee, again and again,
For the Sower whose name is Pain.

“WHAT WOULD I SAVE THEE FROM?"

WHAT would I save thee from, dear heart, dear

heart? Not from what heaven may send thee of its pain; Not from fierce sunshine or the scathing rain: The pang of pleasure; passion's wound and

smart;
Not from the scorn and sorrow of thine art;

Nor loss of faithful friends, nor any gain
Of growth by grief. I would not thee restrain

From needful death. But 0, thou other part
Of me!- through whom the whole world I behold,

As through the blue I see the stars above!

In whom the world I find, hid fold on fold! Thee would I save from this — nay, do not move

Fear not, it may not flash, the air is cold;
Save thee from this- the lightning of my love.

I MET A TRAVELLER ON THE ROAD.

I MET a traveller on the road
Whose back was bent beneath a load;
His face was worn with mortal care,
His frame beneath its burden shook,
Yet onward, restless, he did fare
With mien unyielding, fixed, a look
Set forward in the empty air
As if he read an unseen book.

What was it in his smile that stirred
My soul to pity! When I drew
More near it seemed as if I heard
The broken echo of a tune
Learned in some far and happy June.
His lips were parted, but unmoved
By words. He sang as dreamers do
And not as if he heard and loved
The song he sang: I hear it now!

He stood beside the level brook,
Nor quenched his thirst, nor bathed his brow,
Nor from his back the burden shook.
He stood, and yet he did not rest;
His
eyes

in aimless quest,
Then close did to that mirror bow
And, looking down, I saw in place
Of his, my own familiar face.

WEAL AND WOE.
O HIGHEST, strongest, sweetest woman-soul!

Thou holdest in the compass of thy grace
All the strange fate and passion of thy race;

Of the old, primal curse thou knowest the whole: Thine eyes, too wise, are heavy with the dole,

The doubt, the dread of all this human maze;
Thou in the virgin morning of thy days

Hast felt the bitter waters o'er thee roll.
Yet thou knowest, too, the terrible delight,

The still content, and solemn ecstasy;

Whatever sharp, sweet bliss thy kind may know. Thy spirit is deep for pleasure as for woe

Deep as the rich, dark-caverned, awful sea
That the keen-winded, glimmering dawn makes

white.

climbed up

"LOVE ME NOT, LOVE, FOR THAT I

FIRST LOVED THEE."

SONG. Not from the whole wide world I chose thee

Sweetheart, light of the land and the sea! The wide, wide world could not enclose thee,

For thou art the whole wide world to me.

Love me not, Love, for that I first loved thee,

Nor love me, Love, for thy sweet pity's sake, In knowledge of the mortal pain and ache

Which is the fruit of love's blood-veinéd tree. Let others for my love give love to me:

From other souls oh, gladly will I take,
This burning, heart-dry thirst of love to slake,

What seas of human pity there may be! Nay, nay, I caru no more how love may grow,

So that I hear thee answer to my call!
Love me because my piteous tears do flow,

SONG.

Years have flown since I knew thee first,
And I know thee as water is known of thirst:
Yet I knew thee of old at the first sweet sight,
And thou art strange to me, Love, to-night.

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