Page images



The soft night-wind went laden to death,

With smell of the orange in flower;
The light leaves prattled to neighbor ears;
The bird of the passion sang over his tears;
The night named hour by hour.

- The Young Princess.

WATER. Water, first of singer's, o'er rocky mount and mead,

First of earthly singer's, the sun-loved rill, Sang of him, and flooded the ripples on the reed,

Seeking whom to waken and what ear to fill. Water, sweetest soother to kiss a wound and cool,

Sweetest and divinest, the sky-born brook, Chuckled, with a whimper, and made a mirror

pool Round the guest we welcomed, the strange hand shook.

-Phabus with Admetus.

FRANCE. Immortal Mother of a mortal host! Thou suffering of wounds that will not slay, Wounds that bring death but take not life away!Stand fast and hearken while thy victors boast: Hearken, and loathe that music evermore, Slip loose thy garments woven of pride and shame: The torture lurks in them, with them the blame Shall pass to leave thee purer than before. L'ndo thy jewels, thinking whence they came, For what, and of the abominable name Of her who in imperial beauty wore.

- France, December. 1870.

The Mother of the many Laughters might
Call one poor shade of laughter in the light
Of her unwavering lamp to mark what things
The world puts faith in, careless of the truth:
What silly puppet-bodies danced on strings,
Attached by credence, we appear in sooth,

Demanding intercession, direct aid, When the whole tragic tale hangs on a broken blade!

-Ibid. STRENGTH. Lo, Strength is of the plain root-Virtues born: Strength shall ye gain by service, prove in scorn, Train by endurance, by devotion shape. Strength is not won by miracle or rape. It is the offspring of the modest years, The gift of sire to son, thro' those firm laws Which we name God's; which are the righteous

cause, The cause of man, and manhood's ministers,


OVERS of simple, genuine, and unmeretri.

cious verse, associate the name of Horatio Nelson Powers with some of the best short poems that have appeared in American periodicals during the last two or three decades. Those who know the personality behind the name, recall a man of genial and dignified presence, of scholarly culture and kindly sympathies, whose friendship is at once a pleasure and an inspiration. A clergyman whose busy life has been largely devoted to the duties of his chosen calling, Dr. Powers has yet found time for the exercise of that literary talent and that wide range of intellectual activity that have given him name and influence far beyond the boundaries of his professional career. The latter may be briefly traced. Born in Ame. nia, Dutchess County, New York, in 1826, he was graduated at Union College in 1850, and at the General Theological Seminary of the Protestant Episcopal Church, in New York City, in 1855. He was ordained in Trinity Church, New York, by Bishop Horatio Potter, and immediately entered upon the work of the ministry, as assistant to the Rev. Dr. (afterward Bishop) Samuel Bowman, rector of St. James's Church, Lancaster, Pa. Two years later (in 1857) he accepted a call to a parish at Davenport, Iowa, where he remained eleven years.

In 1868 he became rector of St. John's Church, Chicago, continuing there until 1875, when he was called to Christ Church, Bridgeport, Conn. This charge he retained for ten years, removing in 1885 to Piermont-on-theHudson, where he still resides as rector. The scenery about Piermont is romantic and inspiring; and in a beautifully situated and pleasant parsonage built for him last year, and amidst harmonious surroundings, Dr. Powers, in the ripeness and maturity of his life, has a full measure of that peace and happiness which he merits and is so well fitted to enjoy. Some charming glimpses of the region where he lives, and of his life there, are given in a little poem entitled “My Walk to Church," published in Harper's Monthly last year, which readers will be glad to find reprinted in the present issue of this magazine. The poem is interesting also as showing in a marked degree what are perhaps Dr. Powers's most noticeable characteristics of a poet-a feeling for Nature, that is Wordsworthian in its depth and tenderness; a contemplative habit that sees the spiritual meaning of even the humblest things; and a cheerfulness and youthfulness of heart that keeps him ever young and sensitive to all beautiful forms and thoughts. No one can read “ My Walk to Church," and others of his poems in the same sweet key, without feeling that the author in in. deed one of those to whom

Young flowers are in my path. I hear

Music of unrecorded tone.
The heart of Beauty beats so near,

Its pulses modulate my own.

The shadow on the meadow's breast

Is not more calm than my repose As, step by step, I am the guest

Of every living thing that grows.

Ah, something melts along the sky,

And something rises from the ground, And fills the inner ear and eye

Beyond the sense of sight and sound.

It is not that I strive to see

What Love in lovely shapes has wroughtIts gracious messages to me

Come, like the gentle dews, unsought.

“The meanest flower that blows can give

Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears." Dr. Powers's literary tastes developed in his youth, and led him early into literary work. His pen has seldom been idle. Besides poems, he has written innumerable essays, literary and art criticisms, etc. Two volumes of his poems have been published—“Early and Late,” in 1876; and A Decade of Song,” in 1885. “Through the Year,” a collection of his religious essays, appeared in 1875. Many of his poems have been widely copied, and have a place in the standard anthologies of English poetry. He has contributed to most of the leading periodicals of the country, and was for several years the American correspondent of L'Art, the great French art review. His interest in art has, indeed, been only secondary to his interest in literature, and has earned him the friendship of Philip Gilbert Hamerton, who dedicated to him his charming book entitled “The Unknown River," and painted and presented to him two fine landscape pictures. Dr. Powers has been peculiarly fortunate in his friendships, and has enjoyed the companionship of Bryant, Bayard Taylor, and other distinguished literary men of his time. His home-life has also been fortunate. He married, in 1857, Clemence Emma, only daughter of the late Professor Francis Fauvel-Gouraud, of the University of France. Of the children born of this union, five are living -three sons and two daughters. The eldest son, Edward Fauvel, resides chiefly in London, and is active and successful in extensive British enterprises, which he has developed in Uruguay and the Argentine Republic.

Dr. Powers has filled many positions of responsibility in literary, educational, and public work. He was for a time President of Griswold College, at Davenport, Iowa; and Regent of the Chicago University, President of the Foundlings' Home at Chicago, and a member of the Sanitary Relief Board organized after the Chicago fire in 1871, an associate editor of the Chicago Alliance, and one of the founders of the Chicago Literary Club, President of the Bridgeport (Conn.) Scientific Society, etc. His degree of Doctor of Divinity was conferred by Union College in 1867.

F. F. B.

I merely walk with open heart

Which feels the secret in the sign; But, oh, how large and rich my part

In all that makes the feast divine!

Sometimes I hear the happy birds

That sang to Christ beyond the sea, And softly His consoling words

Blend with their joyous minstrelsy. Sometimes in royal vesture glow

The lilies that He called so fair, Which never toil nor spin, yet show

The loving Father's tender care. And then along the fragrant hills

A radiant presence seems to move, And earth grows fairer as it fills

The very air I breathe with love,

And now I see one perfect face,

And hastening to my church's door, Find Him within the holy place

Who, all my way, went on before.

MY WALK TO CHURCH. BREATHING the summer-scented air

Along the bowery mountain way, Each Lord's-day morning I repair

To serve my church, a mile away.

THE COLOR-SPIRIT. THROUGH hazy noons, crisp night, and luscious

morning, A Spirit has been busy everywhere, The happy fields with gorgeous hues adorning,

Till color seemed to animate the air. It breathed upon the forests which, enchanted, Waved fiery plumes, and banner-pomp un.

rolled; And the mysterious mountain-depths it haunted,

Till they were changed palaces of gold.

Below, the glorious river lies

A bright, broad-breasted, sylvan sea — And round the sumptuous highlands rise,

Fair as the hills of Galilee.

[blocks in formation]

Her life, made holy and serene
By faith, was hid with things unseen.
She knew what they alone can know
Who live above, but dwell below.

EDMUND FLAGG. ORE than thirty years ago, the names of


'Tis my creed that Age should carry,

'Mid its strifes and cares and losses,
The purple of its morning,

April-bloom and choral air;
That Wisdom, Cheer should marry,

That life ascends on crosses,
And that its best adorning
Is its joy in all things fair.

- October Lilacs.

OCTOBER O apples, fragrant apples, piled high beside the

presses, And heaped in wain and basket 'neath the broad

branched, mossy trees, Can we fairly call him sober — this splendid, rich

October Pouring out his sweets and beauty in such lavish gifts as these?

- In the Orchard..

O sleepless Warder at the gate of life!
Prophet of human needs 'mid ruthless woes!
Avenger of transgression: Earth-born Pain!
Harsh is thy voice and dreadsul, as it tells
The anguish of a world, but thou dost teach
Redemption, and deliverance, and the path
To glorious triumphs as thy scourges fall.

The Voice of Pain.

Ah! Love is yet in his grave-clothes

With many who swiftly run
This morning with odors of worship,

To welcome the risen One.
And many a flower-decked temple

Is vocal with praise to-day,
Where the Christ of the heart and the ages
Is cruelly thrust away.

O radiant land! where my young eyes
Saw angels in the happy skies,
And felt Love's arms in all the air,
And heard Hope singing everywhere,
Sweet land of boy hood! Rose unblown!
Delicious, heart-enfolded Zone!

How soon — too soon

The burning Noon
Drank all thy dew from bud and leaf,
And seared the bowers of young Belief.

-A Birthday Lyric.

writers were associated with that of the celebrated George D. Prentice of the Louisville Journal, embracing those of Gallagher, Shreve, Wallace, Cosby, Piatt, Amelia Welby, Rosa Vertner, Rebecca Nichols, Laura Thruston, Mattie Griffith, Catherine Warfield, and many others. Among these writers, and one of the youngest of them, was Edmund Flagg. As a journalist, an author, a dramatist, and, subsequently, in the civil and diplomatic service at home and abroad, he has been more widely known, however, than as a poet; although a prominent place has been awarded his metrical productions in several anthologies.

Mr. Flagg comes of Puritan and Revolutionary stock. The first of his name in New England, did not indeed “come over "in the “ Mayflower," but, he did come in the “Rose," a few years later, landing at Boston in 1637.

His greatgrandfather, one of the earliest graduates of Harvard, was pastor of a church in Chester, N. H., sixty years, and died at the age of ninetythree; his grandfather was an Adjutant-General in the Revolution; his father was a graduate of Dartmouth a few years after his cousin Daniel Webster.

Mr. Flagg was born in the little seaport of Wis. casset, Maine, the home of his mother. Two months after graduating at Bowdoin he was teaching a Classical School at Louisville, Ky., and writing for the Journal with George D. Prentice, a connection which in some form or other continued for nearly thirty years. During the summer of 1836, he traveled on horseback through Illinois and Missouri, and contributed a series of sketches to the Journal. In 1836-7, at St. Louis, he taught school, read law, and wrote for the press. During 1837, he entered the bar, and edited the St. Louis Bulletin. In 1838 he superintended the publication in New York, by the Harpers, of “ The Far West," in two volumes, and with Pren. tice, commenced the Louisville Literary Nezvs-Letter, In 1840 he was in the law office of S. S. Prentiss, of Vicksburg, Miss.; and, on March 4, 1841, as editor of the l'icksburg Whig, was severely wounded in a duel with the editor of the Vicksburg Sentinel. In 1842-43 he was editor of the Gazette at Marietta, Ohio, and wrote a series of romances for the New York New World, conducted by Park Benjamin. In 1844-45 he was editor and proprietor of the St. Louis Evening Gazette. In 1846-47 he was secretary of a mutual insurance company, and author of a treatise on that system; also reporter of a volume of debates in the Constitutional Convention of Missouri; and wrote or adapted for the stage, several plays, among them

« PreviousContinue »