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hallow the past. The same truthfulness of motive is characteristic of all his verses, even when his abounding humor ripples into song. This nobility of purpose and excellence of execution are the qualities which make those familiar with his work enthusiastic admirers. His shorter lyrics published in the leading magazines have always been widely praised and copied; and the fervent patri. otism that pulsates through his poems has caused his selection as poet on many distinguished occa. sions, notably at the Newburg Centennial, over which President Arthur presided and at which Senator Evarts and Senator Bayard were the chief orators. The success of “The Long Drama" read by Mr. Bruce was by common con. sent the triumph of the celebration. In 1887, “The Candle Parade" delivered before the Society of the Army of the Potomac was received with like acclaim. Happiest of all these efforts perhaps was his masterly production in 1880 at the Dedication of the Statue of Robert Burns in Central Park, New York, when George William Curtis gave the oration. The sincerity and music of his utterance cannot fail at any time to excite appreciation. His popularity will increase with the years, for his poems have the grace of the scholar, the heart of the toiler and the soul of the dreamer.
R. B. M.
THE OLD HOMESTEAD.
HE Hon. Wallace Bruce whose recent appoint.
ment to the Consulate of Leith, Scotland, has been received with such marked satisfaction by the best elements of all parties, is a literary man of whom it may be said that personal association with him is as great a privilege as his poems are a delight. At his home in Poughkeepsie he is idolized by his fellow citizens, and at his winter place, Dream Cottage, Defuniak Springs, Florida, he is equally popular. Indeed his poetical works are but the reflection or rather the outpouring of that fine, generous, and sunny nature which has all his life endeared him to his friends, and, at forty, has kept fresh and unsullied the high ideals of his youth. Is it any wonder that his songs, coming as they do from such a source, have the all brightness of springtime and the music of hope? Well may Yale be proud of the son whom in 1867 she sent forth to fulfill in the great world the promise foreshadowed in the triumphs of his university course. In his case assuredly the boy was father to the man, for dur. ing his college years, so great was his literary reputation that by the undisputed choice of his fellow students, he became Chief Editor of the Yale Lit; one of the most coveted honors of the undergratuate career in that institution.
After taking his degree, Mr. Bruce determined to devote himself to a life of letters, and it was not long before his poems, essays and addresses brought him into national notice. The Bryant Literary Union of New York secured his services at once, and his lectures delivered under the auspices of that organization on Robert Burns,"
Ready Wit,” “ Native Mettle," " Landmarks of Scott," “ Washington Irving,” and “ Womanhood in Shakespeare,” have delighted thousands of his fellow countrymen.
United with a magnetic presence, his wit, humor, fancy, pathos and logic clothed in a diction as clean-cut as a cameo, render him a moving and resistless orator.
It is as a poet, however, that his genius shines with clearest lustre. Disregarding the mannerisms and conceits of the present school, whose productions are at best but ephemeral, he has held fast to old standards, and struck a tone whose echo is destined to vibrate in the hearts of listeners, now and hereafter. His claim on the future is the adequateness with which he celebrates enduring sentiments. No American poet of this generation, not even Whittier, has set to sweeter music the lender memories of home. Without the broad effects of Will Carleton or the stilted moralizing of Longfellow, Wallace Bruce's “Old Homestead Poems" have that delicacy of fancy, sincerity of expression, and depth of feeling which give fitting utterance to the vague sanctity with which we
WELCOME, ye pleasant dales and hills,
Where, dreamlike, passed my early days! Ye cliffs and glens and laughing rills
That sing unconscious hymns of praise! Welcome, ye woods, with tranquil bowers
Embathed in autumn's mellow sheen, Where careless childhood gathered flowers,
And slept on mossy carpets green!
The same bright sunlight gently plays
About the porch and orchard trees; The garden sleeps in noontide haze,
Lulled by the murmuring of the bees; The sloping meadows stretch away
To upland field and wooded hill; The soft blue sky of peaceful day
Looks down upon the homestead still.
I hear the humming of the wheel
Strange music of the days gone by: I hear the clicking of the reel;
Once more I see the spindle fly. How, then, I wondered at the thread
That narrowed from the snowy wool, Much more to see the pieces wed,
And wind upon the whirling spool'
l'pon this truth we take our stand,
And the dream of the boy, that melted away
Is embodied at last in enduring stone,
And the man toils on.
With cheery voice, with generous heart,
THE SNOW ANGEL.
Old Brattleboro rang with glee;
Joy ruled each hearth and Christmas-tree. But to one the bells and mirth were naught: His soul with deeper joy was fraught.
He waited until the guests were gone;
And the night wore on.
A STAR-EYED DAISY.
SAN MARCO, ST. AUGUSTINE.
(Tri-Centennial Aniversary, 1886.) Ensigns of empires flaunt thy fanking wall,
Grim ancient warders guard thy storied gate,
Loud Babeled centuries at thy bastions wait On Spanish, French, and English seneschal. Rich yellow folds of Castile's haughty state,
Fair Fleur de Lys from proud Parisian hall,
St. George's Cross triumphant o'er them all, Recall long years of fierce and bloody hate. But now the star-eyed daisy lifts its form
From crevice, chink, and crumbling parapet;
Bright banneret which Nature kindly rears,
Alone he stands in the silent night;
He piles the snow in the village square; With spade for chisel, a statue white
From the crystal quarry rises fair.
The sky is draped with fleecy lawn,
But the lad toils on.
A CHRISTMAS STORY.
And lo! in the morn the people came
To gaze at the wondrous vision there; And they call it The Angel," divining its name,
For it came in silence and unaware.
But its features wasted beneath the sun;
And the lad dreamed on.
And his dream was this: In the years to be
I will carve the Angel in lasting stone;
I will toil in darkness, will dream alone.
There's nothing desired beneath star or sun
And the boy toiled on.
You say you want a Meetin'-house for the boys in:
the gulch up there, And a Sunday-school with pictur'-books? Well,
put me down for a share. I believe in little children; it's as nice to hear 'em
read As to wander round the ranch at noon and see the
cattle feed. And I believe in preachin' tooby men for preach
in' born, Who let alone the husks of creed and measure out
the corn. The pulpit's but a manger where the pews are
Gospel-fed ; And they say 'twas to a manger that the Star of
Glory led. So I'll subscribe a dollar toward the manger and
the stalls; I always give the best I've got whenever my part
ner calls. And, stranger, let me tell you: I'm beginning to
suspect That all the world are partners, whatever their
creed or sect;
The years go by. He has wrought with might;
He has gained renown in the land of art; But the thought inspired that Christmas night
Still kept its place in the sculptor's heart;