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kindly modest poet stood up, overwhelmed with JAMES NEWTON MATTHEWS.

gratitude, his wife and boys by his side, his eyes UR Poet of the Prairies and the accepted

wet with honest tears, his voice faltering into OUR

broken accents as he asked: “Friends, what have master of verse in the Mississippi Valley lives in southern Illinois, a mile from the typical Speaking for all, “ Matthews you have loved.”.

I done to deserve all this?" Then answered one, old time town of Mason. On his own farm, in an

R, M. idyllic spot smothered in orchards, balmy with the breath of wind-whipped pines, stands his home. Here he lives with a fair, gentle wife and two

THE SPIRIT OF POETRY. bright boys. Into this cove of quiet comes troops of friends every season for rest and comradeship.

She steers the stars through Heaven's azure deep; Here gather men and women of national fame to

She lifts the leaden eyelids of the morn; share the medicinal calm of his serene spirit. On distant hills she winds the hunter's horn, Here he was born, here for thirty-six years he has And wakes the lonely shepherd from his sleep; lived, and here he will die. He is the physician She scales the dizzy ledge where torrents leap, for the whole country side. The healer, helper, And hangs the bloom upon the bristling thorn; guide and friend of all. He is beloved by everyone She sits for hours in solitudes forlorn, for his sympathy and skill. These plain people

With downcast eyes, where hapless lovers weep. know little of his far-reaching fame, and wonder

When Spring comes up the vale in Winter's trace, why strangers come so far to his door. They

She plucks the blossom from the bud's embrace; sometimes ask if the city folk come to him to be

She binds the golden girdle round the bee, treated. Matthews' poetry is the joint product of his per

And lends the lily's lustre to the pea; sonality and his surroundings. No one else could

She curves the swallow's wing, and guides its write it. He could write it nowhere else. His re

flight, tiring but fearless soul looks out from eyes eloquent And tips the dewy meads with twinkling light. and deep as the wells of Gaza. Of medium stature She rides, she revels on the rushing storm, and slight build he wears ever that nameless charm She suns her pinions on the rainbow's rimcalled magnetism. His tenderness impels him to She laves in mountain pools her snowy limb, lift a road-weary child into his cart and carry the As sweetly chaste as Dian and as warm; lad for miles just for love of it. His manly sim

In summer fields she bares her blushing arm, plicity draws his friends from far and holds them

And sings among the reapers. By the dim forever. He gathers similes on the shores of life

Light of autumnal moons, her tresses swim as a child finds shells on the beach. He has trcasures of trope and figure but Fancy the falcon sits

On gales Lethean, with assuasive charm. ever on the wrist of Fact and flies never beyond

Into the chamber of the alchemist the tinkle of his silver bell. His choice language

She peers, or, through some half-closed lattice, ever adorns his chaste thought. He scorns to hang the patched and seamy stable smock of dialect on Her lover by the wanton night wind kissed. a noble sentiment, but folds the classic drapery of Anon, she walks the dim Hesperides, speech about his thought, as flows the cinctured Or, mingling with the spirits of the mist, tunic round the languorous poses of a white-limbed Dances at will along the darkling seas. odalisque. He loves Nature in her gentle moods, his eye marks where the tides of spring's new life

A LEGEND BEAUTIFUL. chase o'er coral reefs of spice buds into surf of dogwood bloom. His poems are steeped to the 'Twas thus the Dervish spake: Upon our right, lips in summer like poppies in a sea of corn. He There stands, unseen, an angel with a pen, is an unflagging student, a graduate of the Univer- Who notes down each good deed of ours, and then sity of Illinois, and has not yet reached the meridian

Seals it with kisses in the Master's sight. of his powers. His book " Tempe Vale, and Other

L'pon our left a sister-angel sweet Poeins," had a fine sale, and able critics say it has

Keeps daily record of each evil act, the actual poetic stuff. A year ago Mr. Matthews' neighbors gave

But, great with love, folds not the mournful sheet a festival in his honor. Thousands assembled

Till deepest midnight, when, if conscienceat his home, hundreds of marching children strewed

racked, garlands in the way. Noted guests from aíar were

We list to Allah our repentant hands, there; clerics, lawyers, merchants, statesmen, liter- She smiles and blots the record where she stands; ati attended. It was a spontaneous geyser out- But if we seek not pardon for our sin, How of the friendship of the west. Amid it all the ! She seals it with a tear, and hands it in."


A NOCTURNE. All things that we can hear or see, To-night, seem happy. Every tree

Is palpitant with voice and wing,

And vibrant with the breathing spring.
The very grass is tremulous
With music, floating up to us,

So softly, spiritu'lly clear,

We seem to feel it-not to hear. The moonlight's luster leaking through "The bending blossoms, pearled with dew,

Is so delicious, so divine,

We quaff its splendor like a wine. Only the faintest wind is curled About the pale, enamored world,

And drowsy perfumes slip and drip

From every pansy's pouting lip. Starlight, and melody and dreams! The lover's and the poet's themes,

The same that once entranced and won

The listening maids of Babylon-
That charm'd the ear, and caught the smiles
Of Beauty in the Grecian Isles,-

That lulled in old Italian dells
The Roman lads and damosels.

On such enchanting nights as these,
Our spirits, for a moment, seize

The ravishment of life that runs

Exuberant, thro' stars and suns; And as we catch the whirl and whir, The planetary pulse and stir,

We break the seals of sense, and scan The majesty of God and man.


Here lived the slayer, and there the slain,

With barely an acre of ground between; 'Twas night! they stood in the wind and rain, And quarrelled,-next morning a ghastly stain

Of blood on the meadow-grass was seen.

And one was dead, and one had fled,

And all night long the mourners wept; The widow wailed in the dusk by the dead, And the wife of the slayer shook with dread,

And the north-wind over the chimney swept.

And these were farmers, and these were friends,

Friends, I say, till that night in the Fall; Too proud was the one to make amends For a foolish wrong, and the bloody ends

Of passion followed, with grief and gall.

Then a gibbet loomed in the dusky sky,

And a blue-eyed orphan pierced the night
With desolate sobs, and a mother's cry
Outrang the blast, as it whistled by,

In its wild, unbridled flight.
They laid the slayer not far from the slain,

In the village church-yard, under the hill,
And the meadows of death were dearth of grain,
And the winds blew over the unplowed plain,

For the hands of the husbandmen were still. I passed by the crumbling huts, to-day,

And birds were out, and the land was green; Two women withered, and bent, and gray, Sat, each in the shade of her own doorway,

And children played on the ground between.


O BABYLON, O Babylon,

The Lord hath made His purpose known; His anger, like a seething sea,

Swells at thy gate,

And Sodom's fate
Alas, proud city, is reserved for thee.

O Babylon, O Babylon,

Soon, soon, thy glory shall be gone; Beneath thy Godless roofs shall run

E'en the warm blood

Of motherhood, And none escape His vengeance-nay, not one!

O Babylon, O Babylon,

Never again as years go on,
Shall shepherds fold their flocks by thee;

Nor Arab pitch

His tent, nor hitch
His camel by thy cool pomegranate tree.

O Babylon, O Babylon,

The winds shall o'er thy ruins moan; Within thy desolated halls,

Shall flit the owl,

And wild beasts prowl,
And dancing satyrs hold their carnivals.


When drowsy Day draws round his downy bed
The Tyrian tapestries of gold and red,

And, weary of his flight,
Puts out the palace light,-

'Tis night!

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Down in the Barrington meadows the flowers are

nursed In the poisonous blood-wet loam of a land accursed, And rank as death is the pool at the root of the

reed, Where drinks each night the wraith of the flying



The road, like a ribbon unspooled, to the mill.

-'Way Down in Spice Valley.




'Way down in Spice Valley, Old Time falls asleep, With his head on the sward, in a slumber so deep That the birds cannot wake him, with melodies

blithe, And the long valley-grasses grow over his scythe, And Summer kneels down in her long golden gown, On a carpet of green, where the skies never frown, 'Way down in Spice Valley.

- lbid.


O, the old house-fly! O, the brave house-fly!
A straddling o'er the butter-dish, a sprawling o'er

the pie,A jogging thro' the jell and jam, and jouncing

round the cream, As prone to risk a summer sail upon the milky

stream; A roving life the rascal leads thro' all the rosy

hours, A sipping only of the sweets, and skipping all the

sours; A button-headed roustabout, a lover light and

bold, Who revels on the ripest lips that mortal eyes

behold; Who clambers up the softest cheek, and up the

whitest arm, And loiters on the fairest breast that ever love

made warm; Then throw the shutters open wide, and lift the

windows high, Let out the silence and the gloom, let in the jolly fly.

- The Old House-Fly.

ARRISON S. MORRIS was born in Philadel.

phia in 1856, and almost before he had come to years of manhood, gave evidence of that strong poetic sense which has since been a large factor in his life. The Centennial Exhibition of 1876, which did so much to enlarge American ideas, affected Mr. Morris' imagination powerfully, and in the descriptive letters which he contributed to the press at that time may be noted the beginnings of the pictorial power afterwards so finely developed in his verse. Mr. Morris' verse, at first fragmentary, soon attracted attention; it had in it that vital breath of Nature and the testimony of keen delight in her outward manifestations which must ever find an echo in the hearts of humanity; and when in 1883, in conjunction with a literary friend, he published a slender volume with the title: “A Duet in Lyrics,” the quality of his verse was felt to be fine in both thought and execution. In common with some of the loftiest of recent poets, Mr. Morris has fallen under the spell of Keats, but though he has absorbed the spirit of that master through the years of loving study which he has given to him, he has retained a strong indi iduality; his note is distinctly his own, and the felicities of expression with which the reader of his poetry is continually struck are found upon analysis to be the outcome of a wholly original inspiration.

The symbolism of Nature appeals strongly to Mr. Morris, and its expression is frequently recurrent in his work, which, though inspired by so

something deeper and better than a mere desire for metrical correctness, shows a high degree of outward polish and the carefullest craftsmanship. This external finish is especially noticeable in the old French forms into which, in his lighter moods, he has occasionally wandered.

Mr. Morris is identified with all that is best in the intellectual life of Philadelphia. He is a member of that literary coterie which is gradually restoring to the city its lost prestige, and to none more than to him may the friends of a true culture look with an abiding confidence. F. H. W.

INDIAN SUMMER. It was as if some sudden shock Had stopped the wheels of Nature's clock An instant, ere the flying year Sent forth his trumpeters to blow The signals of approaching snow.

- Indian Summer.


To-morrow comes, to-morrow goes,

But yesterday returns no more;
We meet with these, we part with those,

And eyes are dim, and hearts are sore;
A blinding mist obscures my sight,

My senses with their burden pall,-
Time halts not in his rapid flight,
Good-night, and joy be with you all.

- Good-night, and Joy be With You All.

WINTER'S SECRETS. WINTER, thou and I are boon; With the wind and frozen moon, And the thaw and forest drip, I hold secret fellowship! When the trees stand bleak arowSummer skeletons-1 go Down their broken arches singing Songs of snow and tempest wringing; Or I stand upon a rise Underneath the hushed skies,

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