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ALLEN EASTMAN CROSS.
He ne'er has met-'tis Death is calling low. And still in measured beat recurs the toll-The wailing bells salute a passing soul.
But air and sympathy can ne'er control
LLEN EASTMAN CROSS was born in Man
chester, New Hampshire, December 30, 1864. He graduated from the Manchester high school with honors in 1881, and from Phillips Academy in 1882. He enterd Amherst College in 1882. The attention of his friends and college mates was first attracted to him, as a young poet of promise, by the appearance, in the Boston Journal (July 25, 1885), of a poem entitled “ Mt. McGregor," on the death of Grant. Devoting much of his senior year to the course in English literature, his style was developed into one of considerable beauty and power. The publication, in the Amherst Literary Monthly and current maga. zines, of occasional poems and sonnets on the Madonna faces of certain of the old masters, led to his unanimous election as class poet. A part of his class poem “The Amherst Hills,” was afterward published in the New England Magazine.
After graduating at Amherst in 1886, Mr. Cross continued his studies in Andover. His poems exhibit a spontaneity in the subjects chosen as well as in their treatment. Back of all the mere expression of the thought and sentiment, there is in all his poetry a depth of purpose, a sincere enthusiasm, an earnest vitality, and a deep spirituality, which will do much to overcome any present crudities of expression and carelessness of rhythm.
G. F. K.
TO THE AMHERST HILLS. Hills to the North! where, a slumbering lion,
Tobey lies couched in his carven pride, Unto eternity your inspiration
For the beholder still shall abide.
Oft have I wandered your mighty sides over,
Felt the wild vigor your summit gives, Climbed o'er your rocky spurs, roamed through
your gorges, Lived the sweet life that a dreamer lives.
Hills to the East! where the early arbutus
Tenderly trails o'er your pastured lands, Where, with its glory and crowning of spruces,
High o'er the Orient, Pisgah stands.
Hills to the South! your most beautiful ramparts
Come to my eyes whene'er I recall
Happy art thou in thy Southern wall.
MT. MCGREGOR. I SEE a young Lieutenant, fresh from books But bolder than a warrior in his looks, More eager than the oldest veteran To brook the insult of the Mexican; Yet even as I gaze I hear a tollThe wailing bells salute a passing soul.
Like a high soul, that from struggle and sorrow
Gaineth a sweetness more pure and fine, So hath this rampart, ice-worn and storm-riven,
Grown to a lovliness more divine.
Hills to the West! but a curtain of beauty
Suddenly rises before mine eyes, For on the nearer and drearer horizon
Views of the College of love arise.
Again the vision rises, and I see,
I can not look to those far away hill-tops,
When in the interval thou art seen, Beautiful Hampton! the queen of the valley,
Amherst, the prince, saluteth its queen.
Lo! it is sunset; again I am standing
On the high lookout of college tower; Over the meadows the bell of old Hadley
Softly proclaimeth the twilight hour. Up to the North where Sugar-loaf mountain
Raises its table-bluff stern and bold, Loneliest monarchs of light and of darkness
Seem to be laying their cloth of gold.
There is a nook, where blows the highland air For healing; and they sadly led him there Awhile to rest, for more resistless foe
By heroic hearts 'tis counted as a crown,
That there floweth world-wide sorrow,
While a love, no prince could borrow, Doth afford the tenderest homage of renown. Call a truce for sorrow, Freedom, in the fray! For a leader hath been summoned home to-day;
And the arms of Freemen, trailing,
Mark the honor, never failing When a great courageous heart hath passed away.
MATER DOLOROSA, OF GUIDO RENI. There is a holy calm in her deep eyesThe ebon cup of some dark pool is still, And all the moveless freight of stars which fill Its depths doth tell of that dark dome that lies So far above it; but the silent skies And their mute starry mirror have no speech Or pleading eloquence that so can reach The human heart as that of her deep eyes. Oh Grieving Mother, hath the earth no charm Or solace for thee that for evermore Thy raised immortal eyes should thus implore The smile of thy blessed son; and is the calm That rests within them but the fond light thrown From His dear eyes and imaged in thine own?
SISTINE MADONNA, OF RAPHAEL. A TWILIGHT star that rests above the steep Of yonder mountain as the sun goes down Hath stilly resting, for the heavens drown The bustle of our world. They may not keep A sound so petty in their spacious deep; They know no hurry; passionless and still Their far dark spaces rest, and lights which fill Their tranquil chambers are as if asleep. O Virgin Mother, thou hast purity O’ermatching e'en the heavens still remove From taint of earth. Blest Child, a deity Is in thine eyes; and in the trusting love Of each for each, the wrapt serenity Of your repose is as a star above.
Thus while the waning light falls upon Amherst,
The hills round about in their glory stand, Happy old Amherst, they fitly may symbol Thy beauty and strength, that is still more
TO EMMA LAZARUS. On reading “By the waters of Babylon," in the Century
In dead, dull days I heard a ringing cry
Borne on the careless winds-a nation's pain,
A woman's sorrow in a poet's strain
“ In this sweet singer once again The powers of prophet and of psalmist lie."
Rachel of Judah! ever mournful, sad
Must be the heart which thy lamenting hears; Singer of Israel! ever proud and glad
We hail a nation's hope that thus appears; Sad mourners by the waters! ye have had
A poet's sweetest solace for your tears.
CRADDOCK'S “IN THE TENNESSEE
Sons of the mountains, be ye also glad;
THE DEAD STATESMAN.
On the Death of John Bright.
And, for human right defended,
Though his battle now be ended, Wreathe the laurel for a soldier of the Lord.
MATER AMABILIS. Mater Amabilis, thy dark, sweet eyes Have made me purer with their tender shade; Upon my soul their holy spell is laid; May it rest there forever, 'till there lies The same deep power of tenderness in me, And I attain thy sweet benignity.
- Mater Amabilis of Sassoferrato.
FRANCIS SALTUS SALTUS. .
never so strongly demonstrated, as in the life and work of Francis Saltus Saltus, whose silent form has just been laid at rest amid the cool greenness of the cemetery in Sleepy Hollow. Born in New York, Nov. 23, 1849, educated at a leading institute of that city, and also in Paris, France, he early evinced his literary gift, by winning prize after prize in those schools. At the completion of his studies, he traveled extensively in Europe, extending his journeyings to Siberia, the classic portions of Western Asia, and Egypt. During this time, he made himself familiar with the languages of the countries he visited, speaking and writing fluently in French, Italian, Spanish, German, Dutch, Danish, Swedish and Russian, as well as in many of the different dialects common to those nations, and he was also a thorough Greek, Latin and Hebrew scholar. Thus it will be seen that he was better equipped for the litetary life, both by acquaintance with other languages and literatures, and personal observations of the life and surroundings of different people, than are most authors; and the phenomenal amount of work that he left, shows that he made good use of his opportunities. His literary life may be said to begin with the appearance of his first volume of poems, “Honey and Gall," published in 1873, and since then he has written incessantly, the list of his unpublished work being simply immense. Here it is: Volumes of poetry ready for the press: “ The Witch of Endor, and fifty long poems on Biblical Subjects; “ Flask and Flagon;" “ Poems of Places;”. Pastels and Profiles;' Flower and Thorn;" “Flesh and Spirit;" Moods of Madness;" Songs of Sin;" “ Sonnets;" an un-named volume of French poetry, and two volumes of humorous poetry. In prose, he has written, and left ready for publication, "A Life of Donizetti," an exhaustive work that will make eight hundred printed pages; a “Life of Rossini;” “ Kings of Song;” monographs on Bellini and Mercadante; “Great Baritones;" mance of the Opera;” a musical dictionary, and over one thousand musical sketches. In humorous prose, comic histories of France, Greece, Germany, England and Rome, and a comic “Robinson Cruso," and more than one thousand comic sketches. His published works are Honey and Gall," a volume of poems; a comic history of the United States; a large number of humorous poems over the pseudonym of Cupid Jones; many stories, sketches, novelettes, editorials and reviews; and innumerable skits of from three to five lines, such as are now so current in our light literature journals.
But while so fertile in literature, his brain was equally active in music, and as a pianist he was
surpassed only by the great performers, while as. an improvisatore he had no rival. His musical compositions, which follow the pure Italian school, are always melodious and touching, and often evince a grandeur and nobility that is indeed soulmoving. He wrote a grand opera in four acts, entitled “ Joan of Arc;" a serious opera entitled “Marie Stuart;" four comic operas, and six hundred pieces of fugitive music.
When it is considered that the real literary life of Saltus began in 1873, and that it ended June 25, 1889, when death's shadow fell across his path, the amount of work that he did was simply wonderful. His readiness in all branches of literary work, was. astonishing. A half dozen sonnets at a sitting; fifty or one hundred witty skits in an afternoon; a poem of a thousand lines in a week, with stories, sketches, editorials and reviews thrown off during the time as rests. To give a full judgment of his work in any limited space is impossible, and a rapid summing up is all that can be accomplished. As a poet, it is not too much to say that his was the greatest poetic genius that America has produced. That it has not won to that recognition which this statement would seem to demand, is the result of circumstances easily explained. Educated in France, his mind early seized upon the strangely weird work of Baudelaire and Gautier, and his strong imagination made his treatment of the themes he chose, antagonistic to the received thought of his native land. He had no reveration for the things known as sacred, but this must not be considered to imply that his poetry is not pure and noble. That he gave new and strange versions of the old Biblical records, did not prevent these melodious and imaginative poems from being as delightful in imagery and language
can be desired. His command of language was marvellous, and his use of rhythm was a revelation. Words, rhythms and melodies were as plastic in his hands, as is clay to the touch of the potter. If the poems of Saltus are ever published in complete form, they will win even greater praise than has been here accorded them, for while they run far beyond the ruts, and have an andacious originality of thought and theme that will awaken antagonism, the beauty of their workmanship, and the poetic fire that inspires them, will have to be acknowledged.
But while the poetry of Saltus is undoubtedly his highest gift, the beauty and strength of his music is even as wonderful. Melody in word or tone was the ruling essence of his spirit. The operas, “Joan of Arc,” and “Marie Stuart,” are superb specimens of musical composition. There are solos, duets and choruses in them, as beautiful and harmonious as are those of the great masters of melody
T. S. C.
Thrilled by his touch, a sense I never knew Sudden within my callous fibres grew,
Warning my spirit he was pure and good. And I could feel that he was Christ divine, And that a deathless honor then was mine,
In one dark instant I had understood!
But on one eve, strange men with shining blades, Passed like a boisterous tempest thro' the glades,
And paused before my beauty fair and tall: And one, rough-voiced, with large, admiring eyes, Counting my branches that assailed the skies,
Cried “ Seek no further, this good tree must fall!" Then to the core they struck me with sharp steel; I felt the sap within my veins congeal,
I writhed and moaned at every savage blow. And I whose strength had braved the fiercest
storm, Tottered and fell, a mutilated form,
While all the forest waved its leaves in woe!
Thraucous shouts of thousands rent the air, When on his outraged shoulders, scourged and
bare, He bore to dismal Calvary and night My pondrous weight, my all-unhallowed mass, While I, God-strengthened, strove and strove, alas,
Without a hope, to make the burden light.
He perished on my heart, and heard the moan That shuddered thro' me, he, and he alone.
But no man heard the promise he gave me Of sweetest pardon, nor did any mark His pitying smile that aureoled the dark
For me, in that wild hour on Calvary!
Then fashioning from my boughs with rough, swift
hands, A cross colossal, girt with iron bands,
They dragged me in my pitiful disgrace, Down to the holy town Jerusalem, There to give death to those the laws condemn,
And placed me in a sad, accurséd place.
When tender women's hands that sought to save, Had carried his sweet body to the grave,
A streak of flame hissed forth from heaven and
My trunk with one annihilating blow,
That I was nothing, and God was content.
Defiled, I stood there, mourning for my leaves, While on my breast they nailed the city's thieves,
With livid martyrs and assassins grim, Who rent the air with horrid cries of pain, Lingering upon me, calling death in vain, Crow-gnawed and shivering in each tortured
But He who punished my sad sin with fire,
And mercifully bade my soul revive,
Once more with resurrected leaves to thrive!
Severe and constant were the dread decrees Of Pontius Pilate, and the agonies
Of countless victims granted me no rest: