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ELIZA ALLEN STARR.

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LIZA ALLEN STARR was born in Deerfield,

Massachusetts, in 1824. The founder of the family in America, Dr. Comfort Starr of Ashford, County Kent, England, came to Cambridge, Mass., in 1634. His son, the Rev. Comfort Starr, D. D., was graduated from Harvard University in 1647 and was one of the five Fellows named in the College Charter dated May 1oth, 1650. On the maternal side Miss Starr is descended from the “ Allens of the Bars" — originally of Chelmsford, Essex - distinguished in the colonial history of Deerfield from the time of King Philip's war. The domestic atmosphere Miss Starr breathed from childhood was of that rarer sort in which heart and mind alike develop vigorously, stimulated by the tenderest family affection, union of intellectual interests and a noble ideal of social obligations; while the love of, and familiarity with nature, so noticeable in her poems, and her highly cultivated artistic sense, found their first discipline in the woods and vales, the picturesque surroundings and traditions of her New England birthplace. While still in early womanhood she passed from the scholarly influences of the home circle to enjoy all that was best in Boston culture, and to profit also by the intellectual resources of Philadelphia, where her cousin, George Allen, LL.D., was Professor of Greek and Latin in the University of Pennsylvania. In the latter city Miss Start was privileged to number among her most intimate friends the illustrous Archbishop Kenrick, most widely known, perhaps, through his translation of the Holy Scriptures. With his encouragement several of her earlier poems found their way into print, and the influence of the same learned prelate introduced her to those deeper studies which eventually led her into the Catholic Church. When some years later the family settled in the West, Miss Starr, while continuing always her purely literary pursuits, began the special art work with which her name is inseparably associated - a work in scope, form and execution entirely unique. This work is not confined to the very original articles upon art and artists from her pen with which readers of various periodi. cals are familiar, nor to the training of pupils in drawing and painting, but has its chief development in the inimitable lectures given in her studio, and, sometimes, at the houses of friends in Chicago and elsewhere.

In 1867 Miss Starr published a volume of poems which was most favorably received, and, later, two delightful books entitled “ Patron Saints." A sharer in the terrible experiences of the great Chicago fire of 1871, our author, as soon as circumstances permitted, resumed her labors and was enabled in 1875 to visit Europe. After a prolonged stay abroad “ Pilgrims and Shrines " was given to the public, a

most original and altogether charming contribution to art literature. The “ Songs of a Lifetime" is her latest publication.

Miss Starr's quaintly beautiful home is a treasurehouse of the “ Ideas,” which, as she strongly expresses it, “must make the first furnishing of a home"

- a centre of art and education, of benevolent enterprises and social influence, the highest charm of which is the remarkable personality of its venerated mistress.

E. A. C.

THE FIRST SNOWFLAKE.
I well remember how, a girl,
I watched the first fair snowflake whirl
From cold November's evening sky,
With pensive mind and thoughtful eye,
And, almost hour by hour, would peer
Through the gray, snowy atmosphere,
For Leyden hills of distant blue,
For Hoosac hills and pastures too,
And the pale gleam of tombstone's chill
Upon the lonely burying hill;
For many a homestead's chimney dear
In village far, or village near,
And catch the first far candle's light
That glimmered through the coming night,

And now, though I no longer dwell
Among those scenes I loved so well,
The first snowflake I never see
Fall, softly, through the air to me,
But once, once more I nestle down
A child among the homesteads brown,
And by the same broad windows lean
To watch the twilight's pensive scene.
How many a mossy roof I fain
Would stand beneath but once again!
How many a fireside's mirth would share,
Its last affliction or its care;
Its changes sad, or changes gay,
Its marriage feast and holiday;
Its children, I have never seen,
But whom I still should know, I ween;
And in a kindly gossip spend
A pleasant evening with a friend.

And often do I close my eyes
Upon the world's old vanities;
The sigh for wealth, the pride of place,
Not fear of sin but sin's disgrace;
And, leaving living foe or friend,
Above those grass-grown hillocks bend,
Where slumbers on the darling dust
In which affection put its trust;
The fair, fresh face of joyous youth,

And all their gold and crimson banners tost On the wild wind, like some victorious host.

REQUIESCAT. POPPIES,” she said and sighed; Sighed, too, as if she needed rest, This woman in life's beauty and life's pride,

Whom all the world called, blest.

Swiftly the summer sped:

Yet ere the August days had passed Friends whispered to each other" She is dead;

The high tide could not last."

Love strewed her couch with bloom;

Laid rose and pansy on her breast, Who took so gently to that silent room

White poppies ? Dear one, rest!

VIOLETS. So fair the life, so calm the heavenly sense Of holy hearts, dear hearts of innocence, Within whose artless thoughts, like odorous bells, Such placid hopes, such mild contentment dwells; Their joys, unsought, in steadfast peace abide, The rarest blooms of love untouched by pride.

-A Bed of Wild Violets.

MEMORY.
The sodded graves on many a hillside fair
'Neath monumental marbles set with care,
The sunny prairie's gayly flowering swell,
The silent copse or melancholy dell,
And thy dread deeps, O surging, wintry sea,
Give up their dead to spend this hour with me.

- Tlæ Parlor Andirons.

PATIENCE.
The noonday sunshine, calm and warm,

Is pausing on the stair,-
My heart with all its memories

Is also pausing there,
Recalling one whose weary tread

Came less from years than care;
But a world of patient love was in
That slow step on the stair.

-Six Stone Steps.
PASCHAL FLOWER.
From a crown of pale leaves like the thorny,

Dry crown of the passion,
Springs a fresh, tender, purple corolla,

In grace and fair fashion
Like the crocus, save as in wild roses
Are clustered its anthers.

- The Paschal Floreer.

The heart which kept its guileless truth;
The placid face of patient age,
The matron mild, the hoary sage;
And wet again with faithful tears,
The graves I have not seen for years.

IN THE TIMBER.

THE woods so strangely solemn and majestic,

The awful noontide twilight ’neath grand trees, The hush like that of holy haunts monastic,

While mighty branches, lifting with the breeze, Give glimpses of high heaven's cerulean sheen The autumn-tinted leaves and boughs between

Thus stands the picture. From the homestead door,

Close in the timber's edge, I strayed one day To yonder knoll, where — as to some calm shore

A well-worn bark might drift in its decay A great man lies in pulseless, dreamless sleep, O'er which two oaks untiring sentry keep.

A few fresh flowers, with reverent hand, I placed

Upon the grave — he loved fair nature's lore – And with a quickened memory retraced

Our dear old village history once more;
Made up of all the close familiar ties
Of common country, lot, and families.

Then, from the knoll, a greensward path I took

Between the sunny cornfields and the wood, With southern aspect and a fair off-look;

Till suddenly, with pulse hushed, I stood Beneath a fretted vault, where branches high Wove their bright tufts of crimson with blue sky.

The sombrous twilight with a breathless awe

Fell on my heart; the last year's rotting leaves Strewed thickly the soft turf, on which I saw Shy stalks of dark-stemmed maiden-hair in

threes; While round me rose huge oaks, whose giant forms Had wrestled with a century's winds and storms.

For life was there, strong life and struggle; scars

Seamed the firm bark closed over many a wound Borne 'neath the tranquil eye of heaven's far stars;

For in their woe the oaks stood, never swooned:The great trunks writhed and twisted, groaned,

then rose To nobler height and loftier repose.

Faint heart, weak faith! How oft in weary pain,

In lifelong strife with hell's deceitful power, I turn me to the brave old woods again,

Whose leafy coronals exultant tower,

HOPE .

FRANCIS HOWARD WILLIAMS.

verse.

Too subtle for complaint, subdued for tears,
The grief which makes that chastened face so

pale, And thins the air those patient lips inhale; Yet that meek grief some holy solace hears, A far-off hope the enduring spirit cheer, For “Heaven has promised peace, though all the world should fail."

- Sonnet.

LOSS.
Blessed in receiving; O, how blessed in using!
Yet, God may see, more blessèd still in losing.

-Loss.
GIFTS.
They have no value in a worldly mart;
The mint which coins them is a loving heart:
They have no price in silver or in gold,
Because too precious to be bought or sold.

- Cousin Mary's Gifts.

OCTOBER.
The swiftly changing splendors of the leaf
We watch with tender sighs of pitying grief;

With sighs — perchance with tears,

And close pursuing fears; For with each leaf that flushes on the tree, Some life, as dear as thine, O friend, to me, Gleams with strange beauty; shivers with strange

dread; Then falls, another trophy, with the dead;

Some heart, too, in its prayer, Sighs. Teach me how this precious life to spare!

- October. WILD COLUMBINE. Five ruddy nectaries, golden-mouthed; five wings

Ruddy as seraphs basking in God's smile,
With golden anthers clustered on one style;
All in a pendent flower

That swings,
Swings by the hour,
Just at my window-sill;

For even when the very air is still,
Some breath, or mere pulsation, rings
Those five bells, golden-mouthed with wings.

- The Wild Columbine. BROTHER

Life's dropping sands
Turn backward as I take your merry spoils;

And we, forgetting years and cares and toils,
Again are children for a little while
With hearts which rustic pleasures can beguile:

For with them comes what time and sorrow foils, The hedge-row's sunshine in a Brother's smile.

- To My Brother.

F
RANCIS HOWARD WILLIAMS, well known

as poet and critic, is a native of Philadelphia. Although he had previously contributed occasional verse to periodicals, his literary career may be said to have begun with the publication, in 1880, of his dramatic poem “ The Princess Elizabeth," which was at once recognized as occupying a high place in the department of historic drama and as showing a mastery of the standard forms of English

The book received from the leading English critical reviews, as well as from the press of this country, high encomiums. It was followed by

· Theodora: a Christmas Pastoral," a work of imaginative character, written on lines entirely different from the author's previous efforts and containing several songs which showed felicity in handling purely lyric measures. Mr. Williams' exacting duties as book reviewer of a leading Philadelphia daily did not prevent him from publishing two satirical plays in prose, namely, “The Higher Education,” touching upon an advanced curriculum for women, and "A Reformer in Ruffles," dealing with the question of woman's suffrage. These comedies were successful, but the author res garded verse as his natural medium and continued to produce numerous poems, notably a considerable body of sonnets some of which have already appeared in the magazines, and several longer poems in narrative form as well as a number of purely lyrical pieces. His “ Cradle Song" is a marvel of grace and melody. His attention being again drawn to the drama by his acceptance of the post of dramatic critic on a well known weekly journal, he wrote and published a melodramatic play, called “ Master and Man," and the libretto for an opera on classical lines, not yet placed upon the stage. Mr. Williams is identified with the literary and artistic interests of Philadelphia and is promi. nent in the Pennsylvania Historical Society, the Penn. Club, and other organizations of like character. His critical papers, especially his essays on the English Poets, have received general commendation for their accuracy and judical fairness of statement. He is now devoting himself almost exclusively to poetry.

Mr. Williams' home is in Germantown; a tasteful cottage in which some of the most distinguished men and women of the land have been welcome guests. His thorough refinement of feeling, courtesy of demeanor and conversational gifts attract to him the best elements of the community he adorns. Walt Whitman, Louisa M. Alcott, George W. Cable, George Riddle, Alexander Harrison, the artist, and scores of other literary and artistic celebrities have lingered on summer evenings under the trees in the garden, and gathered on winter nights about the host and his graciously sympathetic

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