Slike strani
[merged small][ocr errors][graphic][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]



NO. 1.


RICHARD WATSON GILDER. In the time of this trudging on from the railroad

office, by way of the reporter's beat and the country GOOD subject does not always find expres- editor's den, to the beautiful sanctum of the Century

sion in a sketch, for the manner of the Magazine, Mr. Gilder was singing, as a true poet sketch must have its value, still it is the figure, must, come what may, and his songs were always the figure, that conveys the lasting interest. a genuine product from the higher slopes of Among the younger poets of America, three at Helicon. least of the most charming are editors, and, there. Mr. Gilder is married to the daughter of Comfore, somewhat withdrawn from familiar inspection modore De Kay. His wife's grandfather was into that mist of reserve which is the protection of Joseph Rodman Drake, the poet, author of “The judicial personages. Aldrich, Gilder, Bunner, - Culprit Fay." There are four children in the Cloth of Gold, The New Day, The Way to beautiful Gilder home, two sons, two daughters. Arcadie — there is a swarming hive of music- Indeed it is as a poet that we must think most o! burdened associations set beside the editorial dens. him, and we must be glad of anything that makes Go in at the door, but hide your roll of manuscript. him sing. Let us not go into the charming

Richard Watson Gilder. born at Bordentown, house and household to explain why his poetry is New Jersey, February 8, 1844, walked the royal the soul of love, the essence of tender and exalted American road to success, the broad highway of purity. An ideal American home is the next place self-dependence and earnest labor. He began with to heaven, a clerical engagement in the office of a railroad, The most natural thing in the world would be pushed on into the sanctum of a country newspaper for a man like Gilder to lead, without trying to for which he was glad to be a reporter. Presently lead, those with whom he comes most in contact, we find him in the editorial chair of the Newark and so we find him at the head of certain significant Morning Register; but there was not enough work and interesting movements of the artistic and for him in editing one paper, he must needs find a literary people of New York. He helped to found monthly journal upon which to vent his surplus of the Society of American Artists and the Authors literary and executive energy. A publication called Club and was one of the originators of the Copyright Hours at Home, issued monthly in New York, offered League. His genius must have the magnetic him this extra work and a foot-hold in the great quality as well as the creative power.

The art city upon which his eyes had been fixed from the reform which the Century swiftly wrought in first. A great deal of experience, with little money America is not a more notable evidence of his to show for it, finally led to the sale of Hours at Home taste, foresight and executive ability, than is his to the Scribners just at the beginning of the new unsought personal prominence a proof of his fitness era in American art and letters which dates from for a certain kind of quiet, gentle and always the founding of Scribner's Monthly Magazine. Mr. welcome leadership like that which has been put Gilder was chosen by Dr. Holland to assist him in upon him by the Fellowcraft Club of New York, a conducting that powerful journal. A wise choice brotherhood of journalists and artists. It is sigas time has shown. Scribner's Magazine soon nificant that such a club should have for its leader ripened into the Century and Mr. Gilder suc- and president a poet pure and simple; it suggests, ceeded Dr. Holland. Immediately the magazine what is the truth, that the poet is no longer the furged forward remarkably, gathering quality, man in the garret, the crust-gnawing and hyposolidity of interest and individuality for itself. chondriacal sentimentalist. One of the greatest The men behind the journal were Roswell Smith discoveries that time has vouchsafed to the nineand Richard Watson Gilder. It is a pleasant truth teenth century is this close kinship of the poet's to say, however, that Mr. Gilder knew well how to genius to the strongest and directest forces of our select his helpers. Mr. Robert U. Johnson and civilization. The man behind the Century Magazine Mr. C. C. Buel have seconded him with notable has done a great deal for America. He can do a energy, taste and judgment.

great deal more.

M. T.

Copyright, 1889, by CHARLES Wells Moulton. All rights reserved.

You may count the rings and the seasons,

·May hold the sap to the sun, You may guess at the ways and the reasons

Till your little day is done.

A THOUGHT. Once, looking from a window on a land That lay in silence underneath the sun: A land of broad, green meadows, through which

poured Two rivers, slowly widening to the sea, Thus as I looked, I know not how nor whence, Was borne into my expectant soul That thought, late learned by anxious-witted man, The infinite patience of the Eternal Mind.

But for me the golden crest

That shakes in the wind and launches Its spear toward the reddening West!

For me the bough and the breeze, The sap unseen, and the glint

Of light on the dew-wet branches,The hiding shadows, the hint

Of the soul of mysteries.


[merged small][ocr errors]

He the great World Musician at whose stroke
The stars of morning into music broke;
He from whose Being Infinite are caught
All harmonies of light, and sound, and thought, -
Once in each age, to keep the world in tune
He strikes a note sublime. Nor late, nor soon,
A god-like soul,- music and passion's birth, -
Vibrates across the discord of the earth
And sets the world aright.

O, these are they
Who on men's hearts with mightiest power can

play, The master-poets of humanity, Sent down from heaven to lift men to the sky.



[ocr errors]


A Sowęr went forth to sow,
His eyes were dark with woe;
He crushed the flowers beneath his feet,
Nor smelt the perfume, warm and sweet,
That prayed for pity everywhere.
He came to a field that was harried
By iron, and to heaven laid bare:
He shook the seed that he carried
O'er that brown and bladeless place.
He shook it, as God shakes hail
Over a doomed land,
When lightnings interlace
The sky and the earth, and his wand
Of love is a thunder-flail.

Thus did that Sower sow;
His seed was human blood,
And tears of women and men.
And I, who near him stood,
Said: When the crop comes, then
There will be sobbing and sighing,
Weeping and wailing and crying,
Flame, and ashes, and woe.

What is a sonnet? 'Tis the pearly shell

That murmurs of the far-off murmuring sea;
A precious jewel carved most curiously;

It is a little picture painted well.
What is a sonnet? 'Tis the tear that fell

From a great poet's hidden ecstasy;
A two-edged sword, a star, a song -- ah me!

Sometimes a heavy-tolling funeral bell.
This was the flame that shook with Dante's breath;

The solemn organ whereon Milton played,
And the clear glass where Shakespeare's shadow

A sea this is - beware who ventureth!

For like a fjord the narrow floor is laid
Mid-ocean deep to the sheer mountain walls.



O MAN with your rule and measure,

Your tests and analyses! You may take your empty pleasure,

May kill the pine, if you please;

II. It was an autumn day When next I went that way. And what, think you, did I see, What was it that I heard, What music was in the air?

Or that my love for thee did first befall.

Love me or late or early, fast or slow:
But love me, Love, for love is one and all!

The song of a sweet-voiced bird?
Nay- but the songs of many,
Thrilled through with praise and prayer.
Of all those voices not any
Were sad of memory:
But a sea of sunlight flowed,
And a golden harvest glowed!
And I said: Thou only art wise
God of the earth and skies!
And I thank thee, again and again,
For the Sower whose name is Pain.


What would I save thee from, dear heart, dear

heart? Not from what heaven may send thee of its pain; Not from fierce sunshine or the scathing rain: The pang of pleasure; passion's wound and

Not from the scorn and sorrow of thine art;

Nor loss of faithful friends, nor any gain
Of growth by grief. I would not thee restrain

From needful death. But O, thou other part
Of me!- through whom the whole world I behold,

As through the blue I see the stars above!

In whom the world I find, hid fold on fold! Thee would I save from this — nay, do not move

Fear not, it may not flash, the air is cold;
Save thee from this — the lightning of my love.


I MET a traveller on the road
Whose back was bent beneath a load;
His face was worn with mortal care,
His frame beneath its burden shook,
Yet onward, restless, he did fare
With mien unyielding, fixed, a look
Set forward in the empty air
As if he read an unseen book.

What was it in his smile that stirred
My soul to pity! When I drew
More near it seemed as if I heard
The broken echo of a tune
Learned in some far and happy June.
His lips were parted, but unmoved
By words. He sang as dreamers do
And not as if he heard and loved
The song he sang: I hear it now!

He stood beside the level brook,
Nor quenched his thirst, nor bathed his brow,
Nor from his back the burden shook.
He stood, and yet he did not rest;
His eyes climbed up in aimless quest,
Then close did to that mirror bow
And, looking down, I saw in place
Of his, my own familiar face.

O HIGHEST, strongest, sweetest woman-soul!

Thou holdest in the compass of thy grace
All the strange fate and passion of thy race;

Of the old, primal curse thou knowest the whole: Thine eyes, too wise, are heavy with the dole,

The doubt, the dread of all this human maze; Thou in the virgin morning of thy days

Hast felt the bitter waters o'er thee roll. Yet thou knowest, too, the terrible delight,

The still content, and solemn ecstasy;

Whatever sharp, sweet bliss thy kind may know, Thy spirit is deep for pleasure as for woe

Deep as the rich, dark-caverned, awful sea
That the keen-winded, glimmering dawn makes




SONG. Not from the whole wide world I chose thee

Sweetheart, light of the land and the sea! The wide, wide world could not enclose thee,

For thou art the whole wide world to me.

Love me not, Love, for that I first loved thee,
Nor love me, Love, for thy sweet pity's sake,
In knowledge of the mortal pain and ache
Which is the fruit of love's blood-veinéd tree.
Let others for my love give love to me:

From other souls oh, gladly will I take,
This burning, heart-dry thirst of love to slake,

What seas of human pity there may be!
Nay, nay, I car, no more how love may grow,

So that I hear thee answer to my call!
Love me because my piteous tears do flow,

SONG. YEARS have flown since I knew thee first, And I know thee as water is known of thirst; Yet I knew thee of old at the first sweet sight, And thou art strange to me, Love, to-night.


Lest he discover;
Showing no sign to him
By look of mine to him
What he has been to me -
How my heart turns to him,
Follows him, yearns to him,
Prays him to love me.

Pity me, lean to me, Thou God above me!

O WHITE and midnight sky, O starry bath,

Wash me in thy pure, heavenly, crystal flood; Cleanse me, ye stars, from earthly soil and

scathLet not one taint remain in spirit or blood! Receive my soul, ye burning, awful deeps;

Touch and baptize me with the mighty power That in ye thrills, while the dark planet sleeps;

Make me all yours for one blest, secret hour! O glittering host, О high angelic choir,

Silence each tone that with thy music jars;

Fill me even as an urn with thy white fire Till all I am is kindred to the stars!

Make me thy child, thou infinite, holy night,So shall my days be full of heavenly light!


I. OH, how shall I help to right the world that is

going wrong! And what can I do to hurry the promised time of

peace! The day of work is short and the night of sleep is

long; And whether to pray or preach, or whether to sing

a song, To plow in my neighbor's field, or to seek the

golden fleece, Or to sit with my hands in my lap, and wish that

ill would cease!


Each moment holy is, for out from God
Each moment flashes forth a human soul.
Holy each moment is, for back to him
Some wandering soul each moment home


A WOMAN'S THOUGHT. I am a woman - therefore I may not Call to him, cry to him, Fly to him, Bid him delay not!

II. I think, sometimes, it were best just to let the Lord

alone; I am sure some people forget He was here before

they came; Though they say it is all for His glory, 't is a good

deal more for their own, That they peddle' their petty schemes, and blate

and babble and groan. I sometimes think it were best, and I were little to

blame, Should I sit with my hands in my lap, in my face

a crimson shame.

And when he comes to me, I must sit quiet:
Still as a stone —
All silent and cold.
If my heart riot-
Crush and defy it!
Should I grow bold
Say one dear thing to him,
All my life fling to him,
Cling to him
What to atone
Is enough for my sinning!
This were the cost to me,
This were my winning -
That he were lost to me.

WANTED, A THEME! “Give me a theme," the little poet cried,

“And I will do my part." “ 'T is not a theme you need,” the world replied;

“You need a heart."

Not as a lover
At last if he part from me,
Tearing my heart from me
Hurt beyond cure, -
Calm and demure
Then must I hold me -
In myself fold me--

AFTER--SONG. THROUGH love to light! Oh wonderful the way That leads from darkness to the perfect day! From darkness and from sorrow of the night To morning that comes singing o'er the sea. Through love to light! Through light, O God, to

thee, Who art the love of love, the eternal light of light!

« PrejšnjaNaprej »