And fain would I be e'en as these!

Life is with such all beer and skittles;
They are not difficult to please

About their victuals.

The trout, the grouse, the early pea,

By such, if there, are freely taken ;
If not, they munch with equal glee

Their bit of bacon.

The mock seriousness of phrase, side by side with the lightness of sentiment, form a delightful contrast. It is so different from the seriousness of dear sad old Herrick

Our present tears, here, not our present laughter,
Are but the handsells of our joy hereafter.

It is shewn in one of Calverley's mocking laments for his past youth

All day I sang; of love, of fame,

Of fights our fathers fought of yore,
Until the thing became almost

A bore.

I cannot sing the old songs now!

It is not that I deem them low; 'Tis that I can't remember how

They go.

I could not range the hills, till high

Above me stood the summer moon;
And as to dancing, I could fly

As soon.

A last quotation from Mr. Calverley's work must be given, if for no other reason than the simple belief that if he had, in bis day, known of or anticipated the existence of our modern minor poet, it would probably have been respectfully dedicated to him

In moss-prankt dells which the sunbeams flatter

(And heaven it knoweth what that may mean; Meaning, however, is no great matter),

Where woods are a-tremble, with rifts atween.

Thro' God's own heather, we wonn'd together,

I and my Willie (O love, my love) :
I need hardly remark it was glorious weather,

And flitterbats waver'd alow, above.

In Arthur Hugh Clough the humorist begins to find that he has a duty beyond that of poking fun. Clough, , like the modern novel, has an object in life, and he pokes fun to a purpose—the purpose of withering, scathing satire. True, he sometimes forgets the humorous in the fierceness of his wrath, and true he forgets the form in the fervency of his zeal. But elegance is of less importance than energy, and the sturdy blacksmith is a grander, if less dainty, figure than the long-haired youth who, cigarette between fingers, gracefully lounges over the fence, wondering if the love of years is worth the taking.

Mr. Saintsbury in one of his essays points out that the position of a pronoun or the music of a rhyme is of far less importance than the criticism of life. So in Clough's case, he was not a minor poet; his chord was the common chord of the grand major. Like Rudyard Kipling he began his troubles with the ten commandments

Thou shalt have one God only; who
Would be at the expense of two ?
No graven images may be
Worshipped, except the currency:
At church on Sunday to attend
Will serve to keep the world thy friend :
Thou shalt not steal; an empty feat,
When it's so lucrative to cheat:
Thou shalt not covet; but tradition
Approves all forms of competition.

Call it satire if you will, but who shall hedge in the truth of the sentiments which breathe in every line? A similar keenness of satire is seen in the extraordinary Spectator ab extra, of which I quote two stanzas

There's something, undoubtedly, in a fine air,
To know how to smile, and be able to stare ;
High breeding is something, but well-bred or not,
In the end the one question is, what have you got ?

So needful it is to have money.

It's all very well to be handsome and tall,
Which certainly makes you look well at a ball;
It's all very well to be clever and witty,
But if you are poor, why it's only a pity,

So needful it is to have money, heigho!
So needful it is to have money.

For my own part, I view the following dainty piece, by Mr. Ashby Sterry, as one of the prettiest in the whole range of light verse. It solves a problem which some of us have recently discussed ad nauseam—the problem of the three-volume novel. One cannot expect Mr. Hall Caine and the chaste and puritanical Mudie to view this burning question in the same light, but Mr. Ashby Sterry's rendering of a whole three-volume novel in a dozen lines is an even greater advance than the daring enterprise of Mr. Hall Caine and Mr. Joseph Hatton

A winning wile,
A sunny smile,

A feather.
A little walk,
A pleasant talk,

A playful pout,
A little doubt,

A merry miss,
A stolen kiss,


You ask mamma,
Consult papa.

“With pleasure.”
And then repent,
The sad event,

At leisure.

Our American cousins have developed to an astonishing extent what I call this spirit of the lighter poets, the spirit of the idealization of common topics. Bret Harte throws a halo round the saintly head of the gold-digger ; James Whitcomb Riley and S. W. Foss etherealize common domestic duties; Leland and Adams make the quaint German-American quite an interesting study; James Russell Lowell speaks of the contemptible pious editor, and anon of the unfortunate recruit of the Federal Army; and Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes is absorbed in • The Oysterman,” the pig butcher, and the organ blower.

These writers in many instances enhance the charm and interest of their work by the skilful use of dialect. The rough man speaks roughly, and does not display an intimate knowledge of science and German metaphysics. Our American friends, in the spirit of their verse-a spirit which appears to be inimitable to English writers—have displayed the wonderful faculty of being natural.

Yet through all their ruggedness there is a pathetic touch, which comes with a most pleasing effect from a light writer. It is characteristic of the man with a light heart that he should, in obedience to the strange and unrepealed law of the affinity of contraries, lay hold of the deeper pathos of life. Oliver Wendell Holmes, in his apostrophe to the organ blower, dives to the depth of life's undercurrent

Without thy hand to lend the breeze,
How vain the fingers on the keys!
Another's art may shape the tune,
The breath that fills them is thy own.

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There is a strange tenderness and a true philosophy of life in the closing stanzas,

This many-diapasoned maze,
In which the breath of being strays,
Whose music makes our earth divine,
Has work for mortal hands like mine.
My duty lies before me, lo!
The lever there—take hold, and blow!
And He whose hands are on the keys

Shall shape the tune as He shall please. A similar remark applies to Lowell. His muse is tuned to a cynical hatred of hypocrisy. He writes in a dialect ; he writes, moreover, with a bitter scorn—the notes are sharp and piercing, but the deep harmony is still evident. This is particularly manifest in the pious editor's creed

In short, I du believe
In humbug generally,
For that's a thing, I du perceive,
To hev a solid vally,
This heth my faithful shepherd ben,
In pastures sweet heth led me,
An' it'll keep the people green

To feed, ez they hev fed me. We have heard a great deal of late years of the inner heart of the soldier. From the “Son of the Forge" to Learoyd and Ortheris, we have been enabled to see something of the deeper nature of men whom we have sometimes been led to regard as nothing but barrackroom occupants, frequently jocular and flippant, though too often the picture has taken the coarser lines of a semi-licensed immorality.

Birdofredum Sawin is, however, not unworthy to stand beside Mulvaney and Learoyd. Lowell pictures the man who went to the Mexican war with optimistic anticipations of reaching glory with the one hand, and “pickin' up

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