the coppers” with the other. Truly his sufferings were terrible. He lost a leg

They sawed it off because, they said, twuz kin' o' mortifyin'. Then he loses an eye, and humorously describes his misadventure

I've lost one eye, but thet's a loss it's easy to supply
Out 'o the glory thet I've gut, fur thet is all my eye;
An' one is big enough, I guess, by diligently usin' it,

To see all I shall ever git by way of pay fer losin' it; Other troubles came apace. He lost a left hand, and his right had

jest a thumb on'tIt ain't so hendy az it wuz to cal’late a sum on't. Then he reckons up the profits of the transaction. First, he finds he has got the shaking-fever, though that is not 80 bad as when he had the other leg and arm-with which optimistic consolation he soothes his soul. But he received no thanks; these were lodged “Afore they got ez low down ez the ranks.”

Then the lesson comes in. No Peace Society manifesto, no Tolstoi sermon has ever taught the horrors of war so touchingly as this rugged dialect poem, bristling as it is with puns and witticisms. Economists may defend war, theories of population from Malthus to Mill may require it, but any result which is purchased at the price of human blood and human degradation cannot but be a doubtful boon. And it is left for a light poet to bring this lesson home to the heart of man, enshrouded and confused in its commercialism

Somehow, wen we'd fit an licked, I ollers found the thanks
Gut kin' o' lodged afore they come ez low down az the ranks.
The ginirals gut the biggest sheer, the cunnles next, an' so on,
We never got a blasted mite o' glory ez I know on;
So glory is a kin' o' thing I shan't persue no furder,
Coz thet's the off'cers' parquisite—yourn's on’y jest the murder.

Of all the American writers who blend the humorous and the pathetic, none deserves higher praise than James Whitcomb Riley. He stands pre-eminent amongst those wise poets who eschew cloud-scenes and sunsets as subjects for lofty flights of fancy, and who take the commonest things of life as their themes. Riley takes what some people would call the commoner people of life, and he shews that through their ruggedness runs a strain of fine feeling and thoughtful wisdom. There is that poor consumptive Jim, of whom Riley says, When God made Jim, I bet you, He did'nt do anything else that day

But jes' sat around and felt good.
Another of Riley's characters appears in his new book,
Poems here at home, under the name of Old John
Old John's jes' made of the commonest stuff,

Old John Henry,
He's tough, I reckon, but none too tough,-
Though too tough's better'n not enough!

Says old John Henry.
He does his best, when his best's bad,
He don't fret none, nor don't get sad;
He simply 'lows it's the best he had.

Old John Henry.

One can almost picture the dear old man as he reads Riley’s description. Then there follows old John's philosophy

A smilin' face an' a ready hand,
Is religion 'at all folks understand,

Says old John Henry.
Of a similar character is Riley's charming

« Little Orphant Annie," and the naïve account which the little girl gives of her homely superstitions is delightfully fresh and natural,

When you hear the crickets quiet, an' the moon is gray
An' the lightnin'-bugs in dew is all squenched away,
You better mind yer parents, and yer teachers fond and dear,
An' cherish them 'at loves you, an' dry the orphant's tear,
An' he'p the poor an' needy ones, 'at clusters all about,
Er the gobble-uns 'll git you

Ef you




Mr. S. W. Foss is another writer who shows, throughout his fun, the same loving sympathy for the more pathetic side of life. Foss may be called an imitator of Riley, but his work is of a very high standard, and cannot be omitted from our sketch.

Jim Bowker, he said, ef he'd had a fair show,
And a big enough town for his talents to grow,
And the least bit assistance in hoein' his row,

Jim Bowker, he said,
He'd filled the world full of the sound of his name,
An' clim' the top round in the ladder of fame,-

It may have been so;

I dunno.

There is a trace of the old John Henry spirit in such a poem, and it is singular that Foss shows in a high degree another of Riley's characteristics,--the love of children.

Sits Matilda every night,
'Twixt the darkness and the light,
Tells me in her cutest way
All the hist'ry of the day,
Gives me all; leaves nothin' hid
Tellin' me what the baby did.
Trudge off with my dinner-pail
Every mornin' without fail ;
Work, with hardly time for breath ;
Come home, tired half to death;

But I feel a perfect rest
Settle down upon my breast,
Settin' by the twilight hid
Hearin' what the baby did.

Then I jist make up with fate
An' my happiness is great;
But if fate should lay its han'
On that baby, understan',
Through the worl' I'd sulk apart,
With red murder in my heart;
If she sat no more half-hid
Tellin' what the baby did.

One cannot but regret that our modern English light verse writers have not caught more of this American spirit. It is to be lamented that a writer of the skill and versatility of Mr. Gilbert should have contented himself to such an extent with writing nonsense verses.

It is but rarely that he remembers the mission of the humorous poet, though occasionally, in Bab, there is a suspicion of finer work, such, for example, as "Haunted.”

Haunted ? Ay, in a kind of way,
By a vision of ghosts in a dread array;
But no conventional spectres they-

Appalling, grim, and tricky;
I quail at mine as I'd never quail
At a fine traditional spectre pale,
With a turnip head, and a ghastly wail,

And a splash of blood on his dicky.

Such is the opening verse, but Mr. Gilbert's truer touch is seen when he speaks of

Ghosts who hover about the grave
Of all that's manly, true and brave,
You'll find their names in the architrave

Of that charnel-house-Society.

“Modesty," with withering sarcasm, teaches the folly of prudery when reduced to its absurd extreme—it might well be termed an address to the purity which apes tyrrany. Beyond these few stanzas, however, Mr. Gilbert rarely rises above the level of the nonsense verse.

Lewis Carroll, of “Walrus and Carpenter fame, is also an adept at burlesque verse, and mention must also be made of Austin Dobson and Quiller Couch. The last named gentleman, to whom reference was made in treating of parodies, is less known as a light poet than as a novelist ; but in his Oxford days he showed considerable skill as a versifier. One of his best pieces, “Ballinderry,” was published in the Oxford University Magazine. It is an Irish girl's lament for her lover, written with exquisite mock-pathos. The anti-climax in the last stanza is very fine

'Twas pretty to be by blue Killarney,

'Twas pretty to hear the linnet's call,
But whist, for I cannot attind their blarney,

Nor whistle in answer, at all, at all ;
For the voice that he swore wud outcall the linnet's

Is cracked entoirely, an' out of tune,-
For the clock-work missed it by fifteen minutes
An' scatthered poor Phelim all over the moon,

Aroon ! aroon !!

It is with much regret that one is led to differ from that penetrating critic, the late Mr. Francis Adams, but in his estimate of Mr. Rudyard Kipling, in the Fortnightly, I cannot but think that he overlooked one of the essentials of semi-pathetic humorous verse. Men do not gather grapes from thorns, and Mr. Kipling took one of the most rugged classes of humanity and pictured their thoughts and sayings with a reckless fidelity—and all faithfulness, in love affairs, as in literature, is necessarily reckless. He has thrown a halo round the recruit; true, as he puts into

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