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About Hesperian student / (Lincoln [Neb.]) 1872-1885 | View Entire Issue (March 1, 1874)
University of tYebranka.
Qui nonXToilelt. Deficit.
For the Hesperian Student.)
HI ii I tit in lit Pnrvo.
41 Hero comes a innld with n laughing oyo,
Anil n mind ilovold or sins I
Was uvor u prize? Quickl utter her fly 1"
So a rnco for her begins.
And lucky the man who wine her, say II
Ah, lucky tho ninn who wins!
13nt one, ho dailies, yet meuns to try;
Ami one, ho makes hnsto to run;
So ere tho former his strength will ply,
Tho latter his work hns done.
Good luck to the mini who won her, say II
Good luck to tho ninn who won I
O. C. D.
Tlio IJrtltor'H AVooIiir
We lovo theo, Ann Maria Smith,
And In thy condocotiHlon
Wo boo n future full of Joys
"Too numerous to mention."
There's Cupid's arrow In thy glance,
That by pure love's coercion
Has reached our very henrt of hearts
And "asked for one Insertion,"
With Joy wo feel tho blissful pain,
And ere our passion rages
Wo freely place thy lovo upon
Tho "list of our exchanges."
There's music In thy lowest tone,
And silver In thy laughter,
And truth but " wo will glvo the full
Oh I wo would tell thoo of our plans
All obstacles to shatter,
But wo aro full Just now, and havo
"A press of other matter."
Then lot no marry, queen of Smiths,
Without more hesitation,
Tho very thought doth glvo our blood
" A largor circulation."
This is the title of a book, containing
various poems by Prof. O. C. Duke of tho
University of Nebraska.
Tho novelty of such a book, originat
ing in this state so far removed from what
has been hitherto regarded as the literary
center of our country, is worthy of notice.
It is, if I mistake not, the first lit
erary venture, having even moderately
ambitious aims, that has been attempted
in this state-
The surprise arising from the novelty is
further enhanced, when we consider the
literary quality of tho work itself, and tho
beautiful setting of its typography and
At present we intend nothing more than
to call attention to tho work, by pointing
out some of its peculiarities, that give it a
deserved niche in tho temple of literary
fame, and which should commend it to
the favorable regard of literary circles, at
least in our own state.
Tho thoughts wo propose to offer on
this book must bo necessarily brief, and
no one more- than tho writer can feel how
inadequate and incomplete is tnis survey
of the quality of these poems, so various
in subject matter, and so diverse in tone
First, there is an unusual freshness of
subject and treatment in the wholo work.
This is particularly manifest in the
"Nineteenth Century Pictures," in which
tho subjecto treated aro such as havo hith
erto been discarded from tho palo of po-
etic delineation. ''The Now Religion,"
"The Spiritualist," and the "Two Lives"
present each a story illustrating a phase
of the social life of to-day.
"Wliilc wo must admit, there is a tend
ency to .the social extravagancies and li
cense, which in these pages arc sharply
outlined and atrongl- colored, yet it is
pleasant to think that the solid sense and
cultured self-respect of our people have
kept them hitherto in the leading strings
of decency and good morals. A few so
cial excrescences aro not to bo mistaken
for the sap and vital force of our national
The first two of these poems give no
uncertain sound, in their vigorous protest
against the current tendency to relax tho
rules of social order, that make civiliz
The interests that are dear to church
anil state aro stoutly maintained, as tho
only guarantees of social or individual
good. Whether then wo consider the nov-.
city of them, or tho controversial treat
ment they havo received from the Profes
sor, the reader is continually reminded of
being led along in no thrice beaten track,
and treated to no second hand dilutions
of stale and unprofitable opinions.
Throughout, tho work is evidently
earnest, strenuous, and from deep moral
With respect to narrative poetry, of such
length as is found in these "Pictures,"
it seems to be an indispcnsiblc condition
to success that tho prominent characters
represented should bear considerable re
scmblcncc to men and women that we
meet in daily life. If too far above tho
average man, tho description fails to en
list sympathy, because of its fancied im
possibility; if too much bolowtho general
level, it is turned from with disgust.
Though each character may bo properly
represented witli unusual vivacity and
energy,that aro not of daily occurrence,
still it must not bo too far removed from
common experience and human fortune.
This dictum of descriptive poetry has been
fairly observed in these "Pictures" an d
hence we trace each narrative to its denou
ement w lib well sustained interest. Space
will not allow an analysis of tho plot or
incidents of either of these pieces. This
pleasure is reserved for the reader of the
It may also bo inquired, In the poetical
treatment of a subject, how- faraconlro.
vorsial tone is admissible. This suggests
an inquiry into the function of poetry.
The dictum of Horace, "Aut prodesso vo-
hint, autdolcetaro poeUu" seems to express
the truth substantially. Accepting tills
rule as a guide, wo should say of theso
poems, that they aim to enforce opin
ions : to teach social dogmas, and duties,
and thus to profit men. Nor Is this in
consistont with the impartation of pleas
ure at tho sumo time; but it is over tho
aim of the truest poet "mlsccrc utile dulci"
This leads mo to consider tho stylo in
which these poems aro executed.
In tho style of these poems, particularly
tho largor one3, thcro is no ambitious dis
play of thick crowding metaphors, ingen
lousallusions, and high sounding epi
thets. The general movement Is with graceful
slnipllcty, naturalness and repose. These
qualities may not satisfy a taste that craves
unnatural excitement of the senslbilites,
but they are true to nature and give the
most lasting pleasure. No person can
live long on "the condiments of the table,
or enjoy for a length of time an atmos
phere overladen witli perfume.
Hence tho clear, stately simplicity of
Wordsworth scorned to his contemporary
critics, as tame and insipid, when compar
ed with the exuberant imagery and burn
ing passion that glowed in Byron's verse.
The latter scorches like tho Sirocco,
while through tho former pours a tide of
natural, calm, majestic thought in stylo
like his own perfect maiden,
"A creature not too good
For human naturo's dully food."
By most readers of these poems, the
shorter lyrical pieces will no doubt be
regarded as the most striking evidence of
poetic sensibility and tasteful expression.
From these gleams out the true poetic
lire ; and in them tho author gracefully
presses the analogies ot nature into an
exposition of the aspirations, and yearn
ings of the human soul.
Had ho written nothing but "Graping"
"Disillusione" "Tho influence of animate
things" and many other pieces of scarce
ty less merit, his title to poette taste and
power would be unquestionable. It is
not too much to hope, that the Professor
will, in the consciousness of increasing
strength, turn to new subjects which may
be worthy of the lofty or dainty verse,
and achieve new laurels, as ho will im
part new pleasure to his readers.
A. R. B.
Elements Affecting ur National
More than four thousand years ago the
various tribes that composed tho Indo
European branch of our race, com
menced their migrations from the original
family hive on the table lands of India.
Since that time tho course ot their mi
grations has been westward, and they have
ever boon crossing each other's tracks,
changing each other's form of govern
ment, separating and uniting, conquering
by arts and arms, and ultimate! blending
into tho present nationalities of Europe
The habit of migrating, of exploring
and making conquests, has continued
with them from the first, so that emigrat
ing is not peculiarly a Yankee trait, but
has been one of long standing with the
family to which we belong.
None of the people now represented by
linguistic differences in Europe are as
homogeneous as tho original Asiatic tribes
from which they caino, but composite,
and representing in many ways their
In tho language of our own family
branch we see the track of the Celt, the
Dane, the Saxon, the Norman, tho Roman,
and as our language, so our civilization,
is a resultant of these combined forces.
The Frenchman represents in his lan
guage and in his blood, the Celt, the Ro
man and ftho Northmen, and the same
may bo said of the composite character of
the nations of Southern Europe.
The people of the North of Europe by
their isolation and the severity of their
climate have been saved to a greater ex
tent, from the migrations and invasions
common to the tribes further south, and
as a consequence, they have preserved
more perfectly their original type; and
tliis isolation and want of intercourse
with others, both in commerce and war,
must bo reckoned as one of the agencies
that has thrown the present centers of
civilization southward from them.
As many elements and forces aro now
represented in the Anglican branch of the
race as in any other, and without egotism
it must bo saitl that it lias oeen tno most
active and vigorous of agencies in produc
ing the best phases of (government and
religion, and it is not necessary to claim
that thcropresentative Englishman, now,
is a better character for the modifying
circumstances and processes of assimila
tion that for two thousand years have
been at work on the little islands of
The Frenchman is a more active, more
versatile, more accomplished and perhaps
a more mischievous man for having the
blood of a half-dozen tribes of men in his
In the United States this process of as
similation is progressing more rapidly
than it ever did in England, and is draw
ing a greater number of elements into the
character of oui people, and what the re
sult of all these combined forces will be,
and what tho character of the future Amor
can will bo is at least an interesting
Bringing together so many fresh and
strange elements and setting them in mo
tion on this fertile soil, and in this region
of undeveloped and promising re
sources, has induced a life, and energy,
and inventiveness, and acquisitiveness
It has almost produced n now charac
ter. It has changed the evenly-poised,
steady-going, half-puritanic American of
a century ago, to tho restless Yr.nkee of
One result of those combinations seems
to be materialism. This is partly the re
sult of the fact that we are in a developing
period, and that the physical features of
tho country favor it.
Tho Mississippi Valley is furnishing
homes to thousands of people, and is be
coming the artery of national life. Its
soil is rich, its prairies are wide, and its
scenery unrelieved by mountain or ocean,
and, unless compensating forces are in
troduced, this comparative monotony of
scenery, and this accumulation of wealth
in a few generations will bo felt in tho
partial elimination of tho spiritual and
aesthetic, and in making us more sensuous
and material. - "
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