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About The courier. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1894-1903 | View Entire Issue (March 10, 1900)
these Shropshire songs, wandered to
London town and dwelt there a com
"Far in a western brookland,
That bred me years ago,
The poplars stand and tremble
By pools I used to know.
"There, in the windless night-time,
The wanderer, marvelling why,
Halts on the bridge to harken
How soft the poplars sigh.
"He hears: long since forgotten
In fields where I was known,
Here I lie down in London
And turn to rest alone.
"There, by the starlit fences,
The wanderer halts and hears
My soul that lingers sighing
About the glimmering wiers."
That is true poetry, and there is a
touch as genuine as Heine's, an ex
pression simple, compete, perfect; a
mood, a personality, a lifetime in six
teen short lines. But here is a little
poem which Mrs. Ethelbert Xevin
had me copy in her own edition of
Mr. Nevin's "Narcissus."
"Look not in my eyes! for fear
They mirror true the sight I see ;
And there you find your face too clear,
And love it, and be lost like me.
One the long nights thro' must lie,
Spent in star-defeated sighs;
But why should you, as well as L
Perish ? Gaze not in my eyes.
"A Grecian lad, as I hear tell,
One that many loved in vain,
Looked into a forest well,
And never looked away again.
There where turf in springtime flowers,
With downcast eye and gazes sad,
Stands amid the glancing showers
A jonquil, not a Grecian lad."
For exquisite grace of form and
delicacy of fancy I scarcely know its
equal. This is Mr. Iluusman's lirst
volume of poetry, but lie seems to
have learned the important thing ao
the beginning. There is not one
lyric in the collection which has not
this absolute genuineness. This
Shropshire lad has an existence in
literature as actual and indisputable
as Ciiilde Harold's. This homesick
boy is one of the dwellers on Helicon.
But hear him further, and at his
"On your midnight pallet lying,
Listen, and undo the door !
Lads that waste the light in sighing,
In the dark should sigh no more.
Night should ease a lover's sorrow ;
Therefore, since I go tomorrow,
Pity me before.
"In that to which I travel,
That far dwelling, let me say ;
Once, if here the couch be gravel,
On a kinder bed I lay ;
And the breast the oarnel smothers,
Rested once upon another's,
When it was not clay."
That is what it means to write
poetry: to be able to say the oldest
thing in the orldas though it had
never been said before, to make the
old wounds of us all bled fresh, to
give a new voice to the tcelt
schvierz, that, perhaps, is the most
exalted lyric of the entire collection.
Yet he can be as light as he is sad:
"When I was one and twenty
I heard a wise man say:
'Give crowns and pounds and guineas,
But not your heart away.
Give pearls away and rubies,
But keep your fancy free.'
But I was one and-twenty,
No use to talk to me.
"When I was one-and-twenty
I heard him say again:
'The heart out of the bosom
Was ever given in vain.
'Tis paid with sighs a plenty,
And sold for endless rue.'
And now I'm twoand-twenty,
And oh, 'tis true, 'tis trueP,
But after all, it is the homesick
songs that I love the best:
" 'Tis time, I think, by Wenlock town
The golden broom should blow ;
The hawthorne, sprinkled up and down,
Should charge the land with snow.
"Spring will not wait the loiterer's time
Who keeps too long away;
So others wear the broom, and climb
The hedgerows heaped with May.
"O tarnish late on Wenlock Edge,
Gold that I never seel
Lie long, high snowdrifts in the hedge
That will not shower on me."
Of this lyric Louise IniogenoGuiney
and ah! what songs she has sung
herself, that sad, little New England
woman! has said:
"OJSancta Simjilicitasl Lovely ver
bal austerity, heroic, quiet, better
than dramatic feelings! As old Bas-e,
in his elegy, sweetly invited Kiwii
ser and Beaumont, ia their Abbey
graves, to lie nearer and make room
for a greater third, so may our minor
bards stand back a little for a young
stranger who, in quality, has hardly
a rival among them, and touch their
rusty lances to the rim of his shining
Here is another, exquisite as it is
"The winds out of the west land blow,
My friends have breathed them there;
Warm with the blood of the lads I know
Comes east the sighing air.
"It fanned their temples, filled their lungs
Scattered their forelocks free,
My friends made words of it with tongues
That speak no more to me."
Sometimes I wonder whether this
man is old or young, whether these
verses are the tirst output of youth
and loneliness, or whether they are
the slow secretions or long, lonely,
dreamful years, the cry of an unbap
piness that has well high exhausted
the singer's life; whether he will have
more to say, or whether, having told
of his solitude, he will be silent, and
in this volume has given his whole
heart. Well, if he should never be
heard from again, there is more
poetry in this little book than in any
lulf d;zen volumes of contemporary
verse I know of. Again I wonder
who and what this man Housnian
may be. But at least I know that he
has eaten the bitter bread of exile,
and trod the hostile streets of great
cities and hungered for the little vil
lage where he was a boy and suffered
in the lives of the lads he knew in
the years agone and died in their
dead. 1 know that he lias dwelt
among thousands more solitary than
the last man will be, that he has
tramped the desert of brick and stone
and seen such monstrous distortions
of life that he has wept for the west
wind and the brown tields and the
quiet country stars. And in so far,
many of us are his brothers in exile.
I only hope that he too, at last, has
found how delightful companionship
is after loneliness, and how kind
Destiny can be in the way least look
ed for, and how much better life can
be than song; that that has come to
him which can make exile sweet and
rob distance of its weary pain and set
the maddening tramp in the streets
to music; that an infinite kindness
has made him forget the long, black
loneliness of those first London years,
and that in eyes that look summer
into his he sees his Shropshire skies
again, and once again believes in life
I have read with much intore6t and
pleasuro jour courageous defense of
England in its picsont war with the
Boors. Ever einco the war of indepond
onco. it has been the popular thing for
tho press, political demagogues, comic
papers, comedians on the etago, and
clowns in tho circus, in season and out
of eoason, to Hing abuse and mean jokes
al England until the masees havo un
consciously become prejudiced and
biuBotl ugainst everything English.
Realizing this condition of the public
mind, tho press as well as tho politicians
(of both parties) lack tho courago to
speak openly, fearing the loss of circula
tion or votes. Wherever England ruleB
one is suro to 11 nd civilization, liberty
(not license), tho protection of life and
property, trial by jury, a competent and
fearlesp judiciary, speedy trial and con
viction of criminals in fact, law, order
and justice to all, the best conditions
under which civilized society may thrive
ant' reach its highest ideals, the edu
cated and cultured being in control.
The conditions under Boer rulo aro
just the reverse. The people of the
Transvaal will be immeasurably better
otr under English rule, which they will
discover as soon as they become enlight
ened. England's cause boing just and
in the interestof humanity and fair play,
will bo victorious. Under existing pop
ular prejudice your heroic and fearless
defense of our cousin's cause is very re
freshing; you are to bo congratulated.
Youre very truly, Adolimi Nathan.
Chicago, March 2, 1900.
The site tendered tho city of Lincoln
by Mr. D. E. Thompson, upon which to
build the Andrew Carnegie library, was
refused by tho library board, some say
for political reasons; and now a popular
subscription is being taken to raise the
price of a site. This is to certify that
if Mr. Thompson will go in cahoots with
Mr. Carnegio and furnish a building
and site for a library in Fremont, no
questions will be asked. From Fre
mont Tri-Weekly Tribune.
main new. Thro were plenty of ua who
could take the Haydn Btrutght, oven
hero in tho Old Town. Let tnom com
poso all the now things they wnnt to.
but bhvo the old inviolato, and not bo
everlastingly trimming thom with mod
orn furbelow?. It is like "miking over"
your greatgrandmothor'B wedding dretw.
And then "A Dream of Wagner"- it
was a rather vociferous dream; pardon
my bluntness, but I thought it whb
more like a hash of Wagner. I remem
ber last year thoy played a majestic
"Grand Scene from Parsifal" so that it
was not to bo forgotten. But that was
in tho fair city on Salt Creek, and even
there tho unmusical wero uninterested.
So Sousa, being wise rather than strict
ly artistic, given his audiences tho clas
sics in diluted and nowly arranged
doses. He charms, gives ovorjono his
money's worth, and, so far at) he goes,
shows us what approximate perfection
in music may bo. But because one feels
that tho big band is euch a finely ron
structed and offejtivo instrument ho
wishes that for a little space in a pro
gram it could be made to satisfy especi
ally all who really enjoy fine classical
music. I don't recollect that there was
anything advertised as "new'' in Pad
erewski's program. Newness in no detri
ment to a musical composition of real
merit, but then it isn't a crown of glory
eithor. It is just that we irunt Beeth
oven, Mozirt, Haydn and all because
they aro old friends. Their names are
better than a golden seal. But who,
for pity's sake, is .Jones, who wrote
something or other "new ?"
The name of Mrs. .7. R. Sousley haa
been added to the list of old residents
of Tbo Town on the River who have
heard the final summons this winter.
She passed away at the home of a
daughter in Lowville, New York, Mon
day last, after a long and severe illness.
Bright hopes for her recovery had been
entertained by her family and friends
during the last wo weeks, so that the
news of her death came as a severe
shock to all. Her daughter. Miss Gert
rude, a musician who is well known in
Lincoln, has gone to St. Louis, where
the interment will be made.
I OLD TOWN ON I RIVER
Glad to see you, old man. How is
your health these days ?
I really don't know. It has not been
near mo all winter. Town Topics.
Sousa, the magician, deigned to Btop
over for a few hours at the Old Town on
the River, to show the people how he
waved his wand and what came of it.
Ho was on his way to a better town I
wot or and, of course, he must have been
in a hurry to reach its gracious portals.
So it was a delightful condescension in
him to pause in his ilight and .lay his
band for us. An afternoon crowd
greeted him an audience chielly of
women and school-girls and boys for
the Echools enjojed a half-holiday.
Probably half the crowd were out-of-town
folks. A large delegation of
Peru normal school studentB was on
hand. Still the house was not over
crowded, and probably it did not pay
the band to stop with us. But as for
ua well, it always pays to hear and see
Sousa play his band.
His published program was the same
as that advertised for Lincoln but
encore numbers were granted with
Sousa'e usual liberality, and 6o the pro
gram degenerated into juet an ordinary
Sousa march display. I say degenerated,
but in the same breath will confess that
the encores were acceptable. Sousa
would not be Sousa without them.
A town that is just set up over the
recent visit of Paderewski and Clarence
Eddy might have accepted and enjoyed
a much more classical program one,
say, not so plastered with that really un
necessary sign, "new.'' Let us hope
that mangle of Haydn will always re-
There is a special tier of griddles in
Hades for painlesss dentists. Town
A suggestion for a new arrangament
of current events comes from the North
Carolina Sorosis of Wilmington. Tho
events are grouped under a definite head
for each month. Music and drama is
discussed in January when the season
is at its height. For February, March
and April, "New Sciences,' "Inventions,"
and "Arts and ArtistB;" for November,
"National Affairs; December, "Foreign
J. F. HARRIS,
No. I, Board of Trade,
Grain, Provisions; Cotton.
Private Wires to New York Gty and
Many Gties East and West.
New York Stack Exchange.
Chicago Stock Exchange.
Cliicatfo Hoard of Trado
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