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dauntless triumphant affirmation have been to write great odes and Her poems of the Christ-child have hymns to Beauty, his simple poems something of the exaltation of Chris. of Irish life are full of charm. The tina Rossetti; for to her mind the Wishes to My Son has a poignant road to victory lies through the gate tenderness. One can hardly read it of Humility. Here is a typical illus without tears. And the love of a tration:
wife for “her man” is truly revealed
in the last two stanzas of John-John. THE HEART'S LOW DOOR O Earth, I will have none of thee.
The neighbours' shame of me began Alien to me the lonely plain,
When first I brought you in; And the rough passion of the sea
To wed and keep a tinker man
They thought a kind of sin; Storms my unheeding heart in vain.
But now this three year since you're gone The petulance of rain and wind,
'Tis pity me they do, The haughty mountains' superb scorn,
And that I'd rather have, John-John, Are but slight things I've flung behind,
Than that they'd pity you. Old garments that I have out-worn.
Pity for me and you, John-John,
I could not bear. Bare of the grudging grass, and bare
Oh, you're my husband right enough, Of the tall forest's careless shade,
But what's the good of that? Deserter from thee, Earth, I dare
You know you never were the stuff See all thy phantom brightness fade.
To be the cottage cat,
To watch the fire and hear me lock
The door and put out Shep-
But there now, it is six o'clock
And time for you to step. A home, who ne'er had home before.
God bless and keep you far, John-John!
And that's my prayer. Thomas MacDonagh (1878-1916) was, like so many of the young Irish
Joseph Campbell, most of whose writers of the twentieth century,
work has been published under the both scholar and poet. In 1916 he
Irish name Seosamh Maccathmhaoil, published a prose critical work, Lit.
writes both regular and free verse. erature in Ireland, in which his two
He is close to the soil, and speaks passions, love of art and love of
the thoughts of the peasants, articucountry, are clearly displayed. His
lating their pleasures, their pains, books of original verse include The
and their superstitions. No deadness Golden Joy, 1906; Songs of Myself,
of conventionality dulls the edge of 1910, and others. He was a wor
his art—he is an original man. His shipper of Beauty, his devotion being
being fancy is bold, and he makes no ateven more religious than ästhetic.
tempt to repress it. Perhaps his The poems addressed to Beauty-of
most striking poem is I am the Gilly which there are comparatively many
of Christ-strange that its reverence -exhibit the familiar yet melan.
has been mistaken for sacrilege! choly disparity between the vision in
And in the little song, Go, Ploughthe poet's soul and the printed image
man, Plough one tastes the joy of of it. This disparity is not owing to
muscle, the revelation of the upfaulty technique, for his manage
turned earth, and the promise of ment of metrical effects shows ease
beauty in fruition. and grace; it is simply the lack of sufficient poetic vitality. Although Go, ploughman, plough his ambition as an artist appears to The mearing lands,
The meadow lands:
verified by readers, the greater is The mountain lands:
the challenge to the art of the All life is bare
poet. Beneath your share,
We may properly add to our list All love is in your lusty hands. the names of two Irish poets who are
Americans. Maurice Francis Egan, Up, horses, now!
full of years and honours, a scholar And straight and true
and statesman, giving notable ser. Let every broken furrow run: vice to America as our Minister to The strength you sweat
Denmark, has written poetry marked Shall blossom yet
by tenderness of feeling and delicacy In golden glory to the sun.
of art. His little book, Songs and
Sonnets, published in 1892, exhibits In 1917 Mr. Campbell published a the range of his work as well as anybeautiful volume, signed with his thing that he has written. It is English name, embellished with his founded on a deep and pure religious own drawings-one for each poem faith. . . . Norreys Jephson O'Conor called Earth of Cualann. Cualann is a young Irish-American, a gradis the old name for the County uate of Harvard, and has already of Wicklow, but it includes also published three volumes of verse, a stretch to the northwest, reach. Celtic Memories, which appeared in ing close to Dublin. Mr. Camp- England in 1913, Beside the Blackbell's description of it in his water, 1915, and Songs of the preface makes a musical overture Celtic Past, 1917. American by to the verses that follow. “Wild birth and residence, of Irish parentand unspoilt, a country of cairn- age, he draws his inspiration almost crowned hills and dark, watered val. wholly from Celtic lore and Cel. leys, it bears even to this day some tic scenes. He is a natural singer, thing of the freshness of the heroic whose art is steadily increasing in dawn.”
authority. The work of Seumas O'Sullivan, It will be seen from our review born in 1878, has often been likened of the chief figures among conto that of W. B. Yeats, but I can see temporary Irish poets that the jolly, little similarity either in spirit or in jigging Irishman of stage his manner. The younger poet has the tory is quite conspicuous by his secret of melody and his verses show absence. He still gives his song and a high degree of technical excel. dance, and those who prefer musilence; but in these respects he no cal-comedy to orchestral composimore resembles his famous country tions can find him in the numerous man than many another master. His anthologies of Anglo-Irish verse; best poems are collected in a volume but the tone of modern Irish published in 1912, and the most in. poetry is spiritual rather than teresting of these give pictures of hearty. various city streets, Mercer Street Whatever may be thought of the (three), Nelson Street, Cuffe Streetappropriateness of the term “Adand so on. In other words, the most vance of English Poetry” for my sur. original part of this poet's produc vey of the modern field as a whole, tion is founded on reality. This does there is no doubt that it applies fitnot mean that he lacks imagination; tingly to Ireland. The last twentyfor it is only by imagination that five years have seen an awakening of a writer can portray and interpret poetic activity in that island unlike familiar scenes. The more widely anything known there before; and and easily their veracity can be Dublin has become one of the lit.
erary centres of the world. When a new movement produces three men of genius, and a long list of poets of
distinction, it should be recognised with respect for its achievement, and with faith in its future.
The subject of Professor Phelps's next article in “The Advance of English Poetry in the Twentieth Century” will be Vachel Lindsay and Robert Frost.
THE OULD IRISH LANDLORD
BY CARL MCDONALD
MASTHER of the lands was he-cud till it by the looks av him
A-walkin' lightly down the sthreet—his blackthorn stick in hand, Tipped his hat to all av us-not a bit o' pride in him,
A kindly twinkle in his eye-beloved by all the land.
Ever singin' gaily—an Irish lilt upon his tongue
A penny for the childer—an' a smile for all galore.
But now the twinkle in his eye has ceased for ever more.
Many's a year he's dead now—many's an eye was wet for him,
A grand ould Irish gintleman-the grandest in the land,
He's walkin' down the Golden Road-his blackthorn stick in hand.
SATIRE ON THE AMERICAN STAGE
BY CLAYTON HAMILTON
It has frequently been pointed out A slightly higher degree of evoluthat the ability to laugh is the only tion is demanded before a man can function that distinguishes mankind learn to laugh at mental accidents. from all the lower animals. Further. The French-in their reasoned catamore, a man's degree of evolution logue of criticism-have registered a may be measured by the sort of clear distinction between the mot de things at which he laughs most heart- situation and the mot de caractère. ily. There are many different grades To the common mind, it is obviously of refinement in the sense of hu- funny for anyone to fall downstairs ; mour,--so many that to codify them but a greater degree of culture is reall would require the attention of a quired to realise the fact that some profound philosopher. I have never people may be funnier still if they read the celebrated essay of M. Henri merely walk downstairs and never Bergson on the subject of laughter, fall at all. Of a certain small but and cannot tell—in consequence very pompous citizen, some happy. whether or not he has covered the minded commentator once remarked field: but this point, at least, is per. that he always seemed to strut while tinent,--that it is possible to para sitting down; and this phrase may be phrase an ancient proverb by saying, accepted as an illustration of what “Tell me what you laugh at, and I the French intend by a “quip of will tell you what you are.”
character." evidence were needed to confute the But it is still comparatively easy utterly unreasonable statement that
to laugh at someone else; and civil. “all men are created equal,” it would isation may be said to begin at the be necessary merely to point out that point when a man becomes capable all men do not laugh at the same of laughing also at himself. It is order of ideas. The Germans easy to be humourous; it is harder to laughed when the Lusitania went sustain a sense of humour. It is easy down; and by this laughter they dis to make fun, at the expense of the tinguished themselves from the pre other fellow: it is harder to take fun, ponderent proportion of mankind. at the expense of oneself. Some of
It is easy enough to laugh at physi our greatest humourists have—by cal eventualities. When a man's feet common account–been deficient in slip from under him and he falls the receptive sense of humour. I “with a dull, sickening thud" on the never knew Mark Twain, although fattest and least vulnerable part of I met him half a dozen times and his anatomy, no human observer of talked with him as a very young apthe incident can easily suppress a prentice would naturally talk with loud guffaw. The appeal of such ma an admitted master; but many of his terial is perpetuated in the theatre by friends have told me that this monu. the proverbial slap-stick (which the mental humourist was incapable of greatest of all comic dramatists did seeing and accepting a joke against not forbear to use in such farces as himself. Les Fourberies de Scapin), and is A slightly higher rung upon the kept alive forever by an endless race ladder is attained when men begin to of amply-cushioned actresses like
like laugh at words, and at the jugglery Marie Dressler.
of words, instead of laughing merely
at situations or at people. Words not only on the part of the humourare symbols of ideas; and only a ist, but also on the part of his audicivilised person can see the fun in
Mr. Chesterton, for instance, an idea. When Oscar Wilde per whose essential mood is one of deep mitted one of his puppets to say, “I religious reverence, has a disconcertcan resist anything except tempta
ing habit of laughing his way into tion," he carried laughter into the the very presence of his God; and higher realm of the philosophical this habit is bewildering to minds abstract.
that are less cultivated than his own. A still higher realm is reached As a test of the different degrees of when the ideas that are laughed at humour, the reader may be recomare the very ideas that are held most mended to enter any barber's shop seriously by the man that leads the and say, with due solemnity, “I delaughing. This is the realm of satire, sire a diminution of the linear di--which must consequently be re mension of my capillary appendgarded as the most loftily developed ages.”. An uncivilised barber will be mood of humour. The satirist laughs offended, and may even cause the not only at himself but also at those philosophical experimentor to be very thoughts which he regards as ejected from his chaste establishthe light and leading of his life. A ment [for there is nothing more ofhumourist can make a joke; a man fensive to the common mind than the endowed with the more subtle sense sort of humour that it cannot underof humour can see and take a joke stand]; but a civilised barber will against himself; but a satirist can see say, “Oh hell!,-yoụ mean a hair. and make a joke against his very
cut!," and will proceed, with laughGod. Many things in life are holy; ter, to suit his action to your words. but to the satirist the gift of laughter Satire—which may be defined as is more sacred than any of the others. an irresponsible and happy-hearted
The satirical mood may be illus toying with ideas—can flourish only trated easily by reference to Lord By, in those ages which acknowledge an ron's immense and teeming poem obeisance to the high ideal of culcalled Don Juan. Time after time, in ture. Satire can be conceived and the course of this composition, the written only by gentlemen like the poet winged his way aloft on a wind Roman Horace, the French Boileau, of lyric inspiration, only to pause the English Dryden, or the American suddenly and laugh tremendously at Henry James. A man must be disthe very incentive that had excited tinguished before he can afford to him to eloquence. When I was in my laugh in public against the very teens, I used to hate this poem, be things he holds most holy. Also, he cause of Byron's habit of laughing in must feel assured of the existence of his loftiest moments and blasphem an agile-minded audience to appreing (as it seemed to me) against the ciate the perilous gymnastics of his dictates of his genius; but, in recent mind. years, I have begun to appreciate Our American theatre has long [and almost to admire] his nimble been regarded as an ugly duckling; ness of mind in presenting an august but a certain sign of promise has idea from antithetic points of view. been registered by its recent incurAny man can see a subject from one sion into the unprecedented realm side: but the mark of culture comes of satire. If our native playwrights when a man is able to see a subject can afford to be satirical, a time has from several sides at once.
come at last when our American The satiric mood demands an ex theatre may be accepted as a grown. traordinary alertness of intelligence, up institution.