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to the world, through Dunsany we A name in sunshine written higher have the Songs of Peace, written
Than lark or poet dare aspire. in the midst of war, and through him we are promised a volume of the
But I grew weary doing well;
Besides, 'twas sweeter in that hell posthumous poems, of which a con Down with the loud banditti people siderable number were found.
Who robbed the orchards, climbed the Nothing could be more indicative steeple of the temperament of Ledwidge than
For Jackdaws' eggs and made the cock
Crow ere 'twas daylight on the clock. the slender volume, Songs of Peace.
I was so very bad the neighbours I have searched it vainly for any. Spoke of me at their daily labours. thing that could be called a war poem. Although written in the thick And now I'm drinking wine in France, of war, it is one continuous memory
The helpless child of circumstance.
To-morrow will be loud with war. of Ireland, one continuous longing How will I be accounted for? for the blackbird, the hedges and the rainy veils of his beloved country. It is too late now to retrieve Now and then one gets an intimation
A fallen dream, too late to grieve that the poet realises to what stern
A name unmade, but not too late
To thank the gods for what is great: business he has set his hand, as in
A keen-edged sword, a soldier's heart, these lines, In the Mediterranean Is greater than a poet's art, Going to the War:
And greater than a poet's fame
A little grave that has no name.
What a spirit they all show, these
young singers, who lift the cup of
battle to their lips as if it were the Roaming, I am listening still,
Grail! Even more willingly, almost Bending, listening overlong,
blithely, Charles Hamilton Sorley In my soul a steadier will,
surrendered his life that spanned but In my heart a newer song.
twenty years. His volume, Marlboror in this stanza from the poem To ough, and Other Poems, is full of the a Distant One:
soldier's dedicated gladness. It takes
a high spirit to go to death with a There is so much to do, so little done, song, but Sorley did it and exhorted In my life's space, that I perforce did leave his comrades to do it, in lines of Love at the moonlit trysting-place to grieve Till fame and other litle things were won. hasty and immature technique but of I have missed much that I shall not retrieve, the temper of heroes: Far will I wander yet with much to do. Much will I spurn before I yet meet you, Cast away regiet and rue, So fair I can't deceive.
Think what you are marching to.
Little live, great pacs. The Songs of Peace are to the Jesus Christ and Barabbas last degree delicate; nothing of the
Were found the same day.
This died, that went his way. fighting man appears in them. One
So sing with joyful breath. is the more surprised, therefore, at For why, you are going to death. the virile, soldier note that rings in Teeming earth will surely store these lines which will appear in the
All the gladness that you pour. posthumous volume and which were
Earth that never doubts nor fears, published last month in the Touch
Earth that knows of death, not tears, stone:
Earth that bore with joyful ease
Hemlock for Socrates, When I was young I had a care
Earth that blossomed and was glad Lest I should cheat me of my share
Neath the cross that Christ had, Of that which makes it sweet to strive
Shall rejoice and blossom too For life, and dying still survive,
When the bullet reaches you.
Wherefore, men marching
resplendent cavalry, and all other On the road to death, sing!
externals of war, gave to it a glamour Pour your gladness on earth’s head, So be merry, so be dead!
and covered its terrors with Ro
mance. Now war is Realism; war is Like Rupert Brooke, Sorley had a ugliness; war is horror. No longer charm of personality that is likely to in brilliant uniform, the soldier goes become a tradition. Many testify to protectively coloured, like a creature it, as well as to his gifts, and at the of the earth, and burrows like a mole annual dinner of the Poetry Society in the ground; he fires at an enemy of America, John Masefield declared he does not see; he is not inspired that had Sorley had time to develop by martial music or banners; endurthese gifts we might have expected ance must largely take the place of almost anything of him. Mr. Mase- action; concealment must be his confield also spoke of W. N. Hodgson stant study and against bursting (“Edward Melbourne") as one of the shrapnel there is no use to oppose finest of the younger group who have his valour. Even when the charge paid the toll to war. Hodgson was comes, it is not that gallant encounter the son of the Bishop of Ipswich of open warfare with a fair field and and Edmundsbury and was a lieu no favours, but opposing skill in the tenant in a Devon regiment. Refined use of ingenious instruments of deand idealistic in temperament, his struction such as modern Warfare battle songs are consecrations, as a has brought. It is ghastly and terri. few lines of Before Action will show: ble in its physical features, and what
has been the result? One no longer I, that on my familiar hill Saw with uncomprehending eyes
goes to war for romance, he goes for A hundred of Thy sunsets spill
an ideal. The more realistic war beTheir fresh and sanguine sacrifice, comes on its technical side, the more Ere the sun swings his noonday sword idealistic it becomes on its spiritual Must say good-bye to all of this:
side. Only for the great inner purBy all delights that I shall miss, Help me to die, O Lord!
pose would anyone endure the outer
horror; and the poets, who are the One takes up book after book of seers, looking wholly above the modthese young poets who have fallen ern operation of war, sing only of it in action or who are still in the ranks, as an instrument, only of its operaand is more than ever impressed with tion in the great ends of world desthe fact that the whole emphasis of tiny. war, as far as the poets are con
Instead of descriptive poetry, precerned, has shifted to a spiritual senting the spectacle of war, we have basis. To compare the poetry of this interpretative poetry, giving the meanwar with that of any earlier one, is ing of war; and since one in the imto see not only that the poet is using mediate throes of a conflict can give a new terminology, as befits the new little more than his own personal retechnique of war, but that he is ex action to it, being too near for a pressing a new reaction, a new mood. focus,—we have chiefly the personal Formerly, when war was less terrible spiritual effect upon the poet who in its operation, it was romantic, it undergoes the baptism of fire. To stirred the spirit of adventure. Open present this war in its physical sense, warfare was a superb spectacle and in the air, on the sea, and with all the one's imagination thrilled to “bat terrible but marvellous instruments tle's magnificently stern array” and to of its execution,-would require a the "fiery mass of living valour roll. Homer; and to interpret it in its ing on the foe.” Martial music, flags psychological sense, with all the inand banners, gorgeous uniforms, terplay of race and motive, would re
quire a Dante. Instead we have as its Woman's Cry, by Edith Thomas, recorders youths just finding them written at the very outset of the war, selves and learning their art, but when Miss Thomas held very differfrom these direct experiences we ent convictions from those which she gain much more than from the more now holds. One in America could ambitious poems of those who write not escape knowing this, when her at second hand. Particularly is one work constantly appears in the daily impressed with this fact in looking press. We are glad to see that Mr. over the various anthologies of war Williams includes Olive Tilford Darverse which have been issued in the gan's high-visioned and beautiful past year. For example, in A Treas poem, Beyond War, and W. N. ury of War Poetry, edited by George Ewer's searching Five Souls. Herbert Clarke, an admirable collec From all of these anthologies, one tion containing most of the poems of keeps coming back to the books writnote which have appeared during the ten out of direct experience, and one war, one turns to the brief section of the most arresting of these is The called “Poets Militant," as one would Old Huntsman, by a young Jewish turn from a clamorous place to a poet from India, Siegfried Sassoon, shrine. One after another the poets now fighting in the British army. not in the war have moralised upon Sassoon is a remarkable blend of it, meted out judgment, and forecast mystic and realistic. Satire, humour, an altered world, while quietly as a irony, keen thrusts at the waste and prayer in Gethsemane the poet face stupidity of war, alternate with to face with death utters in song his moods of consecration when nothing dedication.
seems more desirable than to die for Professor Clarke's collection covers his Vision: much the same field as that of Professor Cunliffe's Poems of the Great Horror of wounds and anger at the foe, War, which antedated it consider
And loss of things desired; all these must ably. Both contain the finest poems
We are the happy legion, for we know written up to the period of their Time's but a golden wind that shakes the publication, but Professor Clarke's grass. Treasury of War Poetry, being issued later, has the advantage of greater
There was an hour when we were loth to
part timeliness. It also follows an excel. From life we longed to share no less than lent arrangement, presenting in sepa
others. rate groups the poems pertaining to
Now, having claimed this heritage of heart,
What need we more, my comrades and my each country. Still a later anthology brothers? is A Book of Verse of the Great War, edited by William Reginald It scarcely does Sassoon justice to Wheeler and issued by the Yale Uni- quote these lines which, as poetry, versity Press. It has to me less in are of indifferent merit, compared terest, owing to the fact that it with his celebration of Brother is largely made up of work by Lead and Sister Steel, or other non-militant poets, of whom nearly poems which show the more sinisa third are Americans. As we are ter side of war; but, by his leave, so lately in the war, we cannot in I prefer to represent him in his more the nature of things have so imme- exalted, if less poetically inspired, diate and vital an approach to it in moments. In Enemies one gets our poetry. Then, too, Mr. Wheeler, the point of view that Service conwho sends his manuscript from Hang- stantly presents in the Rhymes of a chow, China, quotes certain poems Red Cross Man—that one is not at which are now misleading, as The war with the individual and deplores
the fact that he must slay a brother Fields. Perhaps no poem of the war man in making war upon a system. is so widely known and loved. McEvidently this poem is of a beloved Crae did not fall in battle, but died of officer or comrade:
pneumonia, at Boulogne, France,
where he was chief medical officer of He stood alone in some queer sunless place one of the Canadian brigades. He Where Armageddon ends; perhaps he longed
was a poet who wrote unaffected, For days he might have lived; but his
beautiful, moving things, sure to be young face Gazed forth untroubled: and suddenly there
cherished. To the Anxious Dead is thronged
less familiar than In Flanders Fields. Round him the hulking Germans that I
shot When for his death my brooding rage was
O guns, fall silent till the dead men hear
Above their heads the legions pressing on hot.
(These fought their fight in time of bitter
fear He stared at them, half-wondering; and then They told him how I'd killed them for his
And died not knowing how the day had sake,
gone). Those patient, stupid, sullen ghosts of men: And still there seemed no answer he could
O flashing muzzles, pause and let them see make.
The coming dawn that streaks the sky afar; At last he turned and smiled, and all was
Then let your mighty chorus witness be well
To them, and Cæsar, that we still make war. Because his face could lead them out of hell.
Tell them, O guns, that we have heard their At the end of the book Sassoon call, has a poem to Robert Graves-son of That we have sworn, and will not turn aside, Alfred Percival Graves-who has dis.
That we will onward, till we win or fall,
That we will keep the faith for which they tinguished himself in the war and is died. himself a poet of ability. His book, Over the Brazier, is soon to be fol. Bid them be patient, and some day, anon, lowed, as befits an Irishman, by They shall feel earth enwrapt in silence Fairies and Fusiliers. At the Poetry Shall greet, in wonderment, the quiet dawn, Society dinner, previously referred And in content may turn them to their to, Masefield told a story of Graves sleep. which shows the mettle of the young poet. After a battle in Flanders, We all know the earlier lines, yet where he was fighting, Graves was so because they are likely to become severely wounded that when the Lieutenant-Colonel McCrae's monustretcher bearers went out at night to ment and are words which we do not search the field, they paused beside weary of recalling, I venture to put him and said, “There's no use bring them once more into print: ing him in; he's dead.” Whereupon, with the true fighting blood of the In Flanders fields the poppies blow Irish, young Graves aroused and ex. Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky claimed, “No, I'm not dead and I'm
The larks still bravely singing fly, d-d if I die!” This is the spirit Scarce heard amid the guns below. that will carry poet and soldier and We are the dead, short days ago race to victory.
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, One cannot leave our poets mili- Loved and were loved, and now we'lie
In Flanders fields. tant without a word of the sadness that has swept over the country at the Take up our quarrel with the foe. death of Lieutenant-Colonel John Mc To you from failing hands we throw Crae, our Canadian neighbour, who
The Torch--be yours to hold it high!
If ye break faith with us who die, has endeared himself to everyone by
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow his exquisite poem, In Flanders
In Flanders fields.
FABLES OF WAR AND PEACE*
BY H. W. BOYNTON
For some years James Lane Allen labour as a clerk in a bank, and gethas been lost to his public in a dim ting what consolation he may out of thicket of mysticism out of which, at self-mockery and a pose of indiffer. times, has escaped the sound of his ence; the mother, just a mother; voice, mellowly spouting one knew the little daughter, restless, assertive, not what. The only plain thing has modern, concealing her love for her been that a good story-teller whom brother under the appearance of we wanted had joined the swamis malice; the boy himself, vaguely disand minor prophets, of whom we trustful and rebellious against life, had plenty. He is back again among the life of narrow routine led by such us, still a trifle wild of eye, but with men as his father,-until a light is a smile on his lips, and a will to be set to his feet and he sees the world human and intelligible once more. before him. As for the means of his The Kentucky Warbler, from its title enlightenment, the professorial leconward, directly challenges the in- ture on the ornithologist Wilson that terest of readers who twenty years fills the long second chapter, a third ago were willing captives to the as long as the whole of the narrative charm of The Kentucky Cardinal. proper-here I must feel that the It has, to be sure, its quality as para writer's Southern love of platform ble or even as tract; but there are eloquence gets the better of him. The real people in it, and plenty of that gist of the matter might be given in demure humour we so sadly missed in a fifth of the space, and given more the swami-phase of this writer's pub- effectively for the purpose of the lic expression. The little narrative main fable. However, it is the ro(for this, like all Mr. Allen's later mantic story of the Scotch weaver books, is of small compass) is of the who after many failures as an ordi. chiselled cherry-tone order. No stroke nary citizen achieved greatness in is wasted in the picture of the odd the wilds, that rouses and inspires yet somehow recognisable family that the boy Webster. Wilson becomes the has produced the boy Webster: the guardian spirit of his dreams, and father, sentenced for life at hard the rare little warbler first named
by Wilson becomes the favourite ob* The Kentucky Warbler. By James Lane Allen. New York: Doubleday, Page and ject of his pursuit. Perhaps he is Company.
not to find it—we do not know; but The Tree of Heaven. By May Sinclair. the main thing is the search itself, New York: The Macmillan Company.
and the bird is but a symbol. Ambi. Comrades. By Mary Dillon. New York: The Century Company.
tion works in the boy, a plan for the Potterat and the War. By Benjamin Val. future takes shape; meanwhile he lotton. New York: Dodd, Mead and Com has had a glimpse of the riches. held pany.
for him by nature the interpreter. Just Outside. By Stacy Aumonier. New
New We part with him as he sets out once York: The Century Company.
A Daughter of the Morning. By Zona more to find the warbler: “WholeGale. Indianapolis: The Bobbs-Merrill heartedly, with a boy's eagerness, Company.
Webster suddenly took off his hat The Heart of O Sono San. By Elizabeth Cooper. New York: Frederick A. Stokes
Sioles and ran down the middle of the Company.
gleaming wbite turnpike toward the