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of China affords, in more than one re- gathering flowers while a dragon-fly spect, a curious contrast to that of perches on her comb-a lonely poet Greece. The most obvious difference, singing to his lute in the moonlightno doubt, is the difference in defini- pink cheeks among pink peach blostion. Greek art is, in every sense of soms; whatever sounds they make us the word, the most finished in the hear—the nightjar crying through the world; it is for ever seeking to express darkness—the flute and the swish of what it has to express completely and the swing among summer trees—all finally; and, when it has accomplished these things are presented to us charged that, it is content. Thus the most ex- with beautiful suggestions and that quisite of the lyrics in the Greek An- kind of ulterior significance which, in thology are, fundamentally, epigrams- our moments of imaginative fervor, the though they are, of course, epigrams most ordinary occurrences possess. transfigured by passion and the highest Here, for instance, is a description of a splendors of art. One reads them, and sleepless night-a description made up one is filled, in a glorified and ethereal of nothing but a short list of simple manner, with the same kind of satis- facts, and yet so full of the very mysfaction as that produced by a delicious tery of one of those half-vague, half. mouthful of wine. One has had a vivid watchings that we feel ourselves draught of hippicrene, a taste of the the friends of the eleventh-century poet consummation of beauty, and then one who wrote the linesturns over the page, and pours out an- The incense-stick is burnt to ash, the other glass. Different, indeed, is the

water-clock is stilled, effect of the Chinese lyric. It is the

The midnight breeze blows sharply by very converse of the epigram; it aims

and all around is chilled. at producing an impression which, so

Yet I am kept from slumber by the far from being final, must be merely

beauty of the spring:

Sweet shapes of flowers across the the prelude to a long series of visions

blind the quivering moonbeams and of feelings. It hints at wonders;

fling! and the revelation which at last it gives

Sometimes the impression is more parus is never a complete one—it is clothed

ticular, as in this charming versein the indetinability of our subtlest thoughts.

Shadows of pairing swallows cross his

book, A fair girl draws the blind aside

Of poplar catkins, dropping overAnd sadly sits with drooping head;

head ... I see the burning tear-drops glide,

The weary student from his windowBut know not why those tears are

nook shed.

Looks up to see that spring is long “The words stop," say the Chinese,

since dead. "but the sense goes on." The blind is And sometimes it is more generaldrawn aside for a moment, and we

The evening sun slants o'er the village catch a glimpse of a vision which starts

street; us off on a mysterious voyage down

My griefs, alas! in solitude are borne; the widening river of imagination. Along the road no wayfarers I meet.-Many of these poems partake of the Naught but the autumn breeze across nature of the "chose vue”; but they are

the corn. not photographic records of isolated Here is the essence of loneliness disfacts, they are delicate pastel drawings tilled into four simple lines; they were of some intimately seized experienee. written, in our eighth century, by Whatever sights they show us-a girl Kêng Wei.

Between these evanescent poems and And my shadow betrays we're a party the lyrics of Europe there is the same

of three ...

See the moon-how she glances rekind of relation as that between a scent

sponse to iny song; and a taste. Our slightest songs are

See my shadow-it dances so lightly solid flesh-and-blood things compared

along! with the hinting verses of the Chinese While sober I feel, you are both my poets, which yet possess, like odors,

good friends; for all their intangibility, the strange

When drunken I reel, our companion

ship ends. compelling powers of suggested remi

But we'll soon have a greeting without niscence and romance. Whatever their

a good-bye, subject, they remain ethereal. There

At our next merry meeting away in the is much drunkenness in them, much

sky. praise of the wine-cup and the “liquid amber” of the "Lan-ling wine”; but

He had written so far, when he caught what a contrast between their tipsiest sight of the retlection of the moon in lyrics and the debauched exaltation of the water, and leant over the side of the Anacreon, or the boisterous jovialities

boat to embrace it. He was drowned; of our Western drinking-songs! The but the poem came safely to shore in Chinese poet is drunk with the drunk- the empty boat; it was his epitaph. enness of a bee that has sipped too

Besides their lightness of touch and much nectar,

and

goes skimming their magic of suggestion, these lyrics vaguely among the flowers. His mind possess another quality which is no less floats off at once through a world of

obvious—a recurrent and pervading delicate and airy dreams

melancholy. Even their praise of

wine is apt to be touched with sadness; Oh, the joy of youth spent in a gold- it is praise of the power that brings fretted hall,

release and forgetfulness, the subtle In the Crape-flower Pavilion, the fair

power which, in one small goblet, can est of all,

drown a thousand cares. Their melanMy tresses for head-dress with gay garlands girt,

choly, so delicate and yet so profound, Carnations arranged o'er my jacket and seems almost to be an essential condishirt!

tion of an art which is nothing if not Then to wander away in the soft- fragmentary, allusive, and dreamy. scented air,

The gaiety which bubbles over into And return by the side of his Majesty's

sudden song finds no place in this anchair. .

thology. Its poets are the poets of reSo wrote the drunken Li Po one sum

flection, preoccupied with patient beau

ties and the subtle relationships of simmer evening in the imperial garden eleven hundred years ago, on a pink

ple things. Thus, from one point of

view, they are singularly modern, and silk screen held up before him by two ladies of the court. This great poet

perhaps the Western writer whose died as he had lived--in a trance of ex.

manner they suggest most constantly Alone in a pleas

is Verlaine. quisite inebriation.

Like him, they know the ure-boat after a night of revelry, he

art of being quiet in verse. Like passed the time, as he glided down the

him, they understand how the fluctuariver, in writing a poem on himself,

tions of temperament may be reflected his shadow, and the moon

and accentuated by such outward cir

cumstances as the weather or the time The moon sheds her rays on my goblet

In particular, like him, they and me,

are never tired of the rain. They have

of year.

realized the curious intimacy of its presence, and its pleasures no less than its desolations.

Or the poet remembers that, after all, sleep has its consolations. "Drive the young orioles away!” he exclaims

You ask when I'm coming; alas, not Their chirping breaks my slumber just yet...

through, How the rain filled the pools on that And keeps me from my dreams of you.

night when we met! Ah, when shall we ever snuff candles And then, often enough, it is the again,

thought of home that haunts these tenAnd recall the glad hours of that even.

der singersing of rain?

I wake, and moonbeams play around But this kind influence which unites

my bed, can also be a cruel destiny which sep- Glittering like hoar-frost to my wonarates, adding a final bitterness to soli

dering eyes; tude

Up towards the glorious moon I raise

my head,

Then lay me down-and thoughts of 'Tis the festival of Yellow Plums! the

home arise. rain unceasing pours, And croaking bull-frogs hoarsely wake the echoes out of doors.

The exile can never forget the beauties I sit and wait for him in vain, while

of his birthplacemidnight hours go by, And push about the chessmen till the Sir, from my dear old home you come, lamp wick sinks to die.

And all its glories you can name;

Oh, tell me-has the winter-plum That is the melancholy of absence- Yet blossomed o'er the window

frame? a strain which is re-echoed again and again among these pages, so that, as

And, when at length he is returning, we read, we begin to feel that here, in

he trembles and dares not ask the this sad sense of the fragility of human intercourse, lies the deepest inspiration

Our finest lyrics are for the most part of the book. Poet after poet writes

the memorials of passion, or the swift of the burden of solitary love, of the

and exquisite expressions of “the tenlong days of loneliness, of the long

der eye-dawn of auroran love." In nights of recollection

these lyrics of China the stress and the

fury of desire are things unknown, and, Is it thy will, thy image should keep

in their topsy-turvy Oriental fashion, open My heavy eyelids to the weary night? they are concerned far more with mem

ories of love than expectations of it. -the lines might have been written in They look back upon love through a Chinese. Sometimes the theme is va

long

vista of years which have ried; thoughts of the beloved lend a smoothed away the agitations of rosweetness even to absence

mance and have brought with them the

i calm familiarity of happiness, or the In absence lovers grieve that nights quiet desolation of regret.

Thus, should be,

while one cannot be certain that this But all the livelong night I think of

love is not sometimes another name for thee. I blow my lamp out to enjoy this rest,

a sublimated friendship, one can be And shake the gathering dew-drop from

sure enough that these lovers are almy vest....

ways friends. Affection, no doubt, is

news.

the word that best describes such feelings; and it is through its mastery of the tones and depths of affection that our anthology holds a unique place in the literature of the world. For this cause, too, its pages, for all their strange antiquity, are fresh to us; their humanity keeps them immortal. The poets who wrote them seem to have come to the end of experience, to have passed long ago through the wonders and the tumults of existence, to have arrived at last in some mysterious haven where they could find repose among memories that were for ever living, and among discoveries that were for ever old. Their poetry is the voice of a civilization which has returned upon itself, which has achieved, after the revolution of ages, simplicity. It has learnt to say some things so finely that we forget, as we listen to it, that these are not the only things that can be said.

a sense of finality, that they seem to contain within themselves a summary of all that is most important in life. There is something almost cruel in such art as this; one longs, somehow or other, to shake it; and one feels that, if one did, one would shake it into ice. Yet, as it is, it is far from frigid; but it is dry-dry as the heaped rose-leaves in a porcelain vase, rich with the perfume of how many summers! The scent transports us to old gardens, to old palaces, we wander incuriously among forsaken graves; we half expect some wonder, and we know too well that nothing now will ever come again. Reading this book, we might be in the alleys of Versailles; and our sensations are those of a writer whose works, perhaps, are too modern to be included in Professor Giles's anthology

Here in the ancient park I wait alone. The dried-up fountains sleep in beds of

stone; The paths are still; and up the sweep

ing sward No lovely lady passes, no gay lord.

We parted at the gorge and cried

“Good cheer!" The sun was setting as I closed my

door; Methought, the spring will come again

next year, But he may come no more.

Why do I linger? Ah! perchance I'll

find Some solace for the desolated mind In yon green grotto, down the tower

ing glade, Where the bronze Cupid glimmers in the shade.

G. L. Strachey.

The words carry with them so much significance, they produce so profound

The New Quarterly.

NAT'S WIFE.

Oh, he won't hurt you. He's nothing but bark. I don't think he could bite you, even if he had a mind, for there isn't above one tooth in 'is head. He don't belong to us by rights, he was a stray-we calls 'im "Stray”-for he came a prowling round 'ere whining and looking so miserable that I ’adn't the 'eart to keep on a-driving 'im away. That's just me all over. I am so regular soft-'earted, that if I sees a fellow

LIVING AGE. VOL. XLI. 2159

creature suffering, well, it makes me as if I'd do anything-in reason. And I'm just the same with dumb animals. And my little boy, 'e says, “Oh, mammie, let ’im stay," and it did 'appen as we wanted a dog just then, so there he is! As my 'usband says, he does very well to sit in the front and bark -but I expect one of these days we shall 'ave to get rid of 'im, for 'e's getting very old. Well, I've always got a

great feeling for old folks, and I do like 'im isn't what you call 'earty, still 'ope that when I gets old myself there'll ho has to 'ave his vittles, and I'm not be those about me to show me kind. one of them as could bear to see any ness, for what with leaving all the one wanting for what I could give 'em, things behind you bit by bit, and not you know. knowing what's before you, it must be You see the farm 'ad always been a very melancholy feel. I thought a his, and 'is father's before 'im, so it deal of my poor mother. She did keep would ’ave been very 'ard to take 'im up wonderful up to the last. We off the ground But 'e'd 'ad very bad buried 'er two years come next Mi- luck with one thing and another. Bad chaelmas, and she went off very sud- seasons, and poor crops, and his wife den. As I always says, there's mercy laid by for a year or more, and the butin all things, and a long doctor's bill is ter business falling through. And I a heavy burden to them as is left, for believe, from all I 'ear, that 'e was 'elpyou don't like your dead to lie in debt. ing 'is widowed sister more than 'e But I'm one of those who sets great ought. She'd got such a family, you store by my own flesh and blood. The know. Any way things went from family as you're born into is where bad to worse. There was a deal o' your duty lies-next after your own business about it, and a deal o' talk. home, you know. Of course you can't There was money on it or something. 'elp it, you're obliged to 'ave them for I can't follow it all through. Will's kin as the Almighty thinks fit, and told me many's the time, and it seems that's just where luck comes in. Well, to go in straight enough when he tells I've always 'ad good luck with my me, but it always comes out in a mudfamily, they've paid their way, and dle when I tell it. But anyhow he was kept respectable, and that isn't what bankrupted. everyone can say.

I never feels the same about the fam- Nat and his wife took the farm on, ily as you marries into. It isn't your and the father along with it. She'd own flesh and blood, and your duty a tidy bit of money from her father, don't lie in it any more than it do in

and they borrowed a bit more, and your neighbor's garden. If you keep started it again. As she says, "Look at your own weeds down, I always say, it's Nat's father, and look at mine, the one as much as need be expected of you.

did all the losing, and the other did Now there's Will's father. Of course an

all the saving." Well, it's quite true. old gentleman about the place as can't

Her father was the biggest old screw do any work, is a bit cumbersome sit- in the country, and never give a copper ting in a armchair all day, and it gives

away, I should say. a good bit of extra trouble, but I You see, as Nat said, the father must shouldn't 'ave minded a bit if it 'ad 'ave a home somewheres, and, as I been my own father. I should 'ave says, we're crowded enough 'ere; and felt it's what the Almighty sends you, his daughter Mrs. Gask, as is married and it has to be put up with and made into the drapery line, she said as she the best of. But, as I said to Will,

knew he'd never make 'imself 'appy we are a bit crowded here, and will be away from the farm-and there it was! when the children gets bigger and all, He's very broken, now. He 'eld 'is I says, so it's better for 'im to stay on head up at first, and bore it very brave. at the farm with Nat and his wife. I've often 'eard 'im say as how he's a Then Will's money isn't so very much, good bit of work in him yet if the ar'd though of course an old gentleman Lord'd spare 'im, and 'ed 'elp Nat pull

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