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T. TOS TOSER
"One disastrou with so lessness public; } less; tra him, an cruel ne from a the rid opium, under, 1 heart-b ignobly
Cou! imagin young Dark gener it fro fragm
Go hillward in the honeyed rain;
My God who hast forgotten me!" Here are beauties dear to the mortal mind to which an anguish of discontent is comprehensible because “it is common." Here is the sum and circle of nature, tagged with the everlasting paradox: the mindlessness and indifference of the beauty wherewith we are surrounded and our bunger to which it will not, because it cannot, minister. This is great writing: for here the soul walks usabashed, articulate, impassioned, the finite crying to the infinite, the peristissa atom appealing to the sky of the material over hima Perhaps there can be nothing your in a dramatic sense, in our prisostomust under the encircling sky, than the soutSy sy dhal lenging voice of the creature on the unanswering framework of bus mora destiny, to the God Who seks i více and it. Lear, in the storm wa mwitus ful of him, set his brezh against un vast When the cry breaks is justa. Sen te
man is mad. The merciful reaction that lies in nature's anodynes sets in to counteract and dull. But our poet, though she can write:
"Help me endure the Pit, until
Thou wilt not have forgotten me,” never challenges her God with mad interrogation. It is not His justice she assails; she but beseeches the quickening of His will to save. There is an immeasurable distance between entire overthrow and the sanity of the creature who, though sorely wounded, has lost no jot of faith in divine medicaments. Her plea is only that she may share the wholesome life of His birds and trees.
“As to a weed, to me but give
Thy sap!" The poem may have been written in the period she calls “my calendar of imprisonments,” perhaps in the two years given over to "nerves.” This includes the eight years from 1894, when she entered the Auburndale post-office, through 1902. They were weighted with the routine work she desperately essayed at post-office and library. The summer of 1895, given to a walking
trip in England, she illuminates by a rapt "annus beatus," and two years were eaten into by the illness and death of the aunt she dearly loved, “the only being,” she writes, “who was all mine from my birth.” It was a cruelly large gulp for the dragon of time to make at the precious substance of her later youth. There was some fugitive versifying, but little of the steady routine of pen and book to make her life as she loved it. Some of her most significant verse did come in here, bright splashes of sunset red on the flat marsh lands of her way. Especially in the annus beatus there was exquisite writing and some immediately after in that surge of remembered passion risen over and over again in those who love England and have said good-bye to her, only to return in homesick thought. Of this period Arboricide stands alone and stately, like the tree of her lament.
"A word of grief to me erewhile:
We have cut the oak down, in our isle.
And the fisher-boy at sea
A wound in earth, an ache in air." But the actual crown of the book is in the two stanzas called Borderlands. Within the small circle of recurrent rhythm this poem holds the ineffable. It is a softly drawn and haunting melody on the night wind of our thoughts, it hints at the nameless ecstasies that may be of the rhythm of the body or the soul-but we know not!-it is of the texture of the veil between sense and the unapprehended spirit. "Through all the evening, All the virginal long evening, Down the blossomed aisle of April it is dread
to walk alone; For there the intangible is nigh, the lost is ever-during;