Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

(The rights of translation and of reproduction

are

reserved)

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Cloth, gold lettered, extra thick toned paper, crown 8vo.

PRICE 7/6.

EXTRACTS FROM REVIEWS.

6

• As an Alpine traveller might pluck the eidelweiss in some unexpected cranny, so

we open

the pages of a volume of “Idylls, Legends and Lyrics.”. It is the work of a poet of nature. The bustling, thriving port at the mouth of the Tees is typical of the North-country where the romance of the past is almost lost in the prosaic present. Its atmosphere is as little conductive to the development of the poetic faculty as the frowning mountain is to the budding of a delicate flower.

[ocr errors]

But despite the overshadowing influence of commerce the spirit of minstrelsy is not dead; as in the case of Amelia Garland Mears, who has poured forth her thoughts in lavish measure and varied strain. The spirit of song has been stirred in her heart by legends of the time when Cædmonchanted his rude lyrics a thousand years before the days of Milton. In these latter days a disciple of Cædmon has arisen who claims “to picture the story of his hearth-life, and weave around him in imagination the probable incidents of his home and immediate surroundings.”

Mrs. Mears strikes her harp with power and grace, and breathes life and poetry into the dry bones of history. The legends of her volume are enhanced by notes betraying considerable research. Particularly is this noticeable in “Edain," an ancient legend of Ireland, written in the simple ballad style, and quite in the spirit of the Irish race. The story is very fanciful.

[ocr errors]

The place of honour in the volume is given to “Ilamea,” a Dramatic Idyll, which is chiefly remarkable for itsapostrophe to love. From the lips of Ilamea the author boldly attempts the analysis of this “mystic power.” Mrs. Mears may indeed be described as the Poet of Love. She is a close observer of human passion. Never before have we seen such a complete analysis of the tender passion as that given in the eighteen sonnets, several of them of high merit, under the title of “Honoria's Love." Having received the imprimateur of Messrs. Kegan Paul, Trench & Co., one of the leading publishing firms of the day, Idylls, Legends, and Lyrics " go into the world with the stamp of approval; and in winning credit for their author they reflect honour upon the town which saw their birth.'—- Newcastle Chronicle.

[ocr errors]

6

[ocr errors]

66

9

• Considerable variety of style and sentiment are illustrated in these interesting verses. The Dramatic Idyll, “Ilamea,” - Honoria's Love ;”. • Edain,” an ancient legend of Ireland, “ Poems in Blank Verse ; ” Cædmon," an early English Idyll, together with “ Songs and Lyrical Poems,” are all samples of composition which indicate that the author is no novice in such work. In “ Honoria's Love” are depicted the several emotions of the mind when under the influence of love, each sonnet expressing a separate phase of that passion which is admitted to be the strongest of all human passions. Owing to the form of the verse, these eighteen sonnets are less a love story, perhaps, than an exposition of the emotions. “ The Bursting of Conemaugh Lake,” near Johnston, U.S., in May, 1889, furnishes

a

3

the subject of a very vigorous poem descriptive of that awful catastrophe, in which 14,000 persons perished. The following taken from the “Love of Uther," is descriptive of a battle. One other extract of a different character must conclude our quotations from this admirable book.' - Manchester Courier.

6

• This is an 8vo. volume, printed in clear type, on thick paper ; cloth; gilt-lettered. Its pages are laden with the music of the love song and old-time love story. The aim of the author, not only to reach the reasoning faculties, but to appeal to the imagination and emotions; and to yield that pleasure to the mind which is the design of poetry as of music, has been gained. True poetry, it has been said, pourtrays with terrible energy the excesses of the passions; but they are passions which show a mighty nature; which are full of power; which command awe, and excite a deep though shuddering sympathy. Its great tendency and power is to carry the mind above and beyond the beaten, dusty, and weary walks of ordinary life: to lift it into a purer element, and to breathe into it a more profound and generous emotion. This consummation has been attained by the Dramatic Idyll, Ilamea,” with which part I. opens. Its sublimity and elegance of style entitle it to rank as one of the finest classics ever written on love.'-Oxford Chronicle.

66

66

5“ Idylls, Legends and Lyrics,” bespeak the true poetic vein ; the light phantasy of romantic thought; and the faculty of expressing all in rhythmic verse. A Dramatic Idyll, Ilamea,” is, perhaps, the happiest in the volume. It dwells, as really does the whole book, on the immortal theme of love; and an argumentative colloquy between two persons, the Count and Ilamea, reveals a flow of language and beautifully balanced metre that make it a pleasure to read or recite.'-Northern Echo.

• This work is principally composed of old-time love stories in verse, which the author claims have never before formed subject of treatment by the poet. They present a picture, though only a legendary one, of the days of our ancestors, and are interesting on

[graphic]

4

that account. A bouquet of love sonnets are treated with no little skill and originality. An ancient legend of Ireland is very cleverly and sympathetically rendered in “Edain,” “Cædmon," an Early English Idyll, is also noteworthy. It is something to be reminded of the "peasant poet, who, a thousand years before Milton, sang the epic of the Creation ; vividly depicting the War in Heaven, the Fall of Satan, and his Counsellings in Hell.” The author has produced a collection of poems which exhibit true poetic instinct ; and the work makes a goodly and acceptable volume.'- Sheffield Daily Telegraph.

• The love song and love story form the staple of Mrs. Garland Mears' “Idylls, Legends and Lyrics.” She possesses much fluency of expression, and is not troubled in her theme by any melancholy transcendentalism. In her view the object of poetry is to yield pleasure to the mind, and it should appeal either to the imagination or the emotions. “ Its true object " she observes, “is not obtained when it becomes chiefly the vehicle for philosophical or metaphysical instruction reaching only the reasoning faculties.” Some of the poems have a simple love tale for their basis, as in “Ilamea ;

“ Cædmon;

and “ The Love of Uther,” the British king for Igerna with the resultant birth of Arthur. In “Honoria's Love" we have a series of eighteen sonnets; from the first of these we quote the eight opening lines dealing with “ Love's Entrance.”

“Oh, kingly Love when first thou didst enthral
My soul in thy sweet bonds I hardly knew
Thy presence : filled with joy, what could I do
But gaze upon thy face, and at thy call
Give willing ear : Then straight before thee fall,
In meekness yielding loving homage,
What sum of bliss wrapped up in moments few;
Life's sweetest mystery is made my all !"

The Graphic.

« НазадПродовжити »