Open main menu

AN APPRECIATION

In last Tuesday's issue of the American appeared "The Hunger" by Andrew Francis Lockhart, the poem considered by H. P. Lovecraft, a Boston critic, as equal to Riley's "An Old Sweetheart of Mine." Here is the critic's own opinion of Andy's poetry:

To Mr. Lockhart, on His Poetry

Whilst the town poet, dodd'ring in decay,
With hopeless drivel drives the Muse away,
Pleased with the clatt'ring of some formless line
That only he can fathom or define;
While sense and rhyme are banish'd as too hard
Till ev'ry chimney-sweep can turn a bard;
How great our joy to leave the free-verse throng.
And ease our ears with Lockhart's moving song!
Melodious Lockhart! Whose Aonian art
Transmits the pulsing of the simple heart;
Whose homely pen no languid soul dissects,
Whose polished line no cultur'd fog reflects;
From Grecian stores he bears no tinsel pelf,
Content to be a classic in himself!
Let feebler wits their cumbrous couplets weight
With dry allusion—dullness' specious freight.
Or deck with sounding words the empty length;
Of stilted odes, to hide their want of strength;
Our Milbank bard such formal trash disdains,
And fresh from Nature draws his rural strains
'Tis not for him in solitude to scan
The pedant's page, and shun the haunts of man;
'Tis not for him in books alone to trace
The moods and passions of our mortal race;
Close to mankind, his deft, experienced quill
Portrays his fellows with familiar skill.
No borrow'd sentiment or mimic rage
Stalks coldly through our poet's glowing page:
Fancy's true visions ev'ry line inspire,
And fill each melody with genuine fire,
Charm'd by the sound, the cynic stops to hear,
And sheds against his will the human tear,
What rising fame will future ages bring
To Lockhart, master of the lyric string?
With what fond honours will the minstrel move
Amongst the Muses of the Sacred grove?
Skill'd in sweet harmonies, supremely blest
With all the genius of his Native West,
His lofty brow deserves the laurel crown
That none hath worn, since Riley laid it down!

— H. P. Lovecraft.