FOUR SONNETS ON A PHILISTINE THEME.
|MY LITTLE BOY'S FACE.
O little face, little, loved tender face,
Set, like a saint's, in curls for aureole —
Little, loved face, in which the clear child-soul
Is mirror'd with a changeful perfect grace;
Where sudden ripples of light laughter chase
The dimples round the dainty mouth; where roll
Cloud-shadows of great questionings, and dole
For human ills half realized; where race,
In restless sequence, gloom, gleam, shade, and shine —
A thousand feelings, sorrow, love, and joy
A thousand thoughts, of folly half divine,
And bold imaginings, and fancies coy.
And reasonings dream-like! — O my boy, my boy.
How I do love that little face of thine!
O little face, how soon the years, alas!
Shall score stern lines upon that pure smooth brow.
And round the eyes and vermeil mouth, where now
No harshness dwells, but all emotions pass
As subtle-smooth as light winds over grass —
Aye score stern lines, marking the when and how
Of all life's storms: I hear their sway and sough
Coming; they gloom upon us; from the mass
Of congregated clouds leap fire, and rain.
And thunder; then they sob themselves to sleep.
But, ah! the difference in the summer plain.
The shatter'd woods, the sodden meadows deep,
And blasted promise of the golden grain; —
And at the change I cannot choose but weep.
|THE CLASSICAL IDEAL.
Must then thy beauty be so soon outworn —
A canker'd bud doom'd to untimely death;
A hoar-frost landscape, melting at a breath
Into unsightly drops; a pearl-rose morn
Heralding sleet and dank grey mists forlorn;
A goodly garment, as the Psalmist saith,
The moth shall fret until it perisheth?
For so some hold, deeming all beauty born
Of youth's fresh tinting and untroubled lines.
Of colour only and of form — aye, hold
That it must fade as each full feature pines
With age, and the flush cheek grows wan and cold,
The eye less bright, and chill with silver shines
The hair of bronze that had the sheen of gold.
|THE GOTHIC IDEAL.
O artist soul! and art thou then the slave
Of that dull workman, Time? I tell thee nay;
He is thy studio drudge, to mould youth's clay
At thy behest, and at thy will to grave
Manhood's stern marble. So thou guide the knave,
Then shall each touch and chisel-stroke display,
In lines perchance now broken in the sway
Of effort, now harmoniously suave.
Thy pure high thoughts, which an inviolate will
Guards from the passion-strokes of pain and ill.
And slow corrosion of the mean and base;
And to life's close, not only in the ken
Of the great Master Critic, but of men,
Beauty shall sit enthroned upon that face.
Examiner.Frank T. Marzials
As was to be expected, the estimates for the Arctic Expedition were passed by the House of Commons with complete unanimity. The sum asked for was 98,620l. There was appended to the estimate a further sum of 16,000l. for the next financial year; and for future years, while the expedition is out, there will be an additional sum of 13,000l. In addition to all this, there is a contingent possibility of about 50,000l. being required in case of its being thought necessary or desirable to send out a relief ship in consequence of the expedition not having returned as soon as was expected. We do not think it likely that this last item will ever be required, though it is creditable to the House that not a voice was raised against any of the items in the estimate. It has been decided that a man-of-war will accompany the expedition as far as Upernivik, where she will fill the ships up with coals and provisions. It is stated that the "Pandora," which was one of the vessels named for the expedition, but was condemned on survey, has been purchased from the Admiralty by Mr. Allen Young, a lieutenant in the Royal Naval Reserve, and it is rumoured that he will assume command of her, and accompany the "Alert" and "Discovery" during the summer. Mr. Young served with Admiral Sir Leopold M'Clintock on board the "Fox" in the Franklin Search Expedition.Nature.