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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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              199
  	Critique of the London Athenaeum
on Stedman�s Poetry.  It made him very
savage.  (I remember his putting up and di-
recting a pile of the volumes, to London jour-
nals.)

[newspaper clipping]
  Poems, Lyrical and Idyllic.  By Edmund
Clarence Stedman.  (Scribner.)�Here is another
collection of verse born on the other side of the
Atlantic, the writer of which is still, we apprehend,
in the Debateable Land.  It would be hard
to predicate whether he shall issue thence into
Eden or into stormy Arabia,�into the warmth and
happiness of fame or the arid and painful desert
of neglect.  Mr. Stedman�s Preface assures us that
he has taken pains with his poetry, and the pages
bear out the Preface.  Let us present the follow-
ing; in which there is much to admire, though a
certain confusion of epithet and fantasy, which
speaks of a mind and  magination not wholly self-
agreed or settled:�
		        SUMMER RAIN.
	Yestermorn the air was dry
	As the winds of Araby,
	While the sun, with pitiless heat,
	Glared upon the glaring street
	And the meadow fountains sealed,
	Till the people every where�	
	And the cattle in the field,
	     And the birds in middle air,
	And the thirsty little flowers,
	     Sent to heaven a fainting prayer
	For the blessed summer showers.

	Not in vain the prayer was said;
	For at sunset, overhead,
	Sailing from the gorgeous West,
	Came the pioneers, abreast,
	Of a wondrous argosy�
	The Armada of the sky!
	Far along I saw them sail,
	Wafted by an upper gale;
	Saw them, on their lustrous route,
	Fling a thousand banners out:
	Yellow, violet, crimson, blue,
	Orange, sapphire�every hue
	That the gates of Heaven put on,
	To the sainted eyes of John,
	In that hallowed Patmian isle�
	Their skyey pennons wore: and, while
	I drank the glory of the sight,
	Sunset faded into night.

	Then diverging, far and wide,
	To the dim horizon�s side,
	Silently and swiftly there,
	Every galleon of the air,
	Manned by some celestial crew,
	Out its precious cargo threw,	
	And the gentle summer rain
	Cooled the fevered Earth again.
	
	Through the night I heard it fall
	Tenderly and musical:
	And this morning not a sigh
	     Of wind uplifts the briony leaves,
	But the ashen-tinted sky
	     Still for earthly turmoil grieves,
	While the melody of the rain,
	Dropping on the window-pane�
	On the lilac and the rose,
	Round us all its pleasance throws,
	Till our souls are yielded wholly
	To its constant melancholy,
	And, like the burden of its song,
	Passionate moments glide along.
�The two words marked in italics will �point the
moral� of the above remarks.��In �Bohemia� we
find something of Prof. Longfelow,�in �Too
Late,� a far echo of Mr. Browning�s singular but
striking poem, �Evelyn Hope,��in �Flood Tide,�
one more emulation of �Locksley Hall.�  Here is
something simpler and more commonplace�a
song, well worth setting to music:�
	  VOICE OF THE WESTERN WIND!
	Voice of the western wind!
  	  Thou singest from afar,
	Rich with the music of a land
	  Where all my memories are;
	But in thy song I only hear
	  The echo of a tone,
	  That fell divinely on my ear
	  In days forever flown.

	Star of the western sky!
	  Thou beamest from afar,
	With lustre caught from eyes I knew,
	Whose orbs were each a star;
	But, oh, those eyes�too wildly bright�
	  No more eclipse thine own,
	And never shall I find the light
	  Of days forever flown!
Mr. Stedman, like Mr. Jones, will have his
humour, and tries to be ironical and Byronical;
but the verses in which this is attempted show the
least agreeable and worthy side of his talent.
Should it please him to listen to counsel, and to
labour, he may do honour to America, whether
the States be united or disunited.               
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