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renunciation of the wider public, to warn the "general reader," as it were, that the book is not meant for the like of him.

Besides, printing, in these days, by no means wholly constitutes "publication." That involves printing under such conditions as shall induce or compel "noticing." This is especially essential to any real publication of the poems of a newspaper man. "The small peccary band" are by no means given to hailing with delight the efforts of one of their own number in ways more ambitious than the regular employments of the herd, and there is strong and general disbelief, in strictly "literary" circles, that any literary good can come out of the newspaper Nazareth.

But, granting and allowing for the particular ineptitude which Mr. Townsend has shown for "publication" as distinct from publicity, and for the scepticism of the Brahmans, one has to own that there is much in the work itself to justify this scepticism. "Although the newspapers have been my bulrushes, holding me up," says the author, in his prose preface, by one of those quaint and happy images that occur to him so readily, "Poesy has been Pharaoh's daughter, raising me." But something more than the poetic impulse is needed for the production of poetry, and that is the poetic art. It is the patient clarification and elaboration of the poetic material. What Emerson said about Thoreau, and might often have said about himself, we have often to say about Townsend: "The thyme and marjoram are not yet honey." Even to good prose a higher elaboration is essential than the conditions of the newspaper admit. There is a curious letter from Philip Francis in Burke's "Correspondence," curious, among other things, for the light it may shed upon the "Junius" controversy, though I have never seen it cited in connection with that controversy. The arrogant, schoolmasterly tone which the lesser man takes to the greater would have been the height of insolence viewed in the light of the respective "public forms" of the two writers; but supposing Francis to have been conscious of a great, though anonymous, literary success, it becomes quite intelligible. "Once for all," comments the putative author of "Junius" upon the manuscript of the "Reflections," "once for all, I wish you would let me teach you to write English. To me, who am to read everything you write, it would be a great comfort, and to you no sort of disparagement. Why will you not allow yourself to be persuaded that polish is material to preservation?" The fact that

Burke has come down to us "sustained by his matter," while the dust settles upon the forgotten controversies which "Junius" fancied would be kept in memory by his style, does not affect the soundness of the proposition. And, if even this degree of "polish" is incompatible with the methods of the newspaper, especially with the methods of so particularly profuse an improvisatore for the newspaper as Mr. Townsend, much more, of course, is the higher degree of it that is "material" to the production of durable verse. The "journalistic" method of work has been described somewhere by Carlyle: "No carpenter ever made a mathematically right angle in the world; but every carpenter knows when it is right enough, and does not botch his job and lose his wages by trying to get it too right." The poetic method is that which has been so memorably described by Tennyson:

"Old poets, fostered under friendHer skies,

Old Virgil, who would write ten lines, they say,
At dawn, and lavish all the golden day
To make them wealthier in his readers' eyes;
And you, old popular Horace, you the wise
Adviser of the nine-years-pondered lay."

For a journalist to undertake literature, most of all for him to undertake poetry, is to undertake to keep these two methods apart, to pass from one to the other. And that is perhaps one of the chief reasons why, with so many young men joining the press, as they used to do in this country more than as they do now, because they felt or fancied in themselves a vocation to literature, so little literature has been produced by journalists, and why the men who have kept and fulfilled their literary aspirations have, for the most part, found it necessary to cut loose from what Mr. Townsend himself calls "the daily domineerer." It requires almost a miracle of intellectual balance and moral firmness to keep clear of the temptation to "make copy" when you set out to make literature. Perhaps the most conspicuously successful example of resistance to this temptation is that of Mr. Andrew Lang, who still, at fifty-odd, seems to keep his journalism and his literature well apart. On his journalistic side, Mr. Lang may be described, as Thackeray described himself under the figure of Pendennis, as a hack naturally fast in pace and brilliant in action; and to pass from even such hack-work as his to the sonnet on the Odyssey is a feat, quite and far away Mr. Lang's high

water mark though the sonnet on the Odyssey be. It may, indeed, almost be said that the professional producer of ephemera who desires also to produce something more than ephemera must take to himself the saying of Spinoza, to whom Mr. Townsend has addressed two admiring sonnets, that he "will earn his living with his hands and keep his brains for himself."

It can by no means be said of the latest volume of Townsend's poems that it always observes this distinction. And it is noticeable that the poems in which it is most carefully observed are not the latest; are more apt to be the earliest. In fact, the most careful and elaborate work, that in which the writer's craftsmanship comes uniformly nearest to artistry, is, as has been suggested already, the first volume, the "Poems" of 1870. "Finished to the finger-nail," as is much of the verse in "Tales of the Chesapeake," and at least the "Little Grisette" in the "Bohemian Days," the poet seems to show a progressive carelessness respecting form. It is true that there is a corresponding gain in substance, in the evidence of experience, but this, though it be a compensation, is scarcely to be pleaded as an offset. The iron has entered his soul. Much of this impression is doubtless due to the circumstances in which this latest volume was issued, to the temptation to which the poet has yielded of "making copy." The poetical idea is very seldom absent that is to say, an interesting idea that of itself suggests embodiment in verse rather than in prose-but the author seems satisfied with a rougher and readier notation of it than would have satisfied him once. There are, among the hundred and twenty-odd "Poems of Men and Events," scarcely a dozen that the reader would be content to miss, but there are scarcely more than that, of the newer work, that could not and should not have been made better. If, on almost every page, there is some vivid felicity of imagery or expression, there are few pages that are not marred by some blemish. Rhythm and even grammar are disregarded by the running pen, until sometimes one would be tempted to say that the author had no ear for the music of verse, if there were not sure presently to occur some line or lines that made that supposition untenable, and threw the reader back upon the impregnable ground of the vicar of Wakefield, that the picture would have been better if the painter had taken more pains. A year's work with a file, how much good it would have done this volume;-if the author, to use his own better image, had patiently clarified his work,

"And purled away its sediment."

But he seems to show an ineptitude for self-criticism, or an impatience of it, equal to his ineptitude in respect to "publication." That this should be shown in his selection of his own works was to be expected. Poets are almost foredoomed to failure in this, almost sure to be guided by other than critical considerations, largely by a fatuous fondness for their latest born, even though Benjamin should turn out deformed or perverse. The most unfriendly critic of Mr. Swinburne could not have made a less favorable selection than the poet's own. Almost the only satisfactory abridgment of a poet's work by himself is that of Matthew Arnold, and it is open to anybody to say that that is because in this case the critical faculty tends to overpower the creative, and that if the selection had not been so good, the poetry might have been better. In any case, it seems that Townsend's poems stand in need of being edited as well as of being published.

Thus far, I seem to have been dealing in nothing but negatives; but when such a poet as Mr. Townsend, to my sense, is, is in question, it seems needful to clear away the impediments and obstructions which have prevented his more general recognition, if we would reconcile his poetical performance with the appreciation of the American public. Of course, you cannot "prove" moetry. You can only show it. And the lover of poetry has only to glance over the pages of this latest volume, better as, I admit and insist, the poet might have made it, to come upon lines and phrases which only a poet could have written. Here is one, from the lines upon "Gail Hamilton's" book on Blaine:

"This book it also is thy tomb;

Two women watched it, one to doom,
A light of Marys fills its gloom."

And here, from the verses on Gibbon :

"The vast procession of mankind,
Like some great circus seemed,
In his kaleidoscopic mind
Metempsychosed or dreamed."

Or, in a more conventional and academic strain, these concluding lines from a sonnet to John Sherman:

"And seem to talk to Nestor in his calm,

When Homer knew him in the vale of years."

And here is the last verse from the poem "At Ayr,” marred as it is by the rhyme which is rhyme only to the eye. While "letters" undoubtedly rhymes to "debtors," "belles-lettres" as certainly does not, any more than "la belle alliance" rhymes to "defiance," as it purports to do in the sonnet on Byron. Of course, I quote the verse, not for the blemish, but in spite of it, and because it both recalls Burns, being even, by design or luck, in the metre of the "Epistle to a Young Friend," and characterizes the American as well as the Scottish bard:

"Great babe! who haled thy Scottish sect

And put its saints thy debtors,

And made thy wayside dialect
A language of belles-lettres!
I do not kneel, but bow thy due,
Ent'ring thy hut's low portal;
The unsevere see Nature through
The joyous troll immortal."

But if these felicities are frequent in the later poems, they are seldom long sustained; and to see what the poet can do and has done upon the continuous high level of artistic workmanship proper and indispensable to lasting verse, one has to revert to the earlier, almost to the earliest. It was at the funeral of James Buchanan in 1868, which I attended as the "representative" of my newspaper, and Mr. Townsend in his capacity of free lance, that he borrowed a buggy and drove me about the sweet and cheerful Pennsylvanian country that surrounds "Wheatlands" and quaint, steep-gabled, pleasant old Lancaster, and recited to me a poem then still, I think, unprinted. When I came into possession the other day of the "Poems" of 1870, and for the first time found the poem in print, after recent study of the alternating amenities and asperities of the later verse, the reader can imagine the mixture of curiosity and trepidation with which I turned to it first, and the delight of finding that it had not shrunk, but lived up to and filled out the vague impression of it that had abided with me for thirty-one years. The reader shall judge for himself whether my admiration was misplaced. The title of the poem is "Paul on the Hellespont":

"From Japhet, when Shem was a yeoman,

And Canaan reviled,

Till to-day, when the world is all Roman,

And Judah a wild,

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