Изображения страниц





R. DAVID GRAY, poet, journalist, critic and traveler, was born November 8th, 1836, in Edinburgh, Scotland. He was a son of Philip Cadell Gray, a stationer, and later a crockery dealer. The Gray family had lived in Edinburgh three generations. His mother was Amelia Tasker. His parents were united in 1833. David was educated in private schools and in Forester's Newington Academy, in Edinburgh. In school he was noted for quick powers of acquisition and for brilliancy of intellect, while his physical powers were developed by the usual sports of Scottish youth. On the 9th of April, 1849, the family sailed for NewYork, where they landed on 1st May. They went to Buffalo, and on 22nd May they sailed for Sheboygan, Wis. The family settled on a farm near Waupun, where they endured all the discomforts of pioneer life. David attended the high school in Waupun in 1853, and he continued to read and study during his life on the farm.

In 1854 he became a school-teacher, and he afterward attended school in Portage for a time. In August, 1856, he removed to Buffalo, where he became secretary and librarian of the Young Men's Christian Union. There he formed many acquaintances, extended his reading and studies, and became a contributor to the Express, The Home and other publications. In 1859 he became a commercial reporter on the Buffalo Daily Courier. At the end of a year he became associate editor of that journal and settled down to a life of hard newspaper work. In 1862 he visited Cuba. In 1865 he visited Europe and remained abroad till 1868, and during those years he wrote a brilliant series of letters to the Courier, in which his literary powers were shown at their best. In April, 1868, he returned to Buffalo, where he resumed his newspaper work. He was married to Miss Martha Guthrie, of New Orleans, La., on 2nd June, 1869.

In 1876 he became chief editor of the Courier, but the work proved too much for him, and in 1877

[ocr errors]

No. I.

his health failed. He went to Europe for recuperation, and was greatly benefited by the trip. In 1880 his health again failed, and in 1882 he was compelled to give up work. In that year he again visited Europe, accompanied by his wife and three children. They returned to Buffalo in 1885. In 1885 he was appointed secretary of the Board of Commissioners of the State Reservation at Niagara Falls, N. Y., and also secretary of the park commission of Buffalo. The work proved to be too great for his strength. He started in March, 1888, for the Bermudas, with his brother. The train was wrecked at Vestal, N. Y., on the 16th of March, and David Gray was so seriously injured that he died in a few hours. He filled an important place in the social and literary life of Buffalo. His poetry is a complete key to his character. After his death his friends published a memorial volume, containing an extended biographical sketch, his finest poetical productions and miscellaneous papers. His poetry

is marked by the true fire and force, and the verbal dress is always appropriate. Probably the most accurate characterization of his work is that it greatly resembles that of Poe. H. A. V.


No tale of days divine with love, or starry eves, is mine;

I only know that One was once who made all life divine;

Whose presence circled to my soul its all of earth or skies,

Who drew my glamoured sight from heaven, to dwell upon her eyes;

And Hope (that fell from heaven to hell) upsoared on wings of light

Till that sweet vision darkly changed and melted into night.

It came, a whisper-low at first-that she was false

to me;

And louder grew the words accurst, "Another, and not thee!'

They bade me see the signs she wore, howe'er she

sighed or smiled,

That told the Eden of my love a paradise defiled. And by his spell upon her eyes, his spell on heart and breath,

His bridal sign upon her cheek, I knew the Rival, Death!

I did not rail of broken vows; O God, so white and shriven!

I watched her life, my star of life, set in its dream of heaven;

And all the haunted nights my prayer was wild, the while I ween

She could not see my heart at hers, for a shade that dwelt between;

But, gazing past me through the gloom, the light in her eyes renewed

For ghostly in the dark, without, he stood,-the

King who wooed.

He gave her brow the palest pearl, and wildly with her hair

Inwove a thread of gold, that made her brow more fair;

The rose of love she wore for him blushed with a crimson flame,

And in her eyes the fire of life upflickered as he


Then over all there fell a veil, pale, chill, like winter breath,

And forth they went, my love and he, the kingly Rival, Death.


TOLL the saintly minster bell,

For we know they're now at rest; Where they lie, they sleep as well As in kirkyard old and blest.

Let the requiem echo free

From the shores of England forth, Over leagues of angry sea,

Toward the silence of the North.

Half a score of years or more,
They were phantoms in our dreams;
Many a night, on many a shore

Lit by wan Aurora gleams,
We have tracked the ghostly band,
Seen distressful signals wave,
Till we find dim William's Land
Holy with the heroes' grave.

Toll the bell! that they may rest,
Haunting specters of our brain,
They for whom her tireless quest

Love pursued so long in vain.

Nevermore let fancy feign

That the wondering Esquimau Haply sees them toil again,

Wild and haggard, through the snow.

From The Erebus they pass'd

To a realm of light and balm; And The Terror sailed at last

Into peace and perfect calm. Toll the bell, but let its voice,

Moaning in the minster dome, Change at times, and half rejoice, For the mariners are home.



THE fifth from the north wall; Row innermost; and the pall Plain black-all black-except The cross on which she wept, Ere she lay down and slept.


This one is hers, and this-
The marble next it-his.
So lie in brave accord
The lady and her lord,

Her cross and his red sword.


And now, what seek'st thou here,
Having nor care nor fear

To vex with thy hot tread
These halls of the long dead,

To flash the torch's light

Upon their utter night?
What word hast thou to thrust
Into her ear of dust?


Spake then the haggard priest: "In the lands of the far East I dreamed of finding rest, What time my lips had pressed The cross on this dead breast.


"And if my sin be shriven,
And mercy live in heaven,
Surely this hour, and here,
My long woe's end is near-
Is near—and I am brought
To peace and painless thought
Of her who lies at rest,
This cross upon her breast.




"Whose passionate heart is cold
Beneath this cross of gold,
Who lieth, still and mute,
In sleep so absolute.

Yea, by this precious sign

Shall sleep most sweet be mine,
And I, at last, am blest,
Knowing she went to rest,

This cross upon her breast."

The half-world's width divides us; yet, from far-
And though I know that nearer may not be
In all the years-yet, O beloved, to thee

Goes out my heart, and, past the crimson bar
Of sunset, westward yearns away-away-
And dieth towards thee with the dying day!


To thee, sweetest valley, Glen Iris, to thee,
More fair than the vision of poet may be,

And beyond what the artist may dream, when his


Are dim with the hues of the loveliest skies;
To thee and thy forest, whose foliage forever
Is fresh with the mists of thy life-flashing river;
Thy flowers that are swayed in the softest of airs;
Thy birds in the greenest and deepest of lairs;
Thy lights and thy shadows, thy sweet river's fall,
That sings into slumber or reverie, all,

To thee, though our lips can not utter a word,
Our spirits are singing in rapture unheard!
For 'tis part of thy magic, thy beauty-wrought

What thou whisperest to us we never can tell.

Sweet Glen of the Rainbow, to thee there are given,

As fresh as the day when they sprung into birth,
All the joys and the graces we love most of earth,
And the sunlight flings o'er thee the glories of

So, The Nameless now drink from thy pleasurebrimmed chalice,

And pledge thee the rainbow-ideal of valleys,
A Beulah where thrice-happy mortals that see thee
Forget all their cares, for thy waters are Lethe.
And we shout and rejoice that thou art what thou

The beautiful home of a beautiful heart.


THE half-world's width divides us; where she sits Noonday has broadened o'er the prairied West; For me, beneath an alien sky, unblest,

The day dies and the bird of evening flits. Nor do I dream that in her happier breast

Stirs thought of me. Untroubled beams the star And recks not of the drifting mariner's quest, Who, for dear life, may seek it on mid-sea.

TO J. H.

THE happy time when dreams have power to cheat
Is past, dear friend, for me. As in old days,
So, still, at times, they throng their ancient ways
And trail their shining robes before my feet,
Or stand, half-lifted to their native skies
By the soft oval of white arms, with eyes
Closing on looks unutterably sweet.

Then the grim Truth beside me will arise
And slay them, and their beauty is no more,—
No more their beauty-saving such as dies
Into the marble of mute lips, or flies
With the swift light of dying smiles before
The eye that strains to watch can tell, for tears,
How passing fair it shone, how dusk have grown
the years.

[blocks in formation]



R. WILLIAM MCINTOSH was born in New York City, April 23rd, 1852. As a child he was delicate. He had about half the course in public schools in New York and Brooklyn. From 1865 to 1875 he lived in the Highlands of the Hudson, getting health and a love of nature and poetry. He was connected with the editorial staffs of the New York Express and Star from 1875 to October 1880. He has been managing editor of the Buffalo Evening News and the Sunday News since the starting of the Daily News, October 11th, 1880. His verse has been of the "occasional" kind, and most of it has appeared in the News and other local papers. Mr. McIntosh inclines to the opinion that people who are not in the accepted sense poets have some “music in them," subject to call in the experiences of life. What we all feel, some of us express, with more or less success. In this view poetry is not a thing apart, a gift or anything of that kind. It is the expression of something universal, and its character is relative. We are of the opinion, however, that the inspiring cause of many of Mr. McIntosh's poems are far removed from the commonplace, and as a master of expression he ranks with the such minor poets as Scollard, Kenyon and Sherman. I. A. K.


Two angels sang the first of Easter songs: "He is not here, but risen!"

A world's full chorus now the strain prolongs That mocked death's prison.

Dumb nature, imitating Him who rose,
Breaks winter's sepulcher,

And piping bird-songs on each wind that blows
Resurgams bear.

On one heart falls the triumph's glad refrain
Like music far away

At sunset hour, when memory's joy and pain
Hold mingling sway.

Strange being! all of opposites combined:
A soul of reverent mood;
Self-centered; measuring heaven by finite mind,
Yet loving good.

Patient, unpassioned, just to friend and foe
By impulse more than rule;
Forgiving, quick to feel compassion's glow;
In censure cool.

A hermit in the jostling multitude,
Companioned when alone!

Art scorned and nature loved in wildest mood;
Poet and drone.

Scanning high truths as stars are viewed by day
From caves no sun has seen;
Steadfast in sorrow, dumb when all is gay;
In gloom serene.

Loveless, yet full of yearning tenderness;
Trustful, yet lacking faith;
Fearless of what shall be, yet slow to trace
Life beyond death.

Who that has won what men most battle for,
Love, fame, dominion, pelf,

Can know the pathos of a life at war
With life itself?

Who, tuned to sing life's octave full and strong,
Can sound the undertone,

The De Profundis of a soul whose song
Is but a groan?

In many a heart a cross is reared whereon
Life's sacred purpose dies;
Dear hopes lie dead in sepulchers unknown
To mortal eyes.

Who shall proclaim their Easter? who declare
Death's empire overthrown?
What angel guard the silent shrine and share
The vault of stone?

Lo! at the head and foot of that dark bier
Two white-winged figures stand,
Star-crowned; one radiant face, smile-lit, to cheer;
One to command.

Friendship and duty! See, they stand alone; "He is not here," they say,

And from the low-browed arch the portal stone Is rolled away.

Dear spirits! twinned of Heaven, fond watch to keep

Where love shall conquer doom, Tell the glad news, and show to those who weep The empty tomb.

'Tis Easter morn. From the soul's stormy deeps The De Profundis swells,

Blent with the joyous symphony that sweeps
From Easter bells.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »