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Eyes of Youth A Book of Verse by Padraic Colum, Shane Leslie, Viola Meynell, Ruth Lindsay, Hugh Austin   By:

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EYES OF YOUTH

A Book of Verse by Padraic Colum Shane

Leslie Viola Meynell Ruth Lindsay

Hugh Austin Judith Lytton Olivia

Meynell Maurice Healy Monica

Saleeby Francis Meynell With

four early Poems by Francis

Thompson, & a Foreword by

Gilbert K. Chesterton.

"He has eyes of youth, he writes verses"

The Merry Wives of Windsor .

The four early poems of Francis Thompson are here published, for the first time in book form, by the permission of his Literary Executor.

We have also to thank the Editors of The Station, The Tablet, The Outlook, The New Age, The Westminster Gazette, The Evening Standard, The Irish Rosary and The Lamp , for permission to re publish other Verses.

CONTENTS

G.K. CHESTERTON

Foreword

FRANCIS THOMPSON

Threatened Tears Arab Love Song Buona Notte The Passion of Mary

PADRAIC COLUM

"I shall not die for you" An Idyll Christ the Comrade Arab Songs (I) Arab Songs (II)

SHANE LESLIE

A Dead Friend (J.S. 1905) Forest Song The Bee Outside the Carlton The Pater of the Cannon Fleet Street Nightmare To a Nobleman becoming Socialist St. George in the East

VIOLA MEYNELL

The Ruin The Dream The Wanderer "Nature is the living mantle of God" Secret Prayer The Unheeded Dream of Death

THE HON. MRS. LINDSAY

Mater Salvatoris To Choose The Hunters

HUGH AUSTIN

The Astronomer's Prayer The Moon To Yvonne The Burial of Scald

THE HON. MRS. LYTTON

A Day Remembered Childhood Love in Idleness Love's Counterfeit

OLIVIA MEYNELL

A Grief without Christ The Crowning

MAURICE HEALY

In Memoriam A Ballad of Friendship In the Midst of Them Sic Transit

MONICA SALEEBY

Retrospect

FRANCIS MEYNELL

Any Stone Lux in Tenebris Mater Inviolata Song burden Gifts Wraith A Dedication

FOREWORD

My office on this occasion is one which I may well carry as lightly as possible. In our society, I am told, one needs an introduction to a beautiful woman; but I have never heard of men needing an introduction to a beautiful song. Prose before poetry is an unmeaning interruption; for poetry is perhaps the one thing in the world that explains itself. The only possible prelude for songs is silence; and I shall endeavour here to imitate the brevity of the silence as well as its stillness.

This collection contains four new poems by one whom all serious critics now class with Shelley and Keats and those other great ones cut down with their work unfinished. Yet I would not speak specially of him, lest modern critics should run away with their mad notion of a one man influence; and call this a "school" of Francis Thompson. Francis Thompson was not a schoolmaster. He would have said as freely as Whitman (and with a far more consistent philosophy), "I charge you to leave all free, as I have left all free." The modern world has this mania about plagiarism because the modern world cannot comprehend the idea of communion. It thinks that men must steal ideas; it does not understand that men may share them. The saints did not imitate each other; not always even study each other; they studied the Imitation of Christ. A real religion is that in which any two solitary people might suddenly say the same thing at any moment. It would therefore be most misleading to give to this collection an air of having been inspired by its most famous contributor. The little lyrics of this little book must surely be counted individual, even by those who may count them mysterious. A variety verging on quaintness is the very note of the assembled bards.

Take, for example, Mr. Colum's stern and simple rendering of the bitter old Irish verses:

"O woman, shapely as the swan, On your account I shall not die."

Like Fitzgerald's Omar and all good translations, it leaves one wondering whether the original was as good; but to an Englishman the note is not only unique, but almost hostile... Continue reading book >>




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