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was difficult, no doubt, and many of his narratives arouse in the mind a protest. They are too much modernized, smoothed over, and fitted to too hard a measure. The indigenous quality, the mountain flavor, is dulled in the process; the poems cease to be folk-lore and don't quite attain to being modern poetry. One longs to take the stuff straight, or at least with a stronger flavor of its native wildness. But now and then the stark simplicity of his theme imposes its commands. Poems like the last in the book, At Parting, and the Cumberland ballad Will Warner, reduce life to their simplest mountain terms, so to speak; the former to terms of quiet beauty, the latter to terms of primitive violence. We quote part of the ballad:

Shot in the back in the courthouse square
By a dog of a Darrell skulking there,
Will Warner staggered and clutched the air.

Near to his death, and his heart grew gray.
Each of his brothers had passed this way:
He had paid their score—who now would pay?

Still, as he pondered the unpaid score,
He saw his mother who stood in the door—
As she had stood there thrice before.

Sombre and silent, no word she said,
But drew the covers down on the bed
That had held the living and held the dead.

No word she said, but on cat's feet crept
Through the firelit room where her watch she kept
O'er her baby, her least one, who woke and slept. '

Woke, then slept but to wake again;
Slept with the weakness, woke with the pain—
And a bee that buzzed and boomed in his brain.

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Flung his mother. Ere night she had laid him straight,
And all on her shoulders had borne his weight
Up the steep hillside, to the grave-house gate.

She bore him up and she dug him deep,
And left him alone in the earth to sleep;
Then stumbled back to the shack—to weep.

One regrets such things as the o'er and ere and all on, which belong neither to modern speech nor to the “pristine 'freshness and simplicity” which the poet, in his preface, admires in the mountaineer's somewhat archaic diction. Indeed, we long throughout the book for more of the authentic racy flavor of their talk—if not dialect, which Mr. Bradley has “not attempted to render with any literalness,” then a certain quality inherited, we are told, from Elizabethan English. But at least these ballads—a few of them—give us a sharp impression of the morale, the life, of those marooned groups whom the modern current has passed by.


The Closed Door, by Jean de Bosschère: Illustrated by the author. With a Translation by F. S. Flint and an Introduction by May Sinclair. John Lane, London and New York. This Frenchman, like certain modern poets of our own

language, sees the characteristics, as of individual life, which

lurk in inanimate objects and even in situations, as well as in living beings. He feels what might be called the soul of these. This form of vision is perhaps mysticism, but it is entirely apart from, though not contradictory to, theological mysticism. To one with a developed sensitiveness this form of individuality is a thing as real—in this world of illusions—as material appearances are. Much of Harold Monro's poetry is on this theme, and one may trace it in some poems of H. D., of Pound, Eliot, and others. One can find a slight similarity between Amy Lowell and Jean de Bosschère in the exaggerated form of the expression of their vision, though there is a heat and an artistic self-abnegation in the French poet which Miss Lowell does not attain, perhaps does not wish to attain.

Homere Mare, for example, is a story-poem about the attachment of the human soul to the souls of his surroundings, and its estrangement from them. It has the serene, subdued beauty of a sunny pebbled road through a fair country.

L’Offre de Plebs is probably the most beautiful poem in the volume—one can hardly over-praise its peculiar beauty. The subject is sympathetic with the poet's temperament, and its gloom and playfulness express a depth of sensitiveness rarely reached. It is the perfect image of a mood—desire for solitude; and in spite of wistfulness it has no trace of sentimentality:

Je veux qu'il ait un Dieu !
Et qu'il brûle en sacrifices toutes ses amours
Et ses maisons;
Et que, pour moi, son esprit prenne

La robe des moines

Close comme la peau des grenouilles.

Je veux qu'il ait un Dieul
- Il faut que cela soit moi. . . .


Je ne veux pas d'un coeur qui ait aimé;

Je ne veux d'un ami qui sera hérétique.

Il y a la chair et le diable de l'esprit.

Il y a les arbres et aussiles parfums;

Il y a des ombres, des souvenirs;

Il y a des images, des rêves,

Etil y a l'espoir

Et la douleur.

Ulysse Bátit son Lit is the expression of an individual soul in a small or large village—it might be in France, Argentina, or America, for it is everywhere the same. The poem is a perfect embodiment of the pettiness of the village spirit, which in this case resented a man's way of “building” his bed! God help these bed-builders of France, Argentina, or Americal The latter parts of the volume express more personal

emotions and are less unlike the work of other poets. The themes of Doutes, Gridale, Verger, La Promesse du Merle, have been treated in poetry in various forms. Doutes and Gridale are in places rhetorical, but always lit with a weird and sometimes quaint fire which is the poet's own. Parts of them form complete poems, like these about his father and mother from Doutes:

Il fumait sa pipe avec intégrité.
On se collait près de lui
Pour tirer par le nez son odeur d'homme.

- - - - - - - -

Et la mère etait le pain et le beurre,
La rosée froide de six heures, et la cerise,
Les draps blancs au réséda, xy
Et le rond chaud des levres sur la joue.

In La Promesse du Merle the sombreness is relieved by the lightness of touch:

Ce n'est pas fier de finir
Toujours à moitié ! . . .
De jeter trois notes de feu
Qui ouvrent le coeur fané
Avec des ézardes de faim et de soif.

In this poem, as well as in some of the others, the poetic height and depth of the emotion sometimes appear strained, but that depends on the temperament and even on the mood of the reader.

In the illustrations one can find the influence of Kandinsky's black-and-white—haunting patterns often like spilled and partly dried water. Also there may be a suggestion of Alfred Kubin—compare for instance Kubin's illustrations to his romance with De Bosschère's at the end of Doutes. He is trying to escape Beardsley, and usually succeeds— indeed, he is on the whole self-expressive. One wishes that our American illustrators would give us, as intimately as these men, their own happy or sombre individualities.

The translation is too servile, and lacks charm, especially toward the end of the book. But printing the French and English versions on opposite pages is too severe a test for any translator. M. M.

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