Thistledown is on the air;
Rippling sunshine on the lake,
Wild grapes scent the sunny brake;
Dizzy songs the crickets sing,
Wild bees wander murmuring;
Butterflies float in a dream,
Over all the swallows gleam;
Here and yonder, high and low,
Golden-rod and sunflowers glow;
Here and there a maple flushes,
Sumach reddens, woodbine blushes;
Purple asters bloom and thrive,
I am glad to be alive!
Lafayette Monthly.Pretty as this little sonnet is, we question whether its author has, in the last line, expressed the real feeling that comes over one in this autumn weather. It seems as if it were not simple enjoyment of existence, so much as a "dreamy" sadness, that can hardly be called such, it is so pleasing. Even the clear north-wind, bracing as it is, reminds one of the passing of the year, as it blows the red leaves to the ground, and makes one regret the departure of flowers and birds, while it bids us enjoy still more the few days that are left to us.
VOL. II. No. I of the Spectrum is an improvement upon most of the numbers of last year. It contains one or two good "heavy articles," interesting extracts from the diary of a young surveyor, some slight abuse of the Faculty, and a copy of verses called "Dished," which would indisputably prove - if there were no other evidence - that the study of the mere exact science is not favorable to the spirit of poetry. In the course of eight verses the poet informs us that he has been dropped from '75 to '76. "Would that the Faculty had been more merciful!" say the readers of the Spectrum.
THE last number of the Amherst Student is a good though rather heavy one. From a paragraph in it we infer that Amherst Sophomores emulate the far-famed boys of Marblehead in their reception of strangers. Visitors, especially ladies, are greeted with hoots and yells from the class of '76, assembled in a crowd for that purpose. The Student condemns his practice in words which are strong, but not too strong. The only poem in this number is a short but pretty one, called The Prayer of Phidias.
THE College Spectator, for October, appears under the auspices of a new board of editors, who, we regret to say, do not commence their literary career with a proper regard for their own integrity. In the opening poem they show their taste for German literature and their familiarity with the language by giving, as the fruit of their own or a contributor's genius, a very pretty translation from Uhland, which was the delight of our childhood, and which we have never forgotten. The last verse will be familiar to most of our readers:
"Take, O boatman, thrice thy fee;
Take, - I give it willingly;
For, invisible to thee,
Spirits twain have crossed with me."
A leading prose article, headed "Offsets," is, however, of undoubted originality. In this the author has attempted too mighty a theme; some gleams of sanity are discernible in the first paragraphs, but, after these, we trace by gradual steps the overthrow of what may have been a mighty intellect.
It begins, "Nature upon her tablet has written that silvery drops of rain must come from clouds, black and portentous," etc. The reader would here naturally expect some explanation, - what is the tablet? when was it? where was it? why and how did nature write? etc., - but no explanation is given. The writer hurries on, discovers that day is followed by night, stands beside the rivers Tigris and Euphrates, inspects the "remnant of Babylon," has a word for the Mede, another for the Persian, gets himself surrounded by the "tottering walls of the Coliseum," "hears" them crumble, notes, in passing, the destruction of Carthage, and so on, down through Alaric, Greece, the Heruli, and the Caesars, until he is brought up sharp by the inquiry, "And now what is man?"
This he answers in the words of the poet, and again lapses into a series of sententioe, from which we select a few specimens.
"Nothing enduring, nothing sure. Why, man but moistens his lips from the cup of true pleasure, which, at intervals, kind fortune extends to him."
"In the garden of life the plant of felicity is not a perpetual bloomer."
"In the grand cathedral of time the organ, at the touch of providence, does not play joyous melodies continually; but for every peal of merriment at the birth of a soul, there must be a requiem at its exit from earth."
"Was not John Randolph's oratorical power offset by John Randolph's bodily weakness and debility?"
"The great wealth of Stephen Girard found its offset in his low and pitiable existence."
Another article, in the same number, and of the same description, begins, "The Spirit of Liberty was abroad." From indications in other parts of the paper, we should judge that the schoolmaster is hard upon the tracks of the S. of L.
AN innovation in college journalism was the publication, at Yale, of the Iconoclast, a paper - of which we do not expect to see a second number - entirely devoted to a bitter condemnation of the "Skull and Bones" society. That Yale has been crippled in more than one way by the evils of her society system is acknowledged by many of her own students, but we doubt if the Iconoclast will work a reform. The only really important charge it brings against the society is, that it prefers its own interests to those of the college, and this it does not prove in a satisfactory manner. That it is sensible of the weakness of its own position seems to be shown by the irrelevant nature of some of its articles; one, for instance, being devoted to ridiculing the "Bones Initiation," of which the writer evidently knows very little, and which cannot, as far as we can see, affect the well-being of the college. The charge of favoritism on the part of the Faculty towards "Bones" men is a more serious one; of its truth we, of course, have no means of judging.
THE Era laments the sad accident at Cornell, and pays a tribute to the memory of Mr. Leggett. It also says that it leaves to the coroner's jury the contradiction of the "charges that have been so ruthlessly made."
General Leggett's statement, in the Washington Star, that he is convinced that his son's death was an accident for which no one can be blamed has since appeared.
Tutor to Freshman. "Your translation is incorrect; it is not as I explained it yesterday." Fresh. "I know it, sir; I looked the matter up after recitation, and I found that you were wrong." - Chronicle.
A FELLOW, being warned by the livery-stable man not to "drive that horse too hard," replied that he was going to a funeral, and was bound to keep up with the procession, if it killed the beast." - The Williams Review.
A CERTAIN professor, whose chin was wont to be graced by a flowing beard, has lately returned shorn of every vestige of his hirsute appendage. A Soph., meeting the aforesaid Prof., after a prolonged stare, and with a knowing wink to his Senior companion, burst out with "By Jove, that's the hardest-looking Freshman I've seen yet." - Era