TENDER MADRIGALS BY COLLEGE POETS.
"Calling, O, come and be dead,
Come, O, come, and be dead."
Pills seemed to be the only remedy in such a case, and taken often.
Another heart is moved in a slightly different way. This one makes use of a glowing imagination, and produces the following lines to some fair lady :
"Were I a little bird,
And had two little wings,
I'd fly to thee,
But here I ever stay,
It cannot be."
Without the slightest wish to be officious in any way, we tender our sincere congratulations to the fair unknown, that the author of the verse is not a "little bird," and has not "two little wings," nor three, nor four little wings either as some birds apparently have, and that "it cannot be." It is possible that we mistake the poet's meaning in this verse, but really, we have not been able to discover any, and so had to invent one for ourselves.
Passing from verses of this type, one naturally takes up such as the following :
"I listen to the quiet sobbing
Of the dark eternal sea,
And hear its secret voices throbbing
Notes of patience."
"Sad seems the sea as it moans
With ceaseless sob on the sand,
All day, all night, as it beats
Its heart away on the land."
The false ring in these lines makes them foolish. It is a common thing for all poetry of this kind to be written about the sea, until in truth, it becomes all "endless sea" to the reader. No poetry is so easy to write as this ; no poetry is so utterly worthless when written. The most remarkable verse we have met, one which expresses the feelings the sea stirred up in the poet, and in which the author seems to be in a sort of ecstasy of grief and woe while giving one the impression that he was "born tired," is the following :
"Slowly beating, lowly moaning, sweetly speakest thou to me,
And my weary soul is eager, evermore at rest to be.
Sorrows crowd upon me thickly, life is like a gloomy night-
Ocean ! in thy depths I'll hide me, in oblivion find delight !
O boundless, endless sea !
Suicide would seem to be the only thing left for the unfortunate writer as "sorrows crowd upon him thickly," and his "life is like a gloomy night." Again we have the false ring, bringing with it as a matter of course, ridicule. Sincerity is of value in any thing under heaven, but nowhere more than in poetry of any decent kind. This is a point the "ridiculous poets" always forget.
It is with a mixed sort of feeling that one listens to the following shriek from the sepulchre. One scarcely knows whether to laugh, or to merely pity the writer :
"ORO ! Oro ! Oro ! Oro !
The ghost-horse on the mount doth go ;
He shakes his mane ; he shakes his tail ;
He listens to the nightsome wail," etc.
This is a very fair specimen of gloom of another kind than that used by the "sea" poets. It has the weirdness and ghastliness of a silly ghost story told in full daylight, and produces about as much real effect on the hearer.
There are numerous other classes among the "ridiculous poets" that might be referred to, as for instance, the silly :
"A little boy,
A pair of skates,
A hole in the ice,
The golden gates."
A poor joke, as old as the hills. But it is not worth while to dilate at greater length.
Such examples as we have quoted above are not by any means uncommon,-unfortunately. They have been chosen quite at random, for the sole reason that they illustrate a style of poetry which it is almost a duty to put down, so far as lies in our power.