by Charles MackayMUSIC AT TWILIGHT - 1884 - P R E F A C E - THOUGH prefaces are nearly obsolete, from having degenerated into form without spirit, and into attempts to say something where nothing is required, I nevertheless think it necessary to affix a preface to this little volume by way of explanation. It is a collection of the last leaves that have grown on a literary tree which has been blossoming for fortv years. If the tree were once gay with the flowers of Spring, it is possible that amid the yellowing foliage of its Autumn there may yet be found some flowers of fancy as well as some fruits of riper ex perience that may suit the tastes of the newer generation that has arisen since the authors earlier time. Laughter and tears, like flowers and fruit, are the produce of one stem and if, when we survey society, we either laugh or weep, should the laughter dwindle to a smile or the tear refuse to flow because a sigh may be sufficient, we may be sure that both the smile and the sigh have the same origin in h lman sympathy. It is in this spirit that the author offers the following verses to the old friends who may remember his earlier efforts, and to the b Preface. new friends whom it is possible he may acquire. Even in an age when Science, with its narvellous discoveries and no less marvellous applications, invades the monopoly once enjoyed by imagination, there is still room for poetry if it be worthy of the name and have a meaning clearly expressed in appropriate language, and can make good its claim to be something better than mere verse. To the class of readers who admire without understanding, and who uncox sciously allow themselves to think that whatever is beyond the reach of their intellectmust be magnificent, the author makes no appeal. He considers that it is the duty, and that it should be the pleasure of every writer, to express himself clearly, and if he cannot do SO, that he should throw aside his useless pen as an admission that he has Inistaken his vocation. Lyrical and all other poetry should avoid misty verbiage, confusetl thought, and pithless metaphysical subtleties, and should, as Milton says, be c simple, sensuous, and passionate, and, above all things, intelligible to the heart and understanding of the uneducated as well as of the refined. To the rule of Milton the author has endeavoured to conform his verse, not without the hope that i t might thereby become poetry as distinguished from mere verse, even to the busv and prosaic-minded people of the closing decades of the niileteei thc entury, CONTENTS - PPEFACE . I. UNWRITTEN BOOKS . 11. GONE . . 111. POOR LIZZIE . IV. THE HARP UNSTRUNG V. CLOUDS . . . VI. GREAT AND SMALL . VII. FOR EVER . . VIII. A WORM IN THE SUNSHINE. IX. FOUNDERED . . X. THE DREADFUL MINUTES . XI. HEAVEN AND HELL . XII. THE MUSIC OF THE SPHERES XIII. MAN OVERBOARD . XIV. AN ADIEU . . . XV. LIVING MEN . . . XVI. EUTHANASIA . . XVII. IN THE CENTRE . XVIII. TO NELLIE . . XIX. BEAUTY AND GRIEF . XX A QUESTION AND A REPLY . XXI. MY FELLOW-CREATURES . XXII. OUTSIDE AND IN . XXIII. THE POET I . PAGB . v . . . v111 Corzt ents. XXIV. THE ETERNAL PENDULUM . XXV. YESTERDAY . XXVI. WEAPONS . XXVII. A GREAI WARRIOR. XXVIII. DIAMOND SCRATCHES XXIX. COMPETITIVE CRAM XXX. BOOKS, XXXI. MIDGES IN THE SUNSHINE XXXII. FANCIES . XXXIII. PRICES . . XXXIV. SMALL, BUT GREAT XXXV. GIFTS . XXXVI. DEFIANT AND SELF-KELIANT XXXVII. VANITY OF VANITIES XXSVIII. INTHE LIBRARY . XXXIX. THE DEVIL AND I, XL. THE TWO SLEEPS . XLI. THE MILESTONES . XLII. GHOSTS . XLIII. THE GREATEST OF LUXURIES . XLIV. GOD GIVETH HIS BELOVED SLEEP XLV. OWNERSHIP . XLVI...
|Title||Interludes and Undertones; Or, Music at Twilight|
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