A MEMORIAL O F SIDNEY LANIER THE FORTY-SIXTH BIRTHDAY OF SIDNEY LANIER 1842 FEBRUARY 3 1888 There s rosemary that s for remembrance: and there is pansies that s for thoughts PUBLICATION AGENCT or THE JOHKS HOPKIWS UNIVERSIT* BALTIMORE 1888 3IHA.J Y3 For the friends of Sidney Lanier, who met on his forty-sixth birthday to honor his memory, and for others who would gladly have been with them, this record is prepared. Oil! .Oiaum JqiT! INTRODUCTORY NOTE. ^ ON the third of February, 1888, in the hall of the Johns Hopkins University where Sidney Lanier had lectured, a company of his friends assembled to bring their tributes of affec tion and admiration. In addition to the members of the University, many ladies and gentlemen from Baltimore were present, and not a few from distant places, Boston, New York, New Brunswick, Princeton, and Ithaca. Musicians came to represent the Peabody orchestra, in which for many years Lanier had played the flute. A bust of the poet, in bronze (modelled by Ephraim Keyser, sculptor, in the last period of Lanier s life, at the suggestion of Mr. J. E. Tait), was presented to the University by his kinsman, Charles Lanier, Esq., of New York. It was also announced that a citizen of Baltimore had offered a pedestal to be cut in Georgia marble from a design by Mr. J. B. N. Wyatt. On a temporary pedestal hung the flute of Lanier, which had so often been his solace, and a roll of his manu- 6 script music. The bust was crowned with a wreath of laurel ; words of Lanier, " The Time needs Heart," were woven into the strings of a floral lyre ; and other flowers, likewise brought by personal friends, were grouped around the pedestal. As a memento, a card, designed by Mrs. Henry Whitman of Boston, was given to those who were present. Upon its face was a wreath, with Lanier s name and the date, and the motto Aspiro dum Exspiro ; upon the reverse, appeared the closing lines of the Hymn of the Sun, taken from the poet s Hymns of the Marshes, and beneath, a flute with ivy twined about it. Ever by day shall my spirit, as one that hath tried thee, Labor, at leisure, in art, till yonder beside thee My soul shall float, friend Sun, The day being done. ORDER OF EXERCISES. Words of acknowledgment and introduction from Dr. Oilman, President of the University. ii. A tribute in verse from Mrs. Lawrence Turn- bull, read by Mr. E. G. Daves. in. Selections from Lanier s verses, read by Miss Susan H. Ward, of Newark, N. J. IV. A paper on the " Science of Verse," by Pro fessor Tolman, of Blpon College, Wisconsin, once a pupil of Lanier s, presented by Dr. W. Hand Browne. V. A bibliographical notice of Lanier, prepared by Mr. R. E. Burton, of Connecticut presented but not read. 8 VI. A sonnet to Sidney Lanier, by Mr. K. E. Bur ton, and a tribute in verse by Mr. James Cum- mings, of Tennessee, graduate students of the University. VII. Music. " The Ballad of the Trees and the Master," words by Sidney Lanier; music by "Francis Urban" (of Urbana, O.) "Love that hath us in the net," words by Tennyson ; music by Sidney Lanier. Singer: Miss Starr, accompanied by Mr. Har old Randolph. B. Air for Violin solo (from Bach s French Suite, D major). Violinist: Mr. Fritz Gaul; Pianist: Mr. Harold Eandolph. IX. A sonnet to Sidney Lanier, by Kev. Father Tabb, of St. Charles College, who shared the prison-life of Lanier in the recent civil war. X. Letters from Hon. James Russell Lowell, and Mr. Edmund C. Stednian, read by Dr. W. H. Ward, of New York, the biographer of Lanier. XI. A letter and a poem from Miss Edith M. Thomas, read by Mr. E. G. Daves. XII. A paper on the ethical influence of Lanier, prefaced with a brief address, by Dr. M. E. Gates, President of Rutgers College. XIII. A letter (associating Lanier with other poets that have lately died), from Mr. Richard W. Gilder, read by Dr. H. B. Adams. XIV. Music. A transcription by Liszt on themes by Han del, (from Almira], Pianist : Mr. Richard Burmeister. Ipocm0. To SIDNEY LANIER. By Rev. John B. Tabb, of St. Charles College, Md. The same blue-bending dome encanopies Thine ashes and the spark that kindles mine : Upon the selfsame bosom we recline, When with the wind the wave, land-lessening, dies, And twixt our souls the star-wrought mysteries Of Hope the sacred oracles divine Steadfast above the vault of darkness shine, To point the path benighted to the skies. For there, of dreams unsepulchred, and free " To face the vast sweet Visage, unafraid," That erst thy spirit reverenced to see In Nature s lowliest lineaments portrayed, Thou keepest watchful memory of me, A lingering phantom of the mortal shade. 12 To SIDNEY LANIER. By Richard Eugene Burton, A. ., of Connecticut. O fair frail singer, song that hushed o er-soon, Thy paths were paths of pain, yet shot with light, Than star-shine sweeter, than the sun more bright, And balmier than the blessed lady moon, For that it shone from holy heights ; a boon Glad-given by the gods for the delight Of poet-eyes that hail such healing sight, Of poet-hearts to God-gleams all atune. And now, the pain apast, we picture thee As pacing wider ways, having for mate Two kindred ones in bliss that s brotherly : Shelley and Keats, before disconsolate. The while on earth, thine eyes may ever see Souls shapened by thy song to high estate. 13 THE STRANGER S INVOCATION BEFORE THE BUST OF LANIER. By James Cummings, A. M., of Tennessee. Chorister, look down upon me till this bronzed fancy soften, Till the entranced face wake to bless me with a happy friendship s birth ; Till the luminous eyes shall hold me as kind eyes that watch me often, Till you seem unknown no more in heaven to me unknown on earth. Had your face the unspoken answers of the friend that I would make you ? Was the breathing man impassioned with the body of my dream, Like your music just the promise of yourself which made men take you As that minstrel who would only sing the being he could seem ? Is it now too long a quiet since your last soft breath was taken, Here to hope for salutation from that lordly soul of song ? 14 Must I smother my desire to see a tender smile awaken, And the poet s head nod gently to the dream- enchanted throng ? Is the chance of knowing finished by the one short turn of dying, While the lapsing years fit sadly here to bring to us our own ? If I spoke your name out warmly towards the vastness there outlying Would your spirit for an answer turn a little from the Throne ? Why should men decry the human? Would your soul enjoy disowning That large heart which nursed its fever into such inspiring flame ? All the body s throbs of feeling, in the laughter and the moaning- Do you scorn the lost mortality, yet own the song and name ? We have saved the happy music, but have lost the poet s passion. We have tokens of the pageant, but the hero has gone by. 15 They have fixed the dreamer s vision here in loving deathless fashion Oh ! for one swift greeting movement of the living poet s eye. Have we lost the best, our poet, we who never even saw you, Ere like some strange star you vanished, ra diant wonder to man s eye, Never heard you voice the music of the beauty that could draw you Far above ignoble fretting, till you half forgot to sigh ? Did you give your years all joyfully, a musical surrender, Just a breathing in of heaven s air to carol it away? Heart beneficent and generous, a gracious spirit- lender, Glad to make the winds your messengers to solace with your lay. For we think so; and we wonder what more passion would be given To the treasures you have left us, had we seen you face to face ? 16 Not to hold you mutely, blindly in a friend s forbearance shriven, But to attune your song s recital to the soul that gave it grace. Did you ever yield your presence to the lyric s warmest wooing? Ever lay your pale cheek gently on the bosom of an ode? Did you e er give over lovingly such favor never ruing To the keeping of the Symphony, your heart and all its load ? In the open of your pages, banners waving, trumpets blowing, You were taken as a hostage for the world s sublimer sway ; And to strange far courts of fantasy a princely singer going, Still you sang of home and sorrows, laureate lover far away. All the music you set ringing has its breathing pauses in it ; And your heart had chimes that sounded on the while your voice was still. 17 We aspire to catch the cadence too, but how shall we begin it, We who lack your spirit s echo, and who want the minstrel s will ? There is something after song, some little trill that starts and falters, Some quick overflow of changing tears that words can never hold : If we find this surest witness, silent by the soul s good altars, We shall know the singer best by what the song could not unfold. Though I sing and sing again your song, and praise and hear men praise you, I shall sing it all expectantly till some pro- founder voice Wake and join the strain with fullest power, and in its climax raise you On the words into my heart. So shall I know you and rejoice. 18 IN MEMORIAM. SIDNEY LANIER, DIED SEPTEMBER 7, 1881. By Mrs. Francese E. Turnbull, of Baltimore. I. "God taught him" aye, that wondrous, won drous thing,* The knowledge of all beauteous holiness, to love, To worship and to sing. So lived he nobly his own poet-creed, " The holiness of beauty," as he sweetly said, So married burning thought and gracious deed, And holy effort in his chivalrous life, With wondrous gentleness, as one that answereth With fair life pages to some sweet ideal, he came to teach. So ye that knew him gather tenderly This fragrance of his life, his thought, his speech, And write upon your souls the graciousness Of holiness that passeth speech. * " God taught him that thing he did " ; the words of his faith ful colored servant. 19 ii. " God taught him " aye, that love of man for man, That joyed in all sweet possibilities : that faith Which hallowed love and life ; Methinks the angels cannot turn away From our imperfect strivings while we feebly " Wring harmonies, oh God, from mortal strife." So he, Heaven-taught in his large-heartedness, Smiled with his spirit s eyes athwart the veil That human loves too oft keep closely drawn Nor waited for his knowledge till the Dawn. So hearts leaped up to breathe his freer atmo sphere, And eyes smiled truer for his radiance clear, And souls grew loftier where his teachings fell, And all gave love. Ah me ! and were it well That such an one should be so soon withdrawn From fields that need his culture? Yet the Master knew His finished work. And we are blind ; we can not know. Ah friends ! ah mourning ones who loved him so, Be we as true. 20 in. " God taught him." Aye, the patience and the smile Which glossed his pain ; the courtesy ; The sweet quaint thoughts which gave his poema birth ; His love of the green earth ; His echoes from that silent spirit-land, Which souls afar can scantly understand ; His winning tenderness with souls perplexed ; His grasp of questions vexed ; His love of "good great man" ; his eagerness For lofty converse, and his joy of books ; His oneness with all master-minds ; His thirst for lore ; his gratitude For that the Lord had made the earth so good ! His fellowship with thoughts that angels bring In wakeful dreams, perchance, or the sweet min istering Of baby hands and love, and wifely tenderness ; God granted him to know the blessedness, And sing the dearness, that all hearts might know God loves His children whom He blesses so With taste of Heaven ! IV. " God taught him" aye, the poet-teacher knew, His mission was of God : he knew God s love could clear the shadow from created things Men needed not to grieve. So flowed His " velvet flute-note " forth in luminous melody ; The chords of his pure life welled up in rhap sody *To chant dear Beauty s holiness. And while he sings Where God hath called him, in our h carter alway He singeth of God s Day. 22 SIDNEY LANIER. By Miss Edith M. Thomas. INTRODUCTORY NOTE. To (he friends of Sidney Lanier at Johns Hopkins University : Having only yesterday received your invitation to attend the gathering in memory of the poet, I still wish in some way to express ray appreciation of your thus honoring me, and yet more to cast in some tribute to his gracious genius. The quoted fragment of his own lovely verse, coming to my mind this morning, furnishes the motive for the enclosed villanelle now subject to your order. E. M. T. Geneva, Ohio, February 1, 1888. " On the Paradise side of the River of Death. The River flows, how softly flows (The one bank green, the other sere), How sweet the wind that hither blows. Its breath is from the blightless rose, Its voice, from lips of leal and dear The River flows, how softly flows. 23 Beyond, in dreams the spirit goes, And finds each lost and lovely peer How sweet the wind that hither blows. Brief while the gleaming vista shows A singing throng withdrawn from here The River flows, how softly flows. There mounts the winged song, there glows The ardor white, of rare Lanier How sweet the wind that hither blows. His voice rang fearless to the close, He sang Death s Cup with cordial cheer The River flows, how softly flows ; How sweet the wind that hither blows. letters* DEERFOOT FARM, January 29, 1888. Dear President Oilman, If I could, I would gladly join you in your tribute of respect and affection to the late Sid ney Lanier. He was not only a man of genius with a rare gift for the happy word, but had in him qualities that won affection and commanded respect. I had the pleasure of seeing him but once, when he called on me (in more gladsome days) at Elmwood, but the image of his shining presence is among the friendliest in my memory. I wish I could be with you to pay a part of my debt, but it is impossible. Faithfully yours, J. E. LOWELL. 44 EAST 26TH STREET, NEW YORK, January 28, 1888. My dear President Oilman, I regret that unfulfilled duties here, and pres sing engagements at this season, compel me 26 to deny myself the satisfaction of being with you in the memorial gathering, at which Key- ser s bust of the late Sidney Lanier will be offered to the Johns Hopkins University. The marked poetic instinct, which governs Mr. Keyser in all his work, doubtless has secured for you a preservation of the expression, as well as of the material likeness, of Lanier s striking features. It is a fine thing that such an institution as your University should have its shrines and among them that of its own poet, in a certain sense canonized, and with his most ideal mem ory a lasting part of its associations. I have spoken, in a book where much atten tion was devoted to Lanier s genius and works, of his "early death," and of its having pre vented the completion of his "ultimate design." Lanier s sensibility, taste, exquisite sense of beauty, made him on one side resemble Keats and Shelley, yet he lived fourteen years longer than Keats, and ten years longer than Shelley, and the amount of his printed remains is notably smaller than that which each of them left behind. But those poets sang and wrote without an ulti mate design of the kind to which I refer. He 27 conceived of a method, and of compositions, which could only be achieved by the effort of a life extended to man s full term of years. The little that he was able to do belonged to the very outset of a large, synthetic work ; he did little more than to sound a few important bars of his overture. In this sense he died early, but did not die without leaving his idea behind him out of which something fine may yet grow. He staked his purpose on the hope and chance of time for its execution, but Dis aliter visumf Very sincerely yours, EDMUND C. STEDMAN. Editorial Department, The Century Magazine. NEW YORK, January 5, 1888. My dear Dr. Oilman, I thank you very much for thinking of me in connection with the Sidney Lanier birthday commemoration on the 3d of February, though I feel totally unable to say anything that will add to the intimate knowledge and generous appreciation of Lanier in your community. It 28 is borne in upon me with terrible force that within a few years we have lost, in this country, some of our most genuine poets in the very height of their power. Here in New York we have but just come from the death-bed of our friend and fellow-worker, Emma Lazarus a poet snatched away almost at the beginning of a splendid and most beneficent career. Some time before, news came of the death of Edward Rowland Sill, a singer of profound purpose and thrilling tone. Before that, Helen Jackson sang her own brave death-chant ; but of the new group of American poets Lanier was the first to pass into the land that the living call " silent." To the eyes of those who see as we mortals must see, the cutting short of these four lives, so full of the " beauty of holiness," so earnest, so heroic, so inspiring, so divinely musical, was in every case a tragedy, not only a per sonal but also a national loss. In Lanier s case the tragedy was intensified by the painful expe riences of those last years, and by the extraordi nary promise of his verse. Some of his poetic work was experimental, not fully and restfully accomplished, though always with gleams here and there from the very " Heaven of song." As 29 his methods and ideas matured there was reason to expect a more rounded, sustained, and satis fying art. And every now and then there crys tallized in his intense and musical mind a lyric of such diamond-like strength and lustre that it can no more be lost from the diadem of English song than can the lyrics of Sidney or of Herbert. Yes, with each dead singer it is a tragic and eternal deprivation and yet all have left songs that will be cherished by their countrymen. I know you will not be sorry that I have named others in naming him, I feel assured that each would wish to be remembered when one is re called. Your way of endeavoring to perpetuate the impression made upon you individually by the poet and by his work will not only accom plish its direct object, but will also encourage others who in the midst of a sordid world are trying to keep alive the harshly blown upon and flickering flame of the ideal. Very sincerely yours, KICHARD W. GILDER. n tbe jetbical flnfluence of Xamer. By MERRILL E. GATES, Ph. D., President of Rutgers College. President Oilman said : " Two or three days ago a letter came from one who wrote, in response to our invitation, among all those friends who knew Lanier I doubt if any will be present who love him more truly than do I who never saw him. But the writer of that letter is here to day, and I shall ask him to say to you what he will, or himself to read the letter he had written. I introduce to you President Merrill E. Gates, of Kutgers College." President Gates said : You ask me, President Gilman, to read what I had written you ; and I willingly comply with your wish, because it gives me the pleasure of looking into the faces of these friends, so many of whom knew and loved Sidney Lanier. And I am the more ready to say a few words here, because both last night and on the evening be- 32 fore I was present in a circle of intelligent and sympathetic men and women who were deeply interested in Lanier and desirous to know him better. Last night, in Brooklyn, a hundred and fifty men and women who love good literature were assembled to listen to some account of Lanier s life and a criticism of his poetry. The circle of his admirers grows slowly but surely. He finds his own ! As the bell struck twelve last night, ushering in Lanier s birthday, Mr. Stedman whose letter has just been read, was speaking with me of Lanier. He said of Lanier some more tender and appreciative words than I have elsewhere known him to say, discriminating yet affection ate. But he also expressed the thought which he has given us in this letter. He spoke of the fact that Lanier, from the wide scope of his ideas and the far-reaching comprehensiveness of his ideals in art, had planned for himself a work which it would have required half a century of life to complete. But death cut him off. The re sult seemed sadly incomplete. To which I could only make reply : But what nobler or truer ser vice can an artist render to his age and to all time than Lanier has done in thus laying off for 33 us in his life, be its years many or few, a perfect arc that reveals to us the far-reaching, compre hensive sweep of the great circles that include all beauty, span the whole universe of thought and art, and show us in outline the full sphere of beauty, holiness, and truth. So I hold our poet s life a perfect piece of living, incomplete although it may appear. How you who knew him here, loved him ! How his influence still pervades the literary studies of the University ! The letters and poems just read show us in how many directions his helpful power is felt. I have sometimes thought that there is no truer contemporaneous test of the power of a poet than that which is found in the degree to which he lays hold upon the hearts and the minds of the young men of his age. That of beauty and truth which the com ing generation need, to live by, the young men feel and know by a subtle spirit of the future that pervades their souls, though often older men may fail to perceive its presence or to sus pect its potency. The two poems which we have just heard read by young men of the University show us how powerfully Lanier appeals to young men. 34 " His love of men was wonderful ! After all has been said of the needs of our time, I ques tion whether any one has had a truer vision of the deepest need of our time, in these years of social unrest and blind yearning "to make richer and fuller" the lives of the many, than had our poet when he wrote "The Symphony," and in the heart of it set the words which loving hands have written here to-day in flowers on the lyre that typifies his song " The Time needs Heart ! " I loved him ; and his words found me as have the words of no other poet of our time. To read what I had written seems almost too formal now, since we have looked into each other s faces in the presence of this nobly ex pressive bust of the Poet, and, while his own flute is eloquent here in its silence, have listened together to the music he wrote and to music he loved. But as my words were written from a definite point of view other than that of the friend, I will read the words I had sent to you. As a teacher of Ethics, working among the young men of America, I give thanks for the life and writings of Sidney Lanier. 35 By heredity, by endowment, by training, artist in every fibre of his organism and in every x" 1 aspiration and impulse of his soul, Lanier yet v kept touch with the men of his time, in the P* science that interests the schools and in the social^), questions that color the life of our generation^ His writings throb with an all-embracing love _^^ for his fellow-men, for all that has life, and for the entire universe of order and beauty which to his artist-eye and heart was not only the han diwork but also the very shrine of that Creative Life Who has called into being and consciously sustains it all. Yet no one has held more firmly to the clear intuition of a self-determining personality in every man, owing steadfast, cour ageous fealty to moral law. Thus there is about his figure, youthful as he was, a dignity and a severity such as must always attend the prophet and priest of holiness. God s touch set the starry splendor of genius upon his soul ! As the years wheel into centu ries, the stars to which men s eyes are oftenest raised for guidance and in aspiration from our restless, changing world, are those which hold a place nearest the unchanging pole. Lanier s place in "the literature of enduring power" is 36 secure, fast by that pole of the true in thought, the noble and the beautiful in deed, round which our life revolves. To an age tainted by an unhealthy " aestheti- cism," and a debauching "realism," which sees in vice and uncleanness only new fields for the artist s powers of description, and no call for the artist s divine powers of denunciation to save young men into whose ears is dinned the maxim, "Art for art s sake only" "A moral purpose ruins art," Lanier came, noble-souled as Mil ton in youthful consciousness of power, yet hum ble before the august conception of a moral purity higher than he could hope to utter or attain, discerning with a true poet s insight " the beauty of holiness " and " the holiness of beauty." Hauler s Science of \Derse, By Professor ALBERT H. TOLMAN, Of Ripon College, Wisconsin. Let any man read some representative poem from the writings of SAvinburne, one which fairly carries him away by the richness of its rhythm and the melody of its sounds. He will say : " This poet sometimes lacks clearness of expression ; sometimes, nobility of thought ; but he has a marvellous command of the purely for mal elements of English verse." Let that man now turn to the works upon English versification that preceded Sidney Lanier s " Science of Eng lish Verse " and seek to find a careful analysis and exposition of those qualities of Swinburne s poetry which have charmed his own ear. He will search in vain. So far from finding those qualities explained, he will not find them even recognized. If he chances upon the writings of Lanier s brother-Baltimoreans, Edgar A. Poe and Professor Sylvester, he will get some real light. Elsewhere he will find not " light, but darkness visible." 38 The ignorance concerning the nature of Eng lish verse which Lanier found to prevail was of no ordinary kind. It was a scientific ignorance, in the sense that it had been reduced to a science. It had classified and labeled all the multitude of phenomena which it did not understand. It talked learnedly of trochees, and anapaests, and amphibrachs, and hypercatalecticism. It had developed rules for the making of verse, and the smallest one of these had exceptions enough to fill a volume. It had all the form of sound knowledge, "but denying the power thereof." The students of this strange pseudo-science stood ready to frown down any intruder who should bring in a ray of common sense to light up their darkness, by telling him, " My dear Sir, you ignore all the accepted principles of English prosody." With all his gift for hyperbole, Poe hardly overstates the case when he says, con cerning the theory of versification, "There is, perhaps, no topic in polite literature which has been more pertinaciously discussed ; and there is certainly not one about which so much inac curacy, confusion, misconception, misrepresenta tion, mystification, and downright ignorance on all sides, can be fairly said to exist." 39 Inborn delicacy of hearing and long training fitted Lanier for the task of investigating Eng lish verse. Quietly disregarding the learned rubbish that had accumulated, he studied our verse as a set of present phenomena of the world of sound. He listened, and listened to the very thing itself, the sound-groups concerning which he wished to learn. He gathered his facts care fully, he verified and arranged them, until the great laws which underlie the phenomena stood out clear and unmistakable. These laws he then set forth in language which is as severely accu rate as if he had never penned a line of poetry, as if all flights of imagination were utterly dis tasteful to him. This statement of Lanier s method of study sets aside the objections that some of his histori cal illustrations are incorrectly interpreted, and that lie has paid no attention to the work of some careful students of the history of English verse. Lanier sought to explain English verse as a present fact. There is a school of philolo- gians which says, " Observe carefully the facts of the formation and growth of language as it exists to-day. Then you will have the means for understanding substantially all that we shall 40 ever know of its formation and development in all ages." If Lanier has accurately analysed and interpreted English verse as it exists to-day, then he has given us the laws that will explain to us at least the greater part of all that we shall ever know concerning the nature of that verse in all the periods of its existence. The first and longest division of the Science of English Verse contains a complete treatment of the subject of verse-rhythm. Lanier con siders rhythm in verse to be the marking off to the ear by the accent of equal intervals of time ; hence verse-rhythm is essentially the same thing as rhythm in music, and all other rhythm. In this broad position it seems to me that Lanier is unquestionably right. His demon stration may need to be modified in some par ticulars ; it will never be overthrown. We shall still hear that " accent and not quantity is the governing principle of English verse " ; but we shall hear less of this as time goes on. Astronomy and astrology were long cultivated side by side. So long as man s heart-beats are separated by equal intervals, he will never dis tribute accents without reference to time. If anyone really wishes to hear such sound-anar- 41 chy, let him touch off a bunch of Chinese fire crackers. The rhythm of our verse, however, does not always attain to the exactness of the rhythm of music. Lanier s musical bent is seen in the fact that he treats the rhythmical accent of verse almost as if it were a thing independent of every-day accent. In rendering music we add accent to musical sounds : in reading poetry we find it in spoken sounds ; it is a new function, simply, of the accent of common speech. La nier s own poetical genius was distinctly lyrical. Pie was in a special sense, a singer. His most representative verse-form was the grand lyric, especially the Ode, with its vast resonance and complex harmony. Lyric poetry is that form of verse which is most nearly allied to music in the exactness and the prominence of its rhythm. Lanier, perhaps, had a tendency to look upon English verse as lyric verse. In free blank-verse I think that not so much of the expression is committed to the rhythm; the words have a substantive, an independent meaning, which the separate tones of a piece of music do not have, and which the words of a lyric poem do not have in the same degree relative to the demands of 42 the rhythm. To this independent meaning of the words, the rhythm of free blank-verse often seems slightly to defer. Hence we have frequent omissions of the rhythmical accent even in bars that are filled with sound, frequent displacements of the accent, and a bewildering variety of equi valent forms of the bar; and even the funda mental rhythm itself, which is clearly heard through all interruptions, is not marked off to the ear with the same exactness as in lyric verse. Still, so far as this takes place, it is an escape from rhythm ; and it cannot be carried far in good verse. Lanier has stated the norm, the great basal principle governing verse-rhythm. In the second and third divisions of the book, The Tunes of English Verse and The Colors of English Verse, the treatment is clear, sound, and strikingly suggestive. All must regret that Lanier did not live to investigate these topics more fully. The late Professor E. K. Sill, a life-long stu dent and teacher of English poetry, a judicious critic, and a rare poet, said of this book, " It is the only work that has ever made any approach to a rational view of the subject. Nor are the standard ones overlooked in making this asser tion." 43 The book is clear and explicit everywhere. We follow its pages, instantly accepting or ques tioning every statement ; and we forget how rare such precision and perspicuity are, and how dif ficult of attainment. The contrast is complete between this work and the cuneiform inscrip tions which have passed for expositions of Eng lish verse. Perhaps no feature of the book is more admi rable than the thoroughness with which Lanier maps out the field. This makes it possible for others to supplement his work, to build upon his foundation. Merely as a logical exercise, it would be well if every young student could read the opening chapter, "The Investigation of Sound as Artistic Material." I do not care to dwell upon those details in this work concerning which there may be dif ferences of opinion. I prefer to recall the delight with which I read the book twice through on its appearance, and felt for the first time that I had solid ground under my feet in the study of English verse. I gratefully acknowledge my personal indebtedness to this book. The scientific precision of Lanier s treatment of his subject and the relentlessness with which 44 he follows every proposition out to its logical conclusions, are a new illustration of the truth that a really great poet must have an orderly, a scientific mind. Only such a mind is thoroughly fitted for that higher form of rationality, poetic inspiration. We commonly conceive of a great poet most inadequately. Milton has told us that large powers, wide knowledge, long training, and " devout prayer " should all be found united in such a one, and that he who would sing well "ought himself also to be a true poem." The mental and the moral sanity of Sidney Lanier his ample knowledge, his trained intellect, his passion for holiness were the indispensable conditions and an essential part of his poetic greatness. We easily look upon the Science of English Verse as something standing apart from Lanier s life-work. He did not so regard it. It was the foundation, broad and deep, on which he was to build a mighty Temple of Song, for the delight of man and the glory of God. Of that Temple he fashioned one portal, fair, chaste, and strong. And then just as his fingers, now grown fully deft, eagerly grasped the mallet and chisel ; just 45 as the firm stone seemed fairly pliant to his touch ; just as the grateful appreciation of his fellow-men, long delayed, swelled to a chorus ; then " God s finger touched him, and he slept." IRoticee OF THE MEMORIAL MEETING. [From Tlie Critic, New York, February 11, 1888.] A LANIER MEMORIAL. Some months ago there sprang up spontaneously in the hearts of a few of the friends of the late Sidney La mer, resident in Baltimore and elsewhere, a desire to commemorate his forty-sixth birthday. The idea origi nated with that circle of friends which is gathered about the Johns Hopkins University, where the poet-scholar received recognition and encouragement, and served as lecturer in English Literature in 1879-80. A bust of Lanier was modelled during the latter part of his life by Ephraim Keyser, the sculptor, then of Baltimore and now of New York, who caused it to be cast in bronze at Borne. A kinsman of the poet, Mr. Charles Lanier of New York, soon signified his wish to present this bust to the Uni versity ; another friend expressed his appreciation of the movement by offering a pedestal for the bust, wrought in Georgia marble, and designed by Mr. J. Noel Wyatt of Baltimore. Still others showed their eagerness to con tribute to the occasion by expressions of their love and esteem in verse and prose, or by the rendition of music that art which was so dear to the musician-poet whose genius they sought to commemorate. The outcome of 48 this feeling and action was the gathering held in Hopkins Hall of the University, at four o clock on the afternoon of Friday last, February 3. About one hundred and fifty friends and fellow-spirits, representing both the Faculty and students of the University, and the best culture of the city, were present , by special invitation. One of the pleasantest features of the day was the presence of Mrs. Lanier and her two sons. In the centre of the platform stood the bust, backed by tropical plants and based by flowers and ferns, the head bearing a laurel wreath in true poet fashion. From the front of the pedestal hung Lanier s flute, used by him when a member of the Peabody Orchestra; and this was crossed by a manuscript roll of his own music. To the right on a small desk rested a harp of roses, pinks, and smilax, with the inscription, "The Time needs heart," a quotation from his poem, " The Symphony." The exer cises were opened with a few fitting words from President Oilman. He said : " This is the birthday of a poet ; this is the jubilee of a poet. Years have passed since his death, but his fame is growing brighter and our love for him dearer and truer. Most of what you will hear to-day will bo from the lips of poets ; to me alone falls the prose, as I call to your notice what is to come. Here is rose mary for remembrance, here are pansies for thought. " Dr. Oilman then introduced Mr. Edward G. Daves, who read a poem written by Mrs. Laurence Turnbull of Bal timore. Miss Ward, sister of Dr. Ward of The Independent, followed with selections from Lanier s published poems, reading with much expression and delicacy of interpreta tion. Dr. Browne, Librarian of the University, followed with quotations from a critical paper on Lauier s book, "The Science of English Verse," by Professor Tolnian, 49 of Ripon College, Wisconsin, formerly a student of Johns Hopkins, and under Lanier. Mr. Richard E. Burton and Mr. James Cummings of the University then read poems of their own, called out by their reverence and love for the singer. At this point there was music, Lanier s poem, " The Ballade of the Trees and the Master," set to music by " Francis Urban," being sung by Miss Starr of the Pea- body Conservatory. Miss Starr also read Tennyson s "Love that hath us in the net," to music by Lanier. This was followed by an air of Bach s for violin solo, Mr. Fritz Gaul, first violin of the Peabody Orchestra, being the soloist. After the music, President Gilman introduced the Rev. Father John B. Tabb, of St. Charles College, Maryland, well known as a writer of verse and a fellow-prisoner of Lanier s during the War, who gave the audience an ori ginal sonnet inspired by the death of his friend. Men tioning the fact that he had just received a letter from Oliver Wendell Holmes, expressing his sympathy with the memorial, but of too private a character to read, Dr. Gilman introduced Dr. William Hayes Ward of New York, who read letters from J. R. Lowell and E. C. Sted- man, felicitously characterizing Lanier s character and place as a poet. A beautiful poem contributed by Miss Edith M. Thomas, of which the motif was Lanier s line, " The paradise-side of the river of death," was then pre- sented by Mr. Daves, whose rich voice lent a deep mean ing to its tender and melodious refrain. Dr. Gates, President of Rutgers College, had written a long letter for the occasion, but unexpectedly was present, and therefore supplemented his own written words by others spoken from a full heart and showing a keen apprecia tion of the Southern -singer s place and mission among 50 men-of-letters. Dr. Adams, Professor of History in the University, was called on to read a long letter from the pen of Mr. R. W. Gilder, of The Century, in which refer ence was made to the fourfold and great loss the country had sustained in the untimely taking-off of Emma Laza rus, E. R. Sill, Helen Hunt and Sidney Lanier. The exercises then closed with more music, Prof. Richard Burmeister, pianist at the Peabody, playing a transcrip tion by Liszt on themes by Handel. As the audience left the Hall, they were handed taste fully designed memorial cards, the contribution of Mrs. Henry Whitman of Boston. The face of the card bore a laurel wreath, beneath which in gilt lettering were the words : " Presentation of the bust of Sidney Lanier to the Johns Hopkins University, February 3, 1888, the forty-sixth birthday of the poet." Below this was the motto : Aspiro dum Exspiro. The reverse bore, above a flute twined with ivy, the last words of Lanier s poem, "Sunrise": Ever by day shall my spirit, as one that hath tried thee. Labor, at leisure, in art, till yonder beside thee My soul shall float, friend Sun, The day being done. In all the exercises of the day there was a warmth, an atmosphere of sympathy, that was as stimulating and delightful as it is rare ; and all whose privilege it was to be present departed with a sense of having snatched from the workaday world an ideal hour; an hour therefore fitly commemorating one who was and is so unique and shining an exponent of spiritual Truth and Beauty, in his life, his work, and his song. R. E. B. 51 [From The Nation, New York, February 9, 1888.] The forty-sixth birthday of Sidney Lanier, the Southern poet and musician, was celebrated in Baltimore on Feb ruary 3 by a company of his personal friends and asso ciates. It is nearly seven years since he died, and his fame appears to be constantly increasing as the ideal of his aspirations is more clearly discerned. He has never been a "popular" poet perhaps he never will be. To some minds he appears obscure ; to some he seems like a poet of another age discoursing on modern themes ; to others and this number is growing he seems a poet of the future, the herald of better things to come from the pens of those who are inspired by the ideas that animated him. Whatever may be his ultimate position, the cele bration in Baltimore shows that his life and writings have already made a strong impression on a large num ber of gifted and earnest minds. The immediate occasion of the assembly was the presentation of a likeness of the poet to the Johns Hopkins University. The sculptor, Ephraim Keyser, now at work on the Arthur monument, modelled the bust during Lanier s life, and caused it to be cast in bronze. When a kinsman of the poet, Mr. Charles Lanier of New York, heard of the existence of this work of art, he generously gave it to the University in which Lanier had been a lecturer. A citizen of Bal timore offered the pedestal. To receive the gift, a com pany of perhaps one hundred and fifty persons assembled in the hall where the poet had read his lectures on the Growth of the Novel, English Literature, and on the Science of Verse. There stood the bust crowned with laurel ; on the pedestal hung his flute ; at the base was a bed of flowers. Musicians representing the Peabody 52 Orchestra, in which for years Lanier had played the flute, took part in the exercises. One of his musical compositions, adapted to words of Tennyson s, and one of his own poems, which a friend had set to music, were sung. Miss Ward, sister of Earner s biographer, read selections from his poems. Father Tabb, a Catholic priest who had shared with Lanier the privations of prison life during the civil war, read a sonnet in commemoration of his friend ; another sonnet came from Richard E. Bur ton of Connecticut, and longer poems from Mrs. TurnbuU of Baltimore and James Cummings of Tennessee. Just before the hour of the meeting, the mail brought some exquisite lines from Miss Edith M. Thomas, which, like the poems already mentioned, were read aloud. Profes sor Tolman of Eipon College, once a pupil of Lanier s, contributed a critical estimate of his "Science of Verse," and Mr. Burton prepared a list of printed articles and poems, some thirty in number, which have appeared since Lanier s death, many of them by writers of dis tinction. President Gates of Rutgers College spoke in words of affectionate admiration of the ethical influence of Lanier s character and life. Many interesting letters were received, and three of them, those of Lowell, Richard W. Gilder, and Edmund C. .Stedraan, were read. Finally, as a choice memento of the hour, a card, designed and given by Mrs. Whitman of Boston, was offered to every one of the company. Upon one side of the card were a wreath of laurels, the name and date, and the words "Aspiro dura Exspiro," and on the other side the lines with which Lanier closed his hymn to the Sun, in the first of the "Hymns of the Marshes." 3Biblioijrapb\\ Bv Rithan} E. B*Ha*. LANIER S PUBLISHED WORKS. Tteer Lilies: a norel, New York, 18C7. Poem?. Philadelphia, 1876, 94 pfwOfc- florida: its scenery, climate, and history, Phfladdpfcim, 1877; reTised edition, Philadelphia, 1881. Tt e English Novel and the Principle of its fldeoee of English Terse, New York, 18S. a The Boys labrarr of Legend and ChiTalrr, 4 Tolumea, I . 1884 [comprises "The SOT S King Arthor,- u Knightly Legends of Wales," formerly known as The Boy s Mabinogkm " ; The Boy s Froissart"; "The Boy s Percy."] Poems: edited by his wife, with a memorial *y W* Hayes Want New York, ISM, XB pp^ 12o; TVe same, second edition, 188S. (The maflsaiM articles named betov are worthy of note). The Orchestra ofT(*lay. Ariimar , Jfc^Ujr,VoLl9 t p.897, MBA TheNewSooth. SrHfrm^* JfMU^, VoL 28. p. 43ft, UBtL Moral Purpose in Art. He Ckmhtry JfafMim, ToL 4, p. 131, 138*. Katare-Metafhon. Jtten> Jfsjaiiai, Febroary, 1871. 54 Retrospects and Prospects. Southern Magazine, 1871. San Antonio de Bexar. Southern Magazine, July- August, 1873. Peace. Southern Magazine, October, 1874. Five Sketches of India. Published anonymously in Lippincotfs Magazine, between December, 1875, and April, 1876. The Ocklawaha in May. Lippincotfs Magazine, October, 1875. St. Augustine in April. Lippincotfs Magazine, Novem ber, 1875. The Story of a Proverb. Lippincotfs Magazine, January, 1879. Bob. The Independent, August 3, 1882. The Happy Soul s Address to the Dead Body. " (From Shakspere Course of Lectures). The Independent, 1886. A Fairy Tale for Grown People. St. Nicholas Magazine, 1879. The poems appearing in various magazines from time to time are not here named, as most of them appear in the complete edition of his poems. PRINTED NOTICES OF HIS LIFE AND WRITINGS. CALVKRT, GKO. H. The Golden Age, June 12, 1875. MARBLE, EARLE. Cottage Hearth, June, 1877. BROWNE, WM. HAND. Memorial Address, October, 1881. KIRKUS, WM. American Literary Churchman, October, 1881. OILMAN, D. C. Our Continent, February, 1882. WARD, W. HAYES. The Century, April, 1884. 55 WARD, W. HAYES. Memorial prefixed to Lanier s Poems, New York, 1884. TABB, JOHN B. The Independent, 1884. THAYER, WILLIAM R. The American, Philadelphia, 1884. THAYER, WILLIAM R. The Independent, March, 1884. BROWNE, FRANCIS F. The Dial, Chicago, June, 1885. CHAMBERLAIN, D. H. The New Englander, Vol. 44, p. 227, 1885. STEDMAN, E. C. Poets of America, Boston, 1885. HAYNE, PAUL H. The Critic, February 13, 1886. WILKINSON, WILLIAM CLEAVER. The Independent, Sep tember, 1886. GATES, MERRILL E. Presbyterian Review, November, 1887. (Reprinted in pamphlet form). WEST, CHAS. N. Address delivered before Georgia His torical Society, Savannah, Ga., December 5, 1887. (Printed in pamphlet form). " PATTY SEMPLE." Southern Bivouac, April, 1887. HANKINS, V. W. Southern Bivouac, May, 1887. HIGGINSON, T. W. The Chautauquan, April, 1887. HIGGINSON, T. W. Women and Men, Chapter VIII., Roberts Bros., 1888. MORRIS, H. S. The American, Philadelphia, February 18, 1888. BUCKHAM, J. The Literary World, February 18, 1888. Also see The Nation, New York : 1880, October 28 ; 1881, September 15; 1882, November 30; 1883, July 12; 1884, December 18. Articles and reviews in the daily newspapers are not included in this list. 56 (THE FOLLOWING PAPERS ARE NOT KNOWN TO HAVE BEEN PRINTED.) OILMAN, D. C. Address in Hopkins Hall, October 22, 1881. WARD, HERBERT D. Essay at Amherst College, 1884. WARD, W. HAYES. Address before the Ministers Club at Newark, N. J., 1884. WARD, SUSAN H. Lecture, read at various places. BLACK, G. D. Lecture at Antioch College, January 11, 1886. BLECKLEY, CHIEF JUSTICE. Address delivered at Atlanta, Ga., February 3, 1888. GATES, MERRILL E. Lecture in Brooklyn, February 2, 1888. GILMORE, J. H. Lecture in New York, February 18, 1888. POEMS. Poems have been written on Lanier by Mrs. Lawrence Turnbull, Charles W. Hiibner, John B. Tabb, Chas. G. D. Roberts, Paul H. Hayne, Hamlin Garland, Lizette W. Reese, James Cummings, Edith M. Thomas, Richard E. Burton, Jasper Barnett Cowdin, Wm. W. Hayne, Simeon Tucker Clark, and Clinton Scollard.