The Irish review

The Irish review

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The Irish review
The Irish Review Pub. Co.
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1 online resource


Subjects / Keywords:
Ireland -- Civilization -- Periodicals ( lcsh )
Ireland -- Literatures -- Periodicals ( lcsh )
serial ( sobekcm )
Time Period:
1911 - 1914


General Note:
A monthly magazine of Irish literature, art & science.
General Note:
Mostly in English, with some Irish Gaelic.

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University of South Florida Library
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University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
027002452 ( ALEPH )
01639751 ( OCLC )
I22-00006 ( USFLDC DOI )
i22.6 ( USFLDC Handle )

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Irish Studies

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THE DUBLIN WOODWORKERS, 17 LINCOLN PLACE. MANUFACTURERS OF Office and Church Furniture, Upholstery. Filing Cabinets a Speciality IRISH SOCIETY AND SOCIAL REVIEW THE ONLY SOCIETY JOURNAL IN IRELAND. ESTABLISHED 2 5 YEARS. EVERY THURSDAY. PRICE ONE PENNY. Contents Contains All the Social News of the Week. Serial Story. Comploted Story. Mirror of Fashion. Letter. Special Articles. Dress and Fashion. Health and Beauty. Decorative Art. Etc., etc. PUBLISHED AT 12 JJ 'OLIER S TREET; DUBLIN


BOOKS BY LORD DUNSANY THE SWORD OF WELLERAN. A DREAMER'S TALES. MESSRS. GEORGE Al.LEN & SONS. SAINT ENDA'S COLLEGE RATHFARNHAM Headmaster P. H. PEARSE, B.A., Apart from its Irish standpoint, ST. ENDA's is distinguished from other secondary schools for boys by the appeal which its courses make to the imagination of its pupils, by its broad literary programme, its objection to cramming, its viva voc e teaching of modern languages, and its homelike domestic arrangements which are in charge of ladies. The College stands on 50 acres of beautiful grounds. Recent successes include fifteen matriculations at N.U.I. A University Hostel is attached. For Prospectus apply to the Headmaster.


Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction for Ireland. Royal College of Science.for Ireland DUBLIN. A complete course of instruction for Associate Students is given in Agriculture :md Allied Subjects (including Horticulture, Forestry and Creamery Management), Chemistry, Engineering, Physics, and Natural Science. A limited Number of Scholarships are offered each year-(ay in Agriculture and Allied Subjects; (b) in Science and Technology. Full particulars of the Entrance Examinations, of the Examinations for the above Scholarships, and of th_e various courses of instruction, etc., are contained in the College Programme, which may be obtained on application to The Registrar, Royal College of Science, Dublin. TllAINING IN AGllICULTUilE, HOJlTICULTUl{E, FOl{ESTilY, Cl{EAMEl{Y MANAGE MENT, Etc., is provide d at the Albert Agricultural College, Glasnevin, Dublin. Athenry Agricultural Station, Athenry, Co. Galway. Ballyhaise Agricultural Station, Ballyhaise, Co. Cavan. Clonakilty Agricultural Station, Clonakilty, Co. Cork. Avondale Forestry Station, l{athdrum, Co. Wicklow. For further particulars apply to--THE SECilETAl{Y, Department of Agriculture and technical Instruction for Ireland, Upper Merrion Street, Dublin. METROPOLITAN SCHOOL OF ARl. KILDARE STREET, DUBLIN. Session-From October to July. Day and Evening Classes. Instruction in Drawing, Painting, Modeliing and Designing; also in Artistic Enamelling, Metal Work, Stained Glass Painting and Mosaic. Other Craft Classes uader consideration. In the various branches of these subjects instruction is given in the Evening Classes for Workmen, Apprentices, and Foremen at low fees. Scholarships and Teacherships-in-Training are offered each session. Further particulars can be obtained on application to The Registrar, Metropolitan School of Art, Kildare Street, Dublin.


THE IRISH REVIE W A MONTHLY MAGAZINE OF IRISH LITERATURE, ART & SCIENCE VOLUME I. (MARCH l9II--FEBRUARY 1912) VOLUME II. (MARCH 1912-FEBRUARY 1913) From" The Irish Review," Vol. 1., No. 1, March, 19u Irish Review" has been founded to give expression to the intellectual movement in Ireland. By the intellectual movement we do not understand an activity purely literary ; we think of it as the application of Irish intelligeftce to the reconstruction of Irish life. The Irish Review will strive to speak for Ireland rather than any party or coterie in Ireland. Emancipated from the tyranny of his party and lifted above the flattery of his coterie, the Irishman of action, study, or letters may utter himself here for the benefit of his people and of such others as may care to give attention. The Iris h Review" belongs to no party." Readers of the Review know how this undertaking has been fulfilled. With a change of tense the statement may be repeated. The Irish Review has given expression to the intellectual movement in Ireland. It has belonged to no party. During its two and a-half years' existence the "Review" has published a series of Art Plates and over 1 ,ooo pages of literary matter-Plays, Poems, Prose Pieces, Stories, Gaelic Literature, Book Reviews, and articles on Music, Art, Drama, Philosophy, Religion, Politics, Economics, and Science. All the best Irish Artists and Authors are contributors to The Irish Review." For lists see back cover. The Subscripton s 7s. 6d. per year, 3s. gd. per half year. v'olume 1. and II. m ay be had for 6s. 6d. each. Complete Sets of To IRISH ORDER FORM The Manager, Irish Review," Dublin. Please enter my name as a yearly subscriber to THE half-yel\rly REVIEW, for which I enclose Seven Rhi!.)!ngs 1md nee 'l'hree Shililngs and Ntnepence Name .. .................................................. Postal Address ......................................... PLEASE WRITE PLAINLY






THE IRISH REVIEW A MONTHLY MAGAZINE OF IRISH LITERATURE ART AND SCIENCE OCTOBER 1913 LABOUR IN DUBLIN By JAMES CONNOLLY HAVING been asked by the Editor of the frisk Review to contribute for this month's issue a statement of the position of Labour in the present crisis in Dublin, and having gladly consented, I now find myself to be in somewhat of a difficulty in setting the limits and scope of my article. I know not whether to restrict myself to a simple setting forth of the merits or demerits of the present dispute, or to carry my history further afield, and outline our general ideas and our general view of the history and prospects of that section of the population of Ireland to which we belong, to wit, the Working Class. I would like to do both, but to do either would require not merely an article but a volume in itself. Hence, in what ever there may be of scrappiness or indefiniteness of purpose in the writing of this article, the reader may detect the influence of that doubt as to how much I should attempt, and how much I should leave to other occasions, and perhaps to other pens. Ireland is a country of wonderful charity and singularly little VOL. 111.-NO. 32


THE IRISH REVIEW justice. And Dublin being an epitome of Ireland, it is not strange to find that Dublin, a city famous for its charitable institutions and its charitable citizens, should also be infamous for the perfectly hellish conditions under which its people are housed, and under which its men, women and children labour for a living. No need for me to repeat here the tale of the vast proportion of the total families of Dublin who live in homes of one room per family, nor yet to tell of the figures given us year by year by Sir Charles Cameron-figures which drive home the fact that the high death rate of Dublin is in exact proportion to the class to which the victims belong, a death rate falling with the wealth of the people and rising with their poverty. All these things ought to be familiar to every true patriot; if they are not, it is a sure sign that their patriotism takes no stock of those things which make for or against the well-being and the greatness of peoples. But whilst there have been long available statistics of the high rents and poor housing of the Dublin working class, there have not been, and are not even now available, statistics of the wages and labour conditions of Dublin. The information which might be supplied to the general public by such statistics has for the most part been left to be gathered piecemeal by the workers themselves, and to be applied piecemeal in an unconnected fashion as it became necessary to use it for purposes of organisation and agitation. Used in such fashion, it was never collected into one co-ordinated whole, as for instance, Mr. Rowntree has given us in his study of the conditions of York, or Mr. Booth in his study of the East End of London. One reason for this neglect of the social conditions of Dublin has been that in Ireland everything connected with the question of poverty insensibly became identified with one side or the other in the political fight over the question of national government. The reform tempera ment, if I may use such a phrase, could not escape being drawn into the fight for political reform, and the Conservative temperament quite as naturally became a pawn in the game of political reaction. Now it is well to remember that a conservative temperament is not naturally allied to social abuses or industrial sweating, but may be, 386


LABOUR IN DUBLIN very often is, the most painstaking of all the elements making for the correction of such abuses within certain limits; it is also well to be clear upon the fact that a readiness to fight or even to die for national freedom might co-exist in the same person. with a vehement support of industrial despotism or landlord tyranny. Thus it has happened that all the literary elements of society, those who might have been, under happier political circumstances, the champions of the downtrodden Irish wage labourer, or the painstaking investiga tors of social conditions, were absorbed in other fields, and the working class left without any means of influencing outside public opm1on. As a result, outside public opinion in Dublin gradually came to believe that poverty and its attendant miseries in a city were things outside of public interest, and not in the remotest degree connected with public duties, or civic patriotism. Poverty and misery were, in short, looked upon as evils which might call for the exercise of private benevolence, but their causes were to be looked for solely in the lapses or weaknesses of individual men and women, and not in the temporary social arrangements of an ever-changing industrial order. In this Dublin, with all this welter of high political ideals and low industrial practices, vaulting Imperialism and grovelling sweat ing, there arose the working class agitator. First as the Socialist, analysing and dissecting the difference between the principles and practices of the local bosses of the political parties, drawing attention to the fact that wages were lower and rents higher in Dublin than in England, that railwaymen received in Ireland from five shillings to ten shillings per week less for the same work than they did in England, that municipal employees were similarly relatively under paia, that in private employment the same thing was true, and that the Irish worker had foug-ht everybody's battles but his own. That there was no law upon the Statute Book, no order of the Privy Council, and no proclamation of the Lord Lieutenant which com pelled, or sought to compel, Irish employers to pay lower wages than were paid for similar work in England, or Irish house-owners to charge higher rents. That the argument about struggling Irish indus-387


THE IRISH REVIEW tries as opposed to wealthy English ones was being used to bolster up firms which had been so long established that their position was as secure as that of any English firm; and yet, sheltering behind this argument, they continued to pay sweating wages of the worst kind. It was further insisted that as the Irish farmer had only succeeded in breaking the back of Irish landlordism by creating a public opinion which made allegiance to the farmer synonymous with allegiance to Ireland, which treated as a traitor to Ireland all those who acted against the interests of the farmer, so the Irish Working Class could in its turn only emancipate itself by acting resolutely upon the principle that the cause of Labour was the cause of Ireland, and that they who sought to perpetuate the enslavement and degradation of Labour were enemies of Ireland, and hence part and parcel of the system of oppression. That the conquest of Ireland had meant the social and political servitude of the Irish masses, and therefore the re-conquest of Ireland must mean the social as well as the political independence from servitude of every man, woman and child in Ireland. In other words, the common ownership of all Ireland by all the Irish. Into the soil thus prepared there came at a lucky moment the organisation of the Irish Transport and General Workers' Union. This Union has from its inception fought shy of all theorising or philosophising about history or tradition, but, addressing itself directly to the work nearest its hand, has fought to raise the standard of labour conditions in Dublin to at least an approximation to decent human conditions. To do this it has used as its inspiring battle cry, as the watchword of its members, as the key-word of its message, the affirmation that "An injury fo one is the concern of all "-an affirmation which we all admire when we read of it as the enunciation of some Greek or Roman philosopher, but which we are now being asked to abhor when, translated into action, it appears in our midst as "The Sympathetic Strike." I am writing without time to consult my books, but I remember that one of the Wise Men of old, when asked "What was the most Perfect State," answered" That in which an injury fo the meanest citizen was considered as an outrage upon 388


LABOUR IN DUBLIN the whole body." And the reply has come down the ages to us as the embodiment of wi' sdom Is it an illustration of the conflict between. our theories and our conduct that the lowest paid, least educated body of workers are the only people in Ireland who try to live up to this ideal, and that this attempt of theirs should lead to their being branded as outlaws? What is the Sympathetic Strike? It is the recognition by the Working Class of their essential unity, the manifestation in our daily industrial relations that our brother's fight is our fight, our sister's troubles are our troubles, that we are all members one of another. In practical operation, it means that when any body of workers are in conflict with their employers, that all other workers should co operate with them in attempting to bring that particular employer to reason by refusing to handle his goods. That in fact every employer who does not consent to treat his workpeople upon a civilised basis should be treated as an enemy of civilisation, and placed and kept outside the amenities and facilities offered by civilised communities. In other words, that he and his should be made "tabu," treated as unclean, as "tainted," and therefore likely to contaminate all others. The idea is not new. It is as old as humanity. Several historical examples will readily occur to the mind of the thoughtful reader. The Vehmgerichte of Germany of the Miadle Ages, where the offending person had a stake driven into the ground opposite his door by orders of the secret tribunal, and from that moment was as completely cut off from his fellows as if he were on a raft in mid-ocean, is one instance. The boycott of Land League days is another. In that boycott the very journals and politicians who are denouncing the Irish Transport Union used a weapon which in its actual operations was more merciless, cruel and repulsive than any Sympathetic Strike has ever yet been. And even the Church, in its strength and struggles when it was able to command obedience to its decrees of excommunication, supplied history with a stern application of the same principle which, for thoroughness, we could never hope to equal. Such instances could be almost indefinitely multiplied. When the peasants of France 389


THE IRISH REVIEW rose in the J acquerie against their feudal barons, did not the English nobles join in sympathetic action with those French barons against the peasantry, although at that moment the English were in France as invaders and despoilers of the territory of those same French feudal barons? When the English peasantry revolted against their masters, did not all English aristocrats join in sympathetic action to crush them? When the German peasantry rose during the Reformation, did not Catholic and Protestant aristocrats cease exter minating each other to join in a sympathetic attempt to exterminate the insurgents? When, during the French Revolution, the French people overthrew kings and aristocrats, did not all the feudal lords and rulers of Europe take sympathetic action to restore the French monarchy, even although doing it involved throwing all industrial life in Europe into chaos and drenching a Continent with blood? Historically, the sympathetic strike can find ample justification. But, and this point must be emphasised, it was not mere cool reasoning that gave it birth in Dublin. In this city it was born out of our desperate necessity. Seeing all classes of semi-skilled labour in Dublin so wretchedly underpaid and so atrociously sweated, the Irish Transport and General Workers' Union taught them to stand together and help one another, and out of this advice the more perfect weapon has grown. That the Labour movement here has utilised it before elsewhere is due to the fact that in this city what is known as general or unskilled labour bears a greater proportion to the whole body of workers than elsewhere. And hence the workers are a more moveable, fluctuating body, are more often as individuals engaged in totally dissimilar industries than in the English cities, where skilled trad e s absorb so great a proportion, and keep them so long in the one class of industry. Out of all this turmoil and fighting the Union has evolved, is evolving, among its members a higher conception of mutual life, a realisation of their duties to each other and to society at large, and are thus building for the future in a way that ought to gladden the hearts of all lovers of the race. In contrast to the narrow, restricted outlook of the capitalist class, and even of certain old-fashioned 390


LABOUR IN DUBLIN trade-unionism, with their perpetual insistence upon "rights," this union insists, almost fiercely, that there are no rights without duties, and the first duty is to help one another. This is indeed revolu tionary and disturbing, but not half as much as would be a practical following out of the moral precepts of Christianity. For the immediate present, the way out of this deadlock is for all sides to consent to the formation of a Conciliation Board, before which all disputes must be brought. Let the employers insist upon levelling up the conditions of employment to one high standard; treat as an Ishmael any employer who refuses to conform, and leave him unassisted to fight the battle with the Union; let the Union proceed to organise all the workers possible, place all disputes as to wages before the Board for discussion, and only resort to a strike when agreement cannot be reached by the Board; and as all employers would be interested in bringing the more obdurate and greedy to reason, strikes would be rare. And when strikes were rare, the necessity for sympathetic strikes would also seldom develop. Thus we will develop a social conscience, and lay the foundation for an orderly transformation of society in the future into a more perfect and a juster social order. 391


LIBERTY UNDER CAPITALISM By JAMES BERTRAM "I promise that while I am in the employment of I will not belong to or support the Irish Transport and General Workers' Union, or any trades union affiliated with it." (Extract from the form of agreement issued by the Dublin Employers' Federation). IN times of strife it is rare for: a ciear issue to be presented. At such seasons it is far more common for the field to be so obscured that all definition is lost. The observer may well be pardoned for adopting an undecided attitude. He is not asked to choose between two clear opinions, but he is asked to make his choice between many hazy ones. A man is filled with a reasonable hesitancy on arrival at Seven Dials, advisable although it may be to move on. On the other hand, a man stultifies himself if he hesitates when he is faced by two alternatives, which clearly involve principles upon which a reasoning and moral being should have already formed a decided opm10n. One does not debate the question whether to rob one's father or not, one decides immediately in the negative. To hesitate is fo take the first step towards theft, it is to give clear evidence of a moral obliquity. In short, these are decisions where the man who hesitates is found out. The present industrial position in Dublin appears to the writer to involve just such a decision-that is to say, a choice is offered between two opinions which involve first principles of morality and justice. A doctrine of far-reaching importance has been proposed for our acceptance or rejection. The Dublin Employers' Federation have claimed the right to dismiss the workers if they continue to belong to a certain Trades Union, or even if they afford support to that Union. Is this doctrine to be accepted or rejected? Let it be granted that the employers possess a legal right to act in this way. But what does this imply? Solely that under the existing laws the performance of the act will not lead to fine or 392


LIBERTY UNDER CAPITALISM imprisonment. Further and more important questions remain. How will the acceptance of this doctrine affect the power of Trades Unions to bring pressure to bear on such employers as fail to pay their employees a fair or even a living wage? What bearing will it have on those cancerous growths, the slum areas? Will it bring light or darkness into those foul cattle pens, where whole families are herded together in one room? Will it tend to remove or to accentuate the ineffable disgrace of extreme luxury and extreme wretchedness living in close proximity on the same soil, beneath the same heaven and under the shadow of the same Cross? Further, what influence will it have on the sacred right of liberty possessed by the workers m common with all mankind? What, then, is involved in the acceptance of this doctrine? It carries with it the placing in the hands of the employers the power to destroy any union they please. It means taking from the worker his freedom of choice as to the Union he shall join. It means loading the dice in favour of the capitalist still more. So much is incontro vertible. The danger-nay, the certainty-of employers at times utilising their power of destruction because a Union is raising the wages of the workers springs to the eye. An increase of wages appears to many employers in the form of lessened profits and fewer luxuries. (As to the public companies they are notoriously mere pockets and brains, acardiac monsters). What is a good Trades Union for the poor may well seem a bad one for the rich, and vice versa. The more even distribution of wealth means levelling down as well as levelling up. Lazarus gets too little and Dives too much-one is too lean, the other too fat. It is as certain as anything well can be that, if the employers can destroy any Union of which they do not approve, the fat will grow fatter and the lean more lean-the rich will be fed with better things than ever and the hungry sent empty away. Further, this doctrine, if it be accepted, will force the Trades Unions to trim their sails to suit the theories of the employers; or, as an alternative, to face destruction. The yoke of capital will be 393


THE IRISH REVIEW firmly planted on organised labour; no voi c e above a whisper will be permitted to denounce the shocking injustices of which the poor are the victims. A Trades Union that adopts energetic means to sav e the people will have the greatest difficulty in saving itself. Who but a fool can deny that the ever-growing strength of capital menaces the lives and liberties of the workers? Who but a slave would move a finger to increase that strength? Capital, entrenched behind the means of production, can say to the worker: work for me or starve. But capital grows more insistent, and says to-day: Reject the Unions of which I disapprove, or starve. It is the law of nature that by the sweat of the brow bread shall come, but there is no law of nature that to the sweat of the brow must be added the sweat of the soul. It has been urged that the methods of the Irish Transport Workers' Union have afforded some justification for the action of the Employers' Federation. Even granting that the employers are right in their condemnation of these methods, the question of the continued existence of the Union is one for the State and not for them. If the Union has broken the law, the employers have their remedy in the Courts. If the methods of the Union are not illegal -but the employers consider that they should be so again, they have their remedy, always provided that they can convince the legis lature of the justice of their cause. Their present action is that of a body of men, prejudiced of necessity, attempting to take the law into their own hands-one pictures a body of dogs determining that because of its claws the cat must go, forgetful that the Providence that gave them teeth did not leave the cat unprotected. Furthermore, there can be no doubt that the form of agreement proposed by the Employers' Federation destroys the liberty of the worker. The employer not only claims the right (which he possesses) to determine the actions of the workers during the hours of work, but he also claims the right (which he does not possess) to dictate to the workers what they shall not do during the hours of leisure. They must not support the Irish Transport Workers' Union-it is placed out of bounds." The workers cannot complain that they are 394


UNDER CAPITALISM not free during the hours of work, for these hours they have sold to the employer; but they have every right to complain if they are robbed of freedom during their hours of rest, which they have not sold and which the employer has not bought. When the employer attempts to interfere with the freedom of the worker during these hours, he is interfering with another man's private property. He is trespassing on those small but dearly-prized pres e rves of freedom which the worker possesses. A worker who cannot dispose of his leisure without consulting his employer is little better than a slave. At the time of writing, the policy of the employers in this matter shows every sign of coming failure As a result of their activities the Irish Transport Workers' Union, which previously stood alone, has now behind it the organised Trades Unionism of England. Such a result could surely have been foreseen by any level-headed man acquainted with the modern tendencies of the Labour Movement. Appeals to prejudice, so frequently utilised as a weapon against Labour, have failed to divorce Irish from English Trades Unionism. The real union of the two democracies dooms all such attempts to failure. The statement that the employers are not fighting Trades Unionism has been swept aside as an idle sophistry. It would be true to say that the employers did not at first know what they were fighting. They are finding out now. Whatever the opinion of the individual employers, and many of them no doubt did not realise all that their policy involved, Labour has regarded that policy as an attack on the liberty of the workers. The employers unwittingly have brought about a new solidarity in Labour, and across the Irish Sea English hands grasp the "red hand" here. The important issues involved by the action of the Employers' Federation in attempting to force this agr ee ment on their workers fully justifies the latter in their refusal. And the almost unanimous rejection of that agreement shows how clearly the workers realised the true inwardness of the employers' action. It is axiomatic that men do not willingly face starvation unless they believe that great principles are at stake. These men are ready to die. 395


THE IRISH REVIEW Signs are not wanting that the employers are beginning to realise that the agreement which they attempted to force on the workers was a grave blunder. It may be that by the time these lines appear they will be taking steps to retire from so indefenslble a position. Again, it is possible-all things are possible-that by force majeure they may succeed after a prolonged struggle in imposing their will on the workers. But let there be no mistake, if liberty falls, it falls to rise again, whereas tyranny has the seeds of death within it, and when it falls it sinks into a grave that knows no resurrection.


THE SONG OF JOY By THOMAS MAcDONAGH 0 mocking voice that dost forbid always The poems that would win an easy praise, Favouring with silence but the delicate strong, True creatures of inspired natural song, Only the brood of Art and Life divine, Thou say'st no fealty to the spurious line Of phantasies of earth,-to mortal things That strain to stay the heavens with their wings And ape the crowned orders at the Throne Around a graven image of their own, Setting the casual fact of one poor age Aloft, enormous in its privilege Of instant being !-0 voice of the mind, Wilt thou forbid the songs that come like wind Out of the south upon the poet heart,Out of the quietude of certain art? Now the cross tempests from the boreal frost Harry my atmosphere, and I have lost My joyous light of poetry in vain Without the gloom profound of hell for gainWith only hostile follies that annoy, The brawls that overwhelm the song of joy, And are not sorrowful or strong enough To make a passion out of wrath or love Only To-day with its vain self at strife, And affectations of fictitious life, 397


THE IRISH REVIEW And spite, and prejudice, and out worn rules Kept by the barren ignorance of fools.Why, when I come to thee, shunning them all, Why must the harsh laughter of mockery fall Upon my soul, waiting to know the word Of a new song within my heart half heard? Why must the music cease and hate come forth To call these winds out of the withering north? II You bring a bitter atmosphere Of blame and vain hostilities, Stirring beauty and joy with fear Of words, as night wind stirs the trees With whispers which will leave them sere. So, harsh and bare, your bitter heart Will leave you like a bush alone, Sullen and silent and apart, When all the winds it called are goneThe winds were airs of your own heart. Ah, bitter heart, not always thus You came, but with a storm of Spring, With happiness impetuous, With joy and beauty following Who now leave all these ruinous


THE SONG OF JOY III Not ruinous, 0 mockery, not all Ruinous quite !-Not sped beyond recall My storm of Spring, my storm of happy youth, That blew to me all gifts of joy but truth, That blew to me out of the Ivory Gate Figures and phantasies of life and fate. I sang of them that they were life enough, Giving them lasting names of joy and love; And when I saw their ghostly nothingness I made a bitter song out of distress, And cried how jo y and love had passed me by; Though my heart happily whispered that l, Not truth of joy or love, had broken ease, Had broken from false quiet, won release. I sang distress, then came out fresh and new Into good life, knowing what fate would do. Not bitter mock e ry, not harsh to blame, Not with dark winds of enmity I came, But following trutll, in dread of shapes that seem Of life and prove but of a passing dream,-In dread of ease, that has the strongest chain,In dread of the old phantasies again The south wind blew : it was my storm of Spring 0 tempest of my youth, what will you bring To me at last who know you now at last?-The south wind blew, and all my dread was past. Yet thou, 0 mock e ry, wouldst hold the word Of that harsh day, though here the south has stirred! Cease now for ever, for that day is done; My sad songs are all sung, Joy is begun. Voice of the mind, thy truth no more shall mock : That door of ease with love's rare key I lock,And reverent, to Joy predestinate, With the same key open my door of fate. 399


THE IRISH REVIEW IV A storm of Spring is blowing now And love is throwing buds about Oh, there's a bloom on yonder bough Under the withering leaves of doubt!The bough is green as Summer now. 0 lover laugh, and laughing hold What follows after piety : In faith of love be over-bold, Lover, the other self of me The bitter word no more I hold. How could I mock you, happy one, Who now have captured all a heart? Take up my tune and follow on: Borrow the passion of my art To sing your prothalamion v Now no bitter songs I sing : Summer follows for me now; For the Spirit of the Spring Breathes upon the living bough: All poor leaves of why and how Fall before this wonder, dead: Joy is given to me now In the love of her I wed. She to-day is rash to cast All on love-and wise thereby; Love is trust, and love at last Makes no count of how and why; 400


... _._ THE SONG OF JOY Worlds are wakened in the sky That had slept a speechless spell, At the word of faith,-and I Hold my faith from her as well. For she trusts to love in all, Life and all, and life beyond ; And this world that was so small, Bounded by my selfish bond, Now is stretched to Trebizond, Upsala and Ecuador, East and west of black and blond, In my quest of queens like her. Was she once a Viking's child That her beauty is so brave? Sun-gold, happy in the wild Of the winter and the wave, Pedestal'd by cliff and cave, With the raven's brood above, In the North she stood and gave Me the troth of all her love. Or in Egypt the bright storm Of her hair fell o'er my face, And her features and her form, Fashioned to that passionate grace, Won me from an alien race To her love eternally, Life on life in every place Where the gods cast her and me. Here to-day we stand at last Laughing in our new born mirth 401


THE IRISH REVIEW At the life that in the past Was a phantasy of earth Vigil of our life's true birth Which is joy and fate in one, Now the wisdom of the earth And the dooms of death are done So my bride is wise to day All to trust to love alone : Other wisdom is the clay That into the grave is thrown : This is the awakening blown By the Spirit of the Spring : Laughing Summer follows soon, And no bitter songs I sing 402


PETER McCREA By WILLIAM DUNLOP I AFTER I had gone to on the Antrim Road I used some times to question Mrs. Gallagher about Anthony McCrea, who lived in the house next door to her. He had quite a curious reputation in the neighbourhood, and you might hear people using the phrase, "As rich as old Anthony," or "As religious as old Anthony." So I used to say to Mrs. Gallagher, Is the man really rich?" "Go and ask him," she would reply. "I know no more than he told me himself one day, when I wentJ to pay an afternoon call." And what about his religion?" "Oh, he was converted many years ago." But that was most unsatisfactory, for a Belfast conversion may mean anything. I cannot help thinking of the Hay-Chapman Mission which visited Belfast when I was a boy. The Northern Whig used to give columns of news about that great revival, and I can still remember the head lines on the morning after the most triumphant gathering of all : Hay-Chapman Mission : Enormous M ee tings in Ulste r Hall. Pow erful Singing. Nine Hundred Converted. It was said at the time that for two or three weeks the music halls actually lost money. I should not be surprised if even that was true, for I have seen Belfast in a strange frenzy more than once when some kink has got into its religious, political and tramway systems. Anyway, old Anthony McCrea was converted, and whatever that meant, he could tell you the day, hour and minute when the Light had dawned. He was not bashful about it either ; in fact, his con version was one of the two things about which he never grew tired of speaking. Those who were his acquaintance, if he really had any, knew all that was to be known, from his point of view, about those two things; but they knew very little else about him except what could be seen and heard from the road, both of himself and of his little boy Peter. Peter was a ripping little chap. I went to live on the :Antrim Road when he was about four years old, and I used to see him playing 403


THE IRISH REVIEW in his garden all by himself, and getting more innocent enjoyment out of a broken rubber ball than a good many children could have got out of all the toys in the Great Golliwog Bazaar, down town. By a piece of sheer luck, one day, he threw his ball over the hedge just as I was passing. Of course I went and picked it up, but in the meantime he had opened the gate and come out for it himself. When he saw me with it he looked scared and lost, and the change was so surprising that for a moment or two I held the ball in my hand, forgetting to give it back. Then his face all wrinkled up into sorrow and tears, and shouting "You's bad, you's bad, you's one of the world," he ran back into the garden. I threw the ball after him as quickly as I could, but, whether I aimed badly or aJ gust of wind blew the thing to one side, instead of falling a little in front of him, it struck him on the shoulder. An ordinary child would have looked round to see what was happening, but instead of doing that, he gave a shriek and dashed for the house. Just then I noticed Mrs. Gallagher standing at her gate. She was on the point of going for a walk, and she had seen the whole affair, so I went to her and asked what on earth sort of a kid that was. "Oh, I don't know," she said. It's perfectly horrible the way he's treated. He's never allowed to mix with any other children, or even to speak to them. One day I began talking to him over the hedge, and his father called out of the window and told hini to come inside. It was I who gave him that ball, but if ever I try to speak to him he only shakes his head, so I suppose he has been for bidden by that old maniac to say anything more to me." The Antrim Road is a very respectable thoroughfare, and when I went to live on it I was not expecting to discover beautiful children imprisoned and gagged, figuratively speaking, in the homes of maniacs. Mrs. Gallagher told me a good deal during that walk about what went on next door, and I became so puzzled and inter ested that I told her I really would like to go and see the old man. "All right," she said. "Come and have dinner with me, and then we'll go and pay an afternoon call on him, and we'll say that you would like to hear his testimony." "Mrs. Gallagher," I replied, "I am still fairly honest, even !hough I do write for a living; and, anyway, I'm not going to pretend that I'm a pious man in his sense of the word. There's no knowing what talk there might be among the neighbours." But you would like to hear his testimony, wouldn't you?" Yes, I would; but from what you have said already I g-ather that it would be fairly easy to get it out of him even if J didn't actually ask for it." 404


PETER McCREA He'll give it to you if you ask him not to." Very well. I shall go and apologise for having frightened his son this morning; that will open the way for me to give him a piece of my mind on the proper methods of bringing up children, and that in turn will give him an opportunity to explain himself or, as you say, to give his testimony." Mrs. Gallagher agreed, and after buying a painted indiarubber ball to put in one pocket, and a little white dog that creaked when you squeezed it, to put in the other, I went home with her for dinner. We discussed the compulsory inspection of young children, which had been proposed at the last meeting of the Educational Reform Association by an ardent young man from Dublin. Mrs. Gallagher was secretary of that organisation; otherwise I should probably never have met her. II There are some people who are always interesting without know ing it, others who try to be interesting and are not, and yet others who sometimes try not to be interesting and are. Old Anthony McCrea, for the first half-hour of my visit, tried his best not to be interesting. He seemed to dread telling me anything as though my coming was going to mean something terrible to him; and he so obviously wanted me to get out of the house that I, not understanding his reason, and also wishing to talk to him as seriously as I could upon certain little matters; became as fascinated in the man as if he was a snake coiling himself round me. I could not bring the con versation to the place I wanted, and Mrs. Gallagher never uttered a syllable to help me. I spoke about the dry weather, the primroses on Carnmoney, the beauty of Cavehill in the early summer. At that, for one moment, his eyes seemed to light up, and I thought he was going to tell me something; but his lips shut closer than ever, and there was a half-minute of silence. For some reason we seemed to be afraid of each other, but at last I started again, and tried to make conversation on the bye-election impendirig in mid-Belfast, the sweat ing enquiry, and finally on an accident by which a man employed in the Ropeworks had lost an arm. Then, most amazingly, he became interested, almost agitated, and asked what accident I meant, which ropeworks, how it occurred, whether the company was liable, and so on. He assumed a very knowing look, and prepared for a speech. The Belfast Ropeworks Company," he said, "is a concern in which I never felt any real confidence For many years now I have numbered some of its shares among my investments, and although I have frequently suggested to my stockbrokers that they should sell 405


THE IRISH REVIEW these shares, they have always, stubbornly and unreasonably, advised me to hold. I have taken their advice, and have more than once missed chances to make fortunes in new, young companies with all the strength of their manhood yet before them. It's absurd," he said, "it's absurd to suppose you cc:.n make money out of ropes, any more than you can out of pills." Pills," I said. "Why, there's no end of a lot of money made in pills. Look at--'' "No, there is not. That sort of talk is all advertisement. I myself took shares in a pill manufacturing company once, and I mad nothing out of it. The prospectus was perfectly explicit, pointing out that if money could be made in pills the Patriotic Pill Producing Company would make it; and it did not make it. Of course my brokers advised me not to buy the stock, as if brokers knew more about a company, especially a new company, than the directors them selves knew. Once or twice they are right, and then they think they know everything. My advice is, don't dabble in stocks and shares unless you can rely on your own judgment. It's a losing game." He sat down at a small table in the window and wrote a letter. Then he handed it to me and asked me to post it on my way home. I'm selling those Ropework shares at whatever price I can get," he explained, and then he was silent. The conversation was dead again, and when I made an effort to say something, he merely askea me to let him think for a minute or two. And so the old man (I call him old because old age had come to him early, and he might easily have been taken for seventy, although he was hardly fifty)-the old man walked up and down the room with his head bent forward and his eyes seeing nothing, while we two sat still and wondered, and heard little Peter playing in the room below. He opened the door and called Peter," and then he sat down in his chair again. Peter came in, carrying the ball, and the father looked at him with such affection that I loved the old fool and forgot all the stinging words I had prepared for him. "Peter," he said, "is that the man who hit you this morning?" Yes." What ought you to do?" Spue him out of my m<'uf ." You may forgive him." "Why?" You must make friends with him; he didn't really mean to hit you. He was only throwing you the ball so as to save you from 406


PETER McCREA having to go out into the road. So now go and make friends again." "But, Father, isn't he one of the World?" "Yes, yes, I suppose he is; yes. But you are getting old enough now to see the World for yourself, instead of just hearing about it. You're a good boy, Peter, but you don't know enough. Get into temptation, my dear son, and then get out of it, and you'll be all the better. You must get to know what people are really like, or you won't be able to make anything out of your shares. Besides, Mr. Dunlop is very fond of children. Look at that." I looked too, and saw the bottom half of the little dog that creaked when you squeezed it sticking out of my pocket. "Take him up Cavehill some time," he went on. "It's a nice place. I wish I could take him, but I'm getting old now. I wish I wasn't. I'd like to go too, but I'm really very old. Be sure you don't forget Cavehill. It was up you know, that I was con verted." The next time I passed the garden, Peter was out having his morning game, with a little dog and a new ball, and while he talked to me I could hear the old man singing Abide with Me as he lay in bed upstairs beside the open window. III I liked Peter, and I think he liked me, but somehow our friend ship did not progress as I had hoped it would. The boy was very nervous, and his little head was swimming with notions of angels and devils gathered up out of his father's fanatical teaching on the subject of the Bible and Pilgrim's Progress. His father's favourite books in the Bible were, as one might guess, Daniel and Revelations. Beasts with ten horns, dragons, blazing serpents, burning fiery fur naces, saints and demons, everlasting life and eternal unutterable damnation-these were the things that made up old Anthony's religion, and his religion was half of his life. The Jesus of the Gospels was as completely overlaid with human fancies as He is in the great churches that maintain themselves in splendour through His name. Going about doing good was not old Anthony's conception of Christ ianity. He thought more of fleeing from the wrath to come; and while he was not reading bogus prospectuses and bucket-shop journals, and in that way living the earthly life with patience and perseverance, as he believed his Master had intended him, he spent his days in pacing about among his flower beds, or in the privacy of his own room, praising God and giving thanks for the assurance of salvation. When beggar men and women came to his door, they too were exhorted to prepare for the Day of Judgment; and when they had 407


THE IRISH REVIEW listened to his exhortations for a quarter or half an hour, and. were expecting a copper or a piece of bread, they were turned away with the promise that if they were children of God they would never be forgotten by their Heavenly Father. This was a dangerous atmosphere for any child, and especially dangerous for a boy in Peter's position. For there he was, growing up among people much older than himself, seeing nobody1 m fact, besides his father and the charwoman (to whom he was not allowed to speak), except an occasional caller; and these callers were generally religious ministers ot one sort or another who came to talk about the good old beliefs and the badness of the modern world, and to con gratulate themselves on having clung to that antique faith which provided a safe and easy passage to the glorious presence of the Almighty. They were all sincere, these religionists; and as Peter sat on his father's knee, and listened to their earnest conversation, his little soul was thrilled with the notions of that far-off splendour which he would one day make his own. This earth was plainly filled with the spirit of unrighteousness. He did not know for himself what went on outside his garden palings, but he projected his con ception of devils and wicked spirits on to all that he saw from the upstairs windows. Great trams went humming past on bank holidays, carrying happy crowds to Drumnadruff and Glengormly, and his father groaned aloud at the sight of such worldly pleasures. What could be expected but that Peter, too, should think evil of these things when he never heard anything to the contrary? All the horses that passed him were drawing chariots of darkness, the hearts of the people who went to and fro were whited sepulchres, and their souls were black within them, and even the harmless cows that moved as they were driven to market became horned beasts bellowing forth unrighteous ness. It was natural, of course, that this should be so. Children must map out the world in the way that best suits their fancies; and the more irrational the child's surroundings, the more irrational becomes his conception of what lies beyond him. But there was another great imaginative structure growing up, and Peter felt it to be evil, and said nothing about it to his father. Sometimes, indeed, the old man would see a look that puzzled him in his child's face, and he grew uneasy and prayed for guidance in the upbringing of his only son. But Peter would not tell the thoughts that he loved to play with, because all the time he knew that they would be suppressed. And these thoughts were all about himself. He was a tiny fellow, and all the people he ever met looked down on hi_m and treated him as of no importance. Not only was he small physically, but he felt that he knew less about things in general than 408


PETER McCREA did those great big men who visited the house periodically and discoursed in deep voices and learned language about things that he could hardly understand. Then when they had played out their subject they would turn to him and ask him stupid questions about himself-How big was he? Wouldn't he like to be a man? Didn' t he love his father very much ? and so on. And all the time he was placidly answering them his anger grew deeper, because they did not treat him as worth serious attention. He saw that they despised him and made buffoons of themselves when they wanted to be kind and meet him on his own level. They never seemed to consider it possible that he had a mind of his own, and yet he, had they only known it, had as active a little brain as any oi them, and had built up a gigantic theory of the universe, with himself as its centre, its ruler, its judge, its example, rivalled only by the terrible sinister figure of God. It was God Who had made the world. God lived above him, a being of stupendous strength, fighting eternally against His enemies, conquering them, thrusting them down into the Pit, and exulting over them as they writhed and rebelled beneath Him. From all that Peter had heard, he knew well that he must always live on the side of God, and yet he felt that God was for ever trying to catch him. So it was that one evening, as he knelt at his father's knee to say his good-night prayers, he suddenly felt that all day long he and God had been at war. The struggle had hardly been conscious, and he had never imagined it possible that he had gone over to the side of the World as he saw it passing up and down the road. Yet he had imagined himself supreme, and in his day-dreams he had looked down on the whole earth and fek that he was above it all. Now in the dusk, wearing his little nighty, and shifting his feet so as to get the toes off the cold linoleum, it dawned upon him that he was really the smallest person he had ever known. He was weak, he was tiny, he was unknown to the multitude over whom he had played the king all day, and everybody who did know him despised him. His soul seemed to shrink into utter nothingness, and a great weight settled on his chest. He opened his mouth to speak to God, to ask God to make him a good obedient little boy; and then the stupendous distance that separated him, as he really was, from the great height of his ambition made him catch his breath, and his lips quivered and he hesitated, and the words did not come. Then his father spoke kindly to him, and put his hand on his head. The big hand angered him for a moment, because it was ?'e ally big; but he was grateful for the sympathy, and at the same moment he saw in a flash how he could conquer his father. It was certainly a fine barrier that he was erecting 409


THE IRISH REVIEW between himself and the superiors who might humiliate him; and yet, even as he stumbled and hesitated, and deliberately made things worse, he did not realise the importance of what he was doing He was on a great pinnacle in his mind, and if ever anyone in future should try to pull him down, then he would put up the obstruction. Keep off," he was half-consciously saying to God, "why should I grovel before you? Why should I speak to you at all? I will not come down from my pinnacle." In this way he covered his retreat. This was the motive that led him to stammer in his prayer; and, although it was half-conscious now, a time was surely coming when it would not be conscious at all. Then he himself would be unable to understand why he could not speak like o'ther children, and why he should always break down when what he had to say was specially important. However, this time he was half-pleased because he had not grovelled before God, and because, when he was really feeling small and lonely, he had found a way to gain his father's sympathy. IV Twice I saw Peter through the gate, but neither time would he condescend to more than a few words with me, curious words, half biblical and half-childish; and I could not persuade him to come out for a walk. I felt awkward with him. Most educational reformers do feel awkward and baffled when they are brought face to face with children, and I knew so little about children's real ways of thinking that Peter stood before me like some delicate piece of work manship that might be injured by rough handling--like a Venus made of soft putty. My own schooldays came back to my mind, and I realised that even then I had been different from other boys I never entered heart and soul into the joys of messing about; I never experienced the infinite delight of ordinary boys as they watch some thing squirt. I looked on from the point of view of a critical outsider, self-conscious perhaps, and supercilious, but quite sincere in my distaste, and just a little bit melancholy because of my loneliness. And now I was brought into contact with Peter, and I longed to help him because of his loneliness, and yet I was either dumb or futile when I tried to speak to him. So I went to Mrs. Gallagher, and when she had finished her usual laugh at me, she told me to ask him to come to my house some day and give him cake and weak lemonade, and see if he didn't open out his mind to me of his own accord. v Mrs. Crozier, my landlady, noticed my agitation, and I could see her trying to repress a smile when I sheepishly told her that I was 4ro


PETER McCREA expecting company that morning. Plainly, she was expecting me to blush and say it was a young lady. She always was silly about young ladies, and had conceived it to be her mission in life to get me married off suitably with one of the pretty dolls in the neighbour hood. So, without waiting for so much as a "Yes, sir," I went on to say that a young fellow was coming to see me-in fact, a boy, a mere child-well, almost a baby, not more than four years old, any way; and I wanted to have some nice cake and lemonade for itor him, I should say-and maybe she had better bring up a jug of water as well. As for the cake-well, what sort of cake did she think would be best for a boy of that age? Ah, sponge cake Very we11, we would have sponge cake. What? There was none in the house? Then I'd have to go and get some, of course. Megaghy's would do, wouldn't it, down by the Waterworks? Closed, was it? Where? Boyd's! All right, I'd get a sponge cake at Boyd's, and a few bottles of lemonade, too. Oh-er-yes, McCrea was his name, Peter McCrea; yes, the boy that lived at Lough View. Eleven o'clock probably, certainly not much after; and I started off for the sponge cake, wondering what would happen when he really came. VI The cake and tlr. e lemonade were ready downstairs, and the only thing I waited for was Peter himself. I sat in front of the fire, leaning forward and stroking my knees spasmodically, half hoping he would not come at all. But he came, and Mrs. Crozier showed him up to me. Then I wondered what I should ; say, but he started by saying he was sorry for tarrying so long, buf his father had made him put on new garments before going out for to see the world. "Oh, well," I said, "that doesn't matter. Let's have something to eat. I've got some fine things downstairs," and I rang the bell. Now then," I went on, when the tray had appeared, How do you like sponge cake, eh?" The Children of Israel had no cake. Father says they had manna and shew-bread and unleavened bread and quails, and never pig, because pig was common and unclean." But I've none of those things at all; and, anyway, the Children of Israel only had them because they could get nothing else. They were out in the wilderness, you know." "Oh, so they were." Besides, didn't your father ever read to you about the one that made a cake and baked it?" No, never. Sponge cake would stink in the eyes of G-God." Oh, I don't think so." 4II


THE IRISH REVIEW We n never have it at home. "Well, but why not have it here? That' s what Father wants you to do, you know, to see the world. Here, that s a nice little bit with some peel on the top. (He took it) And if you don't have cake, why, you ll never know how people live When are you coming up Cavehill with me? That was where Father was con verted, wasn't it?" Yes, awful wise wasn t it Am I c o nverted? You're evil aren't you? Father says you are." I s'pose I must be." "Well, I cldon't mind telling you something, but don't tell Father, will you? He'd ggiv e hims e lf up to wrath, 'cause he's so g-good." No, I'll not tell him. You tell me all about it, and we'll see what we can do." "I'm G-g-g-g--I'm G-g-god's enemy. I'm af-fraid of h-him. I b-bel-lieve he s against me. I'm so very little, aren't I? and I want to be a g-great b-big man and have d-dom-inion, but G -g-g-Then he broke down altogether, and threw his cake on the floor. So I took him on to my knee and tried to comfort away the tears, and all at once I felt quite at home with him, as though he was my own littre boy. I could see the struggle he had had. I could understand the stammer. A great pity rose up in me for all his nervousness, his loneliness, his dread of telling his father the fearful thought that was on his mind. No great psycho-analyst was required to understand his case; all that was needed was a little common sense, a little quiet talk about himself, a little truth to penetrate the great fog of crude religion and brutal theolog y that darkened and terrified his mind. His father was kind, and earnest, and he loved his child with an infinite tenderness, but althou g h no one could have meant better, or prayed more fervently for the welfare of a dear son than Peter McCrea's father did, still Peter McCrea's father was mad. Peter himself was of an age when all might go wrong. That little stammer of his, which he had started by using consciously as a cloak for his own littleness, would grow beyond his control. Already it alarmed him sometimes by its force, and it was spreading when he was in a nervous state of mind from one association to another, from one word to another, and his fear grew worse when he found that he could not stop it. It seemed to grip him by the throat in the midst of a sentence. It shook him, it tripped him up, it threw him down, whenever he most wanted to say anything, or whenever his words were most important, or whenever he felt smaller than the 412


PETER McCREA situation in which he was placed. Unless the thing was stopped now, before its ravages had gone too deep, or the resistances to the of his repressions-for he often did repress his rebellious thoughts about God and himself-had grown too strong, there was no saying where the trouble might not lead him. This I could see, and more and more, as he clung sobbing to my shoulder, and then I also realised that he had trusted me. He had taken me as a friend in a matter in which his father could only be worse than useless. Why he had come so readily I could not tell, for to him I was a damned soul, and at first he had been afraid of me. Maybe he felt that he too was damned, and so he had come to me for companionship -a little lamb who had broken away from the fold at midnight, and who, feeling strange and anxious in the great world, had clung to another lost sheep for comfort. I tried to soothe his feelings, but what could I say? Could I tell him that his fears were all ungrounded, and that God loved little boys and would never hurt them? I feared to do this at first, because he still belonged to his father; and how could I look him in the face and tell him that his father was a fool? But I did it; as gently as I could I blundered through my own philosophy of Christianity, showing him what a lovely thing it was, how :>imple, how friendly How long I talked to him I cannot exactly say, but it was the after noon by the time he thought of going home, and then I found that Peter was afraid to see his father any more. VII It was the afternoon, and we had had no dinner; so by the time we had finished talking, and Peter was feeling a little easier in his mind, we were both hungry. Mrs. Crozier had not disturhed us, she knew I did not like her to do so merely for the sake of punctuality at meals; but the table was laid downstairs, and although everything was cold, we had a pretty good feed. Peter dawdled over his food, and when he had finished he suggested a walk. I pointed out to him that it was raining, and that we had better wait till some finer day; so then he wanted to stay with me and look at my pictures and books, "just for the afternoon," he said. The little humbug certainly did dread his father, and all the questions that meeting him would involve; and I knew that when the afternoon was over some other perfectly reasonable excuse for delay would be forthcoming. So I agreed to a game till the rain had stopped, and I told him I would go back with him and see him safely home. This pacified him a little. H And you'll talk to him?" he said. 413


THE IRISH REVIEW And I promised to do what I could, although I felt that I had got myself into a terrible scrape, and that Peter would suffer for it. We had a romp on the floor, spiritless enough; and then the rain was over, and we put on our things to go out. But the suspense had been too trying, and the poor boy grew very white, and then had a bad turn of sickness. He didn't really mind, for he was glad of the delay, and by the time he felt better the rain was falling steadily again. Heavy blue-black clouds were hanging low down round the hill, and the afternoon had grown very silent. The rain might pour down for hours. It might go on all night, and I had almost decided to wrap up and go back to the old man at once rather than keep Peter in doubt and fear longer than was quite necessary. I had, I say, almost decided to be brave and face the ordeal, when suddenly I was amazed to see Mrs. Gallagher appear at the gate and run up to the house, hatless and utterly protected from the weather. Peter was in the kitchen with Mrs. Crozier, so I opened the door before she had rung, and brought her straight into my room. There's something wrong," she gasped. That old man's begun to shout. I can hear him in my own house with the window shut. Thought I'd get your help. We'll go and see. He may be killing Peter, or something. You never know." "Peter's in the kitchen here." "Is he really? Thank goodness! Well, come and see, any way, and don't let the child know what's happening." Out we rushed, and at once through the dull silence, and above t:he sounds of rain splashing and trees dripping and gutters running full, we could hear loud laughter and shouts of triumph, mingled with wild snatches of hymn tunes. All at once there was a crash of breaking glass, and then the cries grew louder. A moment more and we came in sight of the house, and saw old Anthony standing on an upper window sill, flinging his clothes out into the rain, and calling upon God to gather home His saints. A policeman was running up from the opposite direction, and a barefooted boy was standing at the gate fascinated by the terror of the sit:uation. When we reached the gate we found it locked on the inside. For a moment the old madman looked down into our faces; then he danced trium phantly on the window-sill and praised God for the great deliverance. I was gettingover the gate, and the policeman was iust behind me, when I heard a child's voice at my side, saying God's got him." H was Peter. He had followed us ; and he was now looking up at his poor father, calmer than any of us, and hardly even surprised at the thing he saw. Probably we could never have saved old Anthony, but we were spared the trouble of trying, for just as I got ,..,,,_,... 414


J PETER McCREA into the garden, there was a flash over lightning over the hill, and the old man, with a tremendous shout of Heaven, Heaven leapt up towards the sky, and then fell to the ground, knocking his head against a window-sill on the way. On examination we found him alive, although unconscious. The doctor said he might live a day or two. We took him up to his room. Peter followed silently all the time, holding on to me, and looking up to me as though I was to be a new father to him when his own was gone. He said nothing. He hardly knew whether to be glad or sorry. He did love his father intensely, but he had grown to fear his religion. Towards eleven o'clock that night the patient moved and said something. We went closer and heard him murmuring, "Peter, Peter." Do you want to see him?" we asked, and he said Yes, yes, I want Peter; where is my little son?" So I went to the room where we .had put the boy to sleep, and I found him still awake and silently crymg. "Come, dear," I said, Father wants to talk to you." He got out of bed without a word and put on his dressing-gown. Then he went into the other room. He went straight to the bed and put his arms round his father's neck. Slowly and brokenly came the words : Stockbrokers never tell-no, no, I don't knowmaybe it would be better-yes, sell Golden Banner Mines-too young, Peter-no-well-follow the Lord--I wish-here-come with me--as soon as you can-my dear son-dear, dear son--" The voice died off, and Peter sat by him, holding his hand, till long after midnight, indeed all the time that life remained. Then in the early hours of the next day the old man grew cold, and we laid him out; and Peter went to bed and slept, while I sat by him to keep him company. VIII Mrs. Gallagher and Peter and I had breakfast together next morning, and when the painfully silent m e al was nearly over, Peter remarked : Aunt Bertha'll come." Aunt Bertha we said. Have you got an Aunt?" S'pect so. Aunt Bertha." Where does she live?" Carnalea." "And what's her name?" Name. My Auntie Bertha. I dunno Here was something new to be reckoned with. Strangely 4r5


THE IRISH REVIEW enough, we had never enquired whether he had any other relations, and here was this Aunt Bertha, down at Carnalea. I was vexed in a way, for I wanted Peter for myself, and now I had a dangerous rival. We made a search for the unknown lady's address, but quite failed to find any trace of it. Was there any such person after all?" Peter," I said, are you sure Aunt Bertha is really alive?" He looked at me with amazement "Yes. Sure. Aunt Bertha. Said she'd come and take me." When did she say that?" "Once." That was all he knew, and we were in a pretty fix. The death was announced in the evening papers, however, and we hoped that if this aunt did exist she would hear of it, and come of her own accord. We asked Peter what she was like. "Cow," he said. "Ugh! Awful big. Said she'd come and take me." Mrs. Gallagher and I together made the funeral arrangements, and had things fairly w e ll settled up by five o'clock that afternoon. Then, as we were sitting down to tea, a great motor stopped opposite the gate, and a very stout and fairly tall lady, dressed in immaculate black silk, stepped out and came towards the house. "Aunt Bertha," said Peter, and, getting off his chair, he went to open the door. "Good afternoon, Peter." The voice was high and emphatic. It went on: "I was sorry to hear of what occurred yesterday. Is there anybody else here?" "Yes." "Who?" "Mr. Dunlop and Mrs Gallagher." Indeed, and who are they, and where?" In here, Auntie Bertha." She came in and made our acquaintance, and then proceeded to ask questions, as she very well might. Our position was certainly a strange one. Neither of us had known old Anthony very long, and neither of us had been in any sense a friend of his. We had been attracted solely by pity for and interest in the child. "Religious acquaintances?" enquired Aunt Bertha. We were quite ignorant of her name. Oh, no. Not at all. Merely neighbours," we replied; but I hastened to add that Peter and I were great friends. "Aren't we Peter?" "The approach of the chauffeur prevented a reply, for Aunt Bertha ordered Peter to go and see what was wanted. He said there was a parcel in the motor, and he was told to tell the chauffeur to bring it in. He went with him out to the motor and there 416


PETER McCREA indulged in quite a long conversation. His aunt was incensed. Are there no dom e stics on these premises? she asked, and we explained that a charwoman came in the mornings. Then Peter came up the path, lugging a great parcel half as big as himself. He brought it into the room and set it down on the floor, remarking : "' He says the roads is damucky. What does that mean, Auntie Bertha?" I have no idea." Mrs. Gallagher suggested that we should have tea, and Aunt Bertha consented, and added that children should be seen and not heard. Peter asked why, and grew quite sulky when she told him not to ask impudent questions, but to do as he was told. I could have kicked the woman for talking such nonsense, and the thought that she might take Peter to live with her made me mad. When we had finished eating, she told Peter to take the parcel upstairs and put on the clothes that were in it. He went up unwillingly enough, and I went with him, leaving Mrs. Gallagher to be as obliging as she could. A quarter of an hour later I brought the little fellow down, and he stood dismally looking at the dull black with which he was covered. Don't want to wear these dirty things.'' You must wear them," said his aunt Don't want to." The likes and dislikes of a little boy like you are not the things to be considered. Have you no respect for your father?" Father's gone dead now." Precisely. Your father is now dead, and so this is the time to honour his memory. I am afraid you did not love your father." "Did love him. I did. I hate you." "Be quiet, Peter." -" Hate you." Mr. Dunlop, kindly take him upstairs and give him such a punishment as he is likely to feel till after the funeral." "No," I said. "But, Peter, my boy, there'll not be any harm in your wearing these clothes for a little while. You might as well if your aunt wants it, and then you can put on your others again some time To-morrow?" "No, no. In a few months." But why?" "Well, it's just a way that we've got into, and if you dont, why some silly people might think you didn't really love your father at all!"


THE IRISH REVIEW "Awful siiiy." Yes, but you wouldn't like them to think that of you, would you? You'll wear them all right, Peter?" S'pose so." Aunt Bertha said that she hoped he would do what he was told without quite so much talk the next time, and that she would not kiss him because he was a very naughty little boy. Peter hung his. head at this, and smiled. She smiled, too, at having made him ashamed of himself. And Mrs. Gallagher and I also smiled. Then she said she must go, but would be back the next day; and on finding that she was not going to stay for the night, we all said good-bye to her very pleasantly, and she drove off. She spent the next two days with us, and upset all our arrange ments. We had planned a very simple funeral, knowing that old Anthony was a quiet, retiring man at all times; but she changed all this. She ordered a four-horse hearse, no less than fifteen carriages, and a crowd of dummy mourners. Whatever he may have been," she explained, he was a McCrea, and I must show my respect for him." The funeral procession was a complete success. IX The funeral was over, and we were back having tea in Old Anthony's house. It felt empty now, and quieter than ever. Peter hardly said a word. At the funeral Aunt Bertha had ostentatiously handed him a clean handkerchief, and nudged him, but he had put it in his pocket and taken no notice of the nudging. He had looked stolidly at the gorgeous coffin, evidently thinking far more of the poor dead body inside it than of its brilliant plates and screws, hinges and bindings Aunt Bertha had held another beautifully clean handkerchief up to first one eye and then the other, and with the disengaged eye she had looked down with respectable pride and admiration at the coffin and the lily wreaths. Peter had gazed with intense sadness, and had sighed with relief when the whole boring ceremonial had been gone through. When Aunt Bertha had. taken him by the hand, and had picked up her skirts and gone to lean over the open grave and sniff, Peter had just looked down and then turned his head away, letting his eyes wander to the far distances. Coming home in the carriage he had said nothing. He had leant against me, and looked at his little hands covered with the black kid gloves that his Aunt had made him wear. And now at tea he was still saying nothing, and when tea was over he once more came 418


PETER McCREA to me, climbed up and sat on my knee, and clung to me. Aunt Bertha broke the silence. Peter," she said. "To-morrow my motor will call for you, and you will come and live with your aunt:." He gripped me tighter. "You must say good-bye to your friends here. They have, no doubt, done their best for you, and I hope you are as grateful as a little boy should always be to his elders. In future I shall provide for you, and you must learn to be a good child and love your aunt." Don't want: to, Auntie Bertha." Please do not give your opinions without being asked for them. You shall come to my house to-morrow and learn to be <1 gentleman, and to do what I tell you." "Won't go." "When your aunt wishes you fo do a thing you must do it:." "Won't.t' Peter, dear," said Mrs. Gallagher with her usual genius, don't you see that your auntie wants you very much to go and live with her, and would be very unhappy without you? Surely you don't mind doing something for your poor auntie when she is so fond of you?" "Mrs. Gallagher," replied the old lady, "I do not wish to appear rude, but I must say that I think both you and Mr. Dunlop show very great ignorance in your management of children. You seem to forget the importance of obedience Reasoning leads to familiarity, and familiarity between children and their elders lead fo impudence and insubordination. l\'.nd then what happens when reasoning cannot be put into practice? Besides that, I would wish you to remember that I merely intend fo do my duty as a McCrea towards t:he last of the McCreas. I am not requesting Peter to do a favour to me." "But," I explained "I think Mrs. Gallag-her only meant that you wanted Peter, and I suppose there can be no question about that. I only wish I could have him to live with me." I have no personal feelin g s about the matter, except indeed that I should prefer to be without the child if I could satisfy myself that I had done my duty to his much lamented father, whom I have oeen supportingfinancially for several years. Did you say you would like to have him?" "There's nothingI'd like better." What is your income?" "Well, er, of course writing is not a very paying proiession, and I'm not very brilliant, of course--" 419


THE IRISH REVIEW "No?'! "Well, er, my income varies from about a hundred and fifty to two hundred pounds a year." And if I augmented that sufficiently you would be willing to take him 'off my hands?" Delighted." And assume full responsibility for his up-bringing?" "Certainly." Well, she said, that arrangement would be highly satisfac tory. Peter," she continued, "you are the most ill-mannered, badly brought up, and impertinent child I have ever known, and I wish you to understand that I am making this sacrifice on your behalf solely because you are a McCrea, and not because of any personal regard for Course not." That is sufficient now. Go to bed."


. 1 MY LADY HAS THE GRACE OF DEATH By JOSEPH PLUNKETT My lady has the grace of Death Whose charity is quick to save, Her heart is broad as heaven's breadth, Deep as the grave. She found me fainting by the way And fed me from her babeless breast, Then played with me as children play, Rocked me to rest. When soon I rose and cried to heaven Moaning for sins I could not weep She told me of her sorrows seven, Kissed me to sleep, And when the morn rose bright and ruddy And sweet birds sang on the branch above She took my sword from her side all bloody And died for love. 421


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SONGS OF THE IRISH REBELS BEING A CHAPTER FROM AN IRISH ANTHOLOGY By P. H. PEARSE v THE DIRGE OF OLIVER GRACE By Seaghan Mac Walter Walsh (1604) A dusky mist is on every hill, A mist that hath never come before; There is a mournful silence in the Broken by the heavy voice of sorrow. The death knell sounds upon the wind, To us, alas, a messenger of grief The black raven with hoarse note Proclaims th:! hour of the dead. Is it for thee, young noble one of my heart, The bean sidhe hath sorrowfully wailed? In the lonely quiet midnight Full pitifully she lamented. Every wall and rampart answered her Mournfully, sadly, with its echo; The cock hath not crowed according to his wont, Nor proclaimed to us time or season. Alas, young Oliver of my heart, 'Tis thy death that she keeneth; 'Tis it that turneth day to night:, 'Tis it that bringeth sorrow to men. Now, my grief we have nought In the place of the man but weeping and tears, Shedding of tears, and crying, and weeping Is our portion henceforth, and break of heart.


THE IRISH REVIEW Uc, A l'.>.&tr, 'Oo ted:s r;u coroce btJ.t 'r f:Setri1 At' n5et5e 1f d01t''Oe, mon UAt', niot' tlfAri1 Att' 'Oe l'.>uAt'I'.> I' '5An CeAp At' n'OAome ''Out fAn UA1$. 1 fpe111tm5 l.Ann bA r;eAnn A l.6.ri1, .o.:s COfAmr; ce1y1r; A $A01l 'r A '1'.>l1ri1, fl ri1ett':Se A AtAt' UAfAtt fem 1r U11muri1An 'Oo fUAtt' ctu 1 :seem. ni l'.>io'I'.> bAtte 1M Cu111r;e At' Aon co11 fl c11J.'I'.> b11om nl11l'.>' te1'011' '11e1'1'.>r;eAc, .o. teAtl'.>t6111 'Oiltr 'r A cr101'1'.>e ceAft:A t::11e l'.>J.r An 615-t111 bA ri16t' 1 'Ot:y1e1t11J. 01s11e ceAt'r; A Am me, A St'A'OA111 'r A 11e1me, 1r 01s11e A ft:l1r;e 111 5Ac J.111'0 'O'E;111mn, mAI' Ct'Allll 11A 'OAtl'e bA mAtfeAc A teAcAm, 'Oo SeAtt :so teAtfA'I'.> :so leAtAn A SeA5A. nl 111At' fO '00 l'.>i 1 ll'OAll 'Oo'n t:fe1til-teAt'; 'Out fAll UAtS :so l1UA15neAc 'nA AOllAt', Uc 1r c11eAc fA'OA e te n-A t6, 1r b116n c1101'1'.>e 'OJ. cette :so 'Oeo1'1'.>. 1r m.6.tAtt' i 1r t:11om f.6. cumAt'I'.> .0.1' n'Out :SO tuAt 'Ol cette t n-u111, .0.tAtt' A cumne 'r A ceA'O St'.6.'I'.>, Uc 1r i 'Oo fUAtt' A c11i'I'.>. l1f teAnfA1'1'.> fe All ftA'I'.> :SO 'Oeot'I'.> f.6. SteAtlnt:Atl'.> 'OUl'.>A n.6. rte11'.>r;11) ceo1'1'.>, m ctumfeAt' A Al'.>At'C :so bmn A:S rel'OeA'I'.> nJ. 5ut A $Al'.>At' At' l'.>emn An qtetl'.>e. l1f f:'etcfeAt' e At' tUAtt-eAC 65 'CAt' CtAt'l'.>e 1f fAl A:S 'OeAnAri1 'CJ. cLAoctO'I'.> At' A rilAtfe :so 'Oeot'I'.> .0.t' A rMt''l'.>Acr; 'Oo tun:: r;11om-ceo, .0. t.&ri1 l'.>t'Onnt:Ac :SO fAnn 'nA tUt$e .0. c1101'1'.>e meAnmnAc mAt'l) 5An l)t'iS, Sfot nd 5cu11A'I'.> A:Sur Cdt'A nA mb.6.t''O, SeAt'C nA :sceot11A'I'.> cAndr :so''O 424


SONGS OF THE IRISH REBELS -Alas, 0 death, thou hast struck down forever The blossom and beauty of our highest branch,My grief, no victory would satisfy death But the going to the grave of our people's leader. In clash of swords his hand was stout To guard the right of his kin and kith, Under the banner of his own noble father And Ormond's banner that found fame afar. Baile na Cuirte was not wont to be Under cloud of sorrow that could not be lifted, Its faithful lord with his heart in anguish For the y9ung man's death that was gracious in His name's true heir, its pride and ornament, Heir of his house in every airt of Ireland, Like the oaken tree comely to be seen He promised to fling far his branches. Yet that was not in destiny for the kindly man, But to go to the grave alone, all lonesome, Alas, 'tis a long woe in his day And a heart's grief to his spouse forever. She is a mother heavy in affliction Whose mate hath gone full early into the clay, Her children's father, her first beloved, Alas, 'tis she hath tasted sorrow Never again will he follow the deer In dusky glens or on misty hills, His horn will not be heard sweetly blowing Or the v9ice of his hounds on the mountain hen. He will not be seen on a swift young horse Clearing a road over fosse and fence,-His comeliness is forever changed, On his majesty hath fallen a mist. His gift-giving hand lieth still, His gallant heart is dead and lifeless,Seed of soldiers, friend of poets, Love of the loud-chanting music-makers 425


THE IRISH REVIEW Sotur .An ' ni Pl'..imn 'Oo'O' ctu, coti11'e1tr1'0 :so''O mo cum.c.1'0, -0.:S flte.A'O 'Oumn 'OeOl' f..i 'Oe11'e.c.'O :SAC t.601 '-1' tu.Am b.c. .An CUflAl'O 'OO Cfl..i'O mo Ct'Ol'Oe. VI 1. 'Oo tl'eAf:SA11' An fAO$At lf '00 te1'0 A11 $AOt mAl' rm.cit -0.Wft:l'Am, CAefAl', 'r An mel'O 'Oo 1'.li 'nA bp..i11't:, 'C..i An 'CeAti'l.611' 'nA reAl', lf reAc An Cl'A01 mAl' t:..i,'S n.c. SAr.c.nA1$ vem '00 b'te1'011' :so 1'.lfU1$1'0if b.&r 2. (5Ae'OeAt A'Out'.>All't: Afl t'.>re1crm '00 $AfAnA1$ Al' 11-A cl'ocA'O Al' Cl'Ann). mA1t '00 tOl\A'O, A Cl\Alnn 1lAt '00 tOl'Al'O Al' :SAC A011 Ct'.6011'.l : Cl'UA$ :SAn Cf1A111nt:e 1nre f .&1t t.&n 'Oe'O' tol'.c.'O :s.c.c Aon U 3. f,ubtln ru1t'.>, A ttuA1$ :t)Ao1'0eAt, n1 ti'l.611' .c.omneAC A:SA11'.l : :SA1tt .d:S coti11'0111n 1'.lul' :scl'ice,-1le rtu.c.s rroe nul' fAm.c.1t NoTE.-This dirge for an Irish soldier may well find a place here, although it does not quite come within scope indicated by the title '' Da.nta Griosuighthe Gaedheal." Oliver Grace, heir of the old baronial house of Courtstown (Baile na Cuirte), Co. Kilkenny, died in 1604. Seaghan Mac Walter Walsh was son of Walter Walsh who was chief of his clan, "Walsh of the Mountains." In 1831 Hardiman (who published the poem) made an appeal for the collection of Walsh's poems up to then preserved on the lips of the people of the Walsh Mountains; but Irish has ebbed from the Walsh Mountains and Seaghan Mac


SONGS OF THE IRISH REBELS The light of poesy thy fame needeth not, Yet it will emblazon on high my grief, As I shed tears at each day's end On the soldier's tomb for whom my heart is heavy. VI SOME REBEL QUATRAINS I The world hath conquered, the wind hath scattered like dust Alexander, Caesar, and all that shared their sway, Tara is grass, and behold how Troy lieth low,-And even the English, perchance their hour will come 2 (A dispossessed Ga e l sees an Englishman hanging upon a tree} Good is thy fruit, 0 tree The I uck of thy fruit on every bough : Would that the trees of Innisfail Were full of thy fruit every day 3 A shame upon you, host of the Gael, Among you there is none t:hat liveth : The Galls are dividing your lands,A phantom host is your symbol Walter's poems are doubtless lost. The dirge h as the simplicity and the sincerity which so many later dirges want. Just as in early Irish manuscripts, Irish love of nature or of nature's God so frequently bursts out in fugitive quatrains of great beauty, so in the seventeenth and eighteenth century manuscripts we find Irish hate of the English (a scarcely less holy passion) expressing itself suddenly and splendidly in many a stray stanza jotted down on a margin or embedded in a long and worthless poem. I give three specimens.


THE SOUL OF KOL NIKON By ELEANOR FARJEON Kol Nikon and the White Ladyt 0 N this, the fourth day of July, which is Saint Berchta's day, some of the young people of the village were gathered together in a discussion that began lightly and ended with significance. Saffi had commenced it by saying, "Whoever is curious tQ see the White Lady had better be abroad tQ-night." Why so?" asked one. Because it is Saint Berchta's day, you stupid." Stupid yourself, Mistress Know-all Saint Berchta and the White Lady are two different affairs entirely." Isn't the White Lady called Berch ta, the Mild Berchta ?" demanded Saffi. That's true. She's anything but a Saint, however." I say they're one!" Saffi insisted. "Why not ask Father Gregus?" suggested Lars Haring slily. "Oh, preserve us!" cried Saffi's adversary. "He'd put a penance on us only for talking of the White Lady." "Little coward!" scoffed Saffi. "She's nothing but a story." "A heathen story, for all that. Father Gregus doesn't like us to think about such things. Besides, who knows just how much of a story she is?" "Better look for her to-night and find out/' said Lars Haring. How look?" "They've a way in foreign parts I've heard tell of. The fellows get up among the hills and keep whistles blowing and cowbells ringing the night-long in Berchta's honour. If this truly is the White Lady's name-day, she ll be abroad to receive her homage. What do you say?" Oh, I don't know, Lars." The girl looked at him side-long. "Father won't have me keeping late hours." "Don't breathe it to a soul. Come, boys, let's make a night of it; girls, there'll be the biggest moon of the season out riding to-night. We'll steal away when the old ones are asleep. Come, now!" "What do you say, Saffi ?" What do you say?" I will if you "And I!"!. "And I--'?.


THE SOUL OF KOL NIKON "Hurrah!" said Lars Haring. "That's showing spirit. Let all the others know. But no blabbing, mind." The message ran among the youngers like a current below the ocean's surface; the minds of the elders ebbed and flowed in serene unconsciousness of hidden danger-tides. It was past midnight when Kol, haggard with grieving oeside the newly-slaughtered tree, became aware of unfamiliar signals in the night. He stood up stiffly, listening, with eyes distended and parted lips Made faint by distance, he caught the whisper of shrill whistles and the hollow sound of bells. One hand gripped fast the other, and his heart beat violently. They're out to find me it is to be my punishment was his vague thought. For this must have, he was sure, some bearing on the terrible tragedy of the day. That the thing could go scatheless was beyond conception. Drawn irresistibly, he dragged his trembling body in the direction of the distant noises. Before he went, scarce knowing what he did, he gathered his two arms full of waste leaves and twigs. All among the hills shadows of forms flitted under a great round moon. Whistles screamed eerily, iron bell-clappers reverberated strangely, here and there a torch flashed lurid. Smitten with fear, Kol approached a small outlying group of shadows. "Here I am!" he said hoarsely. Slight shrieks greeted him. He saw that these were no avenging spirits, but human boys and girls. Yet a strained air of unreality pervaded all. It's the Changeling!" one of the girls cried, and fled. 'A boy with a bell pursued her instantly. They vanished into a hollow. Saffi emerged quickly from behind a boulder, Lars Haring following. Kol stood in her path. She tried to pass him as though in some alarm. "Let me by, Kol Nikon," she murmured rapidly. What do you here?" he asked. Seek the Mild Berchta," she answered with evasion. Berch ta !-ah, no he cried. It's her night, Kol Nikon," Lars Haring leaned forward to whisper; "it is Mother Nature's night, and she must be obeyed." Always obeyed, always moaned Kol. "Who resists her meets his punishment," continued Lars. "Tell Saffi so." "Ay, the bitterest punishment," Kol echoed monotonously. "Saffi, you hear The Changeling knows. Saffi, come over hill-brow and look at the moon!" 429


THE IRISH REVIEW "I want to go home, Kol Nikon!" Saffi breathed in his ear. He saw that she was trembling all over. "Why go," he said. "What hinders you?" "Don't let Lars come," she half-sobbed, and ran. Lars laughed loud and long. You'll never see the face of Berch ta, Saffi he called. "None of you fools will do that!" exclaimed Kol passionately. What claims have you that she should reveal herself? Have you adored her? Have you sinned against her? Berchta !" he wailed. Oh, Berchta The air was suddenly wild with screams and shouts. Over the hill and from all sides the young people came scampering in terrified troops. Home they cried, as they ran. Home "What's to do?" demanded Lars. "The White Lady !-we've seen her-oh, quick!" But where?" "On the hill-top. Run, Lars, run! Don't go near her!" They tumbled down the hillside helter-skelter. Oh, they're moonstruck exclaimed Lars, and made a step forward. As he did so, a white veiled form rose slowly over th e brow of the hill, and stood there with waving arms extended. Lars turned and fled precipitately with the rest. Kol and the White Lady were alone on the silent hills. Her arms dropped. She stood there, a tall white figure wrapped in moonlight, motionless. With bowed head Kol climbed the hill until he stood close below her. "It is you again," he said with a dry throat. "I did not know you would come like this. I saw you green with life, now you are pale as snow, and you mean my death That is the peace you promised me. I will try not to fear it. It is my punishment for my great sin to one of your children. See!" He unfolded his arms, and the ground about the woman's feet became strewn with pitiful leaves. Here is the corpse of her I loved. I killed her, you know how. Now kill me." The White Lady lifted her slow arms, and the veil drooped away from her gloriously-fair face. You are the only brave lad in the village, you strange young man," she said. Kol bounded to her side, peered into her eyes, seized her by the shoulders, and shook her in ungovernable fury. "Person!" he screamed. "How dare you pretend to be what you are not? How dare you? 430


THE SOUL OF KOL NIKON Recovering from the first shock of amazement, she wrenched herself free and struck him full on the cheek with her open palm. He fell back, blinking, his hand to his face. That seems to have brought you to your senses," said she coolly. She regarded him intently with her cornflower eyes. "Well! I know you now, Master Kol Nikon. I am sorry I gave you a fright. Do you really not remember me?" A smile, thrice more charming than ever of old, made all her countenance delicious. No, I've forgotten," Kol said sulkily. How long since?" Was it ten years?" "Who can remember things that happened ten years ago?" I very well, for one," she told him. Lifting her dress daintily, she commenced to dance as Kol himself had taught her. You he cried. Fiora?" Fiora," she nodded with a roguish glance. "Fiora!" "Well?" she said softly, coming close to him. "So Master Kol Nikon hasn't forgotten after all." No," he answered, his eyes gleaming with the old pin-points, I remember you better and better. Oh, yes I dislike you twice as much as ever I did." He turned from her abruptly and sprang away down the hill. "Gracious!" exclaimed Fiora. "Gracious! Very well, Master Kol she called after his retreating figure. Kol Nikon's Friend Fiora's unexpected return to the village created a stir. She had co me to remain for good. Her mother had died suddenly, and she was cast upon her own resources, which were few. After weighing the chances of her life with some care, Fiora bethought her of her only relative, the aunt with whom she had stayed as a child. If that door still stood open for her, she could, she knew, be useful in the home and earn her keep; and she decided to arrive unannounced. A letter might meet with a rebuff, but of her own radiant personality Fiora had no doubts. Her confidence was justified. The carrier in whose cart Fiora had travelled during the last part of the journey had deposited her late at the cross-roads two miles from the village, and she had twice missed her way on the walk. Everyone was within doors, the young folk having retired early in order to induce a good example in their parents. Fiora, having told her story to her aunt and been warmly welcomed, fol lowed the general example. 431


THE IRISH REVIEW But before she slipped into bed the bright moon lured her to the window, and as she lingered for a moment in its light she a queer happening in the cottage opposite. A girl was squeezmg herself through an upper casement and attempting a risky descent. As her courage failed her she looked across and caught Fiora's eye. St st she whispered. Fiora instantly ran down the stairs and out of the house. "What is it?" she asked softly up to the girl. Hello who are you? You're a strange face." I've only just come." "Find me a coil of rope behind the water butt, will you? They've locked my door-they always do. It is really too bad; and I shall miss the fun. There! that's right. Throw me an end." "What is it all about?" said Fiora curiously, as she obeyed. You musn't speak of it, and I'll tell you. Wait, though, till I make this fast, and I'll be with you d r .vn there." It was soon done, and the grateful girl confided to Fiora the secret of the night. "Come along as well," she invited. I'm far too sleepy!" laughed Fiora; but good luck!" T hen she returned to her room, girt herself in white, found amongst her small possessions her mother's wedding-veil, and slipped out merrily to play the part of the White Lady. After her meeting with Kol she returned unobserved to her room. Her aunt had not wakened, and all the young people were by this time snug beneath their coverlets. Few prayers were forgotten in the village that night. In the morning Fiora went abroad to renew old acquaintances and make fresh ones. The beautiful girl found no lack of welcome; young and old greeted her gladly. If the maidens had been disposed to hesitation on account of the extra cordiality expressed by the youths, Fiora's own frank friendliness would swiftly have dispelled that feeling. Her presence, too, relieved a certain tension in the atmosphere. That morning both young sexes had encountered ill at ease. Last midnight's recollection abashed them; it held them tongue-tied, yet crowded their thoughts. The desire to communicate and to avoid struggled equally in them. But Ffora, joining an awkward assembly round the well, was free of such impressions. To her the night had been a joke, and she dared laugh about it. It was not long before she had revealed herself as the White Lady, and was rallying the young men on their want of hardihood. Ease of spirit returned with ease of speech; since her teasing accusations must be answered. 432


THE SOUL OF KOL NIKON Was but one amongst you all with sufficient courage to accost me," she laughed. "Who was that?" Let me see; Kol Nikon, isn't his name?" "Oh, Kol, indeed! But then, he is-different." It is very possible," Fiora slily agreed, for you others, as I saw plainly, possess two heels apiece; but whether Master Kol resembles you I hadn't a chance to discover." \ "That's all very well!" exclaimed a nettled boy. "Any of us here will stand his ground for things human; it is in unearthly matters that the Changeling gets the advantage of us." So I am unearthly! pouted Fiora; and before the boy could protest, inquired, Do you still call him the Changeling?" Oh, there isn't a doubt of it," said one of the girls. "What nonsense!" "Well, everybody thinks so. Especially since he played at Peder Jorgen's dance No one likes to go near him; one doesn't know what he'll be up to." "You girls are as bad as the men," mocked Fiora. "I can't do with cowards, and as Master Kol is the only brave one of you all, I mark him for my particular friend." "Who's that calling Kol Nikon brave?" It was Janke who had sauntered up; living in th e woods he had not been made acquainted with the proceedings of the previous night, and had had no part in them. Lars Haring clapp e d him on th e shoulder. Hello, Janke! This is Fiora come back to us-you remember Fiora?" The young woodsman halted abruptly in front of the newcomer. She smiled and the old dimples contracted his heart with sweet and sudden pain "I really think he does not know me," said Fiora. I-why, of course, I know you stammered Janke. I would never have forgiven you otherwise," Fiora declared, giving him h e r hand. I can't bear to be forgotten. And I don't forget Again the strange s e nsation shot through his heart. As he let her fingers go he was thinkin g of the kiss he had once put upon that lovely mouth in the forest. He wondered whether this was among the things she had not forgotten. Their eyes met and separated swiftly. He tried to recapture some indifferent matter for converse. "Did you-was it you just now calling Kol Nikon a brave man?" 433


THE IRISH REVIEW I think him so." I know othe wise," said Janke. "He shak e s like a leaf at the first dark look." Then why is everyone afraid of him?" J anke's lip curled. Is everyone?" The girls, at any rate." It is wise for the girls to be," said Janke. "How I hate to be wise!" exclaimed Fiora, making a grimace. She rose from the stone coping of the well where she had been sitting, and shook out her skirt. Well, I have another visit to make, so good-bye." Where are you going now?" "To see my friend Kol," she answered, glancing up under her lashes. Two or three girls remonstrated. "No, Fiora, don't think of it!" "It's sheer foolishness!" said Janke, flushing heavily. She recognised instantly the easily roused signs of anger in him which it had been her favourite game to waken and allay. "That's ill manners, Master Janke," she observed. I won't have you making remarks about m y a c tions or my friends?" "It's a queer sort of friend you'll find in Kol," he muttered. Why, good Lord don't you remember -things-about him? you must!" "Only pleasant things," she said demurely. I always liked Kol; and for the matter of that, Kol always liked me." With which she moved away and left Janke staring after her in helpless wrath. Kol Nikon and the W omJan Fiora Fiora tried the latch of the door and found it y ield; she pushed it softly and entered the cottage, meaning to surprise the woman who had loved the child Fiora better than she loved the boy that went by the name of her son. Her frail, still form rested in a chair by the window, her face half-turned from the girl, who nevertheless paused at sight of the soft sunken cheek and the hair so unexpectedly white. Glancing about the room Fiora perceived Kol also; flung in abandonment on the window-seat near his mother, his face buried in his arms. Fiddle and bow, so futile to his needs, lay neglected on the floor. Fiora approached, and made to touch the old woman's shoulder lightly; but as the shadow of her hand fell on his mother Kol raised his head and held her with his gaze, making a rapid gesture of repulse. 434


THE SOUL OF KOL NIKON Does she sleep?" Fiora asked in a low voice. Kol shook his head, and the expression of his eyes made her stoop quick! y to look in the face of her old friend. "Oh, Kol!" she sighed; and now her hand dropped softly, warm with pity, upon the paralytic's hands. The faintest gleam of pleasure showed on the blind face. Fiora felt her fingers snatched fiercely up, locked in a tight grip. Kol's steely eyes showed molten black. Why do you come?" he demanded. She answered gently, "We loved each other, Kol." His underlip quivered, and he replaced her fingers between the two withered hands with an effort. When did this happen?" she asked. "More than three years ago." I am so truly sorry." Ah d 't I t Th h" f on weep may no. e misery m 1s ace cried for compassion. Kol, how lonely and unhappy you must be." "But only quite lately." Since this trouble, you mean." Oh, no. It was bad before. Don't you remember how she always hated me? That part is better, because she has not thought about me for three years." "I am sure you are mistaken, Kol," Fiora said kindly. "I am sure she did not hat:e you, and that she thinks about you a great deal." I hope she does not. I will tell you in words what she thinks about, though the sense of it is beyond me. She thinks about love." "Oh!" Fiora smiled a little. "How old are you, Kol?" "I don't know. Why?" "Don't know! Wait-you were a year older than I, and I am twenty. So you must be twenty-one." I suppose so." Kol," said Fiora, mock-serious, I am ashamed of you! Twenty-one, and not know the sense of love!" What has the age to do with it? Is twenty-one the open door to love?" "Oh, earlier, much earlier!" laughed Fiora. Do you know love?" She glanced at him sidelong. "Well, of course, I know what love is; although I have never loved-perhaps." Why do you say perhaps, all smiling? I think that you do not know love-perhaps. For, Fiora, I will telJ you !?Omething. When love comes, one knows." 435


THE IRISH REVIEW Who taught you that?" I heard a girl say it that had been through love from top to bottom." Kol wrung his hands. "Oh, do help me, do try to understand what I mean when I say I don't know the sense of love I mean real love." Real love, certainly," she smiled. I understand quite well." Not body-sense, Fiora-soul-sense; you know?" She coloured faintly. "vVell, Kol! what a thing to say." "Why?" He stared at her. But what use to ask why? People and things are constantly incomprehensible to me, and it must be because of what I lack." What do you lack?" Have you forgotten that also? My soul." Oh, Kol she protested. That was just childish silliness Was it, indeed? h was very well agreed to by the elders. Besides, I know it. This "-he struck his breast bitterly-" is empty, dreadful. I tell you, I've no soul at all, so how can I have a sense of the soul's things? That's why love is out of my reach, real love, soul-love." The-the other--" she hesitated. You know that kind?" I understand it. I see it a very great deal. It is quite common, you must know. And the more I see, the more I dislike it. For it won't help me in the least, how can it? You cannot think how strange it is to me, Fiora, to observe so little use of their souls in men and women. I, now, am as soulless as any stag. But I won't live at stag's level, I tell you, even though I never live at the level of other men. Men! why, men, who might live at the height of their stars, men are so often content to live just as low as the stags. Look here, did you ever see two fight for their doe in the rutting time? I have been among men and seen just that same thing in them. But men, Fiora," Kol cried eagerly "men have souls, they do have them! and so there must be something in their love I don't perceive, something more than seems to be in their greedy eyes, there must.I Only, being soulless, I cannot recognise it. I've asked. Janke couldn't tell me, for all his soul, because he has never loved." Did Janke say that?" Solva couldn't tell me either, and yet she has loved, and she too has a soul. You, Fiora, you say you know. Well, tell me!" She knit her brows, unable to find words. Ah he exclaimed with a gleam of disappointment, it 1s perhaps because you too have no soul that you cannot say." "I know very well I have a soul," she answered indignantly. 436


THE SOUL OF KOL NIKON What makes you sure?" Because we are born with them; and so long as we do nothing wrong they are perfectly safe." "You've never done wrong, Fiora?" Never," she told him with the shadow o,( complacency which galled him; but he let: it pass. Is it difficult not to do wrong?" "Oh, no; one has only to be careful." Is that all? I see. It wouldn't be fair of God, would it, to give you such a precious thing and then make it easy to lose. Do you remember this?" he lifted his fiddle. Why, yes. You played on it in the forest to me and Janke-such queer music. Do you still play?" Shall I?" You promised me once you would, but you never did." "I will now." What can you play?" Old songs," said Kol. "Oh, beautiful!" she cried joyously. "Kol, I don't know why, but it brings back so clearly the glade of bluebells in the wood where we used to gather flowers for your mother." "We? Look at me. We?" "No, it was only you, wasn't it? I remember now. I took them to her and she kissed them why, Kol, there are tears in your song." "It is the only place I can shed them in," said Kol, laying aside his bow. Kol, tell me; how could your music suggest all that so plainly?" Perhaps," he said reluctantly, "perhaps because it was in my mind. Fiora!" he leaned forward to whisper with furtive glances, sometimes I play to God. At least, I play to the sun, because that seems to me the thing most like God that our eyes can see. Another thing, they hate and fear the sun, you know, and so it must at least belong to God. That's why I won't go away and live with them under the hill. I'm just a little better off than they for being able to love the sun. Don't you think that perhaps that: is a sign from God that some day he is going to let me find him?" Kol, you do say rather awful things," said Fiora uneasily. Her own salvation taken for granted, she disliked this probing of others' spiritual wounds. "Was that awful? God is, too." What sort of things do you play to the sun?" I look in its face, hoping it is God's own, and. I think : I am 437


THE IRISH REVIEW desperate for my soul; give it to me, you up there. Then I play till I cannot see for the dazzle. But I don't think God hears me, so he can't be the sun after all; if he were, he would understand what I want when I look in his eyes and ask for it." Perhaps He does understand." And won't give it?" Perhaps you are meant to go through things first." What did you ever go through?" demanded Kol. I can't help it if we were born different." Then what am I to go through? If I could learn love I might find my soul right enough. But what if I must get my soul before I can learn love?" Fiora came and sat by him in the window and looked gaily in his hopeless face. Oh, poor puzzled Kol Well, suppose you try?" Try?" Really and seriously to find love." But I have." Oh? Was she beautiful ?" Kol's eyes shone with a rapture that offended her. "My slender silver lady !-beyond telling." "What colour was her hair?" inquired Fiora, touching her sunlit locks. Green," he answered. "Hideous!" She burst out laughing. "Do you know what you say?" "It was a birch-tree." "A tree Kol, you do want teaching badly." But who will teach me?" he said mournfully Any girl." A girl? Why a girl ?" Who else could?" "Must it be a girl?" "Yes, you poor Kol, it absolutely must." All her dimples were at play. Kol regarded her thoughtfully. But she must be beautiful." It makes it easier," agreed Fiora archly. She sat quite still, looking at him with heavenly eyes. Thank you," said Kol, I will try and find one." He got up and walked straight out of the house. Fiora sat on, her breath half suffocated, and the colour mounting unendurably to her temples. To b e continu e d 438


REVIEWS PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION. By J. C. Meredith, Litt.D. Dublin: Ponsonby. 1913. Our main objection to the adoption in this country of the list system of proportional representation, which Mr. Meredith so ably advocates in this book, is that it would inevitably tend to stereotype, instead of breaking up, the present grouping of parties in Ireland. Mr. Meredith does not seem to deal adequately with this aspect of the matter. And although he makes out a strong case against some of the weaknesses of the single transferable vote, he has failed to convince us that in a country torn by party dissensions as Ireland has been, the list system would have any advantage over its rival. We readily admit that a list system is somewhat better than the present method of election, and might, were the country in a healthy political condition, be adopted without much harm, should there be an overwhelming objection to the single transferable vote. Turning to the academic aspect of the business, we do not follow Mr. Meredith when he endorses the Royal Commission's contention that a candidate returned by "late preferences" is not representative. Mr. Meredith fears that "cranks may slip in, disturbing the party system. We by no means concur with the deriders of the party-system, but we would welcome anything that made it less rigid, and subjected it more to criticism and the free play of reason. Accordingly. we cannot sympathise with Mr. Merediih's objection to late preferences," nor do we think that he is right in saying that candidates thus elected do not represent their constituency. "Parliament," says Burke, "is not a congress of ambassadors from different and hostile interests, which interests each must maintain as an agent and advoc;ite against other agents and advocates, but Parliament is a deliberative assembly of one nation with one interest. that of the whole. You choose a member, indeed; but when you have chosen him, he is not member of Bristol, but he is a member of Parliament." And might we not suggest, following Burke's ments, that a member who, so to say, slipped in," might prove more representative of the real will of his constituents than one who received a perfectly decisive vote. The Nationalist elector who gave, for instance, a late preference to Sir Horace Plunkett-to take an example which is to the point-would probably be recording his own half-formed view as against his party opinion, that Sir Horace was after all a good man. Who shall say that a late preference so given did not record the real opinion as distinct from the party opinion of the elector. Nor does it dispose of the matter to deprecate the admission of cranks into a parliament. Crank is, after all a relative term. Parnell was a crank to Butt, and to the Imperial Parliament when he began. Sir Horace Plunkett is a crank to Mr. Dillon, and Mr. Dillon to Sir Horace Plunkett. The next generation will wonder what the pother was about. But Mr. Meredith not only contends that one weakness of the single transferable vote is this extreme individualism, but he accuses it of being open to the worst form of party tyranny. We are prepared 439


REVIEWS to take our risks. As we said at the outset, the Single Transferable vote will not at all events stereotype parties, the List system will. And that is the gravest evil we have to face in Ireland. We would heartily recommend this book of Mr. Meredith's. It is one of the most scholarly and temperate discussions of the problem we have have ee n. F. CRUISE O'BRIEN. -" ELIZABETH COOPER." By George M'oore. Maunsel. .:is. net. When Mr. Moore writes a book, our minds at once begin to busy themselves not with' the book, but with Mr. Moore. Men and their writings are often as wide asunder as the poles, as strange to each other as the limbs and faces of Irish step-dancers, whose feet spring from the ground in an uncontrollable gaiety and whose faces are set in immovable gloom. We accept a great portion of our literature just as we accept meat sold us in the shambles, we nourish ourselves on it, never connecting it with the time when it wore horns and hoofs and wagged a tail. With Mr. Moore we never get far away from the hoof and horn, indeed he uses both freely; perhaps this is why we cannot fall asleep over any work of his. We are not without suspicion that in "Elizabeth Cooper" we have a delightful piece of autobiography. Does not a famous novelist return to his native place? Do not charming ladies write him admiring letters? Have such blessings ever rained on Mr. Moore? We recollect some hints. Do not dramatic situations naturally arise out of such letters? Has not our famous novelist acquitted himself with adroitness on many a stage? Why should we debate the dramatic m erits of Mr. Moore's play when we are fully convinced of the dramatic interest of Mr. Moore himself? Besides, the critics have already treated it with the pre-judgment they always accord a novelist's play I am a little tired of the critics. Plain people who were in the theatre tell me they were happy from start to finish. Mr. Moore hates plain people only a little more than he hates the critics. What would you? It is true that Mr. Moore is a very accomplished writer. The material he works in is not the gold and jewelled stuff of the poets and dreamers, which by its very richness enchants us even when carelessly used. Mr. Moore's work is done with plain materials, but it is never careless. He has never written a lazy line, he is alive in every word to the importance of his craft. Comely writing, indeed But let us not talk of hi s writing. Let us talk of Mr. Moore. SUSAN L. MITCHELL. 440


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POETRY AND DRAMA No. 3 CONTENTS VARIA: Futurism-Marinetti-Futurist Poetry-Broadsides and Chap-books-Poetry and Sermons-Model Advertisement-The Poetry Society-Laurcate's Bays-Poetry in the English Review "-Notes and Announcement::.. POETRY: Anrep, Paolo Buzzi, F. T. Marinetti, Aldo Palazzeschi, translated by Harold Munro; F. S. Flint1 Ernest Collings STUDIES AND APPRECIATIONS: Robert Bridges Lascelles Abercrombie The New Futurist Manifesto F. T M arinetti Poetry Alive H. Caldwell Cook Gordon Craig and the Theatre of the Future /olZ1t Coumos Suggested Use of a Vowel-Mark in English Sir Nonald Ross A Savage Poet Victor I'larr CHRONICLES: Current English Poetry French Chronicle REVIEWS: Emest R/t' ys F. S. Flint Poems: John Gould Fletcher-Poems: John Alford-Steps to Parnassus and other Parodies and Diversions; The Three Hills and other Poems: J. C. Squire--Collected Poems: Austin Dobson-Eve and other Poems: Ralph Hodgson-The Flute of Sardonyx: Edmund John-Simon Dean: Wason-In Lavender Covers: Dermot Freyer-Pilgrimage of Grace: Arthur Shirley Cripps-Valdimar, A Poetic Drama: Ronald Campbell Macbie-The Quiet Spirit: J. S. Muirhead-Songs from Leinster: W. M. Letts A LIST OF RECENT BOOKS [.ANNOTATED]. THE POETRY BOOKSHOP. 35 Devonshire Street, Theobalds Road, London, W. C




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