Bailey, Margaret Emerson White Christmas G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York, 1931, Quarter Cloth, , First Edition, Very Good
73 pp. Some rubbing on corners, lettering on spine fading. else very nice. Signed by the author on FFEP, New Canaan, October 1931. Frontis a pleasant drawing of a barn in winter by Bailey. Betrayed perhaps by a now overly tongued title, the poetry is crisp and musical, as in 'Dead Language': 'Romance now is a dead language / We spoke long ago. / Since it has become archaic, / Let us use it so / That the lovely words seem coolings / From a lava flow, / Each averted like the profile / Of a cameo.' Or sealed with wit as in 'Irony': 'Poe stayed in Providence; / Forth he went / Friendless and destitute, / Improvident.'
“WHEN FROM THE TENSE CHORDS OF THAT MIGHTY LYRE.”
WHEN from the tense chords of that mighty lyre
The Master’s hand, relaxing, falls away,
And those rich strings are silent for all time,
Then shall Love pine, and Passion lack her fire,
And Faith seem voiceless. Man to man shall say,
“Dead is the last of England’s Lords of Rhyme.”
Yet — stay! there’s one, a later-laureled brow,
With purple blood of poets in his veins;
Him has the Muse claimed; him might Marlowe own;
Greek Sappho’s son!—men’s praises seek him now.
Happy the realm where one such voice remains!
His the dropt wreath and the unenvied throne.
The wreath the world gives, not the mimic wreath
That chance might make the gift of king or queen.
0finder of undreamed-of harmonies!
Since Shelley’s lips were hushed by envious Death,
What lyric voice so sweet as this has been
Blown to us on the winds from over seas?