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Mr Allingham has an excellent feeling for the

supernatural and ghostly. “ The Goblin Child of Ballyshannon," and “ The Dream," are displays of great power in this way. We give the former.

A regiment, filing row by row,
One evening sixty years ago,
As wintry dusk was drawing late,
Through Ballyshannon's old bridge gate,
Changed pass-words with the pacing

guard,
Left wheel d into the barrack-yard,
And halted willingly, for tired
The men were, drooping, soaked, and mired;
And even the highest in command,
With trembling knee and fever'd hand,
Felt on his horse almost as jaded,
And glad to end the march as they did.
No wonder, then, that he withdrew
Betimes to bed ; and though 'twas true,
His quarters here proved strange enough ;
Snatched as they seemed, with trimming rough,
From long disuse ; yet in a pile
Heaped on the hearth, in good old style,
Bogwood and turf, with jovial roar,
Threw ruddy blaze on wall and foor;
And the new-comer thought he might,
On such a fagged November night,
E'en in a rougher place, have found
A door to sleep's enchanted groupd.
Yet, when he tried, he tried in vain.
A dim, fantastic, endless train
Of striving fancies vexed his brain ;
Till, as the weary hours went by,
He ever grew, he know not why,
More anxious, and his heart was sick,
And the pulse in his pillowed ear beat thick.
The wide, half-furnished barrack-room
Was full of heavy midnight gloom,
Save when the sinking coals gave birth
To smouldering flashes on the hearth,
And from the single darkness made
A thousand ghostly forms of shade,
On which the waker gazed and gazed,
Until his thoughts grew mazed and mazed,
And down, at length, his aching lids were weighed.
When suddenly-O Heaven !--the fire
Leaped up into a dazzling pyre,
And, boldly, from the brightened hearth,
A naked child stepped forih.
With a total, frozen start,
A bound-a pausing of the heart,
He saw. It came across the floor,
Its size increasing more and more
At every step, until a dread,
Gigantic form stood by his bed.
Glaring for some second's space
Down into his rigid face-

Back it drew, with steadfast look,
Dwindling every step it took,
Till the naked child returned
To the fire, which brightly burned
To greet it; then black, sudden gloom
Sunk upon the silent room-
Silent, save the monotone
Of the river flowing down
Through the arches of the bridge,
And beneath the casement-ledge.
It happened when our island still
Had nests of goblins left, to fill
Each mouldy nook and corner close,
Like spiders in an ancient house.
And this one read within the face,
Intruding on its dwelling place,
Lines of wo, despair, and blood,
By spirits only understood;
As mortals now can read the same,
In the letters of his name,
Who in that haunted chamber lay,

When we call him Castlereagh. With the exception of some half-dozen pieces, we have now quoted all the poems to which we can attribute unqualified praise.

“ The Light," “ The Witch Bride,” “ The Bull,” “ In the Train, “ The Bubble,” « The Three Flowers," “ The Mother," " Poets and Flowers," "Sweet Sunday Bells,” and “A Fairy Dialogue,” are all notable poems; and there are few pieces in the volume which do not indicate the possession of unusual powers by the writer of them: but, we repeat, the execution he greater number is slovenly and inefficient.

The longest poem in the volume is a tale called the “ Music-Master.” The subject is beautifully chosen and managed; many passages are lovely and tender in the extreme; and yet, to us, the perusal of this story is rendered, upon the whole, a pain rather than a pleasure, by the constant display of fine powers in connection with the most slatternly execution.

Mr Allingham has three choices before him. He may write only to please himself

, as he appears to have done in this volume; in which case, he will have a small circle of admiring readers, made up of persons who do not know the worth of time. Or he may write to please the people, and, by humbling his fine powers to the service of epigrammatic subjects, may easily win a popularity unequalled since the flourishing days of Moore. Or he may become truly famous. But this he can only do by the most laborious cultivation of his genius, accompanied by a long and vexatious sacrifice of immediate reputation. In any case, let him not care a fig for what reviewers say, or neglect to say, of these his first effusions. Not one reviewer in twenty has the capacity, if he had the time, to recognise new poetry unhelped.

392

ALTON LOCKE, TAILOR AND POET.” *

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No book has been issued from Paternoster Row, or the Strand, or, indeed, from any other quarter, for many a long day, containing so much truth, and earnest remonstrance, and pointed rebuke, as does “ Alton Locke, Tailor and Poet.” It is a work of fiction; but a work of fiction built up entirely, and with admirable skill, of the most stubborn facts. It is by far the most effective treatise on the Condition-of-Englandquestion that has appeared. We do not speak of it at present as a work of fiction, but as a work embodying sober, extensively-existing, and alarming facts, touching the social and religious condition of our country. We certainly do not pledge ourselves to all the opinions and sentiments which it contains, nor do we always look upon facts from the same point of view; but we believe that the work merits an extensive circulation among the people, and more than a passing notice from the press. It is entirely independent; it panders to no party—at least, not offensively

“ Progress” is written on every page; but progress in subordination and obedience to the laws of God and the rights of every class of the community. Its politics, its æsthetics, its religion, are all advanced and liberal, although not always sound and trustworthy. With the working classes, it sympathises most deeply; but it fearlessly exposes their faults and sins, and reads them a lesson which many of the wisest of them will not refuse to learn. It appreciates all that is noble and generous, in the upper classes ; but it mercilessly denounces their exclusiveness and heartlessness. It admires benevolence, but it pleads for discrimination. It bows before Christianity, but it demands life and heart in the pulpit, and consistency and brotherhood in the pew. It aims at liberty, equality, and fraternity—such as shall exist and bless men, when the simple, but all-powerful principles of the religion of Jesus of Nazareth shall be universally recognised, intelligently appreciated, and honestly acted upon. Before it, all parties must stand reproved; from it, they may all receive much instruction, and derive not a little encouragement in playing their respective parts in the shifting drama of human life. The work appears anonymously, but it is well known that its author is one of the most active clergymen in the Church of England. This, itself, is a significant sign of the times.

We intend to quote freely, only coming forward ourselves to conneet the parts of the story, that consistency and intelligence may characterise the analysis.

Alton Locke was a Cockney among Cockneys. His eyes never looked upon nature in her richness and beauty, till he was a stripling of seventeen, and yet he was enamoured of her as a poet only can. The family to which he belonged were poor, but respectable, and were by profession Baptists. We are sorry to observe a want of charity in those portions of the work where this sect is introduced; but we would not charge the author with malice. There may, indeed, exist characters

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