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Yet he doth take strange shapes to tempt Thine own;
Now if I looked should one come dancing down,
Gold-haired and deep-eyed, blooming on the dark,
Wearing on his fair brows a kingdom's crown.

So shall I cower, laying cheek and eyelid wet,
To Thy dead feet for tears grown colder yet;
He shall not dare to drag me from this ark.
Weary am I and very sore beset.

Here will I take sweet sleep till yonder pane
Glimmereth gray, and night begins to wane,
And the small birds within the elm-tree boughs
Twitter and pipe and turn to sleep again.

And the cocks crow, and ere the sound be ceased,
From the mysterious chambers of the East
Blows a small wind, and all the gray gleams rose.
Then through the gold gates steppeth the high priest.

And it may be my feet will go in dreams

Down by Touraine's fair fields and pleasant streams, Where my white girlhood's full fleet days were spent, There the breeze freshens, and a great sun gleams.

Sleeps the old château through the roseate hours,
Drifts the white odorous bloom in almond bowers;
And the long grasses, hot and indolent,
Murmur of April and her wine-rich showers.

Like little white-winged birds that fluttering fly,
Lustrous small clouds come sailing down the sky,
And the great cattle breathing thymy sweet,
Stand where gold cowslips in the grass are high.

Cherries are ripe and red-lipped in the nets
And the old pear tree that its youth forgets,
Hoary with lichen, stands with aged feet
Deep in a purple mist of violets.

Oh, but to hear its bloomy boughs among,

How the brown throstle chanteth loud and long!
He all unseen doth sway with shut bright eyes
In the delirious passion of his song.

Surely, these things had brought me full content,
Were I Louise clear-eyed and innocent,

Fifteen unsullied summers 'neath the skies.

I am Louise, sinner and penitent.

Ah! the child's heart o'erfull with trust and joy!
Lord! it grew world-sore, stained with earth's alloy;
Till one came smiling by, and taking it,
Broke it as children break a worn-out toy.

Even this poor heart Thou, Lord, didst not refuse
Long Thou didst wait as one that knocks and sues
At a heart's door that opes not to admit,

While on his gold locks fall the dank night dews.

But my heart heard Thee calling through the years,
Though I had turned away and closed mine ears.

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O'er the world's noise Thy cry came clear and sweet,
Sure Thou art gracious to a sinner's tears.

Now I remember how a woman came,

Meek were her eyelids, on her brows sat shame,
Laid unrebuked her tired head at Thy feet.
She was a sinner, Magdalen her name.

And in Thy Resurrection's day of grace,

First Thou didst shine before Thy mother's face;
Next Thou didst seek in tender strange disguise
Magdalen, weeping in the garden ways.

Take my bruised heart in those fair hands of Thine,
In the white city where Thy love doth shine;
It will find healing through the centuries;
Hasten the hour for which I faint and pine,

When I shall lie with broken failing breath,,
Hearing the steps of one who hasteneth ;-
Flame shod, but garmented with gray is he,
Thy messenger, Thy fair strong angel, Death.

Women are many, well loved wives and such,
Who quail to hear him, shudder from his touch;
His beautiful grave face these cannot see,
Eyes grow but clear through weeping overmuch.

How should they know how wondrous good he is
From whom a husband's arms are rest and bliss;
In whose glad eyes a tall fair son smiles down,
Whose lips receive a little daughter's kiss? .

Ah! but these things are sweet! but I, outworn,
Whose body that hath sinned is racked and torn,
Look upward to the Cross and thorny crown,
And yearn and agonize for that new morn,

When I shall enter at the narrow gate,

And climb the steep defiles and desolate,

Knowing the path leads to clear heights and fine,
Where in the white noon Christ Himself doth wait.

I am but this, a broken reed that He
Hath bound with His strong fingers tenderly.
Lord! where Thy Father's many mansions shine,
Wilt Thou not keep a last least place for me?

-Merry England.

MAJOR-GENERAL C. G. GORDON, C.B.

[The following article from the Illustrated London News is published to accompany the engraved portrait which makes the frontispiece of our present number. For fuller details of General Gordon's adventurous career the reader is referred to an article which was published in the April number of THE ECLECTIC.-EDITOR ECLECTIC MAGAZINE.]

A PAINFUL degree of uncertainty and anxiety is just now felt concerning the position of General Gordon at Khartoum, and the effect of his proposals for the settlement of the Soudan.

The incidents of General Gordon's adventurous life, and especially his remarkable achievements both in China and the Soudan, have been narrated in this Journal upon more than one occasion. It is sufficient to repeat a few dates and facts of biographical importance, and to notice the peculiar antecedents of his present mission to Khartoum. Charles George Gordon, born at Woolwich, January 28th, 1833, is fourth son of the late Lieut. -General Henry William Gordon, R.A., one of an old Highland family who had been distinguished soldiers in four generations. His mother was a daughter of the late Mr. Samuel Enderby, of Blackheath, a London merchant and shipowner, who was extensively concerned in the South Sea whaling enterprise, and in the discovery of the Auckland Isles and similar geographical explorations. Charles Gordon was educated at Taunton, and at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich ; he entered the Royal Engineers in 1854, and served at the siege of Sebastopol, at the capture of Kinburn, and in the engineering operations for the demolition of the Russian naval docks. was engaged from May, 1856, in assisting to lay down the new frontier of Bessarabia, and from April, 1857, to the end of 1858, in similar work on the Armenian frontier. In July, 1860, he was sent to China, and took part in the siege of Pekin, after which Major Gordon remained as commander of the Royal Engineers at Tien-Tsin, and was. also employed in the survey of the country around Shanghai. The TaiPing rebellion in China, which had first broken out in 1851, became in 1860 threatening to the safety of Shanghai and

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other ports of foreign commerce. several years of desultory warfare, the Chinese Government requested the aid of the British Government to supply a competent officer for the work of organizing and directing the Imperial forces against the rebels. Major Gordon was selected for this service and was furnished by Li-Hung-Chang, Governor-General of the Kiang provinces (who is now Prime Minister of the Chinese Empire), with the requisite powers. 1863 and 1864, Gordon performed wonders of rapid military preparation, drilling and training a small but efficient Chinese army, and of daring, skilful, and victorious action, capturing the towns of Tai-Tsan, . Quin - San, and Soo-Chow, and other places of importance which soon led to the recovery of Nankin and the suppression of the Tai-Ping rebellion. Colonel Gordon's services were heartily applauded not only by the Chinese Government but also by the British and other European mercantile people in China. He returned to England at the end of 1864, and was appointed to the command of the Royal Engineers at Gravesend, and employed in the construction of the Thames fortifications till 1871, when he was sent to Galatz, and to the mouths of the Danube, as British Commissioner for the improvement of the navigation of that river.

We are now to speak of Colonel Gordon's first mission to the Soudan. Early in the year 1874, having met Nubar Pasha, Prime Minister of Egypt, he was invited to succeed Sir Samuel Baker as Governor of the Equatorial Lake Provinces of the Upper Nile, with a view to suppressing the slave trade. He went thither, arriving at Khartoum on March 12th, and proceeding to Gondokoro, then the seat of his government, where he arrived on September 4th, having spent much time in visiting the districts of the Saubat River and Bahr-el-Ghazel, tributaries of the White Nile. Gordon's first period of Soudan administration, which was from 1874 to the end of 1876, was limited to the line of the White Nile and the shores of Lakes Albert Nyanza and Victoria Nyanza, with the assistance

of Romolo Gessi, an Italian, his second in command. He undoubtedly performed great things at this period, establishing a series of military stations along the line, subduing the unruly negro chiefs, deposing and punishing official malefactors, and local rulers who abused their power, and delivering hundreds of people from the slave traders. But the second period of his government, in the years 1877 to the end of 1879, was attended with far less satisfactory results. He had returned from a visit to England, and had been invested with much more extensive powers, as GovernorGeneral of the whole of the Soudan provinces, including Kordofan and Darfour, with Khartoum for the centre of this vast dominion. He had no longer to deal simply with the mere savages of the White Nile and the Lake region, but with the fierce and warlike Mussulman tribes of the Arab race, with Zebehr Pasha and his powerful faction, and with the corrupt Egyptian officials who were in league with them, and who were interested in maintaining the slave trade. It must be confessed that General Gordon's efforts to contend against these foes of civilization proved an utter failure, and after two years and a half of terrible conflict, he threw up his office in disgust. At that time, the Khedive of Egypt, whom he served, was still in the possession of a large army and a considerable revenue; and if the restoration of order in the Soudan was then found impracticable, it must be more hopelessly impossible now. We ought not, therefore, to feel surprised that General Gordon is obliged, in these days, when he is again at Khartoum, with the mere nominal title of GovernorGeneral, and without any military force, to surrender Darfour and all that region to the Mahdi, to proclaim the toleration of slavery, and, finally, to propose the

admission of Zebehr, his former great enemy, as the only person capable of ruling the central districts of the Soudan.. It is a signal practical refutation of all the well-meaning but fallacious projects that have been entertained for the subjection of those immense territories, with their barbarous and restless population, to the dominion of a civilized government. The sooner this fact is recog. nized, and the remnant of the Egyptian garrisons withdrawn in peace, the better will it be for Egypt and for England; and General Gordon may then come home, to receive the thanks of his countrymen for getting them out of a very perilous situation.

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These views are fully supported by the study of General Gordon's interesting private letters from the Soudan, published in a volume edited by Dr. Birkbeck Hill, entitled Colonel Gordon in Central Africa," which appeared in 1881, and some extracts from which are included in Mr. A. Egmont Hake's volume, The Story of Chinese Gordon," published this year by Remington & Co. General Gordon's deliberate conviction, from his five years' experience of the Soudan, is recorded to the effect that the slave trade can only be effectually checked by closing the market for slaves in Egypt and in the Asiatic provinces of the Turkish Empire, especially by guarding the Red Sea ports; and that to attempt its forcible suppression in the Soudan is to do more harm than good. The British Government, and the British public, will be wise to act upon this opinion, and will not suffer the rivalries of our political factions to distract them from a course prescribed by true humanity, as well as by justice and prudence-that of leaving the interior of the Soudan to its own people.—Illustrated London News.

CIRCE IN MEDIEVAL SONG.

BY E. M. CLERKE.

MEDIEVAL Europe woke up from the long intellectual trance of the Dark Ages like a sleeper suddenly startled from his dreams and still confused as to the boundaries between reality and imagination.

The newly-roused consciousness of humanity was, for a time, disposed to blend the seen and the unseen, and to overlook the distinction between the tangible world of sense and the impalpable do

main of fancy. For to the collective as to the individual soul of man, thrilling to the first supreme sense of self-recognition, all ideas were primarily interesting as items of its inner experience, and only in a secondary degree as symbols of external things. The visionary attitude of mind which produced mysticism in religion took the form of uncritical receptiveness in the domain of secular thought. Fable seemed no less credible than fact, and the most apocryphal legends were received on the same footing as the best authenticated statements of history. The faith that so readily digested marvels craved for a perpetual supply of such food, and fiction flourished in the sympathetic atmosphere of credulity.

Thus, while the myth-haunted imagination of the South clung to the old beliefs, and metamorphosed without renouncing them, the Northern races evolved a new wonder-world for themselves, peopled by real and fictitious heroes of their national story. On that side of the Alps there were formed two great nuclei of romance, round which all the shadowy brain-creations of poets crystallized for many generations-the Courts of the British Arthur, and the Frankish Charlemagne. A series of familiar characters grouping themselves about these centres of action were found, like the stereotyped masks of the Italian stage, a convenient fundamental basis for an indefinitely varied superstructure of narrative and intrigue.

These stock characters and pieces soon became the common property of Europe, over which there existed then a freer interchange of popular ideas than at the present day, when the literature of culture is indeed cosmopolitan, but that of the vulgar strictly localized and circumscribed. The itinerant balladsingers and tale-mongers who traversed Europe from a very early age were the first seed-carriers of thought; but the Crusades gave the strongest impulse to that solidarity of popular sentiment, of which they were also the outcome and expression, and without whose previous existence they would have been impossible.

So thoroughly did the heroes of Northern song become naturaiized below the Alps, that they have there to this day a

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more vivid existence in the imagination of the multitude than any actual historical figures, and among the many stormy episodes that enliven the streets of Naples a pitched battle between two rival Rinaldi," or chanters of the prowess of that doughty knight, is by no means an uncommon one. But in Italy the luxuriant efflorescence of Northern fancy was planted on a substratum of classical tradition; defaced, indeed, distorted and disguised, but never wholly obliterated from the long memory of the people. It was this obscure but unbroken link with the past that gave its strong vitality to the Renaissance in Italy. There the recovered lore of antiquity stirred sympathies long dormant in the popular heart, and re-sown on congenial soil, like the mummy wheat of Egypt, fructified to a fresh harvest after its secular burial of oblivion.

The Italian epic epitomizes the Re-naissance, in its fusion of the two opposite currents of tradition. Their assimilation was effected by the bizarre imagination of Matteo Boiardo, whose single brain, says Signor Rajna,* fulfilled the functions of popular fancy and tradition, performing the miracle of recasting antique material in medieval form. For, in the Orlando Innamorato, he has enriched the familiar groundwork of the chansons de gestes with an embroidery of classical episode, imagery, and illustration, worked in with marvellous profusion and felicity. Thus his work, though incomplete, effected an artistic revolution, and provided the materials ready to the hand of his more famous successor, and if the disciple has eclipsed the master, it is due less to inherent superiority of genius than to the sudden maturity of intellectual life in the interval. During the century covered by the lives of the singers of the two "Orlandos" (14341533) man aged fast, and the minutehand of thought travelled through a large arc on the dial of progress.

In reading Boiardo we feel that the world was still young when he sang. The deathless freshness of an immortal is on his lips, the limpid faith of childhood in his verse, vivid with the illimitable possibilities of a yet unexplored universe. Who, indeed, could say that

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