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would belong to the one-sixth of Saxons personal patriotism by laws so sapiently that remained. In the eternal struggle for despotic. The face of the leading peoples existence,' it would be the inferior and less of the existing world is not even set in this favoured race that had prevailed, and direction- but rather the reverse. The prevailed by virtue not of its qualities but tendencies of the age are three especially; of its faults, by reason not of its stronger and all three run counter to the operation vitality but of its weaker reticence and its of the wholesome law of natural selection.' narrower brain. We are learning to insist more and more on the freedom of the individual will, the right of every one to judge and act for himself. We are growing daily more foolishly and criminally lenient to every natural propensity, less and less inclined to resent, or control, or punish its indulgence. We absolutely refuse to let the poor, the incapable, or the diseased die; we enable or allow them, if we do not actually encourage them, to propagate their incapacity, poverty, and constitutional disorders. And, lastly, democracy is every year advancing in power, and claiming the supreme right to govern and to guide: and democracy means the management and control of social arrangements by the least educated classes,-by those least trained to foresee or measure consequences, least acquainted with the fearfully rigid laws of hereditary transmission, least habituated to repress desires, or to forego immediate enjoyment for future and remote good.

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Of course it will be urged that the principle of natural selection fails thus utterly because our civilisation is imperfect and misdirected; because our laws are insufficient; because our social arrangements are unwise; because our moral sense is languid or unenlightened. No doubt, if our legislators and rulers were quite sagacious and quite stern, and our people in all ranks quite wise and good, the beneficent tendencies of nature would continue to operate uncounteracted. No constitutions would be impaired by insufficient nutriment and none by unhealthy excess. No classes would be so undeveloped either in mind or muscle as to be unfitted for procreating sound and vigorous offspring. The sick, the tainted, and the maimed, would be too sensible and too unselfish to dream of marrying and handing down to their children the curse of diseased or feeble frames; or if they were not self-controlled, the state would exercise Obviously, no artificial prohibitions or a salutary but unrelenting paternal despot- restraints, no laws imposed from above and ism, and supply the deficiency by vigilant from without, can restore the principle of and timely prohibition. A republic is con-natural selection' to its due supremacy ceivable in which paupers should be forbidden to propagate; in which all candidates for the proud and solemn privilege of continuing an untainted and perfecting race should be subjected to a pass or a competitive examination, and those only should be suffered to transmit their names and families to future generations who had a pure, vigorous and well-developed constitution to transmit; -so that paternity should be the right and function exclusively of the élite of the nation, and humanity be thus enabled to march on securely and without drawback to its ultimate possibilities of progress. Every damaged or inferior temperament might be eliminated, and every special and superior one be selected and enthroned, till the human race, both in its manhood and its womanhood, became one glorious congregation of saints, sages, and athletes: - till we were all Blondins, all Shakespeares, Pericles', Socrates', Columbuses and Fénelons. But no nation-in modern times at least - has ever yet approached this ideal; no such wisdom or virtue has ever been found except in isolated individual instances; no government and no statesman has ever yet dared thus to supplement the inadequacy of

among the human race. No people in our days would endure the necessary interference and control; and perhaps a result so acquired might not be worth the cost of acquisition. We can only trust to the slow influences of enlightenment and moral susceptibility, percolating downwards and in time permeating all ranks. We can only watch and be careful that any other influences we do set in motion shall be such as, where they work at all, may work in the right direction. At present the prospect is not reassuring. We are progressing fast in many points, no doubt, but the progress is not wholly nor always of the right sort, nor without a large per contra. Legislation and philanthropy are improving the condition of the masses, but they are more and more losing the guidance and governance of the masses. Wealth accumulates above, and wages rise below; but the cost of living augments with both operations, till those classes - the stamina of the nation—which are neither too rich nor too poor to fear a fall, find marriage a hazardous adventure, and dread the burden of large families. Medical science is mitigating suffering, and achieving some success in its warfare against

disease; but at the same time it enables the | those whom it saves from dying prematurediseased to live. It controls and sometimes ly it preserves to propagate dismal and imhalf cures the maladies that spring from pro- perfect lives. In our complicated modern fligacy and excess, but in so doing it en- communities a race is being run between courages both, by stepping in between the moral and mental enlightenment and the cause and its consequence, and saving them deterioration of the physical constitution from their natural and deterring penalties. through the defeasance of the law of natural It reduces the aggregate mortality by sani- selection; and on the issues of that race tary improvements and precautions; but the destinies of humanity depend.

From Macmillan's Magazine.
AUTUMNAL ODE.

BY AUBREY DE VERE.

I.

MINSTREL and Genius, to whose songs or sighs
The round earth modulates her changeful
sphere,

That bend'st in shadow from yon western skies,
And lean'st, cloud-hid, along the woodlands

sere,

Too deep thy tones ear!

-

too pure-for mortal

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IV.

This quiet
is it Truth, or some fair mask?
Is pain no more? Shall Sleep be lord, not
Death?

Yet Nature hears them: without aid of thine Shall sickness cease to afflict and overtask
How sad were her decline!

From thee she learns with just and soft gradation
Her dying hues in death to harmonize;
Through thee her obsequies

A glory wear that conquers desolation.
Through thee she singeth, "Faithless were the
sighing

"Breathed o'er a beauty only born to fleet:
"A holy thing and precious is the dying
"Of that whose life was innocent and sweet."
From many a dim retreat

Lodged on high-bosomed, echoing, mountain-
lawn,

Or chiming convent in dark vale withdrawn,
From cloudy shrine or rapt oracular seat
Voices of loftier worlds that saintly strain repeat.

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The spent and labouring breath?

Is there among yon farms and fields, this day, No grey old head that drops? No darkening eye?

Spirits of Pity, lift your hands, and pray -
Each hour, alas, men die !

V.

The love-songs of the Blackbird now are done:
Upon the o'ergrown, loose, red-berried cover
The latest of late warblers sings as one
That trolls at random when the feast is over;
From bush to bush the silver cobwebs hover,
Shrouding the dried up rill's exhausted urn;
Nor falls the thistle-down: in deep-drenched
No breeze is fluting o'er the green morass:

grass,

Now blue, now red, the shifting dew-gems burn.

VI.

Mine ear thus torpid held, methinks mine eye
Is armed the more with visionary power:
As with a magnet's force each redd'ning bower
Compels me through the woodland pageantry:
Slowly I track the forest's skirt: emerging,

I

Slowly I climb from pastoral steep to steep:
see far mists from reedy valleys surging :
I follow the procession of white sheep
That fringe with wool old stock and ruined
rath

How staid to-day, how eager when the lambs
Went leaping round their dams!

I cross the leaf-choked stream from stone to stone,
Pass the hoar ash-tree, trace the upland path,
The furze-brake that in March all golden shone
Reflected in the shy kingfisher's bath.

VII.

The day whereon man's heart, itself a priest,

No more from full-leaved woods that music Descending to that Empire pale wherein

swells

Which in the summer filled the satiate ear: A fostering sweetness still from bosky dells Murmurs; but I can hear

A harsher sound when down, at intervals,
The dry leaf rattling falls.

Dark as those spots which herald swift disease,
The death-blot marks for death the leaf yet firm:
Beside the leaf down-trodden trails the worm:

In forest depths the haggard, whitening grass Repines at youth departed. Half-stripped trees Reveal, as one who says, "Thou too must pass," Plainlier each day their quaint anatomies. Yon Poplar grove is troubled! Bright and bold Babbled his cold leaves in the July breeze As though above our heads a runnel rolled :

His mirth is o'er: subdued by old October, He counts his lessening wealth, and, sadly so

ber,

Tinkles his querulous tablets of wan gold.

VIII.

Be still, ye sighs of the expiring year!

A sword there is:-ye play but with the sheath!

Whispers there are more piercing, yet more dear Than yours, that come to me those boughs beneath;

And well-remembered footsteps known of old
Tread soft the mildewed mould.

O magic memory of the things that were-
Of those whose hands our childish locks ca-
resst,

Of one so angel-like in tender care,

Of one in majesty so Godlike drest -
O phantom faces painted on the air,
Of friend or sudden guest;-
I plead in vain :

The woods revere, but cannot heal my pain.
Ye sheddings from the Yew-tree and the Pine,
If on your rich and aromatic dust

I laid my forehead, and my hands put forth In the last beam that warms the forest floor, No answer to my yearnings would be mine, To me no answer through those branches hoar Would reach in noontide trance, or moony gust!

Beauty and Sorrow dwell, but pure from Sin, Holds with God's Church at once its fast and feast.

Dim woods, they, they alone your vaults should tread,

The sad and saintly Dead!

Your pathos those alone ungrieved could meet
Who fit them for the Beatific Vision:
The things that as they pass us seem to cheat,
To them would be a music-winged fruition,
A cadence sweetest in the soft subsiding:
Transience to them were dear; - for theirs the
abiding

Dear as that Pain which clears from fleshly film The spirit's eye, matures each spirit-germ, Frost-bound on earth, but at the appointed

term

Mirror of Godhead in the immortal realm.

X.

Lo there the regal exiles !-under shades
Deeper than ours, yet in a finer air—
Climbing, successive, elders, youths, and maids,
The penitential mountain's ebon stair:
The earth-shadow clips that halo round their
hair:

And as lone outcasts watch a moon that wanes,
Receding slowly o'er their native plains,
Thus watch they, wistful, something far but fair.
Serene they stand, and wait,
Self-exiled by the ever-open gate:
Awhile self-exiled from the All-pitying Eyes,
Lest mortal stain should blot their Paradise.
Silent they pace, ascending high and higher

The hills of God, a hand on every heart That willing burns, a vase of cleansing fire Fed by God's love in souls from God apart. Each lifted face with thirst of long desire

Is pale; but o'er it grows a mystic sheen, Because on them God's face, by them unseen, Is turned, through narrowing darkness hourly nigher.

XI.

Sad thoughts, why roam ye thus in your unrest The world unseen? Why scorn our mortal bound?

Her secret Heaven would keep, and mother Is it not kindly, Earth's maternal breast?

Earth
Speak from her deep heart, "Where thou

know'st not, trust!"

IX.

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That pang is past. Once more my pulses keep A tenor calm, that knows nor grief nor joy; Once more I move as one that died in sleep,

And treads, a Spirit, the haunts he trod, a boy, And sees them like-unlike, and sees beyond : Then earthly life comes back, and I despond. Ah, life, not life! Dim woods of crimsoned beech, That swathe the hills in sacerdotal stoles, Burn on, burn on! the year ere long will reach That day made holy to Departed Souls,

Is it not fair, her head with vine-wreaths crowned ?

Farm-yard and barn are heaped with golden

store;

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'Tis not alone the pang for friends departed: The Autumnal grief that raises while it proves us Wells from a holier source and deeper-hearted! For this a sadness mingles with our mirth; For this a bitter mingles with the sweetness; The throne that shakes not is the Spirit's right;

The heart and hope of Man are infinite; Heaven is his home, and, exiled here on earth, Completion most betrays the incompleteness!

Heaven is his home.

creases:

XII.

With gates of pearl and diamond bastions sheer.

The walls are agate and chalcedony :

On jacinth street and jasper parapet
The unwaning light is light of Deity,

Not beam of lessening moon or suns that set.
That undeciduous forestry of spires

Lets fall no leaf! those lights can never range: Saintly fruitions and divine desires

Are blended there in rapture without change. - Man was not made for things that leave us, For that which goeth and returneth,

But hark! the breeze in- For hopes that lift us yet deceive us,

The sunset forests, catching sudden fire,
Flash, swell, and sing, a millioned-organed
choir :

Roofing the West, rich clouds in glittering fleeces
O'er-arch ethereal spaces and divine
Of heaven's clear hyaline.

No dream is this! Beyond that radiance golden
God's Sons I see, His armies bright and strong,
The ensanguined Martyrs here with palms high
holden,

The Virgins there, a lily-lifting throng!
The Splendours nearer draw. In choral blending
The Prophets' and the Apostles' chant I hear;
I see the City of the Just descending

For love that wears a smile yet mourneth;
Not for fresh forests from the dead leaves spring-
ing,

The cyclic re-creation which, at best,
Yields us- betrayal still to promise clinging –
But tremulous shadows of the realm of rest:
For things immortal Man was made,
God's Image, latest from His hand,
Co-heir with Him, Who in Man's flesh arrayed
Holds o'er the worlds the Heavenly-Human
wand:

His portion this — sublime

To stand where access none hath Space or Time,
Above the starry host, the Cherub band,
To stand- to advance- and after all to stand!

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