MR. HALLORAN'S POEMS.
Poems, Odes, Songs. By Henry Halloran, C.M.G.
Sydney : Turner and Henderson.
Amid the multitude of Jubilee poems and odes by great and small, those from Mr. Halloran's pen have no unworthy place. There is a vast difference between verse made to order and that which springs directly from a real emotion or feeling. Much that has been written by men of world-wide fame upon the Queen and the Jubilee is tame, unreal, and calculated to make the mind antagonistic to any poetical expressions of the spirit of the time. Not without dread would the critic naturally pick up Mr. Halloran's tastefully edited book of "Poems, Songs, and Odes," dedicated in a sonnet to Lady Carrington, but there is cause to be thankful that there is something worth quoting in this book on this now wearying subject. Lord Tenny- son's ode was a dismal failure. Mr. Lewis Morris's was laboured and unmusical, however careful and classical it was in form, and the hosts of others were no better, and principally worse. Where many masters have failed it would be too much to expect Mr. Halloran to succeed, and it would be unjust to him and to the public to say that the peoms are altogether worthy. But there is a reality, a spontaneity, and a genuineness about many of the verses that go far to disarm criticism. There are undoubtedly too many poems of the same kind in the volume, and the old ideas are worked over and over again, but they are evidently the glean- ings of many years, and show a continued attitude of loyalty to the throne, as well as many fine thoughts of of a mind accustomed to speak in numbers. The very honesty of the poetical purpose commands respect, and the lines are not infrequent which would not look ill beside the work of greater men. However little one may agree with the excess of feeling which pervades the volume, there is enough that is good in it to merit praise and to entitle Mr. Halloran to a hearing on his theme. The following lines, from an ode on the anni- versary of the birth of her Majesty, are indicative of the tenor of the volume and of the musical force that is in it :—
"The banners of crimson and gold
Rise high in the bright May sun— And the air is crisp and cold,
And the stars fade one by one :
The wave has the hue of the sky,
And the earth has been freshened by rain ; If we sigh, not for sorrow we sigh
For there's joy both of heart and of brain ; This day is the day of the year
That should banish all sorrow and spleen ; While we loyally join in each cheer
Of "Health and Long Life to the Queen ;" Be there one who holds back from the cheer
Let him perish of sorrow and spleen.
* * * * *
Far from the land where She dwells—
That royal old land of the North— The spirit of loyalty swells
In the bosoms of Manhood and Worth : Our people in marrow and bone—
Though ocean may thunder between— Stand true to the death, to the Throne,
Stand loyal to death, to the Queen."
An English paper says that a bill to ascertain and limit the duration of speeches in Parliament has been introduced into the House of Lords by Lord Denman. It proposes to enact that after the passing of the measure no Privy Councillor in either House of Parliament shall speak
above one hour ; and in the case of members of either House not being Privy Councillors the time shall not exceed a quarter of an hour. A bell such as is used at diocesan conferences is to be rung at the limit of time allowed to speakers ; but if, after the sounding of the bell, no other peer or member of Parliament shall rise to speak, the peer or member of Parliament who may have paused in his speech may resume his speech for either an hour or a quarter of an hour, according to the above regulation.
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