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Within a weird, enchanted loom

Was this surpassing marvel wove.


Chaste as a soul whose faults are shriven, Reflecting only crystal light,

Its purity,

Like charity,
A benediction seems from heaven,

And hides defects and stains from sight.

Like vestal virgin, or a bride,
Appears the Earth when clad in white!

How statuesque,

And picturesque, Veiled by this alabaster tide

Of flakes from an aërial height!

'Neath this inimitable lace, Embroidered with designs most rare

Exquisite forms

Wrought by the storms— Nature's transfigured, glorious face

Gleams wondrously, divinely fair.



Why should my heart abide disconsolate, When its despair Thy love can penetrate, And its deep gloom Thou canst illuminate?

N these days when woman's place in the com-

munity as well as in the family is coming to be acknowledged, when the labor of her hands, head and heart is everywhere abundantly honored, it is well for our younger toilers to see what has been accomplished by those who grew up under circumstances more difficult than those by which they are surrounded. Labor has always been honorable for anybody in our steady-going, highprincipled New England life; but it was not as easy for a young woman to put her mental machinery into working order forty years ago as it is now. Her ambition for the education of her higher faculties was, however, all the greater for the check that was put upon them by the necessities of the longer day's toil and the smaller compensation of the older time. It is one of the wholesome laws of our nature that we value most that which we most persistently strive after, through obstacles and hinderances. The author of “The New Pandora" is an illustration of what has been achieved by one such woman, the development of whose mind began as a child in the Lowell cotton mills half a century ago. The book is commended by reviewers as an admirably written composition, a beautiful and successful dramatic poem of woman. It is the result of ripe years of thought. “Nor indeed,” says a critic, “could any one write so without the experiences of life behind her work."

Mrs. Robinson's maiden name was Harriet Hanson. She was born in Boston, February 8, 1825, and in 1832 removed with her widowed mother and her brothers to Lowell, where they lived for some years on the Tremont Corporation. She wrote occasionally for the Lowell Offering, and was on intimate terms with its editors and contributors. In 1848 she married William S. Robinson, then editor of the Boston Daily Uhig. Mr. Robinson afterwards became well known as “War

rington” in the Springfield Republican and in the | New York Tribune; and he was for eleven years

Clerk of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. He died March 11, 1876.

Mrs. Robinson's first published work was “Warrington Pen Portraits," a memoir of her husband, with selections from his writings. She has also written “Massachusetts in the Woman Suffrage Movement," a history; “Captain Mary Miller,” a drama; and “Early Factory Labor in New England”; and is a contributor to newspapers and magazines. But her best literary achievement is her latest, “The New Pandora," a poem of which any writer might well be proud, and which deserves

No voice but Thine can change its night to day;
No love but Thine can take its grief away,
And bring a sacred Presence there to stay.

Upon a soul that truly does repent
Bestow, I pray, a sweet and calm content!
Have mercy, Thou, who art omnipotent!

I can no more this woeful weight sustain.
Thou, Lord, alone canst break the welded chain,
Release from burden, and relieve from pain.

Vainly do I deplore lost innocence,
And for my faults I may make no defense.
I bring Thee only guilt, and penitence!

Hast Thou not promised that the soul contrite Thou wouldst absolve? (), make my life upright, And teach me how to find in Thee delight!

By sin and sorrow, grievously oppressed,
I come, O gentle Saviour, to be blest;
Lay Thou my weary head upon Thy breast!

And every deed they wrought fruition brings,
To all the people, with adjustment fine
Of God's great law. For nations rise, decline,

As do their leaders teach. So secret springs

Control the rivers' fow. But see, there wings A new procession toward the heights divine, And lo, a woman leads! whose deeds no song

Of poet sweet, nor page of history keeps. Not great, or wise, she claimed not to belong To such as these; not this the praise she reaps, But o'er her grave, whose pen could write no

wrong, The pure young girlhood of the nation weeps.

a large circulation, both on account of its substance and its execution. The poem is no mere attempt at rewriting the old classical legend,—it is modern in all its suggestions, and puts the possibilities of humanity-inclusive of manhood and womanhoodon a noble upward plane. There are passages of exquisitely clear-cut poetry in the drama, and gleams of true poetic aspiration lighting up the homely toil of the woman who knows herself not of earthly lineage. The “Chorus of Ills” beginning their fight is a strong chant, as classical in its strain as some of Shelley's in his imaginative dramas. Indeed, the whole poem is so classically thought out and shaped as to be lifted quite above what is “popular” in style, and is for that reason less likely to attract the attention it deserves.

To the writer of this brief notice, it is pleasant to recall the time when the author of this beautiful poem and herself were children together,--school companions and work-mates, - when an atmosphere of poetry hung over the busy city by the Merrimac, and when its green borders burst into bloom with girlish dreams and aspirations. Perhaps her “Pandora's Prayer" breathes the very truest aspirations of many a heart among that far-away throng of industrious onward-looking maidens:

“But this I ask, that I may be allowed by thee
To do one single thing to make my kind more good,
More happy for that I have lived."

L. L.


I said unto my soul, Be still, nor haunt

Me longer with thy voice divine, nor urge

Me yet to do the thing I ought, nor scourge My follies. Off! Thou shalt not rule and taunt Me thus. I'll eat and drink and die, and vaunt

My purpose still.” Then evil thoughts did surge,

Usurp her place, and desperate to the verge Of darkest night I came, that well might daunt A stronger one. Then I recalled my soul,

And pleading to the voice that once was mine I said: “Come yet again, and have control;

Come back, I'll welcome thee and ne'er repine, But do thy will and bravely speak the whole,

Whate'er betide. In life and death be thine."


When first I met you, little milk-white flower,

Hid in the grass along my lonely way,

'Twas early spring; but even then your day Was almost done, your life had lost its power.


And yet, along your puny stalk, the dower

Of each day's bloom, a tiny seed there lay

Safe held within,—the flower of yesterday, To bloom again and fill your little hour.

MADONNA! most gracious Madonna!

With the marvelous child on thy breast, – I could not interpret the mystery,

That appears in thy form manifest,

That veiled in thy motherhood sacred

Doth an essence creative enshrine, Revealing the mythical blending

Of humanity with the divine.

O, blossom small, a lesson well you teach!

What though my life no increase seems to gain, No fair fruition yield! Still may I reach

Unto my highest bound and climb amain, And climbing bloom, so that a seed for each

Day's flower will show I have not lived in vain.

But thou, O my chosen Madonna!

Hast unfolded the mystery grand. When I see our own child on thy bosom,

It doth teach me,--then I understand


MARCH 6, 1888.
And so they pass along the receding line,

The men who make the age, its leaders, kings,

How all through the soul of the mother

Doth the Presence ineffable shine, Forever announcing the union

Of humanity with the divine.


Who loves, forgets himself, oppresseth not
The one he loves; doth more than clothe and feed,
And find a home for his own mate. He doth
Consult her wishes, honor her, respect
Her feelings, as they were his own. True love
Sustains the mind and makes the spirit thrive;
Uplifts the earthy toward the spiritual part.
It makes the dullest clod a thing of life;
Its presence fills the darkest hut with light,
Illumes its walls of clay. It silvers o'er
The wooden spoon and gilds the gourd with gold.

- The New Pandora.

And plant and gather food to feed mankind?
If all were coarse, then beauty were unknown;
No joy and comfort, no blest lives, no homes
On earth be found, nor children born of Heaven.
I love thee as thou art. For all the world
I would not have thee changed; and day and night
I thank the God that thou wert made for me;
And ofttimes smile and hug myself, and say:
FOR ME, did Jove send her with ill intent
To earth; for me did Vulcan mould her clay;
For me, within his darksome cave did blend
Rhodora's red, Viola's blue, to grace

and cheek. She lives! to earth she came For me, for me! I am the happy man.



How beautiful is thought! It wraps the soul, and makes the body seem A thing of air! It knows nor time, nor space, But free it roams, more swist, more subtile, yea, Ethereal more than are the gods! Ah me! I sometimes wish that I had naught to do But think my thoughts; and yet amid my toil, However hard and mean, such fancies rise As might have had their birth 'midst woods and

flowers. And when I make the fire in early morni, Or sweep the hearthstone up, such glorious scenes Along the climbing blaze arise, ascend, As well may fill the sun-god's home, or stream Through Heaven's blue, adown his shining beam.

-Ibid. MORN.

Without a mate and child, a man is like
A crippled tripod standing on one leg,
The pestle that no mortar hath, the flail
That lacks the handle, or the sharpened axe
Without the helve, the bellows and no forge,
The lanthorne dull that hath no flame within.
He's like one-half the fire-tongs, or the shears
That undivided clip the feecy wool.


At first a far-off bird attuned his pipe;
Then thousands joined the song, and thronged in air
A myriad insects swist; and creatures small,
That always sleep o' nights, came forth to eat;
The cattle woke and lowed among the hills;
The zephyrs 'gan their dance. The rosy Hours
Led forth bright Clarian's car. He took the steeds
And up the slanting East brought th’advancing day.


Great Jove! 'tis I, Pandora, mother of my kind.
I heed thy message clear, sent me by Hypnos pale.
I ask thee not that this my life may be prolonged,
That I may live again among the immortal gods,
But this I ask, that I may be allowed by thee
To do one single thing to make my kind more good,
More happy for that I have lived. Thou madest me
The source, the messenger of ills to man. But I
Have learned thy true intent, interpreted thy thought
That, 'neath each seeming ill, a hidden blessing lies.
And what I could do, that I did, to obey thy will.
This legacy would I bequeath, this one pure gift
To all my race-I fain would bid sweet Hope come

Let me not die while still the only good lies hid

Within the casket's verge. O, let me bid it forth! | If thou dost think me worthy of the boon, O hear My supplication, Father, hearken to my cry!

-Ibid. WEDDED LOVE. How blest the wedded home where friendship reigns! Its walls coherent are with light and warmth; Within its depths dwell comfort, patience, love. There hides no sin, nor aught contaminate. Freedom of speech is welcome there, and each Is just to each. There order, neatness rules, As meets the needs of all. No single one Lays down the law that will coerce the rest. 'Tis not too finely kept for daily use. -Ibid.

Silence So vast, that makes the soul forevermore Acquainted with its God, slept over all. And if my spiritual ear could then have heard, Interpreted the voice that in me speaks, Then should I once for all have known myself. But like inscrutable Nature, it was dumb.


Yet all are needed to make up the world.
If all were fine, then who would till the soil,

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