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REV. PATRICK CRONIN.
IF every message that a fair face brings
To him whose heart keeps counsel with his eyes, Were wrought in song, there's not a bird that flings Its carol forth to twilight's listening skies But would be still to hear the sweeter strain,
As when the mock-bird, from the topmost limb That crowns the grove, chants till the hills grow dim,
And shames each warbler with his own song back again.
If every hint that field and wood and stream
Give to the poet-spirit were shaped in thought, If every waking soul could tell its dream,
Gleams of world-crowded space its vision caught, Mankind would march to statelier music then,
And life that catches step at intervals With broken cadence of far rallying calls Would sweep on like the stars that mark high paths for men.
HE that hath heard the cries of drowning men
TWICE in a year the tides are high
In hearts that feel the heavenly sway Of worlds beyond our prisoning sky; When Bethlehem's signal star is nigh; When angels sing on Easter day The Christ reborn on Calvary.
Twice in a year the sea rolls in,
Floods all our shoals; new deeps explores; Hides the wide waste of groveling sin;
Lifts its white tribute high, and pours Its triumph song along the shores, O'ermastering the world's selfish din.
Twice in a year our hearts o'erflow
With tears that flash love's joyful light; Grant us, dear Lord, more oft to know
Thine own flood tide, that swells to-night When o'er the hill-tops glimmering white, Star-led the wondering shepherds go.
REV. PATRICK CRONIN.
'ATHER CRONIN, as he is known to thousands on both sides of the ocean, was born near "Sweet Adare" in Limerick county, Ireland, March 1st, 1837. Perhaps the mellowed influence of Limerick's historic ruins and the sylvan charms of that Arcadian region had something to do in developing the poetic genius which has so enriched his active life. The wide range of his mental interests has given him fame as an orator, an essayist, a professor, an editor, a preacher and a theologian, and in all these pursuits it can be truly said nullum tetigit quod non ornavit. His parents brought him to the United States when he was in his twelfth year. Chosing the sacerdotal life, he fitted himself at St. Louis University and in Cape Girardeau, Mo. In December, 1862, in the old Cathedral in St. Louis, he received priestly orders and was assigned as assistant to the Rev. P. J. Ryan, now Archbishop of Philadelphia, at the Church of the Annunciation, St. Louis. His next pastorate was in Hannibal, Mo., where he remained for four years, returning to St. Louis at the end of that time as pastor of the Church of the Immaculate Conception. Resigning his pastorate in St. Louis, he went east in 1870 and filled the chair of Belles Lettres in the Seminary of Our Lady of Angels, now Niagara University. After two years in that position he went to Buffalo, in October, 1872, to fill the position of editor of the Catholic Union, then, as now, the official organ of the Bishop of Duffalo. When Father Cronin assumed the editorial chair, the paper was in its small beginnings, but in the almost quarter of a century in which he has held control it has grown to a great and flourishing organ of public opinion. As editor of the Catholic Union and Times, Father Cronin has done mighty service to the cause of Home Rule for Ireland, a service that is recognized abroad in the enthusiastic friendship of his former countrymen.
But it is as a poet that we are especially interested in Father Cronin. His songs have all the freshness of the woodland, all the spontaneity of the heart. Disliking the introspective or philosophical poetry of the present day, he has gone back to the forests, the glens, the rivers and the mountains for inspiration, and even when he deals with human thought and action, his verse has the melody of the birds rather than the accents of the lute. Naturalness is the chief charm of his poems, and had his life been less thrown amid the turmoil of events, had he been able to devote to this talent the best of his energy, there is little doubt that he would have won an immortal name in song.
R. B. M.