" IN him we have a genuine songster. He has the true faculty of creative life ...... Few poems in our recent outgrowth of poetic literature are finer than some of these love-verses...... We
have quoted enough to show that here is another poet,--and one whose story and position as a teacher and preacher clothe him with unusual interest.."
" GERALD MASSEY has already won for himself a considerable name in lyrical poetry. He possesses a large share of the poet's stirring inspiration: he has within him the soul of a poet."
" MR. GERALD MASSEY'S poems have already gone through several editions, and some of them deserve their popularity.
The most fastidious tastes will be most charmed with such verses as these ...... There is a real glow about all that
Mr. Massey writes."
" THAT a man struggling through such difficulties should write with a facility, a melody, an elegance of sentiment, and a breadth of thought, quite equal to any of our minor poets, and in these respects not far short of writers scarcely to be reckoned as minor, is indeed surprising."
London. Quarterly Review.
" HIS love-poetry is very
pure and sweet, and frequently rivals the most genuine strains of Burns."
"IT is the production of a young man who
has fought his way to the Temple-gate sword in hand. May the summer morning be fair as the spring dawn is bright!
We consider these poems to be most remarkable and interesting."
New York Tribune.
"GERALD MASSEY may anticipate a bright career among the modern masters of song.
He possesses gifts which are rarely accorded even to the most favoured of mortals.
" None but the sternest or most narrow-minded critics will doubt that Gerald Massey is born for a poet.
He possesses a teeming imagination, which luxuriates in all the glories of the outward universe.
Never before were the joys of marriage life sung in such glowing strains:"
" IF the extracts we have given do not suffice to show the promise with which this volume abounds, we must plead guilty to a misapprehension of what constitutes poetry of a high order, full of originality and freshness of feeling."
" THIS book contains not a few lines and passages which may be fairly called immortal verse. We give it our best letters of recommendation."
Church and State Gazette.
"HEARTILY do we congratulate the age that sees the advent of such a poet as the author of 'Babe Christabel.' "
BE the reader as Augustan in his requirements as those who are unreconciled to Wordsworth, Shelley, Keats, (and such readers of poetry still exist,) he will hardly deny the author of 'Craigcrook Castle' his letters of enrolment among the poets.
His new book is a book of the time, inasmuch as some of its highest strains have been inspired by the war from which we
have just issued, our poet thinks, ingloriously ; it is a page, too, from the
book of his own life,--a page steeped in the real tears of a great sorrow.
In both we hear the earnest, sad, passionate voice which would constrain us to stop and listen, --were the years ever so gay,--were our own hearts ever
so ignorant of yearnings for those who will come no more. .....If we exchange the genial open-air pictures for the house darkened by sorrow, we shall find like, music of the
song grow truer, deeper , and more impassioned. There are few more touching revelations of Bereavement. ' The
Mother's Idol Broken ' is a series of death-poems, which no mother will read without tears.
In ' Glimpses of the War ' will be found not a few fiery stanzas and noble
lines. Here is a dirge with a music in its wail which reminds us of some wild national
keen, or coronach. Much more--some ripe in beauty, some rich
in promise--could be cited from this volume ; but the above will lead many to read it, and justify the enjoyment and the hope we have found in the appearance of one so full of some of Poetry's most gracious gifts."
" 'CRAIGCROOK CASTLE ' proves indubitably--if indeed that needed proof--that its author possesses of a truth the high and sacred gift of genius.
What was embryotic in the former work is flower in this. It shows a wider range of vision, a steadier pulse, and a stronger grasp.
The former volume was rich in promise, and this is as rich in a yet richer promise.."
" WE give a hearty welcome to another book from Mr. Gerald Massey, a young writer who, through hard beginnings of life, has attained to much, and undoubtedly is capable of more than he has yet achieved.
'Craigcrook Castle' deserves to be bought and read. There is sufficient sign in the new book of increased maturity of thought.
Incomparably the best things in it are two little works produced under the influence of genuine emotion, one called 'The Mother's Idol Broken,' and the other 'Glimpses of the War;' which forms the most spirited accompaniment to the whole tale of the late war, that has been produced by any of our English minstrels.
'Lady Laura' contains much delicate writing. We have read this book with enjoyment,--with respect."
"MR. GERALD MASSEY is one of the most vigorous of our rising poets.
' The Mother's Idol Broken ' is remarkable for much plaintive and beautiful verse.
' Glimpses of the War ' indicate, in bursts of song, the great actions of the Crimean struggle.
The death-ride at Balaclava is extremely spirited. The finest descriptive piece is near the end of the volume. The description of Charmian's habitual beauty is superb.
There is in Byron nothing finer than 'Only a Dream.' "
" 'CRAIGCROOK CASTLE ' will probably be the most popular volume of poetry during this autumn.
' The Mother's Idol Broken,' a tale of domestic joy and sadness, is told in touching verses ; and the subject is so very common, they go to every heart.
In ' Lady Laura' the truths are bitter, and burn to the heart. Mr. Massey hits hard at competition.
' Glimpses of the War' vindicate the poet's right to be a soldier's minstrel.
Some of these are magnificent war-strains, equalling anything ancient or modern."
" WE shall but add to the general voice of welcome in sounding the praises of ' Craigcrook Castle.' Among the longer poems, 'The Mother's Idol Broken' and 'Only a Dream ' are almost perfect of their kind : the remaining three are equally well written, and contain lines which might appear to indicate higher flights of poetic power ; but there is a real human interest in the others which always proves the Surest passport to the heart. The present volume reminds us more of the modern German poetry of Redwitz and Giebel, than of any English author. But we must claim for our countryman a healthier tone and a wiser choice of themes,--more of the warm common light of day. His descriptions of nature show a close observation of her ways, and a delicate appreciation of her beauties. His images, however subtle and delicately woven, are never false. In ' The Mother's Idol Broken,' which contains some of the most beautiful and striking images in the volume, the feeling is never overpowered and hidden by the working of the imagination. We hardly know how to choose from it, the beauty of the poem is so well sustained throughout."
" IT would not be very easy to recollect anything while reading
' The Mother's Idol Broken,' which is unquestionably the gem of the book.
To speak of it as a cluster of gems would be more just. It is no unworthy companion to
' In Memoriam.' It is to that wonderful 'cairn' of precious stones, heaped to a dead friend's memory, what a golden-haired child is to a brown-bearded stalwart man.
To step aside for a moment from the ordinary path of criticism, let us confess ourselves of the class for whom they have been written, and thank the author, in the name of his fellow-mourners, for his complete and beautiful expression of their common woe.
There are many rich libraries and many scanty book-shelves in all the lands where English can be read, wherein the volume containing
' The Mother's Idol Broken' will be found side by side with 'Dombey and Son' and 'Uncle Tom's Cabin' for more years to come than can be predicted."
Thomas Aird, in the Dumfries Herald.
"REJOICING in the new, free eloquence of our poetry, disenthralled from the artificial sing-song of Pope, we are equally ready to hail a fresh set of young poets in our own day, who are pushing out on all sides for varieties of style, measure, and form.
Gerald Massey belongs to the new choir. He has certain imitative characteristics ; but all his best things are his own, drawn from the depth of
his own distinctive genius. Pathos, and love, and a purple flush of beauty steep and colour all his song.
We are always anxious about a young poet's second production, if it follows soon after the first.
Mr. Massey, however, has disappointed our fears. His second volume has all the bloom and richness of the first, and more maturity of thought.
The whole of ' The Mother's Idol' is excellent. In ' Lady Laura' we have exquisite passages.
In ' Glimpses of the War ' we find pieces of great spirit. The battle of Inkerman is brought vividly before us.
The pieces beginning ' Czar Nicholas,' and ' There was a poor old Woman,' show a new vein,--a vein of deep, quiet sarcasm.
They remind us of Béranger. Every lover of fresh poetry will add ' Craigcrook Castle' to his treasury."
GERALD MASSEY has produced another volume of poems, which contains some
of the most beautiful passages in English literature. The entire annals of literature afford nothing more beautiful, nothing more pathetic, than
' The Mother's Idol Broken. ' Gerald Massey's Ballad of Inkerman is decidedly the finest war-lyric ever produced."