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[p. 160] touch of realism which stirs the heart, a sympathetic reader cannot fail to find pleasure and at times a true poetic delight in the perusal of the poem.

In the poems ‘Judith and Esther’ Mrs. Brooks has merely attempted the description of two young women differing in mind and person, yet equal in excellence: ‘Judith, embodying the idea of prudence, fortitude, decision; Esther, a soul painfully alive to every tender emotion, a mind of great nobility, but of natural softness and humility.’

These poems seem not of a nature to require special mention, and the same is true of her shorter poems— fugitive pieces suggested by circumstances in her life or associations: ‘To venerated friends,’ ‘To places visited,’ ‘To——,enclosing a lock of hair,’ ‘To one who had taken laudanum to enliven himself.’ This last she wisely advises to drink, instead, ‘the young blooming morning's fragrant breath.’

Mrs. Brooks' one novel, ‘Idomen,’ is interesting not only as a book of fiction, but as being undoubtedly in essential particulars a thinly-veiled account of the author's own life. It belongs, of course, to the sentimental school of romance, and will scarcely appeal to the novel readers of the present generation, familiar with the somewhat tiresomely real men and women of Thomas Hardy or William Dean Howells.

The hero of ‘Idomen’ we can worship afar off, as a creature of another sphere. We have never met his like in our work-a-day world. Our reverence for him is tempered by the delightful hope that the common flesh-and-blood men we know may some day evolve into Ethelwalds, retaining only just enough gross human nature to keep them upon earth.

‘Ethelwald's complexion was so fair as to seem almost preternatural; but the expansion of his forehead, a certain stateliness of carriage, the turn of his neck, and the noble outline of his whole person, preserved him, despite his uncommon softness, from the slightest ’

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Horace Brooks (2)
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