Page:A Voice from the Nile, and Other Poems. (Thomson, Dobell).djvu/33

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Memoir.

"Tasso to Leonora," "The Lord of the Castle of Indolence," and "A Festival of Life " were among the poems which he contributed to its pages. That at the time of their publication they did not attract much, if any attention may perhaps be accounted, for by considering that Tait at that time had sunk very low both in circulation and influence.

About the same time he contributed some prose essays to the London Investigator, a periodical edited by Charles Bradlaugh. Amongst these were "Notes on Emerson" and "A Few Words about Burns." Both articles are written in a spirit of warm admiration and appreciation of the great qualities of the subjects of them; and I venture to think that the Burns celebration which produced such floods of prose and verse about him, brought forth nothing superior to Thomson's essay as a vindication of his life and genius.

We obtain an interesting glimpse of Thomson as he was in 1860 from the lady whose picture of him as a youth I have already quoted. I give the account nearly in her own words, as I could hardly hope to improve upon her artless and unaffected story. After stating that they had had no personal intercourse with him for some years, she proceeds thus:—

"At last he wrote saying that he was to have a fortnight's holiday, and would pay us a visit. We were all excitement at his coming. I had previously informed him in one of my letters that Helen had become a Ragged School teacher, and in reply he said he could not imagine a creature so bright and in his remembrance so beautiful, being arrayed in sombre habili-