Page:John Masefield.djvu/18

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the despair of translation. The result is two great plays," said the New York Times.

Another poetic drama based on a biblical theme is A Kings Daughter, which tells the story of Jezebel, Queen of Samaria. It is written in blank verse of unusual effectiveness and vigor. The play was successfully performed by the Boar Hill Players at Oxford.

Melloney Holtspur or the Pangs of Love is a four-act drama built on the romantic plot "the sins of the father are visited on the children." A mystical intermingling of the ghosts of one generation with their living descendants makes the play one of absorbing interest.

In 1924 was published The Taking of Helen, a story of Helen's flight with Paris, but uses Nireus, a friend of Paris who also is in love with Helen, as the central figure. It is written in prose of particular beauty. An essay on "Play Writing," in which he discusses dramatic composition, with special reference to the Greek play and the English play; some passages from his letters and his essay on "Fox Hunting" are included in the volume.

A Sailors Garland, a most pleasing anthology of sea verse, which contains poems from Chaucer to the poets of today, was edited by Masefield. Many famous chanteys are included. Although published some time ago in England, the book was imported but recently.

The Trial of Jesus (1925) is a three-act drama in which Masefield depicts the trial and condemnation of Jesus, opening in the garden of Gethsemane with the betrayal by Judas and closing with a description of Christ's death. "The sincerity of purpose, solemnity of tone, and majesty of movement manifest in his writing is well in keeping with the subject he has chosen. The choruses which begin the play and end each act are well calculated to raise the audience spiritually and place them in the proper mood for an acceptance of the divine origin and superhuman powers of Christ."

In 1925 came Masefield's first novel in fourteen years.

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