The ‘Horatian Echo,’ which enriched the Hobby Horse last year, contains, among many felicities of expression, two exquisite stanzas: [Quotes ll. 25-36, ‘Of little threads’, etc.] The complete poems of Arnold are little more than one hundred in number. Of these, only five are of considerable length; yet, taken together, they do not fill half this volume of five hundred pages. So careful and discreet an achievement, during some forty years, ought to come close upon perfection; and this it does. But of Arnold’s rare and happy qualities we will speak later; let us first have done with his few and venial faults. In reading this volume through, two things, now and again, are noticeable. There are lines, phrases, and constructions, not perfectly polished; and there are poems, or stanzas, not perfectly musical. That is, there are faults of exclusion and of conception. Arnold, as Lord Coleridge tells us, had a most imperfect ear for music. Now, while no one questions his wonderful ear for the cadence of verse, it is equally true that his sense for melody sometimes failed him. Within one short poem occur two such discordant lines as ‘There the pines slope, the cloud-strips,’ and ‘Where the high woods strip sadly.’ It explains Arnold’s avowed preference for the rhythm of

over the rhythm of

Que dit le ciel à l’aube, et la flamme à la flamme?