From The Bibelot, A Reprint of Poetry and Prose for Book Lovers, chosen in part from scarce editions and sources not generally known, Volume X, Number IV, Testimonial Edition, Edited and Originally Published by Thomas B. Mosher, Portland, Maine; Wm. Wise & Co.; New York; 1904; pp. 97-8.
T HOSE who have read By Sundown Shores will at once perceive that Sea-Magic and Running Water is composed in the same mystic strain, and carries the same Celtic burden of an old fast-fading day. Its final section has, indeed, already appeared as a dedicatory foreword to the earlier little collection of Studies in Spiritual History. Later on we hope to give some further studies, should what is here reprinted find favour, — more especially three very beautiful contributions to recent English reviews, — “The Magic Kingdoms,” “The Sunset of Old Tales” and “The Woman at the Crossways.”
“If Fiona Macleod means one-half to others what she has meant to me and mine,” — we are citing the words of a recent American reviewer — “there will be a recognition of that name by and by which will sweep our continent from sea to sea.” Believing as we do that this is no far-fetched and uncritical estimate of what From the Hills of Dream, The Divine Adventure, and the other volumes by Miss Macleod which we publish really stand for, it is a great personal pleasure to supplement these books with some of her later essays.
For us, and, as we hope for our readers, there comes a breath out of the Unseen, “across the fields of sleep and other years,” which in “Sea-Magic” attains a pathos and a poignancy unsurpassable. The old Shepherd is true kin to Barabal who had “gone where the South wind blows, in blossom and flowers and green leaves, across the pastures of Death.” It is a brief episode woven out of the heart’s tissue of living experience, — this passing of one whose final happiness was “a little formless music — and who contentedly put it away at last for the deep music of immortal things.”
A writer who speaks in such authentic and unforgettable language may well abide the day and hour, however late in arriving, of permanent literary fame..