Through all the work of Arthur Davison Ficke runs a note of bigness that compels attention even when one feels that he is still groping both for form and thought. In "Mr. Faust" this note has assumed commanding proportions, while at the same time the uncertainty manifest in some of the earlier work has almost wholly disappeared.
am not sure; the lamentable fact
To me seems otherwise. For I believe
That this vile age of commerce and corruption
Which you describe in very eloquent terms,
Is still, upon the whole, the best that yet
Has graced our earth. I think not more than you
Am I in love with it; but, looking back,
I fail to see a better, though I peer
Into remote arboreal history.
When I was six, my teachers taught me that.
Why, one would think that you had never heard
Of Greece or Italy!
And what were they?
Your Renaissance, despite its few bright gleams,
Lies like a swamp of darkness, soaked in blood
And agony: such tortures as we scarce
Dream of to-day writhe through it; and the stench
Of slaughtered cities and corrupted thrones--
Yes, even the Papal throne--draw me not back
With longing toward it. Rich that time might be
If one were Michael Angelo; but how
If one were peasant, or