Silence of Amor by Fiona Macleod
By Mrs. William Sharp
The contents of this volume represent the earlier and the later writings of William Sharp as "Fiona Macleod," separated by an interval of ten years. "The Tragic Landscapes" from The Sin-Eater were written in 1893. " The Silence of Amor " written in 1895 formed a section of the 1st Edition of From the Hills of Dream (1896) and was published separately in book form in America in 1902 by Mr. T. Mosher (Portland, Maine). One or two of these prose poems were incorporated in later work--in the Introduction to The Sin-Eater, and in "Iona," for example.
The Nature - Essays gathered together in the posthumous volume Where the Forest Murmurs (Newnes, 1906) were written during the years 1903-5 for Country Life, at the request of Mr. P. Anderson Graham (to whom the volume was dedicated) with the exception of "At the Turn of the Tide" which appeared in The Fortnightly in 1906, and of the fragment "Rest" found on the author's writing table, after his death at Castello di Maniace, Sicily.
The titular nature-paper "Where the Forest Murmurs" forms a part of the second volume of selected tales published in the Tauchnitz collection in 1905 under the title of The Sunset of Old Tales.
The first volume, Wind and Wave, appeared in 1902; both have been admirably translated into German by Herr Winnibald Mey under the titles of Wind und Woge and Das Reich der Träume and published by Herrn Eugen Diederichs (Jena and Leipzig). Several of the tales have been translated into French by Monsieur Henri Davray and have appeared in Le Mercure de France, and will eventually be issued in book form; they have also been translated into Swedish and into Italian. The Tauchnitz volume of The Sunset of Old Tales contains an "After Dedication" which may very appropriately be reprinted as conclusion to the present volume of Nature-Essays:
" Had I known in time I would have added to the Dedicatory Page the following tribute, which now I must be content to add here: yet not wholly regretfully so, for, with its recognition of a new and beautiful justice, as well as a rare and beautiful generosity, it forms, because of the great deed, which it records, a fitting close to this book and Wind and Wave. In both, perhaps, is heard too much, too often, the refrain of Gaelic sorrow, the refrain of an ancient people of the hills and glens and grey wandering arms of the sea, in the days of farewell, or, at best, of a dubious, a menacing transmutation. Decade by decade, year by year, Scotland has been more and more entangled in the mesh of the crudest and most selfish landlordism. From the Hebrid Isles and the mountains of Sutherland to the last heather walls of Cheviot, the blight of a fraudulent closing of the hills and the glens, the woods and the waters, has shut away their own land from the Scottish people. Surely one may hope at last for the coming of the great Restitution, of a nobler ideal ownership, when one has lived to witness so great and so significant a public deed as that of Mr. Cameron Corbett.
CAMERON CORBETT, M.P.
whose free gift to the people, for all time, of a vast tract of Mountain-lands and Loch-shores, in Eastern Argyll, is not only the noblest contemporary gift bestowed on Scotland, but an augury of the possible redemption of that all but 'preserved-away' country from the grip of selfish landowners and from the injustice of fraudulent and often iniquitous game-laws."
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