As originally published in The Atlantic Monthly, January 1986
by Donald Justice
-- Coronado Beach, California, March, 1905
In a hotel room by the sea, the Master
Sits brooding on the continent he has crossed.
Not that he foresees immediate disaster,
Only a sort of freshness being lost --
Or should he go on calling it Innocence?
The sad-faced monsters of the plains are gone;
Wall Street controls the wilderness. There's an immense
Novel in all this waiting to be done.
But not, not -- sadly enough -- by him. His talents,
Such as they may be, want a different theme,
Rather more civilized than this, on balance.
For him now always the recurring dream
Is just the mild, dear light of Lamb House falling
Beautifully down the pages of his calling.
Return to Flashback: Henry James and The Atlantic Monthly
Copyright © 1986 by Donald Justice. All rights
The Atlantic Monthly; January 1986;
Volume 257, No. 1