The Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets: With Critical Observations on Their Works

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G. Walker, J. Akerman, E. Edwards, 1821 - English poetry

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Page 37 - To move, but doth if th' other do. And, though it in the centre sit, Yet, when the other far doth roam, It leans and hearkens after it, And grows erect as that comes home. Such wilt thou be to me, who must Like th
Page 97 - But the truth is, that the knowledge of external nature, and the sciences which that knowledge requires or includes, are not the great or the frequent business of the human mind. Whether we provide for action or conversation, whether we wish to be useful or pleasing, the first requisite is the religious and moral knowledge of right and wrong ; the next is an acquaintance with the history of mankind, and with those examples which may be said to embody truth, and prove by events the reasonableness...
Page 417 - To all the blest above; So when the last and dreadful hour This crumbling pageant shall devour, The trumpet shall be heard on high, The dead shall live, the living die, And Music shall untune the sky.
Page 128 - I have a particular reason," says he, " to remember ; for whereas I had the perusal of it from the very beginning, for some years, as I went from time to time to visit him, in parcels of ten, twenty, or thirty verses at a time (which, being written by whatever hand came next, might possibly want correction as to the orthography and pointing...
Page 167 - He seems to have been well acquainted with his own genius, and to know what it was that nature had bestowed upon him more bountifully than upon others...
Page 153 - We drove a-field, and both together heard What time the gray-fly winds her sultry horn, Battening our flocks with the fresh dews of night, Oft till the star that rose at evening bright Toward heaven's descent had sloped his westering wheel.
Page 418 - She gave but glimpses of her glorious mind : And multitudes of virtues pass'd along; Each pressing foremost in the mighty throng, Ambitious to be seen, and then make room For greater multitudes that were to come. Yet unemploy'd no minute slipp'd away; Moments were precious in so short a stay.
Page 171 - Lost, for faults and defects every work of man must have, it is the business of impartial criticism to discover. As in displaying the excellence of Milton I have not made long quotations, because of selecting beauties there had been no end, I shall in the same general manner mention that which seems to deserve censure; for what Englishman can take delight in transcribing passages which, if they lessen the reputation of Milton, diminish in some degree the honour of our country...
Page 175 - To exalt causes into agents, to invest abstract ideas with form and animate them with activity has always been the right of poetry. But such airy beings are for the most part suffered only to do their natural office and retire. Thus Fame tells a tale, and Victory hovers over a general or perches on a standard, but Fame and Victory can do no more. To give them any real employment or ascribe to them any material agency is to make them allegorical no longer but to shock the mind by ascribing effects...
Page 20 - Their thoughts are often new, but seldom natural ; they are not obvious, but neither are they just ; and the reader, far from wondering that he missed them, wonders more frequently by what perverseness of industry they were ever found.

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