Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets: With Critical Observations on Their Works, Volume 1

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J. Murray, 1854 - English poetry - 395 pages

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Page 341 - All the images of nature were still present to him, and he drew them not laboriously, but luckily; when he describes anything, you more than see it, you feel it too. Those who accuse him to have wanted learning* give him the greater commendation: he was naturally learned; he needed not the spectacles of books to read nature; he looked inwards, and found her there.
Page 364 - From harmony, from heavenly harmony This universal frame began : From harmony to harmony Through all the compass of the notes it ran, The diapason closing full in Man.
Page 141 - Nothing can less display knowledge, or less exercise invention, than to tell how a shepherd has lost his companion, and must now feed his flocks alone, without any judge of his skill in piping ; and how one god asks another god what is become of Lycidas, and how neither god can tell. He who thus grieves will excite no sympathy ; he who thus praises will confer no honour.
Page 21 - To write on their plan it was, at least, necessary to read and think. No man could be born a metaphysical poet, nor assume the dignity of a writer, by descriptions copied from descriptions, by imitations borrowed from imitations, by traditional imagery, and hereditary similes, by readiness of rhyme, and volubility of syllables n.
Page 162 - How charming is divine Philosophy! Not harsh and crabbed, as dull fools suppose, But musical as is Apollo's lute, And a perpetual feast of nectar'd sweets, Where no crude surfeit reigns.
Page 74 - O could I flow like thee, and make thy stream My great example, as it is my theme! Though deep, yet clear, though gentle, yet not dull, Strong without rage, without o'er-flowing full.
Page 380 - I am as free as Nature first made man, ^) Ere the base laws of servitude began, > When wild in woods the noble savage ran.
Page 364 - From harmony, from heavenly harmony, '• This universal frame began : ' When Nature underneath a heap of jarring atoms lay, And could not heave her head, ••;.-'• The timeful voice was heard from high. Arise ye more than dead.
Page 76 - Horace's wit, and Virgil's state, " He did not steal, but emulate ! " And, when he would like them appear, " Their garb, but not their cloaths, did wear.
Page xiv - If a life be delayed till interest and envy are at an end, we may hope for impartiality, but must expect little intelligence; for the incidents which give excellence to biography are of a volatile and evanescent kind, such as soon escape the memory, and are rarely transmitted by tradition.

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