An Essay on English Poetry: With Notices of the British Poets

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J. Murray, 1848 - 436 pages
 

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Page 109 - He scarce had ceased, when the superior fiend Was moving toward the shore: his ponderous shield, Ethereal temper, massy, large, and round, Behind him cast; the broad circumference Hung on his shoulders like the moon, whose orb Through optic glass the Tuscan artist views, At evening, from the top of Fesole, Or in Valdarno, to descry new lands, Rivers, or mountains, in her spotty globe.
Page 110 - Farewell the tranquil mind ! Farewell content ! Farewell the plumed troop, and the big wars, That make ambition virtue ! O, farewell ! Farewell the neighing steed, and the shrill trump, The spirit-stirring drum, the ear-piercing fife, The royal banner ; and all quality. Pride, pomp, and circumstance of glorious war ! And O, you mortal engines, whose rude throats The immortal Jove's dread clamours counterfeit, Farewell ! Othello's occupation's gone ! lago.
Page 112 - But clear and artless pouring through the plain Health to the sick, and solace to the swain. Whose causeway parts the vale with shady rows ? Whose seats the weary traveller repose ? Who taught that heaven-directed spire to rise ? " The Man of Ross," each lisping babe replies. Behold the market-place with poor o'erspread ! The Man of Ross...
Page 391 - To gild refined gold, to paint the lily, To throw a perfume on the violet, To smooth the ice, or add another hue Unto the rainbow, or with taper-light To seek the beauteous eye of heaven to garnish, Is wasteful, and ridiculous excess.
Page 65 - I cannot say he is everywhere alike; were he so, I should do him injury to compare him with the greatest of mankind. He is many times flat, insipid; his comic wit degenerating into clenches, his serious swelling into bombast. But he is always great when some great occasion is presented to him; no man can say he ever had a fit subject for his wit, and did not then raise himself as high above the rest of poets *Quantum lenta solent inter viburna cupressi.
Page 113 - All things are hush'd as Nature's self lay dead, The mountains seem to nod their drowsy head : The little birds in dreams their songs repeat, And sleeping flowers beneath the night dews sweat. Even lust and envy sleep...
Page 110 - Idalia's velvet-green has something of cant. An epithet or metaphor drawn from Nature ennobles Art; an epithet or metaphor drawn from Art degrades Nature.
Page 94 - GATHER ye rosebuds while ye may, Old Time is still a-flying; And this same flower that smiles to-day, To-morrow will be dying. The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun, The higher he's a-getting, The sooner will his race be run, And nearer he's to setting. That age is best which is the first, When youth and blood are warmer; But being spent, the worse and worst Times still succeed the former.
Page 322 - His best companions, innocence and health; And his best riches, ignorance of wealth. But times are alter'd; trade's unfeeling train Usurp the land and dispossess the swain; Along the lawn, where scatter'd hamlets rose, Unwieldy wealth and cumbrous pomp repose; And every want to luxury allied, And every pang that folly pays to pride.
Page 112 - What modes of sight betwixt each wide extreme, The mole's dim curtain and the lynx's beam ! Of smell, the headlong lioness between And hound sagacious on the tainted green ! Of hearing, from the life that fills' the flood To that which warbles through the vernal wood ! The spider's touch, how exquisitely fine ! Feels at each thread, and lives along the line...

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