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Of sense and outward things,
Which, be they what they may, Are yet the fountain-light of all our day, Are yet a master-light of all our seeing;
Uphold us, cherish, and have power to make Our noisy years seem moments in the being Of the eternal Silence: truths that wake, To perish never; Which neither listlessness, nor mad endeavour, Nor man nor boy
Nor all that is at enmity with joy,
Hence, in a season of calm weather
Our souls have sight of that immortal sea
Then, sing ye birds, sing, sing a joyous song!
We, in thought, will join your throng
Ye that pipe and ye that play,
Ye that through your hearts to-day
What though the radiance which was once so bright Be now for ever taken from my sight,
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
In the soothing thoughts that spring
In the faith that looks through death,
In years that bring the philosophic mind.
And O, ye Fountains, Meadows, Hills, and Groves,
Yet in my heart of hearts I feel your might;
To live beneath your more habitual sway:
I love the brooks which down their channels fret
The clouds that gather round the setting sun
That hath kept watch o'er man's mortality;
Music, when soft voices die,
Rose leaves, when the rose is dead,
And so thy thoughts, when Thou art gone,
P. B. Shelley
End of the Golden Treasurg
Summary of Book First
THE Elizabethan Poetry, as it is rather vaguely termed, forms the substance of this Book, which contains pieces from Wyat under Henry VIII to Shakespeare midway through the reign of James I, and Drummond who carried on the early manner to a still later period. There is here a wide range of style;-from simplicity expressed in a language hardly yet broken-in to verse,-through the pastoral fancies and Italian conceits of the strictly Elizabethan time,-to the passionate reality of Shakespeare: yet a general uniformity of tone prevails. Few readers can fail to observe the natural sweetness of the verse, the single-hearted straightforwardness of the thoughts-nor less, the limitation of subject to the many phases of one passion, which then characterized our lyrical poetry,-unless when, as in especial with Shakespeare, the
purple light of Love' is tempered by a spirit of sterner reflection. For the didactic verse of the century, although lyrical in form, yet very rarely rises to the pervading emotion, the golden cadence, proper to the lyric.
It should be observed that this and the following Summaries apply in the main to the Collection here presented, in which (besides its restriction to Lyrical Poetry) a strictly representative or historical Anthology has not been aimed at. Great excellence, in human art as in human character, has from the beginning of things been even more uniform than mediocrity, by virtue of the closeness of its approach to Nature :-and so far as the standard of Excellence kept in view has been attained in this volume, a comparative absence of extreme or temporary phases in style, a similarity of tone and manner, will be found throughout:-something neither modern nor ancient, but true and speaking to the heart of man alike throughout all ages.