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regard to the author of this truly noble poem, which appeared in the Scripscrapologia, or Collins' Doggerel Dish of All Sorts,' with three or four other pieces of merit, Birmingham, 1804.-Everlasting: used with side-allusion to a cloth so named, at the time when Collins wrote.

Summary of Book Fourth

It proves sufficiently the lavish wealth of our own age in Poetry, that the pieces which, without conscious departure from the standard of Excellence, render this Book by far the longest, were with very few exceptions composed during the first thirty years of the Nineteenth century. Exhaustive reasons can hardly be given for the strangely sudden appearance of individual genius: that, however, which assigns the splendid national achievements of our recent poetry to an impulse from the France of the first Republic and Empire is inadequate. The first French Revolution was rather one result,— the most conspicuous, indeed, yet itself in great measure essentially retrogressive,-of that wider and more potent spirit which through enquiry and attempt, through strength and weakness, sweeps mankind round the circles (not, as some too confidently argue, of Advance, but) of gradual Transformation and it is to this that we must trace the literature

of Modern Europe. But, without attempting discussion on the motive causes of Scott, Wordsworth, Shelley, and others, we may observe that these Poets carried to further perfection the later tendencies of the Century preceding, in simplicity of narrative, reverence for human Passion and Character in every sphere, and love of Nature for herself:that, whilst maintaining on the whole the advances in art made since the Restoration, they renewed the half-forgotten melody and depth of tone which marked the best Elizabethan writers: -that, lastly, to what was thus inherited they added a richness in language and a variety in metre, a force and fire in narrative, a tenderness and bloom in feeling, an insight into the finer passages of the Soul and the inner meanings of the landscape, a larger sense of Humanity,-hitherto scarcely attained, and perhaps unattainable even by predecessors of not inferior individual genius. In a word, the Nation which, after the Greeks in their glory, may fairly claim that during six centuries it has proved itself the most richly gifted of all nations for Poetry, expressed in these men the highest strength and prodigality of its nature. They interpreted the age to itself-hence the many phases of thought and style they present to sympathize with each, fervently and impartially, without fear and without fancifulness, is no doubtful step in the higher education of the soul. For purity in taste is absolutely proportionate to strength-and when once the mind has raised itself to grasp and to delight in excellence, those who love most will be found to love most wisely.

But the gallery which this Book offers to the reader will aid him more than any preface. It is a royal Palace of Poetry which he is invited to enter:

Adparet domus intus, et atria longa patescunt—

though it is, indeed, to the sympathetic eye only that its treasures will be visible.


197 208 This beautiful lyric, printed in 1783, seems to anticipate in its imaginative music that return to our great early age of song, which in Blake's own lifetime was to prove,-how gloriously! that the English Muses had resumed their ancient melody':-Keats, Shelley, Byron, he overlived them all.

199 210 stout Cortez: History would here suggest Balbóa: (A.T.) It may be noticed, that to find in Chapman's Homer the pure serene' of the original, the reader must bring with him the imagination of the youthful poet; he must be a Greek himself,' as Shelley finely said of Keats.

202 212 The most tender and true of Byron's smaller poems. 203 213 This poem exemplifies the peculiar skill with which Scott employs proper names :-a rarely misleading sign of true poetical genius.

213 226 Simple as Lucy Gray seems, a mere narrative of what has been, and may be again,' yet every touch in the child's picture is marked by the deepest and purest ideal character. Hence, pathetic as the situation is, this is not strictly a pathetic poem, such as Wordsworth gives us in 221, Lamb in 264, and Scott in his Maid of Neidpath,-almost more pathetic,' as Tennyson once remarked, 'than a man has the right to be.' And Lyte's lovely stanzas (224) suggest, perhaps, the same remark.

222 235 In this and in other instances the addition (or the change) of a Title has been risked, in hope that the aim of the piece following may be grasped more clearly and immediately.

228 242 This beautiful Sonnet was the last word of a youth, in whom, if the fulfilment may ever safely be prophesied from the promise, England lost one of the most rarely gifted in the long roll of her poets. Shakespeare and Milton, had their lives been closed at twenty-five, would (so far as we know) have left poems of less excellence and hope than the youth who, from the petty school and the London surgery, passed at once to a place with them of 'high collateral glory.'

230 245

It is impossible not to regret that Moore has written so little in this sweet and genuinely national style. 231 246 A masterly example of Byron's command of strong

thought and close reasoning in verse :-as the next is equally characteristic of Shelley's wayward intensity. 240 253 Bonnivard, a Genevese, was imprisoned by the Duke of Savoy in Chillon on the lake of Geneva for his courageous defence of his country against the tyranny with which Piedmont threatened it during the first half of the Seventeenth century.-This noble Sonnet is worthy to stand near Milton's on the Vaudois



241 254 Switzerland was usurped by the French under Napoleon in 1800: Venice in 1797 (255).

243 259

This battle was fought Dec. 2, 1800, between the Austrians under Archduke John and the French under Moreau, in a forest near Munich. Hohen

Linden means High Limetrees.

247 262 After the capture of Madrid by Napoleon, Sir J. Moore retreated before Soult and Ney to Corunna, and was killed whilst covering the embarkation of his troops.


257 272 The Mermaid was the club-house of Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, and other choice spirits of that age. 258 273 Maisie: Mary.-Scott has given us nothing more complete and lovely than this little song, which unites simplicity and dramatic power to a wild-wood music of the rarest quality. No moral is drawn, far less any conscious analysis of feeling attempted :— the pathetic meaning is left to be suggested by the mere presentment of the situation. A narrow criticism has often named this, which may be called the Homeric manner, superficial, from its apparent simple facility; but first-rate excellence in it is in truth one of the least common triumphs of Poetry.This style should be compared with what is not less perfect in its way, the searching out of inner feeling, the expression of hidden meanings, the revelation of the heart of Nature and of the Soul within the Soul, -the analytical method, in short,-most completely represented by Wordsworth and by Shelley. 263 277 Wolfe resembled Keats, not only in his early death by consumption and the fluent freshness of his poetical style, but in beauty of character:--brave, tender, energetic, unselfish, modest. Is it fanciful to find some reflex of these qualities in the Burial and Mary? Out of the abundance of the heart . . . correi: covert on a hillside. Cumber: trouble. This book has not a few poems of greater power and more perfect execution than Agnes and the extract which we have ventured to make from the deephearted author's Sad Thoughts (No. 224). But none are more emphatically marked by the note of exquisiteness.

264 278 265 280

266 281 270 283

st. 3 inch: island.

From Poetry for Children (1809), by Charles and Mary


Lamb. This tender and original little piece seems clearly to reveal the work of that noble-minded and afflicted sister, who was at once the happiness, the misery, and the life-long blessing of her equally noble-minded brother.

278 289 This poem has an exaltation and a glory, joined with an exquisiteness of expression, which place it in the highest rank among the many masterpieces of its illustrious Author.

289 300 interlunar swoon: interval of the moon's invisi


294 304 Calpe: Gibraltar.

Lofoden: the Maelstrom whirl

pool off the N.W. coast of Norway.

295 305 This lovely poem refers here and there to a ballad by Hamilton on the subject better treated in 163 and 164.

307 315 Arcturi: seemingly used for northern_stars. And wild roses, &c. Our language has perhaps no line modulated with more subtle sweetness.

308 316 Coleridge describes this poem as the fragment of a dream-vision, perhaps, an opium-dream?-which composed itself in his mind when fallen asleep after reading a few lines about the Khan Kubla' in Purchas' Pilgrimage.

312 318

320 321


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Ceres' daughter: Proserpine. God of Torment:

The leading idea of this beautiful description of a
day's landscape in Italy appears to be-On the voyage
of life are many moments of pleasure, given by the
sight of Nature, who has power to heal even the
worldliness and the uncharity of man.

1. 23 Amphitrite was daughter to Ocean. 325 322 1. 21 Maenad: a frenzied Nymph, attendant on Dionysos in the Greek mythology. May we not call this the most vivid, sustained, and impassioned amongst all Shelley's magical personifications of Nature?


1. 5 Plants under water sympathize with the seasons of the land, and hence with the winds which affect them.

327 323 Written soon after the death, by shipwreck, of Wordsworth's brother John. This poem may be profitably compared with Shelley's following it. Each is the most complete expression of the innermost spirit of his art given by these great Poets:-of that Idea which, as in the case of the true Painter, (to quote the words of Reynolds,) 'subsists only in the mind: The sight never beheld it, nor has the hand expressed it it is an idea residing in the breast of the artist, which he is always labouring to impart, and which he dies at last without imparting.' the Kind: the human race. 331 327 the Royal Saint: Henry VI.



331 328 st. 4 this folk: its has been here plausibly but, perhaps, unnecessarily, conjectured.-Every one knows the general story of the Italian Renaissance, of the Revival of Letters.-From Petrarch's day to our own, that ancient world has renewed its youth: Poets and artists, students and thinkers, have yielded themselves wholly to its fascination, and deeply penetrated its spirit. Yet perhaps no one more truly has vivified, whilst idealizing, the picture of Greek country life in the fancied Golden Age, than Keats in these lovely (if somewhat unequally executed) stanzas-his quick imagination, by a kind of 'natural magic,' more than supplying the scholarship which his youth had no opportunity of gaining.

No. 195 This poem, under the title Absence, has been set to an air worthy of its beauty, by Mr. F. H. Crossley (published 1889 Augener, London).

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