Изображения страниц

But the gallery which this Book offers to the reader wit 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 patescuntthough it is, indeed, to the sympathetic eye only that its treasures will be visible.

PAGE NO. 197 208. This beautiful lyric, printed in 1783, seenis to antici

pate 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 Balboa :

(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 În 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 massacre. 241 254 Switzerland was usurped by the French under Napo

leon 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. Hoher

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 criti. cism 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 ... 264 278 correi: covert on a hillside. Cumber : trouble. 265 280 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 ex

quisiteness. 266 281 st. 3 inch: island. 270 283 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 lappiness, the misery, and the life-long blessing of her equally

noble-minded brother. 278 289 This poem has an exultation 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

bility. 294 304 Calpe : Gilbraltar. 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. Anl

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 Ceres' daughter : Proserpine.. God of Torment:

Pluto. 320 321 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. 321 1. 23 Amphitrite was daughter to Ocean. 325 322 l. 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? 326 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.' 328 the Kind: the human race. 331 327 the Royal Saint : Henry VI.

[ocr errors]

PAGE NO. 331 328 st. 4 this folk: its has been here plausibly but, per

haps, unnecessarily, conjectured. – Everyone 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 idealising, 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. 105 134 These stanzas are by Richard Verstegan - c.

1635) a poet and antiquarian, published in his rare Odes (1601), under the title Our Blessed Ladies Lullaby, and reprinted by Mr. Orby Shipley in his beautiful Carmina Mariana (1893). The four stanzas here given form the opening of a hymn of twenty-four.


Second Half of the Nineteenth Century. PAGE NO. 349 340 Walter Savage Landor (1775–1864) is better

known as a prose writer of classical taste and graceful style, than as a poet, though many critics consider him a master of the lighter forms of English verse. His most famous work is “Imaginary Conversations," written between 1824 and 1829. The lines here given are from his latest work “The last Fruit of an old Tree," written when Landor was nearly four-score, and

the strife of his youth had become a memory. 349 341 Rose Aylmer. This poem was first published

in 1806. Rose Aylmer was of the family of Lord Aylmer in Wales. The lines may fitly rank with Wordsworth's She dwelt among the untrodden ways

and Browning's Evelyn Hope. 349 342 To Robert Browning. This graceful tribute was

published in 1846, when Browning was fiftyseven and Landor seventy-one. The allusion to warmer climes in line ten refers to Browning's removal to Italy, where he resided until the

death of Mrs. Browning in 1861. 350 344 Rondeau. Henry James Leigh Hunt (1784

1859) is, like Landor, more renowned as a prose writer, especially as an essayist, than as a poet, though he is the author of many poems of high merit. This poem is not strictly a rondeau, which should have ten, or sometimes thirteen, lines, with but two rhymes, and with the opening words

twice repeated. 350 345 Three Men of Gotham. Thomas Love Peacock,

who, like Lamb, was a clerk, afterwards an official, in the East India Company, was the author of several novels, from one of which, “Nightmare Abbey," this song is taken. Gotham is a village on the Trent, in Nottinghamshire, from which, tradition says:

"Three Wise Men of Gotham

Went to sea in a bowl;
If the bowl had been stronger

My song had been longer.' 351 346 Robert Stephen Hawker (1803–1875) was Vicar

of Morwinstow in Cornwall. Sir Jonathan Trelawny, who was of an ancient family and much loved by the Cornish men, was one of

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »