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With Memoirs, Critical Dissertations, and
REV. GEORGE GILFILLAN.
LONDON: JAMES NISBET AND CO.
DUBLIN: W. ROBERTSON.
LIFE AND POETRY
WILLIAM SHAK SPEARE.
How strange it is that on the two greatest of all poets the most mystery hangs—Homer and Shakspeare! Even as Mounts Everest and Dhawalagiri, towering far above the Himalayan summits, attract the thickest mantles of mist, are clad in the deepest piles of snow, and are for ever inaccessible; so it is with these surpassing poets. Homer—who and what was he? Was he an Ionian, or did he on
“The Chian strand Behold the Iliad and the Odyssey
Rise to the swelling of the voiceful sea” ? Which of the seven cities that contended for the honour of his birthplace deserved to succeed in the strife? Was he or was he not a blind beggar? Was he one, or was the “Iliad” the product of many minds, all inspired by the spirit of those
“Heroic rays, Such as lit onward to the Golden Fleece,
And fired their fathers in the Colchian days" ? Was he author of the “Iliad” only, or also of the marvellous 6 Odyssey.” How lived he—where died he—and where was he buried ? Such questions, often asked, as if at the cloudy Ida, where his spirit may be figured as dwelling, have received no satisfactory reply, and still Stat nominis Umbra,