Characters and criticisms, Volume 1

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Page 65 - MILTON ! thou shouldst be living at this hour : England hath need of thee : she is a fen Of stagnant waters : altar, sword, and pen, Fireside, the heroic wealth of hall and bower, Have forfeited their ancient English dower Of inward happiness. We are selfish men ; Oh ! raise us up, return to us again ; And give us manners, virtue, freedom, power.
Page 79 - With antique pillars massy proof, And storied windows richly dight, Casting a dim religious light. There let the pealing organ blow, To the full-voiced quire below, In service high and anthems clear, As may with sweetness, through mine ear, Dissolve me into ecstasies, And bring all Heaven before mine eyes.
Page 166 - But why then publish * Granville the polite, And knowing Walsh, would tell me I could write ; Well-natured Garth inflamed with early praise, And Congreve loved, and Swift endured my lays ; The courtly Talbot, Somers, Sheffield read, Ev'n mitred Rochester would nod the head, And St. John's self (great Dryden's friends before) With open arms received one poet more.
Page 66 - A TROUBLE, not of clouds, or weeping rain, Nor of the setting sun's pathetic light Engendered, hangs o'er Eildon's triple height : Spirits of Power, assembled there, complain For kindred Power departing from their sight ; While Tweed, best pleased in chanting a blithe strain, Saddens his voice again, and yet again.
Page 62 - Piety displays Her mouldering roll, the piercing eye explores New manners, and the pomp of elder days, Whence culls the pensive bard his pictur'd stores. Nor rough, nor barren, are the winding ways Of hoar Antiquity, but strown with flowers.
Page 78 - Or the unseen Genius of the wood. But let my due feet never fail, To walk the studious cloister's pale, And love the high embowed roof, With antique pillars massy proof, And storied windows richly dight, Casting a dim religious light.
Page 65 - GREAT men have been among us ; hands that penned And tongues that uttered wisdom — better none : The later Sidney, Marvel, Harrington, Young Vane, and others who called Milton friend. These moralists could act and comprehend : They knew how genuine glory was put on ; Taught us how rightfully a nation shone In splendour : what strength was, that would not bend But in magnanimous meekness.
Page 58 - Thou spares, alas ! who cannot be thy guest. Since I am thine, O come, but with that face To inward light which thou art wont to show, With feigned solace ease a true-felt woe; Or if, deaf god, thou do deny that grace, Come as thou wilt, and what thou wilt bequeath, I long to kiss the image of my death.
Page 57 - SLEEP, Silence' child, sweet father of soft rest, Prince, whose approach peace to all mortals brings, Indifferent host to shepherds and to kings, Sole comforter of minds with grief...
Page 60 - Scorn Not the Sonnet Scorn not the Sonnet; Critic, you have frowned, Mindless of its just honors; with this key Shakespeare unlocked his heart; the melody Of this small lute gave ease to Petrarch's wound; A thousand times this pipe did Tasso sound; With it Camoens soothed an exile's grief; The Sonnet glittered a gay myrtle leaf Amid the cypress with which Dante crowned His visionary brow...

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