Biographia Literaria; Or, Biographical Sketches of My Literary Life and Opinions, Volumes 1-2

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W. Gowans, 1852 - Criticism - 804 pages

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Page 179 - For not to think of what I needs must feel, But to be still and patient, all I can; And haply by abstruse research to steal From my own nature all the natural man — This was my sole resource, my only plan : Till that which suits a part infects the whole, And now is almost grown the habit of my soul.
Page 214 - For nature then (The coarser pleasures of my boyish days, And their glad animal movements all gone by) To me was all in all. I cannot paint What then I was. The sounding cataract Haunted me like a passion : the tall rock, The mountain, and the deep and gloomy wood, Their colours and their forms, were then to me An appetite; a feeling and a love, That had no need of a remoter charm, By thought supplied, nor any interest Unborrowed from the eye.
Page 566 - Not for these I raise The song of thanks and praise; But for those obstinate questionings Of sense and outward things, Fallings from us, vanishings; Blank misgivings of a Creature Moving about in worlds not realised, High instincts before which our mortal Nature Did tremble like a guilty Thing surprised...
Page 566 - But for those first affections, Those shadowy recollections, 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, Can utterly abolish or destroy!
Page 565 - Delight and liberty, the simple creed Of Childhood, whether busy or at rest, With new-fledged hope still fluttering in his breast: Not for these I raise The song of thanks and praise...
Page 559 - She shall be sportive as the fawn That wild with glee across the lawn Or up the mountain springs ; And hers shall be the breathing balm, And hers the silence and the calm Of mute, insensate things.
Page 364 - The primary IMAGINATION I hold to be the living Power and prime Agent of all human Perception, and as a repetition in the finite mind of the eternal act of creation in the infinite I AM.
Page 429 - I hoped, might be of some use to ascertain, how far, by fitting to metrical arrangement a selection of the real language of men in a state of vivid sensation...
Page 437 - What is poetry? — is so nearly the same question with, what is a poet? — that the answer to the one is involved in the solution of the other.
Page 437 - ... while it blends and harmonizes the natural and the artificial, still subordinates art to nature; the manner to the matter; and our admiration of the poet to our sympathy with the poetry.

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