Wordsworth's Theory of Poetic Diction: A Study of the Historical and Personal Background of the Lyrical Ballads

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Yale University Press, 1917 - 191 pages

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Page 170 - Their thoughts I cannot measure : — But the least motion which they made, It seemed a thrill of pleasure. The budding twigs spread out their fan, To catch the breezy air ; And I must think, do all I can, That there was pleasure there. If this belief from heaven be sent, If such be Nature's holy plan, Have I not reason to lament What man has made of man...
Page 122 - Reflections on Having Left a Place of Retirement Sermoni propriora. - HOR. ' Low was our pretty Cot: our tallest Rose Peep'd at the chamber-window. We could hear At silent noon, and eve, and early morn, The Sea's faint murmur.
Page 131 - The principal object, then, proposed in these poems was to choose incidents and situations from common life, and to relate or describe them throughout, as far as was possible, in a selection of language really used by men, and, at the same time, to throw over them a certain colouring of imagination, whereby ordinary things should be presented to the mind in an unusual aspect...
Page 152 - Familiar matter of to-day? Some natural sorrow, loss, or pain, That has been, and may be again? Whate'er the theme, the maiden sang As if her song could have no ending; I saw her singing at her work, And o'er the sickle bending; — I listened, motionless and still; And, as I mounted up the hill The music in my heart I bore, Long after it was heard no more.
Page 52 - See! from the brake the whirring pheasant springs, And mounts exulting on triumphant wings: Short is his joy; he feels the fiery wound, Flutters in blood, and panting beats the ground, Ah! what avail his glossy, varying dyes, 115 His purple crest, and scarlet-circled eyes, The vivid green his shining plumes unfold, His painted wings and breast that flames with gold ? Nor yet, when moist Arcturus clouds the sky The woods and fields their pleasing toils deny.
Page 38 - But true expression, like the' unchanging sun, Clears and improves whate'er it shines upon ; It gilds all objects, but it alters none. Expression is the dress of thought, and still Appears more decent, as more suitable ; A vile conceit in pompous words...
Page 19 - I knew it would be hard to arrive at the second rank among the Latins, I applied myself to that resolution, which Ariosto followed against the persuasions of Bembo. to fix all the industry and art I could unite to the adorning of my native tongue...
Page 147 - One impulse from a vernal wood May teach you more of man, Of moral evil and of good, Than all the sages can. Sweet is the lore which Nature brings ; Our meddling intellect Mis-shapes the beauteous forms of things : — We murder to dissect.
Page 134 - DURING the first year that Mr. Wordsworth and I were neighbours, our conversations turned frequently on the two cardinal points of poetry, the power of exciting the sympathy of the reader by a faithful adherence to the truth of nature, and the power of giving the interest of novelty by the modifying colours of imagination.
Page 102 - And, so refused, might in opinion stand His rivals, winning cheap the high repute Which he through hazard huge must earn. But they Dreaded not more the adventure than his voice Forbidding; and at once with him they rose. Their rising all at once was as the sound Of thunder heard remote.

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