Biographia Literaria: Or, Biographical Sketches of My Literary Life and Opinions

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American Book Exchange, 1881
 

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Page 444 - Lyrical Ballads, in which it was agreed that my endeavours should be directed to persons and characters supernatural, or at least romantic, yet so as to transfer from our inward nature a human interest and a semblance of truth sufficient to procure for these shadows of imagination that willing suspension of disbelief for the moment which constitutes poetic faith.
Page 151 - 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 202 - 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 166 - Your name from hence immortal life shall have, Though I, once gone, to all the world must die: The earth can yield me but a common grave, When you entombed in men's eyes shall lie. Your monument shall be my gentle verse, Which eyes not yet created shall o'er-read, And tongues to be your being shall rehearse When all the breathers of this world are dead; You still shall live — such virtue hath my pen — Where breath most breathes, even in the mouths of men.
Page 587 - The thought of our past years in me doth breed Perpetual benedictions, not indeed For that which is most worthy to be blest — 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 ; But for those obstinate questionings...
Page 451 - ... a more than usual state of emotion with more than usual order; judgment ever awake and steady self-possession with enthusiasm and feeling profound or vehement; and 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. Doubtless...
Page 457 - Anon permit the basest clouds to ride With ugly rack on his celestial face, And from the forlorn world his visage hide, Stealing unseen to west with this disgrace...
Page 588 - 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 588 - 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 169 - Or man, or woman. Yet I argue not Against Heaven's hand or will, nor bate a jot Of heart or hope, but still bear up and steer Right onward.

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