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be carried forward, not merely or chiefly thoughts, and emotions of the poet's by the mechanical impulse of curiosity, or own mind. The poet, described in 1340 by a restless desire to arrive at the final ideal perfection, brings the whole soul solution; but by the pleasurable activity of man into activity, with the subordinaof mind excited by the attractions of the tion of its faculties to each other, acjourney itself. Like the motion of a (290 cording to their relative worth and digserpent, which the Egyptians made the nity. He diffuses a tone and spirit of emblem of intellectual power; or like the unity, that blends, and (as it were) path of sound through the air, at every fuses, each into each, by that synthetic step he pauses and half recedes, and from and magical power, to which we have the retrogressive movement collects the exclusively appropriated the name of force which again carries him onward. imagination. This power, first put. (350 Præcipitandus est liber spiritus, says in action by the will and understanding, Petronius Arbiter most happily. The epi- and retained under their irremissive, thet, liber, here balances the preceding though gentle and unnoticed, control verb: and it is not easy to conceive (300 (laxis effertur habenis), reveals itself in the more meaning condensed in fewer words. balance or reconciliation of opposite or
But if this should be admitted as a discordant qualities: of sameness, with satisfactory character of a poem, we have difference; of the general, with the constill to seek for a definition of poetry. crete; the idea, with the image; the inThe writings of Plato, and Bishop Taylor, dividual, with the representative; the and the Theoria Sacra of Burnet, furnish sense of novelty and freshness, with 1360 undeniable proofs that poetry of the old and familiar objects; a more than highest kind may exist without meter, usual state of emotion, with more than and even without the contra-distinguish- usual order; judgment ever awake and ing objects of a poem. The first chap- (310 steady self-possession with enthusiasm ter of Isaiah (indeed a very large propor- and feeling profound or vehement; and tion of the whole book) is poetry in the while it blends and harmonizes the natmost emphatic sense; yet it would be not ural and the artificial, still subordinates less irrational than strange to assert, that art to nature; the manner to the matter; pleasure, and not truth, was the imme- and our admiration of the poet to our diate object of the prophet. In short, sympathy with the poetry. “Doubt-'1370 whatever specific import we attach to the less," as Sir John Davies observes of the word poetry, there will be found involved soul (and his words may with slight alin it, as a necessary consequence, that a teration be applied, and even more appoem of any length neither can be, [320 propriately, to the poetic imagination), nor ought to be, all poetry. Yet if a harmonious whole is to be produced, the re- “Doubtless this could not be, but that she maining parts must be preserved in keep- turns ing with the poetry; and this can be no Bodies to spirit by sublimation strange, otherwise effected than by such a studied As fire converts to fire the things it burns, selection and artificial arrangement as As we our food into our nature change. will partake of one, though not a peculiar property of poetry. And this again can “From their gross matter she abstracts be no other than the property of exciting their forms, a more continuous and equal atten- (330 And draws a kind of quintessence from tion than the language of prose aims at, things;
1380 whether colloquial or written.
Which to her proper nature she transforms What is poetry? is so nearly the same To bear them light on her celestial question with, what is a poet? that the wings. answer to the one is involved in the solution of the other. For it is a distinction “Thus does she, when from individual resulting from the poetic genius itself, states which sustains and modifies the images, She doth abstract the universal kinds;
Which then re-clothed in divers names and His eye was on the Inchcape float; fates
Quoth he, “My men, put out the boat, 30 Steal access through our senses to our And row me to the Inchcape Rock, minds.”
And I'll plague the Abbot of Aber
brothok." Finally, good sense is the body of poetic genius, fancy its drapery, motion its life, The boat is lowered, the boatmen row, and imagination the soul that is every
And to the Inchcape Rock they go; where, and in each, and forms all into (390 Sir Ralph bent over from the boat, 35 one graceful and intelligent whole.
And he cut the bell from the Inchcape
ROBERT SOUTHEY (1774–1843) Down sunk the bell with a gurgling sound,
The bubbles rose and burst around;
Quoth Sir Ralph, “The next who comes
to the rock No stir in the air, no stir in the sea, The ship was still as she could be,
Won't bless the Abbot of Aberbrothok." 40 Her sails from heaven received no motion, Sir Ralph the Rover sailed away, Her keel was steady in the ocean.
He scoured the seas for many a day; Without either sign or sound of their
And now grown rich with plundered store
He steers his course for Scotland's shore. shock
At evening it hath died away.
50 On a buoy in the storm it floated and Quoth Sir Ralph, "It will be lighter soon, swung,
For there is the dawn of the rising moon.” And over the waves its warning rung.
“Canst hear,” said one, “the breakers When the Rock was hid by the surge's
For methinks we should be near the The mariners heard the warning bell;
shore.” And then they knew the perilous Rock, 15
“Now where we are I cannot tell, 55 And blessed the Abbot of Aberbrothok. But I wish I could hear the Inchcape Bell. The sun in heaven was shining gay,
They hear no sound, the swell is strong; All things were joyful on that day;
Though the wind hath fallen they drift The sea-birds screamed as they wheeled
Till the vessel strikes with a shivering
shock,And there was joyaunce in their sound. 20
“Oh Christ! it is the Inchcape Rock!” 60 The buoy of the Inchcape Bell was seen
Şir Ralph the Rover tore his hair; A darker speck on the ocean green; He cursed himself in his despair; Sir Ralph the Rover walked his deck, The waves rush in on every side, And he fixed his eye on the darker speck.
The ship is sinking beneath the tide. He felt the cheering power of spring, 25
But even in his dying fear It made him whistle, it made him sing; One dreadful sound could the Rover hear, His heart was mirthful to excess,
A sound as if with the Inchcape Bell But the Rover's mirth was wickedness. The Devil below was ringing his knell.
took it up,
SIR WALTER SCOTT (1771-1832)
25 From MARMION, CANTO V
He quaffed off the wine, and he threw LOCHINVAR
down the cup.
She looked down to blush, and she looked O, young Lochinvar is come out of the
up to sigh, west,
With a smile on her lips, and a tear in her Through all the wide Border his steed was eye. the best;
He took her soft hand, ere her mother And, save his good broadsword, he weap
could bar,ons had none,
“Now tread we a measure,” said
young He rode all unarmed, and he rode all alone. Lochinvar.
30 So faithful in love, and so. dauntless in war,
5 So stately his form, and so lovely her face, There never was knight like the young That never a hall such a galliard did Lochinvar.
While her mother did fret, and her father He stayed not for brake, and he stopped did fume, not for stone,
And the bridegroom stood dangling his He swam the Eske River where ford there bonnet and plume; was none;
i lively dance.
And the bridemaidens whispered, " 'Twere Yet the lark's shrill fife may come better by far
35 At the daybreak from the fallow, To have matched our fair cousin with And the bittern sound his drum, young Lochinvar."
Booming from the sedgy shallow.
Ruder sounds shall none be near, One touch to her hand, and one word in
Guards nor warders challenge here,
Here's no war-steed's neigh and champWhen they reached the hall-door, and the ing, charger stood near;
Shouting clans or squadrons stamping. So light to the croupe the fair lady he swung, Huntsman, rest! thy chase is done;
25 So light to the saddle before her he sprung;
While our slumbrous spells assail ye, "She is won! we are gone! over bank, bush,
Dream not, with the rising sun, and scaur;'
Bugles here, shall sound reveillé. They'll have fleet steeds that follow," Sleep? the deer is in his den; quoth young Lochinvar.
Sleep! thy hounds are by thee lying: 30
Sleep! nor dream in yonder glen
How thy gallant steed lay dying.
Huntsman, rest! thy chase is done;
Think not of the rising sun,
35 There was racing and chasing on Can
Here no bugles sound reveillé. nobie Lee,
45 But the lost bride of Netherby ne'er did
BOAT SONG they see. So daring in love, and so dauntless in
Hail to the Chief who in triumph adwar, Have ye e'er heard of gallant like young
Honored and blessed be the ever-green Lochinvar?
Long may the tree, in his banner that From THE LADY OF THE LAKE
glances, Flourish, the shelter and grace of our
line! SOLDIER, REST!
Heaven send it happy dew,
Earth lend it sap anew, Soldier, rest! thy warfare o'er,
Sleep the sleep that knows not breaking; Gayly to bourgeon, and broadly to grow, Dream of battled fields no more,
While every Highland glen
Sends back our shout again,
Roderigh Vich Alpine dhu, ho! ieroe!
5 Hands unseen thy couch are strewing, Fairy strains of music fall,
Ours is no sapling, chance-sown by the Every sense in slumber dewing.
fountain, Soldier, rest! thy warfare o'er,
Blooming at Beltane, in winter to fade; Dream of fighting fields no more;
When the whirlwind has stripped every
leaf on the mountain, Sleep the sleep that knows not breaking, Morn of toil, nor night of waking.
The more shall Clan-Alpine exult in her
15 No rude sound shall reach thine ear,
Proof to the tempest's shock, Armor's clang, or war-steed champing,
Firmer he roots him the ruder it blow; Trump nor pibroch summon here
Menteith and Breadalbane, then, Mustering clan or squadron tramping.
Echo his praise again,