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My breath came gaspingly and thick,
And my crushed heart fell blind and sick.

320

XII.
I made a footing in the wall :

It was not therefrom to escape,
For I had buried one and all

Who loved me in a human shape :
And the whole earth would henceforth be
A wider prison unto me;
No child, no sire, no kin had I,
No partner in my misery.
I thought of this, and I was glad,
For thought of them had made me mad;
But I was curious to ascend
To my barred windows, and to bend
Once more upon the mountain high
The quiet of a loving eye.

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XIII.
I saw them—and they were the same ;
They were not changed, like me, in frame;
I saw their thousand years of snow
On high-their wide, long lake below,
And the blue Rhone in fullest flow;
I heard the torrents leap and gush
O’er channelled rock and broken bush;
I saw the white-walled distant town,
And whiter sails go skimming down ;
And then there was a little isle,
Which in my very face did smile-

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LITERARY ANALYSIS.-321. in a human shape. To what word is this phrase an adjunct ?

324. No.... Remark on the order of words.
328–331. Express in your own words this fine thought.
334. thousand years of snow. Explain.

345

The only one in view;
A small green isle, it seemed no more,
Scarce broader than my dungeon floor;
But in it there were three tall trees,
And o'er it blew the mountain breeze,
And by it there were waters flowing,
And on it there were young flowers growing

Of gentle breath and hue.
The fish swam by the castle wall,
And they seemed joyous each and all ;'
The eagle rode the rising blast-
Methought he never flew so fast
As then he seemed to fly;
And then new tears came in my eye,
And I felt troubled, and would fain
I had not left my recent chain ;
And when I did descend again,
The darkness of my dun abode
Fell on me as a heavy load;
It was as in a new-dug grave,
Closing o'er one we sought to save;
And yet my glance, too much opprest,
Had almost need of such a rest.

XIV.
It might be months, or years, or days—

I kept no count, I took no note-
I had no hope my eyes to raise,

And clear them of their dreary mote;
At last came men to set me free,

I asked not why, and recked not where ;

LITERARY ANALYSIS.-344. no more. Explain. 347–349. And ... growing. Observe the effect of the polysyndeton. 351. The fish, etc. Compare Coleridge's Ancient Mariner, lines 272-291. 364, 365. And yet ... rest. Explain. 366-392. Give a paraphrase of stanza xiv. 368. I had ... raise. What is the prose order?

It was at length the same to me,
Fettered or fetterless to be;

I learned to love despair.
And thus, when they appeared at last,
And all my bonds aside were cast,
These heavy walls to me had grown
A hermitage—and all my own!
And half I felt as they were come
To tear me from a sacred home.
With spiders I had friendship made
And watched them in their sullen trade;
Had seen the mice by moonlight play-
And why should I feel less than they?
We were all inmates of one place,
And I, the monarch of each race,
Had power to kill; yet, strange to tell !
In quiet we had learned to dwell.
My very chains and I grew friends,
So much a long communion tends
To make us what we are: even I
Regained my freedom with a sigh.

LITERARY ANALYSIS.-378. A hermitage, etc. Compare Lovelace's famous lines

“Stone walls do not a prison make,

Nor iron bars a cage;
Minds innocent and quiet take

That for an heritage."

XXVI.
PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY.

1792-1822.

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CHARACTERIZATION BY SYMONDS. 1. As a poet Shelley contributed a new quality to English literature—a quality of ideality, freedom, and spiritual audacity, which severe critics of other nations think we lack. Byron's dar

From Shelley, by John Addington Symonds, in Morley's English Men of Letters.

ing is in a different region; his elemental worldliness and pungent satire do not liberate our energies or cheer us with new hopes and splendid vistas. Wordsworth, the very antithesis to Shelley in his reverent accord with institutions, suits our meditative mood, sustains us with a sound philosophy, and braces us by healthy contact with Nature he so dearly loved. But in Wordsworth there is none of Shelley's magnetism. What remains of permanent value in Coleridge's poetry—such works as Christabel, the Ancient Mariner, or Kubla Khanis a product of pure artistic fancy, tempered by the author's mysticism. Keats, true and sacred poet. as he was, loved Nature with a somewhat sensuous devotion. She was for him a mistress rather than a Diotima; nor did he share the prophetic fire which burns in Shelley's verse, quite apart from the enunciation of his favorite tenets.

2. In none of Shelley's greatest contemporaries was the lyrical faculty so paramount; and whether we consider his minor songs, his odes, or his more complicated choral dramas, we acknowledge that he was the loftiest and the most spontaneous singer of our language. In range of power he was also conspicuous above the rest. Not only did he write the best lyrics, but the best tragedy, the best translations, and the best familiar poems of his century. As a satirist and humorist I cannot place him so high as some of his admirers do ; and the purely polemical portions of his poems, those in which he puts forth his antagonism to tyrants and religions and custom in all its myriad forms, seem to me to degenerate at intervals into poor rhetoric.

3. While his genius was so varied and its Alight so unapproached in swiftness, it would be vain to deny that Shelley, as an artist, had faults from which the men with whom I have compared him were more free. The most prominent of these are haste, incoherence, verbal carelessness, incompleteness, a want of narrative force, and a weak hold on objective realities. Even his warmest admirers, if they are sincere critics, will concede that his verse, taken altogether, is marked by inequality. In his eager self-abandonment to inspiration he produced much that is unsatisfying simply because it is not ripe. There is no defect of power in him, but a defect of patience; and the final word to be pronounced in estimating the larger bulk of his poetry is the word immature.

4. Not only was the poet young, but the fruit of his young

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