The lives of the most eminent English poets, with critical observations on their works

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William Milner., 1835 - English poetry
 

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Page 304 - From harmony, from heavenly harmony This universal frame began : From harmony to harmony Through all the compass of the notes it ran, The diapason closing full in Man.
Page 34 - To move, but doth if th' other do. And though it in the center sit, Yet when the .other far doth roam, It leans and hearkens after it, And grows erect as that comes home. Such wilt thou be to me, who must, Like th' other foot, obliquely run: Thy firmness makes my circle just, And makes me end where I begun.
Page 120 - Poetry is the art of uniting pleasure with truth, . by calling imagination to the help of reason.
Page 281 - To judge rightly of an author, we must transport ourselves to his time, and examine what were the wants of his contemporaries, and what were his means of supplying them.
Page 412 - ... irregular life, and perhaps of loose opinions. Addison, for whom he did not want respect, had very diligently endeavoured to reclaim him, but his arguments and expostulations had no effect. One experiment, however, remained to be tried; when he found his life near its end, he directed the young lord to be called, and when he desired with great tenderness to hear his last injunctions, told him, "I have sent for you that you may see how a Christian can die.
Page 58 - No author ever kept his verse and his prose at a greater distance from each other. His thoughts are natural, and his style has a smooth and placid equability, which has never yet obtained its due commendation. Nothing is far-sought, or hard-laboured ; but all is easy without feebleness, and familiar without grossness.
Page 77 - Whether we provide for action or conversation, whether we wish to be useful or pleasing, the first requisite is the religious and moral knowledge of right and wrong; the next is an acquaintance with the history of mankind, and with those examples which may be said to embody truth, and prove by events the reasonableness of opinions. Prudence and justice- are virtues and excellences of all times and of all places. We are perpetually moralists ; but we are geometricians only by chance.
Page 437 - What he attempted, he performed ; he is never feeble, and he did not wish to be energetic ; he is never rapid, and he never stagnates. His sentences have neither studied amplitude, nor affected brevity ; his periods, though not diligently rounded, are voluble and easy. Whoever wishes to attain an English style, familiar but not coarse, and elegant but not ostentatious, must give his days and nights to the volumes of Addison.
Page 32 - Hither with crystal vials, lovers, come, And take my tears, which are love's wine, And try your mistress' tears at home ; For all are false, that taste not just like mine.
Page 433 - Plato, thou reason'st well ! — Else whence this pleasing hope, this fond desire, This longing after immortality ? Or whence this secret dread, and inward horror, Of falling into nought ? why shrinks the soul Back on herself, and startles at destruction...

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