Letters to Living Authors

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United States book Company, 1890 - 271 pages

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Page 45 - Dove-like sat'st brooding on the vast Abyss, And mad'st it pregnant: what in me is dark Illumine, what is low raise and support; That, to the highth of this great argument, I may assert Eternal Providence, And justify the ways of God to men.
Page 25 - I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving: To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it, but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor.
Page 248 - It was all too late. Even if he had yielded in his ravening frenzy for his beard was frothy as a mad dog's jowl even if he would have owned that for the first time in his life he had found his master, it was all too late. The black bog had him by the feet; the sucking of the .ground drew on him, like the thirsty lips of death. In our fury we had heeded neither wet nor dry, nor thought of earth beneath us. I myself might scarcely leap, with the last spring Of o'er-laboured legs, from the engulfing...
Page 68 - TO THE SPIRIT OF KEATS GREAT soul, thou sittest with me in my room, Uplifting me with thy vast, quiet eyes, On whose full orbs, with kindly lustre, lies The twilight warmth of ruddy embergloom: Thy clear, strong tones will oft bring sudden bloom Of hope secure, to him who lonely cries, Wrestling with the young poet's agonies, Neglect and scorn, which seem a certain doom...
Page 86 - His talk was like a stream which runs With rapid change from rocks to roses; It slipped from politics to puns; It passed from Mahomet to Moses; Beginning with the laws which keep The planets in their radiant courses, And ending with some precept deep For dressing eels or shoeing horses.
Page 190 - As one that for a weary space has lain Lulled by the song of Circe and her wine In gardens near the pale of Proserpine, Where that ^Easan isle forgets the main, And only the low lutes of love complain, And only shadows of wan lovers pine, As such an one were glad to know the brine Salt on his lips, and the large air again...
Page 52 - No foulness nor tumult, in those tremulous streets, that filled, or fell, beneath the moon; but rippled music of majestic change, or thrilling silence. No weak walls could rise above them ; no low-roofed cottage, nor strawbuilt shed. Only the strength as of rock, and the finished setting of stones most precious. And around them, far as the eye could reach, still the soft moving of stainless waters, proudly pure; as not the flower, so neither the thorn nor the thistle, could grow in the glancing fields....
Page 89 - ... perfection, is a compound of poetry and philosophy. It impresses general truths on the mind by a vivid representation of particular characters and incidents. But, in fact, the two hostile elements of which it consists have never been known to form a perfect amalgamation ; and, at length, in our own time, they have been completely and professedly separated. Good histories, in the proper sense of the word, we have not. But we have good historical romances, and good historical essays.
Page 190 - ISLE FORGETS THE MAIN, AND ONLY THE LOW LUTES OF LOVE COMPLAIN, AND ONLY SHADOWS OF WAN LOVERS PINE, AS SUCH AN ONE WERE GLAD TO KNOW THE BRINE SALT ON HIS LIPS, AND THE LARGE AIR AGAIN, SO GLADLY, FROM THE SONGS OF MODERN SPEECH MEN TURN, AND SEE THE STARS, AND FEEL THE FREE SHRILL WIND BEYOND THE CLOSE OF HEAVY FLOWERS AND THROUGH THE MUSIC OF THE LANGUID HOURS THEY HEAR LIKE OCEAN ON A WESTERN BEACH THE SURGE AND THUNDER OF THE ODYSSEY.
Page 89 - ... consider as personified qualities in an allegory, to call up our ancestors before us with all their peculiarities of language, manners, and garb, to show us over their houses, to seat us at their tables, to rummage their oldfashioned wardrobes, to explain the uses of their ponderous furniture, these parts of the duty which properly belongs to the historian have been appropriated by the historical novelist.

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