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eighteenth century. (3) The puritan training of the
new audience demanded a revision of the old ballads and
songs. (4) Burns came at the meeting time of two
great currents of history, and his creed was troubled and
uncertain. (5) He mirrored his nation and time, and thus
raised their literature to European importance. (6) He
was essentially a lyrist belonging as he did to a lyrical age
and people. (7) It was the great lyrical period of the
Lowlands of Scotland ; the sound of Revolution in the
distance raised passion to white heat. (8) Robert Burns,
born in 1759, grew up in a lyrical and revolutionary
atmosphere, and even his earliest attempts show the
marks. (9) He came for a time under the influence of
Robert Fergusson's satirical and descriptive poems, but in
the last period of his life he returned to lyricism, with
which he began. (10) He expresses deep sympathy with
the lowly and oppressed, and is at times almost social-
istic; he appeals often to the brotherhood of man, and
his breaches of what is now considered necessary to the
dignity of man have failed to be forgotten because he has
engraved them so deeply on the page of literature. (11)
His attacks on the church are chiefly against the hypo-
crites in it; and he means to be the friend of true
religion. (12) His social satires are more genial ; the
besť is his Tam o'Shanter. (13) His songs represent the
true genius of the man.


Section 23.-(1) Cowper was, like Burns, a product of his

time, and unconsciously anticipated the coming age

because he belonged to the new audience. They had a

deep fundamental likeness. (2) Cowper addressed the

didactic and puritan section of the new audience. (3)

His youthful attempts feebly anticipate his mature

manner and style. (4) His Olney Hymns and his first

satire show none of the power or the imagination of his

later poems. (5) Churchill was his model in The

Progress of Error; but the spirit is puritan. (6) “Truth”

first shows his power as a picturesque satirist. (7) In

Table Talk, although he still follows Churchill and Pope,

he gives voice to the revolutionary spirit of the new

time. (8) In Expostulation he is the Evangelical

Jeremiah. (9) Hope and Charity are better, and give

some vigorous satiric pictures of the time. (10) Con-

versation and Retirement are the best ; the former

especially is full of pungent and ever-relevant satire.

(11) In Retirement he is becoming more and more the

poet of nature, and less and less a mere satirist and

preacher. (12) The minor poems in the volume show

the lyricism of the age. (13) The Task (1785) raised

him at once into all but the front rank of English poets ;

its blank verse freed him from his limitations. (14)

Book I., the Sofa, passes from gentle humour into

pictures of the country as contrasted with the town.

(15) The second book, The Time-piece, is full of eloquent

indignation over the state of England. (16) The Third

book, The Garden, is more eighteenth century in spirit

and method, though it has touches of the new philan-

thropy. (17) In the fourth book, The Winter Evening,

he looks with direct and unromantic vision at nature and

the state of the country. (18) The fifth book, The

Winter Morning Walk, is marked by fine poetic pictures

of winter, and by a vehement revolutionism. (19) The

last, The Winter Walk at Noon, is longest and most

miscellaneous, yet is fullest of sympathy with nature.

(20) The Task is significant in the evolution of poetry,

as the first poetic attempt to please both the old audience

and the new. (21) His later poems show the gathering

gloom towards the close of his life, and the growing

lyricism. (22) Minor poems and minor poets grew in

number towards the close of the century.


Section 24.-(1) There are many poets known by one brief

poem ; but the sonnet begins to overshadow all the

minor poems. (2) The new hurry of industrial life

demanded briefer forms of poetry as of prose; hence

the ode and sonnet.


Section 25.-(1) Chatterton was a product of this new

movement and of that for older literature and sham-

antiques ; he started manufacturing old documents and

poems in 1763. (2) He became frantic in his efforts to

make himself famous by literature and committed suicide.

(3) His Rowley poems are most elaborately wrought ;

but are written in a mongrel language that belongs to

no age or locality; the overdone Spenserianism shows

a lack of true poetic taste. (4) The drama Aella has some

poetry in its lyrics; but most of its poetry is from Spenser,

whilst its story and characters are from the romances of

the day. (5) The poems are varied and follow the forms

and methods of the age. (6) His acknowledged poems,

and especially his eclogues, contain his best poetry, though

they are also mere echoes. (7) His ambition is


than his performance ; he is nothing when he is not



Section 26.-(1) Blake was as isolated and precocious, but

far more original. (2) He was a truer symptom of the
coming time ; and expressed revolutionism more fully
than Cowper ; he was a genuine product of a pre-
revolutionary age. (3) He printed, illustrated, and
published most of his own poems; only a few of them
are free from obscurity. (4) His Poetical Sketches were
written between twelve and twenty, and have more
poetry in two or three of them than in all Chatterton's



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work put together. (5) The Songs of Innocence

anticipate Wordsworth in their love of simple language,

and in their idealism. (6) The Songs of Experience are

mystical, pessimistic, and revolutionary: (7) The Book

of Thel is the least obscure of his mystical poems; it is

án allegory of self-sacrifice as the spirit that lives in

(8) He is the most transcendental of all the

poets; he hates materialism, the sensuous, and the fleshly.

(9) He is the most pronounced poet of revolutionism in

all its phases except its atheism, and anticipates all the
spiritual qualities of the new poetry and especially of


Section 27.-(1) Wordsworth, Coleridge, Southey, and

Landor were stirred as deeply by the revolutionary

impulse which, not being merely political or French,

lasted far into our century. (2) Wordsworth felt the

French Revolution to be the most natural thing in the

world. (3) His early poems, and especially his Evening

Walk, are marked by all the qualities that distinguish his

poetry; his Evening Walk and Descriptive Sketches are

in heroic couplet, yet have little of the Queen Anne spirit.

(4) They were unnoticed when published. Yet he con-

tinued to write poetry ; and his next, Guilt and Sorrow,

has the merits and faults of his narrative poems. (5) In

the south of England he wrote The Borderers, his only

dramatic attempt, full of Elizabethan echoes and pas-

sages of power, and worthy of a better fate than it met.

(6) His intercourse with Coleridge confirmed the revolu.

tion against conventional poetry, and led to the Lyrical

Ballads (1798). (7) In this volume there are specimens

of his most commonplace narrative style, theory rur

mad. (8) But the Lines Written above Tintern Abbey

ennoble the volume with the new philosophy and

worship of Nature. (9) At last the yearning of pastoral

poetry had been satisfied in this deeper intercourse with

nature. (10) In a passage from The Prelude published

in 1799 he finds the same serenity and refuge from the

meanness of man in nature. (11) So in “Nutting

see a passionate, almost personal, love of nature. (12)

“A Poet's Epitaph” is the poetic apology for his life,

and Lines in Early Spring, and To My Sister express

phases of his higher pantheism. (13) His sympathy

with lowly human life is generally put into ballad stanza

and form. (14) His Essay on Poetry was the manifesto

of the new poetic school against the critics; its principles

had been already in practice amongst poets. (15)

Rural or simple life in common or simple language

had been the ideal of Cowper, Burns, and Blake, and

was to be the ideal of the coming literature. (16) He

almost struck upon the true source of all the new literary


movements, the disturbance of established habits of the
people by the industrial current. (17) Truth was his aim
in both observation and language, and this came from
the re-alliance of literature and national feeling. (18)
His chief discovery was that there is no essential
difference between the greatest imaginative prose and
the greatest poetry. (19) In the latter part of the essay
he describes the mission of the poet in language that is
as truly poetical as that of his best poetry, and he strikes
upon the truth that new ideas have to become familiar to
men's minds before they become poetic material. (20)
Yet he misses the secret of the power of his own poetry
over our century, the interfusion of philosophy and
poetry, and the lofty moral attitude.


Section 28. –(1) Coleridge was more influenced by the

romantic and sentimental movements, and appreciated

the true spirit of the ballad. (2) The Ancient Mariner

is in the ballad spirit, especially its first version ; yet it

mingles the mediæval, Elizabethan, and modern in the

manner of eighteenth century romanticism. (3) The

spirit of his own day especially enters into it, and even

the collision of the old creed of vengeance and the new

creed of love. (4) There is in the ballad a dreamy

atmosphere that distinguishes it from the old ballads

and kins it with Blake's poems and Turner's pictures.

(5) With all its incongruity of materials, it is a true work

of art. (6) Christabel is inferior in every respect,

although it has the same dreamy atmosphere and finer

modern elements in it. (7) The Ballad of the Dark

Ladie promised a nearer approach to the true ballad.

(8) Kubla Khan was composed in a dream and has the

same hypnotic mistiness of outline as the other. (9) His

tragedy, Remorse, has many fine passages in it, and is

touched with the spirit of the new revolutionary time.

(10) It is even in politics revolutionary, as is, still more

distinctly, The Fall of Robespierre by Coleridge and

Southey. (11) The boyhood and youth of both poets

had been marked by revolt. (12) His lectures, Conciones

ad Populum, delivered in 1795, and his Poems on Several

Occasions, published in 1797, are full of trancendentalism

and revolutionism. (13) The sonnets in his first volume

of poems are poor in art and violently revolutionary in

tone. (14) His Monody on the Death of Chatterton is

like an ode in form and combines the personifications of

eighteenth century poetry with pantisocracy. (15) “ To

a Young Ass” is pantisocratic and full of sympathy

with animal life ; Lewti is sensuous. (16) His Ode to

the Departing Year (1796) is still revolutionary ; but

his splendid France, an Ode" (1798) recants all his

revolutionism. (17) Fears in Solitude, and Frost at

Midnight show strong sympathy with nature. 118) His
visit to Germany confirmed his tendency to metaphysics.
(19) Not the opium habit or his Germanism, but the

ebb of his revolutionary passion, killed the poet in him. 302–324

Section 29.-(1) Southey was hy nature a prose-writer,

raised for a time into poetry by the revolutionary fervour.

(2) He was, therelore, a most voluminous poet. (3) His

first epic, Joan of Arc, is full of nature-worship,

revolutionism, and unitarianism. (4) The Vision of

the Maid of Orleans was afterwards made into a separate

poem, and, in imitation of Dante, painted the punish-

ments and the bliss of the other world. (5) Thalaba

and Madoc followed, the one, an epic of the East, the

other of the far west. (6) His early drama, Wat Tyler,

is true to history, as well as relevant to the times of

Pitt and the French War. (7) His English Eclogues are

far more truly revolutionary and socialistic. (8) All

through this period he had been writing and publishing
short poems, and he collected these in "Metrical Tales

(1805). (9) His ballads are by far the most successful

work, especially his ballads of the supernatural. (IC)

The other sections of his early poems are very varied,

both in form and spirit, some of them humorous or

satiric, most of them didactic. (11) He had most of

the sympathies of the Lake school, but he had none of

the emotional qualities that make a man a better writer

of poetry than of prose. (12) Landor was revolutionary

by temperament as well as by the incidents of his boy-

hood and youth. (13) His republicanism and his verse

never amalgamated, and in his earlier poems he drew

his models from the earlier part of the eighteenth century.

(14) His later poetic efforts changed their character with

the change of his taste in reading. (15) Gebir was his

most ambitious effort, and most original; it is a story of

conquest, love, and magic. (16) It is marred by singular

caprices of diction and style, and yet has felicities that

sometimes rise to the Shakespearian in power. (17) His

revolutionism peeps through only here and there ; it was

his later work that showed it most ; for he was a revolu-

tionist not from his surroundings, but by his nature.

(18) His ferment came when the fetters were soldered

down on Europe again ; his passion then demanded the

dramatic form and at last prose. (19) The whole period

was one of preparation for the full and varied develop-

ment of prose.


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