The Greeks are justly admired for individual poems, plays, and pieces of writing; but it was something even greater to have explored the possibilities of literature so far that posterity, while it has developed Greek genres, has not hitherto been able to add to them. This is one part of the Greek Legacy to literature. Another part are the works themselves.
Will not the day come, when Sir Walter's poems will be more read than his novels, good though they be? In his poetry Scott always reminds me of Homer. There is the same energy ever working to the one simple purpose the same spontaneity and belief in its own tale; and diversity of character for relief's sake is common to both.
Basil had bought a volume of Scott's poems for me, to match the Burns's and he found in "Marmion" where he knew it existed a verse about the torrent: Issuing forth one foamy wave, And wheeling round the Giant's Grave, White as a snowy charger's tail Drives down the pass of Moffatdale. So already we were coming into Scott's country.
Browning's smaller poems, 'Crowned and Buried' is, notwithstanding serious defects of technique, one of the most virile things she has written; indeed, some of her finest lines are to be found in it. In 'The Cry of the Children' and in 'Cowper's Grave' the pathos is most true and deep.
Nine happy years they spent together, and two sons were born to them; then Ghiberto died, leaving Veronica in such grief that she fell ill and hovered a long time between life and death. In one of her poems she relates that it was the fear that she might not meet her beloved husband in Paradise which prevented her from dying with him.
But I was so much prejudiced against the whole by the first lines I opened upon about the "paralytic muse" of the man who had been his guardian, and is his relation, and to whom he had dedicated his first poems, that I could not relish his wit. He may have great talents, but I am sure he has neither a great nor good mind; and I feel dislike and disgust for his Lordship. To MISS RUXTON.
It was this, he told me afterwards as well as he could remember May Life's choicest blessings be your lot I think you ought to be very blest For you are going to print my poems And you may have this one as well as the rest. 'I don't think I ever had a poem addressed to me before. I shall treasure it, I assure you.
He with greater wisdom read his poems to some single friend whose judgment and candour he could trust some Quinctilius Varus, or Maecius Tarpa and he advised his friends the Pisos to do the same; but his advice was little heeded.
Death was in that poisonous wave, And its gulf a fitting grave For him who thence could solace bring To his lone imagining, Whose solitary soul could make An Eden of that dim lake. These poems are chiefly interesting as they give us some idea of the nature of the young poet's mind. Poe had what may be called a scientific mind, infused through and through with poetry.
Only, as no man ever learns to do one thing by doing something else, however closely allied the two things may be, Wagner still produced no music independently of his poems.