We may assume that is the reason why Lowell admired them; but Lowell was also too critical and polemic to be wholly a poet, except on certain occasions. In 1847 he published the "Fable for Critics," the keenest piece of poetical satire since Byron's "English Bards and Scotch Reviewers," keen and even saucy, but perfectly good-humored.
So in the larger academy which the young pastor unconsciously founded the various voices of suggestion, experience, and reflection spoke. It was a rural feast, an Arcadian holiday, such as the Swedish poet Tegner might have sketched in simple and melodious measure, or Grecian artists carved upon a frieze.
I first saw the poet five-and-twenty years ago, in his own house in London, at No. 13 Upper Harley Street, Cavendish Square. He was then declining into the vale of years, but his mind was still vigorous and young. My letter of introduction to him was written by Charles Sumner, and it proved sufficient for the beginning of a friendship which existed through a quarter of a century.
The penny paper that may be bought everywhere, that is allowed to lie on every table, prints seven or eight columns of filth, for no reason except that the public likes to read filth; the poet and novelist must emasculate and destroy their work because.... Who shall come forward and make answer? Oh, vile, filthy, and hypocritical century, I at least scorn you.
Emerson was the poet and prophet of man's moral nature, and it is this nature our finest and highest human sensibilities and aspirations toward justice and truth that has been so raided and trampled upon by the chief malefactor and world outlaw in the present war.
It is not requisite to state specifically the offer made by the man of wealth to the poet. Ridman, in one of his enterprises, found it necessary to procure the aid of such a person as Lingave a writer of power, a master of elegant diction, of fine taste, in style passionate yet pure, and of the delicate imagery that belongs to the children of song.
But he seemed to me to embody a Frenchman's ideal notion of the Latin poet; something a little more cut and dry than I had looked for; compact and elegant, critical and acute, with a consciousness of authorship upon him; a taste over-anxious not to commit itself, and refining and diminishing nature as in a drawing-room mirror.
Your thoughts were fine; they showed you to be a poet; but I have never hidden from you how I wished that you had been on my side. Art, nowadays, must be the mouthpiece of misery, for misery is the key-note of modern life." They talked on, and Julian, so easily moulded by a strong will, became half courageous. "One of her reproaches," he said, "is just; I can't meet it.
To recover our loyalty to Browning as a poet, which this volume sometimes puts to the test, we might well reserve Numpholeptos for the close.
Through the ingenuousness of her age beamed an ardent mind, not of the woman, but of the poet. She did not please; she intoxicated. She lived in a small town with her brother, who was a curate. Both had recently come into the country. They came nobody knew whence; but when seeing her so lovely and her brother so pious, nobody thought of asking whence they came.
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