Our notion of its literary character is derived from the poetry of Pope and the prose of Addison and his friends.
"Not a line," answered the Baroness, with great naivete; "I never saw them." "Pauvre enfant!" said Madame Carolina; "I will employ you, then, while you are here." "I never read," said the Baroness; "I cannot bear it. I like poetry and romances, but I like somebody to read to me."
It may amuse those who feel like that to remember that hundreds of years ago it was just the other way round. Then it was prose that was considered dull hence we have the word prosy. All poetry was at first written to be sung, sung too perhaps with some gesture, so that the hearers might the better understand the story.
Sophia was fond of poetry that was not too difficult; and she found little disinclination in herself now to observe her father's directions about being civil to Mr Walcot. The gentleman perceived that he had won some advantage; and he persevered.
Thus he introduces into English criticism, as an important element of poetry, the essentially sound idea that the characteristic structure of poetry lies in its narrative and dramatic movement. Poetry cannot lie because it never pretends to fact. He establishes this assertion on Aristotle's "universal not the particular" as the basis of poetic.
They sat down on a stone bench under the ilexes, and she told him how much pleasure his essay had given her. She thought it the best in the book she was sure he had put more of himself into it than into any other; was she not right in conjecturing that he had been very deeply influenced by Mr. Rendle's poetry?
The poetry of this satire on Lord Stair and his family was, as already noticed, written by Sir William Hamilton of Whitelaw, a rival of Lord Stair for the situation of President of the Court of Session; a person much inferior to that great lawyer in talents, and equally ill-treated by the calumny or just satire of his contemporaries as an unjust and partial judge.
But this is a low estimate of the great art of painting, for it is simply one of man's means of expression, just as music or poetry is. The artist learns to compose his pictures, to draw his forms, to lay on his colors, just as the poet learns the meanings of words, rhetorical figures, and the laws of harmony and rhythm, or the musician his notes and scales and harmonies of sound."
My conviction is that the poetry of Christianity will one day be developed greatly and nobly, and that in the meantime we are wrong, poetically as morally, in desiring to restrain it.
He His Church save, and the king; And our peace here, like a Spring, Make it ever flourishing." While Herrick lived his quiet, dull life and wrote poetry in the depths of Devonshire, the country was being torn asunder and tossed from horror to horror by the great Civil War. Men took sides and fought for Parliament or for King. Year by year the quarrel grew.