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AN INTRODUCTION BY CHARLES DICKENS In the spring of the year 1853, I observed, as conductor of the weekly journal Household Words, a short poem among the proffered contributions, very different, as I thought, from the shoal of verses perpetually setting through the office of such a periodical, and possessing much more merit.  Its authoress was quite unknown to me.  She was one Miss Mary Berwick, whom I had never heard of; and she was... more...

LIFE OF KEATS Of all the great poets of the early nineteenth century—Wordsworth, Coleridge, Scott, Byron, Shelley, Keats—John Keats was the last born and the first to die. The length of his life was not one-third that of Wordsworth, who was born twenty-five years before him and outlived him by twenty-nine. Yet before his tragic death at twenty-six Keats had produced a body of poetry of such extraordinary power and promise that the... more...

ANONYMOUS. 1. Madrigal. Love not me for comely grace,For my pleasing eye or face;Nor for any outward part,No, nor for my constant heart:For those may fail or turn to ill,So thou and I shall sever:Keep therefore a true woman's eye,And love me still, but know not why;So hast thou the same reason stillTo doat upon me ever. 1609 Edition. MATTHEW ARNOLD. 2. The Forsaken Merman. Come, dear children, let us away;Down and away below.Now... more...

Select English Classics which the publishers have in course of preparation. The series will include an extensive variety of selections chosen from the different departments of English literature, and arranged and annotated for the use of classes in schools. It will embrace, among other things, representative specimens from all the best English writers, whether of poetry or of prose; selections from English dramatic literature, especially of the... more...

Preface Robert Burns was born near Ayr, Scotland, 25th of January, 1759. He was the son of William Burnes, or Burness, at the time of the poet's birth a nurseryman on the banks of the Doon in Ayrshire. His father, though always extremely poor, attempted to give his children a fair education, and Robert, who was the eldest, went to school for three years in a neighboring village, and later, for shorter periods, to three other schools in the... more...


ON THE LIFE AND POETIC GENIUS OF EDWARD YOUNG. Between the period of George Herbert, and that of Edward Young, some singular changes had taken place in British poetry as well as in British manners, politics, and religion. There had passed over the land the thunderstorm of the Puritanic Revolt, which had first clouded and then cleared, for a season, the intellectual and moral horizon. The effect of this on poetry was, for such fugitive though... more...

Th' Better Part. A poor owd man wi' tott'ring gait,Wi' body bent, and snowy pate,Aw met one day;—An' daan o' th' rooad side grassy banksHe sat to rest his weary shanks;An' aw, to wile away my time,O'th' neighbouring hillock did recline,An' bade "gooid day." Said aw, "Owd friend, pray tell me true,If in your heart yo niver rueThe time 'ats past?Does envy niver fill your breastWhen passin fowk wi' riches blest?An' do yo niver think it... more...

Poetry. Bite Bigger. As aw hurried throo th' taan to mi wark,(Aw wur lat, for all th' whistles had gooan,)Aw happen'd to hear a remark,'At ud fotch tears throo th' heart ov a stooan—It wur raanin, an' snawin, and cowd,An' th' flagstoans wur covered wi' muck,An' th' east wind booath whistled an' howl'd,It saanded like nowt but ill luck;When two little lads, donn'd i' rags,Baght stockins or shoes o' ther feet,Coom trapesin away ower th'... more...

ALUN. John Blackwell (Alun), was born of very poor parents at Mold in 1797.  Beginning life as a shoe-maker, his successes at the Eisteddfods of Ruthin and Mold in 1823 attracted the attention of the gentry of the neighbourhood, and a fund was formed to send him to the University.  He took his degree from Jesus College, Oxford, in 1828, and died rector of Manordeifi 1840.  His works were published under the title of “Ceinion... more...

I.  FROM FREDERICK GRAHAM. Mother, I smile at your alarms!I own, indeed, my Cousin’s charms,But, like all nursery maladies,Love is not badly taken twice.Have you forgotten Charlotte Hayes,My playmate in the pleasant daysAt Knatchley, and her sister, Anne,The twins, so made on the same plan,That one wore blue, the other white,To mark them to their father’s sight;And how, at Knatchley harvesting,You bade me kiss her in the... more...