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INTRODUCTION. The literature of a people always reflects their character.  You may discover in the prose and poetry of a nation its social condition, and in their different phases its political progress.  The age of Homer was the heroic, in which the Greeks excelled in martial exploits; that of Virgil found the Romans an intellectual and gallant race; the genius of Chaucer, Spencer and Sidney revelled in the feudal halls and enchanted... more...

INTRODUCTION When a poem is read aloud it is easy to realize that poetry is closely related to music. Like music it awakens vague, mysterious feelings which cannot be expressed in ordinary speech; and the person who fails to catch the subtle melody of a poem gets but little from it even though he understands perfectly the meaning of the words. To illustrate this, put into commonplace prose a passage of beautiful verse,—for instance, lines... more...

I. THE BEGINNINGS Coleridge lived in what may safely be called the most momentous period of modern history. In the year following his birth Warren Hastings was appointed first governor-general of India, where he maintained English empire during years of war with rival nations, and where he committed those acts of cruelty and tyranny which called forth the greatest eloquence of the greatest of English orators, in the famous impeachment trial at... more...

No species of poetry is more ancient than the lyrical, and yet none shows so little sign of having outlived the requirements of human passion. The world may grow tired of epics and of tragedies, but each generation, as it sees the hawthorns blossom and the freshness of girlhood expand, is seized with a pang which nothing but the spasm of verse will relieve. Each youth imagines that spring-tide and love are wonders which he is the first of human... more...

THE BURIAL OF THE LINNET. Found in the garden—dead in his beauty.Ah! that a linnet should die in the spring!Bury him, comrades, in pitiful duty,Muffle the dinner-bell, solemnly ring. Bury him kindly—up in the corner;Bird, beast, and gold-fish are sepulchred there;Bid the black kitten march as chief mourner,Waving her tail like a plume in the air. Bury him nobly—next to the donkey;Fetch the old banner, and wave it about:Bury... more...


INTRODUCTION. The spirit of reform which was developed during the early part of the sixteenth century brought about a desire on the part of young men of means to travel on the continent of Europe. This was for the purpose of making themselves acquainted with the politics, social life, literature, art, science, and commerce of the various nations of the same, especially of France, Spain, and Italy. These young Englishmen on their return... more...

Timbuctoo A POEMWHICH OBTAINEDTHE CHANCELLOR'S MEDALAT THECambridge CommencementMDCCCXXIXBYA. TENNYSONOf Trinity College [Printed in Cambridge Chronicle and Journal of Friday, July 10, 1829, and at the University Press by James Smith, among the Prolusiones Academicæ Præmiis annuis dignatæ et in Curia Cantabrigiensi Recitatæ Comitiis Maximis, MDCCCXXIX. Republished in Cambridge Prize Poems, 1813 to 1858, by Messrs.... more...

TO HOPE. Oh! take, young Seraph, take thy harp, And play to me so cheerily; For grief is dark, and care is sharp, And life wears on so wearily. Oh! take thy harp! Oh! sing as thou wert wont to do, When, all youth's sunny season long, I sat and listened to thy song, And yet 'twas ever, ever new, With magic in its heaven-tuned string— The future bliss thy constant theme. Oh! then each little woe took wing Away, like phantoms... 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...

BALLADE OF THE PRIMITIVE JEST "What did the dark-haired Iberian laugh at before the tall blondeAryan drove him into the corners of Europe?"—Brander Matthews I am an ancient Jest!Palaeolithic manIn his arboreal nestThe sparks of fun would fan;My outline did he plan,And laughed like one possessed,'Twas thus my course began,I am a Merry Jest! I am an early Jest!Man delved, and built, and span;Then wandered South and WestThe peoples Aryan,I... more...