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I propose to treat of Poetry in itself and of its various kinds, noting the essential quality of each; to inquire into the structure of the plot as requisite to a good poem; into the number and nature of the parts of which a poem is composed; and similarly into whatever else falls within the same inquiry. Following, then, the order of nature, let us begin with the principles which come first. Epic poetry and Tragedy, Comedy also and Dithyrambic:... more...

The Land God Forgot The lonely sunsets flare forlornDown valleys dreadly desolate;The lordly mountains soar in scornAs still as death, as stern as fate.The lonely sunsets flame and die;The giant valleys gulp the night;The monster mountains scrape the sky,Where eager stars are diamond-bright.So gaunt against the gibbous moon,Piercing the silence velvet-piled,A lone wolf howls his ancient rune —The fell arch-spirit of the Wild.O outcast... more...

AN OLD HEART How young I am!  Ah! heaven, this curse of youth   Doth mock me from my mirror with great eyes,And pulsing veins repeat the unwelcome truth,   That I must live, though hope within me dies. So young, and yet I have had all of life.   Why, men have lived to see a hundred years,Who have not known the rapture, joy, and strife   Of my brief youth, its passion and its tears. Oh! what are... more...

This volume, while it is complete in itself, is also the first of a trilogy, the scope of which is suggested in the prologue. The story of scientific discovery has its own epic unity—a unity of purpose and endeavour—the single torch passing from hand to hand through the centuries; and the great moments of science when, after long labour, the pioneers saw their accumulated facts falling into a significant order—sometimes in the... more...

TRADITIONAL NURSERY SONGS. A diller, a dollar,A ten o'clock scholar,What makes you come so soon?You used to come at ten o'clock,And now you come at noon. A long tailed pig, or a short tailed pig,Or a pig without a tail,A sow pig, or a boar pig,Or a pig with a curly tail. As I was going up Pippen hill,Pippen hill was dirty;There I met a pretty Miss,And she dropt me a curtsey. Little Miss, pretty Miss,Blessings light upon... more...


BABY TORTOISE You know what it is to be born alone,Baby tortoise!The first day to heave your feet little by littlefrom the shell,Not yet awake,And remain lapsed on earth,Not quite alive.A tiny, fragile, half-animate bean.To open your tiny beak-mouth, that looks as ifit would never open,Like some iron door;To lift the upper hawk-beak from the lower baseAnd reach your skinny little neckAnd take your first bite at some dim bit ofherbage,Alone,... more...

INTRODUCTION. "Norman's Woe" is the picturesque name of a rocky headland, reef, and islet on the coast of Massachusetts, between Gloucester and Magnolia. The special disaster in which the name originated had long been lost from memory when the poet Longfellow chose the spot as a background for his description of the "Wreck of the Hesperus," and gave it an association that it will scarcely lose while the English language endures. Nor does it... more...

INTRODUCTION.   Should you ask me, whence these stories?Whence these legends and traditions,With the odors of the forest,With the dew and damp of meadows,5With the curling smoke of wigwams,With the rushing of great rivers,With their frequent repetitions,And their wild reverberations,As of thunder in the mountains?10I should answer, I should tell you,"From the forests and the prairies,From the great lakes of the Northland,From the land of... more...

THE RAVEN. Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door."'T is some visiter," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door—Only this, and nothing more." Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,And each separate dying ember wrought its... more...

TO read the old Nursery Rhymes brings back queer lost memories of a man's own childhood. One seems to see the loose floppy picture-books of long ago, with their boldly coloured pictures. The books were tattered and worn, and my first library consisted of a wooden box full of these volumes. And I can remember being imprisoned for some crime in the closet where the box was, and how my gaolers found me, happy and impenitent, sitting on the box, with... more...