Essay on Gray's poetry [by J. Mitford] Letters

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W. Pickering, 1835

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Side lix - There scattered oft, the earliest of the year, By hands unseen are showers of violets found; The red-breast loves to build and warble there, And little footsteps lightly print the ground.
Side lxxviii - Hear from the grave, great Taliessin, hear : They breathe a soul to animate thy clay. Bright Rapture calls, and soaring as she sings, Waves in the eye of Heaven her many-colour'd wings.
Side lxii - Through the azure deep of air : Yet oft before his infant eyes would run Such forms as glitter in the Muse's ray, With orient hues unborrow'd of the sun ; Yet shall he mount, and keep his distant way Beyond the limits of a vulgar fate, Beneath the Good how far — but far above the Great ! § SA.
Side 154 - I, that am curtail'd of this fair proportion, Cheated of feature by dissembling nature, Deform'd, unfinish'd, sent before my time Into this breathing world, scarce half made up, And that so lamely and unfashionable That dogs bark at me as I halt by them...
Side lxxvi - Fair laughs the morn, and soft the zephyr blows, While proudly riding o'er the azure realm In gallant trim the gilded vessel goes; Youth on the prow, and Pleasure at the helm; Regardless of the sweeping whirlwind's sway, That, hush'd in grim repose, expects his evening prey.
Side 9 - It is very possible that two and two make four, but I would not give four farthings to demonstrate this ever so clearly ; and if these be the profits of life, give me the amusements of it.
Side liii - Je me garderais bien de le dire à d'autres que vous, parce qu'on dirait que j'en parlerais par jalousie ; mais prenez-y garde, il n'ya pas un seul personnage dans le Bajazet qui ait les sentiments qu'il doit avoir et que l'on a à Constantinople ; ils ont tous, sous un habit turc, le sentiment qu'on a au milieu de la France...
Side lix - There at the foot of yonder nodding beech, That wreathes its old fantastic roots so high, His listless length at noontide would he stretch, And pore upon the brook that babbles by. 'Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn, Mutt'ring his wayward fancies he would rove; Now drooping, woful-wan, like one forlorn, Or craz'd with care, or cross'd in hopeless love.
Side 3 - When you have seen one of my days, you have seen a whole year of my life ; they go round and round like the blind horse in the mill, only he has the satisfaction of fancying he makes a progress and gets some ground ; my eyes are open enough to see the same dull prospect, and to know that, having made four-and-twenty steps more, I shall be just where I was.
Side 152 - I have this to say : the language of the age is never the language of poetry ; except among the French, whose verse, where the thought or image does not support it, differs in nothing from prose. Our poetry, on the . contrary, has a language peculiar to itself; to which almost every one, that has written, has added something by enriching it with foreign idioms and derivatives : nay sometimes words of their own composition or invention. Shakespear and Milton have been great creators this way ; and...

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