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Page 168 - Dryden knew more of man in his general nature, and Pope in his local manners. The notions of Dryden were formed by comprehensive speculation, and those of Pope by minute attention. There is more dignity in the knowledge of Dryden, and more certainty in that of Pope.
Page 178 - Soft is the strain when Zephyr gently blows, And the smooth stream in smoother numbers flows; But when loud surges lash the sounding shore, The hoarse, rough verse should like the torrent roar. When Ajax strives some rock's vast weight to throw, The line too labours, and the words move slow: Not so, when swift Camilla scours the plain, Flies o'er the unbending corn, and skims along the main. Hear how Timotheus' varied lays surprise, And bid alternate passions fall and rise!
Page 212 - This modest stone, what few vain marbles can, May truly say, Here lies an honest man : A Poet, blest beyond the Poet's fate, Whom Heaven kept sacred from the Proud and Great : Foe to loud praise, and friend to learned ease, Content with science in the vale of peace.
Page 90 - Xanthus with their rays; The long reflections of the distant fires Gleam on the walls, and tremble on the spires. A thousand piles the dusky horrors gild, And shoot a shady lustre o'er the field. Full fifty guards each flaming pile attend, Whose umber'd arms by fits thick flashes send ; Loud neigh the coursers o'er their heaps of corn, And ardent warriors wait the rising morn.
Page 167 - Integrity of understanding and nicety of discernment were not allotted in a less proportion to Dryden than to Pope. The rectitude of Dryden's mind was sufficiently shown by the dismission of his poetical prejudices, and the rejection of unnatural thoughts and rugged numbers. But Dryden never desired to apply all the judgment that he had.
Page 97 - Then he instructed a young nobleman, that the best poet in England was Mr. Pope (a Papist), who had begun a translation of Homer into English verse, for which he must have them all subscribe. "For," says he, "the author shall not begin to print till I have a thousand guineas for him.
Page 267 - He had employed his mind chiefly upon works of fiction, and subjects of fancy ; and by indulging some peculiar habits of thought, was eminently delighted with those flights of imagination which pass the bounds of nature, and to which the mind is reconciled only by a passive acquiescence in popular traditions. He loved fairies, genii, giants, and monsters ; he delighted to rove through the meanders of enchantment, to gaze on the magnificence of golden palaces, to repose by the water-falls of Elysian...
Page 193 - Invention, by which new trains of events are formed, and new scenes of imagery displayed, as in the Rape of the Lock; and by which extrinsick and adventitious embellishments and illustrations are connected with a known subject, as in the Essay on Criticism...
Page 312 - Milton, Death, and Sin. From the following passage in the poetical Dedication of his " Sea-piece" to Voltaire, it seems that this extemporaneous reproof, if it must be extemporaneous (for what few will now affirm Voltaire to have deserved any reproof), was something longer than a distich, and something more gentle than the distich just quoted. No stranger, Sir, though born in foreign climes. On Dorset downs, when Milton's page, With Sin and Death provok'd thy rage, Thy rage provok'd, who sooth'd...
Page 207 - Thy reliques, Rowe, to this fair urn we trust, And sacred, place by Dryden's awful dust: Beneath a rude and nameless stone he lies, To which thy tomb shall guide inquiring eyes. Peace to thy gentle shade, and endless rest! Blest in thy genius, in thy love too blest! One grateful woman to thy fame supplies What a whole thankless land to his denies.