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I consider it to be the natural and healthful food of human nature, given to strengthen, to elevate, to inspire; men would, indeed, be “ brutes without it.”* Who has not observed the temperament and the character of those who profess an indifference to all works of imagination? But even the most obtuse of these have the truths of Poesy stamped within them; and, when such men gaze on a serene Sky, a beautiful Landscape, a fine river, or a lofty Mountain, with sentiments of admiration :-or, on the beauty developed in the moral world—for the rule applies to either—that expression of their admiration, how dull soever it be, is the language of Poetry begun.
One final observation : in a Poem extending itself to nearly six thousand lines, and branching over a subject which is almost infinite, many errors must escape, not only the eyes of the writer, for they are proverbially short-sighted, but those also of literary friends who have interested themselves so far in the work as to go through it with attention. The Author has, however, a noble confidence in his critics: he feels that, whatever errors and inaccuracies may be detected, and justly animadverted on, his la
bours will not be judged, from impressions of its narrower parts, but from the opinion formed of it as a connected whole. For the tone of thought, and the pervading moral of the Poem, he feels that he has no apology to offer
TO THE LADY * * * * *
The Lay hath ceased : the labour of long years :
Where paths of Song to heights untrodden led ;
But my heart answers not that faith divine : Those aspirations now no more, as once, are mine.
Yet I would twine one wreath around the Song,
Passed — like a shade, or leaf of Autumn sear ;
Then by that face which still Youth's roses tinge
And by that open brow whose tablets show
Accept this homage, for it is as pure
Its memories of thee ; nay—blame not thou—
And, as in happiest hours, when thou and I
O’er which shall eyes and hearts approving bent Applaud this tribute given-so rude—so impotent !