An Essay on the Influence of Poetry on the Mind

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R. Hastings, 1839 - 86 pages
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Page 74 - His poetry acts like an incantation. Its merit lies less in its obvious meaning than in its occult power. There would seem, at first sight, to be no more in his words than in other words. But they are words of enchantment. No sooner are they pronounced, than the past is present and the distant near. New forms of beauty start at once into existence, and all the burial-places of the memory give up their dead.
Page 82 - But the images of men's wits and knowledges remain in books, exempted from the wrong of time, and capable of perpetual renovation. Neither are they fitly to be called images, because they generate still, and cast their seeds in the...
Page 53 - And through their lucid veil his softened force Shed o'er the peaceful world. Then is the time, For those whom wisdom and whom nature charm, To steal themselves from the degenerate crowd, And soar above this little scene of things, To tread low-thoughted Vice beneath their feet, To soothe the throbbing passions into peace, And woo lone Quiet in her silent walks.
Page 30 - This source of ideas every man has wholly in himself ; and though it be not sense, as having nothing to do with external objects, yet it is very like it, and might properly enough be called internal sense.
Page 12 - By poetry we mean the art of employing words in such a manner as to produce an illusion on the imagination, the art of doing by means of words what the painter does by means of colours.
Page 82 - Plato. in the minds of others, provoking and causing infinite actions and opinions in succeeding ages ; so that if the invention of the ship was thought so noble, which carrieth riches and commodities from place to place, and...
Page 30 - Secondly, the other fountain, from which experience furnisheth the understanding with ideas, is the perception of the operations of our mind within us, as it is employed about the ideas it has got; which operations, when the soul comes to reflect on and consider, do furnish the understanding with another set of ideas which could not be had from things without...
Page 12 - Poetry is the art of uniting pleasure with truth, by calling imagination to the help of reason.
Page 82 - ... if the invention of the ship was thought so noble, which carrieth riches and commodities from place to place, and consociateth the most remote regions in participation of their fruits, how much more are letters to be magnified, which, as ships, pass through the vast seas of time, and make ages so distant to participate of the wisdom, illuminations, and inventions, the one of the other...
Page 81 - We see then how far the monuments of wit and learning are more durable than the monuments of power, or of the hands. For have not the verses of Homer continued twenty-five hundred years, or more, without the loss of a syllable or letter; during which time, infinite palaces, temples, castles, cities, have been decayed and demolished...

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