A Study of Poetry
by Bliss Perry
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"Timor Mortis conturbat me,"

or the haunting burden of the "Lyke-Wake Dirge" (Oxford, No. 381),

"This ae nighte, this ae nighte, —Every nighte and alle, Fire and sleet and candle-lighte, And Christe receive thy saule,"

we now find English poets echoing Aucassin and Nicolette:

"In Paradise what have I to win? Therein I seek not to enter, but only to have Nicolette, my sweet lady that I love so well. For into Paradise go none but such folk as I shall tell thee now: Thither go these same old priests, and halt old men and maimed, who all day and night cower continually before the altars and in the crypts; and such folk as wear old amices and old clouted frocks, and naked folk and shoeless, and covered with sores, perishing of hunger and thirst and of cold, and of little ease. These be they that go into Paradise; with them I have naught to make. But into Hell would I fain go; for into Hell fare the goodly clerks, and goodly knights that fall in tourneys and great wars, and stout men at arms, and all men noble. With these would I liefly go. And thither pass the sweet ladies and courteous that have two lovers or three, and their lords also thereto. Thither goes the gold and the silver, the cloth of vair and cloth of gris, and harpers and makers, and the prince of this world. With these I would gladly go, let me but have with me Nicolette, my sweetest lady."

5. The Elizabethan Lyric

The European influence came afresh to England, as we have seen, with those "courtly makers" who travelled into France and Italy and brought back the new-found treasures of the Renaissance. Greece and Rome renewed, as they are forever from time to time renewing, their hold upon the imagination and the art of English verse. Sometimes this influence of the classics has worked toward contraction, restraint, acceptance of human limitations and of the "rules" of art. But in Elizabethan poetry the classical influence was on the side of expansion. In that release of vital energy which characterized the English Renaissance, the rediscovery of Greece and Rome and the artistic contacts with France and Italy heightened the confidence of Englishmen, revealed the continuity of history and gave new faith in human nature. It spelled, for the moment at least, liberty rather than authority. It stimulated intellectual curiosity and enthusiasm. Literary criticism awoke to life in the trenchant discussions of the art of poetry by Gascoigne and Sidney, by Puttenham, Campion and Daniel. The very titles of the collections of lyrics which followed the famous Tottel's Miscellany of 1557 flash with the spirit of the epoch: A Paradise of Dainty Devices, A Gorgeous Gallery of Gallant Inventions, A Handfull of Pleasant Delights, The Phoenix Nest, England's Helicon, Davison's Poetical Rhapsody.

Bullen, Schelling, Rhys, Braithwaite, and other modern collectors of the Elizabethan lyric have ravaged these volumes and many more, and have shown how the imported Italian pastoral tallied with the English idyllic mood, how the study of prosody yielded rich and various stanzaic effects, how the diffusion of the passion for song through all classes of the community gave a marvelous singing quality to otherwise thin and mere "dildido" lines. Mr. Arnold Dolmetsch and his friends have revived the music of the Elizabethan song-books, and John Erskine and other scholars have investigated the relation of the song-books—especially the songs composed by musicians such as Byrd, Dowland and Campion—to the form and quality of the surviving lyric verse. But one does not need a knowledge of the Elizabethan lute and viol, and of the precise difference between a "madrigal" and a "catch" or "air" in order to perceive the tunefulness of a typical Elizabethan song:

"I care not for these ladies, That must be woode and praide: Give me kind Amarillis, The wanton countrey maide. Nature art disdaineth, Here beautie is her owne. Her when we court and kisse, She cries, Forsooth, let go: But when we come where comfort is, She never will say No."

It is not that the spirit of Elizabethan lyric verse is always care-free, even when written by prodigals such as Peele and Greene and Marlowe. Its childlike grasping after sensuous pleasure is often shadowed by the sword, and by quick-coming thoughts of the brevity of mortal things. Yet it is always spontaneous, swift, alive. Its individual voices caught the tempo and cadence of the race and epoch, so that men as unlike personally as Spenser, Marlowe and Donne are each truly "Elizabethan." Spenser's "vine-like" luxuriance, Marlowe's soaring energy, Donne's grave realistic subtleties, illustrate indeed that note of individualism which is never lacking in the great poetic periods. This individualism betrays itself in almost every song of Shakspere's plays. For here is English race, surely, and the very echo and temper of the Renaissance, but with it all there is the indescribable, inimitable timbre of one man's singing voice.

6. The Reaction

If we turn, however, from the lyrics of Shakspere to those of Ben Jonson and of the "sons of Ben" who sang in the reigns of James I and Charles I, we become increasingly conscious of a change in atmosphere. The moment of expansion has passed. The "first fine careless rapture" is over. Classical "authority" resumes its silent, steady pressure. Scholars like to remember that the opening lines of Ben Jonson's "Drink to me only with thine eyes" are a transcript from the Greek. In his "Ode to Himself upon the Censure of his New Inn" in 1620 Jonson, like Landor long afterward, takes scornful refuge from the present in turning back to Greece and Rome:

"Leave things so prostitute, And take the Alcaic lute; Or thine own Horace, or Anacreon's lyre; Warm thee by Pindar's fire."

The reaction in lyric form showed itself in the decay of sonnet, pastoral and madrigal, in the neglect of blank verse, in the development of the couplet. Milton, in such matters as these, was a solitary survival of the Elizabethans. Metrical experimentation almost ceased, except in the hands of ingenious recluses like George Herbert. The popular metre of the Caroline poets was the rhymed eight and six syllable quatrain:

"Yet this inconstancy is such As thou too shalt adore; I could not love thee, Dear, so much Loved I not Honour more."

The mystics like Crashaw, Vaughan and Traherne wished and secured a wider metrical liberty, and it is, in truth, these complicated patterns of the devotional lyric of the seventeenth century that are of greatest interest to the poets of our own day. But contemporary taste, throughout the greater portion of that swiftly changing epoch, preferred verse that showed a conservative balance in thought and feeling, in diction and versification. Waller, with his courtier-like instinct for what was acceptable, took the middle of the road, letting Cowley and Quarles experiment as fantastically as they pleased. Andrew Marvell, too, a Puritan writing in the Restoration epoch, composed as "smoothly" as Waller. Herrick, likewise, though fond of minor metrical experiments, celebrated his quiet garden pleasures and his dalliance with amorous fancies in verse of the true Horatian type. "Intensive rather than expansive, fanciful rather than imaginative, and increasingly restrictive in its range and appeal": that is Professor Schelling's expert summary of the poetic tendencies of the age.

And then the lyric impulse died away in England. Dryden could be magnificently sonorous in declamation and satire, but he lacked the singing voice. Pope likewise, though he "lisped in numbers," could never, for all of his cleverness, learn to sing. The age of the Augustans, in the first quarter of the eighteenth century, was an age of prose, of reason, of good sense, of "correctness." The decasyllabic couplet, so resonant in Dryden, so admirably turned and polished by Pope, was its favorite measure. The poets played safe. They took no chances with "enthusiasm," either in mood or metrical device. What could be said within the restraining limits of the couplet they said with admirable point, vigor and grace. But it was speech, not song.

7. The Romantic Lyric

The revolt came towards the middle of the century, first in the lyrics of Collins, then in Gray. The lark began to soar and sing once more in English skies. New windows were opened in the House of Life. Men looked out again with curiosity, wonder and a sense of strangeness in the presence of beauty. They saw Nature with new eyes; found a new richness in the Past, a new picturesque and savor in the life of other races, particularly in the wild Northern and Celtic strains of blood. Life grew again something mysterious, not to be comprehended by the "good sense" of the Augustans, or expressible in the terms of the rhymed couplet. Instead of the normal, poets sought the exceptional, then the strange, the far-away in time or place, or else the familiar set in some unusual fantastic light. The mood of poetry changed from tranquil sentiment to excited sentiment or "sensibility," and then to sheer passion. The forms of poetry shifted from the conventional to the revival of old measures like blank verse and the Spenserian stanza, then to the invention of new and freer forms, growing ever more lyrical. Poetic diction rebelled against the Augustan conventions, the stereotyped epithets, the frigid personifications. It abandoned the abstract and general for the specific and the picturesque. It turned to the language of real life, and then, dissatisfied, to the heightened language of passion. If one reads Cowper, Blake, Burns and Wordsworth, to say nothing of poets like Byron and Shelley who wrote in the full Romantic tide of feeling, one finds that this poetry has discovered new themes. It portrays the child, the peasant, the villager, the outcast, the slave, the solitary person, even the idiot and the lunatic. There is a new human feeling for the individual, and for the endless, the poignant variety of "states of soul." Browning, by and by, is to declare that "states of soul" are the only things worth a poet's attention.

Now this new individuality of themes, of language, of moods, assisted in the free expression of lyricism, the release of the song-impulse of the "single, separate person." The Romantic movement was revelatory, in a double sense. "Creation widened in man's view"; and there was equally a revelation of individual poetic energy which gave the Romantic lyric an extraordinary variety and beauty of form. There was an exaggerated individualism, no doubt, which marked the weak side of the whole movement: a deliberate extravagance, a cultivated egoism. Vagueness has its legitimate poetic charm, but in England no less than in Germany or France lyric vagueness often became incoherence. Symbolism degenerated into meaninglessness. But the fantastic and grotesque side of Romantic individualism should not blind us to the central fact that a rich personality may appear in a queer garb. Victor Hugo, like his young friends of the 1830's, loved to make the gray-coated citizens of Paris stare at his scarlet, but the personality which could create such lyric marvels as the Odes et Ballades may be forgiven for its eccentricities. William Blake was eccentric to the verge of insanity, yet he opened, like Whitman and Poe, new doors of ivory into the wonder-world.

Yet a lyrist like Keats, it must be remembered, betrayed his personality not so much through any external peculiarity of the Romantic temperament as through the actual texture of his word and phrase and rhythm. Examine his brush-work microscopically, as experts in Italian painting examine the brushstrokes and pigments of some picture attributed to this or that master: you will see that Keats, like all the supreme masters of poetic diction, enciphered his lyric message in a language peculiarly his own. It is for us to decipher it as we may. He used, of course, particularly in his earlier work, some of the stock-epithets, the stock poetic "properties" of the Romantic school, just as the young Tennyson, in his volume of 1827, played with the "owl" and the "midnight" and the "solitary mere," stock properties of eighteenth-century romance. Yet Tennyson, like Keats, and for that matter like Shakspere, passed through this imitative phase into an artistic maturity where without violence or extravagance or eccentricity he compelled words to do his bidding. Each word bears the finger-print of a personality.

Now it is precisely this revelation of personality which gave zest, throughout the Romantic period, to the curiosity about the poetry of alien races. It will be remembered that Romanticism followed immediately upon a period of cosmopolitanism, and that it preceded that era of intense nationalism which came after the Napoleonic wars. Even in that intellectual "United States of Europe," about 1750—when nationalistic differences were minimized, "enlightenment" was supreme and "propria communia dicere" was the literary motto—there was nevertheless a rapidly growing curiosity about races and literatures outside the charmed circle of Western Europe. It was the era of the Oriental tale, of Northern mythology. Then the poets of England, France and Germany began their fruitful interchange of inspiration. Walter Scott turned poet when he translated Burger's "Lenore." Goethe read Marlowe's Dr. Faustus. Wordsworth and Coleridge visited Germany not in search of general eighteenth-century "enlightenment," but rather in quest of some peculiar revelation of truth and beauty. In the full tide of Romanticism, Protestant Germany sought inspiration in Italy and Spain, as Catholic France sought it in Germany and England. A new sense of race-values was evident in poetry. It may be seen in Southey, Moore, and Byron, in Hugo's Les Orientales and in Leconte de Lisle's Poemes Barbares. Modern music has shown the same tendency: Strauss of Vienna writes waltzes in Arab rhythms, Grieg composes a Scotch symphony, Dvorak writes an American national anthem utilizing negro melodies. As communication between races has grown easier, and the interest in race-characteristics more intense, it would be strange indeed if lovers of lyric poetry did not range far afield in their search for new complexities of lyric feeling.

8. The Explorer's Pleasure

This explorer's pleasure in discovering the lyrics of other races was never more keen than it is to-day. Every additional language that one learns, every new sojourn in a foreign country, enriches one's own capacity for sharing the lyric mood. It is impossible, of course, that any race or period should enter fully into the lyric impulses of another. Educated Englishmen have known their Horace for centuries, but it can be only a half-knowledge, delightful as it is. France and England, so near in miles, are still so far away in instinctive comprehension of each other's mode of poetical utterance! No two nations have minds of quite the same "fringe." No man, however complete a linguist, has more than one real mother tongue, and it is only in one's mother tongue that a lyric sings with all its over-tones. And nevertheless, life offers few purer pleasures than may be found in listening to the half-comprehended songs uttered by alien lips indeed, but from hearts that we know are like our own.

"This moment yearning and thoughtful sitting alone, It seems to me there are other men in other lands yearning and thoughtful, It seems to me I can look over and behold them in Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Or far, far away, in China, or in Russia or Japan, talking other dialects, And it seems to me if I could know those men I should become attached to them as I do to men in my own lands, O I know we should be brethren and lovers, I know I should be happy with them."

9. A Test

If the reader is willing to test his own responsiveness, not to the alien voices, but to singers of his own blood in other epochs, let him now read aloud—or better, recite from memory—three of the best-known English poems: Milton's "Lycidas," Gray's "Elegy" and Wordsworth's "Ode to Immortality." The first was published in 1638, the second in 1751, and the third in 1817. Each is a "central" utterance of a race, a period and an individual. Each is an open-air poem, written by a young Englishman; each is lyrical, elegiac—a song of mourning and of consolation. "Lycidas" is the last flawless music of the English Renaissance, an epitome of classical and pastoral convention, yet at once Christian, political and personal. Beneath the quiet perfection of Gray's "Elegy" there is the undertone of passionate sympathy for obscure lives: passionate, but restrained. Wordsworth knows no restraint of form or feeling in his great "Ode"; its germinal idea is absurd to logic, but not to the imagination. This elegy, like the others, is a "lyric cry" of a man, an age, and a race; "enciphered" like them, with all the cunning of which the artist was capable; and decipherable only to those who know the language of the English lyric.

There may be readers who find these immortal elegies wearisome, staled by repetition, spoiled by the critical glosses of generations of commentators. In that case, one may test his sense of race, period and personality by a single quatrain of Landor, who is surely not over-commented upon to-day:

"From you, Ianthe, little troubles pass Like little ripples down a sunny river; Your pleasures spring like daisies in the grass, Cut down, and up again as blithe as ever."

Find the classicist, the aristocrat, the Englishman, and the lover in that quatrain!

Or, if Landor seems too remote, turn to Amherst, Massachusetts, and read this amazing elegy in a country churchyard written by a New England recluse, Emily Dickinson:

"This quiet Dust was Gentlemen and Ladies, And Lads and Girls; Was laughter and ability and sighing, And frocks and curls. This passive place a Summer's nimble mansion, Where Bloom and Bees Fulfilled their Oriental Circuit, Then ceased like these."



"And the same may be said of lust and anger and all the other affections, of desire and pain and pleasure which are held to be inseparable from every action—in all of them poetry feeds and waters the passions instead of withering and starving them; she lets them rule instead of ruling them as they ought to be ruled, with a view to the happiness and virtue of mankind." PLATO'S Republic, Book 10

"A man has no right to say to his own generation, turning quite away from it, 'Be damned!' It is the whole Past and the whole Future, this same cotton-spinning, dollar-hunting, canting and shrieking, very wretched generation of ours." CARLYLE to EMERSON, August 29, 1842

Let us turn finally to some phases of the contemporary lyric. We shall not attempt the hazardous, not to say impossible venture of assessing the artistic value of living poets. "Poets are not to be ranked like collegians in a class list," wrote the wise John Morley long ago. Certainly they cannot be ranked until their work is finished. Nor is it possible within the limits of this chapter to attempt, upon a smaller scale, anything like the task which has been performed so interestingly by books like Miss Lowell's Tendencies in Modern American Poetry, Mr. Untermeyer's New Era in American Poetry, Miss Wilkinson's New Voices, and Mr. Lowes's Convention and Revolt. I wish rather to remind the reader, first, of the long-standing case against the lyric, a case which has been under trial in the court of critical opinion from Plato's day to our own; and then to indicate, even more briefly, the lines of defence. It will be clear, as we proceed, that contemporary verse in America and England is illustrating certain general tendencies which not only sharpen the point of the old attack, but also hearten the spirit of the defenders of lyric poetry.

1. Plato's Moralistic Objection

Nothing could be more timely, as a contribution to a critical battle which is just now being waged, [Footnote: See the Introduction and the closing chapter of Stuart P. Sherman's Contemporary Literature. Holt, 1917.] than the passage from Plato's Republic which furnishes the motto for the present chapter. It expresses one of those eternal verities which each generation must face as best it may: "Poetry feeds and waters the passions instead of withering and starving them; she lets them rule instead of ruling them." "Did we not imply," asks the Athenian Stranger in Plato's Laws, "that the poets are not always quite capable of knowing what is good or evil?" "There is also," says Socrates in the Phoedrus, "a third kind of madness, which is the possession of the Muses; this enters into a delicate and virgin soul, and there inspiring frenzy, awakens lyric and all other members." This Platonic notion of lyric "inspiration" and "possession" permeates the immortal passage of the Ion:

"For all good poets, epic as well as lyric, compose their beautiful poems not as works of art, but because they are inspired and possessed. And as the Corybantian revellers when they dance are not in their right mind, so the lyric poets are not in their right mind when they are composing their beautiful strains: but when falling under the power of music and metre they are inspired and possessed; like Bacchic maidens who draw milk and honey from the rivers, when they are under the influence of Dionysus, but not when they are in their right mind. And the soul of the lyric poet does the same, as they themselves tell us; for they tell us that they gather their strains from honied fountains out of the gardens and dells of the Muses; thither, like the bees, they wing their way. And this is true. For the poet is a light and winged and holy thing, and there is no invention in him until he has been inspired and is out of his senses, and the mind is no longer in him: when he has not attained to this state, he is powerless and is to utter his oracles. Many are the noble words in which poets speak of actions like your own Words about Homer; but they do not speak of them by any rules of art: only when they make that to which the Muse impels them are their inventions inspired; and then one of them will make dithyrambs, another hymns of praise, another choral strains, another epic or iambic verses—and he who is good at one is not good at any other kind of verse: for not by art does the poet sing, but by power divine. Had he learned by rules of art, he would have known how to speak not of one theme only, but of all; and therefore God takes away the minds of poets, and uses them as his ministers, as he also uses diviners and holy prophets, in order that we who hear them may know that they speak not of themselves who utter these priceless words in a state of unconsciousness, but that God is the speaker, and that through them he is conversing with us." [Footnote: Plato's Ion, Jowett's translation.]

The other Platonic notion about poetry being "imitation" colors the well-known section of the third book of the Republic, which warns against the influence of certain effeminate types of lyric harmony:

"I answered: Of the harmonies I know nothing, but I want to have one warlike, which will sound the word or note which a brave man utters in the hour of danger and stern resolve, or when his cause is failing and he is going to wounds or death or is overtaken by some other evil, and at every such crisis meets fortune with calmness and endurance; and another which may be used by him in times of peace and freedom of action, when there is no pressure of necessity—expressive of entreaty or persuasion, of prayer to God, or instruction of man, or again, of willingness to listen to persuasion or entreaty and advice; and which represents him when he has accomplished his aim, not carried away by success, but acting moderately and wisely, and acquiescing in the event. These two harmonies I ask you to leave; the strain of necessity and the strain of freedom, the strain of the unfortunate and the strain of the fortunate, the strain of courage, and the strain of temperance; these, I say, leave."

So runs the famous argument for "the natural rhythms of a manly life," and conversely, the contention that "the absence of grace and rhythm and harmony is closely allied to an evil character." While it is true that the basis for this argument has been modified by our abandonment of the Greek aesthetic theories of "inspiration" and "imitation," Plato's moralistic objection to lyric effeminacy and lyric naturalism is widely shared by many of our contemporaries. They do not find the "New Poetry," lovely as it often is, altogether "manly." They find on the contrary that some of it is what Plato calls "dissolute," i.e. dissolving or relaxing the fibres of the will, like certain Russian dance-music. I asked an American composer the other day: "Is there anything at all in the old distinction between secular and sacred music?" "Certainly," he replied; "secular music excites, sacred music exalts." If this distinction is sound, it is plain that much of the New Poetry aims at excitement of the senses for its own sake—or in Plato's words, at "letting them rule, instead of ruling them as they ought to be ruled." Or, to use the severe words of a contemporary critic: "They bid us be all eye, no mind; all sense, no thought; all chance, all confusion, no order, no organization, no fabric of the reason."

However widely we may be inclined to differ with such moralistic judgments as these, it remains true that plenty of idealists hold them, and it is the idealists, rather than the followers of the senses, who have kept the love of poetry alive in our modern world.

2. A Rationalistic Objection

But the Philistines, as well as the Platonists, have an indictment to bring against modern verse, and particularly against the lyric. They find it useless and out of date. Macaulay's essay on Milton (1825) is one of the classic expressions of "Caledonian" rationalism:

"We think that as civilization advances, poetry almost necessarily declines.... Language, the machine of the poet, is best fitted for his purpose in its rudest state. Nations, like individuals, first perceive and then abstract. They advance from particular images to general terms. Hence the vocabulary of an enlightened society is philosophical, that of a half-civilized people is poetical.... In proportion as men know more and think more, they look less at individuals, and more at classes. They therefore make better theories and worse poems.... In an enlightened age there will be much intelligence, much science, much philosophy, abundance of just classification and subtle analysis, abundance of wit and eloquence, abundance of verses and even of good ones, but little poetry." In the essay on Dryden (1828) Macaulay renews the charge: "Poetry requires not an examining but a believing freedom of mind.... As knowledge is extended and as the reason develops itself, the imitative arts decay."

Even Macaulay, however, is a less pungent and amusing advocate of rationalism than Thomas Love Peacock in The Four Ages of Poetry. [Footnote: Reprinted in A. S. Cook's edition of Shelley's Defense of Poetry. Boston, 1891.]

A few sentences must suffice:

"A poet in our times is a semi-barbarian in a civilized community. He lives in the days that are past. His ideas, thoughts, feelings, associations, are all with barbarous manners, obsolete customs, and exploded superstitions. The march of his intellect is like that of a crab, backward.... The highest inspirations of poetry are resolvable into three ingredients: the rant of unregulated passion, the whining of exaggerated feeling, and the cant of factitious sentiment; and can therefore serve only to ripen a splendid lunatic like Alexander, a puling driveler like Werter, or a morbid dreamer like Wordsworth. It can never make a philosopher, nor a statesman, nor in any class of life a useful or rational man. It cannot claim the slightest share in any one of the comforts and utilities of life, of which we have witnessed so many and so rapid advances.... We may easily conceive that the day is not distant when the degraded state of every species of poetry will be as generally recognized as that of dramatic poetry has long been; and this not from any decrease either of intellectual power or intellectual acquisition, but because intellectual power and intellectual acquisition have turned themselves into other and better channels, and have abandoned the cultivation and the fate of poetry to the degenerate fry of modern rimesters, and their Olympic judges, the magazine critics, who continue to debate and promulgate oracles about poetry as if it were still what it was in the Homeric age, the all-in-all of intellectual progression, and as if there were no such things in existence as mathematicians, historians, politicians, and political economists, who have built into the upper air of intelligence a pyramid, from the summit of which they see the modern Parnassus far beneath them, and knowing how small a place it occupies in the comprehensiveness of their prospect, smile at the little ambition and the circumscribed perceptions with which the drivelers and mountebanks upon it are contending for the poetical palm and the critical chair."

No one really knows whether Peacock was wholly serious in this diatribe, but inasmuch as it produced Shelley's Defense of Poetry "as an antidote"—as Shelley said—we should be grateful for it. Both Peacock and Macaulay wrote nearly a century ago, but their statements as to the uselessness of poetry, as compared with the value of intellectual exertion in other fields, is wholly in the spirit of twentieth-century rationalism. Few readers of this book may hold that doctrine, but they will meet it on every side; and they will need all they can remember of Sidney and Shelley and George Woodberry "as an antidote."

3. An Aesthetic Objection

In Aristotle's well-known definition of Tragedy in the fifth section of the Poetics, there is one clause, and perhaps only one, which has been accepted without debate. "A Tragedy, then, is an artistic imitation of an action that is serious, complete in itself, and of an adequate magnitude." Does a lyric possess "an adequate magnitude?" As the embodiment of a single aspect of feeling, and therefore necessarily brief, the lyric certainly lacks "mass." As an object for aesthetic contemplation, is the average lyric too small to afford the highest and most permanent pleasure? "A long poem," remarks A. C. Bradley in his Oxford Lectures on Poetry, [Footnote: London, 1909. The passage cited is from the chapter on "The Long Poem in the Age of Wordsworth."] "requires imaginative powers superfluous in a short one, and it would be easy to show that it admits of strictly poetic effects of the highest value which the mere brevity of a short one excludes." Surely the lyric, like the short story, cannot see life steadily and whole. It reflects, as we have seen, a single situation or desire. "Short swallow-flights of song"; piping "as the linnet sings"; have not the lyric poets themselves confessed this inherent shortcoming of their art in a thousand similes? Does not a book of lyrics often seem like a plantation of carefully tended little trees, rather than a forest? The most ardent collector of butterflies is aware that he is hunting only butterflies and not big game. Mr. John Gould Fletcher's Japanese Prints is a collection of the daintiest lyric fragments, lovely as a butterfly's wing. But do such lyrics lack "adequate magnitude"?

It seems to the present writer that this old objection is a real one, and that it is illustrated afresh by contemporary poetry, but that it is not so much an argument against the lyric as such, as it is an explanation of the ineffectiveness of certain lyric poems. This defect is not primarily that they lack "magnitude," but rather that they lack an adequate basis in our emotional adjustment to the fact or situation upon which they turn. The reader is not prepared for the effect which they convey. The art of the drama was defined by the younger Dumas as the art of preparation. Now the lyrics which are most effective in primarily dramatic compositions, let us say the songs in "Pippa Passes" or Ariel's songs in The Tempest, are those where the train of emotional association or contrast has been carefully laid and is waiting to be touched off. So it is with the markedly lyrical passages in narrative verse—say the close of "Sohrab and Rustum." When a French actress sings the "Marseillaise" to a theatre audience in war-time, or Sir Harry Lauder, dressed in kilts, sings to a Scottish-born audience about "the bonny purple heather," or a marching regiment strikes up "Dixie," the actual song is only the release of a mood already stimulated. But when one comes upon an isolated lyric printed as a "filler" at the bottom of a magazine page, there is no train of emotional association whatever. There is no lyric mood waiting to respond to a "lyric cry." To overcome this obstacle, Walter Page and other magazine editors, a score of years ago, made the experiment of printing all the verse together, instead of scattering it according to the exigencies of the "make-up." Miss Monroe's Poetry, Contemporary Verse, and the other periodicals devoted exclusively to poetry, easily avoid this handicap of intruding prose. One turns their pages as he turns leaves of music until he finds some composition in accordance with his mood of the moment. The long poem or the drama creates an undertone of feeling in which the lyrical mood may easily come to its own, based and reinforced as it is by the larger poetical structure. The isolated magazine lyric, on the other hand, is like one swallow trying to make a summer. Even the lyrics collected in anthologies are often "mutually repellent particles," requiring through their very brevity and lack of relation with one another, a perpetual re-focussing of the attention, a constant re-creation of lyric atmosphere. These conditions have been emphasized, during the last decade, by that very variety of technical experimentation, that increased range and individualism of lyric effort, which have renewed the interest in American poetry.

4. Subjectivity as a Curse

I have often thought of a conversation with Samuel Asbury, a dozen years ago, about a friend of ours, a young Southern poet of distinct promise, who had just died. Like many Southern verse-writers of his generation, he had lived and written under the inspiration of Poe. Asbury surprised me by the almost bitter remark that Poe's influence had been a blight upon the younger Southern poets, inasmuch as it had tended to over-subjectivity, to morbid sensibility, and to a pre-occupation with purely personal emotions. He argued, as he has since done so courageously in his Texas Nativist, [Footnote: Published by the author at College Station, Texas.] that more objective forms of poetry, particularly epic and dramatic handling of local and historic American material, was far healthier stuff for a poet to work with.

This objection to the lyric as an encourager of subjective excitement, of egoistic introspection, like the other objections already stated, is one of old standing. Goethe remarked that the subjectivity of the smaller poets was of no significance, but that they were interested in nothing really objective. But though this indictment of over-individualism has often been drawn, our own times are a fresh proof of its validity. If the revelation of personality unites men, the stress upon mere individuality separates them, and there are countless poets of the day who glory in their eccentric individualism without remembering that it is only through a richly developed personality that poetry gains any universal values. "Nothing in literature is so perishable as eccentricity, with regard to which each generation has its own requirements and its own standard of taste; and the critic who urges contemporary poets to make their work as individual as possible is deliberately inviting them to build their structures on sand instead of rock." [Footnote: Edmond Holmes, What is Poetry, p. 68.] Every reader of contemporary poetry is aware that along with its exhilarating freshness and force there has been a display of singularity and of silly nudity both of body and mind. Too intimate confidences have been betrayed in the lyric confessional. It is a fine thing to see a Varsity eight take their dip in the river at the end of an afternoon's spin. Those boys strip well. But there are middle-aged poets who strip very badly. Nature never intended them to play the role of Narcissus. Dickens wrote great novels in a room so hung with mirrors that he could watch himself in the act of composition. But that is not the best sort of writing-room for lyric poets, particularly in a decade when acute self-consciousness, race-consciousness and even coterie-consciousness are exploited for commercial purposes, and the "lutanists of October" are duly photographed at their desks.

5. Mere Technique

There is one other count in the old indictment of the lyric which is sure to be emphasized whenever any generation, like our own, shows a new technical curiosity about lyric forms. It is this: that mere technique will "carry" a lyric, even though thought, passion and imagination be lacking. This charge will inevitably be made from time to time, and not merely by the persons who naturally tend to stress the content-value of poetry as compared with its form-value. It was Stedman, who was peculiarly susceptible to the charm of varied lyric form, who remarked of some of Poe's lyrics, "The libretto (i.e. the sense) is nothing, the score is all in all." And it must be admitted that the "libretto" of "Ulalume," for instance, is nearly or quite meaningless to many lovers of poetry who value the "score" very highly. In a period marked by enthusiasm for new experiments in versification, new feats of technique, the borderland between real conquests of novel territory and sheer nonsense verse becomes very hazy. The Spectra hoax, perpetrated so cleverly in 1916 by Mr. Ficke and Mr. Witter Bynner, fooled many of the elect. [Footnote: See Untermeyer's New Era, etc., pp. 320-23.] I have never believed that Emerson meant to decry Poe when he referred to him as "the jingle-man." Emerson's memory for names was faulty, and he was trying to indicate the author of the

"tintinnabulation of the bells."

That Poe was a prestidigitator with verse, and may be regarded solely with a view to his professional expertness, is surely no ground for disparaging him as a poet. But it is the kind of penalty which extraordinary technical expertness has to pay in all the arts. Many persons remember Paganini only as the violinist who could play upon a single string. Every "amplificolor imperii"—every widener of the bounds of the empire of poetry, like Vachel Lindsay with his experiments in chanted verse, Robert Frost with his subtle renderings of the cadences of actual speech, Miss Amy Lowell with her doctrine of "curves" and "returns" and polyphony—runs the risk of being regarded for a while as a technician and nothing more. Ultimately a finer balance is struck between the claims of form and content: the ideas of a poet, his total vision of life, his contribution to the thought as well as to the craftsmanship of his generation, are thrown into the scale. Victor Hugo is now seen to be something far other than the mere amazing lyric virtuoso of the Odes et Ballades of 1826. Walt Whitman ultimately gets judged as Walt Whitman, and not merely as the inventor of a new type of free verse in 1855. A rough justice is done at last, no doubt, but for a long time the cleverest and most original manipulators of words and tunes are likely to be judged by their virtuosity alone.

6. The Lines of Defence

The objections to lyric poetry which have just been rehearsed are of varying degrees of validity. They have been mentioned here because they still affect, more or less, the judgment of the general public as it endeavors to estimate the value of the contemporary lyric. I have little confidence in the taste of professed admirers of poetry who can find no pleasure in contemporary verse, and still less confidence in the taste of our contemporaries whose delight in the "new era" has made them deaf to the great poetic voices of the past. I am sorry for the traditionalist who cannot enjoy Robert Frost and Edwin Arlington Robinson and Edgar Lee Masters and Carl Sandburg. He is, in my opinion, in a parlous state. But the state of the young rebel who cannot enjoy "Lycidas" and "The Progress of Poesy" and the "Ode to Dejection" is worse than parlous. It is hopeless.

It is not for him, therefore, that these final paragraphs are written, but rather for those lovers of poetry who recognize that it transcends all purely moralistic and utilitarian, as it does all historical and technical considerations,—that it lifts the reader into a serene air where beauty and truth abide, while the perplexed generations of men appear and disappear. Sidney and Campion and Daniel pleaded its cause for the Elizabethans, Coleridge and Wordsworth and Shelley defended it against the Georgian Philistines, Carlyle, Newman and Arnold championed it through every era of Victorian materialism. In the twentieth century, critics like Mackail and A. C. Bradley and Rhys, poets like Newbolt and Drinkwater and Masefield—to say nothing of living poets and critics among our own countrymen—have spoken out for poetry with a knowledge, a sympathy and an eloquence unsurpassed in any previous epoch. The direct "Defence of Poetry" may safely be left to such men as these.

I have chosen, rather, the line of indirect vindication of poetry, and particularly of the lyric, which has been attempted in this book. We have seen that the same laws are perpetually at work in poetry as in all the other arts; that we have to do with the transmission of a certain kind of feeling through a certain medium; that the imagination remoulds the material proffered by the senses, and brings into order the confused and broken thoughts of the mind, until it presents the eternal aspect of things through words that dance to music. We have seen that the study of poetry leads us back to the psychic life of primitive races, to the origins of language and of society, and to the underlying spirit of institutions and nationalities, so that even a fragment of surviving lyric verse may be recognized as a part of those unifying and dividing forces that make up the life of the world. We have found poetry, furthermore, to be the great personal mode of literary expression, a revelation of noble personality as well as base, and that this personal mode of expression has continued to hold its own in the modern world. The folk-epic is gone, the art-epic has been outstripped by prose fiction, and the drama needs a theatre. But the lyric needs only a poet, who can compose in any of its myriad forms. No one who knows contemporary literature will deny that the lyric is now interpreting the finer spirit of science, the drift of social progress, and above all, the instincts of personal emotion. Through it to-day, as never before in the history of civilization, the heart of a man can reach the heart of mankind. It is inconceivable that the lyric will not grow still more significant with time, freighted more and more deeply with thought and passion and touched with a richer and more magical beauty. Some appreciation of it, no matter how inadequate, should be a part of the spiritual possessions of every civilized man.'

"Die Geisterwelt ist nicht verschlossen; Dein Sinn ist zu, dein Herz ist todt! Auf! bade, Schueler, unverdrossen Die ird'sche Brust im Morgenrothl"


I add here some suggestions to teachers who may wish to use this book in the classroom. In connection with each chapter I have indicated the more important discussions of the special topic. There is also some additional illustrative material, and I have indicated a few hints for classroom exercises, following methods which have proved helpful in my own experience as a teacher.

I have tried to keep in mind the needs of two kinds of college courses in poetry. One of them is the general introductory course, which usually begins with the lyric rather than with the epic or the drama, and which utilizes some such collection as the Golden Treasury or the Oxford Book of English Verse. Any such collection of standard verse, or any of the anthologies of recent poetry, like those selected by Miss Jessie B. Rittenhouse or Mr. W. S. Braithwaite, should be constantly in use in the classroom as furnishing concrete illustration of the principles discussed in books like mine.

The other kind of course which I have had in mind is the one dealing with the works of a single poet. Spenser, Milton, Wordsworth, Tennyson, Browning, are among the poets most frequently chosen for this sort of study. I have found it an advantage to carry on the discussion of the general principles of poetic imagination and expression in connection with the close textual study of the complete work of any one poet. It is hoped that this book may prove helpful for such a purpose.


This chapter aims to present, in as simple a form as possible, some of the fundamental questions in aesthetic theory as far as they bear upon the study of poetry. James Sully's article on "Aesthetics" in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, and Sidney Colvin's article on "The Fine Arts," afford a good preliminary survey of the field. K. Gordon's Aesthetics, E. D. Puffer's Psychology of Beauty, Santayana's Sense of Beauty, Raymond's Genesis of Art Form, and Arthur Symons's Seven Arts, are stimulating books. Bosanquet's Three Lectures on Aesthetic is commended to those advanced students who have not time to read his voluminous History of Aesthetic, just as Lane Cooper's translation of Aristotle on the Art of Poetry may be read profitably before taking up the more elaborate discussions in Butcher's Aristotle's Theory of Poetry and Fine Art. In the same way, Spingarn's Creative Criticism is a good preparation for Croce's monumental Aesthetics. The student should certainly make some acquaintance with Lessing's Laokoon, and he will find Babbitt's New Laokoon a brilliant and trenchant survey of the old questions.

It may be, however, that the teacher will prefer to pass rapidly over the ground covered in this chapter, rather than to run the risk of confusing his students with problems admittedly difficult. In that case the classroom discussions may begin with chapter II. I have found, however, that the new horizons which are opened to many students in connection with the topics touched upon in chapter I more than make up for some temporary bewilderment.


The need here is to look at an old subject with fresh eyes. Teachers who are fond of music or painting or sculpture can invent many illustrations following the hint given in the Orpheus and Eurydice passage in the text. Among recent books, Fairchild's Making of Poetry and Max Eastman's Enjoyment of Poetry are particularly to be commended for their unconventional point of view. See also Fairchild's pamphlet on Teaching of Poetry in the High School, and John Erskine's paper on "The Teaching of Poetry" (Columbia University Quarterly, December, 1915). Alfred Hayes's "Relation of Music to Poetry" (Atlantic, January, 1914) is pertinent to this chapter. But the student should certainly familiarize himself with Theodore Watts-Dunton's famous article on "Poetry" in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, now reprinted with additions in his Renascence of Wonder. He should also read A. C. Bradley's chapter on "Poetry for its Own Sake" in the Oxford Lectures on Poetry, Neilson's Essentials of Poetry, Stedman's Nature and Elements of Poetry, as well as the classic "Defences" of Poetry by Philip Sidney, Shelley, Leigh Hunt and George E. Woodberry. For advanced students, R. P. Cowl's Theory of Poetry in England is a useful summary of critical opinions covering almost every aspect of the art of poetry, as it has been understood by successive generations of Englishmen.


This chapter, like the first, will be difficult for some students. They may profitably read, in connection with it, Professor Winchester's chapter on "Imagination" in his Literary Criticism, Neilson's discussion of "Imagination" in his Essentials of Poetry, the first four chapters of Fairchild, chapters 4, 13, 14, and 15 of Coleridge's Biographia Literaria, and Wordsworth's Preface to his volume of Poems of 1815. See also Stedman's chapter on "Imagination" in his Nature and Elements of Poetry.

Under section 2, some readers may be interested in Sir William Rowan Hamilton's account of his famous discovery of the quaternion analysis, one of the greatest of all discoveries in pure mathematics:

"Quaternions started into life, or light, full grown, on Monday, the 16th of October, 1843, as I was walking with Lady Hamilton to Dublin, and came up to Brougham Bridge, which my boys have since called the Quaternion Bridge. That is to say, I then and there felt the galvanic circuit of thought _close_, and the sparks which fell from it were the _fundamental equations between i, j, k; exactly such_ as I have used them ever since. I pulled out on the spot a pocket-book, which still exists, and made an entry on which, _at the very moment_, I felt that it might be worth my while to expend the labor of at least ten (or it might be fifteen) years to come. But then it is fair to say that this was because I felt a _problem_ to have been at that moment _solved_—an intellectual want relieved—which had _haunted_ me for at least ifteen years before_. Less than an hour elapsed before I had asked and obtained leave of the Council of the Royal Irish Academy, of which Society I was, at that time, the President—to _read_ at the _next General Meeting_ a _Paper_ on Quaternions; which I accordingly _did_, on November 13, 1843."

The following quotation from Lascelles-Abercrombie's study of Thomas Hardy presents in brief compass the essential problem dealt with in this chapter. It is closely written, and should be read more than once.

"Man's intercourse with the world is necessarily formative. His experience of things outside his consciousness is in the manner of a chemistry, wherein some energy of his nature is mated with the energy brought in on his nerves from externals, the two combining into something which exists only in, or perhaps we should say closely around, man's consciousness. Thus what man knows of the world is what has been formed by the mixture of his own nature with the streaming in of the external world. This formative energy of his, reducing the in-coming world into some constant manner of appearance which may be appreciable by consciousness, is most conveniently to be described, it seems, as an unaltering imaginative desire: desire which accepts as its material, and fashions itself forth upon, the many random powers sent by the world to invade man's mind. That there is this formative energy in man may easily be seen by thinking of certain dreams; those dreams, namely, in which some disturbance outside the sleeping brain (such as a sound of knocking or a bodily discomfort) is completely formed into vivid trains of imagery, and in that form only is presented to the dreamer's consciousness. This, however, merely shows the presence of the active desire to shape sensation into what consciousness can accept; the dream is like an experiment done in the isolation of a laboratory; there are so many conflicting factors when we are awake that the events of sleep must only serve as a symbol or diagram of the intercourse of mind with that which is not mind—intercourse which only takes place in a region where the outward radiations of man's nature combine with the irradiations of the world. Perception itself is a formative act; and all the construction of sensation into some orderly, coherent idea of the world is a further activity of the central imaginative desire. Art is created, and art is enjoyed, because in it man may himself completely express and exercise those inmost desires which in ordinary experience are by no means to be completely expressed. Life has at last been perfectly formed and measured to man's requirements; and in art man knows himself truly the master of his existence. It is this sense of mastery which gives man that raised and delighted consciousness of self which art provokes."


I regret that Professor Lowes's brilliant discussion of "Poetic Diction" in his Convention and Revolt did not appear until after this chapter was written. There are stimulating remarks on Diction in Fairchild and Eastman, in Raleigh's Wordsworth, in L. A. Sherman's Analytics of Literature, chapter 6, in Raymond's Poetry as a Representative Art, and in Hudson Maxim's Science of Poetry. Coleridge's description of Wordsworth's theory of poetic diction in the Biographia Literaria is famous. Walt Whitman's An American Primer, first published in the Atlantic for April, 1904, is a highly interesting contribution to the subject.

No theoretical discussion, however, can supply the place of a close study, word by word, of poems in the classroom. It is advisable, I think, to follow such analyses of the diction of Milton, Keats and Tennyson by a scrutiny of the diction employed by contemporary poets like Edgar Lee Masters and Carl Sandburg.

The following passages in prose and verse, printed without the authors' names, are suggested as an exercise in the study of diction:

1. "The falls were in plain view about a mile off, but very distinct, and no roar—hardly a murmur. The river tumbling green and white, far below me; the dark, high banks, the plentiful umbrage, many bronze cedars, in shadow; and tempering and arching all the immense materiality, a clear sky overhead, with a few white clouds, limpid, spiritual, silent. Brief, and as quiet as brief, that picture—a remembrance always afterward."

2. "If there be fluids, as we know there are, which, conscious of a coming wind, or rain, or frost, will shrink and strive to hide themselves in their glass arteries; may not that subtle liquor of the blood perceive, by properties within itself, that hands are raised to waste and spill it; and in the veins of men run cold and dull as his did, in that hour!"

3. "On a flat road runs the well-train'd runner, He is lean and sinewy with muscular legs, He is thinly clothed, he leans forward as he runs, With lightly closed fists and arms partially rais'd."

4. "The feverish heaven with a stitch in the side, Of lightning."

5. "Out of blue into black is the scheme of the skies, and their dews are the wine of the bloodshed of things."

6. "Dry clash'd his harness in the icy caves And barren chasms, and all to left and right The bare black cliff clang'd round him, as he based His feet on juts of slippery crag that rang Sharp-smitten with the dint of armed heels."

7. "As for the grass, it grew as scant as hair In leprosy; their dry blades pricked the mud Which underneath looked kneaded up with blood. One stiff blind horse, his every bone a-stare, Stood stupefied, however he came there: Thrust out past service from the devil's stud."

8. "For the main criminal I have no hope Except in such a suddenness of fate. I stood at Naples once, a night so dark I could have scarce conjectured there was earth Anywhere, sky or sea or world at all: But the night's black was burst through by a blaze— Thunder struck blow on blow, earth groaned and bore, Through her whole length of mountain visible: There lay the city thick and plain with spires, And, like a ghost disshrouded, white the sea. So may the truth be flashed out by one blow, And Guido see, one instant, and be saved."


A fresh and clear discussion of the principles governing Rhythm and Metre may be found in C. E. Andrews's Writing and Reading of Verse. The well-known books by Alden, Corson, Gummere, Lewis, Mayor, Omond, Raymond and Saintsbury are indicated in the Bibliography. Note also the bibliographies given by Alden and Patterson.

I have emphasized in this chapter the desirability of compromise in some hotly contested disputes over terminology and methods of metrical notation. Perhaps I have gone farther in this direction than some teachers will wish to go. But all classroom discussion should be accompanied by oral reading of verse, by the teacher and if possible by pupils, and the moment oral interpretations begin, it will be evident that "a satisfied ear" is more important than an exact agreement upon methods of notation.

I venture to add here, for their suggestiveness, a few passages about Rhythm and Metre, and finally, as an exercise in the study of the prevalence of the "iambic roll" in sentimental oratory, an address by Robert G. Ingersoll.

1. "Suppose that we figure the nervous current which corresponds to consciousness as proceeding, like so many other currents of nature, in waves—then we do receive a new apprehension, if not an explanation, of the strange power over us of successive strokes.... Whatever things occupy our attention—events, objects, tones, combinations of tones, emotions, pictures, images, ideas—our consciousness of them will be heightened by the rhythm as though it consisted of waves." EASTMAN, The Enjoyment of Poetry, p. 93.

2. "Rhythm of pulse is the regular alternation of units made up of beat and pause; rhythm in verse is a measured or standardized arrangement of sound relations. The difference between rhythm of pulse and rhythm in verse is that the one is known through touch, the other through hearing; as rhythm, they are essentially the same kind of thing. Viewed generally and externally, then, verse is language that is beaten into measured rhythm, or that has some type of uniform or standard rhythmical arrangement." FAIRCHILD, The Making of Poetry, p. 117.

3. "A Syllable is a body of sound brought out with an independent, single, and unbroken breath (Sievers). This syllable may be long or short, according to the time it fills; compare the syllables in merrily with the syllables in corkscrew. Further, a syllable may be heavy or light (also called accented or unaccented) according as it receives more or less force or stress of tone: compare the two syllables of treamer. Lastly, a syllable may have increased or diminished height-of tone,—pitch: cf. the so-called 'rising inflection' at the end of a question. Now, in spoken language, there are infinite degrees of length, of stress, of pitch....

"It is a well-known property of human speech that it keeps up a ceaseless change between accented and unaccented syllables. A long succession of accented syllables becomes unbearably monotonous; a long succession of unaccented syllables is, in effect, impossible. Now when the ear detects at regular intervals a recurrence of accented syllables, varying with unaccented, it perceives Rhythm. Measured intervals of time are the basis of all verse, and their regularity marks off poetry from prose; so that Time is thus the chief element in Poetry, as it is in Music and in Dancing. From the idea of measuring these time-intervals, we derive the name Metre; Rhythm means pretty much the same thing,—'a flowing,' an even, measured motion. This rhythm is found everywhere in nature: the beat of the heart, the ebb and flow of the sea, the alternation of day and night. Rhythm is not artificial, not an invention; it lies at the heart of things, and in rhythm the noblest emotions find their noblest expression." GUMMERE, Handbook of Poetics, p. 133.

4. "It was said of Chopin that in playing his waltzes his left hand kept absolutely perfect time, while his right hand constantly varied the rhythm of the melody, according to what musicians call tempo rubato,'stolen' or distorted time. Whether this is true in fact, or even physically possible, has been doubted; but it represents a perfectly familiar possibility of the mind. Two streams of sound pass constantly through the inner ear of one who understands or appreciates the rhythm of our verse: one, never actually found in the real sounds which are uttered, is the absolute rhythm, its equal time-intervals moving on in infinitely perfect progression; the other, represented by the actual movement of the verse, is constantly shifting by quickening, retarding, strengthening or weakening its sounds, yet always hovers along the line of the perfect rhythm, and bids the ear refer to that perfect rhythm the succession of its pulsations." ALDEN, An Introduction to Poetry, p. 188.

5. "Many lines in Swinburne cannot be scanned at all except by the Lanier method, which reduces so-called feet to their purely musical equivalents of time bars. What, for instance, can be made by the formerly accepted systems of prosody of such hexameters as

'Full-sailed, wide-winged, poised softly forever asway?'

The usual explanation of this line is that Mr. Swinburne, carelessly, inadvertently, or for some occult purpose, interjected one line of five feet among his hexameters and the scansion usually followed is by arrangement into a pentameter, thus:

'Full-sailed wide-winged poised softly forever asway,'

the first two feet being held to be spondees, and the third and fourth amphibrachs. It has also been proposed to make the third foot a spondee or an iambus, and the remaining feet anapaests, thus:

'Full-sailed wide-winged poised soft- ly forev- er asway.'

"The confusion of these ideas is enough to mark them as unscientific and worthless, to say nothing of the severe reflection they cast on the poet's workmanship. We have not so known Mr. Swinburne, for, if there be anything he has taught us about himself it is his strenuous and sometimes absurd particularity about immaculate form. He would never overlook a line of five feet in a poem of hexameters. But—as will, I think, appear later and conclusively—the line is really of six feet, and is not iambic, trochaic, anapaestic, the spurious spondaic that some writers have tried to manufacture for English verse, or anything else recognized in Coleridge's immortal stanza, or in text-books. It simply cannot be scanned by classical rules; it cannot be weighed justly, and its full meaning extracted, by any of the 'trip-time' or 'march-time' expedients of other investigators. It is purely music; and when read by the method of music appears perfectly designed and luminous with significance. Only a poet that was at heart a composer could have made such a phrase, based upon such intimate knowledge of music's rhythmical laws." C. E. RUSSELL, "Swinburne and Music" North American Review, November, 1907.

6. Dr. Henry Osborn Taylor has kindly allowed me to quote this passage from his Classical Heritage of the Middle Ages, pp. 246, 247:

"Classic metres expressed measured feelings. Hexameters had given voice to many emotions beautifully, with unfailing modulation of calm or storm. They had never revealed the infinite heart of God, or told the yearning of the soul responding; nor were they ever to be the instrument of these supreme disclosures in Christian times. Such unmeasured feelings could not be held within the controlled harmonies of the hexameter nor within sapphic or alcaic or Pindaric strophes. These antique forms of poetry definitely expressed their contents, although sometimes suggesting further unspoken feeling, which is so noticeable with Virgil. But characteristic Christian poetry, like the Latin mediaeval hymn, was not to express its meaning as definitely or contain its significance. Mediaeval hymns are childlike, having often a narrow clearness in their literal sense; and they may be childlike, too, in their expressed symbolism. Their significance reaches far beyond their utterance; they suggest, they echo, and they listen; around them rolls the voice of God, the infinitude of His love and wrath, heaven's chorus and hell's agonies; dies irae, dies illa—that line says little, but mountains of wrath press on it, from which the soul shall not escape.

"Christian emotion quivers differently from any movement of the spirit in classic measures. The new quiver, the new shudder, the utter terror, and the utter love appear in mediaeval rhymed accentual poetry:

Desidero te millies, Me Jesu; quando venies? Me laetum quando facies, Ut vultu tuo saties?

Quo dolore Quo moerore Deprimuntur miseri, Qui abyssis Pro commissis Submergentur inferi.

Recordare, Jesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae; Ne me perdas ilia die. * * * * * Lacrymosa dies illa Qua resurget ex fa villa, Judicandus homo reus; Huic ergo parce, Deus! Pie Jesu, Domine, Dona eis requiem.

"Let any one feel the emotion of these verses and then turn to some piece of classic poetry, a passage from Homer or Virgil, an elegiac couplet or a strophe from Sappho or Pindar or Catullus, and he will realize the difference, and the impossibility of setting the emotion of a mediaeval hymn in a classic metre."

7. "Friends: I know how vain it is to gild a grief with words, and yet I wish to take from every grave its fear. Here in this world, where life and death are equal things, all should be brave enough to meet what all the dead have met. The future has been filled with fear, stained and polluted by the heartless past. From the wondrous tree of life the buds and blossoms fall with ripened fruit, and in the common bed of earth, the patriarchs and babes sleep side by side.

"Why should we fear that which will come to all that is?

"We cannot tell, we do not know, which is the greater blessing—life or death. We do not know whether the grave is the end of this life, or the door of another, or whether the night here is not somewhere else at dawn. Neither can we tell which is the more fortunate—the child dying in its mother's arms, before its lips have learned to form a word, or he who journeys all the length of life's uneven road, painfully taking the last slow steps with staff and crutch.

"Every cradle asks us, 'Whence?' and every coffin, 'Whither?' The poor barbarian, weeping above his dead, can answer these questions as intelligently as the robed priest of the most authentic creed. The tearful ignorance of the one is just as consoling as the learned and unmeaning words of the other. No man, standing where the horizon of a life has touched a grave, has any right to prophesy a future filled with pain and tears. It may be that death gives all there is of worth to life. If those we press and strain against our hearts could never die, perhaps that love would wither from the earth. Maybe this common fate treads from out the paths between our hearts the weeds of selfishness and hate, and I had rather live and love where death is king, than have eternal life where love is not. Another life is naught, unless we know and love again the ones who love us here.

"They who stand with aching hearts around this little grave need have no fear. The larger and the nobler faith in all that is and is to be tells us that death, even at its worst, is only perfect rest. We know that through the common wants of life—the needs and duties of each hour—their griefs will lessen day by day, until at last this grave will be to them a place of rest and peace—almost of joy. There is for them this consolation. The dead do not suffer. And if they live again, their lives will surely be as good as ours. We have no fear. We are all children of the same mother, and the same fate awaits us all.

"We, too, have our religion, and it is this: Help for the living, hope for the dead." ROBERT G. INGERSOLL, "Address over a Little Boy's Grave."


I have not attempted in this chapter to give elaborate illustrations of the varieties of rhyme and stanza in English poetry. Full illustrations will be found in Alden's English Verse. A clear statement of the fundamental principles involved is given in W. H. Carruth's Verse Writing.

Free verse is suggestively discussed by Lowes, Convention and Revolt, chapters 6 and 7, and by Andrews, Writing and Reading of Verse, chapters 5 and 19. Miss Amy Lowell has written fully about it in the Prefaces to Sword Blades and Poppy Seed and Can Grande's Castle, in the final chapter of Tendencies in Modern American Poetry, in the Prefaces to Some Imagist Poets, and in the North American Review for January, 1917. Mr. Braithwaite's annual Anthologies of American Verse give a full bibliography of special articles upon this topic.

An interesting classroom test of the difference between prose rhythm and verse rhythm with strongly marked metre and rhyme may be found in comparing Emerson's original prose draft of his "Two Rivers," as found in volume 9 of his Journal, with three of the stanzas of the finished poem:

"Thy voice is sweet, Musketaquid, and repeats the music of the ram, but sweeter is the silent stream which flows even through thee, as thou through the land.

"Thou art shut in thy banks, but the stream I love flows in thy water, and flows through rocks and through the air and through rays of light as well, and through darkness, and through men and women.

"I hear and see the inundation and the eternal spending of the stream in winter and in summer, in men and animals, in passion and thought. Happy are they who can hear it."

"Thy summer voice, Musketaquit, Repeats the music of the rain; But sweeter rivers pulsing flit Through thee, as thou through Concord plain.

"Thou in thy narrow banks are pent; The stream I love unbounded goes Through flood and sea and firmament; Through light, through life, it forward flows.

"I see the inundation sweet, I hear the spending of the stream Through years, through men, through nature fleet, Through love and thought, through power and dream."

I also suggest for classroom discussion the following brief passages from recent verse, printed without the authors' names:

1. "The milkman never argues; he works alone and no one speaks to him; the city is asleep when he is on his job; he puts a bottle on six hundred porches and calls it a day's work; he climbs two hundred wooden stairways; two horses are company for him; he never argues."

2. "Sometimes I have nervous moments— there is a girl who looks at me strangely as much as to say, You are a young man, and I am a young woman, and what are you going to do about it? And I look at her as much as to say, I am going to keep the teacher's desk between us, my dear, as long as I can."

3. "I hold her hands and press her to my breast.

"I try to fill my arms with her loveliness, to plunder her sweet smile with kisses, to drink her dark glances with my eyes.

"Ah, but where is it? Who can strain the blue from the sky?

"I try to grasp the beauty; it eludes me, leaving only the body in my hands.

"Baffled and weary, I came back. How can the body touch the flower which only the spirit may touch?"

4. "Child, I smelt the flowers, The golden flowers ... hiding in crowds like fairies at my feet, And as I smelt them the endless smile of the infinite broke over me, and I knew that they and you and I were one. They and you and I, the cowherds and the cows, the jewels and the potter's wheel, the mothers and the light in baby's eyes. For the sempstress when she takes one stitch may make nine unnecessary; And the smooth and shining stone that rolls and rolls like the great river may gain no moss, And it is extraordinary what a lot you can do with a platitude when you dress it up in Blank Prose. Child, I smelt the flowers."


Recent criticism has been rich in its discussions of the lyric. John Drinkwater's little volume on The Lyric is suggestive. See also C. E. Whitmore's article in the Pub. Mod. Lang. Ass., December, 1918. Rhys's Lyric Poetry, Schelling's English Lyric, Reed's English Lyrical Poetry cover the whole field of the historical English lyric. A few books on special periods are indicated in the "Notes" to chapter ix.

An appreciation of the lyric mood can be helped greatly by adequate oral reading in the classroom. For teachers who need suggestions as to oral interpretation, Professor Walter Barnes's edition of Palgrave's Golden Treasury (Row, Petersen & Co., Chicago) is to be commended.

The student's ability to analyse a lyric poem should be tested by frequent written exercises. The method of criticism may be worked out by the individual teacher, but I have found it useful to ask students to test a poem by some or all of the following questions:

(a) What kind of experience, thought or emotion furnishes the basis for this lyric? What kind or degree of sensitiveness to the facts of nature? What sort of inner mood or passion? Is the "motive" of this lyric purely personal? If not, what other relationships or associations are involved?

(b) What sort of imaginative transformation of the material furnished by the senses? What kind of imagery? Is it true poetry or only verse?

(c) What degree of technical mastery of lyric structure? Subordination of material to unity of "tone"? What devices of rhythm or sound to heighten the intended effect? Noticeable words or phrases? Does the author's power of artistic expression keep pace with his feeling and imagination?


For a discussion of narrative verse in general, see Gummere's Poetics and Oldest English Epic, Hart's Epic and Ballad, Council's Study of Poetry, and Matthew Arnold's essay "On Translating Homer."

For the further study of ballads, note G. L. Kittredge's one volume edition of Child's English and Scottish Popular Ballads, Gummere's Popular Ballad, G. H. Stempel's Book of Ballads, J. A. Lomax's Cowboy Songs and other Frontier Ballads, and Hart's summary of Child's views in Pub. Mod. Lang. Ass., vol. 21, 1906. The Oxford Book of English Verse, Nos. 367-389, gives excellent specimens.

All handbooks on Poetics discuss the Ode. Gosse's English Odes and William Sharp's Great Odes are good collections.

For the sonnet, note Corson's chapter in his Primer of English Verse, and the Introduction to Miss Lockwood's collection. There are other well-known collections by Leigh Hunt, Hall Caine and William Sharp. Special articles on the sonnet are noted in Poole's Index.

The dramatic monologue is well discussed by Claude Howard, The Dramatic Monologue, and by S. S. Curry, The Dramatic Monologue in Tennyson and Browning.


The various periods of English lyric poetry are covered, as has been already noted, by the general treatises of Rhys, Reed and Schelling. Old English lyrics are well translated by Cook and Tinker, and by Pancoast and Spaeth. W. P. Ker's English Literature; Mediaeval is excellent, as is C. S. Baldwin's English Mediaeval Literature. John Erskine's Elizabethan Lyric is a valuable study. Schelling's introduction to his Selections from the Elizabethan Lyric should also be noted, as well as his similar book on the Seventeenth-Century Lyric. Bernbaum's English Poets of the Eighteenth Century is a careful selection, with a scholarly introduction. Studies of the English poetry of the Romantic period are very numerous: Oliver Elton's Survey of English Literature, 1780-1830, is one of the best. Courthope's History of English Poetry and Saintsbury's History of Criticism are full of material bearing upon the questions discussed in this chapter.

Professor Legouis's account of the change in atmosphere as one passes from Old English to Old French poetry is so delightful that I refrain from spoiling it by a translation:

"En quittant Beowulf ou la Bataille de Maldon pour le Roland, on a l'impression de sortir d'un lieu sombre pour entrer dans la lumiere. Cette impression vous vient de tous les cotes a la fois, des lieux decrits, des sujets, de la maniere de raconter, de l'esprit qui anime, de l'intelligence qui ordonne, mais, d'une facon encore plus immediate et plus diffuse, de la difference des deux langues. On reconnait sans doute generalement a nos vieux ecrivains ce merite d'etre clairs, mais on est trop habitue a ne voir dans ce don que ce qui decoule des tendances analytiques et des aptitudes logiques de leurs esprit. Aussi plusieurs critiques, quelques-uns francais, ont-ils fait de cet attribut une maniere de pretexte pour leur assigner en partage la prose et pour leur retirer la faculte poetique. Il n'en est pas ainsi. Cette clarte n'est pas purement abstraite. Elle est une veritable lumiere qui rayonne meme des voyelles et dans laquelle les meilleurs vers des trouveres—les seuls qui comptent—sont baignes. Comment dire l'eblouissement des yeux longtemps retenus dans la penombre du Codex Exoniensis et devant qui passent soudain avec leurs brillantes syllables 'Halte-Clerc,' l'epee d'Olivier, 'Joyeuse' celle de Charlemagne, 'Monjoie' l'etendard des Francs? Avant toute description on est saisi comme par un brusque lever de soleil. Il est tels vers de nos vieilles romances d'ou la lumiere ruisselle sans meme qu'on ait besoin de prendre garde a leur sens:

"'Bele Erembors a la fenestre au jor Sor ses genolz tient paile de color,' [Footnote: "Fair Erembor at her window in daylight Holds a coloured silk stuff on her knees."]

ou bien

"'Bele Yolanz en chambre coie Sor ses genolz pailes desploie Coust un fil d'or, l'autre de soie...." [Footnote: "Fair Yoland in her quiet bower Unfolds silk stuffs on her knees Sewing now a thread of gold, now one of silk."]

C'est plus que de la lumiere qui s'echappe de ces mots, c'est de la couleur et de la plus riche." [Footnote: Emile Legouis, Defense de la Poesie Francaise, p. 44.]


While this chapter does not attempt to comment upon the work of living American authors, except as illustrating certain general tendencies of the lyric, I think that teachers of poetry should avail themselves of the present interest in contemporary verse. Students of a carefully chosen volume of selections, like the Oxford Book, should be competent to pass some judgment upon strictly contemporary poetry, and I have found them keenly interested in criticizing the work that is appearing, month by month, in the magazines. The temperament and taste of the individual teacher must determine the relative amount of attention that can be given to our generation, as compared with the many generations of the past.


Believing as I do that a study of the complete work of some modern poet should accompany, if possible, every course in the general theory of poetry, I venture to print here an outline of topical work upon the poetry of Tennyson. Tennyson's variety of poetic achievement is so great, and his technical resources are so remarkable, that he rewards the closest study, even on the part of those young Americans who cannot forget that he was a "Victorian":




[The scheme here suggested for the study of poetry is based upon the methods followed in this book. The student is advised to select some one poem, and to analyse its content and form as carefully as possible, in accordance with the outline printed below. The thought and feeling of the poem should be thoroughly comprehended as a whole before the work of analysis is begun; and after the analysis is completed, the student should endeavor again to regard the poem synthetically, i. e., in its total appeal to the aesthetic judgment, rather than mechanically and part by part.]



Of Nature. What sort of observation of natural phenomena is revealed in this poem? Impressions of movement, form, color, sound, hours of the day or night, seasons of the year; knowledge of scientific facts, etc.?

Of Man. What evidence of the poet's direct knowledge of men? Of knowledge of man gained through acquaintance with Biblical, classical, foreign or English literature? Self-knowledge?

Of God. Perception of spiritual laws? Religious attitude? Is this poem consistent with his other poems?


Does the "raw material" presented by "sense impressions" undergo a real "change in kind" as it passes through the mind of the poet?

Do you feel in this poem the presence of a creative personality?

What evidence of poetic instinct in the selection of characteristic traits? In power of representation through images? In idealization?


What is to be said of the range and character of the poet's vocabulary? Employment of figurative language? Selection of metre? Use of rhymes? Modification of rhythm and sound to suggest the idea conveyed? Imitative effects?

In general, is there harmony between form and content, or is there evidence of the artist's caring for one rather than the other?



[Write a criticism of the distinctively lyrical work of Tennyson, based upon an investigation at first hand of the topics suggested below. Do not deal with any poems in which the narrative or dramatic element seems to you the predominant one, as those forms of expression will be made the subject of subsequent papers.]

A. "IMPRESSION" (i. e., experience, thought, emotion).

General Characteristics.

Does the freshness of the lyric mood seem in Tennyson's case dependent upon any philosophical position? Upon sensitiveness to successive experiences?

Is his lyric egoism a noble one? How far does he identify himself with his race? With humanity?

Is his lyric passion always genuine? If not, give examples of lyrics that are deficient in sincerity. Is the lyric passion sustained as the poet grows old?

Of Nature.

What part does the observation of natural phenomena—such as form, color, sound, hours of the day or night, seasons, the sky, the sea—play in these poems? To what extent is the lyrical emotion called forth by the details of nature? By her composite effects? Give instances of the poetic use of scientific facts.

Of Man.

What human relationships furnish the themes for his lyrics? In the love- lyrics, what different relationships of men and women? To what extent does he find a lyric motive in friendship? In patriotism? How much of his lyric poetry seems to spring from direct contact with men? From introspection? From contact with men through the medium of books? How clearly do his lyrics reflect the social problems of his own time? In his later lyrics are there traces of deeper or shallower interest in men and women? Of greater or less faith in the progress of society?

Of God.

Mention lyrics whose themes are based in such conceptions as freedom, duty, moral responsibility. Does Tennyson's lyric poetry reveal a sense of spiritual law? Is the poet's own attitude clearly evident?


What evidence of poetic instinct in the selection of characteristic traits? In power of representation through images? Distinguish between lyrics that owe their poetic quality to the Imagination, and those created by the Fancy. (Note Alden's discussion of this point; "Introduction to Poetry," pp. 102-112.) How far is Tennyson's personality indicated by these instinctive processes through which his poetical material is transformed?


What may be said in general of his handling of the lyric form: as to unity, brevity, simplicity of structure? Occasional use of presentative rather than representative language? Choice of metres? Use of rhymes? Modification of rhythm and sound to suit the idea conveyed? Evidence of the artist's caring for either form or content to the neglect of the other? Note whatever differences may be traced, in all these respects, between Tennyson's earlier and later lyrics.



[Write a criticism of the distinctively narrative work of Tennyson, based upon the questions suggested below.]

A. "IMPRESSION" (i. e., experience, thought, emotion).

General Characteristics.

After classifying Tennyson's narrative poetry, how many of his themes seem to you to be of his own invention? Name those based, ostensibly at least, upon the poet's own experience. To what extent do you find his narrative work purely objective, i. e., without admixture of reflective or didactic elements? What themes are of mythical or legendary origin? Of those having a historical basis, how many are drawn from English sources? Does his use of narrative material ever show a deficiency of emotion; i. e., could the story have been better told in prose? Has he the story-telling gift?

Of Nature.

How far does the description of natural phenomena, as outlined in Topic II, A, enter into Tennyson's narrative poetry? Does it always have a subordinate place, as a part of the setting of the story? Does it overlay the story with too ornate detail? Does it ever retard the movement unduly?

Of Man. (Note that some of the points mentioned under General Characteristics apply here.)

What can you say of Tennyson's power of observing character? Of conceiving characters in complication and collision with one another or with circumstances? Give illustrations of the range of human relationships touched upon in these poems. Do the later narratives show an increased proportion of tragic situations? Does Tennyson's narrative poetry throw any light upon his attitude towards contemporary English society?

Of God. (See Topic II, A.)


Adjust the questions already suggested under Topic II, B, to narrative poetry. Note especially the revelation of Tennyson's personality through the instinctive processes by which his narrative material is transformed.


What may be said in general of his handling of the narrative form, i. e., his management of the setting, the characters and the plot in relation to one another? Have his longer poems, like the "Idylls," and "The Princess," the unity, breadth, and sustained elevation of style that are usually associated with epic poetry? What can you say of Tennyson's mastery of distinctly narrative metres? Of his technical skill in suiting rhythm and sound to the requirements of his story?



[Reference books for the study of the technique of the drama are easily available. As preparatory work it will be well to make a careful study of Tennyson's dramatic monologues, both in the earlier and later periods. These throw a good deal of light upon his skill in making characters delineate themselves, and they reveal incidentally some of his methods of dramatic narrative. For this paper, however, please confine your criticism to "Queen Mary," "Harold," "Becket," "The Cup," "The Falcon," "The Promise of May," and "The Foresters." In studying "Becket," compare Irving's stage version of the play (Macmillan).]

A. Classify the themes of Tennyson's dramas. Do you think that these themes offer promising dramatic material? Do you regard Tennyson's previous literary experience as a help or a hindrance to success in the drama?

Nature. Apply what is suggested under this head in Topics I, II, and III, to drama.

Man. Apply to the dramas what is suggested under this head in Topics II and III, especially as regards the observation of character, the conception of characters in collision, and the sense of the variety of human relationships. Do these plays give evidence of a genuine comic sense? What tragic forces seem to have made the most impression upon Tennyson? Give illustrations, from the plays, of the conflict of the individual with institutions.

God. Comment upon Tennyson's doctrine of necessity and retribution. Does his allotment of poetic justice show a sympathy with the moral order of the world? Are these plays in harmony with Tennyson's theology, as indicated elsewhere in his work? Do they contain any clear exposition of the problems of the religious life?

B. Compare Topic II, B. In the historical dramas, can you trace the influence of the poet's own personality in giving color to historical personages? Compare Tennyson's delineation of any of these personages with that of other poets, novelists, or historians. Do you think he has the power of creating a character, in the same sense as Shakespeare had it? How much of his dramatic work do you consider purely objective, i. e., untinged by what was called the lyric egoism?

C. What may be said in general of Tennyson's handling of the dramatic form? Has he "the dramatic sense"? Of his management of the web of circumstance in which the characters are involved and brought into conflict? Comment upon his technical skill as displayed in the different "parts" and "moments" of his dramas. Does his exhibition of action fulfill dramatic requirements? Is his vocabulary suited to stage purposes? Give instances of his purely lyric and narrative gifts as incidentally illustrated in his dramas. Instance passages that cannot in your opinion be successfully acted. In your reading of these plays, or observation of any of them that you have seen acted, are you conscious of the absence of any quality or qualities that would heighten the pleasure they yield you? Taken as a whole, is the form of the various plays artistically in harmony with the themes employed?


This list includes the more important books and articles in English which have been discussed or referred to in the text. There is an excellent bibliography in Alden's Introduction to Poetry, and Patterson's Rhythm in Prose contains a full list of the more technical articles dealing with rhythms in prose and verse.

ALDEN, RAYMOND M. English Verse. New York, 1903. An Introduction to Poetry. New York, 1909. "The Mental Side of Metrical Form," in Mod. Lang. Review, July, 1914.

ALEXANDER, HARTLEY B. Poetry and the Individual. New York, 1906.

ANDREWS, C. E. The Writing and Reading of Verse. New York, 1918.

ARISTOTLE. Theory of Poetry and Fine Art, edited by S. H. Butcher. New York, 1902. On the Art of Poetry, edited by Lane Cooper. Boston, 1913.

BABBITT, IRVING. The New Laokoon. Boston and New York, 1910.

BERNBAUM, ERNEST, editor. English Poets of the 18th Century. New York, 1918.

BOSANQUET, BERNARD. A History of Aesthetic. New York, 1892. Three Lectures on Aesthetic. London, 1915.

BRADLEY, A. C. Oxford Lectures on Poetry. London, 1909.

BRAITHWAITE, WILLIAM S., editor. The Book of Elizabethan Verse. Boston, 1907. Anthology of Magazine Verse 1913-19. New York, 1915.

BRIDGES, ROBERT. Ibant Obscurae. New York, 1917.

BUTCHER, S. H. (See Aristotle.)

CHILD, F. G. English and Scottish Popular Ballads, 5 vols., 1882-1898.

CLARK, A. C. Prose Rhythm in English. Oxford, 1913.

COLERIDGE, S. T. Biographia Literaria. Everyman edition.

CONNELL, F. M. A Text-Book for the Study of Poetry. Boston, 1913.

COOK, ALBERT S., editor. The Art of Poetry. Boston, 1892.

COOK, A. S., and TINKER, C. B. Select Translations from Old English Poetry. Boston, 1902.

CORSON, HIRAM. A Primer of English Verse. Boston, 1892.

COURTHOPE, WILLIAM J. A History of English Poetry. London, 1895. Life in Poetry: Law in Taste. London, 1901.

COWL, R. P. The Theory of Poetry in England. London, 1914.

CROCE, B. Aesthetics. London, 1909.

CROLL, MORRIS W. "The Cadence of English Oratorical Prose," in Studies in Philology, January, 1919. See also Croll and Clemons, Preface to Lyly's Euphues. New York, 1916.

DRINKWATER, JOHN. The Lyric. New York (n.d.).

EASTMAN, MAX. Enjoyment of Poetry. New York, 1913.

ELTON, OLIVER W. "English Prose Numbers," in Essays and Studies, by members of the English Association, 4th Series. Oxford, 1913.

ERSKINE, JOHN. The Elizabethan Lyric. New York, 1916.

FAIRCHILD, ARTHUR H. R. The Making of Poetry. New York, 1912.

GARDINER, J. H. The Bible as English Literature. New York, 1906.

GATES, LEWIS E. Studies and Appreciations. New York, 1900.

GAYLEY, C. M., and SCOTT, F. N. Methods and Materials of Literary Criticism. Boston, 1899.

GORDON, K. Aesthetics. New York, 1909.

GOSSE, EDMUND W. English Odes. London, 1881.

GUMMERE, FRANCIS B. A Handbook of Poetics. Boston, 1885. The Beginnings of Poetry. New York, 1901. The Popular Ballad. Boston and New York, 1907. Democracy and Poetry. Boston and New York, 1911.

HART, WALTER M. Epic and Ballad. Harvard Studies, etc., vol. 11, 1907. See his summary of Child's views in Pub. Mod. Lang. Ass., 21, 1906.

HAYES, ALFRED. "Relation of Music to Poetry," in Atlantic, January, 1914.

HEARN, LAFCADIO. Kwaidan. Boston and New York, 1904.

HOLMES, EDMOND. What is Poetry? New York, 1900.

HUNT, LEIGH. What is Poetry? edited by Albert S. Cook. Boston, 1893.

JAMES, WILLIAM. Psychology. New York, 1909.

KITTREDGE, G. L., editor. English and Scottish Popular Ballads. Boston, 1904.

LA FARGE, JOHN. Considerations on Painting. New York, 1895.

LANIER, SIDNEY. Science of English Verse. New York, 1880. Poem Outlines. New York, 1908.

LEGOUIS, EMILE. Defense de la Poesie Francaise. London, 1912.

LEWIS, CHARLTON M. The Foreign Sources of Modern English Versification, Halle, 1898. The Principles of English Verse. New York, 1906.

LIDDELL, M. H. Introduction to Scientific Study of English Poetry. New York, 1912.

LOCKWOOD, LAURA E., editor. English Sonnets. Boston and New York, 1916.

LOMAX, JOHN A. Cowboy Songs and Other Frontier Ballads. New York, 1916.

LOWELL, AMY. Tendencies in Modern American Poetry. New York, 1917. Men, Women and Ghosts. New York, 1916. Can Grande's Castle. New York, 1918.

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