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inexperienced Reader from judging for himself (I have already said that I wish him to judge for himself) but merely to temper the rashness of decision, and to suggest that if Poetry be a subject on which much time has not been bestowed, the judgment may be erroneous, and that in many cases it necessarily will be so.
I know that nothing would have so effectually contributed to further the end which I have in view, as to have shewn of what kind the pleasure is, and how the pleasure is produced which is confessedly produced by Metrical composition essentially different from what I have here endeavoured to recommend; for the Reader will say that he has been pleased by such composition, and what can I do more for him? The power of any art is limited and he will suspect, that if I propose to furnish him with new friends it is only upon condition of his abandoning his old friends. Besides as I have said, the Reader is himself conscious of the pleasure which he has received from such composition, composition to which he has peculiarly attached the endearing name of Poetry; and all men feel an habitual gratitude, and something of an honorable bigotry for the objects which have : fong continued to please them: we not only wish to be pleased, but to be pleased in that particular way in which we have been accustomed to be pleased. There is a host of arguments in these feelings; and I should be the less able to combat them successfully, as I am willing to allow; that, in order entirely to en joy the Poetry which I am recommending, it would be necessary to give up much of what is ordinarily enjoyed. · But would my limits have permitted me to point out how this pleasure is produced, I might have removed many obstacles, and assisted my Reader in perceiving that the powers of language are not so limited as he may suppose; and that it is possible that Poetry may give other enjoyments, of a purer, more lasting and more exquifite nature. But this part of my subject I have been obliged als together to omit; as it has been less my present aim to prove that the interest excited by some other kinds of Poetry is less vivid, and less worthy of the nobler powers of the mind, than to offer reasons for presuming, that, if the object which I have proposed to myself were adequately attained, a species of Poetry would be produced, which is genuine Poetry; in its nature
well-adapted to interest mankind permanently, and likewise important in the multiplicity and quality of its moral relations.
From what has been said, and from a perusal of the Poems, the Reader will be able clearly to perceive the object which I have proposed to myself; he will determine how far I have attained this-objeet; and, what is a much more important question, whether it be worth attaining; and upon the decision of these two questions will rest my claim to the approbation of the Publica !
ALL Thoughts, all Passions, all Delights,
And feed his sacred flame.
Oft in my waking dreams do I
Beside the Ruin'd Tower.
The Moonshine stealing o'er the scene Had blended with the Lights of Eve; And she was there, my Hope, my Joy,
My own dear Genevieve!
She lean'd against the Armed Man,
Amid the ling'ring light.
Few sorrows hath she of her own,
The Songs, that make her grieve.
I play'd a soft and dolefül Air,
The Ruin wild and hoary..
She listen'd with a flitting. Blush :
But gaze upon her Face..
I told her of the Knight, that wore
The Lady of the Land..
I told her how he pin’d: And, ah!
Interpreted my own.
She listen’d with a fitting Blush,
Too fondly on her Face!
But when I told the cruel scorn
Nor rested day nor night;
That sometimes from the savage den, And sometimes from the darksome shade, And sometimes starting up at once
In green and sunny glade,
There came, and look'd him in the face,
This miserable Knight!
And that, unknowing what he did,
The Lady of the Land;
And how she wept and clasp'd his knees
The Scorn that craz'd his brain;
And that she nurs'd him in a cave;
A dying man he lay;