The English Lyric

The English Lyric

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The English Lyric

The English Lyric

Read FREE!

Excerpt

In the following account of the English Lyric, its origin in early times and its progress through the ages to our day, I have endeavored to write always from impressions, renewed, direct, and made at first hand. But it would be madness in these days of commentary not to know as much as possible of the wise and the unwise things that have been said by those who have traversed this fascinating path before me. Independence of judgment, even though it lead to singularity at times, is the most precious right of criticism; but a becoming respect for fellowworkers is alike courteous and judicious.

It was my original intention to include, in this book on the English lyric, a chapter on the lyrical poets of our American Commonwealth and the colonies of the mother country, whether they spread over new continents or dot far distant seas. This seemed the more desirable as it is a canon of my faith that language alone is the criterion of literary unity, wherewith the accidents of political union or severance have little to do. On trial, however, it was soon clear that a treatment of our American authors which could satisfy alike the exacting claims of neighborhood and reasonable proportion was quite impossible; and the plan was abandoned. It is as yet contrary to the traditions of criticism to treat of American writers as a . . .

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