It is generally an ascent beyond the reach of all but the loftiest dreamers who read poetry to toil upward with the most august singers to those soaring peaks where in their last utterances they walk still restlessly but within all-hail of peace among the stars. Yet I stoutly believe that the humblest reader, if he will but woo the muses long in thoughtful perusal and severe vigil can slowly develop that strenuous devotion to song which will give him from those supreme poets' very lips the ultimate revelation. Some of the greatest poets have indeed taken pride, half austere, half grimly humorous, in their unfathomable heights and depths. Yet when Dante says
Ye that have set out in a little skiff ...
Turn back, to see once more your native land,
Venture not out to open sea; lest haply,
Unable to follow me, ye might get lost,
it should be but a challenge to even the lowliest reader with any iron in him and it should be a challenge to the critic to be an eloquent guide to all readers as Virgil was to Dante himself. 1____________________