The Muse in Council: Being Essays on Poets and Poetry

By John Drinkwater | Go to book overview

WILLIAM CORY1

I

WILLIAM CORY -- he was William Johnson by birth and took the name of Cory in 1872 for family reasons -- was born in January, 1823, and died in 1892, a few months before reaching the age of seventy. The centenary of his birthday, therefore, falls in the present year, and it is fitting that the occasion should not pass unhonoured in a Society devoted to the interests of Literature, and particularly by the Chair in that Society chiefly concerned with poetry. For Cory was a poet, of slight and desultory genius, writing and publishing very little verse, and yet with a secure though slender claim to 'a permanent place,' as the 'Dictionary of National Biography' puts it, 'among English lyrists.' He is in that work wrongly credited with several volumes of poems. In fact he published, apart from a few classical experiments composed chiefly in the nature of school exercises, but two small pamphlets of verse. The first of these, 'Ionica,'2 appeared in 1858, from the house of Smith Elder, and it was followed in 1877 by the privately

____________________
1
Read to the Royal Society of Literature from the Chair of Poetry.
2
Ionica had been preceded in 1843 by the prize poem Plato, which obtained the Chancellor's medal at Cambridge in that year.

-159-

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The Muse in Council: Being Essays on Poets and Poetry
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Note vii
  • Contents ix
  • Theories 1
  • The Poet and Communication 3
  • The Poet and Tradition 22
  • 'simple, Sensuous, and Passionate' 44
  • Poetry and Conduct 57
  • Ancient Altars 81
  • Philip Sidney 83
  • John Milton 99
  • Thomas Gray 114
  • Samuel Taylor Coleridge 126
  • William Wordsworth 133
  • Percy Bysshe Shelley 143
  • Modern Instances 157
  • William Cory 159
  • Lord De Tabley 195
  • William Ernest Henley 205
  • Alice Meynell 224
  • A. E. Housman's 'Last Poems' 245
  • Edwin Arlington Robinson 248
  • Mr. Masefield's 'Reynard' And 'Right Royal' 263
  • Rupert Brooke 273
  • Francis Ledwidge 289
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