The Muse in Council: Being Essays on Poets and Poetry

By John Drinkwater | Go to book overview

ALICE MEYNELL1

I

WHEN Alice Meynell died in 1922, she was said, I believe, to be over seventy years of age. Anybody less like seventy it would be difficult to imagine. I had been honoured with her acquaintance -- I think I might almost say friendship, certainly her good-will -- for some twelve years. It was not easy, perhaps, to think of Alice Meynell as a girl or a young woman, but it was impossible to associate her with anything of old age. Witty, generous, of the simplest and most tender humanity, there was also in her some austerity, not of personality, but of spirit, that suggested the women of Greek tragedy. I have never known anyone so ageless. Youth, maturity and fullness of years were here strangely at one. It was in no chance moment of vision that she wrote, when she was a little over twenty, 'A Letter from a Girl to her own Old Age.' At twenty she was as old as she would ever be; at her death nothing of young freshness or wonder had gone from her. In her home, humorously intent upon the succession of family cares and gossip, she was yet the seer always. To be with her was to be at ease in the presence of a great lady.

____________________
1
Read to the Royal Society of Literature from the Chair of Poetry.

-224-

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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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