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Methinks their very names shine still and bright;
WRITTEN UPON A BLANK LEAF IN
While flowing rivers yield a blameless sport,
THE DEATHLESS POWERS OF VERSE.
For deathless powers to verse belong,
Not such the initiatory strains
Nor such the spirit-stirring note
And not unhallowed was the page
The pangs of vain pursuit ;
O ye who patiently explore
That were, indeed, a genuine birth
* The reader will doubtless be surprised that no passage has been given from Wordsworth’s “Prelude.” I regret that I have not been able to obtain permission to quote from that poem.
SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE.
[Born, 1772. Educated at Christ's Hospital and Jesus College, Cambridge. “The Watchman,” and early Poems, published 1796; “ The Ancient Mariner,” in Lyrical Ballads, 1798; Christabel,” 1806; Translation of Schiller's Wallenstein," 1800; “ Biographia Literaria,” 1817; “Aids to Reflection,” 1825. Died, 1834. "Literary Remains," 1836.]
A GOOD BOOK LIKE A FRUIT-TREE.
It is saying less than the truth to affirm that an excellent book (and the remark holds almost equally good of a Raphael as of a Milton) is like a well chosen and well tended fruit-tree. Its fruits are not of one season only. With the due and natural intervals, we may recur to it year
and it will supply the same nourishment and the same gratification, if only we ourselves return to it with the same healthful appetite.
(Literary Remains, v. 1, p. 63).
BOOKS THE BEST PERPETUATORS OF FAME. And in truth, deeply, O far more than words can
express, as I venerate the Last Judgment and the Prophets of Michel Angelo Buonaroti, --yet the very pain which I repeatedly felt as I lost myself in gazing upon them, the painful consideration that their having been in fresco was the sole cause that they had not been abandoned to all the accidents of a dangerous transportation to a distant capital ; and that the same caprice which made the Neapolitan soldiery destroy all the exquisite masterpieces on the walls of the Trinitado Monte after the retreat of their antagonist barbarians, might as easily have made vanish the rooms and open gallery of Raffael, and the yet more unapproachable wonders of the sublime Florentine in the Sixtine Chapel, forced upon my mind the reflection : How grateful the human race ought to be that the works of Euclid, Newton, Plato, Milton, Shakspeare, are not subject to similar contingencies,—that they and their fellows, and the great, though inferior, peerage of undying intellect, are secured ;--secured even from a second irruption of Goths and Vandals, in addition to many other safeguards, by the vast empire of English language, laws, and religion founded in America,