Four Essays, Volume 3

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Harvard University Press, 1917 - Aufsatzsammlung - 137 pages
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Page 71 - Fixed in the slime, they say: 'Sullen were we in the sweet air, that is gladdened by the Sun, carrying lazy smoke within our hearts; now lie we sullen here in the black mire.
Page 120 - I see two horses of the one size and beauty, the one fierceness and speed, with ears pricked, heads high, spirited and powerful, with fine nostrils, wide foreheads, mane and tail curled, leaping together. The one grey, handsome, with broad thighs, eager, leaping, thundering, and trampling. As he goes, his fierce hoofs throw up sods of earth like a flock of swift birds after him. As he gallops on his way, he breathes out a blast of hot breath, a fire comes from his curbed jaws. The other, dark, small-headed,...
Page 23 - While I was wandering in those mountains upon a Friday in Holy Week, the strong desire seized me to write an epic in an heroic strain, taking as my theme Scipio Africanus the Great, who had, strange to say, been dear to me from my childhood. But although I began the execution of this project with enthusiasm, I straightway abandoned it, owing to a variety of distractions. The poem was, however, christened Africa, from the name of its hero, and, whether from his fortunes or mine, it did not fail to...
Page 84 - in both prose and poetry, is undoubtedly the nobler language, but for that very reason it has been so thoroughly developed by earlier writers that neither we nor anyone else may expect to add much to it. The vernacular, on the other hand, has but recently been discovered, and, though it has been ravaged by many, it still remains uncultivated, in spite of a few earnest laborers, and still shows itself capable of much improvement and enrichment.
Page 87 - ... seen overtake those of others, especially those of the poet of whom we are speaking. I could not in my own case look for more musical tongues or more flexible minds among the common people than I noted in the rendering of those authors whom long favour and habit have made popular in the theatres and public squares. That my apprehensions were not idle is clear from the fact that I am continually tortured by the tongues of the people, as they sing the few productions which I allowed to escape me...
Page 85 - I should be jealous of the hoarse applause which our poet enjoys from the tavern-keepers, fullers, butchers, and others of that class, who dishonour those whom they would praise. But, far from desiring such popular recognition, I congratulate myself, on the contrary, that, along with Virgil and Homer, I am free from it, inasmuch as I fully realise how little the plaudits of the unschooled multitude weigh with scholars.
Page 10 - Ode! I believe that they shall be but rare who shall rightly understand thy meaning, so intricate and knotty is thy utterance of it; Wherefore if perchance it come about that thou take thy way...
Page 54 - ... above contempt. This brings us to the second reproach cast upon me, which is based upon the fact that, although in my early years I was very eager in my search for books of all kinds, I never possessed a copy of this poet's work, which would naturally have attracted me most at that age. While exceedingly anxious to obtain other books which I had little hope of finding, I showed a strange indifference, quite foreign to me, towards this one, although it was readily procurable. • The fact I admit,...
Page 97 - One may almost say that theology actually is poetry, poetry concerning God. To call Christ now a lion, now a lamb, now a worm, what pray is that if not poetical ? And you will find thousands of such things in the Scriptures, so very many that I cannot attempt to enumerate them. What indeed are the parables of our Saviour, in the Gospels, but words whose sound is foreign to their 1 /am., x., 4.

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