Essays: Second Series

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J. Munroe, 1845 - American essays - 313 pages
 

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Page 41 - We have yet had no genius in America, r with tyrannous eye, which knew the value of our incomparable materials, and saw, in the barbarism and materialism of the times, another carnival of the same gods whose picture he so much admires in Homer ; then in the middle age ; then in Calvinism.
Page 37 - Here is the difference betwixt the poet and the mystic, that the last nails a symbol to one sense, which was a true sense for a moment, but soon becomes old and false. For all symbols are fluxional ; all language is vehicular and transitive, and is good, as ferries and horses are, for conveyance, not as farms and houses are, for homestead.
Page 29 - It is a secret which every intellectual man r quickly learns, that, beyond the energy of his possessed and conscious intellect, he is capable of a new energy (as of an intellect doubled on itself), by abandonment to the nature of things ; that, beside his privacy of power as an individual man, there is a great public power, on which he can draw, by unlocking, at all risks, his human doors, and suffering the ethereal tides to roll and circulate through him...
Page 99 - I was content the moment my eyes fell on him. When I beheld Theseus, I desired that I might see him offer battle, or at least guide his horses in the chariot-race; but Hercules did not wait for a contest; he conquered whether he stood, or walked, or sat, or whatever thing he did.
Page 32 - The use of symbols has a certain power of emancipation and exhilaration for all men. We seem to be touched by a wand which makes us dance and run about happily, like children. We are like persons who come out of a cave or cellar into the open air.
Page 160 - As Heaven and Earth are fairer, fairer far Than Chaos and blank Darkness, though once chiefs; And as we show beyond that Heaven and Earth In form and shape compact and beautiful, In will, in action free, companionship, And thousand other signs of purer life; So on our heels a fresh perfection treads, A power more strong in beauty, born of us And fated to excel us, as we pass In glory that old Darkness: nor are we Thereby more conquer'd, than by us the rule Of shapeless Chaos.
Page 7 - The poet is the person in whom these powers are in balance, the man without impediment, who sees and handles that which others dream of, traverses the whole scale of experience, and is representative of man, in virtue of being the largest power to receive and to impart.
Page 22 - As the eyes of Lyncseus were said to see through the earth, so the poet turns the world to glass, and shows us all things in their right series and procession.
Page 15 - Every spirit as it is more pure, And hath in it the more of heavenly light, So it the fairer body doth procure To habit in, and it more fairly dight With cheerful grace and amiable sight. For of the soul the body form doth take : For soul is form, and doth the body make.
Page 181 - The best of hospitality and of generosity is also not in the will, but in fate. I find that I am not much to you; you do not need me; you do not feel me; then am I thrust out of doors, though you proffer me house and lands. No services are of any value, but only likeness. When I have attempted to join myself to others by services, it proved an intellectual trick, — no more. They eat your service like apples, and leave you out. But love them, and they feel you, and delight in you all the time. NATURE...

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