The Great Tradition: A Book of Selections from English and American Prose and Poetry, Illustrating the National Ideals of Freedom, Faith, and Conduct

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Edwin Almiron Greenlaw, James Holly Hanford
Scott, Foresman, 1919 - American literature - 679 pages
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Page 543 - If, in the opinion of the people, the distribution or modification of the constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment, in the way which the constitution designates. But let there be no change by usurpation ; for, though this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed. The precedent must always greatly overbalance in permanent evil any partial or transient benefit, which the use can at...
Page 544 - Why forego the advantages of so peculiar a situation? Why quit our own to stand upon foreign ground? Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalship, interest, humor, or caprice? It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world...
Page 53 - Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested; that is, some books are to be read only in parts; others to be read but not curiously; and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention. Some books also may be read by deputy, and extracts made of them by others; but that would be only in the less important arguments and the meaner sort of books; else distilled books are, like common distilled waters, flashy things. Reading maketh a full man;...
Page 417 - Make me thy lyre, even as the forest is: What if my leaves are falling like its own! The tumult of thy mighty harmonies Will take from both a deep, autumnal tone, Sweet though in sadness. Be thou, Spirit fierce, My spirit! Be thou me, impetuous one! Drive my dead thoughts over the universe Like withered leaves to quicken a new birth! And, by the incantation of this verse, Scatter, as from an unextinguished hearth Ashes and sparks, my words among mankind!
Page 103 - And moan the expense of many a vanish'd sight : Then can I grieve at grievances foregone, And heavily from woe to woe tell o'er The sad account of fore-bemoaned moan, Which I new pay as if not paid before. But if the while I think on thee, dear friend, All losses are restored and sorrows end.
Page 531 - All we have willed or hoped or dreamed of good shall exist ; Not its semblance, but itself; no beauty, nor good, nor power Whose voice has gone forth, but each survives for the melodist When eternity affirms the conception of an hour, The high that proved too high, the heroic for earth too hard, The passion that left the ground to lose itself in the sky. Are music sent up to God by the lover and the bard; Enough that he heard it once : we shall hear it by and by.
Page 410 - twas a pleasing fear, For I was as it were a child of thee, And trusted to thy billows far and near, And laid my hand upon thy mane — as I do here.
Page 126 - ON HIS BLINDNESS. WHEN I consider how my light is spent, Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide, And that one talent which is death to hide Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent To serve therewith my Maker, and present My true account, lest he returning chide, ' Doth God exact day-labor, light denied ?
Page 410 - Thou glorious mirror, where the Almighty's form Glasses itself in tempests; in all time, Calm or convulsed, in breeze, or gale, or storm, Icing the pole, or in the torrid clime Dark-heaving; boundless, endless, and sublime, The image of Eternity, the throne Of the invisible,— even from out thy slime The monsters of the deep are made; each zone Obeys thee; thou goest forth, dread, fathomless, alone.
Page 542 - There is an opinion, that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of the Government, and serve to keep alive the spirit of Liberty. This, within certain limits, is probably true ; and in Governments of a Monarchical cast, Patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with favor, upon the spirit of party.

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