The Works of the English Poets: With Prefaces, Biographical and Critical, Volume 5

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Samuel Johnson
C. Bathurst, 1779 - English poetry
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Page 103 - With store of ladies, whose bright eyes Rain influence, and judge the prize Of wit or arms, while both contend To win her grace, whom all commend.
Page 161 - What recks it them? What need they? They are sped; And when they list, their lean and flashy songs Grate on their scrannel pipes of wretched straw ; The hungry sheep look up and are not fed, But swoln with wind and the rank mist they draw, Rot inwardly and foul contagion spread; Besides what the grim wolf with privy paw Daily devours apace, and nothing said. But that two-handed engine at the door Stands ready to smite once and smite no more.
Page 103 - And ever against eating cares Lap me in soft Lydian airs Married to immortal verse, Such as the meeting soul may pierce In notes, with many a winding bout Of linked sweetness long drawn out, With wanton heed and giddy cunning, The melting voice through mazes running, Untwisting all the chains that tie The hidden soul of harmony; That Orpheus...
Page 95 - Now the bright morning star, day's harbinger, Comes dancing from the east, and leads with her The flowery May, who from her green lap throws The yellow cowslip, and the pale primrose. Hail, bounteous May, that dost inspire Mirth, and youth, and warm desire ; Woods and groves are of thy dressing, Hill and dale doth boast thy blessing. Thus we salute thee with our early song, And welcome thee, and wish thee long.
Page 160 - The air was calm, and on the level brine Sleek Panope with all her sisters played. It was that fatal and perfidious bark, Built in the eclipse, and rigged with curses dark, That sunk so low that sacred head of thine.
Page 161 - That to the faithful herdman's art belongs! What recks it them? What need they? They are sped; And when they list, their lean and flashy songs Grate on their scrannel pipes of wretched straw; The hungry sheep look up, and are not fed...
Page 104 - Or fill the fixed mind with all your toys! Dwell in some idle brain, And fancies fond with gaudy shapes possess, As thick and numberless As the gay motes that people the sun-beams, Or likest hovering dreams, The fickle pensioners of Morpheus
Page 159 - Fame is the spur that the clear spirit doth raise (That last infirmity of noble mind) To scorn delights, and live laborious days : But the fair guerdon when we hope to find, And think to burst out into sudden blaze, Comes the blind Fury with the abhorred shears And slits the thin-spun life. But not the praise...
Page 107 - Pelops' line, Or the tale of Troy divine, Or what (though rare) of later age, Ennobled hath the buskined stage. But O, sad Virgin, that thy power Might raise Musaeus from his bower, Or bid the soul of Orpheus sing Such notes as warbled to the string, Drew iron tears down Pluto's cheek, And made Hell grant what Love did seek.
Page 82 - Perhaps their loves, or else their sheep, Was all that did their silly thoughts so busy keep.

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