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Till, tossed out with weeds in a corner to wither, This one lily I found and made haste to bring


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“ Did he think I had given him a book to re

view ? I ought to have known what the fellow would do," Muttered Phoebus aside, “ for a thistle will pass Beyond doubt for the queen of all flowers with an He has chosen in just the same way as he'd choose His specimens out of the books he reviews; And now, as this offers an excellent text, I'll give 'em some brief hints on criticism next." So, musing a moment, he turned to the crowd, And, clearing his voice, spoke as follows aloud,

My friends, in the happier days of the muse, We were luckily free from such things as reviews; Then naught came between with its fog to make

clearer The heart of the poet to that of his hearer; Then the poet brought heaven to the people, and

they Felt that they, too, were poets in hearing his lay; Then the poet was prophet, the past in his soul Pre-created the future, both parts of one whole ; Then for him there was nothing too great or too

small, For one natural deity sanctified all; Then the bard owned no clipper and meter of

moods Save the spirit of silence that hovers and broods O’er the seas and the mountains, the rivers and

woods; He asked not earth’s verdict, forgetting the clods, His soul soared and sang to an audience of gods;


'Twas for them that he measured the thought and

the line; And shaped for their vision the perfect design, With as glorious a foresight, a balance as true, As swung out the worlds in the infinite blue; Then a glory and greatness invested man's heart, The universal, which now stands estranged and

apart, In the free individual moulded, was Art; Then the forms of the Artist seemed thrilled with

desire For something as yet unattained, fuller, higher, As once with her lips, lifted hands, and eyes listen

ing, And her whole upward soul in her countenance

glistening, Eurydice stood-like a beacon unfired, Which, once touch'd with flame, will leap heav'n

ward inspired And waited with answering kindle to mark The first gleam of Orpheus that pained the red

Dark. Then painting, song, sculpture, did more than re

lieve The need that men feel to create and believe, And as, in all beauty, who listens with love, Hears these words oft repeated— beyond and

above, So these seemed to be but the visible sign Of the grasp of the soul after things more di

vine; They were ladders the Artist erected to climb O’er the narrow horizon of space and of time, And we see there the footsteps by which men had

gained To the one rapturous glimpse of the never-at


As shepherds could erst sometimes trace in the

sod The last spurning print of a sky-cleaving god.

“But now, on the poet's dis-privacied moods With do this and do that the pert critic intrudes; While he thinks he's been barely fulfilling his duty To interpret 'twixt men and their own sense of

beauty, And has striven, while others sought honor or pelf, To make his kind happy as he was himself, He finds he's been guilty of horrid offences In all kinds of moods, numbers, genders, and

tenses ; He's been ob and subjective, whát Kettle calls Pot, Precisely, at all events, what he ought not, You have done this, says one judge ; done that, says

another; You should have done this, grumbles one ; that, says

t'other; Never mind what' he touches, one shrieks out

Taboo ! And while he is wondering what he shall do, Since each suggests opposite topics for song, They all shout together you're right! and you're

wrong! “ Nature fits all her children with something to

do, He who would write and can't write, can surely

review, Can set up a small booth as critic and sell us his Petty conceit and his pettier jealousies ; Thus a lawyer's apprentice, just out of his teens, Will do for the Jeffrey of six magazines; Having read Johnson's lives of the poet's half



There's nothing on earth he's not competent to; He reviews with as much nonchalance as he whis

tles, He goes through a book and just picks out the this

tles, It matters not whether he blame or commend, If he's bad as a foe, he's far worse as a friend; Let an author but write what's above his poor

scope, And he'll go to work gravely and twist up a rope, And, inviting the world to see punishment done, Hang himself up to bleach in the wind and the

sun; 'Tis delightful to see, when a man comes along Who has any thing in him peculiar and strong, Every cockboat that swims clear its fierce (pop)

gundeck at him And make as he passes its ludicrous Peck at


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Here Miranda came up and began, “ As to

that,”Apollo at once seized his gloves, cane, and hat, And, seeing the place getting rapidly cleared, I, too, snatched my notes and forthwith disap


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