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The course of time (1856)

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The course of time (1856)

3.3 (1902)

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    Available in PDF Format | The course of time (1856).pdf | Unknown
    Robert Pollok
Excerpt from book: CRITICAL OBSERVATIONS. [from Blackwood's (edinburgh) Magazine.] The distinctive character of poetry, it has been said and credited, almost universally, is to please.... Pleasure is no more the end of poetry than it is the end of knowledge, or of virtue, or of religion, or of this world. The end of poetry is pleasure, delight, instruction, expansion, elevation, honor, glory, happiness here and hereafter, or it is nothing. Is the end of Paradise Lost—to please ? Is the end of Dante's Divine Comedy—to please ? Is the end of the Psalms of David—to please ? Or of the songs of Isaiah ? This poor idea infests modern criticism—perhaps ancient.... It is probable that poetry, even true poetry, has often been injured or vitiated, by having been written in the spirit of this creed.... Its tendency has been to degrade, not only in the estimation of the world, but in the works of men of genius themselves, the Divine art of poetry. Writers and readers have written and read according to a low standard. We suspect that this doctrine has especially borne hard on all sacred poetry—disinclined poets to devote their genius to it— and consigned, if not to oblivion, to neglect, much, almost all, of what is great in that magnificent walk. For if the masters of the holy harp are to strike it but to please—if their high inspirations are to be deadened and dragged down by the prevalent power of such a mean and unworthy aim, they will either be contented to awaken a few touching tones of " those strains that once did sweet in Sion glide," unwilling to prolong and deepenthem into the diapason of praise—or they will deposit their lyre within the gloom of the sanctuary, and leave unawakened "The soul of music sleeping in its strings." We are aware, at the same time, that many objections have b...  
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  • PDF | 348 pages
  • Robert Pollok
  • General Books LLC
  • Unknown
  • 9
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