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POETRY

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CONSISTING OF

SELECTIONS

FROM THE

WORKS OF THE MOST ADMIRED WRITERS.

EDITED BY THE

REV. H. STEBBING, A. M.

AUTEOR OP 'LIVES OF THE ITAUAN POETS, AC

LONDON:

PRINTED FOR SCOTT, WEBSTER, AND GEARY,

36, CHARTERHOUSE SQUARE,

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INTRODUCTION.

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There are few errors, that have gained popularity, which admit of a readier confutation than the notion that Poetry is either an unsuitable medium for the conveyance of religious sentiments, or that religion, if it employs poetry as a venicie of instruction, must first deprive it of those striking characteristics which give it its chief power over the imagination and the affections. It can hardly be disputed that the more dignified a sentiment may be, the more dignified ought to be the language in which it is conveyed ; that the more the substance of a narrative may teem with impressive and lofty lessons, the nobler ought to be the mirror in which they are displayed, and that even in the description of objects remarkable either for beauty or sublimity, expressions ought to be employed which would be extravagant if used in respect to things of a less noble nature, but which are in these cases necessary to affect the mind with a feeling corresponding to what would arise at the view of the objects themselves. But a composition, the language of which is throughout dignified, abounding in brilliant expressions and images, and reflecting in its bright and copous stream the startv

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