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CON TENTS. - 7
LECTURES ON ENGLISH POETRY.
Monotony of Pope's verse—The revival of a truer spirit of Poetry— Chatterton—Merit of Cowper—Dr. Johnson's literary dictatorship— His “Lives of the Poets”—Sir Egerton Brydges's criticism on them —Cowper's judgment of them—Johnson's incapacity for poetical criticism—Johnson’s judgments on Gray—“London”—“Vanity of Human Wishes”—Percy’s “ Reliques of Ancient English Poetry”— The character of this poetry—Robert Burns—His boyhood—Early trials—Mossgeil Farm—The freshness of his poetry—Its universality —Wordsworth's lines—The Mountain-Daisy—The Field-mouse— Cotter's Saturday Night—Tam O’Shanter—Mary Campbell—Morality of Burns's poetry—The bard's epitaph—Wordsworth's Lines to the Sons of Burns.
IN my last lecture I was constrained to pass, somewhat too hastily, from the poetry of Pope to that of Cowper, thus bringing the earlier portion of the eighteenth century in too close contact with its later period. It has been my aim, throughout this course of lectures, to make it, as far as possible, comprehensive not only of the exposition of the individual poets selected, but of the progress of English poetry in its successive ages, as it has been modified by the influence of genius and the spirit of the times. I propose, therefore, in order not to deviate now from the
plan as presented to my own mind at the outset, to endea - 9