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Why Sitt'st thou by that Ruined Hall
Roman Catholic Hymn for the Soul of the Deceased
Fallen is thy Throne, O Israel
The Glory of God in the Beauties of Creation
O Thou who Dry'si the Mourner's Tear
The Bird Let Loose in Eastern Skies
Adoration of the Deity in the Midst of his Works
WILLIAM LISLE BOWLES
Stanzas on the Death of a Child
To the Evening Primrose
Verses written After Returning from an Autumnal Walk.
Verses to the Memory of a Child
PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY
To a Skylark
To his Son, Six Years old, During Sickness
To the Memory of the Rev. James Grahame
Sonnet. The Evening Cloud
Lines written on Seeing a Picture by Berghem
STUDIES IN POETRY.
Born 1323-Died 1400.
CHAUCER is the first true poet in the English language. Before the era of his writings we can discover but very few compositions even in the form of verse; and those few are of a character as unpoetical as can well be conceived. Previous to the Norman Conquest the Saxon language had been poetically cultivated, especially in popular ballads in praise of the heroes of England. The influence of that event upon the national tongue was like that of a great inundation, which at first buries the face of the landscape under its waters, but which at last subsiding leaves behind it the elements of new beauty and fertility.'
Poetry in an English form begins to dawn between the eleventh and twelfth centuries, till in the thirteenth the writings of Chaucer present us with its morning brilliancy. After him we pass through a long and barren interval before we are admitted to enjoy the genius of Spenser. The appearance of the former is beautifully compared by Warton, the historian of English poetry, to a premature day in an English spring; after which the gloom of winter returns, and the buds and blossoms, which have been called forth by a transient sunshine, are nipped by frosts and scattered by storms.'
His antiquated dialect, and far more than that, the manner in which his words are spelt, making them appear to the eye of a modern extremely uncouth, have given to his poetry an air of strangeness and distance, which prevents us from duly appreciating its beauty. It is not till the taste has been cultivated by a long familiarity with the writers of more modern times-not till we have arrived at a ripe acquaintance with the spirit and the language of the poets from Spenser downwards, that we can go to the pages of Chaucer with a true, easy relish for their various excellence.
He was educated probably at the university of Cambridge. He enjoyed during his life the patronage of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, whose sister-in-law he married, and