Robert Naylor Whiteford.

Anthology of English poetry; online

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Copyright, 1903,
By Robert N. Whiteford, Ph.D.

^Ift JTurt fill JfxtM

176-184 HiQH Street


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That there is need of an Anthology of English Poetry for
use in the upper classes of the secondary school recent
correspondence with a large number of schools has amply
proven. Too much emphasis cannot be put upon this study,
and pupils who are ignorant of the great body of English
poetry should not be graduated from any English course in a
secondary school.

As the book follows the plan by which literature, both
prose and poetry, is taught in most colleges, it is believed
that here also the book will find a cordial welcome.

In this Anthology a background of the historical periods
in the development of English literature has been used as a
setting for poems which have been carefully selected. The
poems are linked together by notes and quotations calculated
to make pupils susceptible to philosophical and aesthetic
criticism. The few questions introduced possess the formal
unity of showing the indebtedness of best poetry to preceding
poetry. To illustrate, when pupils are studying Collins'
" Ode To Evening," they are asked to interpret it by applying
as a touchstone the imagery of Milton's " II Penseroso.'' By
this method, as advance is made from masterpiece to master-
piece, pupils realise that they are responsible for previously
mastered material.

This Anthology does not "contain a bibliography. The
books mentioned in the " Introduction " supply such a need,
and teachers of English are always well provided with read-
ing guides and handbooks. The arrangement of the subject


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matter is such that the study of English poetry is made sci-
entific, and, as far as possible, all vagueness and illusions are
removed from its teaching.

In the preparation of this work tluuiks are due Richard G.
Moulton, Professor of Literature in English in the University
of Chicago, for a thorough examination of the manuscript ;
to Professor Alexander Smith of the same University, for a
careful reading and the recommendation to others; to Pro-
fessor Charles F. Johnson of Trinity College, Hartford, Conn.,
for valuable suggestions and cursory notes in the manuscript ;
to Mr. C. W. French, Principal of the Hyde Park High
School, Chicago, for suggested material to adapt the book to
the ordinary high school ; to Professor George H. Meyer of
the University of Illinois, for his careful and scholarly read-
ing of the proof ; to Messrs. D. C. Heath & Co., for permis-
sion to use an excerpt from Professor James Lesslie HalPs
"Translation of Beowulf"; to Messrs. Macmillan & Co.,
Ltd., London, for permission to use Mr. Stopford Brooke's
blank verse translation of the Anglo-Saxon elegy, "The
Wanderer " ; and, finally, to my publishers, for many helpful
suggestions and courtesies.

R. N. W.
June, 1903

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This Anthology contains poems ;which for the most part
have been classified as the masterpieces of English poetry.
The selections have been arranged according to the various
historical periods in the development of English literature
from " Beowulf " to Kipling. The first part of the Anthology,
from the Anglo-Saxon Period to the Puritan Period, may be
completed in three months ; the second part, from the Puritan
Period to the Neo-Romantic Period, in six.

The poems have been annotated for colleges, general
classes in English literature, and for the third and fourth
year grades in high schools.

In our public schools, in the study of English poetry, a
poem should be approached from three sides: (i) pupils
should understand that there are two settings, one belonging
to the past, and another to the present, that its materials of
conception have been taken from former English poems and
from contemporary ones ; (2) pupils must study past and
present mental, moral, and social history that has made the
poem existible, thereby analysing the poetical spiritual
energy as presented by the light of a past or a present his-
torical setting ; and (3) they must fully appreciate that the
form and the metre have come either from a past or from a
present model.

In studying the selections in this Anthology, pupils are
constantly to be instructed by the method of interpreting
poems by means of those which previously have been read.
They should observe that all English poets have more or less

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VI MtroDuctioj^

drunk from one Hippocrene, which is the poetic past of Eng-
land, for their moods, psychology, and aesthetics. On taking
up each new poem, they should hear a mono-chord such as
Rossetti's :

" Oh ! what is this that knows the road I came,
The flame turned cloud, the cloud returned to flame.
The lifted, shifted steeps and all the way ? "

Collins' " Ode to Evening " and Gray's " Elegy " should te
interpreted by Milton's " L' Allegro " and " II Penseroso " ;
Goldsmith's " The Deserted Village " by " L' Allegro," " II
Penseroso," and " Lycidas " ; Burns' " The Cotter's Satur-
day Night " by Gray's " Elegy " ; and Kipling's " Recessional "
by the tone and sentiment of Milton's "On The Late
Massacre In Piedmont"

These poems have been mentioned since obviously they
are similar in theme and vocabulary. Though it is difficult
in many poems to prove that poets have a general storehouse
to which they go for poetic materials, it is assuredly evident
that great phrases have been coined with the same stamp in
the evolution of English poetry. It is easy to see where
Gray has obtained,

" Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness on the desert air,"

if Waller's " Go ! Lovely Rose " and Pope's " The Rape Of
The Lock " have been read. By this assertion no charge of
plagiarism is preferred against Gray, only that emotional
thoughts of English poets have been inspired by past poetical
materials. Observe in " On The Receipt Of My Mother's
Picture " Cowper's debt to Milton, and in the last stanza of
Burns' " To A Mountain Daisy, " what Byron unconsciously
used in his last poem. Likewise Matthew Arnold in " Self-
Dependence " ran to the literary past of Keats' " Bright star,

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would I were steadfast as thou art,'* and to a certain line
in Wordsworth's sonnet "To Milton."

These examples show the first method of interpreting the
poems. Secondary school pupils may at all times be held
responsible for poetic details mastered in previously read
poems, and are perfectly competent to use them as touch-
stones on succeeding ones. They can compare the ways in
which literary artists have felt the heart-beat of nature. When
in " The Bride of Lammermoor," in a ruinous tower over-
looking the stormy German ocean and the Kelpie's Flow,
are seen for the first time the thin grey hairs and the sharp,
high features of Caleb Balderstone, we realise that here is
the strong character of the novel. Now, the reader familiar
with the landscape of Scott's fiction, by the lightning flash
that illuminates Caleb, ought to recognise in the cell of Cop-
manhurst, where Scott has brought king and outlaw face to
face in the carousal of a night, a Richard Coeur-de-Lion who
is not a piece of stuffed armour, but a brother of Sir Walter's
whose every characteristic is known. As strong in flesh and
blood is Scott's king as Scott's servant.

Such comparative work is not beyond the comprehension
of the secondary school pupil. " Ivanhoe " is not " The
Bride of Lammermoor " ; it is different from its predecessor,
since it is a new species, but it has the same characteristics,
when it comes to measuring Richard with Caleb. As in
fiction, so is it in poetry. The only way of getting at paren-
tal traits of a new poetic piece is by measuring it with a
similar species of the same class : the new combination must
be compared with the old.

Now, the pupil moves on to the estimation of the perso-
nalities of the poets, and by many episodes in their lives he
accounts for the composition of certain poems. It is inter-
esting to find reasons for Pope's invective leveled at Addison ;
to find Cpwper's explanation of the quarrel between Mrs.

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Unwin and Lady Austen in " The Rose " ; to know why
Burns wrote "To Mary In Heaven," and how he composed
" Tam O' Shanter " ; to comprehend why Keats hung crape
on the imagery of his " Ode To A Nightingale " ; and what
made Tennyson write " Break, Break, Break," and how
" Merlin And The Gleam " serves as his autobiography.

The pupil, in passing from the specific to the general,
from the poets to their environments, becomes fascinated by
the problem of how far the historical has affected their tem-
peramental qualities ; how, by their criticisms of the dominant
thought of their epochs, may be measured their intellectual
stature and the amount of their ethical acumen.

Milton, undeterred by the un appreciative age of Charles I.
that gave prizes to poets dealing with trivial subjects, wrote
a classical pastoral elegy which he knew would fall far short
of desert, and which lost him contemporary fame. Though
many of his contemporaries considered " Lycidas " a still-
bom product of his pen, he continued to write unhampered
by public opinion, governing his taste by that Puritanism
which afterwards swayed all his poetry. Dryden was pre-
cisely otherwise ; like a chameleon, his poetry was coloured
with every new historical environment. His poetry was now
" Lines On The Death Of Cromwell," now " Astraea Redux,"
now " Religio Laici," and finally " The Hind And The
Panther." Pope at Binfield and Twickenham willingly be-
came a slave of utilitarian poetry current in the Augustan
age, and expressed views of life in imvaried melodic cadences
through models set by the classical writers. Cowper, by the
slow winding Ouse, heard church-bells from distant spires,
saw graceful hedges, meditated on African slave-trade. Puss,
Tiney, and Bess, and rejected the ancient classical canons of
literary judgment by incorporating into his poetry a profound
love of God, nature, man, and animal. To the mysticism,
symbolism, and aspiration of romanticism in its first phase,

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Shelley and Keats added a passion for the beautiful, and

sang of

" A power more strong in beauty, bom of us
And fated to excel us."

The poets of the third phase of Romanticism, of the critical
school of Victorian literature, devoted themselves to religious,
socialistic, and scientific problems. Tennyson foimd science
antagonistic to his religion, and triimiphantly fought against
skepticism in " Two Voices " and " In Memoriam." Matthew
Arnold, satisfied neither with theism nor with agnosticism,
sobbed out the futility of religion in " Dover Beach " and
the unprofitableness of atheistical life in "Rugby Chapel."
Robert Browning, undisturbed by any question presented by
science to religion, found rest from ceaseless struggle in such
poems as " Saul " and " Rabbi Ben Ezra." The social prob-
lem erected itself on the materials of " The Rape Of The
Lock," "The Deserted Village," and "The Task," in the
poetry of Thomas Hood, who tenderly wrote of the London
poor. Arnold wrote " East London " and " West London " ;
Morris, " The Day Is Coming " and " All For The Cause ; "
and Kipling has portrayed the deplorable experiences of
Tommy Atkins. Science itself became a part of mod-
em poetry, lending the finest description to Arnold's " The
Forsaken Merman"; its astronomy, botany, and geology
are found on the pages of Tennyson; and its achieve-
ments have been sung by Kipling in "The Deep -Sea
Cables " and in ** Mc Andrew's Hymn." Rossetti, uninter-
ested in the religion, socialism, and science, of his age, sadly
and morbidly turned to his Lady Beauty, who beckoned to
him with the symbol of mediaevalism.

Now, the fourth phase of Romanticism, or the second
phase of Neo-Romanticism, has been reached. The present
tendency of poetry is to extol brute force. The classification
of present poetry into a school is hazardous, yet what is seen

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should be averred. Neither theology nor nature strongly
appeals to the poets of virility; nor humanitarianism ; nor
that beauty which Shelley has incarnated in Emilia Viviani
of his " Epipsychidion/* and which Keats sought to make
eternal in his " Ode On A Grecian Urn. " These poets do
not greatly care for religious or social questions, and seem-
ingly they only care for science because of its helping
Englishmen to extend Britannia's rule by sea and by land.
For some years, John Davidson, William Ernest Henley, and
Rudyard Kipling, have lauded the achievements of national
Imperialism. The strongest of this virile school has been
Kipling whose verses have been in apotheosis of the expan-
sion of England by means of science and militarism. But
since 1900 Kipling's note of Imperial expansion has not
been loudly sounded. The poems which now come from his
pen are similar to the " Recessional." Kipling points the
finger of fate at a nation which fetters itself to "reeking
tube and iron shard." Though true democracy rests on an
imperial basis, though the many must be managed by the
brainy few of large hearts and iron nerves, he clearly sees
that England, " drunk with power," may learn the r^ dpdaavn
izaSsTtv of the ancients, since brute violence and questionable
methods may cause England's spiritual and material ruin.
At this time Kipling is the poet " of the sense of Imperial

Now, after the study of historical background, there
remains the knowledge ot epic^ ballad^ lyric, sonnet, pastoral,
idyl, elegy, ode, etc., and of the metres used in such forms of
verse. A pupil must be able to scan any line in any poem,
evincing an accurate knowledge of various metres in English
poetry, and must memorise the finest lyrics.

Syle's " From Milton To Tennyson," Pancoast's " Intro-
duction To English Literature," Halleck's " History Of Eng-
lish Literature," Moody and Lovett's " A History Of English

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Literature," and Painter's " History Of English Literature,"
which contain study lists and references, should be on the
teachers' desks for continual consultation. These books,
with Pancoast's " Standard English Poems," are fine direct-
ive agencies in studying the literary periods and the lives of
the poets. Gayley's " Classic Myths In English Literature "
will explain all mythological allusions; and Crawshaw's
" Interpretation of Literature " and Gayley and Scott's " Lit-
erary Criticism, " Vol. I, should be accessible. C. F. John-
son's " Elements of Literary Criticism " is indispensable, and
must constantly be used by teacher and class in order that
pupils independentiy may select dexterous, felicitous, and dy-
namic phrases, which test the poetic power of any poet

Throughout the book, the great phrases, which have been
struck off at a white heat by the poets, except those, in the
selected poems, are given ; and the poems from which these
have been chosen are named. These examples of phrasal
power, though separated from the context, are to be memo-
rised ; for, by so doing, the pupil gains the ability to rank
English poets, and to discriminate between the true and
false. In the study of Dryden four phrases are given, any
of which may be used in classifying the many found in
"Alexander's Feast."

From the study of the anthology by these three suggested
methods : (i) the indebtedness of best poetry to preceding
and present poetry ; (2) its indebtedness to past and present
historical environment; (3) its indebtedness for forms and
metres to preceding and present models, the pupils will have
become acquainted with the technique of poetics, will have
acquired a love for English poetry, and so far as possible a
critical ability.

In order that pupils may become literary analysts a few
stimulating questions eliciting the analysis of the poems have
been submitted for the purpose of calling their intellects as

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well as their emotions into play. They, who have viewed
a piece of literature intellectually, emotionally, and ethically,
from the points of view of sources of materials for concep-
tion, of technical construction, and of aesthetics of effect, have
become critics of the highest kind.

In conclusion, the questions are not disconnected but
serve to link poem to poem. They show, whenever possible,
the indebtedness of best poetry to preceding poetry. By this
formal unity the pupils are kept alive in their experience of
English poetry, and by the variety of the notes are made
susceptible to an all-round development.

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Preface iii

Introduction v

The Formative Or Anglo-Saxon Period

Beowulf [Beowulf's Fight With Grendel] . . . . , 4
The Wanderer 9

The Compactive Or Anglo-Norman Period
Cuckoo Song 14

The Initiative Period
The Prioresses Tale , .16

The Retrogressive Period

Sir Patrick Spens 24

The Nut-Brown Maid 26

The Twa Corbies 38

The Renaissance Period

The Faery Queene [Selections from Cantos I., III. and

XII. of Book 1.3 41

Apelles' Song [Cupid And Campaspe] . . . .52


Sephestia's Lullaby 53

The Song Of The Shepherdess ,54


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Fortunati Nimium 56

The Passionate Shepherd To His Love . . . • 58

The Nymph's Reply 60

Spring 62

On Sleep, A Sonnet 63

Since There's No Help, Come Let us Kiss And Part, A

Sonnet 64

Sonnets 66


To Celia 69

Hymn To Diana 70

Melancholy « 7i

The Potitan Period


Virtue . 73

I Prithee Send Me Back ^fy Heart . , , , • 74


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To Lucasta, On Going To The Wars ••..76
To Althea From Prison • -76

Death, The Leveller 79


Corinna's Going A-Maying 81

To Primroses Filled With Morning Dew . . , . 85

To DaflFodils 86

Go, Lovely Rose 87


L'AUegro 91

II Penseroso 96

Lycidas , • . 102

Sonnet, On The Late Massacre In Piedmont . . . 109

Sonnet, On His Blindness i lo

The Restoration Period

Alexander's Feast ; Or, The Power Of Music . . .112

The Attgttstan Age

Epistle To Dr. Arbuthnot (Selection) . . , .121

Ode To Evening .... • . . 126

Elegy Written In A Country Churchyard . . . .129

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The Deserted Village 135

When Lovely Woman Stoops To Folly . . • .149

The Georgian Eta


The Pillar Field . .151

The Rose 152

On The Receipt Of My Mother's Picture Out Of Norfolk . 153


The Tiger 158


The Cotter's Saturday Night 161

To A Mouse 167

To A Mountain Daisy 169

John Anderson, My Jo 171

Highland Mary 172

The Banks Of Doon 173

Farewell To Nancy ^174

Contented Wi' Litde And Cantie Wi' Mair . . .175

Tarn O'Shanter 176

A Bard's Epitaph 183


Lines Composed A Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey . 187

Ode, Intimations Of Immortality 192

The Solitary Reaper 202

I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud 203

Sonnet, To Milton 204

Sonnet, Composed Upon Westminster Bridge . . .205

Sonnet, It Is A Beauteous Evening 206

Sonnet, The World Is Too Much With Us ... 206

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Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, Cantos II., III. Nature
(Selections); Canto IV. Cascata Del Marmore;

The Ocean 210

Don Juan, Canto II. The Shipwreck . . . .217
Manfred, Act I. Mont Blanc; Act IH. The Coli-
seum 218

Don Juan, Canto III. The Isles Of Greece . . .221

Stanzas For Music 226

She Walks In Beauty 227

Stanzas To Augusta ■ 228

On This Day I Complete My Thirty-Sixth Year . .230

The Lay Of The Last IVfmstrel, Canto 11. 1-18 ;

70-128; Melrose Abbey 234

The Lady Of The Lake, Canto VI. XV-XIX. The

Battle Of Beal' An Duine .238

. Coleridge

The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner 246

Kubla Khan 270


The Curse Of Kehama ; II. The Curse, 14; X. Mount

Meru, 9, 10 273


The Eve Of St. Agnes 279

Ode On A Grecian Urn . 295

Ode To A Nightingale ' 297

La Belle Dame Sans Merci . . . . . .301

On First Looking Into Chapman's Homer • • .' 304
Last Sonnet 304


Adonais 307

To A Skylark 328

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Battle Of The Baltic 333

Lord UUin's Daughter . . . . • . .337


The Light Of Other Days 339

Farewell! But Whenever — . . • . • . 340


The Bridge Of Sighs 342

It Was The Time Of Roses 346

The YictoriAii Era


The Lady Of Shalott 350

Ulysses 357

Break, Break, Break 361

Online LibraryRobert Naylor WhitefordAnthology of English poetry; → online text (page 1 of 24)