Selections from Five English Poets eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 100 pages of information about Selections from Five English Poets.

[64.] The Christian volume, i.e. the New Testament.

[65.] How His first followers, etc.  See Acts of the Apostles.

[66.] The precepts sage.  See the Epistles.

[67.] He, who lone in Patmos, etc.  St. John the Evangelist is said to have been exiled to the island of Patmos, or Patmo, west of Asia Minor, and there to have written the Apocalypse, or Book of Revelation.  The doom of Babylon is pronounced in Chapter xviii of that book.

[68.] Hope springs exulting, etc.  See Pope’s Essay on Man, Epistle I, l. 95, and his Windsor Forest, l. 112.

[69.] The Power, the Almighty.

[70.] Haply, perhaps, perchance.

[71.] Princes and lords, etc.  See The Deserted Village, lines 53 and 54.

[72.] An honest man’s, etc.  Pope’s Essay on Man, Epistle IV, l. 247.

[73.] Certes, truly.

[74.] Wallace’s undaunted heart.  Sir William Wallace, born about 1274, is one of the most famous of Scotch heroes.  For a time he was a successful opponent of Edward I of England, but he finally suffered defeat, and in 1305 was captured and taken to London, where he was tried, condemned, and beheaded.  One of Burns’s most celebrated songs begins:  “Scots, wha hae (who have) wi’ Wallace bled.”  Scott tells of Wallace in his Tales of a Grandfather.



Coleridge was born in Ottery St. Mary, in Devonshire England, and spent his early years in the midst of a large family.  His father, who was vicar of the town and master of the grammar school, died when the son was only nine years old.  His character must, however, have impressed Coleridge deeply, for he said, in after years:  “The memory of my father—­my reverend, kind, learned, simple-hearted father—­is a religion to me.”  Soon after his father’s death he left his happy home in the country to enter a school it=n London, known as Christ’s Hospital.  Charles Lamb, who was a schoolmate of his, has sketched the life there in two well-known essays.  In one of them, Christ’s Hospital Fifty Years Ago, he describes the summer holidays, so delightful for himself with his family near, and so dreary for the country boy with no friends in the city; and he pictures Coleridge as forlorn and half-starved, declaring that in those days the food of the “Blue-coat boys” was cruelly insufficient.  From early childhood the future poet had been passionately fond of reading, and an occurrence which took place during his early years in London enabled him for a time to gratify his taste.  One day while walking down the Strand, he put out his arms as if in the act of swimming, and in so doing touched a passer-by.  The man, taking him for a thief, seized him, crying, “What, so young and so wicked!” “I am not a pickpocket,” replied the boy; “I only thought I was Leander swimming the Hellespont!” After making some inquiries, his chance acquaintance subscribed to a library for him, and the story runs that in a short time the young bookworm had read “right through the catalogue.”

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