English Romantic Verse (Penguin Classics)
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
English Romantic poetry from its beginnings and its flowering to the first signs of its decadence
Nearly all the famous piéces de résistance will be found here—"Intimations of Immortality," "The Ancient Mariner," "The Tyger," excerpts from Don Juan—s well as some less familiar poems. As muchas possible, the poets are arranged in chronological order, and their poems in order of composition, beginning with eighteenth-century precursors such as Gray, Cowper, Burns, and Chatterton. Naturally, most space has been given over to the major Romantics—Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, Clare, and Keats—although their successors, poets such as Beddoes and Poe, are included, too, as well as early poems by Tennyson and Browning. In an excellent introduction, David Wright discusses the Romantics as a historical phenomenon, and points out their central ideals and themes.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
A ding-dong battle – so far as writing about writing is concerned – has gone on between Romantic and Classical. This debate is really a side-issue – perhaps it would not be too much to claim that the Classical is an essentially Romantic concept largely introduced, so far as England is concerned, by Matthew Arnold. The glosses given to the two epithets have been many and confusing. They have become, as often happens in the field of literary criticism and poetic theory, terms of abuse. But
are the best in Europe. For he is the cleanest in the use of his fore-paws of any quadrupede. For the dexterity of his defence is an instance of the love of God to him exceedingly. For he is the quickest to his mark of any creature. For he is tenacious of his point. For he is a mixture of gravity and waggery. For he knows that God is his Saviour. For there is nothing sweeter than his peace when at rest. For there is nothing brisker than his life when in motion. For he is of the Lord’s
city at his back – Was ever heard of such a curst disaster! ’Tis not my fault – I kept good watch – Alack! Do pray undo the bolt a little faster – They’re on the stair just now, and in a crack Will all be here; perhaps he yet may fly – Surely the window’s not so very high!’ By this time Don Alfonso was arrived, With torches, friends, and servants in great number; The major part of them had long been wived, And therefore paused not to disturb the slumber Of any wicked woman, who
lurking treasure – And when ’tis found, let me, too, have that pleasure. ‘And now, Hidalgo! now that you have thrown Doubt upon me, confusion over all, Pray have the courtesy to make it known Who is the man you search for? how d’ye call Him? what’s his lineage? let him but be shown – I hope he’s young and handsome – is he tall? Tell me – and be assured, that since you stain Mine honour thus, it shall not be in vain. ‘At least, perhaps, he has not sixty years, At that age he would be
atone (oh ever-injur’d shade!) Thy fate unpity’d, and thy rites unpaid? No friend’s complaint, no kind domestic tear Pleased thy pale ghost, or graced thy mournful bier. By foreign hands thy dying eyes were closed, By foreign hands thy decent limbs composed, By foreign hands thy humble grave adorn’d, By strangers honour’d, and by strangers mourn’d! What tho no friends in sable weeds appear Grieve for an hour, perhaps, then mourn a year, And bear about the mockery of woe To midnight