English poetry, and seeks a simple statement of its principles in relation to life, conduct, and art. In the preface to a little volume, entitled the Poetry of the People, I have said that the poetry of refined self-consciousness and deliberate art, the poetry that requires analysis, should not be forced down the throats of children. The love of poetry should precede the study of it. Ballads, poems of national history and sentiment, songs and lays that were ever on the lips of our forefathers because they sprang from the heart, the poetry of the people, in short, should be made familiar to our children, because it is simple, ingenuous, manly, redolent of national tradition and fitted to inculcate national ideals in the rising generation. Such poetry is enjoyed and loved ;and learned because it is a joy to learn it. So a gateway is opened to the Courts of Song, where once admitted the novitiate turns not back. He presses frofti cloisters of far-heard melody to the chanting choir; the echoing clerestory calls to his imagination; his sense is ravished and his soul refined with ever new delight. The poetry of the people appeals to the communal consciousness and the untutored taste. The one it welds, the other fashions. The poetry of art is the poetry of the individual, of personal effort or thought, of yearnings rarely all comprehended and less than half expressed, of conscious idealization, of social themes made spiritual. Sometimes it is the criticism of life, sometimes of manners; sometimes the genial mirroring of the truth, sometimes the smile that plays upon its face that mocks, but mocking enlightens and diverts.
(Typographical errors above are due to OCR software and don't occur in the book.)
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