Letters on Literature

Letters on Literature

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Letters on Literature by Andrew Lang

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Letters on Literature

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y affectation, of obscurity, even an occasional perversity, a mannerism, a set of favourite epithets ("windy" and "happy"). There is a momentary echo of Donne, of Crashaw, nay, in his earliest pieces, even a touch of Leigh Hunt. You detect it in pieces like "Lilian" and "Eleanore," and the others of that kind and of that date.

Let it be admitted that "In Memoriam" has certain lapses in all that meed of melodious tears; that there are trivialities which might deserve (here is an example) "to line a box," or to curl some maiden's locks, that there are weaknesses of thought, that the poet now speaks of himself as a linnet, singing "because it must," now dares to approach questions insoluble, and again declines their solution. What is all this but the changeful mood of grief? The singing linnet, like the bird in the old English heathen apologue, dashes its light wings painfully against the walls of the chamber into which it has flown out of the blind night that shall again receive it.

I do not care to d

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