Poetry

Poetry

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Poetry by Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

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Poetry

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Book Excerpt

ecause it is abstract and in no way personal: because though it may calculate and time and even weigh parts of the greater Universe, it cannot, by defect of its nature, bring its discoveries back to bear on the other harmony of Man. It is impersonal and therefore nescient of his need. Though by such a science he gain the whole world, it shall not profit a man who misses from it his own soul.

Philosophy, too, fails us over this same crux of "personality"; not by ignoring it, but by clinging with obstinacy to the wrong end of the stick. The quarrel between Philosophy and Poetry is notorious and inveterate: and at ninety-nine points in the hundred Philosophy has the better of the dispute; as the Fox in the fable had ninety-nine ways of evading the hounds, against the Cat's solitary one. But the Cat could climb a tree.

So Philosophy has almost all the say in this matter, until Poetry interjects the fatal question, "I beg your pardon, Madam, but do you happen to be the Almighty, or are you playing Egeria

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