Distracting Cares Will Not Be Allowed
To Obstruct The Field Of His Vision, For The Higher Regions Of
Literature, Like Astronomy, Are Above Storm And Darkness.
But passing by these rumors of bards, let us pause for a moment
at the Teian poet.
There is something strangely modern about him. He is very easily
turned into English. Is it that our lyric poets have resounded
but that lyre, which would sound only light subjects, and which
Simonides tells us does not sleep in Hades? His odes are like
gems of pure ivory. They possess an ethereal and evanescent
beauty like summer evenings, - _which you must perceive with the flower of the
mind_, - and show how slight a beauty could be expressed. You
have to consider them, as the stars of lesser magnitude, with the
side of the eye, and look aside from them to behold them. They
charm us by their serenity and freedom from exaggeration and
passion, and by a certain flower-like beauty, which does not
propose itself, but must be approached and studied like a natural
object. But perhaps their chief merit consists in the lightness
and yet security of their tread;
"The young and tender stalk
Ne'er bends when _they_ do walk."
True, our nerves are never strung by them; it is too constantly
the sound of the lyre, and never the note of the trumpet; but
they are not gross, as has been presumed, but always elevated
above the sensual.
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