over his poem of ‘La Pucelle’?
Yet this was in the time of Corneille
, and La Fontaine
points out that it is not enough for a poet to utter his own sympathies, he must also reach those of his audience.
The audience, he thinks, is often like some hungry Bedouin Arab in the desert, who thinks he has found a sack of pease and opens it eagerly; but, alas!
they are only pearls!
With what discontent did the audience of Emerson
's day inspect his precious stones!
Even now Matthew Arnold
shakes his head over them and finds Longfellow
's little sentimental poem of ‘The Bridge
’ worth the whole of Emerson
When we consider that Byron
once accepted meekly his own alleged inferiority to Rogers
, and that Southey
ranked himself with Milton
and Virgil, and only with half-reluctant modesty placed himself below Homer
; that Miss Anna Seward
and her contemporaries habitually spoke of Hayley
as ‘the Mighty Bard
,’ and passed over without notice Hayley
's eccentric dependant, William Blake
; that but two volumes of Thoreau
's writings were published, greatly to his financial