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I acknowledge my special indebtedness to the several valuable articles of my friend and colleague, Professor Cornelius Weygandt, on contemporary poets in The Sewanee Review, The Alumni Register of the University of Pennsylvania, and elsewhere. I regret that his book, Irish Plays and Playwrights, now in the hands of the printer, was not available for my use before the completion of my text. The second chapter of this book owes much to the critical suggestion of another friend and colleague, Professor Clarence G. Child. Still other helps and encouragement have also been mine, as always, at the hands of others of the Department of English; whilst last, though by no means least, I record with pleasure the courteous and always capable supervision of Professor W. A. Neilson, the general editor of this series.

F. E. S. UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA, January, 1913.

THE ENGLISH LYRIC

CHAPTER I

DEFINITIONS

HE primary conception involved in the term

"lyric" has always to do with song; and it is the song-like quality of the lyric that falls

most conspicuously into contrast with the epic or telling quality of narrative verse. But this kinship of the lyric with song involves another important contrast. When Aristotle declared music the most imitative of the arts, he meant that music reflected more directly the feelings and passions of men than words which, however poetic, can merely describe or symbolically express them. So, too, the lyric is concerned with the poet, his thoughts, his emotions, his moods, and his passions. In the lyric the individual singer emerges, conspicuous in the potency of his art. We have no longer, as in Homer, a sonorous mouthpiece for the deeds of Achilles or the fated wanderings of Ulysses, but, as in Sappho, the passionate throbbings of a human heart seeking artistic expression. With the lyric subjective poetry begins.

But the lyric is not the only kind of poetry that deals with human emotion; for close beside it stands the drama with its picture of complex human life and passion in

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