Chapter 7, 9 &10 English poets,
1660-1789 & 19th-Century Poets
From An Outline of English Literature by
Thornley and Roberts
The Age of Reason
Order was important in men’s thoughts (p.73)
Heroic couplet is well suited to verse based
on reasoning
Alexander Pope
 The Rape of the Lock (= The Stealing of the
Hair, 1712-4)
 Taking a light subject and treats it as
important (p.72)
 Lord Petre had cut off some hair from Miss
Arabella Fermor’s head and the two families
had quarreled violently. Pope tried to end the
quarrel by writing this “heroic” poem,
describing the event in detail but only made
the quarrel worse.
Belinda discovers her lock
of hair has been cut.
William Blake
A return to thoughts about nature and more lyrical
subjects began in the early eighteenth century.
 A poet and an artist (p.77)
 His poetry revealed that he did not believe in the
reality of matter, or in the power of earthly rulers, or
in punishment after death
 Songs of Innocence (1787)
 Songs of Experience (1794)
 “The Tiger” (p. 79)
Robert Burns
A Scottish farmer
A deep understanding of animals and love for them
“My Love’s like a red, red rose” (p.79)
O MY Luve 's like a red, red rose
That 's newly sprung in June:
O my Luve 's like the melodie
That's sweetly play'd in tune! As fair art thou, my bonnie
So deep in luve am I:
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a' the seas gang dry:
A Red, Red Rose
Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi' the sun;
I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o' life shall run.
And fare thee weel, my only Luve,
And fare thee weel a while!
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho' it were ten thousand mile.
Early 19th-Century Poets
A return to thoughts about nature and more lyrical
subjects (p.91)
A simpler, more natural expression which we shall see in
Wordsworth and Coleridge – the Lake Poets
Neither of them used the old language of poetry much
The publication of the Lyrical Ballads (1798) signaled the
beginning of the Romantic Age
William Wordsworth
A poet of nature
 Had the ability to throw a charm over ordinary things
 In later editions of the Lyrical Ballads (1800-2), he
said that the language of poetry ought to be the same
as the language of a simple farm worker
 His imagination led him far beyond the life and
thoughts of a countryman
“Lines Written above Tintern Abbey” – the poet
returns to a scene of his boyhood (p.93)
“Westminster Bridge,” an emotional view of London
“London,” a cry for help in the troubles of the world
“The Daffodils, The Solitary Reaper,”
“Lucy” poems
“The Ode on Intimations of Immortality” (1807)
found faith in memories of childhood, the business
world has shut off the view of heaven (p.93-94)
expressed his belief that we come from another life
and go to a life without end
The Prelude – a record in 14 books of verse of the
poet’s progress in poetry and thought
Written during 1799-1805
Schooldays, time at Cambridge, visits to London
and France, life in France during the Revolution
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Makes mysterious events
acceptable to a reader’s mind
 “The Rime of the Ancient
Mariner,” appeared in the first
edition of the Lyrical Ballads –
an old sailor describes some
strange misfortunes that
happened to his ship. At last,
the mariner, seeing God’s
creatures in the moonlight,
blesses them. This breaks the
curse and he is able to return
home. (p.91, 92)
 “Christable” (1816), “Kubla
Khan” (1816) – p.93
Kubla Khan
So twice five miles of fertile
With walls and towers were
girdled round;
And here were gardens
bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an
incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests
ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of
-Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Kubla Khan
George Gordon, Lord Byron
Influenced by the classical form of Pope (p.94)
 Satirized many sides of English life, but his satires
lack Pope’s polished perfection and command of
 Lacked Wordsworth’s poetic imagination nor
Coleridge’s mystery, words mean what they say and
have no further magic
“Childe Harold” (1809-17)
Tells the story of a man (Lord Byran)
who goes off to travel far because he
is disgusted with life’s foolish
Describes different places he visits and
what once happened
Excerpts – p.95
“Don Juan” (1818-24)
Astonishing adventure
A satire which attacks some of
Byron’s enemies
Contains the poet’s ideas on various
Lord Byron
Percy Bysshe Shelley
Struggled against the causes of human misery and
accepted religions (p.97)
Saw goodness in nature
“Alastar, or The Spirit of Solitude” (1816)
Written in blank verse and shows Wordsworth’s
Expresses joy in the universe and sorrow for the
violent feelings of men
Percy Shelley’s Famous Poems
“Prometheus Unbound” (1820) – deals with the
human struggle against the power of false gods
“Adonais” (1821), an elegy on the death of Keats
“Ozymandias,” expresses the uselessness and the
shortness of all earthly power
“The Cloud”
“To a Skylark”
“Ode to the West Wind” (p.97)
I met a traveler from an antique land who said:
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert... near them, on the sand,
half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
and wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
tell that its sculptor well those passions read
which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
the hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, kimg of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
the lone and level sands stretch far away
John Keats and His Great Odes
Influenced by Spenser’s Fairie Queene (p.97)
Studied the nature and could write lines in
Wordsworth’s manner, but with more music
“Ode on a Grecian Urn” (1819) – p. 99
“To a Nightingale”
“To Autumn”
“La Belle Dame Sans Merci” -- a knight dreams of
his lady, but wakes alone on a cold hillside. La Belle
Dame is supposed to be tuberculosis, a disease which
killed Keats at the early age of 26.
John Keats and His Great Odes
Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Rhythm and thought were needed in great work (p.101)
“The Idylls of the King” (1859)-- Put Malory’s Morte
D’Arthur into blank verse
“In Memoriam” (1833-50), an elegy for his friend
Hallam, expressed the sorrow for the loss of a friend
and changes into an expression of a wider love of God
and man (p.103)
Shorter Poems, “Ulysses” (1842), “The Princess” (1847
and 1853)
Immense influence in his own time, reflected the
changing ideas of his age
Robert and Elizabeth Browning
Robert Browning (p.104)
Intellect is more important than the music
Browning’s difficult style is the result of his unusual
knowledge of words and his bold ways of building
sentences (p.106)
Lived in Italy at Florence, a place which influenced
the poet
“Pauline” (1833), “Sordello” (1840), “My Last
Duchess” (1842)
Dramatic Lyrics (1842) and Dramatic Romances
(1845), Dramatic Personae (1864)
Sonnets from the Portuguese (1850) by Elizabeth
Matthew Arnold
Much of his work is sad because of the problems of his
 Greatly admired Wordsworth’s calmness
 “Dover Beach” (1867)
Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
A painter and a poet, “Fleshly School” of poetry
Poetry ought to be based on the senses (p.109)
Sonnets, the most musical in English
Lines clear written by a man with a painter’s eye
Fond of alliteration
Georgina Rossetti
Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s sister
Wrote sad and religious poems and unhappy love, poems for
the young
The collections Goblin Market (1862) and The Prince's
Progress (1866) contain most of her finest work.
Her best poetry is strong, personal, and unforced; her success
arises from her ability to unite the devotional and the
passionate sides of her nature.
Her Sing-Song (1872; enlarged 1893), a collection of nursery
rhymes, is among the most outstanding children's books of
the 19th century.
After the onset of a thyroid disorder in 1871, she wrote
mainly devotional verse.

Chapter 7 English poets, 1660-1789