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Opposed to relative, comparative,

And temporal truths; the only holders by His sun-skirts."

And this in a period when technical refinement has caused the mass of versemakers to forget that art is vital chiefly as a means of expression. Like her Hebrew poets, she was obedient "to the heavenly vision," and I think that the form of her religion, which was in sympathy with the teachings of Emanuel Swedenborg, enables us clearly to understand her genius and works. I have no doubt that she surrendered herself to the play of her imagination, as if some angelic voice were speaking through her, -and of what other modern poet can this

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be said? With equal powers of expres

sion, such a faith exalts the bard to an apocalyptic prophet, to the consecrated interpreter, of whom Plato said in "Ion," "A poet is a thing light, with wings, and unable to compose poetry until he becomes inspired and is out of his sober senses, and his imagination is no longer under his control; for he does not compose by art but through a divine power."

;

At the close of the first summer month of 1861, a memorable year for Italy, the land of song was free, united, once more a queen among the nations but the voice of its sweetest singer was hushed, the golden harp was broken; the sibylline minstrel lay dying in the City of Flowers. She was at the last, as

ever, the enraptured seer of celestial visions. Some efflux of imperishable glory passed before her eyes, and she said that it was beautiful. It seemed, to those around her, as if she died beholding

"in jasper-stone as clear as glass, The first foundations of that new, near Day Which should be builded out of Heaven to

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SYNOPSIS OF CONTENTS.

Page

Mrs. Browning's spiritual temperament

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Her classical studies

Hugh Stuart Boyd, 1782-1818

tions of a Literary Life"

Beneficent effect of culture

Former periods more eminent in special quality

But the Victorian has produced the greatest of womanpoets

Her years of unmarried life

Born at Hope End, near Ledbury, 1809

"An Essay on Mind, with Other Poems," 1826 Influence of reading on the imagination

Unconscious training of genius

Mrs. Browning portrayed in Miss Mitford's "Recollec

Her scholarship liberal, but not pedantic

"Prometheus Bound, and Miscellaneous Poems," 1833

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Robert Browning

"Memorial," by Theodore Tilton, 1862.
Her marriage, London, 1846
Married life

Influence of love upon a woman's genius

Her father's opposition to the nuptials.
Complete womanhood

Relations of art and marriage

As they affect, 1, the husband
As they affect, 2, the wife

The wedded poets

Summit of Mrs. Browning's greatness
Her powers fully developed

"Sonnets from the Portuguese," 1850

Devotion to Italy

"Casa Guidi Windows," 1851

Strength, happiness, and fame

"Aurora Leigh," 1856

A characteristic production

Landor to J. Forster, 1857

Mrs. Browning's period of decline

"Poems before Congress," 1860

"Last Poems," 1860-1861

Secondary influence of her married life.

"The Independent"

Final estimate of Mrs. Browning's genius
Her art

Tennyson and Mrs. Browning

Over-possession

Incertitude

Spontaneity

Her refrains

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