A Study of Francis Thompson's Hound of Heaven

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    Letteratura, Poesia

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This great poem, strange to say, is comparatively little known. It is the sweetest, deepest, strongest song ever written in the English tongue. Among some of the great odes are Alexander's Feast, Dryden, Ode on the Nativity, Milton, Intima tions of Immortality, Wordsworth. To say Thompson's poem is one of the great odes is to place it unranked among them. In my judgment it is greater. I do not hesitate to say with the Bookman that the Hound of Heaven seems to us, on the whole, the most wonderful lyric in the language. It fingers all the stops of the spirit but under all, the still sad music of humanity, and with the Times, that people will still be learning it by heart two hundred years hence, for it has about it the unique thing that makes for immortality. It is the return of the nineteenth century to Thomas a Kempis.

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