STUDY HINTS Study the spelling and meaning of these words: transparent perplexity

infallible coincidence


countenance doze


ingenuity Has Irving followed any plan in this description of Van Twiller ? What is his plan? What do you think of Van Twiller's character? Of his habits? What does the expression “Taken toll of everything that went into his mouth” mean? Does the author describe his hero directly or indirectly? Prove your point by two illustrations. What do you consider the most humorous part of the description? How would you describe Irving's humor?


THEME SUBJECTS Imitating Irving's method of description, describe, without giving his name, a person familiar to the class. Think what it is that causes you to recognize him even before you are near enough to see his face distinctly. Has he any unusual feature that makes him noticeable? Has he any characteristic gestures or expressions? How do his clothes differ from those of other people? Whatever, in a word, that makes him different from others should be shown in your description. Describe a building or a room, bringing out its chief feature. Contrast Ichabod Crane with Wouter Van Twiller. Describe a man to show that he is a clergyman or a doctor.

The Roundest Person I ever Saw.
Why We Called Him “Skinny.”

A Tramp.
Somebody's Grandmother.


The Stout Gentleman (in Bracebridge Hall). Washington Irving.
Dolph Heyliger (in Bracebridge Hall). Washington Irving.
Legends of the Alhambra. Washington Irving.
The Specter Bridegroom (in Sketchbook). Washington Irving.
The Belated Travelers (in Tales of a Traveler). Washington Irving.
In Leisler's Times. E. S. Brooks.
Nooks and Corners of Old New York. Charles Hemstreet.



(For biographical sketch see page 221.)

WHERE the bee sucks, there suck I;
In a cowslip's bell I lie:
There I couch when owls do cry.
On the bat's back I do fly
After summer, merrily.
Merrily, merrily shall I live now,
Under the blossom that hangs on the bough.


[For biographical sketch see page 93.)
I WANDERED lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:

1 From The Tempest.

Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced, but they
Outdid the sparkling waves in glee:-
A poet could not but be gay
In such a jocund company:
I gazed — and gazed — but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought.

For oft when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude,
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.



John Keats (1795–1821) was born in London. For a short time he studied surgery but gave it up to become a poet. His poetical creed was: “A thing of beauty is a joy forever.” He especially loved the beautiful things in the world of the senses. Before he died, at the age of twenty-five, he had written more beautiful verse than any other poet of his years. One of Shelley's greatest poems is Adonais, an elegy on Keats. See also:

Halleck's New English Literature, pp. 426-435, 447.
Colvin's Keats.
Rossetti's Life of Keats.

THE poetry of earth is never dead:
When all the birds are faint with the hot sun,
And hide in cooling trees, a voice will run
From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead;
That is the grasshopper's — he takes the lead

In summer luxury, — he has never done
With his delights; for when tired out with fun
He rests at ease beneath some pleasant weed.
The poetry of earth is ceasing never;
On a lone winter evening, when the frost
Has wrought a silence, from the stove there shrills
The cricket's song, in warmth increasing ever,
And seems to one in drowsiness half lost,
The grasshopper's among some grassy hills.



Alfred Tennyson (1809-1892) was born in Somersby, Lincolnshire. He divides honors with Browning as one of the two greater poets of the Victorian age. In Memoriam, a poem on the death of his most intimate friend; the Idylls of the King, celebrating the deeds of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table; and some of his short lyrics, are his most famous poems. He was a careful student of nature and his poetry reflects the thought of the Victorian age. The artistic finish of his verse is one of its great charms. He said that he could have transferred many of his stanzas to canvas if he had been a painter. See also:

Halleck's New English Literature, pp. 553-563, 585.
Alfred, Lord Tennyson, A Memoir, by his son.
Benson's Alfred Tennyson.
Lyall's Tennyson.

ONE showed an iron coast and angry waves.

You seemed to hear them climb and fall
And roar rock-thwarted under bellowing caves,

Beneath the windy wall.
And one, a full-fed river winding slow

By herds upon an endless plain,
The ragged rims of thunder brooding low,

With shadow-streaks of rain.

And one, an English home - gray twilight poured

On dewy pastures, dewy trees,
Softer than sleep — all things in order stored,

A haunt of ancient Peace.



William Butler Yeats (1865– ), was born in Dublin, Ireland. He has done much to revive Irish folklore, besides writing exquisite lyrics, and plays full of patriotic feeling and of the childlike superstition of his country. See also:

Halleck's New English Literature, pp. 597-599, 616, 617, 623.
Krans's William Butler Yeats and the Irish Literary Revival.

I WILL arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping

slow, Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket


There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet's wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements gray,
I hear it in the deep heart's core.

1 From The Poetical Works of William B. Yeats, copyright, 1906, by The Macmillan Company. Used by special arrangement with the publishers.

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