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Thy timely mandate, I deferred
Through no disturbance of my soul,
Stern Lawgiver! yet thou dost wear
fresh and strong.
To humbler functions, awful Power!
Give unto me, made lowly wise,
The spirit of self sacrifice; 55 The confidence of reason give; And in the light of truth thy bondman let me live!
QUESTIONS FOR STUDY This poem is addressed to Duty as the chief reliance and comfort of mankind.
Give all the names by which the poet addresses Duty. What does the poet say are the characteristics of duty ? (Lines 3–7.) What does he pray
for in lines 15, 16 ?
Explain the relation of Duty to Freedom as suggested in the fourth and fifth stanza.
Explain the contrast in the sixth stanza.
SHE WAS A PHANTOM OF DELIGHT
She was a phantom of delight
1 Phantom, spirit.
But all things else about her drawn
I saw her upon nearer view,
And now I see with eye serene
Explain all the figures of speech in the first stanza.
In the second stanza what is the meaning of "Sweet records, promises as sweet” ?
Do you know a woman such as the poet has in mind?
Memorize the couplet that you choose.
John Ruskin was the greatest of English art critics. He was a devoted lover of the beautiful and was able to discern it even where others sometimes failed. He was also a great lover of his fellow men and devoted much of his life to endeavors to educate the laboring class of England to higher and better living. He was born in London in 1819. His father was a wealthy merchant and was able to give the boy every advantage. He was graduated from Oxford University in 1836, and almost immediately began writing on Art. Many of his essays are likely to live in literature and to be more admired as time passes.
Mr. Ruskin did much to stimulate the workingmen of England to think. He realized that many social and industrial troubles are due to poor methods and habits
of thought, and that the first step toward their solution is in cultivating the power to think clearly. The question here discussed, of what industry really is, and what idleness, and what play, is one of the many considered by him in his talks to workingmen.
There are idle poor and idle rich; and there are busy poor and busy rich. Many a beggar is as lazy as if he had ten thousand a year; and many a man of large fortune is busier than his errand boy, and never would think of stopping in the street to play 5