Samuel Johnson - The Vanity of Human Wishes - Penguin Audiobooks

Samuel Johnson - The Vanity of Human Wishes - Penguin Audiobooks

Samuel Johnson - The Vanity of Human Wishes - Penguin Audiobooks
English | MP3 | Audiobook | 121 MB

Johnson's verse was totally ignored in the nineteenth century and he himself seems to have been insensible to poetry's spell-binding and incantatory power. Yet an astringent critic such as Leavis accounted The Vanity of Human Wishes a great poem, while Eliot declared both it and London to be amongst the greatest verse satires in English or any other language. He also wrote "If lines 189-220 of The Vanity of Human Wishes are not poetry, I do not know what is."
On what foundation stands the warrior's pride,
How just his hopes, let Swedish Charles decide;
A frame of adamant, a soul of fire,
No dangers fright him, and no labours tire;
O'er love, o'er fear, extends his wide domain,
Unconquer'd lord of pleasure and of pain;
No joys to him pacific sceptres yield,
War sounds the trump, he rushes to the field;
Behold surrounding kings their powers combine,
And one capitulate, and one resign;
Peace courts his hand, but spreads her charms in vain:
'Think nothing gain'd,' he cries, 'till nought remain,
On Moscow's walls till Gothic standards fly,
And all be mine beneath the polar sky.'
The march begins in military state,
And nations on his eye suspended wait;
Stern Famine guards the solitary coast,
And Winter barricades the realms of Frost;
He comes, nor want nor cold his course delay;
Hide, blushing Glory! hide Pultowa's day:
The vanquish'd hero leaves his broken bands,
And shows his miseries in distant lands;
Condemn'd a needy supplicant to wait,
While ladies interpose, and slaves debate.
But did not Chance at length her error mend?
Did no subverted empire mark his end?
Did rival monarchs give the fatal wound,
Or hostile millions press him to the ground?
His fall was destined to a barren strand,
A petty fortress, and a dubious hand;
He left the name at which the world grew pale,
To point a moral, or adorn a tale.
Samuel Johnson - The Vanity of Human Wishes - Penguin Audiobooks

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