Verse > Anthologies > Robert Bridges, ed. > The Spirit of Man: An Anthology
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Robert Bridges, ed. (1844–1930).  The Spirit of Man: An Anthology.  1916.
 
From Elia

Charles Lamb (1775–1834)
 
… FANTASTIC 1 forms, whither are ye fled? Or if the like of you exist, why exist they no more for me?… In those days I saw gods, as ‘old men covered with a mantle’, walking upon the earth. Let the dreams of classic idolatry perish,—extinct be the fairies and fairy trumpery of legendary fabling,—in the heart of childhood there will for ever spring up a well of innocent or wholesome superstition—the seeds of exaggeration will be busy there, and vital—from everyday forms educing the unknown and the uncommon. In that little Goshen there will be light, when the grown world flounders about in the darkness of sense and materiality. While childhood, and while dreams reducing childhood, shall be left, imagination shall not have spread her holy wings totally to fly the earth.  1
 
Note 1. Lamb. ‘Elia’. 1823, p. 205. The fantastic forms are his remembrances of the old Benchers of the Temple, reducing = restoring, bringing back. [back]
 
 
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