THE CRITIC 107 �in the true TCOIYJCHS If the author did not de- liberately propose to himself [in the Lady of Shalott] a suggestive indefinitiveness of meaning, with the view of bringing about a definitiveness of vague and therefore of spiritual effect this, at least, arose from the silent analytical promptings of that poetic genius which, in its supreme development, embodies all orders of intellectual capacity."] �There are few cases in which mere popularity should be considered a proper test of merit; but the case of song-writing is, I think, one of the few. In speaking of song-writing, I mean, of course, the com- position of brief poems with an eye to their adapta- tion for music in the vulgar sense. In this ultimate destination of the song proper, lies its essence its genius. It is the strict reference to music it is the dependence upon modulated expression which gives to this branch of letters a character altogether unique, and separates it, in great measure and in a manner not sufficiently considered, from ordinary literature; ren- dering it independent of merely ordinary proprieties ; allowing it, and in fact demanding for it, a wide lati- tude of Law; absolutely insisting upon a certain wild license and indefinitiveness an indefinitiveness recog- nized by every musician who is not a mere fiddler, as an important point in the philosophy of his science as the soul, indeed, of the sensations derivable from its practice sensations which bewilder while they enthrall and which would not so enthrall if they did not so bewilder. �The sentiments deducible from the conception of sweet sound simply are out of the reach of analysis ��� �
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