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The poets of the present day who would raise the epic song cry out, like Archimedes of old, “ give us a place to stand on and we will move the world.” This is, as we conceive, the true difficulty. Glanc. ing for a moment at the progress of epic poetry, we shall see that the obscurity of fabulous times could be adapted to the earliest development only of the heroic character. There is an obvious incongruity in making times so far remote the theatre on which to represent the heroism of a civilized age; and it adds still more to the difficulty, that, although the darkness of fable still invests them, reason will no longer perceive the beings which the infant credulity of man once saw there.
To men in the early stages of society their physical existence must seem almost without end, and they live on through life with as little reference to