The Dexterity of Poetry

With the young of both sexes, Poetry is, like love, a passion; but, for much the greater part of those who have been proud of its power over their minds, a necessity soon arises of breaking the pleasing  bondage; or it relaxes of itself; —the thoughts being occupied in domestic cares, or the time engrossed by business. Poetry then becomes only an occasional recreation; while to those whose existence passes away in a course of fashionable pleasure, it is a species of luxurious amusement. In middle and declining age, a scattered number of serious persons resort to poetry, as to religion, for a protection against the pressure of trivial employments, and as a consolation for the afflictions of life. And, lastly, there are many, who, having been enamoured of this art in their youth, have found leisure, after youth was spent, to cultivate general literature; in which poetry has continued to be comprehended as a study.
对青年男女来说,诗歌如同爱情一样,是一种激情。不过,即使是为诗歌动人心弦的力量萦绕心灵而骄傲的人,也很快就必需挣脱诗歌那令人愉悦的束缚;或者这种束缚会自然而然地松懈,因为家务占据了头脑,事业耗尽了时间。如此一来, 诗歌就只是偶尔的消遣了。对那些一生都在追求时髦的人来说,诗歌是一种奢侈的娱乐。而少数中老年人则借助于诗歌——就像求助于宗教一样——来缓解琐事带来的压力和抚平生活中的创伤。最后,还有许多自年轻时就迷上了诗歌艺术的爱好者,尽管已不再年轻,他们有了追求文学的闲暇,这时,诗歌被当成了一门学问。