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The Revelation

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An idle poet, here and there,
    Looks round him; but, for all the rest,
The world, unfathomably fair,
    Is duller than a witling’s jest.
Love wakes men, once a lifetime each;
    They lift their heavy lids, and look;
And, lo, what one sweet page can teach,
    They read with joy, then shut the book.
And some give thanks, and some blaspheme
    And most forget; but, either way,
That and the Child’s unheeded dream
Is all the light of all their day.   

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The Revelation

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  • Victorian poet and critic Coventry Patmore was born into a literary household in Essex, England. His father, editor and novelist Peter George Patmore, educated his son, sent him to Paris when he was 16, and encouraged him to publish his first book, Poems (1844). Coventry Patmore’s subsequent collections of poetry include Tamerton Church Tower (1853) and The Angel in the House—composed of four volumes: The Betrothal (1854), The Espousals (1856), Faithful for Ever (1860), and The Victories of Love (1863).
    Patmore worked at the British Museum from 1846 to 1865 and was associated with the Pre-Raphaelites. His acquaintances included William Holman Hunt, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Alice Meynell, and John Ruskin, and his portrait was painted by John Singer Sargent. Patmore also wrote essays on art, including the collections Principles in Art (1889) and Religio Poetae (1893).
    The Angel in the House presented a portrait of married life that...

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