When we are harassed by sorrows or anxieties, or long oppressed by any powerful feelings which we must keep to ourselves, for which we can obtain and seek no sympathy from any living creature, and which yet we cannot, or will not wholly crush, we often naturally seek relief in poetry--and often find it, too--whether in the effusions of others, which seem to harmonize
with our existing case, or in our own attempts to give utterance to those thoughts and feelings in strains less musical, perchance, but more appropriate, and therefore more penetrating and sympathetic, and, for the time, more soothing, or more powerful to rouse and to unburden the oppressed and swollen heart.
My modest round of duties at Windygates, Lord Holchester; occasionally relieved, when my mind is overworked, by the society of a few earnest friends whose views harmonize
with my own--my existence passes (not quite uselessly, I hope) in that way.
Defense of Poesie,' Spenser attempts to harmonize
history, philosophy, ethics, and politics, subordinating them all to the art of poetry.