_The Spanish Student. A Play in Three Acts_.
By H. W. Longfellow.
A pleasing tale, but Cervantes shall speak for us out of _La Gitanilla_.
"You must know, Preciosa, that as to this name of _Poet_, few are they who deserve it, -- and I
am no _Poet_, but only a lover of Poesy, so that I have no need to beg or borrow the verses of
others. The verses, I gave you the other day, are mine, and those of to-day as well; -- but, for all
that, I am no poet, neither is it my prayer to be so."
"Is it then so bad a thing to be a poet?" asked Preciosa.
"Not bad," replied the Page, "but to be a poet and nought else, I do not hold to be very good. For
poetry should be like a precious jewel, whose owner does not put it on every day, nor show it to
the world at every step; but only when it is fitting, and when there is a reason for showing it.
Poetry is a most lovely damsel; chaste, modest, and discreet; spirited, but yet retiring, and ever
holding itself within the strictest rule of honor. She is the friend of Solitude. She finds in the
fountains her delight, in the fields her counsellor, in the trees and flowers enjoyment and repose;
and lastly, she charms and instructs all that approach her."