Utterances of poets regarding their character and mission have perhaps received less attention than they deserve. The tacit assumption of the majority of critics seems to be that the poet, like the criminal, is the last man who should pass judgment upon his own case. Yet it is by no means certain that this view is correct. Introspective analysis on the part of the poet might reasonably be expected to be as productive of æsthetic revelation as the more objective criticism of the mere observer of literary phenomena. Moreover, aside from its intrinsic merits, the poet's self-exposition must have interest for all students of Platonic philosophy, inasmuch as Plato's famous challenge was directed only incidentally to critics of poetry; primarily it was to Poetry herself, whom he urged to make just such lyrical defense as we are to consider.