We got a little side tracked when we came across this segment of a poem by William Allingham in the section on nouns and verbs. My daughter was so intrigued by it, that we just had to look up the whole poem.
Write with nouns and verbs.
Write with nouns and verbs, not with adjectives and adverbs. The adjective hasn't been built that can pull a weak or inaccurate noun out of a tight place. This is not to disparage adjectives and adverbs; they are indispensable parts of speech. Occasionally they surprise us with their power, as in
Up the airy mountain,
Down the rushy glen,
We daren't go a-hunting
For fear of little men...
The nouns mountain and glen are accurate enough, but had the mountain not become airy, the glen rushy, William Allingham might never have got off the ground with his poem. In general, however, it is nouns and verbs, not their assistants, that give to good writing its toughness and color.
- The Elements of Style by Strunk and White
Here is the poem in it's entirety.
by William Allingham (1824-1889)