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Ballads" which is almost worth its weight in gold to collectors, and which, ridiculed and derided by the professional critics of the time, is so rich in vitality that it promises to make even the name of its publisher, Mr. Cottle, of Bristol, immortal. It is true there were poems in the book to offend the orthodox and on which the true lover of the poet lays no emphasis to-day, but there were also "The Thorn" and the "Lines," so fresh in feeling, so original in insight, so magical in phrase, that it would be hard to understand the long indifference to their deep poetic beauty if one did not remember the immense vogue of Scott and, later, the intoxicating audacity of Byron, Wordsworth's earlier and later contemporaries.

Wordsworth's genius lay in the merging of his observation with his

vision; he saw with perfect clearness and he divined with penetrating directness at the same moment. Observation passed without pause into meditation, and passion waited on both. He has described his own method in condemning that of the poet who goes to Nature note-book in hand: "Nature does not permit an inventory to be made of her charms! He should have left his pencil and note-book at home; fixed his eye as he walked with a reverent attention on all that surrounded him, and taken all into a heart that could understand and enjoy. Afterwards he would have discovered that while much of what he admired was preserved to him, much was also most wisely obliterated. That which remained, the picture surviving in his mind, would have presented the ideal

and essential truth of the scene, and done so in large part by discarding much which, though in itself striking, was not characteristic." Here are some of the secrets of Wordsworth's power: clear and accurate observation, absorption by the mind of that which it has seen, instinctive selection of the essential and rejection of the non-essential, and vivid description, not by enumeration, but by suggestion.

Wordsworth described rather than defined poetry as "the breath and finer spirit of all knowledge"; and in his great moments he rises easily into this higher region where lives and moves the soul of things. Here, in a style at once plain, noble, intimate, impassioned, and penetrated with the beauty of the thought he is expressing, he applies the great

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