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the surrounding objects—the pleasant sounds and stir of natureand by his vein of pensive and graceful reflection, Wordsworth has made this one of his finest pictures:
The Deaf Dalesmaio.
Almost at the root
Book VII. By viewing man in connection with external nature, the poet blends his metaphysics with pictures of life and scenery. To build up and strengthen the powers of the mind, in contrast to the operations of sense, was ever his object. Like Bacon, Wordsworth would rather have believed all the fables in the Talmud and Alcoran, than that this universal frame is without a mind-or that that mind does not, by its external symbols, speak to the human heart. He lived under the habitual 'sway' of nature:
To me the meanest flower that blows can give
Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears. The removal of the poet to Rydal was marked by an incident of considerable importance in his personal history. Through the influence of the Earl of Lonsdale, he was appointed distributor of stamps in the county of Westmoreland, which added greatly to his income, without engrossing all his time. He was now placed beyond the frowns of Fortune-if Fortune can ever be said to have frowned on one so independent of her smiles. The subsequent works of the poet were numerous—The White Doe of Rylstone,' a romantic narrative poem, yet coloured with his peculiar genius; “Sonnets on the River Duddon;' • The Waggoner;' ‘Peter Bell;' 'Ecclesiastical Sketches;' * Yarrow Revisited,' &c.
Having made repeated tours in Scotland and on the continent, the poet diversified his subjects with descriptions of particular scenes, local manners, legends, and associations. The whole of his works were arranged by their author according to their respective subjects; as Poems referring to the Period of Childhood; Poems founded on the Affections; Poems of the Fancy; Poems of the Imagination, &c. This classification is often arbitrary and capricious; but it was one of the conceits of Wordsworth, that his poems should be read in a certain continuous order, to give full effect to his system. Thus classified and published, the poet's works formed six volumes. A seventh, consisting of poems written very early and very late in lifeas is stated—and the tragedy which had long lain past the author, were added in 1842. The tragedy is not happy, for Wordsworth had less dramatic power than any other contemporary poet. In the drama, however, both Scott and Byron failed; and Coleridge, with his fine imagination and pictorial expression, was only a shade more successful.
The latter years of Wordsworth's life were gladdened by his increasing fame, by academic honours conferred upon him by the universities of Durham and Oxford, by his appointment to the office of poet-laureate on the death of his friend Southey in 1843, and by a pension from the crown of £300 per annum. In 1847, he was shaken by a severe domestic calamity, the death of his only daughter, Dora, Mrs. Quillinan. This lady was worthy of her sire. Shortly before her death she published anonymously a 'Journal of a Residence in Portugal,' whither she had gone in pursuit of health.* Having attained to the great age of eighty, in the enjoyment of generally robust health (most of his poems were composed in the open air), Wordsworth died on the 23d of April 1850--the anniversary of St. George, the patron saint of England—and was interred by the side of his daughter in the beautiful churchyard of Grasmere.
One of the most enthusiastic admirers of Wordsworth was Coleridge, so long his friend and associate, and who looked up to him with a sort of filial veneration and respect. He has drawn his poetical character at length in the · Biographia Literaria,' and if we consider it as applying to the higher characteristics of Wordsworth,
* Mr. Edward Quillinan, son-in-law of Wordsworth, was a native of Oporto, but was educated in England. He was one of Wordsworth's most constant admirers, and was himself a poet of considerable talent, and an accomplished scholar. He was first married to a daughter of Sir Egerton Brydges, and having quitted the army, he settled in the Lake country. There Mrs. Quillinan died by an unfortunate accident-her dress having caught fire-and left two daughters, in whom the Wordsworth family took deep interest. In 1841, the intimacy between Dora Wordsworth and Mr. Quillinan, which first sprang out of the root of grief,' was crowned by their marriage. She lived only about six years afterwards. and Mr. Quillinan himself died suddenly in 1851, A volume of his Poems was published in 1853, and part of a translation of the Lusiad, which no man in England could have done so well. He was also engaged on a translation of the History of Portugal by Senor Herculano.
without reference to the absurdity or puerility of some of his early fables, incidents, and language, it will be found equally just and felicitous. First, ‘An austere purity of language, both grammatically and logically; in short, a perfect appropriateness of the words to the meaning: Secondly, A correspondent weight and sanity of the thoughts and sentiments won, not from books, but from the poet's own meditations. They are fresh, and have the dew upon them. Even throughout his smaller poems, there is not one which is not rendered valuable by some just and original reflection. Thirdly, The sinewy strength and originality, of single lines and paragraphs, the frequent curiosa felicitas of his diction. Fourthly, The perfect truth of nature in his images and descriptions, as taken immediately from nature, and proving a long and genial intimacy with the very spirit which gives a physiognomic expression to all the works of nature. Fifthly, a meditative pathos, a union of deep and subtle thought with sensibility: a sympathy with man as man; the sympathy, indeed, of a contemplator rather than a fellowsufferer and co-mate (spectator, haud particeps), but of a contemplator from whose view no difference of rank conceals the sameness of the nature; no injuries of wind or weather, or toil, or even of ignorance, wholly disguise the human face divine. Last, and pre-eminently, I challenge for this poet the gift of imagination in the highest and strictest sense of the word. In the play of fancy, Wordsworth, to my feelings, is always graceful, and sometimes recondite. The likeness is occasionally too strange, or demands too peculiar a point of view, or is such as appears the creature of predetermined research, rather than spontaneous presentation. Indeed, his fancy seldom displays itself as mere and unmodified fancy. But in imaginative power he stands nearest of all modern writers to Shakspeare and Milton, and yet in a mind perfectly unborrowed, and his own. To employ his own words, which are at once an instance and an illustration, he does indeed, to all thoughts and to all objects
And the gleam,
The consecration and the poet's dream. The fame of Wordsworth was daily extending, as we have said, before his death. The few ridiculous or puerile passages which excited so much sarcasm, parody, and derision, had been partly removed by himself, or were by his admirers either quietly overlooked, or considered as mere idiosyncrasies of the poet that provoked a smile, while his higher attributes commanded admiration, and he had secured a new generation of readers. A tribe of worshippers, in the young poets of the day, had arisen to do him homage, and in some instances they carried the feeling to a wild but pardonable excess. Many of his former depreciators also joined the ranks of his admirers-partly because in his late works the poet did himself more justice both in his style and subjects. He is too intellectual, and too
little sensuous, to use the phrase of Milton, ever to become generally popular, unless in some of his smaller pieces. His peculiar sensi. bilities cannot be relished by all. His poetry, however, is of various kinds. Forgetting his own theory as to the proper subjects of poetry, he ventured on the loftiest themes, and in calm sustained ele. vation of thought, appropriate imagery, and intense feeling, he often reminds the reader of the sublime strains of Milton. His ‘Laodamia,' the “Vernal Ode,' the ‘Ode to Lycoris and Dion,' are pure and richly classic poems in conception and diction. Many of his sonnets have also a chaste and noble simplicity. In these short compositions, his elevation and power as a poet are perhaps more remarkably displayed than in any of his other productions. They possess a winning sweetness or simple grandeur, without the most distant approach to antithesis or straining for effect; while that tendency to prolixity and diffuseness which characterises his longer poems, is repressed by the necessity for brief and rapid thought and concise expression, imposed by the nature of the sonnet. It is no exaggera, tion to say that Milton alone has surpassed—if even he has surpassed --some of the noble sonnets of Wordsworth dedicated to liberty and inspired by patriotism.
The World is Too Much With U8.
Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1873.
On King's College Chapel, Cambridge.
That they were born for immortality. His Intimations of Immortality,' and Lines on Tintern Abbey' are the finest examples of his rapt imaginative style, blending metaphysical truth with diffuse gorgeous description and metaphor. His simpler effusions are pathetic and tender. He has little strong passion; but in one piece, Vaudracour and Julia,' he has painted the passion of love with more warmth than might be anticipated from his abstract idealism:
His present mind