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The lovers parted under circumstances of danger, but had a stolen interview at night :
Through all her courts
The vacant city slept; the busy winds,
That keep no certain intervals of rest,
Moved not; meanwhile the galaxy displayed
Her fires, that like mysterious pulses beat
Aloft-momentous but uneasy bliss !
To their full hearts the universe seemed hung
On that brief meeting's slender nt!
This is the style of Ford or Massinger. Living mostly apart from the world, and nursing with solitary complacency his poetical sys. tem, and all that could bear upon his works and pursuits as a poet, Wordworth fell into those errors of taste, and that want of discrimination, to which we have already alluded. His most puerile ballads and attempts at humour were apparently as much prized by him, and classed with the same nicety and care, as the most majestic of his conceptions, or the most natural and beautiful of his descriptions. The art of condensation was also rarely practised by him. But if the poet's retirement or peculiar disposition was a cause of his weakness, it was also one of the sources of his strength. It left him untouched by the artificial or mechanical tastes of his age ; it gave an originality to his conceptions and to the whole colour of his thoughts; and it completely imbued him with that purer antique life and knowledge of the phenomena of nature—the sky, lakes, and mountains of his native district, in all their tints and forms—which he has depicted with such power and enthusiasm. A less complacent poet would have been chilled by the long neglect and ridicule he experienced. His spirit was self-supported, and his genius, at once observant and meditative, was left to shape out its own creations, and extend its sympathies to that world which lay beyond his happy mountain solitude.
My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began;
So is it now I am a man;
So be it when I shall grow old,
Or let me die!
The child is father of the man;
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.
She dwelt among the untrodden ways, Fair as a star, when only one
Beside the springs of Dove,
Is shining in the sky.
A maid whom there were none to praise,
And very few to love.
She lived unknown, and few could know
When Lucy ceased to be ; A violet by a mossy stone
But she is in her grave, and oh, Half hidden from the eye;
The difference to me!
We are seven. A simple child, dear brother Jim, Their graves are green, they may be That lightly draws its breath,
seen, And feels its life in every limb,
The little maid replied, What should it know of death?
"Twelve steps or more from my mother's
door, I met a little cottage girl ;
And they are side by side.
She was eight years old, she said ;.
Her hair was thick with many a curl My stockings there I often knit,
That clustered round her head.
My kerchief there I hem,
And there upon the ground I sit-
She had a rustic woodland air,
I sit and sing to them.
And she was wildly clad;
Her eyes were fair, and very fair- And often after sunset, sir,
Her beauty made me glad.
When it is light and fair,
I take my little porringer, *Sisters and brothers, little maid,
And eat my súpper there.
How many may you be?'
How many ? Seven in all,' she said, . The first that died was little Jane;
And wondering looked at me.
In bed she moaning lay,
Till God released her of her pain, * And where are they? I pray you tell.' And then she went away.
She answered, 'seven are we; And two of us at Conway dwell,
“So in the churchyard she was laid: And two are gone to sea.
And when the grass was dry,
Together round her grave we played "Two of us in the churchyard lie,
My brother John and I.
My sister and my brother;
And in the churchyard-cottage I
' And when the ground was white with Dwell near them with my mother.'
And I could run and slide,
• You say that two at Conway dwell, My brother John was forced to go
And two are gone to sea,
And he lies by her side.'
Yet ye are seven! I pray you tell,
Sweet maid, how this may be?'
How many are you then,' said I,
“If they two are in heaven?! Then did the little maid reply,
The little maiden did reply, "Seven boys and girls are we;
"O master! we are seven.' Two of us in the churchyard lie, Beneath the churchyard tree.'
* But they are dead; those two are dead!
Their spirits are in heaven!' You run about, my little maid,
'Twas throwing words away; for still, Your limbs they are alive:
The little maid
would have her will, If two are in the churchyard laid,
And said, “ Nay, we are seven!' Then ye are only five.'
She was a phantom of delight
And steps of virgin liberty;
When first she gleamed upon my sight; A countenance in which did meet
A lovely apparition, sent
Sweet records, promises as sweet;
To be a moment's ornament;
A creature not too bright or good Her eyes as stars of twilight fair ; For human nature's daily food; Like twilight's, too, her dusky hair ; For transient sorrows, simple wiles, But all things else about her drawn Praise, blame, love, kisses, tears, and From May-time and the cheerful dawn;
smiles. A dancing shape, an image gay, To haunt, to startle, and waylay.
And now I see with eye serene
The very pulse of the machine; I saw her upon nearer view,
A being breathing thoughtful breath, A spirit, yet a woman too!
A traveller between life and death; Her household motions light and free, The reason firm, the temperate will,
Endurance, foresight, strength, and skill, And yet a spirit still, and bright
A perfect woman, nobly planned, With something of an angel light.
To warn, to comfort, and command;
Lines composed a fero Miles above Tintern Abbey, on Revisiting the
Banks of the Wye, During a Tour, July 13, 1798.
Five years have passed; five summers, with the length
Of five long winters; and again I hear
These waters, rolling from their mountain springs
With a sweet inland murmur.
Do I behold these steep and lofty cliffs,
That on a wild secluded scene impress
Thoughts of more deep seclusion, and connect
The landscape with the quiet of the sky.
The day is come when I again repose
Here, under this dark sycamore, and view
These plots of cottage grounds, these orchard tufts,
Which, at this season, with their unripe fruits,
Are clad in one green hue, and lose themselves
Among the woods and copses, nor disturb
The wild green landscape. Once again I see
These hedgerows, hardly hedgerows, little lines
Of sportive wood run wild ; these pastoral farms
Green to the very door : and wreaths of smoke
Sent up in silence from among the trees !
With some uncertain notice, as might seem,
Of vagrant dwellers in the houseless woods,
Or of some hermit's cave, where, by his fire,
The hermit sits alone.
These beauteous forms,
Through a long absence, have not been to me
As is a landscape to a blind man's eye :.
But oft, in lonely rooms, and 'mid the din
Of towns and cities, I have owed to them,
In hours of weariness, sensations sweet,
Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart,
And passing even into my purer mind,
With tranquil restoration : feelings, too,
Of unremembered pleasure; such, perhaps,
As may have had no trivial influence
On that best portion of a good man's life,
His, little, nameless, unremembered acts
Of kindness and of love. Nor less, I trust
To them I may have owed another gift,
Of aspect more sublime; that blessed mood
In which the burthen of the mystery,
In which the heavy and the weary weight
Of all this unintelligible world
Is lightened; that serene and blessed mood
In which the affections gently lead us on,
Until the breath of this corporeal frame,
And even the motion of our human blood
Almost suspended, we are laid asleep
In body, and become a living soul;
While with an eye made quiet by the power
Of harmony and the deep power of joy,
We see into the life of things.
Be but a vain belief, yet oh ! how oft,
In darkness, and amid the many shapes
Of joyless daylight, when the fretful stir
Unprofitable, and the fever of the world,
Have hung upon the beatings of my heart,
How oft in spirit have I turned to thee,
O sylvan Wye !-thou wanderer through the woods
How often has my spirit turned to thee!
And now, with gleams of half-extinguished thought,
With many recognitions dim and faint,
And somewhat of a sad perplexity,
The picture of the mind revives again :
While here I stand, not only with the sense
Of present pleaures, but with pleasing thoughts
That in this moment there is life and food
For future years. And so I dare to hope,
Though changed, no doubt, from what I was when first
I came among these bills; when, like a roe,
I bounded o'er the mountains, by the sides
Of the deep rivers, and the lonely streams,
Wherever nature led : more like a man
Flying from something that he dreads, than one
Who sought the thing he loved. For nature then-
The coarser pleasures of my boyish days
And their glad animal movements all gone by-
To me was all in all. I cannot paint
What then I was. The sounding cataract
Haunted me like a passion; the tall rock,
The mountain, and the deep and gloomy wood,
Their colours and their forms, were then to me
An appetite; a feeling and a love
That had no need of a remoter charm,
By thought supplied, or any interest
Unborrowed from the eye. That time is past,
And all its aching joys are now no more,
And all its dizzy raptures. Not for this
Faint I, nor mourn, nor murmur; other gifts
Have followed, for such loss, I wonld believe,
Abundant recompense. For I have learned
To look on nature, not as in the hour
Of thoughtless youth, but hearing oftentimes
The still sad music of humanity,
Nor harsh nor grating, though of ample power
To chasten and subdue. And I have felt
A presence that disturbs me with the joy
Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean, and the living air,
And the blue sky, and in the mind of man;
A motion and a spirit that impels
All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
And rolls through all things. Therefore am I still
A lover of the meadows and the woods
And mountains, and of all that we behold
From this green earth; of all the mighty world
Of eye and ear, both what they half create
And what perceive; well pleased to recognise
In nature, and the language of the sense,
The anchor of my purest thoughts, the nurse,
The guide, the guardian of my heart, and soul
Of all my moral being.
If I were not thus taught, should I the more
Suffer my genial spirits to decay ;
For thou art with me here, upon the banks
Of this fair river; thou, my dearest friend,
My dear, dear friend, and in thy voice I catch
The language of my former heart, and read
My former pleasures in the shooting lights
Of thy wild eyes. O! yet a little while
May I behold in thee what I was once,
My dear, dear sister! And this prayer I make,
Knowing that nature never did betray
The heart that loved her ; 'tis her privilege,
Through all the years of this our life, to lead
From joy to joy; for she can so inform
The mind that is within us, so impress
With quietness and beauty, and so feed
With lofty thoughts, that neither evil tongues,
Rash judgments, nor the speers of selfish men,
Nor greetings where no kindness is, nor all
The dreary intercourse of daily life,
Shall e'er prevail against us, or disturb
Our cheerful faith that all which we behold
Is full of blessings. Therefore let the moon
Shine on thee in thy solitary walk:
And let the misty mountain winds be free
To blow against thee: and in after years,
When these wild ecstasies shall be matured
Into a sober pleasure, when thy mind
Shall be a mansion for all lovely forms,
Thy memory be as a dwelling-place
For all sweet sounds and harmonies ; oh! then,
If solitude, or fear, or pain, or grief,
Should be thy portion, with what healing thoughts
Of tender joy wilt thou remember me,
And these my exhortations! Nor, perchance,
If I should be where I no more can hear
Thy voice, nor catch from thy wild eyes these gleamas
Of past existence, wilt thou then forget
That on the banks of this delightful stream
We stood together; and that I, so long
A worshipper of nature, hither came,
Unwearied in that service: rather say
With warmer love, oh! with far deeper zeal
Of holier love. Nor wilt thou then forget,
That after many wanderings, many years,
Of absence, these steep woods and lofty cliffs,
And this green pastoral landscape, were to me
More dear, both for themselves and for thy sake !**
* In our admiration of the external forms of nature, the mind is redeemed from a sense of the transitory, which so often mixes perturbation with pleasure; and there is perhaps no feeling of the human heart which, being so intense, is at the same time so composed. It is for this reason. amongst others. that it is peculiarly favourable to the contemplations of a poetical philosopher, and eminently so to one like Mr. Wordsworth. in whose scheme of thought there is po feature more prominent than the doctrine that the intellect should be nourished by the feelings, and that the state of mind which bestows a gift of genuine insight is one of profound emotion as well as profound compo. sure; or, as Coleridge has somewhere expressed himself
Deep self-possession, an intense repose, The power which lies in the beauty of nature to induce this union of the tranquil and the vivid is described, and to every disciple of Wordsworth, has been, its much as is possible. imparted by the celebrated Linex uritten in 1798. a fero Miles above Tintern Abbey. in which the poet, having attributed to his intermediate recollections of the landscape then revisited a benign influence over many acts of daily life. describes the particulars in which he is indebted to them. ... The impassioned love of nature is interfused