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Climbing suffused with sunny air,
To stop—no record hath told where !
And tempting fancy to ascend,
And with immortal spirits blend!
–Wings at my shoulder seem to play ;
But, rooted here, I stand and gaze
On those bright steps that heaven-ward raise
Their practicable way.
Come forth, ye drooping old men, look abroad
And see to what fair countries ye are bound!
And if some Traveller, weary of his road,
Hath slept since noon-tide on the grassy ground,
Ye Genii! to his covert speed;
And wake him with such gentle heed
As may attune his soul to meet the dow'r

Bestowed on this transcendant hour!
« Such hues from their celestial Urn

Were wont to stream before my eye,
Where'er it wandered in the morn
Of blissful infancy.
This glimpse of glory, why renewed ?
Nay, rather speak with gratitude;
For, if a vestige of those gleams
Surviv'd, 'twas only in my dreams.
Dread Power! whom peace and calmness serve
No less than Nature's threatening voice,
If aught unworthy be my choice,
From Thee if I would swerve,.
O, let thy grace remind me of the light,
Full early lost and fruitlessly deplored ;
Which, at this moment, on iny waking sight
Appears to shine, by miracle restored!
My soul, though yet confined to earth,
Rejoices in a second birth;
-'Tis past, the visionary splendour fades,

And Night approaches with her shades."*-(P. 193—197.) The little song on the September month is full of a sort of cheerful pathos exquisitely borrowed from the scenery of this mellow season. Our readers will, we are sure, sympathise with our admiration of it.

The sylvan slopes with corn-clad fields

Are hung, as if with golden shields,
Bright trophies of the sun!
Like a fair sister of the sky,

* The multiplication of mountain-ridges, described, at the commencement of the third stanza of this Ode, as a kind of Jacob's Ladder, leading to Heaven, is produced either by watery vapours, or sunoy haze,-in the present instance by the latter cause.

Unruffled doth the blue Lake lie,

The Mountains looking on.
" And, sooth to say, yon vocal Grove

Albeit uninspired by love,
By love untaught to ring,
May well afford to mortal ear
An impulse more profoundly dear

Than music of the Spring.
" For that from turbulence and heat

Proceeds, from some uneasy seat
In Nature's struggling frame,
Some region of impatient life;
And jealousy, and quivering strife,

Therein a portion claim.
“ This, this is holy ;-while I hear

These vespers of another year,
This hymn of thanks and praise,
My spirit seems to mount above
The anxieties of human love,

And earth's precarious days.
“ But list!-though winter storms be nigh,

Unchecked is that soft harmony:
There lives Who can provide
For all his creatures ; and in Him,
Even like the radiant Seraphim,

These Choristers confide." (P. 187, 188.)
The Ode to “the Pass of Kirkstone” is singularly beautiful,
and forces us to transgress the bounds to which those who de-
light in this sort of poetry less than ourselves will think we
should confine our extracts: we must make our appeal to those
who feel the like infirmities with ourselves in these matters.

Within the mind strong fancies work,
A deep delight the bosom thrills,
Oft as I pass along the fork
Of these fraternal hills :
Where, save the rugged road, we find
No appanage of human kind;
Nor hint of man, if stone or rock
Seem not his handy-work to mock
By something cognisably shaped ;
Mockery-or model-roughly hewn,
And left as if by earthquake strewn,
Or from the Flood escaped :-
Altars for Druid service fit;
(But where no fire was ever lit
Unless the glow-worm to the skies

Thence offer nightly sacrifice ;)
VOL. XVI. NO, XXXI.

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Wrinkled Egyptian monument;
Green moss-grown tower; or hoary tent;
Tents of a camp that never shall be raised;

On which four thousand years have gazed ! Ye plowshares sparkling on the slopes !

Ye snow-white lambs that trip
Imprison'd mid the formal props
of restless ownership!
Ye trees that may to-morrow fall,
To feed the insatiate Prodigal !
Lawns, houses, chattels, groves, and fields,
All that the fertile valley shields ;
Wages of folly-baits of crime,
Of life's uneasy game the stake,
Playthings that keep the eyes awake
Of drowsy, dotard Time ;-
O care! O guilt!-0 vales and plains,
J'lere, mid his own unvexed domains,
A Genius dwells, that can subdue
At once all memory of You,-
Most potent when mists veil the sky,
Mists that distort and magnify;
While the coarse rushes, to the sweeping breeze,

Sigh forth their ancient melodies!
• List to those shriller notes that march

Perchance was on the blast,
When through this Height's inverted arch
Rome's earliest legion passed !
-They saw, adventurously impellid,
And older eyes than theirs beheld,
This block-and yon whose church-like frame
Gives to the savage Pass its name.
Aspiring Road! that lov'st to hide
Thy daring in a vapoury bourn,
Not seldom may the hour return
When thou shalt be my Guide;
And I (as often we find cause,
When life is at a weary pause,
And we have panted up the hill
Of duty with reluctant will)
Be thankful, even though tired and faint,
For the rich bounties of Constraint;
Whence oft invigorating transports flow

That Choice lacked courage to bestow! « My soul was grateful for delight

That wore a threatening brow;
À veil is lifted--can she slight
The scene that opens now?

Though habitation none appear,
The greenness tells, man must be there ;
The shelter that the perspective
Is of the clime in which we live ;
Where Toil pursues his daily round;
Where Pity sheds sweet tears, and Love,
In woodbine bower or birchen grove,
Inflicts his tender wound.
-Who comes not hither ne'er shall know
How beautiful the world below;
Nor can he guess how lightly leaps
The brook adown the rocky steeps.
Farewell thou desolate Domain !
Hope, pointing to the cultur'd Plain,
Carols like a shepherd boy ;
And who is she ?-can that be Joy?
Who, with a sun-beam for her guide,
Smoothly skims the meadows wide ;
While Faith, from yonder opening cloud,
To hill and vale proclaims aloud,
• Whate'er the weak may dread the wicked dare,
Thy lot, O man, is good, thy portion fair !""

(P. 201-205.) These charming specimens are with us a decisive proof of the power of Mr. Wordsworth's mind to sustain itself, if, by a strange perverseness of bias, it were not frequently otherwise disposed, at a very lofty level of poetic composition. But we lament to say there is a frequent recurrence of his bad habits and downward ambition throughout this little collection. His genius has a lofty bearing, looking heaven-ward towards the eagle's path; art and imitation combine to keep it down, and compel it to breathe a grosser atmosphere in a lower scale of thought and sentiment. His inequalities are as great as those supposed in his Pilgrim's Dream,” between the star and the glow-worm; which

poem we should select as one of those instances of that depression of taste which interrupts the triumphs of his genius. Not even a dream can cover the extravagance of a dialogue between a glow-worm and one of those celestial luminaries which rational conjecture contemplates as a world of souls; but Mr. Wordsworth has exhibited them in controversy together concerning their respective pretensions, in which, for the sake of the instruction, the weight of sentiment and morality inclines to the side of the reptile. When a worm reasons, perhaps we ought to think it enough, and not expect it to rhyme also; but wherever the attempt is made, it is our duty to mark the failure; and Mr. Wordsworth must allow us to say, that even in lines the most creeping we cannot allow the words “no” and "know," to stand for rhyme.

6

little

The Poem “ addressed to on the longest day;

The “ Hint from the Mountains, for certain political aspirants ;' “ Dion;" the poem, beginning with “ Lady, I rifled a Parnassian cave;" would leave the collection improved by their absence in case of another edition, and we are compelled to say

of “ the Prioress's Tale,” that it has failed, to our imagination at least, to

“ Call up hiin who left half told

The story of Cambuscan bold.” We should be glad that this tale should not be thrice told, but that this collection should, by leaving it out of a future edition, be further improved in negative merit. It is horrible in its facts, disgusting in its narration, and odiously profane in its language.

We ought not to close the book without giving due praise to the prose dissertation on the peculiar scenery of the lakes, at the end of the book. The Essay was published some years ago, as we are told in the advertisement, as an introduction to some views of the lakes by the Rev. Joseph Wilkinson, and is now, with emendations and additions, attached to this volume. It certainly is of value as an illustration of the poems now under our review, but we rate its absolute merit very high. Among many topics of rural beauty, it contains an ingenious illustration of the advantages which winter has over summer in the display of mountainous prospect; a very interestingly picturesque description of the disposition and effect of the cottages in the vales; and more particularly of the gradual formation of woody scenery, by nature and time. We think we shall be excused if we lay before our readers what occurs on the lastmentioned subject.

“ If these general rules be just, what shall we say to whole acres of artificial shrubbery and exotic trees among rocks and dashing torrents, with their own wild wood in sight--where we have the whole contents of the nurseryman's catalogue jumbled together-colour at war with colour, and form with form-among the most peaceful subjects of Nature's kingdom every where discord, distraction, and bewilderment! But this deformity, bad as it is, is not so obtrusive as the small patches and large tracts of larch plantations that are over-running the hillsides. To justify our condemnation of these, let us again recur to Nature. The process, by which she forms woods and forests, is as follows. Seeds are scattered indiscriminately by winds, brought by waters, and dropped by birds. They perish, or produce, according as the soil upon which they fall is suited to them; and under the same dependence, the seedling or sucker, if not cropped by animals, thrives, and the tree grows, sometimes single, taking its own shape without constraint, but for the most part being compelled to conform itself to some law imposed upon it by its neighbours. From low and shel

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