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and this is the only spirit in which a That “bliss with mortal Man may not abide. critic can write of his contemporaries How nearly joy and sorrow are allied ! without frequent dogmatism, presump- for us the stream of fiction ceased to flow, tion, and injustice.
For us the voice of melody was mute. We shall now direct the attention —But, as soft gales dissolve the dreary snow of our readers to the “ White Doe of And give the timid herbage leave to shoot, Rylstone,” a poem which exhibits in Heaven's breathing influence failed not to
bestow perfection many of Wordsworth's pe
A timely promise of unlooked for fruit, culiar beauties, and, it may be, some
Fair fruit of pleasure and serene content of his peculiar defects. It is in itself from blossoms wild of fancies innocent. a whole; and on that account we prefer beginning with it, in place of the It soothed us—it beguiled us--then, to hear “ Lyrical Ballads,” or the subsequent Once more of troubles wrought by magic spell; “ Poems” of the author, which con
And griefs whose aery motion comes not near tain specimens of so many different Then, with mild Una in her sober chear,
The pangs that tempt the Spirit to rebel; styles; and still more, in place of the High over hill and low adown the dell “'Excursion," which, though a great Again we wandered, willing to partake work in itself, is but a portion of a All that she suffered for her dear Lord's sake. still greater one, and will afford sub- Then, too, this Song of mine once more ject-matter for more than one long
could please, article.
Where, anguish, strange as dreams of restThis Poem is prefaced by some less sleep, stanzas addressed to the wife of the Is tempered and allayed by sympathies Poet, in which a touching allusion is Aloft ascending, and descending deep, made to severe domestic afflictions, Even to the inferior Kinds; whom forest trees (the death, we believe, of two children Protect from beating sunbeams, and the sweep
whom all that looked on loved,”) of the sharp winds ;-fair Creatures !—t. that direfully interrupted, for a while, A calm and sinless life, with love, hath given. the flow of imagination in his soul, but the softened memory of which This tragic Story cheared us; for it speaks blended at last, not undelightfully, of female patience winning firm repose ; with the mournful and tragic character And of the recompense which conscience seeks of this “ tale of tears.” No verses in Needful when o'er wide realms the tempest
A bright, encouraging example shows; the language are more simply yet pro- breaks, foundly affecting; and we are sure Needful amid life's ordinary woes ; that they will dispose every feeling Hence, not for them unfitted who would bless mind to come to the perusal of the A happy hour with holier happiness. Poem itself with the most kindly and He serves the Muses erringly and ill, sympathetic emotions.
Whose aim is pleasure light and fugitive: In trellis'd shed with clustering roses gay,
0, that my mind were equal to fulfil And, Mary! oft beside our blazing fire, The comprehensive mandate which they When years of wedded life were as a day
giveWhose current answers to the heart's desire, Vain aspiration of an earnest will ! Did we together read in Spenser's Lay
Yet in this moral Strain a power may live, How Una, sad of soul-in sad attire, Beloved Wife ! such solace to impart The gentle Una, born of heavenly birth, As it hath yielded to thy tender heart. To seek her Knight went wandering o'er the The Poem is founded on a wild and earth.
beautiful tradition, that in former Ah, then, Beloved ! pleasing was the smart, times a White Doe, coming over the And the tear precious in compassion shed hills from what once were the deFor Her, who, pierc'd by sorrow's thrilling mesnes of Rylstone Hall, in Yorkshire,
dart, Did meekly bear the pang unmerited;
visited, every Sabbath morning, duMeek as that emblem of her lowly heart,
ring the time of divine service, the The milk-white Lamb which in a line she led, burial-ground and the ruined part of And faithful, loyal in her innocence, Bolton Abbey. The Poet undertakes Like the brave Lion slain in her defence. to give a poetical character to this soNotes could we hear as of a faery shell
litary and mysterious creature, and to
connect with its Sabbath visit to the Attuned to words with sacred wisdomfraught; holy place a tale of human passions. Free Fancy prized each specious miracle, And all its finer inspiration caught;
The first canto begins with an ani'Till, in the bosom of our rustic Cell, mated and picturesque description of We by a lamentable change were taught the assemblage of people to divine service in a rural chapel built within Her Son in Wharf's abysses drowned, the heart of the solemn ruins,
The noble Boy of Egremound.
From which affliction, when God's grace When faith and hope were in their prime, In great Eliza's golden time.
At length had in her heart found place, All is silent but the voice of the priest Rose up this stately Priory!
A pious structure, fair to see, reciting the holy liturgy, and of the The Lady's work, -- but now laid low; river murmuring by,
To the grief of her soul that doth come and go, -When soft!-the dusky trees between,
In the beautiful form of this innocent Doe : And down the path through the open green,
Which, though seemingly doomed in its Where is no living thing to be seen ;
breast to sustain And through yon gateway, where is found, A softened remembrance of sorrow and pain, Beneath the arch with ivy bound,
Isspotless, and holy, and gentle, and bright Free entrance to the church-yard ground; And glides o'er the earth like an angel of light. And right across the verdant sod
An Oxford scholar, who has returned Towards the very house of God ;
to his native vale, supposes, still more -Comes gliding in with lovely gleam,
fancifully, that it is the shape assumed Comes gliling in serene and slow, Soft and silent as a dream,
by the guardian Spirit of that Lord
Clifford called the Shepherd Lord. A solitary Doe! White she is as lily of June,
It is, thinks he, the gracious Fairy, And beauteous as the silver moon
Who loved the Shepherd Lord to meet When out of sight the clouds are driven,
In his wanderings solitary ; And she is left alone in heaven;
Wild notes she in his hearing sang, Or like a ship some gentle day
A song of Nature's hidden powers ; In sunshine sailing far away,
That whistled like the wind, and rang A glittering ship, that hath the plain Among the rocks and holly bowers. Of ocean for her own domain.
'Twas said that she all shapes could wear ; This radiant creature glides silently Amid the trees of some thick wood,
And oftentimes before him stood, to and fro over the sculptured tomb- In semblance of a lady fair, stones of warriors, and through the And taught himsigns, and shewed himsights, ivied arches of the ruin, the desolation In Craven's dens, on Cumbria's heights ; of which is painted by a few mournful When under cloud of fear he lay, touches, and then,
A shepherd clad in homely gray, Beside the ridge of a grassy grave
Nor left him at his later day. In quietness she lays her down;
And hence, when he, with spear and shield, Gently as a weary wave
Rode full of years to Flodden field, Sinks, when the summer breeze hath died,
His eye could see the hidden spring,
And how the current was to flow;
The fatal end of Scotland's King,
And all that hopeless overthrow. The spot where she has made her
The Poet thus prepares our minds, Sabbath couch is thus more particu- by these beautiful little fancies and larly described.
imaginings, and by the soft and solemn It was a solitary mound;
colouring which he has thrown over Which two spears' length of level ground the scene haunted by the lovely visitDid from all other graves divide :
ant, for his own story, which we feel As if in some respect of pride;
is to be a melancholy one, suiting the Or melancholy's sickly mood,
utter solitude of the pile. Still shy of human neighbourhood ; Or guilt, that humbly would express
And see--they vanish, one by one,
And last, the Doe herself is gone. A penitential loneliness.
In Canto II. the Poet at once re. When the congregation come into the church-yard at the close of the turns to the source of his tale and traservice, the White Doe is seen still dition. Norton of Rylstone Hall has lying undisturbed and fearless beside engaged with Neville and Percy in the little hallowed mound, and the their rebellion against Queen Elizaconjectures of various speakers are beth, on the plea of wishing to restore given respecting the beautiful noon
the ancient religion; and his only day apparition. Among others, daughter, Emily, who had been in
structed by her deceased mother in An Old Man-studious to expound
the reformed faith, has been compelled The spectacle-hath mounted high To days of dim antiquity ;
by him to work a banner, on which is When Lady Aäliza mourned
embroidered Her Son, and felt in her despair,
The sacred Cross ; and figured there The pang of unavailing prayer ;
The five dear wounds our Lord did beari
Full soon to be uplifted high,
If not in vain we have breathed the breath And float in rueful company !
Together of a purer faithAll the sons of Norton join him in If hand in hand we have been led, his rebellion, except the eldest, Fran- And thou, (0 happy thought this day !) cis, who foresees its calamitous end, Not seldom foremost in the wayand ineffectually tries to dissuade his If on one thought our minds have fed, father from the rash enterprise. He And we have in one meaning readis dismissed with scorn and wrath Hath suffered from the shock of zeal,
If, when at home our private weal from his father's presence; and seek. Together we have learned to prize ing his beloved sister, who had gone forbearance, and self-sacrifice, to vent her sorrow in the groves round If we like combatants have fared, the Hall, he endeavours to prepare her And for this issue been prepared soul for the death of her father and all If thou art beautiful, and youth her brothers, and for the utter over
And thought endue thee with all truththrow of their ancient and illustrious Be strong ;-be worthy of the grace house. Nothing can exceed, in simple A soul, by force of sorrows high,
Of God, and fill thy destined place : and solemn earnestness, the whole of Uplifted to the purest sky this mournful prophecy. For example, Of undisturbed humanity!" “O Sister, I could prophesy !
He ended, or she heard no more : The time is come that rings the knell He led her from the Yew-tree shade, Of all we loved, and loved so well; And at the Mansion's silent door, Hope nothing, if I thus may speak
He kissed the consecrated Maid ; To thee a woman, and thence weak; And down the Valley he pursued, Hope nothing, I repeat; for we
Alone, the armed Multitude. Are doomed to perish utterly :
The third canto is wholly occupied 'Tis meet that thou with me divide
with a detail of the rising in the The thought while I am by thy side, Acknowledging a grace in this,
North, and the disarray of the rash A comfort in the dark abyss :
levy on the approach of the royal army But look not for me when I am gone,
under Dudley. Old Norton now feels And be no farther wrought upon.
that ruin is at hand. Farewell all wishes, all debate,
Back through the melancholy Host
This Banner raised so joyfully,
Thus to become at once the scorn
But the familiar prospect shed The Hawk forget his perch,
the Hound Despondency unfelt before : Be parted from his ancient ground: A shock of intimations vain, The blast will sweep us all away,
Blank fear, and superstitious pain, One desolation, one decay!
Fell on him, with the sudden thought And even this Creature!" which words saying of her by whom the work was wrought :He pointed to a lovely Doe,
Oh wherefore was her countenance bright A few steps distant, feeding, straying ; With love divine and gentle light? Fair Creature, and more white than snow ! She did in passiveness obey, “ Even she will to her peaceful woods But her Faith leaned another way. Return, and to her murmuring floods, Ill tears she wept, I saw them fall, And be in heart and soul the same
I overheard her as she spake She was before she hither came,
Sad words to that mute Animal, Ere she had learned to love us all,
The White Doe, in the hawthorn brake; Herself beloved in Rylstone Hall." She steeped, but not for Jesu's sake,
The canto ends with some fervent This Cross in tears :—by her, and One entreaties and prayers that she will Unworthier far, we are undone cherish no earthly hope, but look to Her Brother was it who assailed Heaven alone for support, in the or
Her tender spirit and prevailed. phan and brotherless state in which in the cold grave hath long been laid,
Her other parent, too, whose head she will soon be placed.
From reason's earliest dawn beguiled
To reach the well-spring of this woe
In this melancholy mood, Francis, And cirque and crescent framed by wall who unarmed had followed the multi- Of close-clipt foliage green and tall, tude, implores his infatuated father to Converging walks, and fountains gay,
And terraces in trim array,abandon the hopeless enterprise, but
Beneath yon cypress spiring high, is repulsed with anger and disdain, and retires, to wait a kindlier time to Their darksome boughs on either side,
With pine and cedar spreading wide renew his supplications. This canto, In open moonlight doth she lie; consisting principally of action, is ra- Happy
Happy as others of her kind, ther heavy and languid, and reminds That, far from human neighbourhood, the reader, somewhat painfully, of the Range-unrestricted as the wind light and bounding manner of Scott Through park, or chase, or savage wood.
But where at this still hour is she, in such narrations, to which it forms a
The consecrated Emily? very unfavourable contrast. T'he fourth canto opens
with a fine
Even while I speak, behold the Maid
Emerging from the cedar shade moonlight view of Ry stone Hall, and To open moonshine, where the Doe brings us into the presence of the Beneath a cypress-spire is laid ; sainted Emily, already felt to be an Like a patch of April snow, orphan, and attended in her solitude Upon a bed of herbage green, by that beautiful mute creature, now
Lingering in a woody glade, her constant companion.
The whole Or behind a rocky screen ; of this description is so exquisite, that Lonely relic! which, if seen we shall quote it entire.
By the Shepherd, is passed by
With an inattentive eye.
-Nor more regard doth she bestow
Upon the uncomplaining Doe! A Camp, and a beleaguered Town,
Yet the Ineek Creature was not free, And Castle like a stately crown
Erewhile, fronı sume perplexity : On the steep rocks of winding Tees ;- For thrice hath she approached, this day, And, south ward far, with moors between,
The thought-bewildered Enıily; Hill-tops, and floods, and forests green,
Endeavouring, in her gentle way,
Some smile or look of love to gain,
Encouragement to sport or play ;
Attempts which by the unhappy Maid
Have all been slighted or gainsaid.
O welcome to the viewless breeze!
"Tis fraught with acceptable feeling, The Greyhounds to their kennel creep;
Into the Sufferer's bosom stealing ;-
Ere she hath reached yon rustic Shed
Hung with late-flowering woodbine spread
Along the walls and overhead,
The fragrance of the breathing flowers And higher still, above the bower
Revives a memory of those hours
When here, in this remote Alcove, Where he is perched, from yon lone Tower (While from the pendant woodbine came The Hall-clock in the clear moonshine
Like odours, sweet as if the same)
A fondly anxious Mother strove
To teach her salutary fears Had any sway? or pain, or fear ?
And mysteries above her years. A soft and lulling sound is heard
-Yes, she is soothed : -an Image faint Of streams inaudible by day;
And yet not faint-a presence bright, The garden pool's dark surface-stirred
Returns to her ;-'tis that bless'd Saint By the night insects in their play
Who with mild looks and language mild Breaks into dimples small and bright; Instructed here her darling Child, A thousand, thousand rings of light That shape themselves and disappear
While yet a prattler on the knee,
To worship in simplicity Almost as soon as seen :-and, lo!
The invisible God, and take for guide Not distant far, the milk-white Doe :
The faith reformed and purified. The same fair Creature which was nigh
"Tis gone-the Vision, and the sense Feeding in tranquillity, When Francis uttered to the Maid
Of that beguiling influence ! His last words in the yew-tree shade ;
“ But oh! thou Angel from above, The fame fair Creature, who hath found
Thou Spirit of maternal love, Her way into forbidden ground;
That stood'st before my eyes, more clear
Than Ghosts are fabled to appear
Sent upon embassies of fear;
As thou thy presence hast to me Of trellis-work in long arcades,
3 B Vol. III.
On the Lake School of Poetry.
And privilege of ancient love,
In this state of mind she beholds an Me did these move, and I made bold, old gray-haired man approaching her, And entrance gained to that strong-hold. and in the agony of her distress con
“ Your Father gave me cordial greeting ; jures him to seek the insurgent powers
But to his purposes, that burned
Within him, instantly returned now besieging Barnard Castle, and to bring her some tidings of those for And said, “ We need not stop, my Son!
He was commanding and entreating, whose sake she is so disconsolate. “ But I will end what is begun;
In the fifth canto, Emily has seated “ 'Tis matter which I do not fear herself, in her sorrow, beneath the “ To intrust to any living ear." shadow of a tower on Rylstone Fell, And so to Francis he renewed awaiting there the return of the aged His words, more calmly thus pursued. messenger. This tower, now sad and Might this our enterprise have sped, silent,
“ Change wide and deep the Land had seen, Had often heard the sound of glee
“ A renovation from the dead, When there the youthful Nortons met,
“ A spring-tide of immortal green:
“ The darksome Altars would have blazed To practise games and archery :
“ Like stars when clouds are rolled away; How proud and happy they ! the crowd Of Lookers-on how pleased and proud !
“ Salvation to all eyes that gazed, And from the heat of the noontide sun,
“ Once more the Rood had been upraised From showers, or when the prize was won,
“ To spread its arms, and stand for aye.
“ Then, then, had I survived to see They to the Watch-tower did repair,
“ New life in Bolton Priory ;
“ The voice restored, the eye of truth
“ Re-opened that inspired my youth ;
“ Had seen her in her pomp arrayed ; He was the proudest of them all !
“ This Banner (for such vow I made) At last the old man comes, and in
“ Should on the consecrated breast forms her of the end of the sad tra
“ Of that same Temple have found rest : gedy,—the execution of her father and
“ I would myself have hung it high, all his eight sons.
Francis alone sur- “ Glad offering of glad victory !
“ A shadow of such thought remains
“ One feeble Being-bids me climb
“ Hear then,” said he, “ while I impart, Not vainly struggled in the might
“ My Son, the last wish of my heart. Of duty seeing with clear sight;
-“ The Banner strive thou to regain ; He was their comfort to the last,
“ And, if the endeavour be not vain, Their joy till every pang was past.
“ Bear it-to whom if not to thee
" To wither in the sun and breeze
“ Bold proof that with no selfish aim,
“ But for lost Faith and Christ's dear name, “ He rose not in this quarrel, he
I helmeted a brow, though white,
“ This fair unrivalled Brotherhood,
“ And left-but be the rest unsaid, “ Then peace to cruelty and scorn, “ The name untouched, the tear unshed, “ While to the prison they are borne, “ My wish is known and I have done : “ Peace, peace to all indignity !"
“ Now promise, grant this one request, “ And so in Prison were they laid “ This dying prayer, and be thou blest!" Oh hear me, hear me, gentle Maid !
“ Then Francis answered fervently, For I am come with power to bless, “ If God so will, the same shall be. To scatter gleams through your distress Immediately, this solemn word Of a redeeming happiness.
Thus scarcely given, a noise was heard,