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rich setting sun pours its beams upon their cottages, gilding their torn thatch and ragged walls, and blending them with a landscape of peace and beauty. “The old Cumberland Beggar is a fine example. "The Brothers' is the most touching narrative of fraternal affection which we remember. In · The Idiot Boy,' he has failed. A mean incident is chosen to represent the force of maternal love in a simple woman for an idiot child, and the recurrences and dialogue are unnecessarily silly. This poem is the most conspicuous instance in the four volumes, in which he has driven his theory too far.

Nearly connected with the interest, which his muse takes in the feelings and concerns of untutored men, is that which she manifests in the purity, artlessness, and budding intellect of children. The little ballad, “We are Seven,' which is intended to show with what difficulty we admit in childhood the idea of death, is a beautiful exemplification of his power in simple pathos.

His theory respecting the language of poetry, is like that which he entertains with regard to its subjects. The language in which real passion is really expressed, the language of nature and of life, he affirms to be the true language of poetry. He discards those high sounding words, which were once thought to form the only proper poetical dialect, and despises all that vain show and rattle of phraseology, which was considered indispensable to a poem, or enough of itself to constitute one. He selects those words and phrases, to be sure, which are best adapted to his purpose, and which declare in the most forcible manner the idea he means to convey; but he employs those which are plain and in common use, and equally avoids weakening a good thought by an affected and roundabout way of announcing it, and endeavoring to supply the want of thought by a profusion of parade and sound. In this principle we go along with him with our whole heart. Few things are more tiresome to us, than the jingle and flourish which many people call poetry, We think we should choose the penance of hairshirt and whipcord, in preference to that of being obliged to toil through such a peformance as Darwin's Loves of the Plants. There is as much difference between these preparations of pomp and paraphrase, and true poetry, as there is between the precise, complimental, ready made speeches of what is sometimes termed a pretty spoken man, and the natural, energetic, appropriate and spontaneous conversation, which flows from a clear head and a warm heart. There are even many words and forms of expression, which, though once highly emphatic, have now, by hackneyed repetition, almost lost their flavor; and, like certain kinds of fruit in old orchards, have run out. In such cases, the language of fact again becomes the language of poetry, because it is the most forcible.

We might give many examples from the volumes before us, in which our poet has given additional energy to a noble thought by simple diction. The following is one of the Sonnets dedicated to Liberty, and is entitled, “Thought of a Briton on the Subjugation of Switzerland.'

Two voices are there ; one is of the sea,
One of the mountains; each a mighty voice ;
In both from age to age thou didst rejoice,
They were thy chosen music, Liberty !
There came a tyrant, and with holy glee
Thou fought'st against him, but hast vainly striven ;
Thou from thy Alpine holds at length art driven,
Where not a torrent murmurs heard by thee.
Of one deep bliss thine ear hath been bereft,
Then cleave, O cleave to that which still is left ;
For, high souled Maid, what sorrow would it be,
That mountain floods should thunder as before,
And ocean bellow from his rocky shore,

And neither awful voice be heard by thee ! What sublime personification is here, and yet how simple is the language ! The last four lines are grand. They fall on the spirit like the slow and solemn notes of Luther's Judgment Hymn. We cannot forbear another specimen of a different character, in which the calm strength of conjugal love is uttered in quite an imaginative vein of poetry, yet at the same time in the plain language of sincerity.

She was a phantom of delight,
When first she gleam'd upon my sight ;
A lovely apparition, sent

To be a moment's ornament.
New Series, No. 18. 47

Her eyes as stars of twilight fair ;
Like twilight's, too, her dusky hair ;
But all things else about her drawn
From May time and the cheerful dawn.
A dancing shape, an image gay,
To haunt, to startle, and waylay.
I saw her upon nearer view,
A Spirit, yet a Woman too!
Her household motions light and free,
And steps of virgin liberty ;
A countenance in which did meet
Sweet records, promises as sweet ;
A creature not too bright or good
For human nature's daily food,
For transient sorrows, simple wiles,
Praise, blame, love, kisses, tears, and smiles.
And now I see with eye serene
The very pulse of the machine ;
A being breathing thoughtful breath,
A traveller betwixt life and death ;
The reason firm, the temperate will,
Endurance, foresight, strength, and skill;
A perfect Woman, nobly planned,
To warn, to comfort, and command ;
And yet a Spirit still, and bright

With something of an angel light. But the great distinction and glory of Mr Wordsworth's poetry, is the intimate converse which it holds with Nature. He sees her face to face; he is her friend, her confidential counsellor, her high priest; and he comes from her inmost temple to reveal to us her mysteries, and unravel those secret influences which we had always felt, but hardly understood. It is not merely that he admires her beauties with enthusiasm, and describes them with the nicest accuracy, but he gives them voice, language, passion, power, sympathy; he causes them to live, breathe, feel. We acknowledge that even this has been done by gifted bards before him ; but never so thoroughly as by him; they lifted up corners of the veil, and he has drawn it aside; he has established new relationships, and detected hitherto unexplored affinities, and made the connexion still closer than ever between this goodly universe and the heart of man. Every person of susceptibility has been affected, with more or less distinctness, by the various forms of natural beauty, and the associations and remembrances connected with them ; by the progress of a storm, the expanse of ocean, the gladness of a sunny field,

The silence that is in the starry sky,

The sleep that is among the lonely hills. Wordsworth has taught these sentiments and impulses a language, and has given them a law and a rule. Our intercourse with Nature becomes permanent; we acquire a habit of transferring human feelings to the growth of earth, the elements, the lights of heaven, and a capacity of receiving rich modifications and improvements of those feelings in return. We are convinced that there is more mind, more soul about us, wherever we look, and wherever we move ; and there is; for we have imparted both to the material world ; there is no longer any dulness or death in our habitation ; but a sweet music, and an intelligent voice, are forever speaking to our secret ear, and the beauty of all visible things becomes their joy, and we partake in it, and are elevated by it, and gather from the confiding gratitude of surrounding objects fresh cause of praise to the Maker of them all.

The following extracts from ‘Lines written in early Spring,' exhibit that part of our poet's creed, which attributes feeling to material things.

To her fair works did Nature link
The human soul, that through me ran;
And much it grieved my heart to think,
What man has made of man.
Through primrose tufts, in that sweet bower,
The periwinkle trailed its wreaths ;
And 'tis my faith, that every

flower
1

Enjoys the air it breathes.
The birds around me hopped and played ;
Their thoughts I cannot measure;
But the least motion, which they made,
It seemed a thrill of pleasure.
The budding twigs spread out their fan,
To catch the breezy air;
And I must think, do all I can,
That there was pleasure there.

,

The corresponding impressions of natural objects on the human soul, are illustrated in the four verses, which we shall next quote from a poem consisting of seven, in which Nature is represented as adopting a favorite child, and training her up by her own influences; and these influences are fancifully extended to the corporeal form, as well as to the character of her pupil. She says,

This child I to myself will take ;
She shall be mine, and I will make
A lady of my own.
Myself will to my darling be
Both law and impulse; and with me
The girl, in rock and plain,
In earth and heaven, in glade and bower,
Shall feel an overseeing power
To kindle or restrain.
She shall be sportive as the fawn,
That wild with glee across the lawn,
Or up the mountain springs ;
And hers shall be the breathing balm,
And hers the silence and the calm
Of mute insensate things.
The floating clouds their state shall lend
To her ; for her the willow bend;
Nor shall she fail to see,
Even in the motions of the storm,
Grace that shall mould the maiden's form
By silent sympathy.
The stars of midnight shall be dear
To her; and she shall lean her ear
In many a secret place
Where rivulets dance their wayward round,
And beauty, born of murmuring sound,
Shall
pass

into her face. • Tintern Abbey' is a variety of the same class. If we were called on to point out our favorite piece among the four volumes, we should name this. We can make no extracts from it, because we are certain, that wherever we might begin, we should not be able to take away our pen till we came to the end of the poem.

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