Слике страница


On the Genius and Writings of Wordsworth.


who has called forth the holiest of our | We have said some little upon Mr. sympathies, and told of the hopes of Wordsworth ; let him now speak for man and his immortal destiny-of one himself. One or two extracts will who has lived in this “bright and suffice to shew that he may deservedly breathing world," and has not lived in claim a very high station amongst the vain. We wish them to look on those living poets. How intensely does he visions of glory and immortality, picture the feelings of one of Nature's which this poet has prepared for lovers, in the following lines. them, and to follow us into those regions of love and of beauty, where we

Oh then what soul was his, when on the tops

of the high mountains, be beheld the sun have“ garnered up our hearts."

Rise up, and bathe' the world in light !--He In the poetry of Wordsworth, there looked is not any thing to which the mind Ocean and earth, the solid frame of earth does not at any time recur with plea

And ocean's liquid mass, beneath him lay sure. His chief subjects are Life,

In gladness and deep joy. The clouds were

touched, Death, Childhood, and Old Age; and

And in their silent faces did he read over these he casts a naked majesty Unutierable love. Sound needed none, of feeling, which we cannot but re Nor any voice of joy; his spirit drank vere and love. He calls forth no | The spectacle; sensation, soul, and form, lurking disease of the heart, and pic-/

All melted into him; they swallowed up

| His animal being; in them did he live, tures no vitiated hero-he brings be

And by them did he live; they were his life. fore us no object but what is bright In such access of mind, in such high hour and pure, and tells us of no passions Of visitation from the living God, but those which are, and ever should

Thought was not; in enjoyment it expired. be, a Poet's fairest creations. He

No thanks he breathed, he proffered no request : binds man and the universe by that

Rapt into still communion that transcends

th' imperfect offices of prayer and praise, “ natural piety” which awakes all His mind was a thanksgiving to the Power our dearest sympathies, and con- That made him ; it was blessedness and love. ducts the current of our affections

EXCURSION. into those fairy channels where they can have their “ pleasant excercise of simin

Nothing can be more artless and

simple than the subjects which he hope and joy." To him, the “bare

| chooses, yet nothing can be more earth and mountains bare' are a de

noble and sublime than his manner of light. He looks upon Nature in all her denir

depicting them. Every one delights changes, with a mind abstracted from

to look back upon the early days of every thing worldly, and to him the

his existence, and to reflect upon the meanest flower that blows upon the

careless sports of his infancy; but in desolate heath, can raise up thoughts

what touching and beautiful strains which “ do often lie too deep for

does this poet speak of them!-he artears.” He has written nothing that

rays them in all their “ freshness and we could wish to see cancelled-he

their glory,” and pours a flood of the has not given us any terrific or start

loveliest colouring over that happy ling subjects-subjects, which how

time. The most triling incident can ever they may astonish, and however

| bring to his recollection those scenes-forcibly depicted, never find any true

| the paths he once trod are reviewed sympathy in the human heart-but he with increased delight, and he listeus has passed over the beaten paths of

to the " wandering voice" of the our existence, and guided us to many

Cuckoo, till it“ begets again the a sweet spring of joy and consolation,

golden time” of his childhood. which flows by the way-side of huma

How masterly does he pourtray the nity. He looks upon this world as from

following thoughta higher sphere, and “lives along” the

tender ties of love and affection that

I have seen bind the great family of man together.

A carious child, who dwelt upon a tract

i of inland ground, applying to his ear He delights to call forth the holiest | The convolutions of a smooth-lipp'd shell; associations, and trace them to their | To which, in silence hushed, his very soul final destiny—to picture the sweet | Listen'd intensely; and his countenance soon and happy dreams of infancy and

Brighten'd with joy; for marmurings from youth, and to tell of


Were heard,--sonorous cadences! whereby, That first mild touch of sympathy and thought To his belief, the monitor expressed In which we feel our kindred with a world Mysterious union with its native sea. Where want and sorrow are.

| Even such a Shell the universe itself

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

Is to the ear of Faith; and there are times, | lumes are not seen on every table, I doubt not, when to you iddoth impart

they are seen on the tables of those Authentio tidings of invisible things;

who are allowed to be the choicest Of ebb and flow, and ever during power ; And central peace, subsisting at the heart

spirits of the age, and the approbation Of endless agitation. Here you stand, of one man of genius is worth the Adore and worship, when you know it not; applause of a whole multitude of inPious beyond the intention of your thought; feriors. The proper estimate of a Devout above the meaning of your will.

work, is not, how much is it read, but ExcursiON.

by whom is it read; and it is not a Neither has he been wanting in just criterion of the worth of any loftier subjeets. Mr. Wordsworth

sworin man's powers, that his name should has passed over the field of Waterloo, I be blown into every corner of the and so has Lord Byron—but in what earth by the four winds of heaven. do they differ? The former has given Had, however, Mr. Wordsworth been to the world, in his Thanksgiving Odes, that ordinary versifier which some a train of thought the most sublinc

declare he is, he would not have mainthe latter has looked upon that Gol

tained his name in public opinion so gotha of his fallen countrymen, and

long, much less would he have been ever sneered at the conquest. It would be

rising in it; and as to the egotism so impossible to offer any adequate idea loudly complained of, there is not of Mr. Wordsworth's odes; we will

half the quantity to be found in all he however give one of his sonnets, writ- has ever

| has ever written, as there is in the ten upon the same occassion.

single production of Childe Harold. The Bard, whose soul is meek as dawning day, With regard to Childe Harold, altho' Yet train'd to judgments righteously severe; it is imbued with the intensest pasFervid, yet conversant with holy fear, sion, and displays the noblest genius, As recognizing one almighty sway:

yet there is that inherent in its nature He whose experienced eye can pierce th' array Of past events,-to whom in vision clear,

which will be its destruction; and The aspiring heads of future things appear,

Lord Byron, with all his genius, and Like mountain tops whence mists have rolled with all his power, is only like the away :

fabled phoenix bird of the east, kindAssoiled from all incombrance of our time, He only, if such breathe, in strains devout

ling the flame that will consume him, Shall comprehend this victory sublime;

Men do not love to dwell long on those And worthily rehearse the hideous rout,

cheerless pictures—those gloomy wanWhich the blest angels, from their peaceful | derings of feeling in which that poem clime

abounds; and it is for this sole reaBeholding, welcomed with a choral shout.

son, that the name of Byron is losing Surely there is no one but must per-ground, and must still continue to do ceive great power in this sonnet. It so. When the fever of excitement is will be a lasting stain upon the name past, and the reign of misanthropy of Byron, that he should have trodden over, then will poetry like that of over the ground whereon his country-Wordsworth's become universally men fought their greatest battle, and read; and instead of our being satisachieved their noblest conquest, and fied with those writings which tell us address them as he has done. Did he that man is a villain, and this “ bright breathe a word in his country's cause? and breathing world” a wilderness, we Did he exert his genius in her behalf? shall turn with delight to the imaginaDid he celebrate her triumphs? No: tion of him which “ lives in the rainRome was in flames, and Nero sat bow, and plays among the plighted playing on his harp.


G. M. There is not any living poet who has Bridge-street, Derby. rested so much upon the bare strength

his own powers, as Mr. Words- THE CHEQUERED LIFE OF MAN, worth ; and that man is only to be pitied who can read many of his son- | Life is not entirely made up of great Jets, the ode on the Iniimations of evils, or heavy trials, but the perpew.ortality, and above all, that no- tnal recurrence of petty evils and

s philosophical poem which this small trials, is the ordinary and apage has produced, the Excursion, and pointed exercise of the Christian represent their author as an object fit | graces. Scorn to point its “ slow unmoving To bear with the infirmities of those at.” If Mr. Wordsworth's vos about us, with their failings, their bad

2 Q

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

judgments, their ill breeding, their truths, growing in any man's mind, perverse tempers; to endure neglect, become a public benefit? And has where we feel we have deserved at- not society a right to exclaim against tention, and ingratitude where we the idle drone, who contributes noexpected thanks; to bear with the thing to the common stock? Is not company of disagreeable people, the applause of successive generawbom Providence has placed in our tions well bestowed upon such as eleway, and whom perhaps he has pro- vate Mind, and bring a more than vided on purpose for the trial of our common quantity into general use? virtue,, thesc are the best exercises, “Has a man any family connecand the better, because not chosen tion? does he belong to any body, or by ourselves. To bear with vexa- does any body belong to him ? let tions in our business, with disap- every one recollect, and he will find in pointnents in our expectations, with his immediate parents, or his remoter interruptions to our retirement, with ancestry, some name to be supportfolly, intrusion, disturbance, in short, ed, some talent to excite emulation, with whatever opposes our will, or some progress made in science, art, contradicts our humour; this habitual or usefulness, which sbould stimulate acquiescence appears to be more of him to push forward in a career so the essence of self-denial, than any glorious, so important. Brothers inlittle rigours or inflictions of our own vite, and sisters urge the youth, whose impressing

happiness it is to own titles so dear, so influential. Let there be no one

of the little circle deficient, no one TO THE EDITOR OF THE IMPERIAL stone in the concentric arch untrue to MAGAZINE.

its proper station : be able to meet Sir,- The following excellent obser- | their eyes without the conscious blush vations, are from the pen of the cele- of indolence, or the hardened stare, brated Isaac Taylor" and although which custom in shameful but unthey are not a direct answer to the shaming backwardness, is apt to as. Query, (col. 374,) " What are the best sume. Be one of us; an honour to methods to be adopted, in order to in the family, to the name already brightduce a person who bas leisure to give ening in the records of useful and his attention to Study and Learning ?” | honourable fame. yet they bear so much on the ques

“ He who gives to every one the tion, and seem so very applicable to talents he possesses, will expect them the design of the Querist, that, if ad- to be pat to their proper uses; well mitted into your very popular and knowing that much increase may be useful work, as a kind of " addenda" | thus obtained. The man who is conto a regular answer, or as a rear tent merely to vegetate, who has guard, after the first rank, I augur powers of life given bim; content they will be beneficial and accept just to exist, when he migbt grow, and able to the Querist, and the gene

rise, and shine, be useful, be honourrality of your readers.

able ; surely such a man, if man he I am, Mr. Editor, your's, &c. deserves to be called, will be found

A. B. C. an unprofitable servant, will be adS- n, Cleveland, Yorkshire.

judged to have hid his talent in a

napkin, and wasted his master's “ The public cry out, and justly, of goods. He, on the contrary, who has the millions of acres suffered to lie used his various powers honourably, waste, which are capable of consi- as he certainly will gain other talents, derable and annually increasing pro- two, or five, or ten; will have that best duce. It is a debt due to society to of all commendation, -Well done, bring them into cultivation. It has enter thou into joy. obtained as an axiom, that he who “ When the mind begins to try its causes an ear of corn to grow, where own powers, the exertion will repay none ever grew before, is a public itself, by the pleasure it affords. To benefactor. Has not society an equal find a purse on the road, yields not claim, a much more important right, more gratification to the sordid, than to call on every man not to let his the finding out truth (especially to mental powers lic wastc? Will not a some new view of it) gives to the in rich harvest of ideas, principles, and quisitive mind. To be in the conu

[ocr errors]

Anecdote. Remarks on the Pastoral Poets of Italy.

[ocr errors]

nual habit of such gratifications, is | farmer, who felt conscious of having to make life pleasant indeed. Trea-frequently indulged himself with a sure found as before supposed, may nap during the Doctor's sermon. be lost again; but knowledge once obtained can never be stolen away. It

REMARKS ON THE PASTORAL POETS remains; and the joy of finding, when

OF ITALY: AND MR. LEIGH HUNT'S settled into satisfaction of possessing,

TRANSLATION OF TASSO'S AMINTA. continues to yield out its beneficial influence without failing.

** Mira cio che sa fare anco ne' petti " If a man pass all his days doz

Più semplici e più molli, amore industre.” ing upon a bed, or lounging on a sofa,

GUARINI, we can scarcely repress the smile of The reed, though not the loudest, or contempt at limbs so useless ; espe- the most celebrated, of musical instrucially, if by nature they are strong or ments, is at least the oldest and most beautiful. But if mind be thus indo- simple. Its music was, perhaps, the lent, if its active powers sink into le- first to win the ear of love, to express thargy, if it bo not roused to action; the charms of external nature, or the the soul of an oyster might do as well peace and love of patriarchal or wanfor such a man. - An intellectual spirit dering tribes, during the golden and is lost, unless its activities are employ- Arcadian days. If we may be pered; and that upon something noble, mitted to speak allegorically, its music useful, and worthy its high dignity, is also most like that of nature, and

" The husbandman glows with joy we might imagine that its sad and as he sees the plantations spring, as lonely voice heard whispering in the he finds the toil bestowed is now likely whistling winds, from its wild and to be rewarded. He knows bis honest solitary bed, first inspired some poetic fame will be sure : he will be well dis- spirit with the desire of giving a voice tinguished from the sluggard at the to the genuine impulses of song. first glance, and honoured accord- The shepherd on the mountain, ingly. Every man owes this duty to the huntsman in the forest, and the himself. To neglect his mind, is a angler over the stream, were in the crime of no small magnitude, a sort of earliest periods of society sensible of felo de še, deep indeed in guilt, be- the charm which it shed over their cause destructive, not to his body wayward and solitary life. In all merely, but to his nobler powers; to ages, and in every nation, it is the his better self; to that intellectual earliest, the most spontaneous, and spirit, which denominates him Man." the most delightful, of all poetry: for

it combines the description of nature,

with that of the most beautiful of the -.. ANECDOTE OF DR PALEY.

human passions-love. It is thereDR. Paley having naturally a weakfore as universal as nature herself, voice, submitted to the Churchwardens and as old as the world we live in. of Dalton, near Carlisle, (of which The Icelander borne on his sledge place he was vicar,) the propriety of over unvaried tracts of snow-the having a sounding board put over his Arab in his sandy desert, and the pulpit. While the matter was dis- wild Indian in his mighty forests, as cussing in the vestry, “Oh!" said a well as the milder offspring of souththrifty farmer, " if the Doctor wouldern climes, are all equal sharers in but speak as loud in the pulpit as he its universal influence--the poets of does at christening and tithe days, nature singing their wild and untufaith, I think there would be no occa- tored strains of love or warfare, of dosion to put the parish to the expense mestic and rural joys. of a sounding box." The Doctor, Among the people of the south and with his characteristic mildness, re- the west, this earliest species of poetry torted, “ Friend, you are mistaken; assumed a richer and more luxurious you hear much better out of church character, partaking of the sweetness than in it. When a man's worldly in and beauty of the climate in which it terest is concerned, he is so sharp-sprung, inspiring feelings highly facared, that he can bear even in a whis-vourable to the development of geper, but the preacher needs even the nius, and refinement of the intellec

ce of John the Baptist, to rouse the tual powers. Thus the Greeks and eepers." This silenced the satirical Italians are no less celebrated for the

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

magic of their pencil, than of their that Mr. L. H. would lose nothing in voice; and we perceive that poetry point of solidity, and strength of and painting never flourished with hand, were he to cultivate the acsuch consummate triumph of mind, as quaintance of Homer. in the two æras--of their rise in He would then find, that not even Greece, and of their revival in Italy. the Romans originated any new speThe difference between the two na-cies of poetry, but that there once tions is that the Greeks invented, lived before them such men as Theoand the Italians for the most part critus, Bion, Archilochus, and Mcimitated, these arts. And the latter nander, from whom Virgil, Ennius, do not, as Mr. L. H. erroneously sup- | Horace, and Terence, drew those poses in his preface, lay claim, arnong pure streams of classic song, wbich, their other inventions, to the merit of though long stagnant, again flowed even having created the pastoral | to fertilize the soil of modern Italy. drama.

The Italians were indefatigable in the The Italians are an ingenious, but study of the Grecian poets: in the an imitative rather than an inven- form and body of their works, equally tive people ;--they amassed, but aid as in the individual parts and single not create their wealth ;- they are passages, they still made them their only the heirs of Greece and Rome, models. and their claim to immortality rests, Their chorus, the dialogue, and not in having in any species origi- the entire drama, is of Grecian origin. nated, but in having carried the Yet while this strict union between discoveries of the Greeks in every them is well known to exist, Mr. H. branch of the fine arts, to an exqui- observes, that the Italians invented site degree of perfection. Not that the pastoral drama. We wish he we mean to assert, that the Greeks would only consult the Eclogues of have an exclusive privilege to all in- Virgil, which are scenes and dialogues vention; if we cannot trace them so throughout, as well as most of those plainly, it is, perhaps, because we of the Greeks. We have excellent know none of those poets before them, translations of both. So far from the of whom they may have borrowed the Italian Pastoral being discovered, or materials of art. We are certain, for confined to the few poets Mr. H. imainstance, that many among the Greeks gines, if he will only consult Menage who came after Homer, borrowed in his observations on Tasso's Aminta, from his poems, and even he was ac- he will find that he counts no less cused of destroying the productions | than fourscore pastoral plays in Itaof those who wrote before him, that lian, besides eclogues and piscatory his plagiarisms might not be detected. plays, by Sannazaro, Bonarelli, and As these, however, are not known, we many others. But a truce to Mr. H.'s must still look up to the Greeks as preface. the fathers of literature and art, though. In some parts, we think Tasso's we are told of what they are said to | Amintas inferior to the similar proowe to the Egyptians and the Chal- ductions of Guarini and Bonarelli, deans.

though Tasso is more simple and Mr. Hunt's mistake is a very natu- | easy in the thoughts, langnage, and ral one, and we merely mention it to the fable. The story of Pastor Fido set him right on a subject, in the dis- 1 is more intricate, the composition cussion of which, he has advanced more laboured, but the dialogues are several original and beautiful remarks perhaps more noble and entertaining, in bis preface to the Amintas. It ihough not so well suited for pastoral is the more excusable, as we believe as Tasso's. The Fille di Sciro, of BoMr. H. has not bad the advantage narelli, is more interesting and surof an acquaintance with the old wri-prising, but, like the Spanish plays, ters; as this is an acquisition not too full of conceit. It is most proeasily obtained, except through the bable, that the design of all these medium of a classical education. was suggested by the Cyclops of Euri

Some men, however, have surmount- pides, as the poet Walsh has judied this difficulty, and become learned, ciously remarked. by the mere force of their own power-| But we must now examine into wc ful minds. Cato attempted Greek merits of the version before us. when he was seventy: and we believe

[To be concluded in ur next.]

« ПретходнаНастави »