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ÆSTHETIC AND ETHIC.

385

found nowhere in human history, is to be found in Nature, and there, is for ever a lenitive for all Despondency.

“For the man
Who in this spirit communes with the Forms
Of Nature,

Needs must feel
The joy of that pure principle of love,

The spiritual presences of absent things.

“So build we up the being that we are
Thus deeply drinking in the soul of things,
We shall be wise perforce.

What e'er we see
Or feel, shall tend to quicken and refine;
Shall fix in calmer seats of moral strength
Earthly desires; and raise to loftier heights
Of divine love, our intellectual soul."

ELEVENTH.—But finally, even this fails without leaning in devout acquiescence and Faith on the strength and purity of the Divine Will.

“By grace divine,
Not otherwise, oh nature, we are thine."

“In the port
Of levity, no refuge can be found,
No shelter for a spirit in distress.
He who by wilful disesteem of life
And proud insensibility to hope,
Affronts the eye of solitude, shall learn
That her mild nature can be terrible
That neither she nor silence lack the power
To avenge their own insulted majesty."

LL

386

True repose arises free

“The bounded its are

To the soul fised se sine ross
Consolation springs from starces depe fette d

For the neck sufere."

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CHAPTER VIII.

THE ARCHITECTURE OF THE LIFE.

“ The correspondence between Wordsworth and Milton must be sought in their genius; not in the scale of their genius, equal though I deem it to be, nor yet in the kind of their genius, for though they have much in common, each has much that is peculiar; but in their lofty veneration for their genius as an emanation (from) rather than a gift of the eternal light; both writing under a sense of sacred duty, duty to God and Man, with a regal sense of irresponsibility to any number of individuals, Wordsworth alone, of all the followers of Milton, had a right to appropriate his . Fit audience may I find though few.'"

HARTLEY COLERIDGE.— Notes on the Poets.

“Wordsworth is a genius superior to us, in so far as he can more than we make discoveries and shed a light on them, Here I must think he is deeper than Milton, though I think he has depended more upon the general and gregarious advance of intellect, than individual greatness of mind."

JOHN KEATS.- Letters.

“But something whispers to my heart,

That as we downwards tend,
Lycoris' life requires an art

To which our souls must bend.

Oh! 'tis the heart that magnifies this life,
Making a truth and beauty of her own.”

LYCORIS.

“The faith heaven strengthens where he moulds the creed."

We must now return from the Land of Wordsworth and from readings, and illustrations of the peculiarities of his genius, again to the current of his life and his

domestic and personal history. Our last notices left him sorrowing over the death of his brother Captain Wordsworth. That death wrought very abiding impressions on his character; and beneath the influence of the softening feelings, the bereavement produced, he wrote the close of his posthumous poem, the Prelude. This was the work of the year 1805. The original plan was modified; it had been his intention to have called the poem known by the name of the Excursion, “The Pedlar,” a title at the alteration of which every admirer of the poet must rejoice, and which perhaps resulted from the unyielding pertinacity with which he adhered to his first impressions and principles, connected with the exaltation of lowly life and humble labour, writing to Sir George Beaumont in 1805 he says,

“My dear Sir George, I write to you from the moss hut at the top of my orchard, the sun just sinking behind the hills in front of the entrance, and his light falling upon the green moss on the side opposite me. A linnet is singing in the tree above, and the children of some of our neighbours who have been to-day little James's visitors, are playing below, equally noisy and happy. The green fields in the level area of the vale, and part of the lake, lie before me in quietness. I have just been reading two newspapers full of factious brawls about Lord Melville and his delinquencies, ravage of the French in the West Indies, victories of the English in the East, fleets of ours roaming the sea in search of enemies whom they cannot find, etc., etc., and I have asked myself more than once lately, if my affections

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LETTER TO LADY BEAUMONT.

389

can be in the right place, caring as I do so little about what the world seems to care so much for. All this seems 'a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. It is pleasant in such a mood to turn ones thoughts to a good man and a dear friend, I have therefore taken up the pen to write to you.”

How clearly Wordsworth comprehended his work as a poet, is seen too in a very admirable letter written to Lady Beaumont; indeed the letter is more than admirable, it thrills the thoughtful reader like one of those prophecies in which genius ante-dates the period of its final triumph and success, it is written in 1807. We must quote some passages from it, as they very strikingly illustrate his moral history, and his abiding faith in the purpose, and the mission of his inspiration. “It is impossible that any expectations can be lower than mine concerning the immediate effect of this little work upon what is called the public. I do not here take into consideration the envy and malevolence, and all the bad passions which always stand in the way of a work of merit from a living poet, but merely think of the pure, absolute, honest ignorance in which all worldlings of every rank and situation must be enveloped, with respect to the thoughts, feelings, and images, on which the life of my poems depends. The things which I have taken, whether from within or without, what have they to do with routs, dinners, morning calls, hurry from door to door, from street to street, on foot or in carriage, with Mr. Pitt, or Mr. Fox, Mr. Paul, or Sir Francis Burdett, the Westminster Election or the borough of

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