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Words, earth to earth, and the Rattle of the clay on the coffin lid; the Hum of bees; the Voice of birds; the glad Uproar of children at play; the Bark of the watch dog, or the fox; the Tinkling of the sheep Bell; the Song of the nightingale in the deep covert of the grove, or of merry milk-maids in the meadows; Eloquence; the voice of the Storm among the pines, or Thunder among the mountains; the Wail of the Organ in the old abbey,
“When the tubed engine feels the inspiring blast
As if the fretted roof were riven." All these and a thousand other notes than these are intimations of power to us; our spirits are stringed instruments, and these varied winds sweep over the chords and call forth the music within us; in this conception lies the power of sound, and that it is ever symbolic, we are guided to the origin of music
" When civic renovation
Of promises shrill, wild, and sweet." The power of music on the Wild Beast of the Wilderness is finely painted,
“The pipe of Pan to Shepherds,
SPIRITUALITY OF SOUND.
Was passing sweet; the eye-balls of the Leopards
way and that, with wild flowers crowned.”
And in the following lines descriptive of Skating, we catch the glimpse of the sparkling steel, and the swiftly flying forms, not by any description of the physique of the scene, but by the Creaking of the Ice, and the dropping of the icicle from the tree, or the plunge of the snow-drift into the abyss below, startling the clear winter echoes, we have already aroused, while
“The precipices rang aloud;
But the references to sound and its influnce are scattered with such affluence thro' the volumes of the poet, that the citations can only be by way of illustration. Sound is made almost the soul of all things.
“By one pervading spirit
The heavens are filled with everlasting harmony,—"the ocean is a mighty harmonist,” —the skylark is a
“Happy, happy liver,
How exquisite that delineation of one of his heroines :
“ Beauty born of murmuring sound
Did pass into her face.”
How grotesque the picture of the boy who
“Press'd closely palm to palm, and to his mouth
All these intimations guide to an organic sensibility so refined that it seems to have quivered and trembled at every tone breath'd forth from nature's harp, and they unlock much of that apparent mystic hidden meaning of which it has been the fashion to speak in connection with the poet; sounds and scenes were to him unquestionably symbols, and had their moral significancies and meanings, the “wandering utterances" are questioned if earth has no scheme of moral music? and the moaning behind every sound, consoling the poet is that
"Though earth be dust
Thus wo shall soe clearly that the characteristic of Wordsworth's poetry which most prominently distinguishes it from all other writings, is the earnest and profound sympathy with nature as nature, running throughout. Let the reader attentively note the following quotations : in sweetness, in exquisite tenderness those
INTENSE SYMPATHY WITH NATURB.
immediately following have seldom by any poet been equalled.
“I heard a thousand blended notes,
As in a grove I sat reclined,
Bring sad thoughts to the mind.
The human soul that through me ran,
What man has made of man.
The periwinkle trailed its wreaths,
Enjoys the air it breathes.
Their thoughts I cannot measure,
It seem'd a thrill of pleasure.
To catch the breezy air,
That there was pleasure there.
If such be nature's holy plan,
What man has made of man."
And thus,--the sympathy established between the poet and his world, that world becomes his instructor:
“One impulse from a vernal wood,
Will teach you more of man,
Than all the sages can.
a finger on the river; now and then perhaps the shadowy folds of some darker drapery might rustle behind the foliage of the wood, a shadow of a shroud sometimes clothed the hill; but yet like the partial frown on the face of a beloved beauty, it only intoxicated our Poet the more. The spirit of his homage to nature at this time is not less than enchantment, and Nature, Nature is his everlasting solace and song.
You have often heard Wordsworth mentioned by the side of Milton; but what in a word is the grand distinction between the two P is it not this that Milton, high over all his learning and his scholarship, over all his taste and through all his genius, heard the awful words of the Hebrew ritual sounding and surging “The Lord our God is one Lord,” while Wordsworth through all his musings and his haunts, in the midst of all his readings and his delights, was perpetually followed by a beautiful Panthea. We could imagine him perpetually engaged in his earlier years in the utterance of the sublime prayer with which Socrates closes his discourse to Phædrus: “Oh beloved Pan, and all ye other Gods of this place, grant me to become beautiful in the inner man, and that whatever outward things I have, may be at peace with those within." Milton was essentially Hebrew, and Wordsworth essentially Greek. How sublime were both, we feel and well know. The mind of Wordsworth had no angles, it was smoothed and polished with exquisite grace and finish, the mind of Milton was rugged and unhewn, as the stones with which Elijah reared the altar on Mount