Imágenes de páginas

and the fresher and more various imagery, which give a value like all other good things, is the result of thought and the submissive study of the best models.* If it be asked, “ But what shall I deem such ?”—the answer is: presume those to be the best, the reputation of which has been matured into fame by the consent of ages. For wisdom always has a final majority, if not by conviction, yet by acquiescence. In addition to Sir J. Reynolds I may mention Harris of Salisbury; who in one of his philosophical disquisitions has written on the means of acquiring a just taste with the precision of Aristotle, and the elegance of Quinctilian.t


Gelido suo ruscel chiaro, e tranquillo
M'insegnó Amor di state a mezzo'l giorno;
Ardean le selve, ardean le piagge, e i colli.
Ond 'io, ch' al piu gran gielo ardo e sfavillo,
Subito corsi ; ma si puro adorno
Girsene il vidi, che turbar no'l volli:
Sol mi specchiava, e’n dolce ombrosa sponda
Mi stava intento al mormorar dell'onda.

Aure dell'angoscioso viver mio
Refrigerio soave,
E dolce sì, che più non mi par grave
Ne'l arder, ne'l morir, anz' il desio ;
Deh voi'l ghiaccio, e le nubi, e'l tempo rio

*["On whom then can he rely, or who shall show him the path that leads to excellence? The answer is obvious. Those great masters who have travelled the same road with success are the most likely to conduct others. The works of those who have stood the test of ages have a claim to that respect and veneration to which no modern can pretend. The duration and stability of their fame is sufficient to evince that it has not been suspended upon the slender thread of fashion and caprice, but bound to the human heart by every tie of sympathetic admiration." Reynolds. Discourse is. Ed.)

† (See Philological Inquiries : Part ii., chap. xii., especially the concluding paragraphs. This Treatise is contained in vol. ii. of the collective edition of the works of Harris--by his son the Earl of Malmesbury, in two vols., 4to. London, 1801.

James Harris, the author of those volumes, was born in the Close of Salisbury, July 29, 1709—died Dec. 22, 1780. He is best known as the author of Hermes, a work on Universal Grammar; which, according to Bishop Lowth, presents the most beautiful example of analysis that has been exhibited since the days of Aristotle :" and three Treatises concerning Art-Music, Painting and Poetry, and Happiness—which imitate the method of Plato, and are written with admirable distinctness. Harris was not given up wholly to literary pursuits, and domestic and social amusements, though possessed of high qualifi cations for both the one and the other : he also took a part in public life, held the office first of a Lord of the Admiralty, then for about two years of a Lord of the Treasury. In 1774 he became Secretary and Comptroller to the Queen. He represented the Borough of Christ Church till the day of his death, was assiduous in the discharge of his parliamentary duty, and occasionally took a share in debates. See Memoirs of the Author by his Son, prefixed to his works. 8. C.)

and a name that will not pass away to the poets who have done

Discacciatene omai, che l'onda chiara,
E l'ombra non men cara
A scherzare, e cantar per suoi boschetti,
E prati festa et allegrezza alletti.

Pacifiche, ma spesso in amorosa
Guerra co'fiori, e l'erba
Alla stagione acerba
Verdi insegne del giglio e della rosa,
Movete, Aure, pian pian; che tregua ò posa,
Se non pace, io ritrove;
E so ben dove :-Oh vago, e mansueto
Sguardo, oh labbra d'ambrosia, oh rider lieto'

Hor come un scoglio stassi,
Hor come un rio se'n fugge,
Ed hor crud' orsa rugge,
Hor canta angelo pio: ma che non fassi ?
E che non fammi, O sassi,
O rivi, o belue, o Dii, questa mia vaga
Non so, se ninfa, ò maga,
Non so, se donna, ò Dea,
Non so, se dolce ò rea?

Piangendo mi baciaste,
E ridendo il negaste :
In doglia hebbivi pia,
In festa hebbivi ria :
Nacque gioia di pianti,
Dolor di riso: O amanti
Miseri, habbiate insieme
Ognor paura e speme.

Bel Fior, tu mi rimembri
La rugiadosa guancia del bel viso;
E si vera l'assembri,
Che'n te sovente, come in lei m'affiso:
Et hor del vago riso,
Hor del sereno sguardo
Io pur cieco riguardo. Ma qual fugge,
O Rosa, il mattin lieve?
E chi te, come neve,
E’l mio cor teco, e la mia vita strugge ?

honor to our own times, and to those of our immediate predecessors."

Anna* mia, Anna dolce, oh sempre nuovo
E piu chiaro concento,
Quanta dolcezza sento
In sol Anna dicendo? Io my pur pruovo,
Ne quì tra noi ritruovo,
Ne trà cieli armonia,
Che del bel nome suo più dolce sia :
Altro il Cielo, altro Amore,
Altro non suona l’Ecco del mio core.

Hor che'l prato, e la selva si scolora,
Al tuo sereno ombroso
Muovine, alto Riposo,
Deh ch 'io riposi una sol notte, un hora:
Han le fere, e gli augelli, ognun talora
Ha qualche pace; io quando,
Lasso! non vonne errando,
E non piango, e non grido ? e qual pur forte ?
Ma piochè, non sent' egli, odine, Morte

Risi e piansi d'Amor; nè però mai
Se non in fiamma, ò'n onda, ò'n vento scrissi :
Spesso mercè trovai
Crudel; sempre in me morto, in altri vissi :
Hor da' più scuri Abissi al ciel m’alzai,
Hor ne pur caddi giuso;
Stanco al fin quì son chiuso.

? [The union of “high finish and perfusive grace with pathos and manly reflection"-pathos recalling the peculiar tone of Southey with a Wordsworthian strength of thought and stateliness of sentiment-is exemplified, as it seems to me, in the poetry of Mr. H. Taylor (not to speak of its other merits of a different kind) especially his later poetry, and very exquisitely in his printed but unpublished Lines written in remembrance of E. E. Villiers. A friend pointed out to me, what I had before been feeling, the fine interwoven harinony of the stanza in this poem, which, though long and varied, forms a whole to the ear as truly as the more formal Spenserian stanza, but has a soft, flowing movement remarkably well fitted for the expression of thoughtful tenderness, and well illustrates Mr. Wordsworth's remark, recorded in this work, on the musical “sweep of whole paragraphs.” It is easy enough to invent new metres, but some new metres which the world has lately been presented with will never live, I fear, to be old. They are as unmusical and not so spirited as a Chicasaw warsong. There is a witch in Mr. Tennyson's poetry, but I do not imagine that any great part of her witching power resides in newness of metrethough perhaps it is rash even to hazard a conjecture on the properties of such a subtle enchantress, or to say how such a mysterious siren does or does not bewitch. S. C.]

* [Filli in Strozzi's Madrigal. S.C.)


Examination of the tenets peculiar to Mr. Wordsworth-Rustic life (above

all, low and rustic life) especially unfavorable to the formation of a human diction—The best parts of language the product of philosophers, not of clowns or shepherds—Poetry essentially ideal and generic-The language of Milton as much the language of real life, yea, incomparably

more so than that of the cottager. As far then as Mr. Wordsworth in his preface contended, and most ably contended, for a reformation in our poetic diction, as far as he has evinced the truth of passion, and the dramatic propriety of those figures and metaphors in the original poets, which, stripped of their justifying reasons, and converted into mere arti. fices of connexion or ornament, constitute the characteristic falsity in the poetic style of the moderns; and as far as he has, with equal acuteness and clearness, pointed out the process by which this change was effected, and the resemblances between that state into which the reader's mind is thrown by the pleasurable confusion of thought from an unaccustomed train of words and images, and that state which is induced by the natural language of impassioned feeling ; he undertook a useful task, and deserves all praise, both for the attempt and for the execution. The provocations to this remonstrance in behalf of truth and nature were still of perpetual recurrence before and after the publication of this preface. I cannot likewise but add, that the comparison of such poems of merit, as have been given to the public within the last ten or twelve years, with the majority of those produced previously to the appearance of that preface, leave no doubt on my mind, that Mr. Wordsworth is fully justified in believing his efforts to have been by no means inef. fectual. Not only in the verses of those who have professed their admiration of his genius, but even of those who have distinguished themselves by hostility to his theory, and depreciation

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