Imágenes de páginas

graceful, and sometimes recondite. The likeness is occasionally too strange, or demands too peculiar a point of view, or is such as appears the creature of predetermined research, rather than spontaneous presentation. Indeed his fancy seldom displays itself, as mere and unmodified fancy.46 But in imaginative

48 [How true this is ! The Fancy in Mr. Wordsworth's poems I feel disposed, in my own mind, to resign to my Father's stricture; it is rather like the miniature painting of one who has been accustomed to a bold style in crayons. But most of the poems, placed by the author himself under the head of Fancy, are superficially fanciful, but internally far more. The Green Linnet derives its charm from the exquisite description of the bird, and the feeling conveyed, through him, of vernal rapture-of “ the music and the bloom, And all the mighty ravishment of Spring.” In the little poem To a Sexton, Fancy does but Ait, like a swallow, over a depth of human tenderness. Stanzas VIII, and IX. of The Oak and Broom contain a lovely natural description. The first poem, To the Daisy, is full of sweet sentiment, reminding one a little of Burns. The poems to the Celandine abound in happy expressions and images. What truth of nature poetically exhibited is there in this stanza!

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Of all common flowers, the small celandine is the most burnished; it seems as if the sun had enclosed a bit of gold in its cup when he sent it forward as his harbinger. In the poems To a Skylark and The Danish Boy the general conception seems to me imaginative, though the particulars in each case are instances of Fancy To call up that “ spirit of Noon-day,” to clothe him with the attributes of Spring and of Day-time, and, by an exquisite metathesis, to invest his habitation,--the “ lovely dell” in which “he walks alone,”—with the spirituality of his presence, was surely the work of imagination ; nomere effort of memory, or of the associative power alone, for the result of the whole is something which acts upon the mind “like a new existence.” (See Mr. Wordsworth's Preface to the edit. of 1815. P. W., p. xxviii.) This poem seems to illustrate the joint action of Fancy and Imagination. The mere

aggregation or association” of images,—that part of the process, in any example, however, upon the whole, imaginative,-my Father would, I suppose, have assigned to Fancy;

power, he stands nearest of all modern writers to Shakspeare and Milton; and yet in a kind perfectly unborrowed and liis own. To employ his own words, which are at once an instance and an illustration, he does indeed to all thoughts and to all objects

add the gleam, The light that never was, on sea or land, The consecration, and the Poet's dream.”49

I shall select a few examples as most obviously manifesting this faculty ; but if I should ever be fortunate enough to render my analysis of Imagination, its origin and characters, thoroughly intelligible to the reader, he will scarcely open on a page of this poet's works without recognising, more or less, the presence and the influences of this faculty.

From the poem on the Yew Trees,60 vol. i., page 303, 304.

“ But worthier still of note
Are those fraternal Four of Borrowdale,
Joined in one solemn and capacious grove;
Huge trunks !—and each particular trunk a growth
of intertwisted fibres serpentine
Up-coiling, and inveterately convolved;
Not uninformed with phantasy, and looks
That threaten the profane ;-a pillared shade,
Upon whose grassless floor of red-brown hue,
By sheddings from the pinal umbrage tinged 51
Perennially-beneath whose sable roof
Of boughs, as if for festal purpose, decked
With unrejoicing berries-ghostly shapes
May meet at noontide; Fear and trembling HOPE,

for how otherwise can we define her office? But this operation may b. tarried on, more or less, in subservience to the higher law of poetic crea tion, as it seems to me to be in The Danish Boy. S.C.]

49 [From Elegiac Stanzas. P. W., V., p. 311. S. C.) 50 (From Yew Trees. P. W., ii., p. 84. S. C.]

51 [Pining umbrage” in all the editions. I have left my Father's substitution, as a curious instance of a possible different reading. shade” and “piny verdure” we read of in the poets; but “pinal » I believe is new. Pining, which has quite a different sense, is doubtless still better; but perhaps my Father's ear shrunk from it after the word “ sheddings” at the beginning of the line. S. C.]

« Piny


And Time, the Shadow; there to celebrate,
As in a natural temple scattered o'er
With altars undisturbed of mossy stone,
United worship; or in mute repose
To lie, and listen to the mountain flood
Murmuring from Glazamara's inmost caves.”

The effect of the old man's figure in the poem of RESOLUTION AND INDEPENDENCE, vol. ii., page 33.

“While he was talking thus, the lonely place,

The Old Man's shape and speech all troubled me :
In my mind's eye I seemed to see him pace
About the wearý moors continually,
Wandering about alone and silently.'?62

Or the 8th, 9th, 19th, 26th, 31st, and 33d, in the collection of miscellaneous sonnéts3—the sonnet on the subjugation of Switzer. land, page 210, or the last ode, from which I especially

52 [P. W., ii., p. 123. Stanza xix. S. C.]

63 [“ Where lies the Land.” Ib., iii., p. 33. “ Even as a Dragon's Eye,” p. 66. “O Mountain Stream !" iv., p. 20. “ Earth has not anything to show more fair," iii., p. 78. “Methought I saw the footsteps of a throne," p. 30. “ It is a beauteous Evening-calm and free.” (Now“ Air sleeps,-from strife or stir the clouds are free.") P. 32 S. C.]

54 [" Two voices are there." Ib. ib., p. 186.

The Sonnet “I heard (alas ! 'twas only in a dream)” iii., p. 47, is a beautiful companion to “ Methought I saw." I have sometimes amused myself with finding this sort of cognateness or companionable character amongst the sonnets of Mr. Wordsworth ; as we play with a wreath of gems, placing them in many different lights and positions for the gratification of the eye, so, playing with these jewels of poetry I have coupled the splendid sonnet, “Fair Star of Evening,” p.176,with that composed on Westminster bridge, p. 178;—“Two voices are there,” ib., p. 186, with “ Once did she hold the gorgeous earth in fee,” ib., p. 180 ;-" The world is too much with us,” ib., p. 35, with “ I watch and long have watched,” ib., p. 46 ;-and, not to trouble the reader with the whole of my match-making fancies, “ It is not to be thought of,” ib., p. 190, or “ When I have borne in memory,” ib., p. 191, with that truly majestic one,

-Inland, within a hollow vale, I stood : ib., p. 185,


which begins with such a quiet gravity, and Aows on so naturally into the excess of solemn grandeur. My father quoted this noble sonnet in The

select the two following stanzas or paragraphs, page 349 te 350.56

“ Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting :

The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,

And cometh from afar.
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home :
Heaven lies about us in our infancy !
Shades of the prison-horise begin to close

Upon the growing Boy;
But He beholds the light, and whence it flows,

He sees it in bis joy!
The Youth who daily further from the East
Must travel, still is Nature's Priest,

And by the vision splendid

Is on his way attended ;
At length the Man perceives it die away,
And fade into the light of common day.”


352 to 354 of the same ode.56

“O joy! that in our embers

Is something that doth live,
That nature yet remembers
What was so fugitive!
The thought of our past years in me doth breed
Perpetual benedictions : not indeed
For that which is most worthy to be blest;
Delight and liberty, the simple creed

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Friend, when it first appeared, but the Public of 1809 cared little for The
Friend and its philosophy, or for the strains of the great philosophic Poet.
Mr. Wordsworth's sonnets have been collected and published separately in
one vol. by Moxon, 1838. The finest set, in my opinion, is Part I. of those
dedicated to Liberty. (P. W.,., 175-200.) The three sonnets to Sleer,
ib., pp. 14, 15, 16, and the four on Personal Talk, ib., pp. 39, 40, 41, 42,
are very beautiful and peculiar; not Miltonic, or Shakspearian, or Pe.
trarchian; nor like the productions of any later sonneteers; but entirely
Wordsworthian and inimitable. S. C.]

55 [P. W., V., p. 340. S. C.]
66 [Ib. ib , pp. 342-4. S. C.]


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Of Childhood, whether busy or at rest,
With new-fledged hope still fluttering in his breast :-
Not for these I raise
The song of thanks and praise ;
But for those obstinate questionings

sense and outward things,
Fallings from us, vanishings;
Blank misgivings of a Creature
Moving aboạt in worlds not realized,
High instincts, before which our mortal Nature
Did tremble like a guilty Thing surprised !
But for those first affections,
Those shadowy recollections,
Which, be they what they may,
Are yet the fountain light of all our day,
Are yet a master light of all our seeing:
Uphold us-cherish—and have power to make
Our noisy years seem moments in the being
of the eternal Silence; truths that wake

To perish never :
Which neither listlessness, nor mad endeavor,
Nor Man nor Boy,
Nor all that is at enmity with joy,
Can utterly abolish or destroy!
Hence, in a season of calm weather,
Though inland far we be,
Our Souls have sight of that immortal sea
Which brought us hither;
Can in a moment travel thither,
And see the Children sport upon the shore,
And hear the mighty waters rolling evermore."

And since it would be unfair to conclude with an extract, which, though highly characteristic, must yet, from the nature of the thoughts and the subject, be interesting, or perhaps intel. ligible, to but a limited number of readers ;-I will add, from the poet's last published work, a passage equally Wordsworthian ; of the beauty of which, and of the imaginative power displayed therein, there can be but one opinion, and one feeling. See White Doe, page 5.57

57 (P. W., iv., pp. 48–50. There are now two or three slight alterations, S. C)

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