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universal regeneration, though by more ques- | Yet not in vain, it shall not be in vain.' (lood tionable instruments than they had originally --Through four months' space the Infant drew ita assumed. But the military despotism which From the matemal breast. Then srup.es rose ; ensued soon closed the scene against all such Thoughts, which the rich are free irom, came and exertions; and, disgusted with men and The sweet afection. She no more could bear Europe, he sought for shelter in the wilds of By her offence to lay a !wofold weight America. In the calm of the voyage, Memory On a kind parent, willing to forget and Conscience awoke him to a sense of his Their slender means! So, to that parent's care
Trusting her child, she left their common home, misery
And with contented spirit undertook ** Feebly must They have felt A Foster- Mother's office."--Pp. 291–23. Who, in old lime, attir'd with snakes and whips Here the parents of her new nursling soon The vengeful Furies. Beautiful regards
forbade her all intercourse with her own bost Were turn'd on me—the face of her I lovod! The Wife and Mother, pitifully fixing
precious child ;-and a sudden malady carried Tender reproaches, insupportable!"-pp. 133, 134. it off, in this period of forced desertion. His disappointment, and ultimate seclusion in
"Once, only once, England, have been already sufficiently de- And, on the burial day, could scarcely gain
She saw it in that mortal malady: tailed.
Permission to allend its obsequies! We must trespass upon our readers with She reach'd the house-last of the fun'ral train; the fragments of yet another story. It is that And some One, as she enter'd, having chane a of a simple, seduced, and deserted girl, told To urge unthinkingly their prompt departure, with great sweetness, pathos, and indulgence, Nay,' said she, with commanding look, a spirit by the Vicar of the parish, by the side of her Nay ye must wait my time!' and down she sale, untimely grave. Looking down on the turf, And by the unclos d cotfin kepe her seat ;
Weeping and looking, looking on and weeping
Upon the last sweet slumber of her Child! " As, on a sunny bank, a tender Lamb,
Until at lengih ber soul was satisfied. Lurks in safe shelter, from the winds of March
You see the Infant's Grave!—and to this Spor, Screen’d by its Parent, so that little mound
The Mother, oft as she was sent abroad,
Hiher she came ; and here she stood, or knek, There, by her innocent Baby's precious grave,
In the broad day—a rueful Magdalene !"—p. 294. Yea, doubtless, on the rurf ihat roofs her own, Overwhelmed with this calamily, she was at The Mother oft was seen to stand, or kneel, In the broad day, a weeping Magdalene.
last obliged to leave her service. Now she is not! The swelling turf reports But the green stalk of Ellen's life was stinpp'd. Of the fresh show'r, but of poor Ellen's tears And the flower droop'd; as every eye might see." Is silent; nor is any vestige left Upon the pathway of her mournful tread;
“Her fond maternal Heart bad built a Nest Nor of that pace with which she once had mov'd
In blindness all too near the river's edge ; In virgin fearlessness-a step that seem'd
That Work a summer flood with basty swell Caught from the pressure of elastic turf
Had swept away! and now her spirit longd Upon the mountains wet with morning dew,
For its last flight to Heaven's security.' In the prime hour of sweetest scents and airs." - Meek Saint! through patience glorified on
earth! Her virgin graces and gentleness are then The ghasily face of cold decay put on
In whom, as by her lonely hearth she sate, very beautifully described, and her seduction A sun-like beauty, and appear'd
divine : and lonely anguish passed over very tenderly. So, through the cloud of death, her Spirit pass'd
Into that pure and unknown world of love, ** Ah why,' said Ellen, sighing to herself, • Why do not words, and kiss, and solemn pledge; The mortal Body by her Jolant's side !"
Where injury cannot come :--and here is laid And nature that is kind in Woman's breast, And reason that in Man is kind and good,
pp. 296, 297. And fear of Him who is a righteous Judge,
These passages, we think, are among the Why do not these prevail for human life,
most touching with which the volume presents To keep two hearts together, that began Their spring-time with one love, and that have need and impassioned style. The following com
us; though there are many in a more lofty Of mutual pity and forgiveness, sweet To grant, or be receiv'd?"-p. 289.
memoration of a beautiful and glorious youth,
the love and the pride of the humble valley, “ A kindlier passion open'd on her soul
is full of warmth and poetry. When that poor Child was born. Upon its face She look'd as on a pure and spotless gift
-"The mountain Ash, Of unexpected promise, where a grief
Deck'd with autumnal berries that outshine Or dread was all that had been thought of.
Spring's richest blossoms, yields a splendid show • Till this hour,'
Amid the leaty woods; and ye have seen, Thus in her Mother's hearing Ellen spake, By a brook side or solitary tarn, • There was a stony region in my heart !
How she her station doth adorn the pool But He at whose command the parched rock Glows at her feet, and all the gloomy rocks Was emitten, and pour'd forth a quenching stream, Are brighten'd round her! In his native l'ale Hath soften'd that obduracy, and made
Such and so glorious did this Youth appear; Unlook'd-for gladness in the desert place, A sight that kirdled pleasure in all hearis, To save the perishing; and, henceforth, I look By his ingenuous beauty, by the gleam Upon the light with cheerfulness, for thee
of his fair eyes. by his capacious brow, My Infant! and for that good Mother dear, By all the graces with which nature's hand Who bore me,-and bath pray'd me in vain!! Had bounteously array'd him. As old Bards
Tell in their idle songs of wand'ring Gods, To Gain-the master Idol of the Realm,
Perpetual sacrifice."--p. 367.
The effects on the ordinary life of the poor O: Mortals, (if such fables without blame
are delineated in graver colours. May find chance-mention on this sacred ground,) So, through a simple rustic garb's disguise,
“ Domestic bliss, In him rereal'd a Scholar's genius shone!
(Or call it comfort, by a humbler naine.)
How art thou blighted for the poor Man's heari! And so, not wholly hidden from men's sight, In him the spirit of a Hero walkid
Lo! in such neighbourhood, from morn to eve, Our unpretending valley!"-pp. 312, 343.
The Habitations empty! or perchance
The Mother left alone, -no helping hand This is lofty and energetic ;-but Mr. To rock the cradle of her peevish babe ; Wordsworth descends, we cannot think very No daughters round her, busy at the wheel, gracefully, when he proceeds to describe how or in despatch of each day's little growth ihe quoit whizzed when his arm launched it Of needle-work; no bustle at the fire,
Of household occupation; no nice arts -and how the football mounted as high as a Where once the dinner was prepared wiih pride ; lark, at the touch of his toe ;-neither is it Nothing to speed the day or cheer the mind; a suitable catastrophe, for one so nobly en- Nothing to praise, to teach, or to command ! dowed, to catch cold by standing too long in The Father, it perchance he still retain the river washing sheep, and die of spasms No longer led or followed by his Sons ;
His old employments, goes to field or wood, in consequence.
Idlers perchance they were, but in his sight; The general reflections on the indiscrimi- Breathing fresh air, and treading the green earth; nating rapacity of death, though by no means Till their short holiday of childhood ceas'd, original in themselves, and expressed with Ne'er to return! That birth.right now is lost." too bold a rivalry of the seven ages of Shake
Pp. 371, 372. speare, have yet a character of vigour and The dissertation is closed with an ardent Iruth about them that entitles them to notice. hope, that the farther improvement and the * This file of Infants ; some that never breathed,
universal diffusion of these arts may take And the besprinki'd Nursling, unrequir'd away the temptation for us to embark so Till he begins to smile upon ihe breast
largely in their cultivation; and that we may That feeds him; and the tout'ring Lille-one once more hold out inducements for the reTaken from air and sunshine, when the rose turn of old manners and domestic charities. Of Intancy first blooms upon his cheek; (Youth The thinking, thoughtless Schoolbov; the bold Learning, though late, that all irue glory resis, Of soul impetuous; and the bashful Maid
All praise, all safety, and all happiness, Smitten while all the promises of life
Upon the Moral law. Egyptian Thebes ;
--Call Archimedes from his buried Tomb
How insecure, how baseless in iiself,
Those Arts, and high Inventions, if unproppd Vanous, but unto each some tribute paid ;
By Virtue."--p. 369.
There is also a very animated exhortation And gentle Nature griev'd that one should die!" to the more general diffusion of education
Pp. 244, 245. among the lower orders; and a glowing and There is a lively and impressive appeal on
eloquent assertion of their capacity for all vir
lues and enjoyments. the injury done to the health, happiness, and morality of the lower onders, by the unceas
** Believe it not! ing and premature labours of our crowded The primal Daries shine aloti-like blars ; manufactories. The description of night-work- The Charities that sooihe, and heal, and bless,
Are scatter'd at he feet of Man-like flow'rs. ing is picturesque. In lonely and romantic The gen'rous inclination, the just rule, regions, he says, when silence and darkness Kind wishes, and good actions, and pure thoughtsincline all to repose
No mystery is here; no special boon "An unnatural light
For high and not for low, lor proudly grac'd,
And not for meek of heart. The smoke ascends I'repar'd for never restiny Labour's eves.
To heav'n as lightly from the Collage bearb Brerk, from a many-window'd Fabnc huge;
As from the haughty palace.”—p. 398.
The blessings and the necessities that now T has spake the Norman Conqueror's stern behest. render this a peculiar duty in the rulers of Aloral summons to unceasing toil!
this empire, are urged in a still loftier tone. Diarry'd are now the Monsters of dav; And, as they issue from the illumin'd Pile.
· Look! and behold, from Calpe'a sunburnt cliffs A fresh Band meets thein, at the crowded door,- To the flat margin of the Balue sea, And in the Courts ;-and where the rumbling Long-reverenc'd Titles cast away as weeds; Itararns the multitude of dizzy wheels, (Stream, Laws overturn'd, -and Territory split; Gare like a troubl'd Spirit, in its bed
Like fields of ice rent by the polar wind, Amning the rocks below. Men, Maidens. Youths, And forc'd to join in less obnoxious shapes, 4 ber and linle Children, Boys and Girls, Which, ere they gain consistence, by a gust Enter, and each the wonted task resumes of the same breab are shatter'd and destroy'd. Within this Temple-where is offer'd up
Meantime, the Sov'reignty of these fair Isles
pp. 402, 403.
Remains entire and indivisible;
Deposited upon the silent shore And, if that ignorance were remov'd, which acts of Memory, images and precious thoughts, Within the compass of their sev’ral shores That shall not die, and cannot be destroy'd." To breed commotion and disquietude, Each might preserve the beautiful repose
Nor is any thing more elegant than the Of heav'nly bodies shining in their spheres. representation of the graceful tranquillity oc---The discipline of slavery is unknown
casionally put on by one of the author's
still There is a good deal of fine description in As the mute Swan that floats adown the stream, the course of this work; but we have left Or on the waters of th' unruffled lake ourselves no room for any specimen. The Anchors her placid beauty. Not a leaf following few lines, however, are a fine epit- That flutters on the bough more light than he, ome of a lake voyage :
And not a flow'r that droops in the green shade
More willingly reserv'd.” Right across the Lake Our pinnace moves: then, coasting creek and bay, and more majestic beauty; as when, assuming
Nor are there wanting morsels of a sterer Glades we behold-and into thickets peepWhere crouch the spotted deer; or raise our eyes | the weightier diction of Cowper, he says, in To shaggy steeps on which the careless goat language which the hearts of all readers of Browsed by the side of dashing waterfalls.”—p.412. modern history must have responded, We add, also, the following more elaborate
-"Earth is sick, and fantastic picture—which, however, is not And Heav'n is weary of the hollow words without its beauty :
Which States and Kingdom utter when they speak
Of Truth and Justice." "Then having reach'd a bridge, that overarchid The hasty rivulei where it lay becalm'd
These examples, we perceive, are not very In a deep pool, by happy chance we saw
well chosen--but we have not leisure to im. A twofold Image. On a grassy bank
prove the selection; and, such as they are, A snow-white Ram, and in the crystal flood they may serve to give the reader a notion of Another and the same! Most beautiful,
the sort of merit which we meant to illustrate On the green turf, with his imperial front Shaggy and bold, and wreathed horns superb,
by their citation. When we look back to The breathing creature stood' as beautiful,
them, indeed, and to the other passages which Beneath him,
show'd his shadowy Counterpart. we have now extracted, we feel hall inclined Each had his glowing mountains, each his sky, to rescind the severe sentence which we And each seem'd centre of his own fair world :
passed on the work at the beginning :-But Antipodes unconscious of each other,
when we look into the work itself, we perceive Yet, in partition, with their several spheres, Blended in perfect stillness to our sight!"-p. 407. that it cannot be rescinded. Nobody can be
more disposed to do justice to the great powers Besides those more extended passages of of Mr. Wordsworth than we are; and, from interest or beauty, which we have quoted, the first time that he came before us, down and omitted to quote, there are scattered up to the present moment, we have uniformly and down the book, and in the midst of its testified in their favour, and assigned indeed most repulsive portions, a very great number our high sense of their value as the chief of single lines and images, that sparkle like ground of the bitterness with which we regems in the desert, and startle us with an in- sented their perversion. That perversion, timation of the great poetic powers that lie however, is now far more visible than their buried in the rubbish that has been heaped original dignity; and while we collect the around them. It is difficult to pick up these, fragments, it is impossible not to mourn over after we have once passed them by ; but we the ruins from which we are condemned to shall endeavour to light upon one or two. The pick them, If any one should doubt of the beneficial effect of intervals of relaxation and existence of such a perversion, or be disposed pastime on youthful minds, is finely expressed, to dispute about the instances we have hastily we think, in a single line, when it is said to brought forward, we would just beg leave to be
refer him to the general plan and character of “Like vernal ground to Sabbath sunshine left."
the poem now before us. Why should Mr.
Wordsworth have made his hero a superannu. The following image of the bursting forth ated pedlar? What but the most wretched of a mountain-spring, seems to us also to be affectation, or provoking perversity of taste, conceived with great elegance and beauty. could induce any one to place his chosen ad. · And a few steps may bring us to the spot,
vocate of wisdom and viriue in so absurd and Where haply crown'd with Aow'rets and green fantastic a condition ? Did Mr. Wordsworth herbs,
really imagine, that his favourite doctrines The Mountain Infant to the Sun comes forth, Like human light fronı darkness!”
were likely to gain any thing in point of effect
or authority by being put into the mouth of a The ameliorating effects of song and music person accustomed to higgle about tape, or on the minds which most delight in them, are brass sleeve-buttons ? Or is it not plain that, likewise very poetically expressed.
independent of the ridicule and disgust which “ And when the stream
such a personification must excite in many of Which overflow'd the soul was pass'd away,
his readers, its adoption exposes his work A consciousness remain'd that it had left,
throughout to the charge of revolting incon.
gruity, and utter disregard of probability or The absurdity in this case, we think, is nature? For, after he has thus wilfully de- palpable and glaring: but it is exactly of the based his moral teacher by a low occupation, same nature with that which infects the whole is there one word that he puts into his mouth, substance of the work-La puerile ambition or one sentiment of which he makes him thé of singularity engrafted on an unlucky prediorgan, that has the most remote reference to lection for truisms; and an affected passion that occupation? Is there any thing in his for simplicity and humble life, most awklearned, abstract, and logical harangues, that wardly combined with a taste for mystical savours of the calling that is ascribed to him ? refinements, and all the gorgeousness of obAre any of their materials such as a pedlar scure phraseology. His taste for simplicity could possibly have dealt in? Are the man- is evinced by sprinkling up and down his inners, the diction, the sentiments, in any, the 'terminable declamations a few descriptions very smallest degree, accommodated to a per- of baby-houses, and of old hats with wet son in that condition? or are they not eminently brims; and his amiable partiality for humble and conspicuously such as could not by possi- life, by assuring us that a wordy rhetorician, bility belong to it? A man who went about who talks about Thebes, and allegorizes all selling flannel and pocket-handkerchiefs in the heathen mythology, was once a pedlarthis lofty diction, would soon frighten away and making him break in upon his magnifiall his customers; and would infallibly pass cent orations with two or three awkward noeither for a madman, or for some learned and
tices of something that he had seen when affected gentleman, who, in a frolic, had taken selling winter raiment about the country--or up a character which he was peculiarly ill of the changes in the state of society, which qualified for supporting.
i had almost annihilated his former calling.
(October, 1815.) The White Doe of Rylstone ; or the Fate of the Nortons : a Poem. By William Words
4to. pp. 162. London : 1815, This, we think, has the merit of being the farther, seems capable of assuming as many very worst poem we ever saw imprinted in a forms as the vulgar one which arises from quarto volume; and though it was scarcely to wine; and it appears to require as delicate be expected, we confess, that Mr. Words- a management to make a man a good poet worth, with all his ambition, should so soon by the help of the one, as to make him a have attained to that distinction, the wonder good companion by means of the other. In may perhaps be diminished when we state, both cases, a little mistake as to the dose or that it seems to us to consist of a happy union the quality of the inspiring fluid may make of all the faults, without any of the beauties, him absolutely outrageous, or lull him over which belong to his school of poetry. It is into the most profound stupidity, instead of just such a work, in short, as some wicked brightening up the hidden stores of his genius: enemy of that school might be supposed to and truly we are concerned to say, that Mr. have devised, on purpose to make it ridicu- Wordsworth seems hitherto to have been lous; and when we first took it up, we could unlucky in the choice of his liquor—or of his not help suspecting that some ill-natured bottle-holder. In some of his odes and ethic critic had actually taken this harsh method exhortations, he was exposed to the public in of instructing Mr. Wordsworth, by example, i a state of incoherent rapture and glorious in the nature of those errors, against which delirium, to which we think we have seen a our precepts had been so often directed in parallel among the humbler lovers of jollity. vain. We had not gone far, however, till we In the Lyrical Ballads, he was exhibited, on felt intimately that nothing in the nature of a the whole, in a vein of very pretty deliration; joke could be so insupportably dull;—and but in the poem before us,
appears in a that this must be the work of one who earn- state of low and maudlin imbecility, which estly believed it to be a pattern of pathetic would not have misbecome Master Silence simplicity, and gave it out as such to the ad- himself, in the close of a social day. Whether miration of all intelligent readers. In this this unhappy result is to be ascribed to any point of view, the work may be regarded as adulteration of his Castalian cups, or to the curious at least, if not in some degree inter- unlucky choice of his company over them, we esting; and, at all events, it must be instruc- cannot presume to say. It may be that he tive to be made aware of the excesses into | has dashed his Hippocrene with too large an which superior understandings may be be- infusion of lake water, or assisted its operatrayed, by long self-indulgence, and the tion too exclusively by the study of the ancient strange extravagances into which they may historical ballads of "the north countrie.” run, when under the influence of that intoxi- That there are palpable imitations of the style cation which is produced by unrestrained and manner of those venerable compositions admiration of themselves. This poetical in- in the work before us, is indeed undeniable; toxication, indeed, to pursue the figure a little but it unfortunately happens, that while the hobbling versification, the mean diction, and “The presence of this wand'ring Doe flat stupidity of these models are very exactly
Fills many a damp obscure recess
With lustre of a saintly show; copied, and even improved upon, in this imi
And, re-appearing, she no less tation, their rude energy, manly simplicity,
To the open day gives blessedness." and occasional felicity of expression, have totally disappeared ; and, instead of them, a
The mothers point out this pretty creature large allowance of the author's own metaphy- to their children ; and tell them in sweet nursical sensibility, and mystical wordiness, is sery phrasesforced into an unnatural combination with the
“Now you have seen the famous Doe! borrowed beauties which have just been men- From Rylstone she haih found her way tioned.
Over the hills this Sabbath-day; The story of the poem, though noi capable
Her work, whale'er it be, is done,
And she will depart when we are gone. of furnishing out matter for a quarto volume, might yet have made an interesting ballad; The poet knows why she comes there, and and, in the hands of Mr. Scott or Lord Byron, thinks the people may know it too: But some would probably have supplied many images of them think she is a new incarnation of to be loved, and descriptions to be remem
some of the illustrious dead that lie buried bered. The incidents arise out of the short around them; and one, who it seems is an lived Catholic insurrection of the Northern Oxford scholar, conjectures that she may be counties, in the reign of Elizabeth, which was the fairy, who instructed Lord Clifford in supposed to be connected with the project of astrology! an ingenious fancy, which the marrying the Queen of Scots to the Duke of poet thus gently reprovethNorfolk, and terminated in the ruin of the
“ Ah, pensive scholar ! think not so! Earls of Northumberland and Westmoreland, But look again at the radiant Doe!" by whom it was chiefly abetted. Among the And then closes the Canto with this natural victims of this rash enterprise was Richard and luminous apostrophe to his harp. Norton of Rylstone, who comes to the array with a splendid banner, at the head of eight
“But, harp! thy murmurs may not cease, tall sons, but against the will and advice of a
Thou hast breeze-like visitings;
For a Spirit with angel.wings ninth, who, though he refused to join the host, Hath touch'd ihee, and a Spirit's hand : yet follows unarmed in its rear, out of anxiety A voice is with us a command for the fate of his family; and, when the To chans, in strains of heavenly glory, father and his gallant progeny are made
A tale of tears, a morial story! prisoners, and led to execution at York, re- The Second Canto is more full of business; covers the fatal banner, and is slain by a and affords us more insight into the author's party of the Queen's horse near Bolton Priory, manner of conducting a story. The opening, in which place he had been ordered to de- however, which goes back to the bright and posit it by the dying voice of his father. The original conception of the harp, is not quite stately halls and pleasant bowers of Rylstone so intelligible as might have been desired. are then wasted, and fall into desolation; while the heroic daughter, and only survivor
" The Harp in lowliness obey'd : of the house, is sheltered among its faithful
And first we sang of the green-wood shade ;
And a solitary Maid ! retainers, and wanders about for many years
Beginning, where the song must end, in its neighbourhood, accompanied by a beau
Wiih her, and with her sylvan Friend ; tiful white doe, which had formerly been a The friend, who stood before her sight, pet in the family, and continues, long after Her only unextinguish'd light, the death of this sad survivor, to repair
Her last companion in a dearth every Sunday to the churchyard of Bolton
Of love, upon a hopeless earth." Priory, and there to feed and wander among This solitary maid, we are then told, had the graves, to the wonder and delight of the wrought, at the request of her father, rustic congregation that came there to wor- unblessed work”ship.
" A Banner-one that did fulfil This, we think, is a pretty subject for a
Too perfectly his headstrong will: ballad; and, in the author's better day, might For on this Banner had her hand have made a lyrical one of considerable inter- Embroider'd (such was the command) est. Let us see, however, how he deals with The Sacred Cross; and figur'd there it, since he has bethought him of publishing
The five dear wounds our Lord did bear." in quarto.
The song then proceeds to describe the The First Canto merely contains the de- rising of Northumberland and Westmoreland, scription of the Doe coming into the church- in the following lofty and spirited strains :yard on Sunday, and of the congregation
"Two earls sast leagu'd in discontent, wondering at her. She is described as being Who gave their wishes open vent; as white as a lily-or the moon--or a ship in And boldly urg'd a general plea, the sunshine; and this is the style in which The rites of ancient piety Mr. Wordsworth marvels and moralises about To be by force of arms renew'd; her through ten quarto pages.
Glad prospect for the multitude!
And that same Banner, on whose breast " What harinonious, pensive changes,
The blameless Lady had expresi, Wait upon her as she ranges
Memorials chosen to give life, Round and through this Pile of State,
And sunshine to a dangerous strife ; Overthrown and desolate!"
This Banner," &c.