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A few short years, and then these sounds shall hail
The day again, and gladness fill the vale;
So soon the child a youth, the youth a man,
Eager to run the race his fathers ran.
Then the huge ox shall yield the broad sirloin ;
The ale, now brewed, in floods of amber shine;
And, basking in the chimney's ample blaze,
'Mid many a tale told of his boyish days,
The nurse shall cry, of all her ills beguiled,
"Twas on her knees he sat so oft and smiled.'

And soon again shall music swell the breeze; Soon, issuing forth, shall glitter through the trees Vestures of nuptial white; and hymns be sung, And violets scattered round; and old and young, In every cottage-porch with garlands green, Stand still to gaze, and, gazing, bless the scene, While, her dark eyes declining, by his side, Moves in her virgin veil the gentle bride.

And once, alas! nor in a distant hour, Another voice shall come from yonder tower; When in dim chambers long black weeds are seen, And weeping heard where only joy has been; When, by his children borne, and from his door, Slowly departing to return no more, He rests in holy earth with them that went before. And such is human life; so gliding on, It glimmers like a meteor, and is gone! Yet is the tale, brief though it be, as strange, As full, methinks, of wild and wonderous change, As any that the wandering tribes require, Stretched in the desert round their evening fire; As any sung of old, in hall or bower, To minstrel-harps at midnight's witching hour!

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(Emblem of Truth divine, whose secret ray
Enters the soul and makes the darkness day!)
'Pedro! Rodrigo! there methought it shone!
There in the west! and now, alas! 'tis gone
'Twas all a dream! we gaze and gaze in vain!
But mark and speak not, there it comes again!
It moves! what form unseen, what being there
With torch-like lustre fires the murky air?
His instincts, passions, say, how like our own?
Oh! when will day reveal a world unknown?'
Long on the deep the mists of morning lay,
Then rose, revealing as they rolled away
Half-circling hills, whose everlasting woods
Sweep with their sable skirts the shadowy floods:
And say, when all, to holy transport given,
Embraced and wept as at the gates of Heaven,
When one and all of us, repentant, ran,
And, on our faces, blessed the wondrous man;
Say, was I then deceived, or from the skies
Burst on my ear seraphic harmonies?
'Glory to God!' unnumbered voices sung,
'Glory to God!' the vales and mountains rung,
Voices that hailed creation's primal morn,
And to the shepherds sung a Saviour born.

Slowly, bareheaded, through the surf we bore
The sacred cross, and, kneeling, kissed the shore.
But what a scene was there! Nymphs of romance,
Youths graceful as the fawn, with eager glance,
Spring from the glades, and down the alleys peep,
Then headlong rush, bounding from steep to steep,
And clap their hands, exclaiming as they run,
'Come and behold the Children of the Sun!'
When hark, a signal shot! The voice, it came
Over the sea in darkness and in flame!
They saw, they heard; and up the highest hill,
As in a picture, all at once were still!
Creatures so fair, in garments strangely wrought,
From citadels, with Heaven's own thunder fraught,
Checked their light footsteps-statue-like they

As worshipped forms, the Genii of the Wood!

At length the spell dissolves! The warrior's lance Rings on the tortoise with wild dissonance! And see, the regal plumes, the couch of state! Still where it moves the wise in council wait! See now borne forth the monstrous mask of gold, And ebon chair of many a serpent-fold;

These now exchanged for gifts that thrice surpass
The wondrous ring, and lamp, and horse of brass.
What long-drawn tube transports the gazer home,
Kindling with stars at noon the ethereal dome!
'Tis here: and here circles of solid light
Charm with another self the cheated sight;
As man to man another self disclose,

That now with terror starts, with triumph glows!
Then Cora came, the youngest of her race,
And in her hands she hid her lovely face;
Yet oft by stealth a timid glance she cast,
And now with playful step the mirror passed,
Each bright reflection brighter than the last!
And oft behind it flew, and oft before;

The more she searched, pleased and perplexed the more!

And looked and laughed, and blushed with quick surprise!

Her lips all mirth, all ecstacy her eyes!

But soon the telescope attracts her view; And lo, her lover in his light canoe Rocking, at noontide, on the silent sea, Before her lies! It cannot, cannot be. Late as he left the shore, she lingered there, Till, less and less, he melted into air! Sigh after sigh steals from her gentle frame, And say that murmur-was it not his name? She turns, and thinks, and, lost in wild amaze, Gazes again, and could for ever gaze!


[From Italy."]

If thou shouldst ever come by choice or chance
To Modena, where still religiously
Among her ancient trophies is preserved
Bologna's bucket (in its chain it hangs
Within that reverend tower, the Guirlandine),
Stop at a palace near the Reggio-gate,
Dwelt in of old by one of the Orsini.
Its noble gardens, terrace above terrace,
And rich in fountains, statues, cypresses,
Will long detain thee; through their arched walks,
Dim, at noonday, discovering many a glimpse
Of knights and dames, such as in old romance,
And lovers, such as in heroic song,
Perhaps the two, for groves were their delight,
That in the spring-time, as alone they sat,
Venturing together on a tale of love,
Read only part that day. A summer sun
Sets ere one half is seen; but, ere thou go,
Enter the house-prithee, forget it not-
And look awhile upon a picture there.

'Tis of a lady in her earliest youth,
The very last of that illustrious race,
Done by Zampieri-but by whom I care not.
He who observes it, ere he passes on,
Gazes his fill, and comes and comes again,
That he may call it up, when far away.

She sits, inclining forward as to speak,
Her lips half-open, and her finger up,
As though she said 'Beware!' Her vest of gold
'Broidered with flowers, and clasped from head to foot,
An emerald-stone in every golden clasp ;
And on her brow, fairer than alabaster,
A coronet of pearls. But then her face,
So lovely, yet so arch, so full of mirth,
The overflowings of an innocent heart-

It haunts me still, though many a year has fled,
Like some wild melody!

Alone it hangs Over a mouldering heir-loom, its companion, An oaken-chest, half eaten by the worn, But richly carved by Antony of Trent With Scripture-stories from the life of Christ; A chest that came from Venice, and had held The ducal robes of some old ancestor. That by the way-it may be true or falseBut don't forget the picture; and thou wilt not, When thou hast heard the tale they told me there. She was an only child; from infancy The joy, the pride of an indulgent sire. Her mother dying of the gift she gave, That precious gift, what else remained to him? The young Ginevra was his all in life, Still as she grew, for ever in his sight; And in her fifteenth year became a bride, Marrying an only son, Francesco Doria, Her playmate from her birth, and her first love. Just as she looks there in her bridal dress, She was all gentleness, all gaiety, Her pranks the favourite theme of every tongue. But now the day was come, the day, the hour; Now, frowning, smiling, for the hundredth time, The nurse, that ancient lady, preached decorum; And, in the lustre of her youth, she gave Her hand, with her heart in it, to Francesco.

Great was the joy; but at the bridal feast, When all sat down, the bride was wanting there. Nor was she to be found! Her father cried, "Tis but to make a trial of our love!'

And filled his glass to all; but his hand shook, And soon from guest to guest the panic spread. "Twas but that instant she had left Francesco, Laughing and looking back, and flying still,

Her ivory-tooth imprinted on his finger.
But now, alas! she was not to be found;
Nor from that hour could anything be guessed
But that she was not! Weary of his life,
Francesco flew to Venice, and forthwith
Flung it away in battle with the Turk.
Orsini lived; and long mightst thou have seen
An old man wandering as in quest of something,
Something he could not find-he knew not what.
When he was gone, the house remained awhile
Silent and tenant less-then went to strangers.
Full fifty years were past, and all forgot,
When on an idle day, a day of search
'Mid the old lumber in the gallery,

That mouldering chest was noticed; and 'twas said
By one as young, as thoughtless as Ginevra,
'Why not remove it from its lurking place?'
"Twas done as soon as said; but on the way
It burst, it fell; and lo, a skeleton,
With here and there a pearl, an emerald-stone,
A golden clasp, clasping a shred of gold!
All else had perished-save a nuptial ring,
And a small seal, her mother's legacy,
Engraven with a name, the name of both,
'Ginevra.' There then had she found a grave!
Within that chest had she concealed herself,
Fluttering with joy the happiest of the happy;
When a spring-lock that lay in ambush there,
Fastened her down for ever!

An Italian Song.

Dear is my little native vale,

The ring-dove builds and murmurs there;
Close by my cot she tells her tale
To every passing villager.

The squirrel leaps from tree to tree,
And shells his nuts at liberty.

In orange groves and myrtle bowers,
That breathe a gale of fragrance round,
I charm the fairy-footed hours
With my loved lute's romantic sound;
Or crowns of living laurel weave
For those that win the race at ere.

The shepherd's horn at break of day,
The ballet danced in twilight glade,
The canzonet and roundelay
Sung in the silent greenwood shade;
These simple joys that never fail,
Shall bind me to my native vale.

To the Butterfly.

Child of the sun! pursue thy rapturous flight,.
Mingling with her thou lov'st in fields of light;
And, where the flowers of paradise unfold,
Quaff fragrant nectar from their cups of gold.
There shall thy wings, rich as an evening sky,
Expand and shut with silent ecstacy!

Yet wert thou once a worm, a thing that crept
On the bare earth, then wrought a tomb and slept.
And such is man; soon from his cell of clay
To burst a seraph in the blaze of day.

Written in the Highlands of Scotland-1812.
Blue was the loch, the clouds were gone,
Ben-Lomond in his glory shone,
When, Luss, I left thee; when the breeze
Bore me from thy silver sands,
Thy kirkyard wall among the trees,
Where, gray with age, the dial stands;
That dial so well-known to me!
Though many a shadow it had shed,
Beloved sister, since with thee
The legend on the stone was read.

The fairy isles fled far away;
That with its woods and uplands green,
Where shepherd-huts are dimly seen,
And songs are heard at close of day;
That, too, the deer's wild covert fled,
And that, the asylum of the dead:
While, as the boat went merrily,
Much of Rob Roy the boatman told;
His arm that fell below his knee,
His cattle ford and mountain hold.
Tarbat, thy shore I climbed at last;
And, thy shady region passed,
Upon another shore I stood,
And looked upon another flood;2
Great Ocean's self! (Tis he who fills
That vast and awful depth of hills);
Where many an elf was playing round,
Who treads unshod his classic ground;
And speaks, his native rocks among,
As Fingal spoke, and Ossian sung.

Night fell, and dark and darker grew
That narrow sea, that narrow sky,
As o'er the glimmering waves we flew,
The sea-bird rustling, wailing by.
And now the grampus, half-descried,
Black and huge above the tide;
The cliffs and promontories there,
Front to front, and broad and bare;
Each beyond cach, with giant feet
Advancing as in haste to meet;
The shattered fortress, whence the Dane
Blew his shrill blast, nor rushed in vain,
Tyrant of the drear domain;
All into midnight shadow sweep,

When day springs upward from the deep!
Kindling the waters in its flight,
The prow wakes splendour, and the oar,
That rose and fell unseen before,
Flashes in a sea of light;

Glad sign and sure, for now we hail
Thy flowers, Glenfinnart, in the gale;
And bright indeed the path should be,
That leads to Friendship and to Thee!

Oh blest retreat, and sacred too!
Sacred as when the bell of prayer
Tolled duly on the desert air,
And crosses decked thy summits blue.
Oft like some loved romantic tale,
Oft shall my weary mind recall,
Amid the hum and stir of men,
Thy beechen grove and waterfall,
Thy ferry with its gliding sail,
And her the Lady of the Glen!

[From Italy."]

They stand between the mountains and the sea;3
Awful memorials, but of whom we know not.
The seaman passing, gazes from the deck,
The buffalo-driver, in his shaggy cloak,
Points to the work of magic, and moves on.
Time was they stood along the crowded street,
Temples of gods, and on their ample steps
What various habits, various tongues beset
The brazen gates for prayer and sacrifice!
Time was perhaps the third was sought for justice;
And here the accuser stood, and there the accused,
And here the judges sat, and heard, and judged.

1 Signifying in the Gaelic language an isthmus. 2 Loch Long.

3 The temples of Pæstum are three in number, and have survived, nearly nine centuries, the total destruction of the city. Tradition is silent concerning them, but they must have existed now between two and three thousand years.


All silent now, as in the ages past,
Trodden under foot, and mingled dust with dust.
How many centuries did the sun go round
From Mount Alburnus to the Tyrrhene sea,
While, by some spell rendered invisible,
Or, if approached, approached by him alone
Who saw as though he saw not, they remained
As in the darkness of a sepulchre,
Waiting the appointed time! All, all within
Proclaims that nature had resumed her right,
And taken to herself what man renounced;
No cornice, triglyph, or worn abacus,
But with thick ivy hung, or branching fern,
Their iron-brown o'erspread with brightest verdure!
From my youth upward have I longed to tread
This classic ground; and am I here at last?
Wandering at will through the long porticos,
And catching, as through some majestic grove,
Now the blue ocean, and now, chaos-like,
Mountains and mountain-gulfs, and, half-way up,
Towns like the living rock from which they grew?
A cloudy region, black and desolate,

Where once a slave withstood a world in arms.

The air is sweet with violets, running wild 'Mid broken friezes and fallen capitals; Sweet as when Tully, writing down his thoughts, Those thoughts so precious and so lately lost (Turning to thee, divine philosophy, Ever at hand to calm his troubled soul), Sailed slowly by, two thousand years ago, For Athens; when a ship, if north-east winds Blew from the Pæstan gardens, slacked her course. On as he moved along the level shore, These temples, in their splendour eminent 'Mid arcs and obelisks, and domes and towers, Reflecting back the radiance of the west, Well might he dream of glory! Now, coiled up, The serpent sleeps within them; the she-wolf Suckles her young; and as alone I stand In this, the nobler pile, the elements Of earth and air its only floor and covering, How solemn is the stillness! Nothing stirs Save the shrill-voiced cicala flitting round On the rough pediment to sit and sing; Or the green lizard rustling through the grass, And up the fluted shaft with short quick spring, To vanish in the chinks that time has made.

In such an hour as this, the sun's broad disk Seen at his setting, and a flood of light Filling the courts of these old sanctuaries (Gigantic shadows, broken and confused, Athwart the innumerable columns flung), In such an hour he came, who saw and told, Led by the mighty genius of the place.1

Walls of some capital city first appeared, Half razed, half sunk, or scattered as in scorn; And what within them? What but in the midst These three in more than their original grandeur, And, round about, no stone upon another? As if the spoiler had fallen back in fear, And, turning, left them to the elements.


Go-you may call it madness, folly; You shall not chase my gloom away! There's such a charm in melancholy, I would not, if I could, be gay.

Oh, if you knew the pensive pleasure That fills my bosom when I sigh, You would not rob me of a treasure Monarchs are too poor to buy.

They are said to have been discovered by accident about the middle of the last century.

A Wish.

Mine be a cot beside the hill;
A bee-hive's hum shall soothe my ear;
A willowy brook, that turns a mill,
With many a fall, shall linger near.

The swallow oft beneath my thatch Shall twitter from her clay-built nest; Oft shall the pilgrim lift the latch, And share my meal, a welcome guest.

Around my ivied porch shall spring
Each fragrant flower that drinks the dew;
And Lucy, at her wheel, shall sing
In russet gown and apron blue.

The village church, among the trees, Where first our marriage vows were given, With merry peals shall swell the breeze, And point with taper spire to heaven.

On a Tear.

Oh that the chemist's magic art
Could crystallise this sacred treasure!
Long should it glitter near my heart,
A secret source of pensive pleasure.

The little brilliant, ere it fell,
Its lustre caught from Chloe's eye;
Then, trembling, left its coral cell-
The spring of Sensibility!

Sweet drop of pure and pearly light,
In thee the rays of Virtue shine;
More calmly clear, more mildly bright,
Than any gem that gilds the mine.
Benign restorer of the soul!
Who ever fliest to bring relief,
When first we feel the rude control
Of Love or Pity, Joy or Grief.

The sage's and the poet's theme,
In every clime, in every age;
Thou charm'st in Fancy's idle dream,
In Reason's philosophic page.

That very law which moulds a tear, And bids it trickle from its source, That law preserves the earth a sphere, And guides the planets in their course.


WILLIAM WORDSWORTH, the greatest of metaphysical poets, is a native of Cockermouth, in the county of Cumberland, where he was born on the 7th of April 1770. His parents were enabled to bestow upon their children the advantages of a complete education (his father was law-agent to Lord Lonsdale), and the poet and his brother (now Dr Christopher Wordsworth, long master of Trinity college), after being some years at Hawkesworth school, in Lancashire, were sent to the university of Cambridge. William was entered of St John's in 1787. Poetry has been with him the early and almost the sole business of his life. Having finished his academical course, and taken his degree, he travelled for a short time; and marrying an amiable lady, his cousin, settled down among the lakes and mountains of Westmoreland. A gentleman dying in his neighbourhood left him a handsome legacy; other bequests followed; and about 1814, the patronage of the noble family of Lowther procured for the poet the easy and lucrative situation of Distributor of Stamps, which left the greater part of his time at his own disposal. In 1842 he resigned this situation in favour of his son, and government re

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Wordsworth appeared as a poet in his twenty-third year, 1793. The title of his first work was The Evening Walk, and Descriptive Sketches. The walk is among the mountains of Westmoreland; the sketches refer to a tour made in Switzerland by the poet and his friend, the Rev. R. Jones, fellow of St John's college. The poetry is of the style of Goldsmith; but description predominates over reflection. The enthusiastic dreams of liberty which then buoyed up the young poet, and his associates Coleridge and Southey, appear in such lines as the following:


oh give, great God, to freedom's waves to ride
Sublime o'er conquest, avarice, and pride;
To sweep where pleasure decks her guilty bowers,
And dark oppression builds her thick-ribbed towers;
To brood the nations o'er with Nile-like wings;
Give them, beneath their breast, while gladness springs,
And grant that every sceptred child of clay
Who cries, presumptuous, 'Here their tides shall stay,'
Swept in their anger from the affrighted shore,
With all his creatures sink to rise no more!

In 1798 was published a collection of Lyrical Ballads, some by Coleridge, but the greater part by

Wordsworth, and designed by him as an experiment how far a simpler kind of poetry than that in use would afford permanent interest to readers. The humblest subjects, he contended, were fit for poetry, and the language should be that really used by men.' The fine fabric of poetic diction which generations of the tuneful tribe had been laboriously rearing, he proposed to destroy altogether. The language of humble and rustic life, arising out of repeated experience and regular feelings, he considered to be a more permanent and far more philosophical language than that which is frequently substituted for it by poets. The attempt of Wordsworth was either totally neglected or assailed with ridicule. The transition from the refined and sentimental school of verse, with select and polished

diction, to such themes as The Idiot Boy,' and a style of composition disfigured by colloquial plainness, and by the mixture of ludicrous images and associations with passages of tenderness and pathos, was too violent to escape ridicule or insure general success. It was often impossible to tell whether the poet meant to be comic or tender, serious or ludicrous; while the choice of his subjects and illustrations, instead of being regarded as genuine simplicity, had an appearance of silliness or affectation. The faults of his worst ballads were so glaring, that they overpowered, at least for a time, the simple natural beauties, the spirit of gentleness and humanity, with which they were accompanied. It was a first experiment, and it was made without any regard for existing prejudices or feelings, or any


Rydal Lake and Wordsworth's House.

wish to conciliate. The poems, however, were read | elevated character. The influence of Wordsworth by some. Two more volumes were added in 1807; and it was seen that, whatever might be the theory of the poet, he possessed a vein of pure and exalted description and meditation which it was impossible not to feel and admire. The influence of nature upon man was his favourite theme; and though sometimes unintelligible from his idealism, he was also, on other occasions, just and profound. His worship of nature was ennobling and impressive. In real simplicity, however, Wordsworth is inferior to Cowper, Goldsmith, and many others. He has triumphed as a poet, in spite of his own theory. As the circle of his admirers was gradually extending, he continued to supply it with fresh materials of a higher order. In 1814 appeared The Excursion, a philosophical poem in blank verse, by far the noblest production of the author, and containing passages of sentiment, description, and pure eloquence, not excelled by any living poet, while its spirit of enlightened humanity and Christian benevolence-extending over all ranks of sentient and animated being-imparts to the poem a peculiarly sacred and

on the poetry of his age has thus been as beneficial as extensive. He has turned the public taste from pompous inanity to the study of man and nature; he has banished the false and exaggerated style of character and emotion which even the genius of Byron stooped to imitate; and he has enlisted the sensibilities and sympathies of his intellectual brethren in favour of the most expansive and kindly philanthropy. The pleasures and graces of his muse are all simple, pure, and lasting. In working out the plan of his Excursion,' the poet has not, however, escaped from the errors of his early poems. The incongruity or want of keeping in most of Wordsworth's productions is observable in this work. The principal character is a poor Scotch pedlar, who traverses the mountains in company with the poet, and is made to discourse, with clerklike fluency,

Of truth, of grandeur, beauty, love, and hope. It is thus that the poet violates the conventional rules of poetry and the realities of life; for surely it

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