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Thy maidens, grieved themselves at my concern,
Oft gave me promise of thy quick return.
What ardently I wish’d, I long believed,
And, disappointed still, was still deceived.
By expectation ev'ry day beguiled,
Dupe of to-morrow even from a child.
Thus many a sad to morrow came and went,
Till, all my stock of infant sorrow spent,
I learn'd at last submission to my lot,
But, though I less deplored thee, ne'er forgot.

Where once we dwelt our name is heard no more;
Children not thine have trod my nurs’ry floor;
And where the gard'ner Robin, day by day,
Drew me to school along the public way,
Delighted with my bauble coach, and wrapp'd
In scarlet mantle warm, and velvet-capt,
'Tis now become a history little known,
That once we callid the past’ral house our own.
Short-liv'd possession! but the record fair,
That mem’ry keeps of all thy kindness there,
Still outlives many a storm, that has effac'd
A thousand other themes less deeply traced.
Thy nightly visits to my chamber made,
That thou might'st know me safe and warmly laid ;
Thy morning bounties ere I left my home,
The biscuit, or confectionary plum ;
The fragrant waters on my cheeks bestow'd
By thy own hand, till fresh they shone and glow'd :
All this, and more endearing still than all,
Thy constant flow of love, that knew no fall

,
Ne'er roughen’d by those cataracts and breaks,
That humour interposed too often makes, –
All this still legible in mem’ry's page,
And still to be so to my latest age,
Adds joy to duty, makes me glad to pay
Such honours to thee as my numbers may ;
Perhaps a frail memorial, but sincere,
Not scorn'd in heav'n, though little noticed here.

Could Time, his flight reversed, restore the hours,
When, playing with thy vesture's tissued flow'rs,
The violet, the pink, and jessamine,
I prick'd them into paper with a pin
(And thou wast happier than myself the while,
Wouldst softly speak, and stroke my head, and smile),
Could those few pleasant days again appear,
Might one wish bring them, would I wish them here?

I would not trust my heart—the dear delight
Seems so to be desired, perhaps I might.-
But no—what here we call our life is such,
So little to be loved, and thou so much,
That I should ill requite thee to constrain
Thy unbound spirit into bonds again.

Thou, as a gallant bark from Albion's coast
(The storms all weather'd and the ocean cross'd)
Shoots into port at some well-haven'd isle
Where spices breathe and brighter seasons smile,
There sits quiescent on the floods, that show
Her beauteous form reflected clear below,
While airs impregnated with incense play
Around her, fanning light her streamers gay;
So thou, with sails how swift, hast reach'd the shore
“ Where tempests never beat nor billows roar,”
And thy lov’d consort on the dang’rous tide
Of life long since has anchor'd by thy side.
But me, scarce hoping to attain that rest,
Always from port withheld, always distress'd-
Me howling blasts drive devious, tempest-toss'd,
Sails ripp'd, seams op'ning wide, and compass lost ;
And day by day some current's thwarting force
Sets me more distant from a prosp'rous course.
Yet oh, the thought that thou art safe, and he-
That thought is joy, arrive what may to me.
My boast is not, that I deduce my birth
From loins enthron’d and rulers of the earth;
But higher far my proud pretensions rise-
The son of parents pass'd into the skies.

farewell !-Time unrevok'd has run
His wonted course, yet what I wish'd is done.
By contemplation's help, not sought in vain,
I seem t' have liv'd my childhood o'er again ;
To have renew'd the joys that once were mine,
Without the sin of violating thine ;
And, while the wings of Fancy still are free,
And I can view this mimic show of thee,
Time has but half succeeded in his theft-
Thyself remov'd, tby power to soothe me left.

And now,

189

WORDSWORTH. WILLIAM WORDSWORTH was born at Cockermouth, in Cumberland, on April 7th, A.D. 1770. He was brought up in his native place and at Penrith during his early boyhood, having lost his mother in his eighth, and his father in his fourteenth year. His attention was early directed to the most eminent writers of prose fiction, such as Cervantes, Swift, and Fielding. In the year 1787 Wordsworth was sent to St. John's College, Cambridge, where, though he sought no academical honours, he paid a close attention, not only to the classical authors, but to Italian literature, under the direction of an Italian named Isola, who had been intimate with the poet Gray. In 1790 he made a pedestrian tour in France, his companion being a friend and fellow-student named Jones; and he passed a considerable part of the next two or three years in that country, the political changes of which vehemently interested him. In 1796 commenced that friendship with Coleridge to which he attributed, in a large measure, the philosophic form in which his poetic genius subsequently developed itself. Some of his earliest poems were about this time printed, in conjunction with several by that friend. In 1798 Wordsworth visited Germany in company with his sister and Coleridge ; and two years afterwards settled in the vale of Grasmere, where he wrote the poeins published in the second volume of his Lyrical Ballads. In 1802 he married Mary Hutchinson, who had been a fellow-pupil of his when he learned spelling from an old dame at Penrith. In 1813 Wordsworth forsook Grasmere for Rydal, where, with the exception of occasional excursions to. Scotland, Ireland, and the Continent, he continued to reside, loved and honoured by all who knew him, till the year 1850, when he died. On the death of Southey, he had accepted the luureateship.

The life of Wordsworth was a happy, as it was a wise and virtuous one. It was clouded only by such domestic bereavements as no protracted life can escape. Nature lay before him as a book ever open; and every day he could bend over a new page, and read,“ transcribing what he read,” with fresh instruction and delight. In friendship he was not less fortunate than in his domestic relations : and the stupidity or impertinence with which his writings were long assailed by the professional critics he lived down and wrote down. Of all modern poets he was the one most devoted to his art; and he cultivated it ever conscientiously, and with a due sense of its greatness and its responsibilities. He wrote as a philosopher and patriot, not less than as a 'poet, in the conviction that a genuine poet, if faithful to his vocation, must be the servant of truth and of virtue. Like Southey and Coleridge, he early outgrew the extravagant political opinions by which, at the outbreak of the French revolution, a large part of European society was so infected that few young men of genius and enthusiasm could wholly escape the disease.

The poetry of Wordsworth is at once the most imaginative and the most profoundly meditative which England has produced in recent times. Its chief characteristic is its large sympathy with all that belongs to human nature. The egotism of which it has been accused is of a character, the opposite of that which is so offensive at once on the grounds of good taste and sound feeling; for it was with a moral, not a sentimental or personal interest, that the contemplative poet direeted an inquiring gaze into his own being. In that mirror he contemplated no individual experience alone, but the “ heart of man,” which he calls

“My haunt, and the main region of my song." It may be well to remark, that Wordsworth's poetry cannot be rightly understood unless we remember that the human nature of which he speaks in such lofty terms is, in the main, an ideal human nature, regarded in its archetype (for Wordsworth was, like most real poets, a Platonist), and not merely that actually existing human nature which is constantly “erring from itself,” being vitiated by the Fall. This distinction cannot be better illustrated than by two remarkable lines of Wordsworth's :

“But who is innocent? By grace divine,

Not otherwise, O Nature, are we thine." He has been accused, indeed, of celebrating external nature, the fea. tures of which he delineates with a religious reverence and fidelity, in a Pantheistic spirit. Expressions, however in themselves liable to no just reproach, may bear this appearance merely on account of their regarding from a single aspect a subject vast and many-sided, which the poet does not profess to treat in its totality. Many of Wordsworth's poems are remarkable both for their Christian and their Catholic tone. If he did not write more largely in this vein, the circumstance arose, in a large part, from his humility, and from his belief that to poetry but a restricted province is assigned on the borderland of religion. On the other hand, he believed that an elevated morality is the very life of poetry; and there are few writers whose works tend more eminently than Wordsworth's do, when their meaning and their proper place are rightly understood, to enlarge the moral being, and to foster habits of reverence, manliness, and sympathy. In a few of his earlier poems Wordsworth carried his protest against the conventional poetic style to a paradoxical extent, so as to make simplicity itself look like affectation. This defect, however, was but a humour, which his maturer mind cast off. It is less easy to defend him from the charge of a certain thoughtful diffuseness, which belongs to a diction otherwise admirable. It proceeded from a desire to treat subjects more at large than perhaps belongs to poetry, which, unlike philosophy, is in the main an imaginative method of intellectual suggestion rather than a complete expression of thought, and which must therefore often reject even best epithets in order to gain that intensity which selectness

mpactness alone can impart.

SHE WAS A PHANTOM OF DELIGHT.

She was a phantom of delight
When first she gleamed upon my sight;
A lovely apparition, sent
To be a moment's ornament;
Her eyes as stars of twilight fair;
Like twilight's, too, her dusky hair;
But all things else about her drawn
From May-time's brightest, liveliest dawn;
A dancing shape, an image gay,
To haunt, to startle, and waylay.
I saw her upon nearer view,
A spirit, yet a woman too !
Her household motions light and free,
And steps of virgin liberty;
A countenance in which did meet
Sweet records, promises as sweet;
A creature not too bright or good
For human nature's daily food;
For transient sorrows, simple wiles,
Praise, blame, love, kisses, tears, and smiles.
And now I see with eye serene
The very pulse of the machine ;
A being breathing thoughtful breath,
A traveller betwixt life and death.
The reason firm, the temperate will,
Endurance, foresight, strength, and skill,
A perfect woman, nobly planned,

to comfort, and command ; And yet a spirit still, and bright With something of an angel light.

To warn,

LUCY.

Three years she

grew in sun and shower,
Then Nature said, " A lovelier flower
On earth was never sown ;
This child I to myself will take;
She shall be mine, and I will make
A Lady of my own.
Myself will to my darling be
Both law and impulse: and with me

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