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the description of a clear, and tranquil winter morning :
" Bright shines the Sun, as if his beams would wake

The tender insects sleeping in their cells;
Bright shines the Sun and not a breeze to shake

The drops that tip the melting icicles :" Thanksgiving Ode. the picture of the repose and dimness of an evening scene :

“ A stream is heard — I see it not, but know
By its soft music whence the waters flow;
Wheels and the tread of hoofs are heard no more;
One boat there was, but it will touch the shore
With the next dipping of its slackened oar;
Faint sound, that, for the gayest of the gay,
Might give to serious thought a moment's sway,

As a last token of man's toilsome day!"— Evening Voluntaries. These may show how faithful a student of nature Wordsworth has been. But the world of the eye and the ear, like the senses that observe them, are subject to decay, and it is not the character of his genius to pause upon what is perishable. The true service of nature cannot be divorced from man's inner spirit :

“Oh! 'tis the heart that magnifies this life

Making a truth and beauty of her own." Deep and habitual as is Wordsworth's devotion to nature, it is no idolatry of what is material. He fails not to impress on us that her forms, loved as they are, are fugitive — valueless except when contemplated in their relation to man and to his Maker — that “the earth, the dear green earth," when the soul is alienated from it, becomes, as to Hamlet's morbid mood, “a steril promontory," and that the universe is hollow without the presence of faith and imagination :

“I have seen
A curious child, who dwelt upon a tract
Of inland ground, applying to his ear
The convolutions of a smooth-lipped shell;
To which, in silence hushed, his


soul Listened intensely! and his countenance soon Brightened with joy; for murmurings from within Were heard, sonorous cadences ! whereby, To his belief, the monitor expressed Mysterious union with its native sea. Even such a shell the universe itself Is to the car of Faith." Ercursion, b. iv.

It is the principle of the poet's love of nature that the soul, during its abode in our mortal frame, can gather, from all that meets the senses, food for its nobler faculties, and, in relation to its immortal endowment of spiritual aspirations, the earth is only “ the homely Nurse, with something of a Mother's mind.” In all Wordsworth's descriptive poetry may be observed

“ The glorious habit by which sense is made Subservient still to moral purposes,

Auxiliar to divine."
In this spirit are given the beautiful exhortations to his sister:

“ Nature never did betray
The heart that loved her: 'tis her privilege,
Through all the years of this our life, to lead
From joy to joy : for she can so inform
The mind that is within us, so impress
With quietness and beauty, and so feed
With lofty thoughts, that neither evil tongues,
Rash judgments, nor the sneers of selfish men,
Nor greetings where no kindness is, nor all
The dreary intercourse of daily life,
Shall e'er prevail against us, nor disturb
Our cheerful faith, that all which we behold
Is full of blessings. Therefore let the moon
Shine on thee in thy solitary walk;
And let the misty mountain-winds be free
To blow against thee: and in after years,
When these wild ecstacies shall be matured
Into a sober pleasure; when thy mind
Shall be a mansion for all lovely forms,
Thy memory be as a dwelling place
For all sweet sounds and harmonies; oh! then
If solitude, or fear, or pain, or grief,
Should be thy portion, with what healing thoughts
Of tender joy wilt thou remember me,

And these my exhortations !”. - Tintern Abbey. Such is Wordsworth's faith in the Infinite Wisdom, that framed the earth, the elements, and the physical heavens, to foster the heart of man, that no spot is too desolate or silent for the communion with nature : The estate of man would be indeed forlorn,

If false conclusions of the reasoning power
Made the eye blind and closed the passages
Through which the ear converses with the heart.


Has not the soul, the being of your life,
Received a shock of awful consciousness,
In some calm season, when these lofty rocks
At night's approach bring down the unclouded sky,
To rest upon their circumambient walls ;
A temple framing of dimensions vast,
And yet not too enormous for the sound
Of human anthems, — choral song, or burst
Sublime of instrumental harmony,
To glorify the Eternal! What if these
Did never break the stillness that prevails
Here, - if the solemn nightingale be mute,
And the soft wood-lark here did never chant
Her vespers,

- Nature fails not to provide
Impulse and utterance. The whispering air
Sends inspiration from the shadowy heights,
And blind recesses of the caverned rocks;
The little rills and waters numberless,
Inaudible by daylight, blend their notes
With the loud streams : and often at the hour
When issue forth the first pale stars, is heard,
Within the circuit of this fabric huge,
One voice — the solitary raven, flying
Athwart the concave of ihe dark blue dome,
Unseen, perchance above all power of sight -
An iron knell! with echoes from afar
Faint — and still fainter — as the cry, with which
The wanderer accompanies her flight
Through the calm region, fades upon

Diminishing by distance, till it seemed
To expire; yet from the abyss is caught again,

And yet again recovered!" — E.xcursion, b. iv. But in all Wordsworth's recognitions of the influences of nature, the world of materiality is kept in due subordination to the immortal power in the heart, and the truth steadfastly upheld, that the soul has an existence independent of the frail tenure of sense. The sublime apostrophe to the Deity, in the fourth book of the Excursion, proclaims that though the universe be perishable, there may be an undying communion between God and the soul of man :


Thou, dread source
Prime, self-existing cause and end of all
That in the scale of being fill their place;
Above our human region, or below,
Set and sustained ; – thou, who didst wrap the cloud

a work

Of infancy around us, that thyself,
Therein with our simplicity a while
Might'st hold, on earth, communion undisturbed ;
Who from the anarchy of dreaming sleep,
Or from its death-like void, with punctual care,
And touch as gentle as the morning light,
Restor'st us, daily, to the powers of sense,
And reason's steadfast rule thou, thou alone
Art everlasting, and the blessed spirits,
Which thou includest, as the sea her waves :
For adoration thou endur'st; endure
For consciousness the motions of thy will;
For apprehension those transcendent truths
Of the pure intellect, that stand as laws
(Submission constituting strength and power)
Even to thy Being's infinite majesty!
This universe shall pass away
Glorious ! because the shadow of thy might
A step, or link, for intercourse with thee.
Ah! if the time must come, in which my

No more shall stray where meditation leads,
By flowing stream, through wood, or craggy wild,
Loved haunts like these; the unimprisoned mind
May yet have scope to range among her own,
Her thoughts, her images, her high desires.
If the dear faculty of sight should fail,
Still, it may be allowed me to remember
What visionary powers of eye and soul
In youth were mine; when, stationed on the

Of some huge hill — expectant I beheld


from distant climes returned
Darkness to chase, and sleep; and bring the day
His bounteous gift! or saw him toward the deep
Sink, with a retinue of flaming clouds.
Attended; then, my spirit was entranced
With joy exalted to beatitude;
The measure of my soul was filled with bliss,
And holiest love; as earth, sea, air, with light,

With pomp, with glory, with magnificence !” But not only is the independence of the mind thus asserted. In the beautiful churchyard narratives, its power is portrayed, when impaired in its faculties of sight and hearing. The account of the cheerful deaf man is conceived in such a deep sympathy that the poet seems speaking from the very heart of the unfortunate :

“ The bird of dawn Did never rouse this Cottager from sleep

The sun

With startling summons; not for his delight
The vernal cuckoo shouted ; not for him
Murmured the laboring bee. When stormy winds
Were working the broad bosom of the lake
Into a thousand thousand sparkling waves,
Rocking the trees, or driving cloud on cloud
Along the sharp edge of yon lofty crags,
The agitated scene before his eye

Was silent as a picture. There is something exquisitely soothing in the passages which go on to show happiness discovering other avenues to the heart, and at last, even over the deaf man’s grave a beauty is cast by one of those matchless touches, which grace the muse of Wordsworth :

_“Yon tall pine tree, whose composing sound
Was wasted on the good man's living ear,
Hath now its own peculiar sanctity ;
And at the touch of every wandering breeze
Murmurs, not idly, o'er his peaceful grave."

E.ccursion, b. vii. The description of the blind man, “enlightened” by bis other senses, and by the spiritual illumination within, is moralized in even a higher strain, rising into an imagination of the Christian's victory over the grave, and closing with one of Wordsworth's favorite tributes to the congenial mind of Milton :

“proof abounds
Upon the earth, that faculties which seem
Extinguished, do not, therefore, cease to be.
And to the mind among her powers of sense
This transfer is permitted, - not alone
That the bereft their recompense may win;
But for remoter purposes of love
And charity; nor last nor least for this,
That to the imagination may be given
A type and shadow of an awful truth ;
How, likewise, under sufferance divine,
Darkness is banished from the realms of death,
By man's imperishable spirit, quelled.
Unto the men who see not as we see
Futurity was thought, in ancient times,
To be laid open, and they prophesied.
And know we not that from the blind have flowed
The highest, holiest raptures of the lyre;
And wisdom married to immortal verse ?'' –

Excursion, b. vii.

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