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associated with onr moral being. The pulses of the ear and the
Serve Thee, invisible Spirit, with untired powers ;
Ye Voices, and Ye Shadows,
Blest be the song that brightens
For the tired slave, Song lifts the languid oar,
And mitigates the harshest clime. The passage of deepest impression, and manifesting how faithfully Wordsworth clings to the real heart of human nature, is the sublime recalling of his imagination from its flights into the region of fable :
-"The gift to King Amphion
Repeated — heard and heard no more !” There is the might of Wordsworth's genius, in thus awakening a sense of the loftiest moral sublimity by the utterance of simple truth and in simple language. But his soaring is carried higher into a sphere yet holier. It is characteristic that a theme so palpably sensuous is associated with even more than the emotions of the heart. The labyrinth of the ear, in common with all that is material, is perishable ; but relief from the burden of that thought is not looked for in any mere fancy. The resting place of Wordsworth's spirit is the lap of Faith-and the poem finds its sublime close in the truth of Christian revelation :
“The heavens, whose aspect makes our minds as still
As they themselves appear to be,
Break forth into thanksgiving,
or praise and ceaseless gratulation, poured Into the ear of God, their Lord !
A Voice to Light gave Being;
open, quench the stars. O Silence! are Man's noisy years
No more than moments of thy life?
Is in the Word, that shall not pass away.” In Wordsworth's poetry treating of character and the affections, we discover even more of his fearless and affectionate confidence in truth, He sought in humble and rustic life materials for bis imagination, “because," (among other reasons assigned by bim,) " in that condition, the essential passions of the heart find a better soil in which they can attain their maturity, are less under restraint, and speak a plainer and more emphatic language,
- and because our elementary feelings co-exist in a state of greater simplicity, and, consequently, may be more accurately conteinplated, and more forcibly communicated." (Preface.) Believing that the heart might be better studied, when divested of its artificial and arbitrary feelings, he turned to that portion of his kind, in which he could look on “men as they are men within themselves.” But beside this professional motive, there was another impulse for his well-matured design of reclaiming a desolate tract of poetry - a region of humanity not really touched by the artificial poets that had been in the ascendant so long. Not a few of Wordsworth's poems were composed with the hope of their contributing to arrest the rapid decay, he had observed, of the home-affections among the lower orders of society - an evil resulting partly from some legislative measures and various social devices, inimical to independent domestic life. A private letter, accompanying the “Lyrical Ballads," was addressed to Charles James Fox by Wordsworth in 1801. This letter, which states some of the writer's poetical principles, and does great honor to his heart, has been recently published in a life of Sir Thomas Hanner, and has reached us while this article is in preparation. The two poems, " The Brothers," and "Michael," to wbich Mr. Fox's attention was invited, were designed, as the letter states, for pictures of the domestic affections as known to exist amongst a rural class in the north of England — and “ to show that men who do not wear fine clothes can feel deeply." “ The poems,” the writer adds, “ are faithful copies from nature ; and I hope, whatever effect they may have upon you, you will at least be able to perceive that they may excite profitable sympathies in many kind and good hearts, and may in some some small degree enlarge our feelings of reverence for our species, and our knowledge of human nature, by showing that our best qualities are possessed by men whom we are tou apt to consider, not with reference to the points in which they resemble us, but to those in which they manifestly differ from us." It is thus the honorable — the Christian aim of much of Wordsworth's poetry, to persuade mankind of their common human-heartedness to correct whatever moral evil results from artificial divisions of society - to disclose the natural dignity of humble life, and to create a sympathy with it in other ranks. The broken fellowship of our race, is one of the sorrows of humanity prompting the pathetic lament " Alas! what differs more than man from man !" — in the last book of the Excursion.
It is seen then that Wordsworth's predilection for the departments of daily life is not a mere intellectual choice of an apt subject, but a moral impulse, and when it is vindicated on principles of taste alone, the deeper and worthier motive is lost sight of. There is something noble in the fervor and fearlessness with which he embarks in the cause of the simple forms of humanity:
“ Long have I loved what I behold,
The night that calms, the day that cheers ;
The dragon's wing, the magic ring,
These given, what more need I desire
May find or there create ?". Peter Bell. .It is, however, a false, because a partial, estimate of Wordsworth's poetry — that it is exclusively devoted to humble life. Its purpose is more comprehensive ; first, to rescue from neglect the forlorn conditions, and then, to create an uninterrupted sympathy along the whole scale of society — feelings that can stoop as well as soar: