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At length, himself unfettling, he the pond
"This morning gives us promise of a glorious day. "
"What kind of work is that which you purfue?
He anfwer'd me with pleasure and furprise;
And there was, while he spake, a fire about his eyes.
From pond to pond he roam'd, from moor to moor,
And in this way he gain'd an honeft maintenance.' I. p. 92-95. Notwithstanding the distinctness of this answer, the poet, it seems, was so wrapped up in his own moody fancies, that he could not attend to it.
And now, not knowing what the old man had faid,
"How is it that you live, and what is it you do?"
Yet ftill I perfevere, and find them where I may." I. p. 96, 97. This very interesting account, which he is lucky enough at last to comprehend, fills the poet with comfort and admiration; and, quite glad to find the old man so cheerful, he resolves to take a lesson of contentedness from him; and the poem ends with this pious ejaculation
"God," faid I, "be my help and stay secure;
I'll think of the leech-gatherer on the lonely moor." I. p. 97. We defy the bitterest enemy of Mr Wordsworth to produce any thing at all parallel to this from any collection of English poetry, or even from the specimens of his friend Mr Southey. The vo lume ends with some sonnets, in a very different measure, of which we shall say something by and by.
The first poems in the second volume were written during a tour in Scotland. The first is a very dull one about Rob Roy; but the title that attracted us most was an Address to the Sons
of Burns, after visiting their Father's Grave.
Never was any
thing, however, more miserable. This is one of the four stanzas.
• Strong bodied if ye be to bear
Ye fons of Burns! for watchful care
There will be need.' II. p. 29.
The next is a very tedious, affected performance, called the Yarrow Unvisited. The drift of it is, that the poet refused to visit this celebrated stream, because he had a vision of his own' about it, which the reality might perhaps undo; and, for this no less fantastical reason—
"Should life be dull, and fpirits low,
"Twill foothe us in our forrow,
"That earth has fomething yet to show,
"The bonny holms of Yarrow !
II. p. 35.
After this we come to some ineffable compositions, which the poet has simply entitled, Moods of my own Mind.' One begins
O Nightingale ! thou furely art
This is the whole of another
My heart leaps up when I behold
The child is father of the man ;
II. p. 42.
Bound each to each by natural piety.' II. p. 44
A third, on a Sparrow's Nest,' runs thus
Look, five blue eggs are gleaming there!
Few vifions have 1 feen more fair,
Nor many profpects of delight
More pleafing than that fimple fight.' II. p. 53.
The charm of this fine profpect, however, was, that it reminded him of another neft which his fitter Emmeline and he had vifited in their childhood.
• She look'd at it as if the fear'd it ;
Still wishing, dreading to be near it :
A little prattler among men.' &c. &c.
II. p. 54.
We have then a rapturous myitical ode to the Cuckoo; in which
the author, ftriving after force and originality, produces nothing but abfurdity.
Ó Cuckoo! fhall I call thee bird,
Or but a wandering voice?' II. p. 57.
And then he fays, that the faid voice feemed to pass from hill to hill, about, and all about!'-Afterwards he affures us, it tells him in the vale of vifionary hours,' and calls it a darling; but ftill infifts, that it is
No bird; but an invisible thing,
A voice, a myftery.' 11. p. 58.
It is afterwards a hope; and a love; and, finally,
• O bleffed bird! the earth we pace
Again appears to be
An unfubftantial, faery place,
That is fit home for thee!' II. p. 59.
After this there is an addrefs to a butterfly, whom he invites to visit him, in thefe fimple ftrains
This plot of orchard-ground is ours;
My trees they are, my fifter's flowers;
Stop here whenever you are weary.' II. p. 61.
We come next to a long story of a Blind Highland Boy,' who lived near an arm of the fea, and had taken a most unnatural defire to venture on that perilous element. His mother did all
fhe could to prevent him; but one morning, when the good woman was out of the way, he got into a veffel of his own, and pufhed out from the shore.
In fuch a veffel ne'er before
.Did human creature leave the fhore.' II. p. 72. And then we are told, that if the fea fhould get rough, a beehive would be fhip as fafe.' But fay, what was it?' a poetical interlocutor is made to exclaim most naturally; and here followeth the answer, upon which all the pathos and intereft of the ftory depend.
A HOUSEHOLD TUB, like one of thofe
Which women ufe to wash their clothes!!' II. p. 72. This, it will be admitted, is carrying the matter as far as it will well go; nor is there any thing,-down to the wiping of fhoes, or the evifceration of chickens,-which may not be introduced in poetry, if this is tolerated. A boat is fent out and brings the boy athore, who being tolerably frightened we fuppofe, promises to go to fea no more; and fo the story ends.
Then we have a poem, called 'the Green Linnet,' which opens with the poet's telling us,
A whispering leaf is now my joy,
And then a bird will be the toy
That doth my fancy tether.' 11. p. 79.
VOL. XI. NO. 21.
and closes thus
While thus before my eyes he gleams,
And mock the form which he did feign,
Of leaves among the bushes.' II. p. 81.
The next is called 'Star Gazers.' A fet of people peeping through a telescope, all feem to come away disappointed with the fight; whereupon thus fweetly moralizeth our poet.
• Yet, fhowman, where can lie the caufe? Shall thy implement have
A boafter, that when he is tried, fails, and is put to shame?
Or, is it rather, that conceit rapacious is and ftrong,
And bounty never yields fo much but it feems to do her wrong?
And are returned into themselves, they cannot but be fad?' II. p. 88. There are then fome really fweet and amiable verses on a French lady, feparated from her own children, fondling the baby of a neighbouring cottager;-after which we have this quinteffence of unmeaningness, entitled, Forefight.'
That is work which I am rucing-
Primroses, the fpring may love them—
Violets, do what they will,
Wither'd on the ground muft lie:
Daifies will be daifies ttill;
Daifies they must live and die :
Fill your lap, and fill your bofom,
Only fpare the ftrawberry-blossom!' II. p. 115, 116.
Afterwards come fome ftanzas about an echo repeating a cuckoo's
voice; here is one for a sample
• Whence the voice? from air or earth?
This the cuckoo cannot tell ;
But a ftartling found had birth,
II. p. 123
As the bird muft know full will.' Then we have Elegiac stanzas to the Spade of a friend,' be ginning
Spade! with which Wilkinfon hath till'd his lands,' -but too dull to be quoted any further.
After this there is a Minstrel's Song, on the Restoration of Lord Clifford the Shepherd, which is in a very different strain of poetry; and then the volume is wound up with an Ode,' with no other title but the motto, Paulo majora canamus. This is, beyond all doubt, the most illegible and unintelligible part of the publication. We can pretend to give no analysis or explanation of it;-our readers must make what they can of the following
-But there's a tree, of many one,
A fingle field which I have look'd upon,
Doth the fame tale repeat:
Whither is fled the vifionary gleam?
Where is it now, the glory and the dream?' II. 150.
O joy! that in our embers
The thought of our past years in me doth breed
For that which is moft worthy to be bleft;
Delight and liberty, the fimple creed
Of childhood, whether fluttering or at reft,
With new-born hope for ever in his breaft :-
The fong of thanks and praife;
Fallings from us, vanishings;
Blank mifgivings of a creature
Moving about in worlds not realiz❜d,
High instincts, before which our mortal nature
But for those first affections,
Thofe fhadowy recollections,
Which be they what they may,
Are yet the fountain light of all our day,