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productions. Some of these, such as the ode To the Celandine, A Portrait, The Green Linnet, &c., possess unusual beauty. It is obvious to compare Wordsworth with Cowper; and, while the former in simplicity and correctness of diction rivals bis great master, as well as in the preference for natural scenery, in his shorter poems; in The Excursion we miss the wonderful descriptive power and idiomatic force of The Task. Meritorious, too, as the simplicity and purity of his diction may be, his poetry, it must be admitted, verges not unfrequently on the commonplace in matter, and on the prosaic in form. The especial merit of The Excursion, we imagine, consists in the simple earnestness of tone which seems to pervade the poem: and, if it is not characterised by any very profound or positive views of the realities and the duties of human life, by drawing the mind away from the ordinary trifles of life to a sober contemplation of animate and inanimate Nature, chiefly in its humbler manifestations, which are too often passed by as undeserving of serious regard by the unthinking crowd, it is, at least, not without incentives to a high moral feeling even though it be of a somewhat negative, and merely contemplative kind.

More fortunate than most of his poetic brethren, if without any very splendid triumphs, Wordsworth passed the greatest part of his career in calm and easy circumstances : a fact which, conjoined to his naturally equable and placid temperament, may explain the prevailing tone of contentment with the surrounding condition of things, and that sort of optimism which seems to characterise his writings. Yet it is remarkable that he, like his intimate friends Coleridge and Southey, began his career with the profession of a creed by no means in consonance with that of the prevailing orthodoxy. If his revolutionary aspirations had been less pronounced than those of the author of Wat Tyler or Joan of Arc, they appear in sufficiently striking contrast to his later expression of opinion.



In that fair clime the lonely herdsman, stretch'd
On the soft grass through half a summer's day,
With music lull’d his indolent repose :
And, in some fit of weariness, if he,
When his own breath was silent, chanced to hear
A distant strain, far sweeter than the sounds
Which his poor skill could make, his fancy fetch'd,

E’en from the blazing chariot of the sun, A beardless youth, who touch'd a golden lute, And filld the illumined groves with ravishment. The nightly hunter, lifting up his eyes Towards the crescent moon, with grateful heart Call'd on the lovely wanderer, who bestow'd That timely light, to share his joyous sport; And hence a beaming goddess, with her nymphs, Across the lawn and through the darksome grove (Not unaccompanied with tuneful notes By echo multiplied from rock or cave) Swept in the storm of chase, as moon and stars Glance rapidly along the clouded heavens, When winds are blowing strong. The traveller slaked His thirst from rill or gushing fount, and thank'd The Naiad. Sunbeams upon distant hills Gliding apace, with shadows in their train, Might, with small help from fancy, be transform’d Into fleet Oreads, sporting visibly. The zephyrs fanning, as they pass'd, their wings, Lack'd not for love fair objects, whom they wood With gentle whisper. Wither'd boughs grotesque, Stripp'd of their leaves and twigs by boary age, From depth of shaggy covert peeping forth In the low vale, or on steep mountain-sideAnd sometimes, intermix'd with stirring horns Of the live deer, or goat's depending beardThese were the lurking satyrs, a wild brood Of gamesome deities—or Pan himself, The simple shepherd's awe-inspiring god.

Despondency Corrected.


Ou for the coming of that glorious time
When, prizing knowledge as her noblest wealth
And best protection, this imperial realm,
While she exacts allegiance, shall admit
An obligation, on her part, to teach
Them who are born to serve her and obey;
Binding herself by statute to secure
For all the children whom her soil maintains
The rudiments of letters, and to inform
The mind with moral and religious truth,
Both understood and practised--so that none,
However destitute, be left to droop
By timely culture unsustain'd; or run
Into a wild disorder; or be forced
To drudge through weary life without the aid
Of intellectual implements and tools,
A savage horde among the civilised,
A servile band among the lordly free!
This right, as sacred almost as the right
To exist and be supplied with sustenance
And means of life, the lisping babe proclaims
To be inherent in him, by heaven's will,
For the protection of his innocence:
And the rude boy—who, having overpass’d

* Written in 1814. The Elementary Educ ion Act—the first Act of the State (i.e. the influential Public as represented in the Legislature) to recognise this obligation-was passed in 1870. It remains to be seen whether the tardiness of the State in recognising such obligation is about to be atoned for, in some measure, by the quality of the instruction to be given in the national schools-whether, in short, the teaching is to continue to consist of bare • facts and figures,' or to be for the future a real education; moral as well as intellectual,


The sinless age, by conscience is enrollid,
Yet mutinously knits his angry brow,
And lifts his wilful hand, on mischief bent,
Or turns the sacred faculty of speech
To impious use--by process indirect
Declares his due, while he makes known his need.

This sacred right is fruitlessly announced,
This universal plea in vain address'd,
To eyes and ears of parents who themselves
Did, in the time of their necessity,
Urge it in vain ; and, therefore, like a prayer
That from the humblest floor ascends to heaven,
It mounts to reach the State's parental ear,
Who, if indeed she own a mother's heart,
And be not most unfeelingly devoid
Of gratitude to Providence, will grant
The unquestionable good.

Discourse of the Wanderer, etc.


PANSIES, lilies, kingcups, daisies,
Let them live upon their praises :
Long as there's a sun that sets,
Primroses will have their glory;
Long as there are violets,
They will have a place in story:
There is a flower that shall be mine,
'Tis the little Celandine.

Eyes of some men travel far
For the finding of a star:
Up and down the heavens they go
Men that keep a mighty rout!

I'm as great as they, I trow,
Since the day I found thee out,
Little flower !—I'll make a stir
Like a great astronomer.

Modest, yet withal an elf
Bold, and lavish of thyself;
Since we needs must first have met
I have seen thee, high and low,
Thirty years or more, and yet
'Twas a face I did not know :
Thou hast now, go where I may,
Fifty greetings in a day.

Ere a leaf is on a bush,
In the time before the thrush
Has a thought about its nest,
Thou wilt come with half a call,
Spreading out thy glossy breast
Like a careless prodigal;
Telling tales about the sun,
When we've little warmth, or none.

Poets, vain men in their mood !
Travel with the multitude :
Never heed them: I aver
That they all are wanton wooers.
But the thrifty cottager
Who stirs little out of doors,

spy thee near her home: Spring is coming—thou art come!

Joys to

Comfort have thou of thy merit,
Kindly, unassuming spirit !

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