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Thou lifts thy unassuming head

In humble guise:
But now the share uptears thy bed,

And low thou lies!

6. Such is the fate of artless maid,

Sweet flow'ret of the rural shade!
By love's simplicity betrayed,

And guileless trust,
Till she, like thee, all soiled, is laid

Low i' the dust.


7. Such is the fate of simple bard,

On life's rough ocean luckless starred !
Unskilful he to note the card

Of prudent lore,
Till billows rage, and gales blow hard,

And whelm him o'er !


8. Such fate to suffering worth is given,

Who long with wants and woes has striven,
By human pride or cunning driven

To misery's brink,
Till, wrenched of every stay but Heaven,

He, ruined, sink !


9. Even thou who mourn'st the Daisy's fate,

That fate is thine—no distant date;
Stern Ruin's ploughshare drives, elate,

Full on thy bloom,
Till crushed beneath the furrow's weight,

Shall be thy doom.

27. lifts = lift'st.

39. card, compass.


1. Is there for honest poverty

That hangs his head, and a' that? The coward slave, we pass him by, We dare be poor for a that!

For a' that, and a' that,

Our toils obscure, and a' that;
The rank is but the guinea's stamp,

The man 's the gowd for a' that.



2. What though on hamely fare we dine,

Wear hoddin-grey, and a' that;
Gie folks their silks, and knaves their wine,
A man 's a man for a’ that.

For a' that, and a' that,

Their tinsel show, and a' that;
The honest man, though e'er sae poor,

Is king o'men for a' that.



3. Ye see yon birkie, ca'd a lord,

Wha struts, and stares, and a' that; Though hundreds worship at his word, He's but a coof for a' that;

For a' that, and a' that,

His riband, star, and a' that;
The man of independent mind,

He looks and laughs at a' that.


4. A prince can mak'a belted knight,

A marquis, duke, and a' that;
But an honest man 's aboon his might,

Guid faith, he mauna fa' that!

NOTES.-8. gowd, gold.
10. hoddin-grey,woollen clothofa coarse

quality. 11. Gie = give.

17. birkie, a forward, conceited fel

20. coof, a blockhead.
28. fa’ that, try that.

For a' that, and a' that,

Their dignities, and a' that;
The pith o'sense, and pride o' worth,

Are higher ranks than a’ that.

5. Then let us pray that come it may,

As come it will, for a' that,
That sense and worth o'er a' the earth,
May bear the gree, and a' that.

For a' that, and a’ that,

It's coming yet, for a' that,
That man to man, the warlo'er,

Shall brothers be for a' that.


35. bear the grec, be victorious.

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CHARACTERIZATION BY LOWELL.' 1. It cannot be denied that in Wordsworth the very highest powers of the poetic mind were associated with a certain tendency to the diffuse and commonplace. It is in the understand

From Among My Books, by James Russell Lowell.

ing (always prosaic) that the great golden veins of his imagination are imbedded. He wrote too much to write always well; for it is not a great Xerxes' army of words, but a compact Greek ten thousand, that march safely down to posterity. He set tasks to his divine faculty, which is much the same as trying to make Jove's eagle do the service of a clucking hen. Throughout “The Prelude” and “The Excursion” he seems striving to bind the wizard Imagination with the sand-ropes of dry disquisition, and to have forgotten the potent spell-word which would make the particles cohere. There is an arnaceous quality in the style which makes progress wearisome. Yet with what splendors, as of mountain sunsets, are we rewarded ! what golden rounds of verse do we not see stretching heavenward with angels ascending and descending ! what haunting harmonies hover around us, deep and eternal, like the undying baritone of the sea ! and if we are compelled to fare through sand and desert wildernesses, how often do we not hear airy shapes that syllable our names with a startling personal appeal to our highest consciousness and our noblest aspiration, such as we wait for in vain in any other poet!

2. Wordsworth's mind had not that reach and elemental movement of Milton's, which, like the trade-wind, gathered to itself thoughts and images, like stately fleets, from every quarter; some deep with silks and spicery, some brooding over the silent thunders of their battailous armaments, but all swept forward in their destined track, over the long billows of his verse, every inch of canvas strained by the unifying breath of their common epic impulse. It was an organ that Milton mastered, mighty in compass, capable equally of the tempest's ardors or the slim delicacy of the flute; and sometimes it bursts forth in great crashes through his prose, as if he touched it for solace in the intervals of his toil. If Wordsworth sometimes puts the trumpet to his lips, yet he lays it aside soon and willingly for his appropriate instrument, the pastoral reed. And it is not one that grew by any vulgar stream, but that which Apollo breathed through, tending the flocks of Admetus,—that which Pan endowed with every melody of the visible universe,-so that ever and anon, amid the notes of human joy or sorrow, there comes suddenly a deeper and almost awful tone, thrilling us into dim consciousness of forgotten divinity.

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