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3. None of our great poets can be called popular in any exact sense of the word, for the highest poetry deals with thoughts and emotions which inhabit, like rarest sea-mosses, the doubtful limits of that shore between our abiding divine and our fluctuating human nature, rooted in the one, but living in the other, seldom laid bare and otherwise visible only at exceptional moments of entire calm and clearness. Of no other poet, except Shakespeare, have so many phrases become household words as of Wordsworth. If Pope has made current more epigrams of worldly wisdom, to Wordsworth belongs the nobler praise of having defined for us, and given us for a daily possession, those faint and vague suggestions of other world lines, of whose gentle ministry with our baser nature the hurry and bustle of life scarcely ever allowed us to be conscious. He has won for himself a secure immortality by the depth of intuition which makes only the best minds at their best hours worthy, or indeed capable, of his companionship, and by a homely sincerity of human sympathy which reaches the humblest heart. Our language owes him gratitude for the habitual purity and abstinence of his style, and we who speak it, for having emboldened us to take delight in simple things, and to trust ourselves to our own instincts. And he hath his reward. It needs not to bid
“Renowned Chaucer lie a thought more nigh
for there is no fear of crowding in that little society with whom he is now enrolled as fifth in the succession of the great Eng
INTIMATIONS OF IMMORTALITY FROM RECOLLECTIONS
OF EARLY CHILDHOOD.
The child is father of the man ;
[INTRODUCTION.—This noble ode, characterized by Emerson as the “highwater mark of English thought in the 19th century," was composed partly in 11803 and partly in 1806. The mood of mind out of which it grew is set forth by Wordsworth himself in an explanatory piece, herewith appended. (See page 300.) It may be noted that the word “immortality" in the title is used in a larger sense than its ordinary meaning: it implies not only deathlessness, but eternality of existence; that is, eternal pre-existence as well as eternal future existence.]
There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,
To me did seem
Apparelled * in celestial light,
Turn wheresoe'er I may,
By night or day,
NOTES.—Line 6. of yore. Not in the
sense of olden times, but as re-
ence as expressed in the first line—“There was a time when meadow, grove," etc.
LITERARY ANALYSIS.-1-5. Analyze the first sentence. 4. What is the primitive meaning of " Apparelled ?"
1-9. Show the antithesis in the first stanza.-Compare the first stanza with this from Shelley :
"Out of the day and night
A joy has taken flight:
The moon doth with delight
Waters on a starry night
Are beautiful and fair ;
But yet I know, where'er I go,
And while the young lambs bound
As to the tabor's sound,
And I again am strong :
And all the earth is gay ;
Land and sea
21. tabor, a small drum.
28. the flelds of sleep: that is, “the yet 22. To me alone there came = to me reposeful, slumbering country there came only.
side. It is early morning, and 25. The cataracts. Wordsworth has in the land is still, as it were, rest.
his mind the many falls of the ing.”
line 18, of this book.
LITERARY ANALYSIS.—10–18. Express briefly (and in general terms) the idea contained in stanza ii.
26. No more ... wrong. What is the figure of speech? (See Def. 20.)–Express the thought in plainer language.
30, 31. Land ... jollity. What is the figure of speech? (See Def. 22.)
And with heart of May
Thou child of joy,
Ye to each other make, I see
My heart is at your festival,
My head hath its coronal,*
Oh evil day! if I were sullen
This sweet May morning,
On every side,
Fresh flowers; while the sun shines warm,
I hear, I hear, with joy I hear !
-But there's a tree, of many one,
The pansy * at my feet
Doth the same tale repeat:
37. Yo blessed creatures: that is, the ob- 41. coronal, a crown or garland (as at jects of nature, animate and in
banquets in the days of Greece animate, mentioned in the pre and Rome). ceding stanza.
57. visionary = vision-like. 39. jubilee, shout of joy.
58. dream. See line 5.
LITERARY ANALYSIS.–32. with heart of May. Vary the phraseology. 39, 41, 55. Give the etymology of “jubilee ;" "coronal ;" “pansy." 44, 49. What is the grammatical construction of “herself?” Of " flowers ?"
58. is ... dream? How do you justify “is" and "it" where the reference is to “the glory and the dream ?”
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar,
And not in utter nakedness,
From God, who is our home.
Upon the growing boy ;
He sees it in his joy ;
Must travel still is nature's priest.
Is on his way attended;
59. a forgetting: that is, a forgetting of
what took place in the ante-
Pythagoras (as well as by the
LITERARY ANALYSIS.—59. Our birth, etc. The transition of thought here is, perhaps, somewhat abrupt. There was an interval of more than two years between the writing of stanza iv, and that of stanza v. Stanza v. may be committed to memory.
63–66. forgetfulness ... our home. Compare the poet Campbell's remark: “Children have so recently come out of the hands of their Creator, that they have not had time to lose the impress of their divine origin."
67–77. With the thought in these lines compare the exquisitely tender verses of Hood :
“I remember, I remember,
The fir-trees dark and high ;
Were close against the sky.
But now 'tis little joy
Than when I was a boy." 72-75. The
outh ... attended. Transpose into the prose order.