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sinuated itself into his compositions de thou silent ?" If further proof be needed, stroyed their grace, he seems to bave en- let it be found in the exquisite poems addeavored to regain bis lost satisfaction by dressed to his wife : never will a poet's elaboration of the verse and expression, wife possess a fairer memorial than this to supply beauty which could be felt by lady. beauty which could be proved and demon. We may here take up again and conclude strated. The Theory might have done good our notice of the present volume. Of the service now, but in the confidence of as- poems which we have not already mensured and acknowledged power, he came tioned the greater part fall within this peinto a gradual neglect of some at least of riod, and as they belong chiefly to its latter its main principles. He consequently soon years, they exhibit strongly its characterisbegan to fall into those faults, both of his tic marks. Elaboration is evident in every natural genius and acquired talents, against line,-every composition betrays an inti. which those published and strongly con. mate acquaintance with the art of weaving tested opinions had hitherto served as use- words. The blank verse especially, while ful guards. He is often diffuse and lan- yet far removed from that exquisite and guid ; his ingenuity often leads him into an truly original melody of the Tintern Abintricacy which nothing but his own truth-bey' and parts of the ‘Poems on the fulness of language could save from being Naming of Places,' is in another style exentirely unintelligible. In the edition of tremely beautiful. The following piece, 1832, "She dwelt among the untrodden however, we quote less for its metrical than ways” stands only a page distant from “Ere its other attractions. with cold beads of midnight dew." Quan. tum mutatus ab illo !
"ADDRESS TO THE CLOUDS. In this stage, we have said, we regard “ Army of Clouds! ye winged host in troops Mr. Wordsworth's genius to be at present,
Of that tall rock, as from a hidden world, nor can there be any probability that it
O whither with such eagerness of speed ? should now either return to its former state, / What seek ye, or what shun ye ? of the gale or assume any condition essentially new. Companions, fear ye to be left behind, Yet mistaken, if we venture to think him,
Or racing o'er your blue ethereal field
Contend ye with each other? of the sea in his attempt to bring the Muse into such children, thus post ye over vale and height regular habits as he would make her submit to sink upon your mother's lap-and rest? to, we are convinced that the real Poet re- Or were ye rightlier hailed, when first mine eyes
Beheld in your impetuous march the likeness mains indestructible in his heart. Here it
Of a wide army pressing on to meet is that he refutes himself. If a subject Or overtake some unknown enemy?touch bis heart, then we have the true fire But your smooth motions suit a peaceful aim; again—the language clears, the measure dis- | And Fancy, not less aptly pleased, compares
Your squadrons to an endless flight of birds entangles itself, and he is again in the em
igres itsell, and he is again in the em Aërial, upon due migration bound pyrean. If we seek those poems of this To milder climes; or rather do ye urge later period which, though in a different In caravan your basty pilgrimage kind, show yet a true kindred with the mas
To pause ai last on more aspiring heights
Than these, and utter your devotion there ter-pieces of his youth, we shall find them With thunderous voice? Or are ye jubilant, where his heart is stirred; as if we seek And would ye, tracking your proud lord the Sun, the direst and least happy, we shall find | Be present at his setting; or the pomp
Je or Persian mornings would ye fill, and stand them on the subjects which he set himself. P.
CT: Poising your splendors high above the heads If any one wish to be satisfied of this, let or worshippers kneeling to their up-risen God? him compare the noble series of sonnets Whence, whence, ye Clouds! this eagerness of dedicated to Liberty with the Ecclesiasti
Speak, silent creatures !—They are gone, are fled, cal Sonnets, the one almost throughout a Buried together in yon gloomy mass stream of living poesy ; the other a mine That loads the middle heaven; and clear and of thought perhaps, but how little more ! |
bright The Occasional Sonnets show almost as
And vacant doth the region which they thronged
Appear; a calm descent of sky conducting great a superiority over the series on the Down to thai unapproachable abyss, Dudden. But look still closer and we see Down to the hidden gulf from which they rose still more clearly the same case to be true.
To vanish-fleet as days and months and years,
Fleet as the generations of mankind, If we sought for a sonnet which would ex
Power, glory, empire, as the world itsell, actly be
The lingering world, when time hath ceased to be.
But the winds roar, shaking the rooted trees,
Perchance as numerous, overpeers the rock
That sullenly refuses to partake we should quote that beginning “Why art of the wild impulse. From a fount of life
Invisible, the long procession moves
| While thus illumined, tells of painful strife Luminous or gloomy, welcome to the vale
For a sick heart made weary of this life Which they are entering, welcome to mine eye By love, long crossed with adverse circumstance. That sees them, to my soul that owns in them, - Would she were now as wben she hoped to pass And in the bosom of the firmanent
At God's appointed hour to them who tread O'er which they move, wherein they are contained, Heaven's sapphire pavement, yet breathed well conA type of her capacious self and all
tent, Her restless progeny.
Well pleased, her foot should print earth's common A humble walk
grass, Here is my body doomed to tread, this path, Lived ihankful for day's light, for daily bread, A little hoary line and faintly traced,
For health, and time in obvious duty spent."
"TO A PAINTER. Admit no bondage and my words have wings. “All praise the Likeness by thy skill portrayed ; Where is the Orphean lyre, or Druid harp,
But 'tis a fruitless task to paint for me, To accompany the verse ?' The mountain blast Who, yielding not to changes Time has made, Shall be our hand of music ; he shall sweep By the habitual light of memory see The rocks, and quivering trees, and billowy lake, Eyes unbedim med, see bloom that cannot fade, And search the fibres of The caves, and they And smiles, that from their birth-place ne'er shall Shall answer, for our song is of the Clouds. And the wind loves them; and the gentle gales Into the land where ghosts and phantoms be; Which by their air re-clo he the naked lawn And, seeing this, own nothing in its stead. With annual verdure, and revive the woods, Couldst thou go back into far-distant years, And moisten the parched lips of thirsty flowers Or share with me, fond thought! that inward eye, Love them; and every idle breeze of air
Then, and then only, Painter! could by Art Bends to the favorite burthen. Moon and stars | The visual powers of Nature satisfy, Keep their most solemn vigils when the Clouds | Which hold, whate'er to common sight appears, Watch also, shifting peaceably their place
Their sovereign empire in a faithful heart." Like bands of ministering Spirits, or when they lie,
XIV. As if some Protean art :he change had wrought.
“ON THE SAME SUBJECT. la listless quiet o'er the ethereal deep Scattered, a Cyclades of various shapes
1" Though I beheld at first with blank surprise, And all degrees of beauty. O ye Lightnings!
This Work, I now have gazed on it so long Ye are their perilous offspring; and the Sun
I see its truth with unreluctant eyes; Source inexhaustible of life and joy,
10, my Beloved ! I have done thee wrong, And type of man's far-darting reason, therefore
Conscious of blessedness, but, whence it sprung, Jo old time worshipped as the god of verse,
Ever too heedless, as I now perceive: A blazing intellectual deity
Morn into noon did pass, noon into eve, Loves his own glory in their looks, and showers
And the old day was welcome as the young, Upon that unsubstantial brotherhood
As welcome, and as beautiful in sooth Visions with all but beatific lighi
More beautiful, as being a thing more holy : Enriched-loo transient were they not renewed
Thanks to thy virtues, to the eternal youth From age to age, and did no', while we gaze
Of all thy goodness, never melancholy; In silent rapture, creduloas desire,
To thy large heart and humble mind, that cast Noorish the hope that memory lacks not power
| Into one vision, future, present, past." To keep the treasure unimpaired. Vain thought! If we here close our account of the preYet why repine, created as we are
sent volume, it is not without feeling how For joy and rest, albeit to find them only Lodged in the bosom of eternal things ?"
differently we should have looked at it com.
ing from any one else. A drama, exhibitA piece entitled The Cuckoo at La
ing such deep knowledge of human nature, verna,' one of a series of memorials of an
| abounding in such evidences of high poetiItalian tour in 1837, also seems to us very delightful; and the Norman Boy,' with its
cal power, couched throughout in such pure
and noble language ; a body of miscellanesequel, if still, like the rest, devoid of the
ous poems exhibiting such various metrical pure and Grecian grace of his earlier years, and shuthmical skill so free and vigorous a have a touching beauty of their own. But fancy such noble and tender affections three of the sonnets appear to us really to wisdom so deep. piety so sincere-who but claim admission among his master-pieces ; | Mr. Wordsworth himself could have cast and if the reader desire to be satisfied
auished such works as these into even a compara. about what we have said of the difference live shader between Wordsworth writing from the Af
e All But we relinquish the last opportunity fections and Wordsworth setting himself a
perhaps which Mr. Wordsworth may afford task, we would desire them to compare these
us, without giving vent to the general refollowing with the series on the Punish
flections which a publication from him at ment of Death.'
his age suggests. XII.
The love of universality is one of the * Lo! where she stands fixed in a saint-like trance, most obvious characteristics of the present One upward hand, as if she needed rest
day. Cecil-not the statesman nor the From rapture, lying softly on her breast ! Nor wants her eyeball an ethereal glance;
clergyman, but the coxcomb-tells us in But not the less-nay more-that countenance, one of those flashes of thought which so
brilliantly illuminate his Autobiography, our time and country, yet there is unquesthat it is all a mistake to suppose those to tionably much ground for anxiety, as there be the great men of the world whom we is more we trust for hope. But with aboundhave always been admiring: such men, ac- ing evidences of a low and shallow spirit cording to him, are those who either pos- about us in every day's newspaper, in every sessed powers only capable of one direc-day's novel, in every day's new speech, and tion, or subjected by force of will a more perhaps we may say, in every Sunday's new universal capacity to a single object. The sermon, we have to look to men who stand real great men are not, he considers, the in opposition like Mr. Wordsworth, and to Homers, Miltons, Shakspeares, etc., but per. that large body of sounder feeling shown sons like himself, who are never heard of ex- to exist by the respect in which such men cept by some such fortunate circumstances are held, for our hope and encouragement. as have secured to the world his own his. But as long as we have such to look to we tory; their merit and their misfortune being, need not fear. Examples make the life of that being able to do all things equally well, a nation, for the strength of the social body no sufficiently salient point is left for Fame lies in the individual energies by which it to take hold of. This doctrine is found is vivified. “La France, c'est moi," was much beyond the range of the novels : who an arrogant boast in the lips of Louis; it has forgotten that brightest sally of the Bar, would have been a profound truth in those when on Lord Brougham's becoming chan- of Napoleon. cellor it was said, “ Well, if Lord Brougham knew only a little law, he would know a little of every thing"?
Now it is well to have universalists, but in an age of universalism it is of the utmost
ALLAN CUNNINGHAM. importance to have specialists. This is a general truth, and would at any time make SO MANY of those who but a few months the example of a man who, with a consis. ago constituted a prominent portion of the tency and success like Mr. Wordsworth's, present of my own time are become so comhas devoted himself to one object, a most pletely of the past, that I cannot look back important benefit. But in a time when the without chronicling death after death, so as doctrine in question has produced a very to force the considerations we too often try decided and evil influence on the genera- to put far from us, as to the uncertainty of tion which has grown up under its reign, life. We are all, indeed, ready to admit when our liberality has so often become in the uncertainty of this precious treasure, difference, our cosmopolitism destroyed our yet we act as if it were, at least, as endupatriotism, our generalization injured our ring as the sky above us, or the earth upon investigation and analysis, then almost our which we tread. only hope lies in the eminence of the ex. Wilkie, Chantry, and Allan Cunninghamceptions. Such an exception to the preva. painter, sculptor, and poet-men eminent lent character is Mr. Wordsworth. What amongst their fellows, not only for talent, ever his faults may be they are the oppo. but for high moral worth and integrity of site ones to those of his age; and whatever purpose--are passed away. It seemed as his excellences, they spring from an indi. if, united as they were by the strong bonds viduality least to be expected in the cir- of friendship, in death they should not be cumstances of his time. He has always divided. The completion of Chantry's been in opposition-in his early life to the works was intrusted to Allan Cunningham, Toryism then manacling men's minds, in who had finished a life of Sir David Wilkie latter days to the Liberalism dissolving only two days before he was struck, for the ours. Yet he is not to be confounded with second time, with paralysis, which terminated those who are in opposition to the present fatally on Saturday last. This estimable because they can only see behind them. man has left behind him an honorable He is a true man, he has ever looked before name, and a noble example of what may be and after-ever trusted and watched the accomplished by those who, combining ta. life and disregarded the form : he has writ. I lents with industry, are capable of the great ten sonnets in favor of railroads and steam- effort of concentrating their energies upon boats in the same spirit in which he has a given point, and are thus certain to conwritten against the abolition of the punish- quer difficulties and achieve greatness, if ment of death.
God spare them health and life. The career We are not among those who look with of Allan Cunningham is one of the most contempt or terror on the present aspect of encouraging instances of literary success in modern times; progressing steadily on-tell, but, whatever brought him to London, ward, not jerked forward by unnatural ex. his own exertions kept him there, and his citement, nor drawn back by any decided own steady, manly, and straightforward failure. True, it must be borne in mind, conduct, united to considerable and varied that his occupation in Chantry's studio gave talent and most extraordinary industry, both him a steady income, (steadied from lite in the acquirement and application of knowrary fluctuation,) and that this was a great ledge, rendered his society courted by the step towards victory ; still his success, first people in the country. In after years, under all circumstances, was worthy of a when it was my privilege to meet him frestrong and original mind.
quently, it was pleasant to note the respect It is now about fifteen years since I first he commanded from all who were distinsaw Allan Cunningham; and I can recall the guished in art and literature. Miss Landon interview as clearly as though but an hour used to say, that " a few of Allan Cunninghad intervened. It was before I had been ham's words strengthened her like a dose much in literary society, or become person of Peruvian bark ;" and there certainly was ally acquainted with those whose works had something firm and substantial rather than entered into my heart. I remember how brilliant in the generality of bis observamy cheek flushed when he took me by the tions, except when roused upon a literary hand, and how pleased and proud I was of or political question; then, in the brief the few words of praise he bestowed upon pause that preceded the utterance of his one of the first efforts of my pen. He was opinions, his mouth would open and his at that time a tall, stout man, somewhat eyes dilate with those lightnings that were high shouldered, broad chested, and alto. sure to flash in unison with a bright rush of gether strongly proportioned; his head was strong und natural feeling. He never rewell and exactly placed, his mouth close yet ferred to his own works in conversation. full, his nose thick and firm ; bis eyes, of If any questions were asked about them, or intense darkness,-for I never could define any compliment paid to them, he gave the their colour,-were deeply set beneath required information, or received the praise shaggy yet movable eyebrows, and were, without any display or affectation. ConI think, as powerful, and yet as soft and stant and familiar association with persons winning, as any eyes I ever saw. His brow of high mind and extensive cultivation was very noble and expanded, indicative not creates, if not a harsh spirit, certainly a only of imagination and observation, but, in spirit of criticism, where pretensions are its towering height, of that veneration and made by the unworthy or feeble to a high benevolence which formed so conspicuous intellectual position. Allan Cunningham a portion of his character. His accent was was considered a severe critic; but, setting strongly Scotch, and he expressed himself aside his knowledge of books, the friend of when warmed into a subject with eloquence Scott, Southey, Wordsworth, and Wilson, and feeling, but, generally speaking, his had a right to be fastidious. And, in addimanner was quiet and reserved ; not, how. tion to this, he entertained a most sovereign ever, timid and gauche, like that of Sir contempt-a decided antipathy—to every David Wilkie, but easy and self-possessed, species of affectation, particularly of lite. quiet from a habit of observing rather than rary affectation, and certainly lashed it, a dislike to conversation. Admire him or even in society, by a terrible word or look, not as vou pleased, it was impossible not to which could never be forgotten. But in the respeci the man who, so completely the same degree that he abhorred affectation architect of his own fortune, was never was his love of Nature. “Wherever," he ashamed of being so, and would state the would say, “ wherever there is naturefact as an encouragement to those who wherever a person is not ashamed to show needed his example to steady their progress. a heart-the-e is the germ of excellence. Burns cultivated his poetic vein while per- I love nature !” And so he did. His dark forming the laborious duties of a husband. eyes would glisten over a child or a flower ; man, and Allan Cunningham, while chisel. and a ballad, one of the songs of his own Jing granite in his native country, breathed dear land, move him, even to tears, that is, forth his soul in poetry. A gentleman, who provided it was sung "according to nature,” for a long time conducted one of the most the full rich meaning given to the words, influential and the most fashionable journals and no extra flourish, no encumbering draof the day, told me, that it was a letter from pery of sound forced upon melody. One him to the young poet which brought him of the happiest and most interesting evento London, some five and thirty years ago. ings of my life I passed at his house, about Whether this was really so or not I cannot I ten years ago, in the society of Captain
Vol. I. No. II. 21
(now Major) Burns, (the poet's son,) and few evenings after at my own house, where poor James Hogg, just at the time when the same party were assembled, with nuthe Londoners, glad of any thing to get up merous literary additions not easily for. an excitement, turned the head of the Et- gotten. There was Miss Landon in a dress trick Shepherd by a public dinner, at the of scarlet cashmere, that rendered the puperiod when the seven or eight hundred rity of her complexion and the dark brilpounds so expended would have been of liancy of her hair and eyes a perfect atoneincalculable value to a man who, with some ment for the want of distinctive features; of Burns's talents, inherited all his heedless there she was, full of ready smiles, and ness. On that particular evening nothing kind, appropriate words; brilliant with an could exceed poor Hogg's bilarity ; in per- unwounding wit, and ready to withdraw son he was burly, of a ruddy complexion, herself to exhibit the perfections of otherswith the eye of a Silenus, and one of those the most generous of her sex and calling. loosely formed mouths that indicate a love There was Miss Jewsbury, new to the vastof pleasure, be it purchased how it may. ness and extent of London literary society, Captain Burns sang several of his father's her quick and generous appreciation of songs with a pathos and expression that excellence leading her to admire what deadded to their interest, and stimulated the served admiration, while, at the same time, Shepherd to sing his own. Nothing could her womanly vanity was wounded to see be more opposite than the minstrelsy of that she, the marvel of Manchester, was no these two men ; but both were natural, ac- wonder in London. There was Barry Corn. cording to their nature, and so Allan Cun- wall, with his calm, philosopher-like repose ningham enjoyed both. I can recall James of observation ; Mrs. Hofland, true, earnest, Hogg sitting on the sofa ; his countenance and faithful; Laman Blanchard, an animated flushed with the excitement, and the epigram; Wilkie, whose pale, sad brow “ toddy," of which he was not sparing, more gave little intimation of the vigor of “The in his earnestness, his wildness, his irasci- Chelsea Pensioners," or the humor of bility, (particularly when he alluded to "the “Blind Man's Buff;" Miss Edgeworth, a poets,") certainly more like a half wild rare visitor in London, but an honored one Irishman than a steady son of the thistle, wherever she goes. Amongst them Hogg, shouting forth his songs in an untunable not quite so noisy as before, and anxious to voice, rendered almost harmonious by the see L. E. L., who well knew that he had spirit he threw into it, and giving us an idea written much and harshly about her. Their of the circumstances connected with the meeting was singular enough. Hogg edged birth of each song at its conclusion; one towards where she sat, fidgeting as she in particular I remember, “The women always did upon her chair ; he went up like folk." "Ah, ab,” he exclaimed, echoing a schoolboy that deserved a flogging, and our applause with his own hands, “that is half expected he should get it, instead of my favorite humorous song, sure enow! which the slight, girlish-looking poetess exwhen I am forced by the leddies to sing tended her small white hand towards the against my will, which happens mair fre- huge red fist that seemed uncertain what to quently than I care to tell; and notwith- do. The appeal, accompanied by her bright standen that my friend Allan stands glow. smile, was irresistible. “God bless ye!" erin' at me with his twa een, that might he exclaimed, involuntarily, “God bless have been twins with those of Bobby Burns, ye! I did na' think ye'd been sae bonny. they're so like his. That song, not with. I ha' written many a bitter thing about ye, standen my wood-notes wild, will never be but I'll do so no mair. I did nae think ye'd sung by any so well again.” “An' that's been sae bonny. In one corner poor Emma true!” replied Cunningham, “ that's true; Roberts was talking orientally to Martin because you have the nature in you; but the painter; and in another, in deep, underyou're wrong about the eyes; the only toned discussion, sat Wordsworth, Sadler, ones I ever saw flash like his father's (allud. and Allan Cunningham. I never saw three ing to Capt. Burns) were those of Michael more striking heads grouped together: Thomas Sadler."
Wordsworth's-so expanded and fullThis opinion I heard Allan Cunningham sprinkled with hair too thinly to add to its frequently repeat, and I suppose that both size, or change the character of its proporwere right; for, certainly, there was a great tions; Sadler's smaller and feebler, but similarity between the eyes, both as to beautiful, covered with folds of premature color and expression, of the then popular white hair ; Cunningham's, as full but not member for Leeds and Cunningham's own. as white as Wordsworth's-fuller, indeed, I had an opportunity of comparing them a for the organs of observation were more