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Remains entire and indivisible;

Deposited upon the silent shore And, if that ignorance were remov'd, which acts Of Memory, images and precious thoughts, Within the compass of their sev'ral shores That shall not die, and cannot be destroy'd.” To breed commotion and disquietude, Each might preserve the beautiful repose

Nor is any thing more elegant than the of heav'nly bodies shining in their spheres. representation of the graceful tranquillity oc. -The discipline of slavery is unknown

casionally put on by one of the author's Amongst us,-hence the more do we require favourites; who, though gay and airy, in The discipline of virtue ; order else

generalCannot subsist, nor confidence, nor peace.”

pp. 402, 403.

“Was graceful, when it pleas'd him, smooth and

still There is a good deal of fine description in As the mute Swan that floats adown the stream, the course of this work; but we have left Or on the waters of th' unruffled lake ourselves no room for any specimen. The Anchors her placid beauty. Not a leaf following few lines, however, are a fine epit- | That futters on the bough more light than he, ome of a lake voyage :

And not a flow'r that droops in the green shade

More willingly reserv'd.” "Right across the Lake Our pinnace moves: then, coasting creek and bay, and more majestic beauty; as when, assuming

Nor are there wanting morsels of a sterner Glades we behold-and into thickets peepWhere crouch the spotted deer; or raise our eyes the weightier diction of Cowper, he says, in To shaggy steeps on which the careless goat language which the hearts of all readers of Browsed by the side of dashing waterfalls."--p.412. modern history must have responded We add, also, the following more elaborate

--- Earth is sick, and fantastic picture—which, however, is not And Heav'n is weary of the hollow words without its beauty :

Which States and Kingdom utter when they speak

Of Truth and Justice." " Then having reach'd a bridge, that overarch'd The hasty rivulet where it lay becalm'd

These examples, we perceive, are not very In a deep pool, by happy chance we saw

well chosen-but we have not leisure to imA twofold Image. On a grassy bank

prove the selection; and, such as they are, A snow-while Ram, and in the crystal flood they may serve to give the reader a notion of Another and the same! Most beautiful,

the sort of merit which we meant to illustrate On the green turf, with his imperial front Shaggy and bold, and wreathed horns superb,

by their citation. When we look back to The breathing creature stood' as beautiful,

them, indeed, and to the other passages which Beneath him, show'd his shadowy Counterpart. we have now extracted, we feel half inclined Each had his glowing mouniains, each his sky, to rescind the severe sentence which we And each seem'd centre of his own fair world:

passed on the work at the beginning :-But Antipodes unconscious of each other,

when we look into the work itself, we perceive Yet, in partition, with their several spheres, Blended in perfect stillness to our sight!"--p. 407. that it cannot be rescinded. Nobody can be

more disposed to do justice to the great powers Besides those more extended passages of of Mr. Wordsworth than we are; and, from interest or beauty, which we have quoted, the first time that he came before us, down and omitted to quote, there are scattered up to the present moment, we have uniformly and down the book, and in the midst of its testified in their favour, and assigned indeed most repulsive portions, a very great number our high sense of their value as the chief of single lines and images, that sparkle like ground of the bitterness with which we regems in the desert, and startle us with an in- sented their perversion. That perversion, timation of the great poetic powers that lie however, is now far more visible than their buried in the rubbish that has been heaped original 'dignity; and while we collect the around them. It is difficult to pick up these, fragments, it is impossible not to mourn over after we have once passed them by; but we the ruins from which we are condemned to shall endeavour to light upon one or two. The pick them. If any one should doubt of the beneficial effect of intervals of relaxation and existence of such a perversion, or be disposed pastime on youthful minds, is finely expressed, to dispute about the instances we have hastily we think, in a single line, when it is said to brought forward, we would just beg leave to be

refer him to the general plan and character of “Like vernal ground to Sabbath sunshine left.”

the poem now before us. Why should Mr.

Wordsworth have made his hero a superannu, The following image of the bursting forth ated pedlar? What but the most wretched of a mountain-spring, seems to us also to be affectation, or provoking perversity of taste, conceived with great elegance and beauty. could induce any one to place his chosen ad “And a few steps may bring us to the spot,

vocate of wisdom and virtue in so absurd and Where haply crown'd with flow'rets, and green fantastic a condition? Did Mr. Wordsworth herbs,

really imagine, that his favourite doctrines The Mountain Infant to the Sun comes forth,

were likely to gain any thing in point of effect Like human light from darkness !"

or authority by being put into the mouth of a The ameliorating effects of song, and musc person accustomed to higgle about tape, or on the minds which most delight in them, are brass sleeve-buttons ? Or is it not plain that, likewise very poetically expressed.

independent of the ridicule and disgust which " And when the stream

such a personification must excite in many of Which overflow'd the soul was pass'd away,

his readers, its adoption exposes his work A consciousness remain'd that it had left, throughout to the charge of revolting incon. gruity, and utter disregard of probability or The absurdity in this case, we think, is nature? For, after he has thus wilfully de- palpable and glaring: but it is exactly of the based his moral teacher by a low occupation, same nature with that which infects the whole is there one word that he puts into his mouth, substance of the work-a puerile ambition or one sentiment of which he makes him the of singularity engrafted on an unlucky prediorgan, that has the most remote reference to lection for truisms; and an affected passion that occupation? Is there any thing in his for simplicity and humble life, mosi awklearned, abstract, and logical harangues, that wardly combined with a taste for mystical savours of the calling that is ascribed to him ? refinements, and all the gorgeousness of obAre any of their materials such as a pedlar scure phraseology. His taste for simplicity could possibly have dealt in? Are the man- is evinced by sprinkling up and down his inners, the diction, the sentiments, in any, the terminable declamations a few descriptions very smallest degree, accommodated to a per- of baby-houses, and of old hats with wet son in that condition? or are they not eminently brims; and his amiable partiality for humble and conspicuously such as could not by possi- life, by assuring us that a wordy rhetorician, bility belong to it? A man who went about who talks about Thebes, and allegorizes alí selling flannel and pocket-handkerchiefs in the heathen mythology, was once a pedlarthis lofty diction, would soon frighten away and making him break in upon his magnifiall his customers; and would infallibly pass cent orations with two or three awkward noeither for a madman, or for some learned and tices of something that he had seen when affected gentleman, who, in a frolic, had taken selling winter raiment about the country—or up a character which he was peculiarly ill of the changes in the state of society, which qualified for supporting.

had almost annihilated his former calling.


(October, 1815.) The White Doe of Rylstone ; or the Fate of the Nortons : a Poem. By William Words

4to. pp. 162. London : 1815. This, we think, has the merit of being the farther, seems capable of assuming as many very worst poem we ever saw imprinted in a forms as the vulgar one which arises from quarto volume; and though it was scarcely to wine; and it appears to require as delicate be expected, we confess, that Mr. Words- a management to make a man a good poet worth, with all his ambition, should so soon by the help of the one, as to make him a have attained to that distinction, the wonder good companion by means of the other. In may perhaps be diminished when we state, both cases, a little mistake as to the dose or that it seems to us to consist of a happy union the quality of the inspiring fluid may make of all the faults, without any of the beauties, him absolutely outrageous, or lull him over which belong to his school of poetry. It is into the most profound stupidity, instead of just such a work, in short, as some wicked brightening up the hidden stores of his genius: enemy of that school might be supposed to and Iruly we are concerned to say, that Mr. have devised, on purpose to make it ridicu- Wordsworth seems hitherto to have been lous; and when we first took it up, we could unlucky in the choice of his liquor—or of his not help suspecting that some ill-natured bottle-holder. In some of his odes and ethic critic had actually taken this harsh method exhortations, he was exposed to the public in of instructing Mr. Wordsworth, by example, a state of incoherent rapture and glorious in the nature of those errors, against which delirium, to which we think we have seen a our precepts had been so often directed in parallel among the humbler lovers of jollity. vain. We had not gone far, however, till we in the Lyrical Ballads, he was exhibited, on felt intimately that nothing in the nature of a the whole, in a vein of very pretty deliration; joke could be so insupportably dull ;-and but in the poem before us, he appears in a ihat this must be the work of one who earn- state of low and maudlin imbecility, which estly believed it to be a pattern of pathetic would not have misbecome Master Silence simplicity, and gave it out as such to the ad- himself, in the close of a social day. Whether miration of all intelligent readers. In this this unhappy result is to be ascribed to any point of view, the work may be regarded as adulteration of his Castalian cups, or to the curious at least, if not in some degree inter- unlucky choice of his company over them, we osting; and, at all events, it must be instruc- cannot presume to say. It may be that he cive to be made aware of the excesses into has dashed his Hippocrene with too large an which superior understandings may be be- infusion of lake water, or assisted its operatrayed, by long self-indulgence, and the tion too exclusively by the study of the ancient strange extravagances into which they may historical ballads of "the north countrie.” run, when under the influence of that intoxi- That there are palpable imitations of the style cation which is produced by unrestrained and manner of those venerable compositions admiration of themselves. This poetical in- in the work before us, is indeed undeniable; toxication, indeed, to pursue the figure a little but it unfortunately happens, that while the hobbling versification, the mean diction, and “The presence of this wand'ring Doo flat stupidity of these models are very exactly

Fills many a damp obscure recess

With lustre of a saintly show ; copied, and even improved upon, in this imi.

And, re-appearing, she no less tation, their rude energy, manly simplicity,

To the open day gives blessedness." and occasional felicity of expression, have totally disappeared ; and, instead of them, a

The mothers point out this pretty creatare large allowance of the author's own metaphy- to their children ; and tell them in sweet nar sical sensibility, and mystical wordiness, is sery phrases forced in an unnatural combination with the

Now you have seen the famous Doe! borrowed beauties which have just been men- From Rylstone she hath found her way tioned.

Over the hills this Sabbath-day ; The story of the poem, though not capable

Her work, whate'er it be, is done, of furnishing out matter for a quarto volume,

And she will depart when we are gone. might yet have made an interesting ballad; The poet knows why she comes there, and and, in the hands of Mr. Scott or Lord Byron, thinks the people may know it too: But some would probably have supplied many images of them think she is a new incamation of to be loved, and descriptions to be remem

some of the illustrious dead that lie buried bered. The incidents arise out of the short around them; and one, who it seems is an lived Catholic insurrection of the Northern Oxford scholar, conjectures that she may be counties, in the reign of Elizabeth, which was the fairy who instructed Lord Clifford in supposed to be connected with the project of astrology! an ingenious fancy, which the marrying the Queen of Scots to the Duke of poet thus gently reprovethNorfolk; and terminated in the ruin of the

“Ah, pensive scholar ! think not so! Earls of Northumberland and Westmoreland, But look again at the radiant Doe!" by whom it was chiefly abetted. Among the And then closes the Canto with this natural victims of this rash enterprise was Richard and luminous apostrophe to his harp. Norton of Rylstone, who comes to the array with a splendid banner, at the head of eight But, harp! thy murmurs may not cease,

Thou hast breeze-like visitings; tall sons, but against the will and advice of a

For a Spirit with angel. wings ninth, who, though he refased to join the host,

Hath touch'd thee, and a Spirit's hand: yet follows unarmed in its rear, out of anxiety A voice is with us a command for the fate of his family; and, when the To chanı, in strains of heavenly glory, father and his gallant progeny are made A tale of tears, a morial story!" prisoners, and led to execution at York, re- The Second Canto is more full of business, covers the fatal banner, and is slain by a and affords us more insight into the author's party of the Queen's horse near Bolton Priory, manner of conducting a story. The opening, in which place he had been ordered to de- however, which goes back to the bright and posit it by the dying voice of his father. The original conception of the harp, is not quite stately halls and pleasant bowers of Rylstone so intelligible as might have been desired. are then wasted, and fall into desolation ; while the heroic daughter, and only survivor

“ The Harp in lowliness obey'd : of the house, is sheltered among its faithful And first we sang of the green-wood shade ;

And a solitary Maid ! retainers, and wanders about for many years

Beginning, where the song must end, in its neighbourhood, accompanied by a beau- With her, and with her sylvan Friend; tiful white doe, which had formerly been a The friend, who stood before her sight, pet in the family; and continues, long after Her only unextinguish'd light, ihe death of this sad survivor, to repair

Her last companion in a dearth every Sunday to the churchyard of Bolton

Of love, upon a hopeless earth." Priory, and there to feed and wander among This solitary maid, we are then told, had the graves, to the wonder and delight of the wrought, at the request of her father, "an rustic congregation that came there to wor- unblessed work”ship.

“ A Banner-one that did fulfil This, we think, is a pretty subject for a

Too perfectly his headstrong will: ballad ; and, in the author's better day, might For on this Banner bad her hand have made a lyrical one of considerable inter- Embroider'd (such was the command)

Let us see, however, how he deals with The Sacred Cross; and figur'd there it, since he has bethought him of publishing

The five dear wounds our Lord did bear." in quarto.

The song then proceeds to describe the The First Canto merely contains the de- rising of Northumberland and Westmoreland, scription of the Doe coming into the church in the following lofty and spirited strains :yard on Sunday, and of the congregation

"Two earls fast leagu'd in discontent, wondering at her. She is described as being

Who gave their wishes open vent; as white as a lily—or the moon—or a ship in And boldly urg'd a general plea, the sunshine; and this is the style in which The rites of ancient piety Mr. Wordsworth marvels and moralises about To be by force of arms renew'd; her through ten quarto pages.

Glad prospect for the multitude!

And that same Banner, on whose breast “What harmonious, pensive changes,

The blameless Lady had expresi,
Wait upon her as she ranges

Memorials chosen to give lite,
Round and through this Pile of State,

And sunshine to a dangerous strife ;
(verthrown and desolate !"

This Banner," &c.


The poet, however, puts out all his strength | head quarters of the insurgent Earls; and de. in the dehortation which he makes Francis scribes the first exploits of those conscientious Norton address to his father, when the prepa- warriors; who took possession of the Catherations are completed, and the household is dral of Durham, ready to take the field.

“Sang Mass, -and tore the book of Prayer,“Francis Norton said,

And trod the Bible beneath their feet.' "O Father! rise not in this frayé The hairs are white upon your head;

Elated by this triumph, they turn to the Dear Father, hear me when I say

south. It is for you too late a day!

“ To London were the Chieftains bent : Bethink you of your own good name;

But what avails the bold intent?
A just and gracious queen have we,

A Royal army is gone forth
A pure religion, and the claim
Of peace on our humanity.

To quell the Rising of the North ; 'Tis meet that I endure your scorn,

They march with Dudley at their head, I am your son, your eldest born;

And in seven days' space, will to York be led !The Banner touch not, stay your hand,

And Neville was opprest with fear; This multitude of men disband,

For, though he bore a valiant name,

His heart was of a timid frame." And live at home in blissful ease.'' The warlike father makes no answer to this So they agree to march back again ; at which exquisite address, but turns in silent scorn to old Norton is sorely afflicted—and Francis the banner,

takes the opportnity to renew his dehortations

-but is again repulsed with scorn, and falls " And his wet eyes are glorified ;"

back to his station in the rear. and forthwith he marches out, at the head of

The Fourth Canto shows Emily walking by his sons and retainers.

the fish ponds and arbours of Rylstone, in a Francis is very sad when thus left alone in fine moonshiny night, with her favourite white the mansion-and still worse when he sees Doe not far off. his sister sitting under a tree near the door. " Yet the meek Creature was not free, However, though “he cannot choose but Erewhile, from some perplexity: shrink and sigh," he goes up to her and says,

For thrice hath she approach'd, this day,

The thought-bewilder'd Emily.” "Gone are they,-they have their desire ; And I with thee one hour will stay,

However, they are tolerably reconciled that To give thee comfort if I may.'

evening; and by and by, just a few minutes He paused, her silence to partake,

after nine, an old retainer of the house comes And long it was before he spake :

to comfort her, and is sent to follow the host Then, all at once, his thoughts turn'd round, And fervent words a passage found.

and bring back tidings of their success. The Gone are they, bravely, though misled,

worthy yeoman sets out with great alacrity; With a dear Father at their head!

but not having much hope, it would appear, The Sons obey a natural lord ;

of the cause, says to himself as he goes, The Faiher had given solemn word To noble Percy, and a force

"Grant that the moon which shines this night, Sill stronger bends him to his course.

May guide them in a prudent flight!'"-p. 75. This said, our tears to-day may fall As at an innocent funeral.

Things however had already come to a still In deep and awful channel runs

worse issue-as the poet very briefly and inThis sympathy of Sire and Sons ;

geniously intimates in the following fine lines: Untried our Brothers were belov'd, And now their faithfulness is prov'd;

“ Their flight the fair moon may not see ;

For, from mid-heaven, already she
For faithful we must call them, bearing
That soul of conscientious daring.'

Hath witness'd their captivity!"'--p. 75.
After a great deal more, as touching and

They had made a rash assault, it seems, on sensible, he applies himself more directly to Barnard Castle, and had been all made prisonthe unhappy case of his hearer-whom he ers, and forwarded to York for trial. thus judiciously comforts and flatters :

The Fifth Canto shows us Emily watching

on a commanding height for the return of her “Hope nothing, if I thus may speak

faithful messenger; who accordingly arrives To thee a woman, and thence weak;

forthwith, and tells, 'as gently as could be,' Hope nothing, I repeat; for we Are doom'd to perish utterly ;.

the unhappy catastrophe which he had come 'Tis meet that thou with me divide

soon enough to witness. The only comfort he The thought while I am by thy side.

can offer is, that Francis is still alive. Acknowledging a grace in this, A comfort in the dark abyss :

" To take his life they have not dar'd. But look not for me when I am gone,

On him and on his high endeavour

The light of praise shall shine for ever!
And be no farı her wrought upon.
Farewell all wishes, all debaie,

Nor did he (such Heaven's will) in vain

His solitary course maintain ;
All prayers for this cause, or for that!
Weep, if that aid thee; but depend

Nor vainly struggled in the might
Upon no help of outward friend ;

Of duty seeing with clear sight."-p 85. Espouse thy doom at once, and cleave

He then tells how the father and his eight To fortitude without reprieve."

sons were led out to execution; and how It is impossible, however, to go regularly on Francis, at his father's request, took their with this goodly matter.—The Third Canto banner, and promised to bring it back to Bolbrings the Nortons and their banner to the I ton Priory.

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The Sixth Canto opens with the homeward ful doe; but so very discreetly and cautiously pilgrimage of this unhappy youth; and there written, that we will engage that the most is something so truly forlorn and tragical in tender-hearted reader shall peruse it without his situation, that we should really have the least risk of any excessive emotion. The thought it difficult to have given an account poor lady runs about indeed for some years in of it without exciting some degree of interest a very disconsolate way, in a worsted gown or emotion. Mr. Wordsworth, however, re- and flannel nightcap: But at last the old white berves all his pathos for describing the white- doe finds her out, and takes again to following ness of the pet doe, and disserting about her her-whereupon Mr. Wordsworth breaks out perplexities, and her high communion, and into this fine and natural rapture. participation of Heaven's grace ;—and deals

• Oh, moment ever blest! O Pair ! in this sort with the orphan son, turning from

Belov'd of Heaven, Heaven's choicest care! the bloody scaffold of all his line, with their

This was for you a precious greeting, luckless banner in his hand.

For both a bounteous, fruitful meeling. “ He look'd about like one betray'd ;

Join'd are they; and the sylvan Doe

Can she depart i can she forego
What hath he done ? what promise made ?

The Lady, once her playful Peer ?
Oh weak, weak moment! io what end
Can such a vain oblation tend,

“ That day, the first of a reunion And he the Bearer ?—Can he go

Which was to teem with high communion, Carrying this instrument of woe,

That day of balmy April weather, And find, find any where, a right

They tarried in the wood together.” To excuse him in his country's sight?

pp. 117, 118. No, will not all Men deem the change A downward course ? perverse and strange ? What follows is not quite so intelligible. Here is it.—but how, when ? must she, The unoffending Emily

“ When Emily by morning light Again this piteous object see?

Went forth, the Doe was ihere in sight.
Such conflict long did he maintain

She shrunk :-with one frail shock of pain, Within himself, and found no rest;

Received and followed by a prayer, Calm liberty he could not gain ;

Did she behold-saw once again ; And yet the service was unblest.

Shun will she not, she feels, will bear;His own life into danger brought

But wheresoever she look'd round By this sad burden-even that thought

All now was trouble-haunted ground."-p.119. Rais'd self-suspicion, which was strong, Swaying the brave Man to his wrong:

certainly is not easy to guess what could And how, unless it were the sense

be in the mind of the author, when he penned Of all-disposing Providence,

these four last inconceivable lines; but we Its will intelligibly shown, Finds he the Banner in his hand,

are willing to infer that the lady's loneliness Without a thought to such intent ?".

was cheered by this mute associate; and that pp. 99, 100.

the doe, in return, found a certain comfort in His death is not much less pathetic. A

the lady's companytroop of the Queen's horse surround him, and " Communication, like the ray reproach him, we must confess with some Of a new morning, to the nature plausibility, with having kept his hands un- And prospects of ihe inferior Creature !" armed, only from dread of death and forfeiture, while he was all the while a traitor in In due time the poor lady dies, and is his heart. The sage Francis answers the buried beside her mother; and the doe coninsolent troopers as follows:

tinues to haunt the places which they had "I am no traitor,' Francis said,

frequented together, and especially to come • Though this unhappy freight I bear;

and pasture every Sunday upon the fine grass It weakens me; my heart hath bled

in Bolton churchyard, the gate of which is Till it is weak--but you beware,

never opened but on occasion of the weekly Nor do a suffering Spirit wrong,

service.-In consequence of all which, we are Whose self-reproaches are too strong!"

assured by Mr. Wordsworth, that she is ap

proved by Earth and Sky, in their benignity;' This virtuous and reasonable person, how- and moreover, that the old Priory itself takes ever, has ill luck in all his dissuasories; for her for a daughter of the Eternal Primeone of the horsemen puts a pike into him which we have no doubt is a very great comwithout more ado—and

pliment, though we have not the good luck in “There did he lie of breath forsaken!"

understand what it means. And after some time the neighbouring peas- " And aye, methinks, this hoary Pile, ants take him up, and bury him in the church

Subdued by ourrage and decay,

Looks down upon her with a smile, yard of Bolton Priory.

A gracious smile, that seems to say, The Seventh and last Canto contains the

• Thou, thou art not a Child of Time, history of the desolated Emily and her faith- But Daughter of the Eternal Prime !

p. 126.

p. 103.

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