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childhood-drawn in part from Oriental fiction, but embodying the profoundest of elemental truths :

“Our birth is but a sleep, and a forgetting :
The soul that rises with us, our life's star,

Hath elsewhere known its setting,

And cometh from afar ;
Not in entire forgetfulness,

And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come

From God that is our home;
Heaven lies about us in our infancy !
Shades of the prison house begin to close

Upon the growing Boy,
But he beholds the light, and whence it flows,

He sees it in his joy ;
The Youth that daily farther from the east
Must travel, still is Nature's priest,

And by the vision splendid

Is on his way attended ;
At length the man perceives it die away,
And fade into the light of common day!"

But the following is the noblest passage of the whole ; and such an outpouring of thought and feeling—such a piece of inspired philosophy—we do not believe exists elsewhere in human language:

“O joy! that in our embers

Is something that doth live,
That nature yet remembers

What was fugitive!
The thought of our past years in me doth breed
Perpetual benedictions : not indeed
For that which is most worthy to be blest;
Delight and liberty, the simple creed
Of Childhood, whether fluttering or at rest,
With new-born hope for ever in his breast :-

Not for these I raise
The song of thanks and praise ;
But for those obstinate questionings
Of sense and outward things,
Fallings from us, vanishings ;

Blank misgivings of a Creature
Moving about in worlds not realiz’d,
High instincts, before which our mortal Nature
Did tremble like a guilty Thing surpris'd;

But for those first affections,
Those shadowy recollections,

Which, be they what they may,

Are yet the fountain light of all our day,
Are yet a master light of all our seeing;
Uphold us, cherish us, and make
Our noisy years seem moments in the being
Of the eternal Silence: truths that wake,
To perish never;
Which neither listlessness, nor mad endeavour,
Nor Man nor Boy,
Nor all that is at enmity with joy,
Can utterly abolish or destroy :
Hence, in a season of calm weather,
Though inland far we be,
Our Souls have sight of that immortal sea
Which brought us hither,
Can in a moment travel thither,
And see the Children sport upon the shore,
And hear the mighty waters rolling evermore.”

After this rapturous flight the author thus leaves to repose on the quiet lap of humanity, and soothes us with a strain of such mingled solemnity and tenderness, as “might make angels weep :”

“What though the radiance which was once so bright,
Be now forever taken from my sight,
Though nothing can bring back the hour

Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind,
In the primal sympathy
Which having been, must ever be,
In the soothing thoughts that spring
Out of human suffering,
In the faith that looks through death,

In years that bring the philosophic mind.

And oh ye Fountains, Meadows, Hills, and Groves,
Think not of any severing of our loves :
Yet in my heart of hearts I feel your might;
I only have relinquish'd one delight
To live beneath your more habitual sway.
I love the Brooks which down their channels fret,
Even more than when I tripp'd lightly as they ;
The innocent brightness of a new-born Day
Is lovely yet;
The Clouds that gather round the setting sun
Do take a sober colouring from an eye

That hath kept watch o'er man's mortality;
Another race hath been, and other palms are won.
Thanks to the human heart by which we live,
Thanks to its tenderness, its joys, and fears,
To me the meanest flower that blows can give
Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.”

The genius of the poet, which thus dignifies and consecrates the abstractions of our nature, is scarcely less felicitious in its pictures of society at large, and in its philosophical delineations of the characters and fortunes of individual man. Seen through the holy medium of his imagination, all things appear“ bright and solemn and serene"—the asperities of our earthly condition are softened away—and the most gentle and evanescent of its hues gleam and tremble over it. He delights to trace out those ties of sympathy by which the meanest of beings are connected with the general heart. He touches the delicate strings by which the great family of man are bound together, and thence draws forth sounds of choicest music. He makes us partake of those joys which are “ spread through the earth to be caught in stray gifts by whoever will find " them-discloses the hidden wealth of the soul-finds beauty every where, and “good in every thing." He draws character with the softest pencil, and shades it with the pensive tints of gentlest thought. The pastoral of The Brothers

-the story of Michael—and the histories in the Excursion which the priest gives while standing among the rustic graves of the church-yard, among the mountains, are full of exquisite portraits, touched and softened by a divine imagination which human love inspires. He rejoices also to exhibit that holy process by which the influences of creation are shed abroad in the heart, to excite, to mould, or to soften. We select the following stanzas from many passages of this kind of equal beauty, because in the fantasy of nature's making “ a lady of her own,” the object of the poet is necessarily developed with more singleness than where reference is incidentally made to the effect of scenery on the mind :

“ Three years she grew in sun and shower,

Then Nature said, a lovelier flower
On earth was never sown;
This child I to myself will take,
She shall be mine, and I will make
A lady of my own!

Myself will to the darling be
Both law and impulse : and with me
The girl, in rock and plain,
In earth and heaven, in glade and bower,
Shall feel an overseeing power,
To kindle or restrain,

She shall be sportive as the fawn,
That wild with glee across the lawn
Or up the mountain springs;
And her's shall be the breathing balm,
And her's the silence and the calm
Of mute insensate things.

The floating clouds their state shall lend
To her; for her the willow bend ;
Nor shall she fail to see
Even in the motions of the storm
Grace that shall mould the maiden's form
By silent sympathy.

The stars of midnight shall be dear
To her; and she shall lean on air
In many a secret place
Where rivulets dance their wayward round,
And beauty born of murmuring sound
Shall pass into her face !"

But we must break off to give a passage in a bolder and most passionate strain, which represents the effect of the tropical grandeur and voluptuousness of nature on a wild and fiery spirit at once awakening and half-redeeming its irregular desires. It is from the poem of“ Ruth,”-a piece where the most profound of human affections is disclosed amidst the richest imagery, and incidents of wild romance are told with a Grecian purity of expression. The impulses of a beautiful and daring youth are thus represented as inspired by Indian scenery:

“ The wind, the tempest roaring high,

The tumult of a tropic sky,
Might well be dangerous food,
For him, a youth to whom was given
So much of earth, so much of heaven,
And such impetuous blood.

Whatever in those climes he found
Irregular in sight or sound,
Did to his mind impart
A kindred impulse, seem'd allied
To his own powers, and justified
The workings of his heart.

Nor less to feed voluptuous thought,
The beauteous forms of Nature wrought,
Fair trees and lovely flowers ;
The breezes their own languor lent;
The stars had feelings which they sent
Into those gorgeous bowers.
Yet in his worst pursuits, I ween
That sometimes there did intervene
Pure hopes of high intent;
For passions link'd to forms as fair
And stately, needs must have their share

Of noble sentiment." We can do little more than enumerate those pieces of narrative and character, which we esteem the best in their kind of our author's works. The old Cumberland Beggar is one of those which linger most tenderly on our memories. The poet here takes almost the lowliest of his species—an aged mendicant, one of the last of that class who made regular circuits amidst the cottages of the north—and after a vivid picture of his frame bent with years, of his slow motion and decayed senses, he asserts them not divorced from good-traces out the links which bind him to his fellows and shows the benefit which even he can diffuse in his rounds, while he serves as a record to bind together past deeds and offices of charity-compels to acts of love by “the mild necessity of use” those whose hearts would otherwise harden-gives to the young “ the first mild touch of sympathy and thought, in which they find their kindred with a world where want and sorrow are”-and enables even the poor to taste the joy of bestowing. This last blessing is thus set forth and illustrated by a precious example of self-denying goodness and cheerful hope, which is at once more tear-moving and more sublime than the finest things in Cowper :

" Man is dear to man; the poorest poor Long for some moments in a weary life

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