« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
To Conscience only, and the law supreme
So pray'd, more gaining than he ask'd, the Bard,
them unalarm'd. Not Chaos, not The darkest pit of lowest Erebus, Nor aught of blinder vacancy, scoop'd out By help of dreams, can breed such fear and awe As fall upon us often when we look Into our Minds, into the Mind of Man, My haunt, and the main region of my song. Beauty -- a living Presence of the Earth, Surpassing the most fair ideal Forms Which craft of delicate Spirits hath composed From Earth's materials – waits upon my steps; Pitches her tents before me as I move, An hourly neighbour. Paradise, and groves Elysian, Fortunate Fields, - like those of old Sought in th’ Atlantic Main, - why should they be A history only of departed things, Or a mere fiction of what never was ? For the discerning intellect of Man, When wedded to this goodly Universe In love and holy passion, shall find these A simple produce of the common day. I, long before the blissful hour arrives, Would chant, in lonely peace, the spousal verse Of this great consummation: and, by words Which speak of nothing more than what we are, Would I arouse the sensual from their sleep Of Death, and win the vacant and the vain To noble raptures; while my voice proclaims How éxquisitely th' individual Mind
1 Milton is the “Bard” referred to. The quotation is from Paradise Lost, vii. 31 :
“ Still govern thou my song, Urania, and fit audience find, though few."
(And the progressive powers perhaps no less
“Not mine own fears, nor the prophetic soul
'Twas Summer, and the Sun had mounted high:
an ample shade
Rest, and be welcomed there to livelier joy. 3. My lamented friend Southey used to say that, had he been a Papist, the course of life which in all probability would have been his was that of a Benedictine Monk, in a convent furnished, as many once were, and some still are, with an inexhaustible library. Books, as appears from many passages in his writings, and was evident to those who had opportunities of observing his daily life, were in fact his passion; and wandering, I can with truth affirm, was mine: but this propensity in me was happily counteracted by inability from want of fortune to fulfil my wishes. But, had I been born in a class which would have deprived me of what is called a liberal education, it is not unlikely that, being strong in body, I should have taken to a way of lite such as that in which my "Wanderer" passed the greater part of his days. At all events, I am here called upon freely to acknowledge that the character I have represented in his person is chiefly an idea of what I fancied my own character might have become in his circumstances. Nevertheless much of what he says and does had an external existence, that fell under my own youthful and subsequent observation. An individual named Patrick, by birth and education a Scotchman, followed this humble occupation for many years, and afterwards settled in the town of Kendal, He married a kinsman of my wife's, and her sister Sarah spent part of her childhood under this good man's eye. My own imagination I was happy to find clothed in re. ality, and fresh ones suggested, by what she reported of this man's tenderness of heart, his strong and pure imagination, and his solid attainments in literature, chiefly religious, whether in prose or verse. At Hawkshead, also, while I was a schoolboy, there occasionally resided a packman, (the name then generally given to this calling,) with whom I had frequent conversations upon what had befallen him, and what he had observed during his wandering life; and, as was natural, we took much to each other: and upon the subject of Pediarism in general, as then followed, and its favourableness to an intimate knowledge of human concerns, not merely among the humbler classes of society, I need say nothing here in addition to what is to be found in The Excursion. - Author's Notes, 1843.
4 Downs, in French dunes, are, properly, sand-banks. But in some parts of England the word appears to be used for certain risings or swellings of earth, probably from their resemblance to sand-banks.
Across a bare wide Common” I was toiling
Upon that open moorland stood a grove,
Him had I mark’d the day before, alone
We were tried Friends : amid a pleasant vale,
Of things which he had seen; and often touch'd B A common, as the word is here used, is a piece of land, generally pasture, occupied by the people of a given neighborhood in common, as distinguished from lands owned exclusively by individuals.
Abstrusest matter, reasonings of the mind
0, many are the Poets that are sown
Or rise as venerable Nature leads, 6 This line has grown to be a sort of proverbial expression for the high gift of poetic genius. - Coleridge questions the truth of this fine passage. “Such sentiments," says he,“ in such language do one's heart good; though I, for my part, have not the fullest faith in the truth of the observation. When I find, even in situations the most favorable, according to Mr. Wordsworth, for the formation of a pure and poetical language, in situations which ensure familiarity with the grandest objects of the imagination — but one BURNS among the shepherds of Scotland, and not a single poet of humble life among those of English lakes and mountains; I conclude that POETIC GENIUS is not only a very delicate but a very rare plant.”