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or a Deist, as he happened to be in the mood-or as this no-belief or that seemed best suited for a series of stanzas to astonish the natives. We have seen what he made by trying to "mingle with the universe." In one of the most admired passages in the third book of the Childe, throughout the whole of which he is haunted by Wordsworth, whom he would, all in vain, hate and imitate-while declaring that he has delivered himself up, soul and body, to the feeling of the infinite, the supersensual, and the spiritual, sympathizes with the early Persian in making

"His altar the high places, and the peak Of earth o'ergazing mountains,"

and exclaims,

"Come and compare Columns and idol-dwellings, Goth or Greek,

With nature's realms of worship, earth and air,

Nor fix on fond abodes to circumscribe thy prayer;"

even in that very mood of ecstasy, rapt and inspired beyond this "visible diurnal sphere" by the more glorious aspects itself assumes, he destroys our delusion, and lets us into the secret of his own or rather into that of his deception--by a single blow that jars all the nerves in our body

"Oh! night,

And storm and darkness, ye are wondrous

Yet lovely in your strength, as is the light
Of a dark eye in woman!!!"
There are some fine and noble things
in these same stanzas, but mixed with
baser matter, and that, too, at the very
moment when the soul in its emotion
of grandeur was desiring nothing but
the truth.
"Far along,

From peak to peak, the rattling crags


Leaps the live thunder

is glorious; but, alas! how could the same man who said that say

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"And now the glee

Of the loud hills shakes with its mountainmirth,

As if they did rejoice o'er a young earthquake's birth!!"

Now turn to Wordsworth-not on account of any similarity of style, for there is none, between him and Byron -nor yet on account of much similarity between the objects dealt with, for there is little, except that they are in both cases objects of nature-but on account of the manifest but unsuccessful straining, in the stanzas we have been reading, after the spirit of the communion which Wordsworth holds in his poetry with all outward things.

"These beauteous forms,
Through a long absence, have not been to me
As is a landscape to a blind man's eye:
But oft, in lonely rooms, and mid the din
Of towns and cities, I have owed to them,
In hours of weariness, sensations sweet,
Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart;
And passing even into my purer mind,
With tranquil restoration:-feelings, too,
Of unremembered pleasure: such, perhaps,
As have no slight or trivial influence

On that best portion of a good man's life,
His little, nameless, unremembered acts
Of kindness and of love. Nor less, I trust,
To them I may have owed another gift
Of aspect more sublime; that blesses most
In which the burthen of the mystery,

In which the heavy and the weary weight
Of all this unintelligible world,

Is lighten'd:-that serene and blessed mood,
In which the affections gently lead us on-
Until the breath of this corporeal frame,
And even the motion of our human blood
Almost suspended, we are laid asleep
In body, and become a living soul:
While with an eye made quiet by the power

Of harmony, and the deep power of joy,
We see into the life of things.

"If this Be but a vain belief, yet, oh! how oft, In darkness, and amid the many shapes Of joyless daylight; when the fretful stir Unprofitable, and the fever of the world, Has hung upon the beatings of my heartHow oft, in spirit, have I turned to thee, O silvan Wye! Thou wanderer through the woods, How often has my spirit turned to thee!

And now with gleams of half-extinguished thought,

With many recognitions dim and faint,
And somewhat of a sad perplexity,

The picture of the mind revives again :
While here I stand, not only with the sense

Of present pleasure, but with pleasing thoughts,
That in this moment there is life and food

For future years. And so I dare to hope,
Though changed, no doubt, from what I was when first
I came among these hills.

"When like a roe

I bounded o'er the mountains, by the sides
Of the deep rivers, and the lonely streams,
Wherever nature led: more like a man
Flying from something that he dreads, than one
Who sought the thing he loved. For nature then

(The coarser pleasures of my boyish days,
And their glad varied moments all gone by)
To me was all in all. I cannot paint
What then I was. The sounding cataract
Haunted me like a passion: the tall rock,
The mountain, and the deep and gloomy wood,
Their colours and their forms, were then to me
An appetite; a feeling and a love

That had no need of a remoter charm,
By thought supplied, nor any interest
Unborrowed from the eye.

"That time is past,
And all its aching joys are now no more,
And all its dizzy raptures. Not for this
Faint I, nor mourn nor murmur; other gifts
Have followed; for such loss I would believe
Abundant recompense. For I have learned
To look on nature, not as in the hour
Of thoughtless youth, but hearing oftentimes
The still sad music of humanity,

Not harsh nor grating, but of amplest power
To soften and subdue.

"And I have felt
A passion that disturbed me with the joy
Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interposed,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting sun,
And the round ocean, and the living air,
And the blue sky, and on the mind of man :
A motion and a spirit, that impels

All thinking things, all objects and all thought,
And rolls through all things. Therefore am I still
A lover of the meadows and the woods,

And mountains; and of all that we behold
From this green earth; of all the mighty world
Of eye and ear, both what they half create
And what perceive; well pleased to recognise,
In nature and the language of the sense,

The anchor of my purest thoughts, the nurse,
The guide, the guardian of my heart, and soul
Of all my moral being."

What divine exaltation, and what divine composure! Poetry, Philosophy, Religion. And clear as light-harmonious as music-the perfectly beautiful language of the Revelation!

Or turn to that glorious passage in the Excursion--but the mountains all wear an unusual hush, and we shall give it utterance to glorify the gloom.

"Such was the Boy-but for the growing youth What soul was his, when from the naked top

Of some bold headland, he beheld the sun

Rise up, and bathe the world in light! he looked-
Ocean and earth, the solid frame of earth
And ocean's liquid mass, beneath him lay
In gladness and deep joy. The clouds were touched,
And in their silent faces could he read
Unutterable love. Sound needed none,
Nor any voice of joy; his spirit drank
The spectacle: sensation, soul and form
All melted into him; they swallowed up
His animal being; in them did he live,
And by them did he live; they were his life
In such access of mind, in such high hour

Of visitation from the living God,
Thought was not; in enjoyment it expired.
No thanks he breathed, he proffered no request ;
Rapt into still communion that transcends
The imperfect offices of prayer and praise.
His mind was a thanksgiving to the Power
That made him; it was blessedness and love!
A herdsman on the lonely mountain top,
Such intercourse was his, and in this sort
Was his existence oftentimes possessed.
O then how beautiful, how bright appeared
The written promise! Early had he learned
To reverence the volume that displays
The mystery, the life which cannot die;
But in the mountains did he feel his faith.
All things, responsive to the writing, there
Breathed immortality, revolving life,
And greatness still revolving; infinite;
There littleness was not; the least of things
Scemed infinite; and then his spirit shaped
Her prospects, nor did he believe, he saw
What wonder if his being thus became
Sublime and comprehensive! Low desires,
Low thoughts had there no place; yet was his heart

Lowly; for he was meck in gratitude,

Oft as he called those ecstasies to mind,

And whence they flowed; and from them he acquired

Wisdom, which works through patience; thence he learned,

In oft recurring hours of sober thought,

To look on nature with a humble heart,

Self-questioned where it did not understand,
And with a superstitious eye of love."

People say that, of all poets, Byron alone has fitly sung the sea. recite the celebrated close of Childe Harold.

"Oh! that the Desert were my dwelling-place,
With one fair Spirit for my minister,
That I might all forget the human race
And, hating no one, love but only her!

Let us

Ye Elements !-in whose ennobling stir
I feel myself exalted-Can ye not
Accord me such a being? Do I err
In deeming such inhabit many a spot?
Though with them to converse can rarely be our lot.

"There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society where none intrudes,
By the deep Sea, and music in its roar :
I love not Man the less, but Nature more,
From these our interviews, in which I steal
From all I may be, or have been of yore,
To mingle with the Universe, and feel
What I can ne'er express, yet can not all conceal.

"Roll on, thou deep and dark blue Ocean—roll! Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain ; Man marks the earth with ruin-his control Stops with the shore ;-upon the watery plain The wrecks are all thy deed, nor doth remain A shadow of man's ravage, save his own, When, for a moment, like a drop of rain, He sinks into thy depths with bubbling groan, Without a grave, unknell'd, uncoffin'd, and unknown.

"His steps are not upon thy paths,-thy fields Are not a spoil for him,-thou dost arise

And shake him from thee; the vile strength he wields For earth's destruction thou dost all despise, Spurning him from thy bosom to the skies, And send'st him, shivering in thy playful spray And howling, to his Gods, where haply lies His petty hope in some near port or bay, And dashest him again to earth-there let him lay,

"The armaments which thunderstrike the walls
Of rock-built cities, bidding nations quake,
And monarchs tremble in their capitals,
The oak leviathans, whose huge ribs make
Their clay creator the vain title take
Of lord of thee, and arbiter of war;
These are thy toys, and, as the snowy flake,
They melt into thy yest of waves, which mar
Alike the Armada's pride, or spoils of Trafalgar.

"Thy shores are empires, changed in all save theeAssyria, Greece, Rome, Carthage, what are they? Thy waters wasted them while they were free, And many a tyrant since; their shores obey The stranger, slave, or savage; their decay Has dried up realms to deserts:—not so thou, Unchangeable save to thy wild waves' playTime writes no wrinkle on thine azure browSuch as creation's dawn beheld, thou rollest now.

"Thou glorious mirror, where the Almighty's form Glasses itself in tempests; in all time,

Calm or convulsed-in breeze, or gale, or storm,
Icing the pole, or in the torrid clime
Dark-heaving ;-boundless, endless, and sublime-
The image of Eternity-the throne

Of the Invisible; even from out thy slime
The monsters of the deep are made; each zone
Obeys thee; thou goest forth, dread, fathomless alone,

"And I have loved thee, Ocean! and my joy Of youthful sports was on thy breast to be Borne, like thy bubbles, onward: from a boy I wanton'd with thy breakers-they to me Were a delight; and if the freshening sea Made them a terror-'twas a pleasing fear, For I was as it were a child of thee,

And trusted to thy billows far and near, And laid my hand upon thy mane-as I do here."

What connexion of thought or feeling is there between the first and the second of these stanzas? None. Nay, though manifestly supposed by the poet to be embued with one and the same spirit, they cut each other's throats. In the first he longs and prays for a friend of his soul-a female to sip with him in the desert the goblet of delight; in the second he declares there is no happiness like that of mingling with the universe. "With one fair spirit for my minister."

It would seem she were not to be human, for with her he yearns to live, that he might forget all the human race." Yet while fancying such an one as he desires, he asks

"Do I err In deeming such inhabit many a spot, Though with them to converse can rarely be our lot?"

He asks the elements if they can accord him such a being-the elements "in whose ennobling stir he feels himself exalted"-though we see no high exaltation in such an apostrophe and we shall believe, therefore, that "the one fair spirit" is a child of their own-but in what is to lie her ministry? Will her sex proteet her? Why has the fair spirit sex? Is he too to be a spirit in the desert? Ah! no. A man. So it is only a new version of the old story— the impassioned poet is still flesh and blood and the child of the elements, aerial as she seems, or of illumined tears, or lambent fire that burns not, will be found after all to have a taint

of earth.

Setting aside its inconsistency with what precedes it, there is not in the second stanza much power either of thought or expression.

"There is society where none intrudes, By the deep sea, and music in its roar," is the repetition, for the tenth or twentieth time in the poem, of a sentiment that pleased Cicero, Plutarch, Bacon, and many other wise men, and must

therefore be a natural and pleasing one; but here it reminds one of Paul Pry. "And music in its roar" is an irrelevant and impertinent fact. "From these our interviews" is far from poetical-and it is paying Nature but a poor compliment to say "I love her the more." "To mingle with the universe" we have had rather too often-it is strong, but far from original; and never was there such an impotent conclusion as "and feel What I can ne'er express, yet cannot all conceal!"

But what think ye, Mountains, of the Address to the Ocean? What! not one among you that has got the courage to speak out? You all look as if ye were deaf and dumb. Clap your hands then, in sign of praise— and Thou with the coronet of clouds, unking thyself in homage to the great Poet of the Sea.

Not a word will one of them utter -'tis their Siesta - and every mother's son of them is asleep. Like horses they seldom lie down, and prefer to dream on their feet. But we must awaken them-HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! Well, it was worth while coming here, all the way from Auld Reekie, for sake of that circular series of echoes. the smothered laughter of a Fairy, far Another yet-like far away, hiding herself in a hillockso sweet and wild it was-so musical

with the voice of some mysterious kind of life!

If Cruachan will not criticise, Christopher must-and what then, we ask ourselves, and you most attentive audience of Clouds, who, judging from

have made up your minds to follow the enlightened gloom on your faces, our lecture with thunders of applause -what then, thou beautiful but broken Sky who look'st somewhat restless and as if thou wast given to changewhat then, O Sun who hast such an eye for nature-and what, O Nature, who lovest all things and hast them given thee into thy holy keeping-what

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