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O'er the young shoot the charlock throws | Or, yielding part (which equal knaves dea shade,
_ mand), And clasping tares cling round the sickly To gain a lawless passport through the blade;
land. With mingled tints the rocky coasts
abound, And a sad splendor vainly shines around.
From THE BOROUGH So looks the nymph whom wretched arts adorn,
Old Peter Grimes made fishing his emBetrayed by man, then left for man to
His wife he cabined with him and his boy, Whose cheek in vain assumes the mimic
And seemed that life laborious to enjoy. rose,
To town came quiet Peter with his fish, While her sad eyes the troubled breast
And had of all a civil word and wish. 5 disclose:
He left his trade upon the Sabbath day, Whose outward splendor is but folly's
And took young Peter in his hand to pray: dress,
But soon the stubborn boy from care broke Exposing most when most it gilds distress.
loose, Here joyless roam a wild amphibious
At first refused, then added his abuse; race,
His father's love he scorned, his power With sullen woe displayed in every face;
defied, Who far from civil arts and social fly,
But, being drunk, wept sorely when he And scowl at strangers with suspicious
died. eye. Here too the lawless merchant of the
main Draws from his plough the intoxicated WILLIAM LISLE BOWLES (1762-1860) swain;
90 Want only claimed the labor of the day,
TIME But vice now steals his nightly rest away.
Where are the swains, who, daily labor | 0 Time! who knowest a lenient hand to . done,
lay With rural games played down the setting Softest on sorrow's wound, and slowly sun;
thence, Who struck with matchless force the Lulling to sad repose the weary sense, bounding ball,
95 The faint pang stealest, unperceived, Or made the ponderous quoit obliquely
On thee I rest my only hope at last, 5 While some huge Ajax, terrible and strong, And think when thou hast dried the bitter Engaged some artful stripling of the tear throng,
That flows in vain o'er all my soul held And fell beneath him, foiled, while far dear, around
I may look back on every sorrow past, Hoarse triumph rose, and rocks returned And meet life's peaceful evening with a the sound?
100 I smile: Where now are these?—Beneath yon cliff As some lone bird, at day's departing hour, they stand,
Sings in the sunbeam, of the transient To show the freighted pinnace where to I shower
Forgetful, though its wings are wet the To load the ready steed with guilty haste, while: To fly in terror o'er the pathless waste, Yet, ah! how much must that poor heart Or, when detected, in their straggling endure course,
105 Which hopes from thee, and thee alone, To foil their foes by cunning or by force; | a cure.
As one who, long by wasting sickness Ye holy towers that shade the wave-worn worn,
steep, Weary has watched the lingering night, Long may ye rear your aged brows suband heard,
lime, Heartless, the carol of the matin bird Though, hurrying silent by, relentless time Salute his lonely porch, now first at Assail you, and the winds of winter sweep morn
Round your dark battlements; for far Goes forth, leaving his melancholy bed; 5 | from halls He the green slope and level meadow Of Pride, here Charity hath fixed her seat; views,
Oft listening tearful when the wild winds Delightful bathed in slow-ascending dews; beat Or marks the clouds that o'er the moun With hollow bodings round your ancient tain's head
walls; In varying forms fantastic wander white; And Pity, at the dark and stormy hour Or turns his ear to every random song 10 Of midnight, when the moon is hid on Heard the green river's winding marge high, along,
Keeps her lone watch upon the topmost The while each sense is steeped in still tower, delight:
And turns her ear to each expiring cry, With such delight o'er all my heart I Blest if her aid some fainting wretch
may save, Sweet Hope! thy fragrance pure and And snatch him cold and speechless healing incense steal.
from the wave.
TO THE RIVER TWEED WRITTEN AT TYNEMOUTH AFTER
A TEMPESTUOUS VOYAGE O Tweed! a stranger, that with wandering feet
As slow I climbed the cliff's ascending O'er hill and dale has journeyed many a
Much musing on the track of terror past, (If so his weary thoughts he might be- When o'er the dark wave rode the howling guile),
blast, Delighted turns thy beauteous scenes to Pleased I look back, and view the tranquil greet.
tide The waving branches that romantic | That laves the pebbled shore: and now the bend
1 beam O’er thy tall banks, a soothing charm Of evening smiles on the gray battlement, bestow;
And yon forsaken tower that Time has The murmurs of thy wandering wave rent: below
The lifted oar far off with silver gleam Seem to his ear the pity of a friend. Is touched, and hushed is all the billowy Delightful stream! though now along thy deep! shore,
Soothed by the scene, thus on tired NaWhen spring returns in all her wonted ture's breast
10 A stillness slowly steals, and kindred rest; The shepherd's distant pipe is heard no While sea-sounds lull her, as she sinks more,
to sleep, Yet here with pensive peace I could abide, Like melodies which mourn upon the Far from the stormy world's tumultuous lyre, roar,
Waked by the breeze, and, as they To muse upon thy banks at eventide.
THE AGE OF ROMANTICISM
rank in society and the sameness and WILLIAM WORDSWORTH (1770-1860) narrow circle of their intercourse, being
less under the influence of social vanity, From THE PREFACE TO THE they convey their feelings and notions LYRICAL BALLADS
in simple and unelaborated expressions.
Accordingly such a language, arising out The principal object proposed in these of repeated experience and regular 150 poems was to choose incidents and situa feelings, is a more permanent, and a far tions from common life, and to re more philosophical language, than that late or describe them, throughout, as far which is frequently substituted for it by as was possible, in a selection of language | poets, who think that they are conferring really used by men, and, at the same time, honor upon themselves and their art, in to throw over them a certain coloring proportion as they separate themselves of imagination, whereby ordinary things from the sympathies of men, and indulge should be presented to the mind in an in arbitrary' and capricious habits of exunusual aspect; and, further, and (10 pression, in order to furnish food for fickle above all, to make these incidents and tastes, and fickle appetites, of their [60 situations interesting by tracing in them, own creation... truly though not ostentatiously, the I cannot, however, be insensible to the primary laws of our nature: chiefly, as present outcry against the triviality and far as regards the manner in which we meanness, both of thought and language, associate ideas in a state of excitement. which some of my contemporaries have ocHumble and rustic life was generally casionally introduced into their metrical chosen, because, in that condition, the compositions; and I acknowledge that essential passions of the heart find a this defect, where it exists, is more dis
er soil in which they can attain (20 honorable to the writer's own character their maturity, are less under restraint, than false refinement or arbitrary in- [70 and speak a plainer and more emphatic novation, though I should contend at the language; because in that condition of same time, that it is far less pernicious in life our elementary feelings co-exist in a the sum of its consequences. From such state of greater simplicity, and, conse verses the poems in these volumes will be quently, may be more accurately con found distinguished at least by one mark templated, and more forcibly communi of difference, that each of them has a cated; because the manners of rural life worthy purpose. Not that I always begerminate from those elementary feelings; | gan to write with a distinct purpose and from the necessary character of [30 formally conceived; but habits of medirural occupations, are more easily com tation have, I trust, so prompted and (80 prehended, and are more, durable; and, regulated 'my feelings, that my descriplastly, because in that condition the pas tions of such objects as strongly excite sions of men are incorporated with the those feelings, will be found to carry beautiful and permanent forms of na along with them a purpose. If this opinion ture. The language, too, of these men is erroneous, I can have little right to the has been adopted (purified indeed from name of a poet. For all good poetry is what appear to be its real defects, from the spontaneous overflow of powerful all lasting and rational causes of dislike feelings: and though this be true, poems or disgust) because such men hourly [40 to which any value can be attached were communicate with the best objects from never produced on any variety of sub- [90 which the best part of language is orig- jects but by a man, who, being possessed inally derived; and because, from their of more than usual organic sensibility, had also thought long and deeply. For to reduce it to a state of almost savage our continued influxes of feeling are torpor. The most effective of these causes modified and directed by our thoughts, are the great national events which are which are indeed the representatives of daily taking place, and the increasing (150 all our past feelings; and, as by contem accumulation of men in cities, where the plating the relation of these general uniformity of their occupations produces representatives to each other, we discover a craving for extraordinary incident, what is really important to men, so, (100 which the rapid communication of intelby the repetition and continuance of ligence hourly gratifies. To this tenthis act, our feelings will be connected dency of life and manners the literature with important subjects, till at length, and theatrical exhibitions of the country if we be originally possessed of much have conformed themselves. The invalusensibility, such habits of mind will be able works of our elder writers, I had produced, that, by obeying blindly and almost said the works of Shakespeare (160 mechanically the impulses of those habits, and Milton, are driven into neglect by we shall describe objects, and utter senti frantic novels, sickly and stupid German ments, of such a nature, and in such con tragedies, and deluges of idle and exnection with each other, that the un- (110 travagant stories in verse.—When I derstanding of the reader must neces think upon this degrading thirst after sarily be in some degree enlightened, and outrageous stimulation, I am almost his affection strengthened and purified. ashamed to have spoken of the feeble
It has been said that each of these endeavor made in these volumes to counpoems has a purpose. Another circum- teract it; and, reflecting upon the magstance must be mentioned which dis- nitude of the general evil, I should be (170 tinguishes these poems from the popular oppressed with no dishonorable melanpoetry of the day; it is this, that the feeling choly, had I not a deep impression of certherein developed gives importance to tain inherent and indestructible qualities the action and situation, and not the (120 of the human mind, and likewise of ceraction and situation to the feeling. tain powers in the great and permanent
A sense of false modesty shall not pre- objects that act upon it, which are equally vent me from asserting, that the reader's inherent and indestructible; and were attention is pointed to this mark of dis- there not added to this impression a tinction, far less for the sake of these par- belief that the time is approaching when ticular poems than from the general im- the evil will be systematically opposed, (180 portance of the subject. The subject is by men of greater powers, and with far indeed important! For the human mind | more distinguished success. is capable of being excited without the | Having dwelt thus long on the subjects application of gross and violent stimu- (130 and aim of these poems, I shall request the lants; and he must have a very faint reader's permission to apprise him of a perception of its beauty and dignity who few circumstances relating to their style, does not know this, and who does not | in order, among other reasons, that he further know, that one being is elevated | may not censure me for not having perabove another, in proportion as he pos- formed what I never attempted. The sesses this capability. It has therefore reader will find that personifications (190 appeared to me, that to endeavor to pro of abstract ideas rarely occur in these duce or enlarge this capability is one of volumes; and are utterly rejected as an the best services in which, at any period, | ordinary device to elevate the style, and a writer can be engaged; but this (140 raise it above prose. My purpose was to service, excellent at all times, is especially | imitate, and, as far as is possible, to adopt so at the present day. For a multitude the very language of men; and assuredly of causes, unknown to former times, are such personifications do not make any now acting with a combined force to blunt natural or regular part of that language. the discriminating powers of the mind, They are, indeed, a figure of speech ocand, unfitting it for all voluntary exertion, | casionally prompted by passion, and (200 I have made use of them as such; but I templated, till, by a species of reaction, have endeavored utterly to reject them the tranquillity gradually disappears, and as a mechanical device of style, or as a an emotion, kindred to that which was family language which writers in meter before the subject of contemplation, is seem to lay claim to by prescription. I gradually produced, and does itself achave wished to keep the reader in the tually exist in the mind. In this mood succompany of flesh and blood, persuaded cessful composition generally begins, (260 that by so doing I shall interest him. and in a mood similar to this it is carried Others who pursue a different track will on; but the emotion of whatever kind, interest him likewise; I do not inter- [210 and in whatever degree, from various fere with their claim, but wish to prefer a causes, is qualified by various pleasures, claim of my own. There will also be found so that in describing any passions whatin these pieces little of what is usually soever, which are voluntarily described, called poetic diction; as much pains has the mind will, upon the whole, be in a been taken to avoid it as is ordinarily state of enjoyment. If nature be thus taken to produce it; this has been done cautious to preserve in a state of enjoyment for the reason already alleged, to bring a being so employed, the poet ought [270 my language near to the language of to profit by the lesson held forth to him, men, and further, because the pleasure and ought especially to take care, that, which I have proposed to myself to (220 whatever passions he communicates to impart, is of a kind very different from his reader, those passions, if his reader's that which is supposed by many persons to mind be sound and vigorous, should albe the proper object of poetry. Without ways be accompanied with an overbalbeing culpably particular, I do not know ance of pleasure. Now the music of how to give my reader a more exact no harmonious metrical language, the sense tion of the style in which it was my wish of difficulty overcome, and the blind assoand intention to write, than by inform ciation of pleasure which has been (280 ing him that I have at all times endeavored previously received from works of rime or to look steadily at my subject; conse meter of the same or similar construction, quently there is, I hope, in these (230 an indistinct perception perpetually repoems little falsehood of description, and newed of language closely resembling my ideas are expressed in language fitted that of real life, and yet, in the circumto their respective importance. Some stance of meter, differing from it so thing must have been gained by this widely—all these imperceptibly make up a practice, as it is friendly to one property complex feeling of delight, which is of the of all good poetry, namely, good sense; most important use in tempering the but it has necessarily cut me off from a painful feeling which is always found (290 large portion of phrases and figures of intermingled with powerful descriptions speech which from father to son have of the deeper passions. This effect is long been regarded as the common (240 always produced in pathetic and impasinheritance of poets. I have also thought sioned poetry; while, in lighter composiit expedient to restrict myself still further, tions, the ease and gracefulness with having abstained from the use of many ) which the poet manages his numbers are expressions, in themselves proper and themselves confessedly a principal source beautiful, but which have been foolishly of the gratification of the reader. All repeated by bad poets, till such feelings of that it is necessary to say, however, upon disgust are connected with them as it is this subject, may be effected by af- (300 scarcely possible by any art of association firming, what few persons will deny, that,
of two descriptions, either of passions,
manners, or characters, each of them I have said that poetry is the spon- (250 equally well executed, the one in prose taneous overflow of powerful feelings; and the other in verse, the verse will be it takes its origin from emotion recol- read a hundred times where the prose is lected in tranquillity; the emotion is con- | read once.