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written down, till he reached Bristol. This is the choice passage from the poem ; where he tells us, that to this practice he owed

A gift
Of aspect most sublime: that blessed mood
In which the burden of the mystery,
In which the heavy and the weary weight
Of all this unintelligible world
Is lightened: 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 seek into the life of things.

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Few poems of Wordsworth have been more often cited than his grand Ode on Immortality, here is a passage from it :

There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,

The earth, and every common sight, to me did seem Apparelled in celestial light—the glory and the freshness of a dream.

It is not now, as it hath been of yore;

Turn wheresoe’er I may, by night or day,

The things which I have seen, I now can see no more. The rainbow comes and goes, and lovely is the rose ; The moon doth with delight look round her when the heavens are

bare ; Waters on a stormy night are beautiful and fair ; The sunshine is a glorious birth ; but yet I know, where'er I go, That there hath passed away a glory from the earth.

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Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting ;
The soul that rises with us, our life's star,
Hath had elsewhere 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, who 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 Aows; he sees it in his joy.

The youth, who 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.

Another of the admired poems of Wordsworth is that addressed to the Daffodils :

I wandered lonely as a cloud, that Aoats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd, a host of golden daffodils,

Beside a lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

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Continuous as the stars that shine and twinkle on the Milky-way,
They stretched, in never-ending line, along the margin of a bay ;

Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they outdid the sparkling waves

in glee:
A poet could not but be gay in such a jocund company.

I gazed, and gazed, but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought.

For oft when on my couch I lie, in vacant or in pensive mood,
They Aash upon that inward eye which is the bliss of solitude ;

And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

'The well-known tale of Peter Bell was founded upon an anecdote the poet read in a newspaper, of an ass being found hanging his head over a canal in a wretched posture. Upon examination, a dead body was found in the water, which proved to be that of its master.

His poem of The Brothers arose out of the fact related to him, at Ennerdale, that a shepherd had fallen asleep upon the top of the rock called “the Pillar,” and perished, as here described, his staff being left midway on the rock. It was of this poem that Southey, writing to Coleridge, said, “God bless Wordsworth for that poem !” And Coleridge also confessed that he “never read that model of English pastoral with an unclouded eye.”

In glancing over the illuminated pages of this great poet, we can scarcely fail to be charmed with the roseate tints and aromatic odours with which he delights to deck his themes. Professor Wilson said, he would rather have been the author of that sweet pastoral lyric To Lucy, than of an innumerable swarm of what the vulgar taste has called clever songs :She dwelt among the untrodden ways beside the springs of Dove, A maid whom there were none to praise, and very few to love: A violet by a mossy stone half hidden from the eye! Fair as a star, when only one is shining in the sky. She lived unknown, and few could know when Lucy ceased to be ; But she is in her grave,—and oh! the difference to me!

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We cull two or three more little brilliants ;-here they are :

Sympathy with Nature :

My heart leaps up when I behold a rainbow in the sky:

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So was it when my life began, so is it now I am a man, So be it when I shall grow old—so let me die !

The child is father of the man : And I would wish my days to be bound each to each by natural piety.

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Thanks to the human heart by which we live,

Thanks to its tenderness, its joys and fears ;
To me the meanest Aower that blows can give

Thoughts that too often lie too deep for tears.
Fragrance of Good Deeds :-

More sweet than odours caught by him who sails

Near spicy shores of Araby the blest,-
A thousand times more exquisitely sweet,-
The freight of holy feeling which we meet,

In thoughtful moments, wafted by the gales
From fields where good men walk, or bowers wherein they rest.

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One of Wordsworth’s finest sonnets is that he composed upon Westminster Bridge, in the autumn of 1803; here it is :

Earth has not any thing to show more fair :
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty :

This city now doth like a garment wear

The beauty of the morning ; silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky,

All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun more beautifully steep

In his first splendour valley, rock, or hill:
Ne’er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep.

The river glideth at its own sweet will :
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep ;

And all that mighty heart is lying still !

In Shelley's Queen Mab, we have this beautiful apostrophe to Night:

How beautiful this Night! the balmiest sigh
Which vernal zephyrs breathe in morning's ear
Were discord to the speaking quietude


That wraps this moveless scene. Heaven's ebon arch,
Studded with stars unutterably bright,
Through which the moon's unclouded splendour rolls,
Seems like a canopy which love has spread,
To curtain her sleeping world.

Among the most admired productions of Shelley are the lines to The Cloud, and the Ode to the Skylark. Judge of the rich quality of these compositions by the following extracts :

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