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Let any one try to alter so much as a single word in these eight lines :

• If this great world of joy and pain

Revolve in one sure track;
If freedom, set, will rise again,

And virtue, flown, come back ;
Woe to the purblind crew who fill

The heart with each day's care ;
Nor gain, from past or future, skill

To bear and to forbear!! The following extract from "The Romance of the Water Lily,' though somewhat different in the mood of feeling, is equally illustrative of the artist-like finish of most of the pieces in this volume :

· Next came Sir Galahad;
He paused, and stood entranced by that still face
Whose features he had seen in noontide vision.

For late as near a murmuring stream
He rested ’mid an arbour green and shady,
Nina, the good enchantress, shed
A light around his mossy bed;

And, at her call, a waking dream
Prefigured to his sense the Egyptian lady.
Now, while his bright-haired front he bowed,
And stood, far-kenned by mantle furred with ermine,
As o'er the insensate body hung
The enrapt, the beautiful, the

young,
Belief sank deep into the crowd
That he the solemn issue would determine.
• Nor deem it strange; the youth had worn
That very mantle on a day of glory,
The day when he achieved that matchless feat,
The marvel of the PerilOUS SEAT,

Which whosoe'er approached of strength was shorn,
Though king or knight the most renowned in story.
• He touched with hesitating hand,
And lo! those birds, far-famed through love's dominions,
The swans, in triumph clap their wings ;
And their necks play, involved in rings,

Like sinless snakes in Eden's happy land ; “Mine is she,” cried the knight;—again they clapped their pinions. "“ Mine was she-mine she is, though dead, And to her name my soul shall cleave in sorrow;"! Whereat, a tender twilight streak Of colour dawned upon the damsel's cheek ;

And her lips, quickening with uncertain red,
Seemed from each other a faint warmth to borrow.

Deep

Deep was the awe, the rapture high,
Of love emboldened, hope with dread entwining,
When, to the mouth, relenting death
Allowed a soft and flower-like breath,

Precursor to a timid sigh,

To lifted eyelids, and a doubtful shining.'— pp. 63-65. And in adding to all these the exquisite lines following, we cannot but notice the resemblance to the tone of Shakspeare's sonnets :

• Why art thou silent ! Is thy love a plant
Of such weak fibre, that the treacherous air
Of absence withers what was once so fair ?
Is there no debt to pay, no boon to grant ?
Yet have my thoughts for thee been vigilant
(As would my deeds have been) with hourly care,
The mind's least generous wish a mendicant
For nought but what thy happiness could spare.
Speak, though this soft warm heart, once free to hold
A thousand tender pleasures, thine and mine,
Be left more desolate, more deary cold
Than a forsaken bird's-nest filled with snow
'Mid its own bush of leafless eglantine ;
Speak, that my torturing doubts their end may know!'

-p. 145.

The perusal of this volume has affected us in many ways; amongst others, with a sense that it is the work of the autumn day of a great poet's honoured life. It is streaked with all the tints of the season—the bright and the sombre, the massy and the evanescent—with a deep repose brooding over and attempering all. It would be most inappropriate criticism to say that a spirit of melancholy pervades these poems; not so—but a profound pensiveness, nevertheless, bursting occasionally into devotional rapture, is the foundation of every one of them. That kindly fellowship with nature

• With sun and moon and stars throughout the year,

And man and woman which marked Mr. Wordsworth's earliest poetry, most impressively distinguishes his latest; now, as in his brilliant youth, poetando va, seeing, extracting, communicating beauty and power; nothing is lost; nothing sere, drooping, or imperfect; but a tiut, a shade, is fallen on his imagination, whilst a forecasting, almost a prelibation of some sublimer vision, has flung a solemn glory around and in the midst of it. There will be no sermons printed this year in England so soul-subduing as many of these poems.

Adieu, Rydalian Laurels !' cries the poet, as he leaves bis sweet home for a short tour in Scotland, knowing that---see what

he

6

he might to admire—he could meet nothing he should ever love so well :

• Adieu, Rydalian Laurels ! that have grown
And spread as if ye knew that days might come
When ye would shelter in a happy home,
On this fair Mount, a poet of your own,
One who ne'er ventured for a Delphic crown
To sue the God; but, haunting your green shade
All seasons through, is humbly pleased to braid
Ground-flowers, beneath your guardianship, self-sown.
Farewell! no minstrels now with harp new-strung
For summer wandering quit their household bowers;
Yet not for this wants poesy a tongue
To cheer the itinerant on whom she pours
Her spirit, while he crosses lonely moors,

Or musing sits forsaken halls among.'—p. 187.
All things impartially considered, is the Peninsularum Sirmio of
Catullus better than this ? Is it purer, finer, terser ?

There are two or three poems in this collection, of a very high, even abstract cast of thought and feeling—as much so, perhaps, as any of the more celebrated efforts of Mr.Wordsworth's former years. We

especially allude--and can only allude-to' Liberty,' p. 151'The Lines on a Portrait,' p. 301--and · Stanzas on the Power of Sound,' p. 311; and we scarcely think that any verses but Dryden's have equalled the energy of parts of • The Warning, and Humanity; but where in Dryden shall we find his political shafts winged with such purity and thoughtful patriotism?

We also earnestly recommend a patient and reflective perusal of the postscript to the poems. The part treating of the New Poor Law is written throughout in a deep spirit of humanity, and with a profound insight into the subject, and deserves study, as the evidence of one who, in such matters, can have no interest to serve but that of charity, and who knows the condition and real feelings, needs, and aspirations of the unspoilt peasantry and poor of England, a thousand times better than any of our flashy legislators, who rarely speak to a labourer but at an election.

We close our hasty notice of this volume with regret. The affectionate remembrances of Sir W. Scott, Sir G. Beaumont, and others, are very pleasing; and, indeed, there is no volume of Mr. Wordsworth's works in which so much of himself, as a man, comes forth for the delight and the instruction of his readers.

ART.

Art. IX.-1. Rough Leaves from a Journal kept in Spain and

Portugal. By Lieut.-Col. Badcock. Svo. London, 1835. 2. Recollections of a few Days spent with the Queen's Army in

Spain, in Sept. 1834. 12mo. (Privately printed.) London. 1835. 3. Recollections of a Visit to the Monasteries of Alcobaça and

Batalha. By the Author of · Vathek.' 8vo. London, 1835.

pp. 228.

IT is an extraordinary feature in the modern annals of the Pe.

ninsula, that though, during the last thirty years, it has been the scene of some of the fiercest struggles which have agitated Europe, it has produced no great man in any one department. This fact is the more remarkable when taken in connexion with the number of distinguished names that grace the earlier pages of its history. The statesmen and generals who dictated to the old, and conquered the new world, were the denizens of kingdoms which now occupy but a third-rate place in the eyes of Europe, and maintain their character as independent states only by the aid of borrowed gold and foreign mercenaries.

The causes which have led to so melancholy a change may partly be discovered in those very successes which gave to Spain and Portugal their original celebrity. Each had established vast colonies in remote regions, and the immense sums transmitted by these to the mother country, arising in a great measure from mines and monopolies, were the property of the crown, and divided amongst a nobility which alone possessed its ear. This same privileged class, moreover, retained in their own hands all the offices of government. They commanded the army, sat at the council board, and presided in the courts of law, and possessing a power as irresponsible as it was immense, made it minister to their avarice by offering up place, patronage, even justice to open sale. The wealth arising from such various sources naturally awakened an appetite for pleasure, and led to excesses which, operating upon generation after generation, insensibly but effectually destroyed the physical powers of the aristocracy. On their mental faculties the Inquisition exercised an influence no less fatal. That tribunal, originally established as an engine not less of political than of ecclesiastical rule, had remained true to the intentions of its founder, and instead of coufining its exertions to the extirpation of heresy, directed them against everything that was calculated for the development of the human mind. Books, not simply on religion, but on law, politics, and even history, were prohibited,-knowledge rendered a forbidden thing, and the highest classes of the community limited to an education hardly superior to that enjoyed by their meanest domestics. To such a system few were bold enough to offer any opposition; and upon these descended so unhesitatingly

the

the thunders of the holy office, that the great mass, terrified by their fate, yielded unresistingly to the restrictions imposed on them, and afraid to exchange ideas, or institute investigation upon subjects which might by possibility come within the range of suspicion, gradually sunk into apathy, or took refuge in that circle of libertinage and intrigue within whose narrow limits alone they could exercise free will with safety.

From these vices, and their consequences, the peasantry were exempt. Too humble to be permitted to share the emoluments of office, or to be an object of jealousy to the inquisitorial government, they were exposed neither to the corruptions of the one nor to the surveillance of the other; and engaged in the culture of their paternal fields, and the discharge of their domestic duties, retained an energy of body, and a frank, open healthiness of mind, which formed a striking contrast to the demoralization of their superiors. But this very insignificance, that made their position in life a safe and honest one, necessarily prevented their rising beyond it. They had been so long habituated to see the reins of authority, both in the civil and military departments, monopolized by a particular class, that they never dreamed that their own hands could be taught to guide them ;-or if some, more enterprising than the rest, aspired to the vacant seat, they were instantly thrown back by that barrier of caste with which the higher classes in the peninsula hedged round everything that could confer either emolument or power.

Thus the population–divided between those who were too degraded to feel the stimulus of an honourable ambition and those who, by circumstances, were debarred from gratifying it-played but a secondary part in that struggle in which, from

interest and locality, they ought to have been the leaders; the one portion too much occupied with their sensual pleasures to feel anything but indifference as to who should prove their future master,--and the other, though fighting with the most desperate heroism, strictly confining themselves to the limits which habit had rendered natural, and seeking no glory higher than what could be conferred by the capture of a convoy or the combats of a Guerilla.

Yet this system, effective as it was in destroying or nullifying the energies of the people both in Spain and Portugal, does not appear to have proved so injurious, as might have been anticipated, to their happiness. The higher classes, engrossing in their own hands honours and immunities,--the dignities of the church, the army, and the state -- were naturally satisfied with things as they were, No change, no reform in the government could be of any benefit to them, none could add to the influence they already possessed, or to their present sources of enjoyment. Nor were the lower

orders,

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