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The ship suddenly sinketh.
Brown skeletons of leaves that lag
550 The ancient
Mariner is saved in the pilot's boat.
And now, all in my own countree,
Mariner 575 earnestly
entreateth the Hermit to shrieve him; and the penance of life falls on him.
Forthwith this frame of mine was wrench'd
From PART I
'Tis the middle of night by the castle clock, And the owls have awaken'd the crowing
9 Four for the quarters, and twelve for the hour; Ever and aye, by shine and shower, Sixteen short howls, not over loud; Some say, she sees my lady's shroud.
To move away the ringlet curl
What sees she there?
“Mary mother, save me now!" Said Christabel, “and who art thou?"
Is the night chilly and dark ?
She stole along, she nothing spoke,
The lady strange made answer meet,
85 And they rode furiously behind. They spurr'd amain, their steeds were white: And once we cross'd the shade of night. As sure as Heaven shall rescue me, I have no thought what men they be; Nor do I know how long it is (For I have lain entranced, I wis) Since one, the tallest of the five, Took me from the palfrey's back, A weary woman, scarce alive.
95 Some mutter'd words his comrades spoke: He placed me underneath this oak;
He drank of the water so cool and clear,
For thirsty and hot was he, And he sat down upon the bank,
Under the willow-tree.
“THE WHITE DOE OF RYLSTONE”
This, we think, has the merit of being the very worst poem we ever saw imprinted in a quarto volume; and though it was scarcely to be expected, we confess, that Mr. Wordsworth, with all his ambition, should so soon have attained to that distinction, the wonder may perhaps be diminished when we state, that it seems to us to consist of a happy union of all the faults, without any of the beauties, which belong to his school of poetry. It is just such a work, in short, as some wicked enemy of that school might be supposed to have devised, on purpose to make it ridiculous; and when we first took it up, we could not help suspecting that some ill-natured critic had actually taken this harsh method of instructing Mr. Wordsworth, by example, in the nature of those errors, against which our precepts had been so often directed in vain. We had not gone far, however, till we felt intimately that nothing in the nature of a joke could be so insupportably dull; and that this must be the work of one who
“Or has thy good woman, if one thou hast
Ever here in Cornwall been?
She has drunk of the Well of St. Keyne.” 28
“I have left a good woman who never was
here,” The stranger he made reply; “But that my draught should be the better for
that, I pray you answer me why."
earnestly believed it to be a pattern of pa- of those venerable compositions in the work thetic simplicity, and gave it out as such to the before us, is indeed undeniable; but it admiration of all intelligent readers. In this unfortunately happens, that
the point of view, the work may be regarded as hobbling versification, the mean diction, curious at least, if not in some degree in- and flat stupidity of these models are very teresting; and, at all events, it must be exactly copied, and even improved upon, in instructive to be made aware of the excesses this imitation, their rude energy, manly into which superior understandings may be simplicity, and occasional felicity of expresbetrayed, by long self-indulgence, and the sion, have totally disappeared; and, instead strange extravagances into which they may of them, a large allowance of the author's run, when under the influence of that intoxica- own metaphysical sensibility, and mystical tion which is produced by unrestrained ad- wordiness, is forced into an unnatural commiration of themselves. This poetical in- bination with the borrowed beauties which toxication, indeed, to pursue the figure a have just been mentioned. little farther, seems capable of assuming as many forms as the vulgar one which arises from wine; and it appears to require as SIR WALTER SCOTT (1771-1832) delicate a management to make a man a good poet by the help of the one, as to make
THE LAY OF THE LAST MINSTREL him a good companion by means of the other. In both cases a little mistake as to the dose
FROM CANTO VI or the quality of the inspiring fluid may make him absolutely outrageous, or lull
THE LAY OF ROSABELLE . him over into the most profound stupidity, instead of brightening up the hidden stores O listen, listen, ladies gay! of his genius: and truly we are concerned No haughty feat of arms I tell; to say, that Mr. Wordsworth seems hitherto Soft is the note, and sad the lay, to have been unlucky in the choice of his That mourns the lovely Rosabelle; 4 liquor or of his bottle-holder. In some of his odes and ethic exhortations, he was “Moor, moor the barge, ye gallant crew! exposed to the public in a state of incoherent And, gentle ladye, deign to stay, rapture and glorious delirium, to which we Rest thee in Castle Ravensheuch, think we have seen a parallel among the Nor tempt the stormy firth to-day. 8 humbler lovers of jollity. In the Lyrical Ballads, he was exhibited, on the whole, in a vein “The blackening wave is edged with white: of very pretty deliration; but in the poem To inch? and rock the sea-mews fly; before us, he appears in a state of low and The fishers have heard the Water-Sprite, maudlin imbecility, which would not have Whose screams forbode that wreck is nigh. 12 misbecome Master Silence' himself, in the close of a social day. Whether this unhappy result “Last night the gifted Seer did view is to be ascribed to any adulteration of his A wet shroud swathed round ladye gay; Castaliano cups, or to the unlucky choice of his Then stay thee, Fair, in Ravensheuch: company over them, we cannot presume to Why cross the gloomy firth to-day?" – 16 say. It may be that he has dashed his Hippocrene with too large an infusion of lake “'Tis not because Lord Lindesay's heir water, or assisted its operation too exclusively To-night at Roslin leads the ball, by the study of the ancient historical ballads But that my ladye-mother there of "the north countrie.” That there are Sits lonely in her castle-hall. palpable imitations of the style and manner
“ 'Tis not because the ring they ride, 1 Cf. Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part II. ? from And Lindesay at the ring rides well, the Castalian fountain on Mt. Pamassus, sacred But that my sire the wine will chide, to the Muses 3 a fountain on Mt. Helicon, sacred If 'tis not fill'd by Rosabelle.”
24 to the Muses a jesting allusion to Wordsworth's residence in the Lake district