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like simplicity of treatment, and it contains a few memorable phrases. The secondary title has little to do with the theme.

vivid to the imagination and as lasting in th memory as Millet's “Angelus." Perhaps the only obscurity in the poem -- the reason why the poet does not know what she sings - is removed by Wilkinson's statement that she sang in Erse, the language of the Gaelic Highlanders.

Pp. 387 f.

The Recluse is a part of a great philosophical poem upon which Wordsworth worked at intervals for many years but which he never completed. The extract here given expresses in poetic forms his plans and aspirations as a poet.

By some oversight the lines of our selection 'were numbered without reference to their position in the poem; they come at the very end and the first line should be l. 754.





Pp. 388 f. In beauty of conception and magic of phrasing few poems surpass or even equal this. It is very simple in subject and structure and needs only to be read thoughtfully and sympathetically to be fully understood. Its theme is the emotions of wonder and delight the author feels in hearing again the song of the bird and recalling the sensations with which it had been heard in boyhood. All poets are perhaps endowed with keener memories of past sensations than ordinary people. How large a part such memories played in Wordsworth's life may be noted not only in The Prelude, The Recluse, and The Excursion, but in many occasional poems such as this and the Lines Composed above Tintern Abbey. Even details, such as the peculiarity of the cuckoo's song referred to in ll. 3-4, 7-8, 15-16, and 29–32, are recalled more than once (cf. The Reciuse, 11. 90-94).

“Where'er my footsteps turned,
Her voice was like a hidden bird that sang.
The thought of her was like a flash of light,
Or an unseen companionship, a breath
Of fragrance independent of the wind.”

Pp. 391 ff. Although this poem has long been a favorite of lovers of Wordsworth and though no one can deny the beauty of it, some of the Orthodox have objected to the doctrine that souls have a conscious existence in another world before being united with the body in this. Wordsworth himself is careful to disclaim this doctrine as a creed and to insist only upon his right to treat it poetically. It seems clear, however, that the doctrine made a powerful appeal to his imagination and affections. The beauty of the poem, both in parts and as a whole, will be felt by every reader, but as the exact relation of some of the parts to the general theme seems to have been missed by some, it may be well to give a closer analysis than usual of the course of thought.

I, II. Even though the poet sees and feels the beauty of the earth, he misses in it a glory it once possessed.

III, IV. While birds and beasts are full of joy, he alone feels sad, but utterance gives relief and he determines to share in the general joy and enumerates the sources of pleasure. But in vain, for the sight of a tree, a field, a flower, recalls thoughts of "the glory and the dream” that are gone and makes him ask what has become of them.

V, VI, VII, VIII. He expounds the theory that the new-born soul coming to earth from heaven brings a part of the glory of heaven with it and envelops in it all the sights and sounds of earth, but loses it as it journeys through the world. The whole theory is explicitly stated in V. The efforts of Earth to win her foster-child Man to love her alone are given in VI. The earthly attractions and interests that successively capture his heart and fill his life are set forth in VII. “Why, O Child, do you — endowed as you are with heavenly knowledge and glory - strive to become the slave of Earth?” is the substance of VIII.

IX. The poet utters thanks for the indestructible traces of our heavenly origin.



P. 389. This poem was suggested by the following words in Thomas Wilkinson's Tour in Scotland : “Passed a female who was reaping alone; she sung in Erse, as she bended over her sickle; the sweetest human voice I ever heard; her strains were tenderly melancholy, and felt delicious long after they were heard no more.” Again, as in the poem To the Cuckoo, we have the witchery of music and mystery wonderfully rendered by the art of the poet. And here in addition we have a picture sketched without detail yet as

erts to the joy theme of III, IV, nition of the compensations afforded

philosophic mind” for the lost splendor jry. al. He appeals to Nature whom he now loves even more deeply, because more seriously and maturely.

The argument in favor of immortality from hints of preëxistence forms the principal subject of Plato's Phado, and is also finely set forth in The Banquet and Phædrus. The argument as given in the Meno is more sophistical and less interesting.

P. 394. 1. 198. It is the poet's eye that hath kept watch o'er man's mortality, and he therefore sees with a soberer coloring the clouds which to the child were brilliant with the light of the setting sun and the “visionary gleam.”

1. 199. This is rather obscure, but seems to mean that in one more contest man has been victorious, in the sense that he has attained to a deeper, more philosophic love of nature.

II. 202–203. It cannot too often be insisted that the meaning of these lines is distorted if they are taken out of connection with ll. 200-201.. It is not because of the love of nature, but because of the love of man that a flower can give the poet “thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears."


Cf. Shelley's To a Skylark, p. 465.



P. 392. 1. 28. the fields of sleep. Professor Hales is probably wrong in explaining this as “the yet reposeful, slumbering, countryside,” for not only the poet and the birds, but the shepherd boy of l. 35, the children of l. 45, and the whole countryside are awake. To the west of the poet, of course, the sun has not yet reached and awakened the people. The winds are therefore the western winds.

11. 58–76. Compare Vaughan's beautiful poem The Retreat, p. 221.

1. 67. prison-house, life; cf. Phedo, 62.

1. 68. Note the stages of change indicated by infancy (66), boy (68), youth (71), man (75).

1. 81. Earth is conceived as the nurse of Man, not as his mother; his ancestry is divine.

P. 393. I. 103. humorous stage. The general conception comes from the speech of Jaques in As You Like II, II, vii, 139 ff. According to the ancient physiology a man's tastes and tendencies were determined by his predominant humor. “Humorous stage” therefore means here the part in life to which his nature impels him.

1. 124. yoke, of custom. Cf. I. 127.

11. 141--165. Wordsworth himself explained that these lines refer to peculiar experiences much like those which we shall have occasion to note in connection with Tennyson's Sl. Agnes' Eve. He says, “There was a time in my life when I had to push against something that resisted, to be sure that there was anything outside of me. sure of my own mind; everything else fell away and vanished into thought.” Such experiences suggested, of course, the unreality of the external world and the real existence of the soul.

1. 166. The poet has changed his imagery somewhat and speaks as if souls were

ought to this world by the sea of immortality (immortal sea, 1. 163). The children are, therefore, near the shore, while youths and men are further inland (cf. I. 162).

Venice, during the Middle Ages and early modern times one of the richest and most powerful cities of the world, began to lose its power soon after the discovery by the Portuguese of the route to India and China round the Cape of Good Hope. In the eighteenth century it had become a city of idle, unenterprising, pleasureloving people. But its final humiliation came in 1797 when it was conquered by Napoleon and by him turned over to the rule of Austria. Very similar to the feelings of Wordsworth are those expressed by Byron some years later in the first canto of his Ode (p. 455).

In structure this sonnet varies from the regular Petrarchan model, as the octave falls into two quatrains, independent in rhyme and in syntax. Contrast with it in structure the sonnet London, 1802, which is perfect both as to the structure of the octave and the division of the theme between the octave and sestet, and that Composed C pon Westminster Bridge, which, though metrically perfect, continues the theme of the octave into the sestet.

Lines 7-8 refer to the well-known annual ceremony in which the Doge of Venice dropped a ring into the sea in token of the wedding of the city to it.

I was

To TOUSSAINT L'OUVERTURE Dominique François Toussaint L'Ouverture, one of the most remarkable negroes known to


history, was born in Haiti in 1743. Although a slave, he received an elementary education and attained prominence. He took part in the revolutions of 1791-94 and in the latter year became commander-in-chief; in 1801 he was made president for life with the power of nominating his

After a series of battles with the French forces sent by Bonaparte, he capitulated and was pardoned (May 1, 1802), but the next month he was arrested on a charge of conspiracy, sent to France, and imprisoned in the Castle of Joux, where he died in April, 1803. Wordsworth wrote this sonnet in August, 1802. Toussaint was notable for his protection of the whites and his attempts to give the negroes liberty and a stable organization of industry.

great poetic powers, and also for its exposit. Coleridge's theory of poetry. It should be reu in connection with Wordsworth's Preface. Characteristically, Coleridge is concerned, not with the external form, but with the nature of poetry.

Bathyllus and Alexis (p. 398 b) are revolting subjects. Petronius Arbiter (p. 399 a) was a Roman author of the time of Nero; he was renowned for his wit and his taste. Bishop Taylor (ibid.) is Jeremy Taylor, the celebrated pulpit orator; for an example of his poetic prose, see pp. 216 f. Thomas Burnet (1635?-1715), an English scholar, wrote a Sacred Theory of the Earth (Telluris Theoria Sacra) in Latin, in which he argued eloquently that the earth was originally constructed like an egg and that at the Flood the shell broke and let out the inner Auid and that the mountains are fragments of the shell.




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Pp. 399 f. This poem, Coleridge tells us, he composed in a dream, when he had dropped asleep while reading a passage in Purchas his Pilgrimage. The passage is as follows: “In Xaindu did Cublai Can build a stately Pallace, encompassing sixteene miles of plaine ground with a wall, wherein are fertile Meddowes, pleasant Springs, delightful Streames, and all sorts of beasts of chase and game, and in the middest thereof a sumptuous house of pleasure.” He goes on to say that he "continued for about three hours in a profound sleep, at least of the external senses, during which time he has the most vivid confidence that he could not have composed less than from two to three hundred lines; if that indeed can be called composition in which all the images rose up before him as things, with a parallel production of the correspondent expressions, without any sensation or consciousness of effort. On awaking he appeared to himself to have a distinct recollection of the whole, and taking his pen, ink, and paper, instantly and eagerly wrote down the lines that are here preserved. At this moment, he was unfortunately called out by a person on business from Porlock, and detained by him above an hour, and on his return to his room, found, to his no small surprise and mortification, that though he still retained some vague and dim recollection of the general purport of the vision, yet, with the exception of some eight or ten scattered lines and images, all the rest had passed away like the images on the surface of a stream into which a stone had been cast, but, alas! without the restoration of the latter."

P. 396. Cf. Rossetti's sonnet on the sonnet (p. 630). Dante, Petrarch and Tasso were Italian writers who cultivated the sonnet; Camoëns was a Portuguese.


BIOGRAPHIA LITERARIA Pp. 396 ff. In his Biographia Literaria Coleridge gives an interesting account of his literary career and opinions. Chapter XIV is especially valuable for its relation of the origin of the Lyrical Ballads, the joint volume in which he and Wordsworth gave to the world the first proofs of their

an effort to reproduce in verse a vision of sensuous and mysterious beauty, and anything which interferes with the reader's emotional response to it is not only superfluous, but injurious.


The lines from Purchas seem indeed inadequate to the result, but great transformations are possible to dreamers and poets. Whether Coleridge, in writing down his dream poem, merely transcribed what he could remember, or recomposed it, may perhaps be doubted. He calls it a fragment, but it has unity and even a certain completeness. If he merely transcribed his memories, he apparently recalled the dream lines without a break or omission. Undoubtedly a continuation of the poem is conceivable, in which case the continuation would doubtless consist of a romantic narrative set against the background of these introductory lines.

The poem, as we have it, is a remarkable example of romantic description. The mysterious Kubla Khan, the sacred river, the measureless caverns, the sunless sea, the ancient forests, the sunny spots of greenery, the cedarn cover, the savage place, holy but enchanted, and many other details which will at once impress the reader, con tribute to the establishment of an atmosphere of mystery and charm. The presence of caves of ice seems to have troubled some of the critics, who even go so far as to suggest that the poet may have thought of marble or alabaster. But there can be no doubt that he was really thinking of caves of ice, and that he did not regard them as poetically impossible in such a landscape (cf. 11. 35, 36).

Other critics have been disturbed by the introduction of an Abyssinian maid in connection with a scene in Tartary. But Coleridge does not connect the Abyssinian maid, who belongs to another vision, with the Tartar landscape, except as he might connect any other recollection with it. In this last stanza of the poem, he is concerned entirely with the possibility of the poet's rebuilding with his music the beauties of the stately pleasure dome. This he says he might accomplish if he could revive within him the symphony and song which he once heard in a dream. To produce such an effect the music must obviously be wild and exotic, and the poet has therefore chosen as the musical instrument the dulcimer, which, though he probably had only a vague idea of it, suggests by its very name infinite and mysterious possibilities. That the player was an Abyssinian maid and that she sang of Mount Abora may possibly be due to the poet's vague recollections of other passages in Purchas. But the matter of real importance to the poet and the reader is that Abyssinia and Mount Abora are poetic words of vague connotation which suit the general atmosphere of the poem. For both poet and reader the poem is merely

Pp. 400 ff. This is also a poem which depends for its effect mainly upon the creation of an atmosphere of mystery. It deals with the supernatural, though it owes much of its power to its descriptions of the effects of the supernatural upon man and nature. It contains few difficulties. In the second edition of it, the poet added to it an outline of the narrative, printed in the margin. The purpose of this addition was probably not to aid the reader in understanding the story, but to increase the strangeness and weirdness of the poem. The archaic diction and syntax contribute to the same effect: cf. may'st, l. 8, din, l. 8, eftsoons, l. 12, kirk, l. 23, bassoon, I. 32, sheen, I. 56, swound, 1. 62, thorough, I. 64, I wist, l. 152, Gramercy, 1. 164, gossameres, 1. 184, quoth, I. 198, etc. Notice also the effect of the repetition of words and lines.

But independently of its uncanny atmosphere, the poem possesses other merits of the highest order. The narrative holds the reader as the Mariner's eye held the restive wedding guest. The events and scenes are presented as vividly as pictures, and the phrasing is so perfect that much of it has passed into common currency. Notable lines are 15, 34, 103-104, 105-106, 109-110, 117118; 121-122, 125-126, 127-128, 200, 226–227, 232–233, 236-239, 292–293, 369-372, 404-405, 414-417, 498-499, 568–569, 586-587, 599-600, 612-617, 624-625; but there are many others of less general application that are for the poem itself of equal effectiveness.



Pp. 415 f. The subject and title were suggested to Coleridge by the old ballad Sir Cauline. He wrote the first part of it in 1797-98 — that brief period in which he produced all his greatest poems: Genevieve, The Dark Ladie, Kubla Khan, and The Ancient Mariner. He took it up again in 1800, but it was never finished and was published as a fragment in 1816. It is interesting, not only as one of Coleridge's most successful treatments of the mysterious and uncanny, but also because it introduced a new type of verse into modern poetry. Scott, who heard the poem recited, adopted the verse for his Lay of the Last Minstre. The theme of Christabel is the struggle of the heroine against the powers of evil embodied in a wicked enchantress, whom, in the form of a beautiful maiden, she rescues and brings into her father's castle. We give only the opening episode.


Pp. 416 f. If Francis Jeffrey was unjust in his reviews of Wordsworth, lovers of Wordsworth — and who is not? — have been at least equally unjust in their treatment of Jeffrey. Sen-. tences have been quoted, often in garbled form and always without the context, to illustrate the unfairness and stupidity and poetic insensibility of Jeffrey. Most sane critics of the present day differ from Jeffrey mainly in emphasis; they recognize that Wordsworth really had the defects which Jeffrey pointed out, and that they are grave. But in literature only the successes count, the failures fall away and should be forgotten. The selection here printed presents Jeffrey in his most truculent mood; another selection, the review of the Excursion, was planned for this volume, but the limitation of our space necessitated its omission.

not to tempt the storm, the real motive tu. going being suggested by her protests (ll. 17, 2.,

The next five describe the blazing portents above the castle and chapel of Roslin.

The last two tell the fate of the lady.

The poem has no other motive than that of causing our sympathies to dwell lightly for a moment upon an ancient tragic episode. An air of remoteness and unreality is produced by the archaic spellings ladye, chapelle, by the poetic syntax, and by the light versification.

1. 21. Riding the ring was a favorite sport of knights as late as the seventeenth century. The competitors, riding on horseback at full speed, tried to thrust a lance through a ring suspended at the proper height and carry it away. He who succeeded most often was the winner. The sport required fine horsemanship and an accurate aim. A form of it is practised nowadays at country fairs by the riders of the wooden horses of a merry-go-round -- the same sport, but "Oh, how changed! how fallen !”

Hawthornden - where Ben Jonson visited the poet Drummond in 1618 — is famous for its caves. There are two sets, the upper and the lower, both of them artificial, but of unknown date and purpose. The upper, and larger, consists of a gallery 75 feet long, a passage 24 feet long leading to a well, and two roughly shaped rooms 9 feet and 15 feet long respectively, — all of these 61 to 7 feet wide and about 5 feet 8 inches high.

1. 39. Roslin chapel is still a place of exquisite beauty. Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy visited it September 17, 1803, and both were impressed with the abundance of carven foliage on walls and roofs and pillars. See her journal for an interesting account of this visit, and his sonnet, recording another visit in 1831. The chapel was repaired in 1842.

1. 50. The knell for the dead and the use of candles and the service book in the burial service are still well known in all Catholic churches.

1. 32.



Pp. 417 f. In the Lay of the Last Minstrel this poem is supposed to be sung, after the espousal of Margaret of Buccleuch to Lord Cranstoun, by Harold, the minstrel of the house of St. Clair. It is composed in imitation of the ancient ballads and tells, dramatically but simply, the death of Rosabelle in the Firth of Forth as she was returning from Ravensheuch Castle to Roslin, and the supernatural prodigies which preluded it. The time is perhaps conceived as the fifteenth century.

The difficulties of the poem lie mainly, if not exclusively, in the diction; for the superstitions, if not well known, are at least easily understood. The words for which the dictionary may need to be consulted are: firth, 1. 8, inch, 1. 10, panoply, 1. 36, sacristy, l. 38, pale, l. 38, pinnet, l. 41, and sea-mews, l. 10; copse-wood, l. 30, batllement, l. 41, buttress, l. 42, are known to most of us only from literature.

The first stanza gives, in the ancient manner, the minstrel's appeal for attention, and the nature and subject of his lay.

In the next five stanzas the minstrel presents dramatically the vain effort to persuade the lady

Fitz-JAMES AND RODERICK DHU Pp. 419 ff. This is an episode of Scott's interesting narrative poem The Lady of the Lake. King James V of Scotland, in disguise as the knight James Fitz-James, has penetrated to the island stronghold of the Highland clan Clan-Alpine in Loch Katrine and has there fallen in love with Ellen, the daughter of his enemy, the Earl Douglas. His disguise is discovered and on a second visit to the island he is led astray by his guide, one of

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