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Feelings they had to harmony attuned
Of Nature, song of birds, and voice of streams;
Tracing his finger in the reddening gleams
They felt an evidence with which earth teems
Now are they spirits glorified, and far
Look through the unapparent, as they rise Swift as Elijah in his fiery car
Through spaces infinite,-before their eyes
All they perceive as mirror'd in the mind,
*Wherever God will thus manifest himself, there is Heaven, though within the circle of this sensible world."-SIR THOMAS BROWNE'S "Religio Laici."
† How beautifully Jeremy Taylor, whose works are an inexhaustible magazine of poetical images, illustrates the covenant of our redemption by that of the rainbow! "For this Jesus was like the rainbow which God set in the clouds as a sacrament to confirm a promise, and establish a grace; he was half made of the glories of the light and half of the moisture of a cloud; he was sent to tell of his Father's mercies, and that God intended to spare us; but appeared not but in the company or in the retinue of a shower and of foul weather."
I love an avenue-'tis like the aisle
Of a cathedral-solemn, ample, grand, If at the close a venerable pile
Grey, turreted, the interspace command,
Darkening the air in flights a cawing band:
Each tree has its peculiar charms allied
As that which Spenser's picturing fancies show,
In which Acrasia, fair enchantress lay,
And spread her net for idle knights through the long summer-day*.
The spirit might (affections here embrace
The home in which is cast our early lot) Hereafter recognise some glorious place,
That slumbering in this world it had forgot
* See Spenser's "Fairy Queen," Book ii., Canto xii., Stanza 42, and the following stanzas, in which the great poet combines all his powers of description with the utmost harmony of versification.
A sweeter home than earth's most cherish'd spot— Some orb of beauty words cannot relate, Circling the spirit free as yet from blot Of sin, ere its probationary state
Began-But here in vain we strive to speculate.
Oft when the thunderstorm has ceased, I've gazed
As Wordsworth's Solitary sad amazed;
That cannot be described in verse like mine,
Of Rydal's mighty Bard: earth, air, and sky
With mountain-structures cloud-built domes outshine
All palaces by Fancy raised-the eye
In pageantries of Nature may faint types of Heaven descry.
Outbursts of sunlight after summer shower
That bending for the loss of splendour grieves.
Hope of its weight the drooping soul relieves, And virtues brighten forth, that in the breast Beneath Prosperity's broad glare would undiscerned
We drink in, as it were, the flow of life
Around us, that insoul'd becomes a part Even of our being: thought is ne'er at strife
With thought, when love of Nature's at the heart,
They who from mountain-heights look o'er the vale,
Care not what contests fierce in cities proud prevail.
Those who hereafter view the golden corn
From dull pursuits some moments snatched to breathe the gales of health!
NOTES TO "ADLESTROP HILL."
P. 218, 1. 6.
Oft when the thunderstorm has ceased I've gazed, &c.
I allude here to the description of the magnificent spectacle seen among the mountains, in the second Book of Wordsworth's Excursion, by the Solitary. I cannot resist the temptation to transcribe part of it. "The appearance instantaneously disclosed
Clouds, mists, streams, watery rocks and emerald turf,
Clouds of all tincture, rocks and sapphire sky,
Confused, commingled, mutually,inflamed,
Molten together, and composing thus,
Each lost in each, that marvellous array
Of temple, palace, citadel, and huge