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Of periods fixed, and laws established, less
Flesh to exalt than prove its nothingness."



In taking leave of the subject of this article, we cannot repress our mingled astonishment and regret at the number of poems we are obliged to leave untouched. "The Excursion" alone, demands, rather than the cursory allusions we have made to passages of it, the systematic comment due to a great philosophic poem. We pass by, also, among others, the admirable series of Ecclesiastical Sonnets- the poems on old age and death ny of the lyrical pieces, and the various narrative poems. In the latter, especially, is conspicuous the poet's confidence, that genuine imagination need never overstep the modesty of nature, but can earn for the simplicity of truth a deeper sympathy than all the stimulants of exaggeration can give. He is content with the serene light of nature, though our dull vision may feel it less than the flashes of a false imagination: a conflagration may be quickly and widely reflected from a murky atmosphere, but what earth-kindled fire can fill the vault of a cloudless sky? It is only the highest poetic genius that is native to the calm regions of simple truth. In the story of " Michael," for instance, the tragic events of which the catastrophe of the son's career - are told in five lines, may be seen how free Wordsworth is from the pertinacity with which inferior artists worry the heart into a state of sensibility. We must omit, also, the consideration of his powers of versification, and the faultless taste with which every mode of thought and feeling seems to find a peculiarly accordant form of metre from the sweetness of his rhyme to the majestic march of his blank verse the appropriate music of his high philosophy. It is his praise, too, to have fully exemplified the unknown capacities of the sonnet to express almost every variety of poetic impulse. In the delicate but rich melody of Wordsworth's verse may be heard what Lamb describes as “that small soft voice, which the idea of articulated words raises in a silent reader." The pure and transparent English in which his poetry is written, should not be overlooked.

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If our illustrations have omitted a large portion of the materials of Wordsworth's fame, how greatly is our astonishment increased by the knowledge that much is still reserved in the privacy of his manuscripts. There is withheld from the world, not only"The Recluse," with that prefatory poem, which called from the admiring spirit of Coleridge, the tribute of a poem as honorable to him who gave as to him who received -but what appears to have excited most earnest curiosity- an unpublished

Tragedy. This too,-written more than forty years ago, was pronounced "wonderful" by the same enthusiastic, strongspoken friend. Why all these writings are so perseveringly kept back, now that the world is better disposed to do justice, we know not; nor are we disposed to question the propriety, when we reflect how much better Mr. Wordsworth has managed his own reputation than if he had been more guided by the critics. The published extracts from his manuscripts are undoubtedly calculated to raise a high expectation of the treasures yet in store. Whether the drama will equal Coleridge's unqualified eulogy, or the commendation of the few friends to whom it has been imparted-and whether the author's genius is better suited to develop the elements of human character, than to follow them through their exhibition in contest or repose, we will form an opinion, when the work is made public — and not till then. A tragic drama from the pen of Wordsworth naturally creates expectation, with something of curiosity to learn, whether, stripping" gorgeous Tragedy" of her " sceptred pall," he has ventured to carry the muse, as in other of his poems, into the walks of homely life. A passage in the Excursion gives some encouragement to this thought. That it could be done with effect is in some measure indicated by a dramatic stroke in the tragic story of Ellen, in the same book:

"She reached the house, last of the funeral train;
And some one, as she entered, having chanced
To urge, unthinkingly, their prompt departure,
'Nay,' said she, with commanding look, a spirit
Of anger never seen in her before,

Nay, ye must wait my time!' and down she sate,
And by the unclosed coffin kept her seat,

Weeping and looking, looking on and weeping,
Upon the last sweet slumber of her Child,

Until at length her soul was satisfied."

The powers of Wordsworth continue at the present day in matured and unabated vigor, and we hesitate not to believe that a life so employed may be providentially prolonged - a blessing to his kind. A career so illustrious for fidelity to his great endowments can be explained by the moral cultivation, which alone guards genius from decay. Knowing that, when the visionary faculty is divorced from the moral being, the poet's early gladness is at last changed into solitary-hearted sorrow, he has sustained the life of his imagination by endowing it with the imperishable attributes of spirituality. His consciousness

of the danger of poetic genius was expressed in that stanza opening with the finest description yet given of the hapless prodigy of Bristol :

"I thought of Chatterton, the marvellous Boy,
The sleepless Soul that perished in his pride;
Of Him who walked in glory and in joy
Following his plough, along the mountain side:
By our own spirits are we deified;

We Poets in our youth begin in gladness,

But thereof come in the end despondency and madness.”

We have claimed for Wordsworth, rank among the greatest of English Poets. We appeal to the tribunal in the hearts of the wise the thoughtful-and the feeling. We have seen him breathing new life into poetry and philosophy, revealing a new world of poetry, by what has been spoken of as a law of his mind, that "wisdom is oft-times nearer when we stoop than when we soar"-and tracing the links by which the highest aspirations of our nature are connected with the ground-nest in which they are fostered. We have seen him, in the spirit of the religion of humility, giving beauty to humble life-and shed'ding glory on the innocence of childhood, and on the meekness of woman: exposing the littleness of pride, and illustrating the kindred ties between lowliness and sublimity-his poetry being, like one of his own fair scenes, "a lowly vale, and yet uplifted high among the mountains." We have shown him so confiding in Truth as to disdain alliance with an artificial phraseology and unnatural stimulants, and to appeal from them to that natural abhorrence of falsehood, which happily has not perished in the heart of man: so confiding, too, in the sovereignty of his art as to look with composure on the progress of Scienceknowing that no acquisitions of the senses or the understanding can disturb the tranquillity and the repose of an imaginative faith that imagination can pitch her tents in advance of even the outposts of knowledge-and by its spiritual agency render the spoils of philosophy subservient to moral victories. It is thus that to Wordsworth's poetry eminently is applicable the fine observation of one of the "Guessers at Truth," that "Poetry is to philosophy what the Sabbath is to the rest of the week." The poet's power has been exhibited not only in disclosing what is grand and beautiful in nature to the senses, but in associating it with the spiritual being within, and in proclaiming, in the language of those fearless stanzas on "Presentiments," that

"Truth shows a glorious face

While on that isthmus, which commands
The councils of both worlds, she stands."

Not only has he enlarged the sphere of virtuous sensibility, but by animating neglected sympathies he binds the human family into a closer brotherhood, and by giving strength and dignity to the domestic and social affections, dispels the torpor of our common life. We have observed him moving with a serene flight along the whole scale of creation, up towards the throne of the Most High; and exploring the human heart, and all its range of emotions from its daily, homely feelings, to the height of heroic passions, and the depth of its most fearful anguish — withal, dealing so chastely with our disordered nature, that in the thousands of lines he has composed, there is not one word which (to rescue an harmonious line from an obsolete poet,) "would tear

The tender labyrinth of a maid's soft ear."


It is the highest and holiest purpose of poetry to minister to the sorrows inherent in human nature. To this have Wordsworth's genius and his life been consecrated, and when we behold him sending the soul into itself, to be admonished of its weakness, or made conscious of its power-taking thought for the poor and the humble elevating the sense of humanity by the imaginative idea of childhood in a word, forever cherishing in the heart of man, Faith, and Hope, and Love-then in the sublimity and beauty of his Muse, we can trace—in the sweet phrase of Spenser


"The lineaments of Gospell bookes."

ART. II.-Reports on the Geological Survey of the State of New York, made by the Governor to the Assembly, February, 1836

and 1837.

It is little more

THE whole science of geology is recent. than fifty years since faets began to be made the basis of this branch of knowledge. The speculations and hypotheses of the older writers have scarcely any connexion with what is now denominated geology, or the science of the composition, structure, formation, and revolutions in the crust of our globe.

Recent as is the science, it has had its vicissitudes. Beginning with lofty pretensions, and prosecuted by many bold and fearless spirits, it was supposed to lead to dangerous conclusions. It therefore met with violent opposition from those who felt it a duty to defend the authenticity of revealed truth. Nor can it be denied that some geologists seem to have taken a pleasure in exciting the suspicions, and calling forth the censures of theologians, and have, in the heat of the argument, forgotten that revelation is founded on great and palpable facts; that it is supported by invincible testimony; and that the inspired writers constantly appeal to the providential government of the Crea

Certain it is, that in no instance has the record of scripture been found at variance with the evidence of the book of nature; although narrow minded interpreters of both have arrayed them in opposition to each other. Some of the defenders of revelation have, in this contest, unwarily laid down interpretations which are contradicted by the most decided evidence, and geologists, proud of a fancied victory, have proceeded to the adoption of conclusions which the premises did not warrant, and which subsequent discoveries have set aside. Churchmen have repeated the error committed in the case of Galileo, who was subjected to the discipline of the Inquisition for teaching that the earth moved around the sun, and have treated as infidels those who saw in the structure of the earth irrefragable proofs that it could not have been created from nothing within the space of six natural days; while geologists, finding themselves required either to believe what was contradicted by the clearest evidence, or to admit themselves infidels, have, in some unlucky instances, adopted the latter alternative.

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