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Who to the thoughtful mind and pious heart

Comes with her offering from this awful theme ;
Content if what she saw and gathered there,

She may in unambitious song declare.' Still, we did not distinctly anticipate how the field of Waterloo was to be made the subject of an interesting poem, without throwing a false glory on the circumstances of that horrible conflict. But Mr. Southey merits high praise for what he has not done, no less than for what be has done, in “the Poet's Pilgrimage.

It is not with any view of bringing our two greatest living poets into direct comparison with each other, that we have coupled a publication of Mr. Wordsworth's with that of his friend." It is interesting, however, to observe the characteristic difference between the two authors. Mr. Wordsworth, always metaphysical, loses himself perpetually in the depths of abstraction on the simplest subject; and frequently employing words as the arbitrary signs of recondite and mystical meanings, exhibits a singular inequality of style, varying from Miltonic majesty of thought and diction, to apparent poverty and meanness. It is only at intervals that he comes within reach of the sympathy of ordinary readers. We never think of claiming kindred with Mr. Wordsworth as a man of the same nerve and texture and heart's blood with ourselves. He looks on nature with other than human senses. He appears to regard God and man through the medium of a philosophy taught in no secular and in no sacred schools. Mr. Southey, on the contrary, is never to be mistaken for any other than a husband, a father, a friend ;-a man whose sympathies all link him to his country and bis fellow-men; whose errors whether poetical or political, proceed from the warmth of feeling or the force of prejudice, and are never the deliberate sins of a perverse intellect, or the indications of dubious principles. Moral objects seem in his mind to hold the place of metaphysical ones, and he takes too much interest in the passing scenes of the real world, to cultivate the babit of severe abstraction. Whatever he writes, is at least interesting. It bears the stamp of character,—of the man and of the poet.

Wordsworth can interest. He has written some whole poems, and there are passages in all his poems, that are fitted with exquisite skill to find their way to the heart. But in much of his loftiest poetry he is any thing but interesting. When he aims to teach, he fails to please. He aspires to sit in Milton's chair; but the spirit whose nightly visitation Milton enjoyed, was not the spirit of mere poetry. The spirit of Milton has not rested upon Mr. Wordsworth, unless it be in some of his noble sonnets, in which he more than rivals the great puritan champion of liberty. Southey and Wordsworth have some obvious peculiarities of dietion in common, but the re' semblance is very superficial. Wordsworth's affectation lies more in the thoughts than in the manner. If Southey be at any time chargeable with a fault of this kind, it will be found confined to the expression ; his thoughts are always natural. The poems of the one are altogether so different from those of the other, that it is not conceivable that Wordsworth could have written Madoc or Roderick, or Southey, the Excursion. Wordsworth displays at times an intellectual grandeur and a depth of pathos, peculiarly his own. Southey excels in force of dramatic conception, in the development of character, and in the expres. sion of the tender affections. Wordsworth's poetry, if we may be allowed so trite a comparison, reininds us of a mountain torrent issuing from some unknown solitude, and rolling its rarely navigable waters through barren and uninhabited regions, over rocks and shallows, now lingering round some green and sunny islet, now thundering in precipitous grandeur, now tamely diffusing its waters over a wide spread channel. Southey's is the mighty stream, eccentric, but clear, rapid, and beautiful, that loves the imaged heavens on its surface, and the racy verdure of the earth, and flows and murmurs for man.

We have described the productions of both these original poets freely, as though they were not living authors, whom it is our bounden duty, as critics, to treat with sparing praise and salutary censure. We have spoken of them as we feel, and as we believe, in a few years, their readers will generally feel, when they shall live only in their works, and their critics shall be forgotten. But it is time that we proceed to the business of reviewing.

We cannot approve of the avowed object of Mr. Wordsworth's publication, whatever credit be due to him for the patriotism to which it owes its existence. When he speaks of Great Britaiq having distinguished herself above all other countries for some ' time past,' by a course of action so worthy of commemoration, we wish to know more definitely to what course of action he refers; and as we are always fearful of being imposed upon by abstractions, what portion of the nation is intended by Great Britain,—the cabinet, the army, or the people. To whom are we to ascribe that great moral triumph, the splendour of which not all the present distresses are able to obscure? It is too much for Mr. W. to expect that the national wisdom' which he so highly eulogizes, will sanction that unmingled admiration of the measures of the present Government, wbich, in the height of his exultation, he seems desirous of producing; as if the stamp of moral greatness and of disinterested patriotisni, were impressed on all their councils for the last ten years, and one steady purpose had been the simple spring of all their policy !! But this is not all. Mr. Wordsworth adds,

• Nor is it at the expense of rational patriotism, or in disregard of sound philosophy, that the author hath given vent to feelings tending to encourage a martial spirit in the bosoms of his countrymen, at a time when there is a general outcry against the prevalence of these dispositions The nation would err grievously, if she suffered the abuse which other states have made of military power, to prevent her from perceiving that no people ever was, or can be independent, free or secure, much less great, in any sane application of the word, with. out martial propensities, and an assiduous cultivation of military virtues.'

We shall not stop to dispute with Mr. Wordsworth : we should just as soon encounter Dr. Johnson in argument. Were we obliged to admit that the assertion receives too melancholy countenance from historic fact, it is execrable in principle. It sets at defiance all attempts to introduce the meliorating tendencies of the Gospel into the policy of governments, and takes for granted that the maxims of Christian morality are wholly pugatory and inapplicable to national transactions. It is not worth while to point out the bearing of the military virtues on the civil character of a people. Mr. Wordsworth considers apprehensions in reference to that point, as arising from the delu

sive influence of an honourable jealousy. Upon this subject he has the satisfaction of being of coincident sentiments with the right honourable Lord Castlereagh. But now for the poetry.

The ode composed on the morning of the day appointed for general thanksgiving, is marked with all the peculiarities of Mr. Wordsworth's genius. Few readers will be able to follow in the track of thought, or to enter into the sentiments of the Author, nor shall we attempt to give a commentary upon so desultory and irregular a production. No poetry could be further removed from a popular style, than that in which this ode is cast; except in an occasional stanza of the following kind.

• Preserve, O Lord, within our hearts

The memory of thy favour,
That else insensibly departs,

And loses its sweet savour!

And again,

For these, and for our errors,

And sins that point their terrors,
We bow our heads before thee, and we laud
And magnify thy name, Almighty God!

But thy most dreaded instrument
In working out a pure intent,
Is man, arrayed for mutual slaughter,
Yea, Carnage is thy daughter ! p. 17.

What strange and revolting phraseology, to use the mildest term, is this! How utterly at variance with the language of truly Christian devotion. How unmeet an offering

On the high day of thanks before the Throne of Grace !" The second ode, bearing the same date, is less elaborate, apd more pleasing. It consists of an allegorical description of the various methods of festive and honorary commemoration of the deeds of the victors of Waterloo. Among the Miscellaneous * Pieces,' there is a very fine ode, beginning

· Who rises on the banks of Seine.' We are tempted however to select, as the most pleasing specimen of what Mr. Wordsworth can achieve, an exquisite composition ' in recollection of the expedition of the French into Russia.'

Humanity, delighting to behold
A fond reflexion of her own decay,
Hath painted Winter like a shrunken, old,
And close-wrapt traveller--through the weary day-
Propped on a staff, and limping o'er the plain,
As though his weakness were disturbed by pain ;
Or, if a juster fancy should allow
An undisputed symbol of command,
The chosen sceptre is a withered bough,
Infirmly grasped within a palsied hand.
These emblems suit the helpless and forlorn ;
But mighty Winter the device shall scorn.
« For he it was

-dread Winter!who beset,
Flinging round van and rear his ghastly net,
That host,-when from the regions of the Pole
They shrunk, insane ambition's barren goal,
Thai host,-as huge and strong as e'er defied
Their God, and placed their trust in human pride 1
As fathers persecute rebellious sons,
He smote the blossoms of their warrior youth;
He called on Frost's inexorable tooth
Life to consume in manhood's firmest hold;
Nor spared the reverend blood that feebly runs,-
For why, unless for liberty enrolled
And sacred home, ah! why should hoary age be bold?

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« Fleet the Tartar's reinless steed,
But fleeter far the pinions of the wind,
Which from Siberian caves the monarch freed,
And sent him forth, with squadrons of his kind,
And bade the snow their ample backs bestride,

And to the battle ride;
No pitying voice commands a halt
No courage can repel the dire assault ---

Distracted, spiritless, benumbed and blind,
Whole legions sink-and, in one instant, find
Burial and death: look for them—and descry,
When morn returns, beneath the clear blue sky,

A soundless waste, a trackless vacancy !'-pp. 41-43.
The following sonnet is on the same occasion.

• Ye Storms, resound the praises of your King !

And ye mild seasons in a sunny clime,
Midway on some high hill, while Father Time
Looks on delighted-meet in festal ring,
And loud and long of Winter's triumph sing !
Sing ye, with blossoms crowned, and fruits and flowers,
of Winter's breath surcharged with sleety showers,
And the dire flapping of his hoary wing !
Knit the blithe dance

upon

the soft green grass ;
With feet, hands, eyes, looks, lips, report your gain;
Whisper it to the billows of the main,
And to the aerial zephyrs as they pass,
That old decrepit Winter-He hath slain

That Host, which rendered all your bounties vain!'-p. 44. The argument of “ The Poet's Pilgrimage to Waterloo,” will convey a sufficient idea of the plan and intention of the Author.

· The first part of this poem describes a journey to the scene of war. The second, is in an allegorical form ; it exposes the gross material philosophy which has been the guiding principle of the French politicians, from Mirabeau to Buonaparte ; and it states the opinions of those persons who lament the late events, because the hopes which they entertained from the French Revolution, have not been realized; and of those who see only evil, or blind chance, in the course of human events.'

The proem to the poem, describes the Author's return to his home, after visiting the field of battle; and the picture of domestic enjoyment it presents, is so interesting, that we shall be excused for the length of our first extract.

« Once more I see thee, Skiddaw! once again

Behold thee in thy majesty serene,
Where like the bulwark of this favoured plain,

Alone thou standest, monarch of the scene
Thou glorious Mountain, on whose ample breast
The sunbeams love to play, the vapours love to rest !
Once more, O Derwent! to thy aweful shores

I come, insatiate of the accustomed sight;
And listening as the eternal torrent roars,

Drink in with eye and ear a fresh delight:
For I have wandered far by land and sea,
In all my wanderings still remembering thee.

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