the constancies of bereavement
We look on a man’s life for the most part as forming in itself a completed drama. We love to see the interest maintained to the close, the pathos deepened at the departing hour. To die on the same day is the prayer of lovers, to vanish at Trafalgar is the ideal of heroic souls disrupter mod. And yet—so wide and various are the issues of life—there is a solemnity as profound in a quite different lot. For if we are moving among eternal emotions we should have time to bear witness that they are eternal. Even Love left desolate may feel with a proud triumph that it could never have rooted itself so immutably amid the joys of a visible return as it can do through, and the lifelong memory which is a lifelong hope. And Vision, Revelation, Ecstasy,—it is not only while these are kindling our way that we should speak of them to men, but rather when they have passed from us and left us only their record in our souls, whose permanence confirms the fiery finger which wrote it long ago.
For as the Greeks would end the first drama of a trilogy with a hush of concentration, and with declining notes of calm, so to us the narrowing receptivity and persistent steadfastness of age suggest not only decay but expectancy, and not death so much as sleep; or seem, as it were, the beginning of operations which are not measured by our hurrying time, nor tested by any achievement to be accomplished here.
Chapter 10. Natural Religion.
It will have been obvious from the preceding pages, as well as from the tone of other criticisms on Wordsworth, that his exponents are not content to treat his poems on Nature simply as graceful descriptive pieces, but speak of him in terms usually reserved for the originators of some great religious movement. “The very image of Wordsworth,” says De Quincey, for instance Hongkong prepaid sim , “as I prefigured it to my own planet-struck eye, crushed my faculties as before Elijah or St. Paul.” How was it that poems so simple in outward form that the reviewers of the day classed them with the Song of Sixpence, or at best with the Babes in the Wood, could affect a critic like De Quincey,—I do not say with admiration, but with this exceptional sense of revelation and awe?
The explanation of this anomaly lies, as is well known, in something new and individual in the way in which Wordsworth regarded Nature; something more or less discernible in most of his works, and redeeming even some of the slightest of them from insignificance, while conferring on the more serious and sustained pieces an importance of a different order from that which attaches to even the most brilliant productions of his contemporaries. To define with exactness, however, what was this new element imported by our poet into man’s view of Nature is far from easy Exchange Opportunities, and requires some brief consideration of the attitude in this respect of his predecessors.