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the fublinie, the terrible, the pathetic, &c. It may sometimes confilt in a genıle agitation of the contending emotions, from which a preponderance of pleasure is ultimately produced, as from the melancholy recollections of a cheerful old man, in the Iwo April Mornings, and the Fountain ; sometimes ir may arise from ine mixture of lively imagery with various feelings, as with exulation and pity, in the two paris of Hartleap Vill; fometimes it may be founded on the soft, and almost insensible aff ctions which we receive from natural scenery, aided, perhaps, by folne accidental association in our own minds. Of this kind are the different Poems on the Naming of Places, Lines written with a Slate Pencil, &c. Rural Architecture, and some others. · 2. Even where the feeling intended to be called forth is of a rich and noble character, such as we may recur to, and feed upon, ii may yet be wrought up so gradually, including so many preparatory circumstances of appropriate manners, of local description, of actual events, &c. that the subile uniting thread will be lost, without a persevering effort toward attention on the part of the reader. Who, that has studied Shakspeare, must not be conscious how often the connection of minute and willing incidents with the main story has eluded his observation, unul after repeated perusals? Something of this kind will probably occur to the readers of the Brothers, the Cumberland Beggur, and more particularly of the Poem, entitled Michael; yet these three are of the highest order of Poems in the volume. The interest, especially of the first, is fo dramatically wrought up, the minute touches are so accurately studied, the general effect is so insensibly produced, and appeals fo forcibly to the heart, as to rank its author far beyond
the reach of common-place praise or censure. - . 3. There is a third class of Poems postelling a strong effect,
which results equally from the power of imagina:ion and of 'feeling; in these, the prominent features of the story are all along a:tended with a concurring splendour of poetic ornament, and the combined influence of these agents pervades every part of the composition. This is greatly the case in the Poem of Ruth, and in that of Ellen Irwin, of which the latter is merely narrative; the former intermixes much of deep and intereiting speculation : to this class also may be referred Lury Gruy and Poor Sufan, with several beautiful specimens in the second volume. -4. Other small pieces have different characteristics. The Fragment of the Danish Boy is a mere creation of fancy ; the Pe Lamb presents a portraiture of infantine simplicity; and
the lines in pages 50 and 53, are masterly sketches of those “ strange fits of passion,” which fometimes unaccountably flash across a poetical mind.
From the longer Poems it is almost impossible to select any passage without injury to its effect, owing to a want of that interest which the context supplies. We shall, however, venture to cite the following tender touches from the Brothers.
* though their parents
In the Poet's Epitaph, an effusion of good-humoured satire, is succeeded by this picture of animated and engaging sensibility.
« But who is he with modeft looks,
Perhaps · Perhaps the English language can boast few instances of descriptive poetry, enlivened with a happier variety of imagery, than the fanciful echo in the Poem inscribed to sanna. The lady's laugh, to be sure, is loud, but it is not unpleasing. I
« When I hał gazed perhaps two minutes' space,
And Kirkttone toss'd it from his misty head.” P. 185. But the most fingular specimens of unpretending, yet irresistible pathos, are ihe two Songs, p. 50 and 52. In artleflness, they strongly remind us of Burns; but perhaps go beyond him in delicacy. As they have a secret connection, we Thall insert both.
“ Strange fits of passion I have known,
And I will dare to tell;
What once to me befel.
And like a Rose in June,
Beneath the evening moon.
All over the wide lea;
Those paths so dear to me.
And, as we climb’d the hill,
The moon descended ftill.
** On Helm Crag, that impresive single mountain at the head of Grasmere, is a rock which, from most points of view, bears a striking resemblance to an old woman cowering. Close by this rock is one of those fissures or carerirs, which, in the language of the country, are called Dungeons. The other mountains either immediately surround the vale of Grafinere, or belong to the same cluster."
In one of those sweet dreams I slept,
Kind Nature's gendleft boon!
On the descending moon.
He rais'd, and never stopp'd :
At once the planet dropp'd.
Into a lover's head;
" If Lucy should be dead!”
She dwelt among th' untrodden ways,
Beside the springs of Dove,
And very few to love.
Half hidden from the eye;
Is shining in the sky.
The difference to me." When the art of poetry has been long cultivated among a polished people, and brought to a state of great refinement, The natural operation of an ill-judged ambition, to excel even those who have most successfully adorned the language, leads writers either to employ an affected and over-laboured style, or, at least, to keep always upon the high stilts of elegance, to the exclusion of Nature and Simplicity. In such a state of the poetic art, that man may be considered as a public benefa&tor, who, with talents equal to the task, which is arduous, recals attention to the more natural style, and shows what may be effected by Gimple language, expreflive of human paslions, and genuine, not artificial feelings. In this character, Mr. Wordiworth appears; and appears with a success, to which we could by no means refuse our approbation. We will not deny that sometimes he goes so far in his pursuit of impliciry, as to become flat or weak; but, in general, he sets an example wbich the full-dressed poet of affectation might wish, but with in vain, to follow*. He would correct Mr. W. as the dancingmaster of Hogarth would correct the attitude of Antinous.
* The title of the Poems is, in some degree, objectiunable; for what Ballads are not Lyrical ? Besides, there are many compofitions in blank verse, not at ail Lyrical.
Art. VII. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of
London, for the Year 1800. Part II. 4to. 298 pp. The
XII. On double Images caused by Atmospherical Refraction.
1 observed to deviate from its more usual mode of acting, and several instances are mentioned in former volumes of the Phil. Trans. and elsewhere, of its having represented objects in an inverted position, or having formed an inverted image beneath the object itself; but as the cause of such unusual refractive power had not been farisfactorily explained, Dr. Wollafton endeavoured,
“ ift. To inveltigate theoretically the successive variations of increasing or decreafing density, to which Auids in general arc liable, and the laws of the retractions occasioned by them.
" 2nd. To illustrate and confirm the truth of this theory, by experiments with fluids of known density.
“ And, lastly, to ascertain, by trial upon the air itself, the causes and extent of those variations of irs refractive density, on which the inversions of objects, and other phænomena observed, appear to de. pend.” . . With this view, Dr. W. very properly expresses the general laws, which may be applied to all cases of varying density, in three propositions, which are as follows. : « Prop. I. If the density of any medium varies by parallel indefinitely thin strata, any rays of light moving through it in the direction of the straia, will be made to deviate during their passage, and their deviations will be in proportion to the increments of density where they pass.
o Prop. II. When two fluids of uuequal density are brought into contact, and unite by mutual penetration; if the densities at different heights be expressed by ordinates, the curve which terminates these ordinates, will have a point of contrary flexure.
• Prop. lll. If parallel rays pass through a medium, varying according to the preceding propofition, those above the point of contrary flexure will be made to diverge, and those below the same point will converge, after their passage through it.” :
Those propositions are clearly demonstrated, and the demonftrations are illustrated by means of diagrams; after which, Dr. W. relates a variety of well.concrived experiments, accompanying them with useful remarks, and allusions to the phænomena observed by other persons (the above-mentioned