ual and unintelligible Sun, which is God.
(Convito, Tr. III.
c. 12.) His light enlighteneth every man that cometh into the world, but his dwelling is in the heavens.
He who wilfully deprives himself of this light is spiritually dead in sin. So when in Mars he beholds the glorified spirits of the martyrs he exclaims, O Elios, who so arrayest them!
(Paradiso, XIV. 96.) Blanc (Vocabolario, sub voce) rejects this interpretation.
But Dante, entering the abode of the Blessed, invokes the good Apollo, and shortly after calls him divina virtu. We shall have more to say of this hereafter.), partaking of the divine essence by a kind of eternal marriage, while with other intelligences she is united in a less measure as a mistress of whom no lover takes complete joy.
Convito, Tr. III.
c. 12. The eyes of this lady are her demonstrations, and her smile is her persuasion.
The eyes of wisdom are her demonstrations by which truth is beheld most certainly; and her smile is her persuasions in
And we like it all the more that it reminds us of that passage in his friend Sidney's Arcadia, where the shepherd-boy pipes as if he would never be old.
If we compare it with the mystical scene in Dante,
Purgatorio, XXIX., XXX. of which it is a reminiscence, it will seem almost like a bit of real life; but taken by itself it floats as unconcerned in our cares and sorrows and vulgarities as a sunset cloud.
The sound of that pastoral pipe seems to come from as far away as Thessaly when Apollo was keeping sheep there.
Sorrow, the great idealizer, had had the portrait of Beatrice on her easel for years, and every touch of her pencil transfigured the woman more and more into the glorified saint.
But Elizabeth Nagle was a solid thing of flesh and blood, who would sit down at meat with the poet on the very day when he had thus beatified her. As Dante was drawn upward from heaven to heaven by the eyes of Beatrice, so was Spenser lifted away from the actual by those of that ideal Beau
eir common epic impulse.
It was an organ that Milton mastered, mighty in compass, capable equally of the trumpet's ardors or the slim delicacy of the flute, and sometimes it bursts forth in great crashes through his prose, as if he touched it for solace in the intervals of his toil.
If Wordsworth sometimes puts the trumpet to his lips, yet he lays it aside soon and willingly for his appropriate instrument, the pastoral reed.
And it is not one that grew by any vulgar stream, but that which Apollo breathed through, tending the flocks of Admetus, —that which Pan endowed with every melody of the visible universe,— the same in which the soul of the despairing nymph took refuge and gifted with her dual nature,— so that ever and anon, amid the notes of human joy or sorrow, there comes suddenly a deeper and almost awful tone, thrilling us into dim consciousness of a forgotten divinity.
Wordsworth's absolute want of humor, while it no doubt confirmed his self-confidence by making him inse<
he master, for its neighborhood to Enfield enabled him to keep up his intimacy with the family of his former teacher, Mr. Clarke, and to borrow books of them.
In 1812, when he was in his seventeenth year, Mr. Charles Cowden Clarke lent him the Faerie Queene.
Nothing that is told of Orpheus or Amphion is more wonderful than this miracle of Spenser's, transforming a surgeon's apprentice into a great poet.
Keats learned at once the secret of his birth, and henceforward his indentures ran to Apollo instead of Mr. Hammond.
Thus could the Muse defend her son. It is the old story, —the lost heir discovered by his aptitude for what is gentle and knightly.
Haydon tells us that he used sometimes to say to his brother he feared he should never be a poet, and if he was not he would destroy himself.
This was perhaps a half-conscious reminiscence of Chatterton, with whose genius and fate he had an intense sympathy, it may be from an inward foreboding of the shortness of his own career.