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James Russell Lowell, Among my books, Wordsworth. (search)
ve disappeared from the revised edition, as well as some curious outbursts of that motiveless despair which Byron made fashionable not long after. Nor are there wanting touches of fleshliness which strike us oddly as coming from Wordsworth. Wordsworth's purity afterwards grew sensitive almost to prudery. The late Mr. Clough told me that he heard him at Dr. Arnold's table denounce the first line in Keats's Ode to a Grecian Urn as indecent, and Haydon records that when he saw the group of Cupid and Psyche he exclaimed, The dev-ils! Farewell! those forms that in thy noontide shade Rest near their little plots of oaten glade, Those steadfast eyes that beating breasts inspire To throw the sultry ray of young Desire; Those lips whose tides of fragrance come and go Accordant to the cheek's unquiet glow; Those shadowy breasts in love's soft light arrayed, And rising by the moon of passion swayed. The political tone is also mildened in the revision, as where he changes despot courts i