heavenward with angels ascending and descending!
what haunting harmonies hover around us deep and eternal like the undying barytone of the sea!
and if we are compelled to fare through sands and desert wildernesses, how often do we not hear airy shapes that syllable our names with a startling personal appeal to our highest consciousness and our noblest aspiration, such as we wait for in vain in any other poet!
Take from Wordsworth
all which an honest criticism cannot but allow, and what is left will show how truly great he was. He had no humor, no dramatic power, and his temperament was of that dry and juiceless quality, that in all his published correspondence you shall not find a letter, but only essays.
If we consider carefully where he was most successful, we shall find that it was not so much in description of natural scenery, or delineation of character, as in vivid expression of the effect produced by external objects and events upon his own mind, and of the shape and hue (perhaps momentary) which they in turn took from his mood or temperament.
His finest passages are always monologues.
He had a fondness for particulars, and there are parts of his poems which remind us of local histories in the undue relative importance given to trivial matters.
He was the historian of Wordsworthshire.
This power of particularization (for it is as truly a power as generalization) is what gives such vigor and greatness to single lines and sentiments of Wordsworth
, and to poems developing a single thought or sentiment.
It was this that made him so fond of the sonnet.
That sequestered nook forced upon him the limits which his fecundity (if I may not say his garrulity) was never self-denying enough to impose on itself.
It suits his solitary and meditative temper, and it was there that Lamb
(an admirable judge of what was permanent in literature)