And in a moment to the verge
Is lifted of a foaming surge—
Full suddenly the Ass doth rise!
And one cannot help thinking that the similes of the huge stone, the sea-beast, and the cloud, noble as they are in themselves, are somewhat too lofty for the service to which they are put.1
The movement of Wordsworth
's mind was too slow and his mood to meditative for narrative poetry.
He values his own thoughts and reflections too much to sacrifice the least of them to the interests of his story.
Moreover, it is never action that interests him, but the subtle motives that lead to or hinder it. ‘The Wagoner
’ involuntarily suggests a comparison with ‘Tam O'Shanter’ infinitely to its own disadvantage.
,’ full though it be of profound touches and subtle analysis, is lumbering and disjointed.
was forced to confess that he did not like it. ‘The White Doe
,’ the most Wordsworthian
of them all in the best meaning of the epithet, is also only the more truly so for being diffuse and reluctant.
What charms in Wordsworth
and will charm forever is the
Of meditation slipping in between
The beauty coming and the beauty gone.
A few poets, in the exquisite adaptation of their words to the tulle of our own feelings and fancies, in the charm of their manner, indefinable as the sympathetic grace of woman, are
everything to us without our being able to say that they are much in themselves.
They rather narcotize than fortify.
must subject our mood to his own before he admits us to his intimacy; but, once admitted, it is for life, and we find ourselves in his debt, not for what he has been to us in our hours