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Page 216

CHAPTER XI
THE EARLY NINETEENTH CENTURY

The breaking up of the ice is thus described :

It cracked and growled, and roared and howled,
Like noises in a swound.

The similes of the poem are of the kind that not only adorn a statement but illuminate it ; the mariner passes, " like night," from land to land. The vessel in a calm is

As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.

Wordsworth's contributions to the book were many, and of widely differing value. When he remembered his theories, he was capable of such stuff as

But yet I guess that now and then
With Betty all was not so well ;
And to the road she turns her ears,
And thence full many a sound she hears,
Which she to Susan will not tell.

Here, too, was his We are Seven. The treatment is quite as simple as in the preceding poem ; but while the first seems like the awkward attempt of a man to be childlike, the simplicity of the second is appropriate because the poem is a conversation with a child. In this same volume was the beautiful TinteYn Abbey, wherein all theories were forgotten. It is hardly colloquial language when the author says,

The sounding cataract
Haunted me like a passion ;
or when he bids

Therefore let the moon
Shine on thee in thy solitary walks ;
And let the misty mountain-wind be free
To blow against thee.

travel books:
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