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time to tell you of mornings which he has passed in reading to me, and of evenings when he has walked beside me, whilst I rode through the lovely vales of Grasmere and Rydal; and of his beautiful, sometimes half-unconscious recitation, in a voice so deep and solemn, that it has often brought tears into my eyes. One little incident I must describe. We had been listening, during one of these evening rides, to various sounds and notes of birds, which broke upon the stillness, and at last I said — Perhaps there may be a deeper and richer music pervading all Nature, than we are permitted, in this state, to hear.' He answered by reciting those glorious lines of Milton's, . · Millions of spiritual creatures walk the earth,
Unseen, both when we wake and when we sleep,' &c. and this in tones that seemed rising from such depths of veneration! I cannot describe the thrill with which I listened; it was like the feeling which Lord Byron has embodied in one of his best and purest moments, when he so beautifully says,
And not a breath crept through the rosy air,
And yet the forest leaves seemed stirred with prayer.' Mr. Wordsworth's daily life in the bosom of his family, is delightful—so affectionate and confiding. I cannot but mournfully feel, in the midst of their happiness,
Still, still, I am a stranger here!'-—but where am I not a stranger now ?”.
“ Yesterday I rode round Grasmere and Rydal Lake. It was a glorious evening, and the imaged heaven in the waters more completely filled my mind, even to overflowing, than I think any object in nature ever did before. I could have stood in silence before the magnificent vision for an hour, as it flushed and faded, and darkened at last into the deep sky of a summer's night. I thought of the scriptural expression, ? A sea of glass mingled with fire: no other words are fervid enough to convey the least impression of what lay burning before me.”
In the midst of all these enjoyments, a slight accident, or rather an accident manqué, a little interfered with the improvement in her health, which had before been so apparent. “I have been very nearly thrown,” she wrote, “ from a spirited palfrey; and though I flatter myself that Di. Vernon herself could scarcely have displayed more self-possession in the actual moment of danger, still the shock and surprise, which were so great as to deprive me of my voice for several minutes, have brought on severe beating of the heart, and left me as tremulous as an aspen leaf. They
*This sweet vale of Grasmere, with its secluded beauty, partaking almost of an air of consecration, was one of the visions she best loved to call up; and her sonnet, “ A Remembrance of Grasmere," written four years afterwards, describes the peculiar colouring with which her imagination invested it.
“O vale and lake, within your mountain urn,
Smiling so tranquilly, and set so deep!
have not, however, startled my courage from its pride of place, as I am going to mount the same steed this evening."
After continuing for more than a fortnight the inmate of Rydal Mount, Mrs. Hemans took up her
The description of this lovely spot, in a little poem called “ The Poet's Home," written by Miss Jewsbury, and published in the Literary Magnet for 1826, is so true and graphic, that it cannot but add to the interest of these details, and must be echoed by all who can personally vouch for its fidelity.
" Low and white, yet scarcely seen
Are its walls, for mantling green,
Poet! though such dower be thine,
abode at a sweet little retired cottage called Dove Nest, which had so taken her fancy when she first
What shall outward sign avail,
One, of long tried love and truth,
Poet's lot like this hath been;
saw it from the lake, that it seemed quite a gleam of good fortune to find that it was to be let, and that she could engage rooms there for a few weeks' sojourn. Here she was joined by the rest of her little group, and it might have been difficult to say which of the party was most alive to the “ sweet influences" around them. “Henry out with his fishing-rod, and Charles sketching, and Claude climbing the hill above the Nest. I cannot follow,” she continued, “for I have not strength yet; but I think in feeling I am more a child than any of them.”
“ How shall I tell you,” she wrote from this delicious retirement, “ of all the loveliness by which I am surrounded—of all the soothing and holy influence it seems shedding down into my inmost heart. I have sometimes feared, within the last two years, that the effect of suffering and adulation, and feelings too highly wrought and too severely tried, would have been to dry up within me the fountains of such pure and simple enjoyment; but now I know that
- Nature never did betray The heart that loved her.' I can think of nothing but what is pure, and true, and kind; and my eyes are filled with grateful tears even whilst I am writing to you.
“I must try to describe my little nest, since I cannot call spirits from the vasty Lake,' to bring you hither through the air. The house was originally meant for a small villa, though it has long passed into the hands of farmers, and there is in consequence an air of neglect about the little demesne, which does not