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"By oppression's woes and pains! By your sons in servile chains! We will drain our dearest veins,
But they shall be - shall be free!
"Lay the proud usurpers low! Tyrants fall in every foe!
Liberty's in every blow!
Forward! let us do or die!"
OF A' THE AIRTS THE WIND CAN BLAW.
OF a' the airts the wind can blaw,
I dearly like the west,
For there the bonnie lassie lives,
The lassie I lo'e best :
Though wild woods grow, and rivers row,
And mony a hill between ;
Baith day and night, my fancy's flight
I see her in the dewy flowers,
I hear her in the tunefu' birds,
There's not a bonnie flower that springs,
BUT pleasures are like poppies spread,
That flit ere you can point their place;
WILLIAM WORDSWORTH, a prominent member of the Lake school of poets, was born in Cumberland, England, in 1770, and died in 1850. He was the son of an attorney, and studied at St. John's College, Cambridge. He spent some time in France and Germany, and in 1799 fixed his home- which was presided over by his sister Dorothy (his faithful "guide, philosopher, and friend," throughout his long life)- - at Grasmere. Here he lived till 1808. In 1813 he removed his household gods to Rydal Mount, which was ever after his residence, and is closely associated with the most notable products of his genius. He was a favorite of fortune, having inherited a comfortable estate, and for some years holding a lucrative office under government. In 1843 he was appointed Poet Laureate, succeeding Southey, and received the pension of £300 attached to that dignity as long as he lived. He was married in 1803 to Mary Hutchinson, who survived him, dying in 1859, at the great age of eighty-eight. In his early manhood Wordsworth was visionary and radical, professing republicanism, and avowing himself an admirer of the principles which were illustrated in the French Revolution; but, as often happens, age tempered his fervor, and during the latter half of his life he was unfaltering in his political and religious conservatism. His first book, An Evening Walk, an epistle in verse, was published in 1793; his second, Descriptive Sketches, published in the same year, was cordially praised by Coleridge. Between 1798 and 1814 several editions of his poems were issued, receiving praise and censure in nearly equal proportions. When The Excursion appeared, in 1814, Lord Jeffrey said of it: "This will never do; it is longer, weaker, and tamer than any of Mr. Wordsworth's other productions." On the other hand, William Hazlitt pronounced it almost unsurpassed "in power of intellect, lofty conception, and depth of feeling." On the whole, it must be said that during Wordsworth's life, or at least until within a few years prior to his death, the judgment of the critics on his poetry was in effect unfavorable; but with the great public his writings steadily gained popularity. One of the principal reasons for the hostility of the critics was, no doubt, his energetic protest, by precept and example, against the romantic school of poetry, which, conspicuously represented by Byron, was then in high favor. He endeavored to demonstrate the superiority of simplicity in thought and expression, and in the effort incurred the reproach of silliness. During the last twenty years, however, a more candid and accurate estimate of his work has been made, and the deliberate judgment of the reading world has assigned him an enviable rank among English poets of the nineteenth century. One of the most prominent characteristics of his poetical genius is imaginative power, in which quality so high an authority as Coleridge has affirmed that he was surpassed only by Shakespeare. His mind was strongly philosophical, and his writings exhibit a rare union of philosophical and poetical elements. They are distinctively contemplative, and will always be admired for their faithful interpretation of nature. It is not easy to specify Wordsworth's best composition: The Excursion is perhaps the greatest; but to the common mind some of his lyrics and ballads are most admirable. Among them are Hart Leap Well, Lines to a Cuckoo, The Banks of the Wye, Ruth, etc. Some critics have designated The Solitary Reaper as his finest poem.
THE BOY AND THE OWLS.
THERE was a Boy; ye knew him well, ye cliff's
Pressed closely palm to palm, and to his mouth
That they might answer him; and they would shout
And long halloos, and screams, and echoes loud
Its woods, and that uncertain heaven, received
This Boy was taken from his mates, and died
Where he was born: the grassy churchyard hangs
WHEN Ruth was left half desolate,
And she had made a pipe of straw,