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The operation of the soul in Wordsworth’s "The Excursion" Atkinson, Gordon Wilfred 1979

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THE OPERATION OF THE SOUL IN WORDSWORTH'S THE EXCURSION by GORDON WILFRED ATKINSON. B.A., University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1974 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n . THE FACULTY OF' GRADUATE .."STUDIES' ('Defs'artmetit. of • English) We accept t h i s thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA A p r i l , 1979 c) Gordon Wilfred Atkinson, 1979 I n p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f t h e r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r an a d v a n c e d d e g r e e a t t h e U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , I a g r e e t h a t t h e L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e a n d s t u d y . I f u r t h e r a g r e e t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e c o p y i n g o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y p u r p o s e s may be g r a n t e d by t h e Head o f my D e p a r t m e n t o r by h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . I t i s u n d e r s t o o d t h a t c o p y i n g o r p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l n o t be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . D e p a r t m e n t o f The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a 2075 W e s b r o o k P l a c e V a n c o u v e r , C a n a d a V6T 1W5 DE-6 B P 75-51 1 E i i -Abstract Thesis Advisor: Professor Lee M. Johnson Wordsworth's The Excursion conveys a message of assurance against the fact of death in the temporal realm. The assurance, however, is i n nature and the s p i r i t of her forms, rocks, rivers, clouds and elements. It i s the soul which must assimilate that assurance, working from the temporal realm to give insight into the s p i r i t u a l realm, a window between the two. The Wanderer, Narrator, and Pastor may be said to have developed soul and use i t effectively against despondency. The Solitary, although he may have developed soul, seems to have lost i t , or i s unable to allow i t to function. The Wanderer shows the function of nature and the s p i r i t of nature in the development of soul. In his formative years, his sen s i b i l i t i e s are exposed to experience among nature's forms and the elements. He is able to feel his faith in the wilderness, and as an older person i s often able to assuage the doubts of others in adversity. In the mutual respect among the Wanderer, Narrator and Pastor, we see agreement with a generous love towards the scale of being, constituting an act of worship towards a sp i r i t u a l being who has ordained nature to act as his mouthpiece. It i s these friends who attempt to persuade the Solitary that there is an antidote to his despondency. He has not been able to overcome the disappointments of his own l i f e or his disillusionment with social man. He, i n fact, cannot see beyond the disappointments of this l i f e and the f i n a l i t y of death in this temporal realm. Wordsworth's use of imagery of the temporal and s p i r i t u a l realms i s i n t e r e s t i n g , i n that nature';s forms can be seen i n terms of human actions, and human actions can be seen as interactions, of nature's forms and the elements. Considering the two flows of "imagery as being p a r a l l e l , even codimensional, the l i n k i n g i n t e r p r e t i v e agency i s Wordsworth's concept o f the s o u l . A l l of the main characters have or share experiences when, i n nature's magnificence, we can see the soul at work, reading a message of hope and.purpose. The soul's f u n c t i o n i s o u t l i n e d i n Book.IV of The Excursion. In e a r l i e r books we see how the soul i s developed, and how man i s urged to a moral commitment.'-t'c-,,the scale of being. In later-Books, lessons from the l i v e s of the occupants of the graveyard are produced as examples-of varied commitments, or la c k of them, to demonstrate to the S o l i t a r y a range of a t t i t u d e s towards the scale of being, with subsequent degrees of states of grace. Wordsworth's method of dramatization shows the d i f f e r e n t s t r a i n s of h i s own convictions, and presents his own sense of the fu n c t i o n of nature. He b e l i e v e s i n a benevolent s p i r i t u a l being, who has created nature to inform man of continuance i n the s p i r i t u a l realm. Through the a c t i o n of the soul, man can adore his God with a moral commitment to the scale of being. The execution of that moral commitment moves man towards a state of grace that w i l l assuage h i s doubts and fears i n the temporal realm and enable him to see beyond the fa c t of death towards continuance i n the s p i r i t u a l realm. i v Table of Contents Abstract i i Aknowledgement v The Operation of the Soul i n Wordsworth 1s 1 The Excursion Bibliography 100 V Aknowledgement I am deeply Indebted to Professor Lee M. Johnson for his generous counsel and friendly encouragement in the pursuit and completion of this thesis. The Operation of the Soul in Wordsworth's The Excursion In Wordsworth's The Excursion, human adversity and the fact of death are considered in the context of a physical world and a s p i r i t u a l world. These worlds are represented as codimensional. The soul operates between these worlds. Nature, and; man's fortunes within i t , enlarge the soul which provides glimpses of the s p i r i t u a l within the physical. The revelations are presented by an interweaving of strands of s p i r i t u a l and physical imagery. Such suggestions of a continuum of l i f e f a c i l i t a t e an acceptance of the li m i t a t i o n s of the temporal world and the fact of death. Book IV of The Excursion presents a purpose to human l i f e and to the soul, by which the purpose i s revealed. We are to manifest l i f e in God. Reflection on human experience w i l l make apparent the i n f i n i t u d e of a benevolent and magnif-icent God. The soul i s the window through which t h i s benevo-lence and magnificence can occasionally be perceived. The disp o s i t i o n of the individual point of view, however, w i l l a ffect the degree of r e a l i z a t i o n of purpose. - 2 -In a l e t t e r to Catherine Clarkson in 1815, Wordsworth refers to his concept of images and the operation of the soul. He was answering c r i t i c i s m of The Excursion. To i l l u s t r a t e his use of images and view of the function of the soul in The Excursion, he refers Mrs. Clarkson to some aspects of his Ode on the Intimations of Immortality. He describes how that poem rests e n t i r e l y upon two re c o l l e c t i o n s of childhood, one that of a splendour in the objects of sense which i s passed away, and the other an i n d i s p o s i t i o n to bend to the law of death as applying to our own pa r t i c u l a r case. (p 135) There i s no doubt that the p r i n c i p a l characters of The Excursion are, or have been, much concerned with a splendour in the 'objects of sense'. The most important of the recurring subjects of t h e i r debate c e r t a i n l y i s death, 'as applying to our p a r t i c u l a r case'. Wordsworth fe e l s i t most necessary to emphasize the importance of the reader's appreciation of these 'images of sense' and makes a statement showing how obviously he was concerned about the operation of the soul in The Excursion. With reference to the 'objects of sense', he says: A Reader who has not a v i v i d r e c o l l e c t i o n these feelings having existed in his mind childhood cannot understand the poem. (p of in 135) 1. Letter to Catherine Clarkson (January, 1815), L i t e r a r y C r i t i c i s m of William Wordsworth, ed. Paul M. Z a l l , (Lincoln, University of Nebraska Press, 1966 pp 132-136) - 3 -As he continues, he implies his importance of the soul: So also with regard to some of those elements of the soul whose importance i s i n s i s t e d upon in the Excursion. (p 135) In requiring a common language of experience and images between author and reader, he suggests that he has i n mind certain imagery as a code to the soul: ....images of sense.... holding (a) r e l a t i o n to immortality and i n f i n i t y . . . . (p 135) The Wanderer, S o l i t a r y and Pastor each shows an aspect of operation of the soul, although, in contrast to the Wanderer and the Pastor, the S o l i t a r y r e a l l y demonstrates a condition of loss of soul. Extremes of attitude towards experience are dramatized in the S o l i t a r y , the Wanderer and the Pastor. Sadness and bitterness pervade the events i n the S o l i t a r y ' s l i f e : His mournful narrative — commenced in pain, In pain commenced, and ended without peace; (IV, 2-3) He i s not able to integrate his experience to p o s i t i v e e f f e c t . It i s the Wanderer who must propose a p o s i t i v e attitude towards the calamities of mortal l i f e . He suggests I l l u s t r a t i v e passages from The Excursion are taken from the version in Wordsworth: Poetical Works ed. Thomas Hutchinson, A New Ed i t i o n rev. Ernest de Selincourt, (London, Oxford Unversity Press, 1969) - A -that we must have an 'assured b e l i e f ' That the procession of our fate, howe'er Sad or disturbed, i s ordered by a Being Of i n f i n i t e benevolence and power.... (IV, 12-14) The Pastor functions as a moderating presence between the two extremes of d i s a f f e c t i o n and unimplemented basking i n the knowledge of God's splendour. His manifesting of God's presence i s in a quality of l i v i n g which aspires towards a state of grace: Your Pastor i s emboldened to prefer Vocal thanksgivings to the eternal King; Whose love, whose counsel, whose commands, have made Your very poorest r i c h in peace of thought And in good works.... (IX, 731-735) In The Excursion we are presented with a review of the process of l i f e as an opportunity for growth towards a r e a l i z a t i o n of, and an acquiescence i n , a s p i r i t u a l continuum of benevolence. We are given the r e f l e c t i o n s of the various characters on t h e i r experiences. Throughout The Excursion we are given examples of human adversity, disappointment, aspiration, achievement, joy and triumph. The Wanderer, l i k e many of the people in The Excursion, i s able to apprec-iate the 'beautiful dome of the sky/And the vast h i l l s ' as evidence of God's magnificence. He expects that the soul should report of God in no lesser manner than nature which he regards as a 'temple..../Reared for (God's) presence' For the Wanderer, the operation of the soul i s an indica t i o n and a guarantee that man can both see and be part of a great s p i r i t u a l continuum. Though the S o l i t a r y i s able to show the same s e n s i t i v i t i e s , he i s unable to r e l a t e them to any plan or condition that would change the cause of his bitterness If t h i s mute earth Of what i t holds could speak, and every grave Were as a volume, shut, yet capable Of y i e l d i n g i t s contents to eye and ear, We should r e c o i l , stricken with sorrow and shame, To see disclosed, by such dread proof, how i l l That which i s done accords with that which i s known To reason, and by conscience i s enjoined; How i d l y , how perversely, l i f e ' s whole course To t h i s conclusion, deviates from the l i n e , Or of the end stops short, proposed to a l l At her aspiring outset. (V, 249-260) The Pastor, described by the Narrator, serves to reconcile the extremes, and to show a balanced interpretation of experience. One detects a suggestion of the desirable q u a l i t i e s for clergy: ....he prized The ancient r u r a l character, composed Of simple manners, feelings unsupprest And undisguised, and strong and serious thought; A character r e f l e c t e d in himself, With such embellishment as well beseems His rank and sacred function. (V, 116-122) He i s able to see the function and necessity of certain q u a l i t i e s of l i v i n g in t h i s temporal world which are not - 6 -accepted by the S o l i t a r y and are ignored by the Wanderer but which are part of the process of growing into a state of grace: L i f e , I repeat, i s energy of love Divine or human; exercised in pain, In s t r i f e , i n t r i b u l a t i o n ; and ordained, If so approved and s a n c t i f i e d , to pass, Through shades and s i l e n t rest, to endless joy. (V, 1012-1016) Though each character d i f f e r s in his attitude towards experience, each i s receptive to the signals of nature and acknowleges the operation of a soul and i t s growth in assim-i l a t i v e power. The soul suggests a continuing s p i r i t u a l realm within the physical world. The Wanderer has a f a i t h in nature. Man has a soul to connect him with God. Through th i s soul i s assimilated the information of God's magnificence. That information i s in nature, in i t s 'measures and forms' which have been provided by a God having as one aspect an 'abstract i n t e l l i g e n c e ' , for the understanding of his w i l l . We are i n i t i a l l y enveloped in a 'cloud of infancy' so that the 'abstract i n t e l l i g e n c e ' can commune with us in the physical realm. The Pastor bases his f a i t h i n a theology supported by evidence in nature. The S o l i t a r y can only be pessimistic about the removal of adversity from our temporal l i v e s . - 7 -In youth we are given 'visionary powers' of 'eye and soul', and i t i s in these years that the operation of the soul i s i n i t i a t e d . The soul and l i g h t are very clo s e l y connected in terms of revelation. As the operation of l i g h t throughout The Excursion i s so consistent, we may assume i t as a metaphor for the operation of the soul. As a youth, the Wanderer becomes aware of the operation of the soul in a revelatory experience. The atmosphere of l i g h t , nature, wonder and grace associated with experience i s generated in his description of one early episode of revelation: ....stationed on the top Of some huge h i l l , expectant, I beheld The sun r i s e up and bring the day His bounteous g i f t ! or saw him toward the deep Sink, with a retinue of flaming clouds Attended, then, my s p i r i t was entranced With joy exalted to beatitude; The measure of my soul was f i l l e d with b l i s s , And h o l i e s t love; as earth, sea, a i r , and l i g h t With pomp, with glory, with magnificence! (IV, 112-122) The pattern for subsequent experience i s established: the ' h i l l ' i s a vantage point of comprehension and maturity of perspective; the 'sun' i s the l i g h t of knowledge and understanding; the sunburst, or 'retinue of flaming clouds' i s the f i e l d of s e n s i t i v i t y and nuance of apprehension. Just as the earth, sea and a i r are f i l l e d with l i g h t , glory and magnificence from the sun, so i s the soul expanded with the swell of dawning or expanding comprehension of God's dimension. - 8 -Our values for l i f e to which the soul w i l l lead us are the product of the law of conscience. 'Conscience', the Wanderer explains, i s 'God's most intimate presence i n the soul/And his most perfect image in the world'. The soul i s the place of God in man. The soul w i l l enable man to learn of nature and of experience. Through nature, God w i l l communicate with man. The soul, therefore, i s the l i n k between t h i s world and the dimension of God. The more the soul i s primed and allowed to work for us, the more clos e l y we w i l l be integrated with God's dimension. We need not fear adversity, l i m i t a t i o n s , or death. We may even r e j o i c e secretly 'in the sublime a t t r a c t i o n of the grave'. We w i l l witness the events of t h i s l i f e , and gradually become aware of the splendours of another l i f e . Our soul w i l l be our guide. It i s in solitude, and in the domain of rugged nature that the ambitious soul i s best able to emerge: Ambition reigns In the waste wilderness: the soul ascends Drawn towards her native firmament of heaven When the fresh eagle, i n the month of May, Upborne, at evening, on replenished wing, This shaded valley leaves; and leaves the dark Empurpled h i l l s , conspicuously renewing A proud communication with the sun Low sunk beneath the horizon! (IV, 394-402) - 9 -In the wilderness there i s obviously great and single purpose, a great questing of the soul to inform man of the s p i r i t u a l l i f e within the temporal l i f e . The imagery l i n k s the aspiring nature of the soul to the eagle, in the spring of the year. This i s the time of hope, promise and renewal. The eagle r i s e s towards his evening sun, a sun that has been shining on the valley for some time. The eagle has had a chance to gather strength, has been 'shaded' or protected, but r i s e s with pride to see again a sun 'beneath the horizon'. So the soul r i s e s to bask in l i g h t and glory again. The l i g h t , by which things are revealed, has moved beyond the horizon to another realm, where i t continues to shine, the present realm being l e f t in darkness. In Book IX, l i g h t of a similar quality w i l l pervade a scene of breathless transcendence, l i g h t from a sun 'beneath the horizon'. The soul i s capable of ascending between the realms to 'renew' a 'proud communication' with a source of revealing l i g h t . The purpose, the ambition of the wilderness, i s manifested in a 'presence', God's presence, which guides the progress of a l l natural l i f e . Man, coming under the influence of t h i s power, w i l l experience the same guidance and eventual revelations: Bright apparition, suddenly put forth, The rainbow smiling on the faded storm; - 10 -The mild assemblage of the starry heavens And the great sun, earth's universal Lord. (IV, 462-465) Wordsworth's God i s not nature i t s e l f , but i s a God who acts through nature. His God i s not t o t a l l y external to nature, but i s an external energy that makes nature demon-strate to man a benevolent assurance. Referring again to 2 Wordsworth's l e t t e r to Mrs. Clarkson, we f i n d him j u s t i f y i n g his concept of an immanent but transcendent God. He i s answering c r i t i c i s m s of a Miss Patty Smith: She condemns me for not distinguishing between nature as the work of God, and God himself. But where does she f i n d t h i s doctrine inculcated? Where does she gather that the Author of the Excursion looks upon nature and God as the same? He does not indeed consider the Supreme Being as bearing the same r e l a t i o n to the universe as a watchmaker bears to a watch. (p 134) It i s in the appropriateness of Wordsworth's language that we are led to the operation of God i n nature, informing the soul. Roger M. Murray, in discussing the special benefits of paradox and equivocation in Wordsworth's 3 language , attributes the successful hints of natures action to Wordsworth's strategy of words: 2. Letter to Catherine Clarkson (January, 1815), Li t e r a r y  C r i t i c i s m of William Wordsworth ed. Paul M. Z a l l , (Lincoln, University of Nebraska Press, 1966 pp 132-134) 3. Roger M. Murray Wordsworth's Style (Lincoln, University of Nebraska Press, 1967) - 11 -The magic alternatives of the Wordsworthian term (equivocation) appear to be to explore, on the one hand, i t s t i e s with the realm of l i t e r a l and scrupulous fact, and, on the other hand, i t s t i e s with a realm in which the soul of man and the soul of nature commune. (p 23) The 'soul' that Murray implies i s , indeed, that agency of the Wanderer's s p i r i t u a l poise and assurance. The Wanderer has been recounting how a l l forms of l i f e in these 'chaotic wilds', pervaded by a 'benignity', are maintained i n a state of harmony and security. The values in which l i f e i s maintained are illuminated and blessed by a great burst from the 'great sun, earth's univeral Lord'. Light and the soul show a l l . The sunburst suggests an inte r n a l state of heightened awareness. Wordsworth equates ascent to a height with revelation s i m i l a r to the Wanderer's soul developing times of Book I: ....you clomb those heights; And what a marvellous and heavenly show Was revealed! (IV, 470-472) From the high vantage point we can see the order and context of things. This may be a physical or mental vantage point. The 'excursion' on which our t r a v e l l e r s are embarked i s upward, both p h y s i c a l l y and, in t h e i r discussions and exper-iences, mentally. In the h i l l s , and heights, the soul - 12 -expands best to suggest further i t s function of making man aware of the s p i r i t u a l continuum of which he i s an enduring part. To the narrator's e c s t a t i c r e c o l l e c t i o n s of surrender-ing his senses to the elements, the Wanderer agrees: Whosoe'er in youth Has, through ambition of his soul, given way To such desires, and grasped at such delight, Shall congeal s t i r r i n g s l ate and long. (IV, 541-544) Over the period of our l i f e t i m e , we become more able to appreciate things as the soul expands i t s function. We may r e t i r e from the world of man with i t s disappointments and shocks to our f a i t h , to the soothing calm of nature a c t i n g through our s o u l . It i s in nature t h a t we f i n d those influences capable of leading us towards a sense of T i g h t -ness and t r u t h . The s o u l must assimilate the influences: Who thinks, and f e e l s , And recognizes ever and anon The breeze of nature s t i r r i n g in his soul, Why need such a man go desperately astray, And nurse "the dreadful appetite of death"? (IV, 598-602) Realizations come in b r i l l i a n t moments, and in ways the soul may understand made comprehensible to the mind. Early man, in a paradisal setting of b r i l l i a n t l i g h t , i s given a f e e l i n g for the truth of his position and function: - 13 -Angels to his sight appeared Crowning the glorious h i l l s or paradise; Or through the groves g l i d i n g l i k e morning mist Enkindled by the sun. He sate and talked With winged Messengers; who dai l y brought To his small island in the ethereal deep Tidings of joy and love. (IV, 635-641) It i s in a scene of splendour and enlightenment that early man i s given knowledge of his si t u a t i o n and prospects, a scene 'Enkindled by the sun'. The burst of light' frequently accompanies s p i r i t u a l enlightenment throughout The Excursion. A view of the physical world, illuminated by the blaze of the sun, takes on special signficance in Book I when the young Wanderer i s stationed on the bold headland, in Book II when the S o l i t a r y has his v i s i o n high on the mountain, while rescuing the old man, and in Book IX when the Pastor experiences the sunset. These are moments of transcendence from the physical world to the s p i r i t u a l world. The Wanderer, as a boy, can sense a s p i r i t u a l existence in the physical: ....his s p i r i t drank The spectacle: sensation, soul, and form, A l l melted into him; they swallowed up His animal being; in them did he l i v e , And by them did he l i v e ; they were his l i f e . (I, 206-210) The S o l i t a r y senses a s p i r i t u a l existence within the physical. In the 'Glory beyond a l l glory ever seen/By waking sense or - 14 -by dreaming soul!' he experiences the v i s i o n of a splendid c i t y , above the physical confines of the Vale: This l i t t l e Vale, a dwelling place of Man, Lay low beneath my feet; 'twas v i s i b l e --I saw not, but I f e l t that i t was there. That which I saw was the revealed abode Of s p i r i t s in beatitude. (II, 870-874) The blazing l i g h t of revelation and r e a l i z a t i o n i s associated with p a r a l l e l s p i r i t u a l and physical existences. The sunset in Book IX throws a burst of l i g h t on the heavens which the ' l i q u i d deep/Repeat(s); but with unity sublime!' The sky and the l i q u i d deep are representative of two dimensions: the sky, where the l i g h t i s , and the l i q u i d deep where the r e f l e c t e d revelation i s . The Pastor i s moved to address his 'universal God' describing the l i g h t as 'this effluence of th y s e l f ' . In the Paradise scene of Book IV, Wordsworth suggests the existence of the s p i r i t u a l within the physical which he applies throughout The Excursion by interweaving strands representative of each: From those pure heights (Whether of actual v i s i o n , sensible To sight and f e e l i n g , or that in t h i s sort Have condescendingly been shadowed forth Communications s p i r i t u a l l y maintained And i n t u i t i o n s moral and divine) F e l l human kind. (IV, 641-647) The physical v i s i o n may substitute for the s p i r i t u a l exper-ience, or vice-versa. - 15 -By the ' f a l l ' , however, man i s introduced by experience to his lesson of the sovereignty of God, 'by vocal utterance, or blaze of light/Or cloud of darkness...'. Man w i l l exper-ience physical death. Throughout The Excursion, the reassur-ance to man through the revelations of his soul i s that death i s merely physical, but that there i s s p i r i t u a l continuity. E x i s t i n g in simple nature and enduring the conditions of the wilds, a man i s bred to become aware of a l l that his endeavour represents. Moreover, he r e a l i z e s that his unconscious function i s to bring things to a conscious existence: Acknowledge, then, that whether by the side Of t h i s poor hut, or on the mountain top, Or in the cultured f i e l d , a Man so bred l i v e s and breathes For noble purposes of mind; his heart Beats to the heroic song of ancient days; His eye distinguishes, his soul creates. (IV, 826-833) Man i s to be a noble creature, i s to stand for a l l that i s good, and i s to be a r e f l e c t i o n of his Creator. A man bred in the ruggedness of nature w i l l have the soul to detect the message of nature. He has been prepared since ancient days, before the ' f a l l ' , to see and to bring to r e a l i t y the plan of the 'abstract i n t e l l i g e n c e ' . - 16 -The plan for man i s that he must demonstrate God's promise of continued l i f e in the glory of the s p i r i t u a l realm. When man ' f e l l ' i n the Garden, he gained knowledge of death, and his v i s i o n of God's realm was obscured. The problems of death and despair have plagued him ever since. God has given man a soul, however, through which the impulses of nature speak of the g l o r i e s of the s p i r i t u a l world. A l l the things of which man i s capable are suggested: a sense of beauty, a sense of dignity and Tightness, and a capacity for worship of his Creator. As these capacities emerge, man becomes aware of God's s p i r i t u a l promise and must r e a l i z e his capacities are God-given q u a l i t i e s of the l i f e in Eden. Man must be the example and utterer of the promise of God. Through a l l changes of power, possessions, opinions and passions, Man's Duty endures. An 'abstract i n t e l l i g e n c e ' supplies immutable measures and forms to sustain man i n his purpose, and restores him d a i l y to the 'powers of sense/And reason's steadfast r u l e ' . God's plan i s for man to be a moral and purposeful being, to be aware of and worthy of his s p i r i t u a l continuity, and to be reassured by the promise of that continuity. A l l things around man are absorbed into his soul which creates a v i s i o n of splendour and magnificence of God's i n f i n i t u d e . - 17 -Much of the l a t t e r part of Book IV consists of an address by the Wanderer on the scale of being and the nature of man's duty to adore his Creator. He begins his address by proclaiming, 'We l i v e by Admiration, Hope and Love'. It i s on these that our 'dignity of being' rests and ascends. The S o l i t a r y , however, maintains that the Wanderer's suggest-ions would lead us to revive some of the questionable r e l i g i o u s practices of the past. The Wanderer points out that each l e v e l of i n t e l l i g e n c e worships in i t s own way, enough to demonstrate that there was an urge to worship in the f i r s t place. Their 'Progenitors' who shrank from 'vain observances' s t i l l acknowledged 'wheresoe'er they moved/A s p i r i t u a l presence' which f i l l e d t h e i r hearts 'with joy, and gratitude, and fear, and love'. Thus they were moved to utter 'hymns of praise'. Likewise, the 'bewildered Pagans of old time' acknowledged the good, Which warm sun s o l i c i t e d and earth Bestowed; were gladsome — and t h e i r moral sense They f o r t i f i e d with reverence for the Gods. (IV, 936-939) E a r l i e r i n Book IV, the Wanderer has talked of a 'benignity' that 'warms the mole', causes 'gilded summer f l i e s to mix', and i s f e l t among 'cawing rooks', 'sea mews' and even 'sedentary fowl'. A l l are related by a 'participation of delight/And a s t r i c t love of fellowship' which i s an action towards the scale of being beyond the s e l f . - 18 -It i s not meant, therefore, that man should i s o l a t e himself from the scale of being to avoid his r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s . The function of solitude i s to allow r e f l e c t i o n and growth, not to s h i e l d man from the stresses of the community. Once again the state of harmony and acquiescence in the Creator's plan i s blessed by a bright apparition: ....suddenly put forth, The rainbow smiling on the faded storm; The mild assemblage of the starry heavens; And the great sun, earth's universal l o r d . (IV, 462-465) Each element in the scale, therefore, adores the Creator by entering into a state of harmony and sympathy with the rest of the scale. The Wanderer, in f r i e n d l y admonishment of the S o l i t a r y for r e t i r i n g to solitude for the wrong reasons those of d i s a f f e c t i o n with the scale of being urges another attitude towards the use of solitude: 0 blest seclusion I when the mind admits The law of duty; and can therefore move Through each v i c i s s i t u d e of loss or gain Linked i n entire complacence with her choice. (IV, 1035-1038) A l l human f a i l i n g s of 'presumptuousness' and 'vain anxiety' f a l l away. The Wanderer then shows how man i s expected to worship his Creator. He speculates on the g i f t s of God, and says, 'Are they not, s t i l l , in some degree, rewards/For act of service?' God must have adoration from man. As the young boy with the sea s h e l l l i s t e n s , as the universe i s the ear of Faith, the Wanderer says to the friends, 'Here you stand,/Adore and worship'. - 19 -The Wanderer sees the S o l i t a r y ' s negative attitudes as re s u l t s of 'false conclusions of the reasoning power'. He, here, implies that the appreciation of the soul's v i s i o n of the scale of being i s a r a t i o n a l process. We may extend t h i s to say that the individual's adoration of His Creator should be a r a t i o n a l process. Obviously, to the Wanderer, the S o l i t a r y i s not applying a r a t i o n a l process properly. The 'Forms' of nature, i t s physical makeup and a c t i v i t i e s , are eternal and are there to guide man into right reasoning. The Wanderer fe e l s that nature can bend the S o l i t a r y ' s 'cherished sullenness', i f he w i l l trust himself to her 'rivers populous with g l i d i n g l i f e ' , 'printless sands', or the 'gloom of her majestic woods'. It i s among these 'Forms' comprising our landscape that man receives guidance towards r e a l i z a t i o n of the Creator's Being: Where l i v i n g things, and things inanimate, Do speak, at Heaven's command, to eye and ear, And speak to s o c i a l reason's inner sense, With i n a r t i c u l a t e language. (IV, 1204-1207) Man's 'reason', with which he comprehends and adores the Creator, can be guided for the right use. The adoration of the Creator i s a 'principle of love' which eventually reforms man, assuages his fears, and leads him to love the whole scale of being: For, the Man — Who, in t h i s s p i r i t , communes with the Forms Of nature, who with understanding heart Both knows and loves such objects as excite - 20 -No morbid passions, no disquietude, No vengeance, and no hatred — must needs f e e l The joy of that pure p r i n c i p l e of love So deeply, that u n s a t i s f i e d with aught Less pure and exquisite, he cannot choose But seek for objects of a kindred love In fellow natures and a kindred joy. (IV, 1207-1217) Thus man's duty i s to acknowledge his Creator, and to exist in a state of harmony with a l l things. For t h i s , God has given him a soul which must be exercised with right reason. The Wanderer r e i t e r a t e s the unquestionable function of the soul to guide us to manifest the greatness of the Being whence we came. The Wanderer asks of the S o l i t a r y , can you question that the soul Inherits an allegiance, not by choice To be cast o f f , upon an oath proposed By each new upstart notion? (IV, 1023-1026) The soul has a purpose, therefore, to reveal something to man. It has had t h i s purpose since man was placed i n t h i s temporal realm. Its function i s to assimilate the events and properties of t h i s physical r e a l i t y in order that man w i l l be aware of the f i n e s t of God's dimension. As the soul 'creates', i t has a way of concentrating on situations to bring an essence to r e a l i z a t i o n . A l l revelations would seem to be functions of an inner l i g h t , from the soul, - 21 -f u l f i l l i n g i t s function of l i n k i n g us with the great i n f i n i t e dimension of which we are part, and to which we are bound: Within the soul a faculty abides, That with interpositions, which would hide And darken, so can deal that they become Contingencies of pomp; and serve to exalt Her native brightness. (IV, 1072-1077) The l i g h t of the soul i s a r e f l e c t e d l i g h t from the realm of God's magnificence, just as the l i g h t of the moon i s a r e f l e c t e d l i g h t from the sun. The moon's l i g h t i l lum-inates and describes the shadows and v e i l s , and gives meaning to a dark physical picture. The soul's l i g h t , that of virtue from God, describes another more s p i r i t u a l scene, giving shape to the implications of our existence. The soul's l i g h t Sets forth and magnifies herself; thus feeds A calm, a be a u t i f u l , and s i l e n t f i r e . From the encumbrances of mortal l i f e , From error, disappointment — nay, from g u i l t ; And sometimes, so relenting j u s t i c e w i l l s , From palpable oppressions of despair. (IV, 1072-1077) Through l i g h t and revelation from the soul we have, then, an answer to the hard r e a l i t i e s of our existence. The function of the soul i s most emphatically described as providing for us a 'mysterious union with i t s native sea' : - 22 -I have seen A curious c h i l d , who dwelt upon a t r a c t Of inland ground, applying to his ear The convolutions of a smooth lipped s h e l l ; To which, in s i l e n c e hushed, his very soul Listened intensely, and his countenance soon Brightened with joy; for from within were heard Murmurings, whereby the monitor expressed Mysterious union with i t s native sea. Even such a s h e l l the universe i t s e l f Is to the ear of Faith; and there are times I doubt not, when to you i t doth impart Authentic t i d i n g s of i n v i s i b l e things.... (IV, 1133-1144) , As the s h e l l i s made i n the sea, but i s not the sea, so the universe i s made by God, but i s not God. The s h e l l r e c a l l s the mind of the curious c h i l d to the sea of which he has some f a i n t r e c o l l e c t i o n . The universe reminds man of a source at a great distance, and only f a i n t l y perceived. It i s through the soul, gathering.»,the workings .of the universe and nature within that universe, that man may construct a concept of the q u a l i t y of God's dimension. The q u a l i t i e s of nature that the eye discerns are constructs which intimate i n v i s i b l e things. The soul only i s able to 'create'. We are able to r e l y on the i n v i s i b l e things, and thus have hope that extends beyond t h i s temporal realm. Such communication i s possible where man, i n s o l i t u d e , i s in harmony with nature, Where l i v i n g things, and things inanimate Do speak, at Heaven's command, to eye, and ear, And speak, to s o c i a l reason's inner sense With i n a r t i c u l a t e language. (IV, 1204-1207) - 23 -A l l things inform man of God. It i s heaven's design and intention that they should. The language i s i n a r t i c u l a t e , and, therefore, d i f f i c u l t to describe. Consequently, the message must be clothed in recognizable images, suitably perceived. The s p i r i t u a l realm around us can be manifest only with the aid of the physical realm. The 'Forms' of nature are a l i n k in the communication between God and man: shared between God's ' i n t e l l e c t ' and man's 'labels' of physical r e a l i t y . The 'Forms', on further contemplation (and, in the r e l a t i o n which they bear to man) s h a l l show how they amplify ' s p i r i t u a l presences of absent things'. There i s a reception and a projection of images which are part of the mind's 'excursive power'. The soul causes us to grow towards knowledge and wisdom by i t s operation: So b u i l d we up the Being that we are; Thus deeply drinking in the soul of things, We s h a l l be wise perforce.... (IV, 1264-1266) The process of assimilation i s preordained to make us more noble and more aware of our o r i g i n s , r a i s i n g us to the heights to which we were meant to aspire, and to a t t a i n : Whate'er we see, Or f e e l , s h a l l tend to quicken and refine; Shall f i x , in calmer seats of moral strength, Earthly desires; and r a i s e to l o f t i e r heights Of divine love, our i n t e l l e c t u a l soul. (IV, 1270-1274) - 24 -As the elements of our present r e a l i t y become more e a s i l y understood, and the s t r a i n on our acceptance of the problems of our present r e a l i t y i s brought under control, so God's plan for man's return to grace comes closer to achievement. The i n t e l l e c t u a l soul assumes superiority, and begins to f i l l the entire space of man's conscious existence. By the end of Book IV, the sun has become all-encom-passing. The soul has become fused with the awareness which i t s illumination represents: .... a pomp Leaving behing a yellow radiance spread Over the mountainsides in contrast bold With ample shadows, seemingly, no less Than those resplendent l i g h t s , his r i c h bequest. (IV, 1301-1305) A l l vagueness i s gone. A l l nuance of comprehension has given way to t o t a l knowledge. This l e v e l of perception i s s i m i l a r to that l i g h t of the soul which can so deal with 'interpositions' that they become 'contingencies of pomp' -. Hence, throughout The Excursion we are presented wit scenes of illumination, r e f l e c t i o n , discernment and creation, and are shown as a development of the soul and a r e a l i z a t i o n of i t s informing purpose. The soul brings meaning to a l l i t absorbs such that i t s t o t a l emergence res u l t s in our integration in a state of oneness with the soul's source of - 25 -grace. By the soul, man i s led along to see h i s s i t u a t i o n and to interpret i t i n a way that assuages hi s doubts of divine benevolence. His understanding of divine benevolence constitutes a state of joy and r e s t o r a t i o n to the realm whence he came, that of his Creator. Book I of The Excursion describes the process of the development of the Wanderer's s e n s i t i v i t y from childhood to adulthood. This i s a gradual increase of his capacity f o r appreciating a s p i r i t u a l presence within the p h y s i c a l dimension of nature. The Wanderer becomes the instrument for a system applied to an appreciation of the experience of man. His increasing powers of discernment and i n t e r p r e -t a t i o n are credited to the functioning of his soul. The tone of the description of the Wanderer's developing mind suggests a destiny to be achieved by a process ordered by a divine Being. The narrator sees the Wanderer as one of those poets 'sown/By Nature; men endowed with highest g i f t s / The v i s i o n and the f a c u l t y divine'. With such g i f t s he was able to perceive 'the presence and the power/Of greatness'. In his l a t e boyhood, among the depths of naked crags, he was s e n s i t i v e to an 'ebbing and a flowing mind'. His mind was quick to recognize 'the moral properties and scope of things'. It early received 'deeply the lesson of love', because he - 26 -had been taught by Nature to f e e l intensely. The stimulation of the soul occurs soon i n youth, when he beholds the sun 'Rise up, and bathe the world in l i g h t ! ' The moment i s described as a 'high hour/Of v i s i t a t i o n from the l i v i n g God'. The youth's state i s one of having arrived at a state of communion with his ordaining Creator: Rapt into s t i l l communion that transcends The imperfect o f f i c e s of prayer and praise. His mind was a thanksgiving to the power That made him; i t was blessedness and love. (I, 215-218) The Wanderer, as a six year-old boy, returns in solitude from school in the darkness of the evening. In his imagination he sees 'the hills/Grow larger in the darkness', and he beholds 'the stars come out above his head'. The power of contrast i s very large in t h i s combination of huge darkness and minutely defined brightness. It i s in such a capacious communion that the 'foundations of his mind (are) l a i d ' . As such a c h i l d , and long before one might expect i t , he perceives the 'presence and the power/Of greatness'. His great s e n s i t i v i t y had been s t i r r e d : ....deep feelings had impressed So v i v i d l y great objects that they lay Upon his mind l i k e substances, whose presence Perplexed the bodily sense. (I, 136-139) - 27 -The images w i l l take on representational si g n i f i c a n c e which could l a t e r be used to construct patterns representative of man's l i f e processes: ....as he grew in years, With these impressions would he s t i l l compare A l l his remembrances, thoughts, shapes and forms; Of dimmer character, he thence attained An active power to fasten images Upon his brain; and on t h e i r pictured l i n e s I n f i n i t e l y brooded, even t i l l they acquired The l i v e l i n e s s of dreams. (I, 140-148) His future thinking w i l l be a manipulation of 'impressions' when he i s li m i t e d by ordinariness. His thinking process w i l l compose constructs of inte r p r e t i v e function using his images, almost at the l e v e l of dreams. His close r e f l e c t i o n on the physical forms gradually reveals non-physical q u a l i t i e s emanating from them. During his youth, he occupied the s i l e n t , secluded recess of the natural wilderness. Here, his observations were undisturbed by the busy outside world. What he saw was made v i t a l by an active imagination. In the mouldings and composition of the mute, unmoving rocks, he was able to determine the work and presence of an 'ebbing and flowing mind' expressing i t s e l f . The observations were the products of an eye of s u f f i c i e n t 'power' to discern such expression, or were from some concept of forms and functions inherent in his creative capacities, - 28 -or were the r e s u l t s of thoughts penned up waiting f o r some physical construct to give them si g n i f i c a n c e . Therefore, the physical and the non-physical become almost i d e n t i c a l , the one s u b s t i t u t i n g f o r , or suggesting the other. There i s a gradually enlivening agency within him which i s developing a r e c e p t i v i t y to a s p i r i t u a l dimension within the p h y s i c a l dimension: . . . . i n the after-day Of boyhood, many an hour in caves f o r l o r n , And 'mid the hollow depths of naked crags He sate, and even i n t h e i r f i x e d lineaments Or from the power of a peculiar eye Or by a creative f e e l i n g overborne, Or by a predominance of thought oppressed, Even i n t h e i r f i x e d and steady lineaments He traced an ebbing and a flowing mind, Expression ever varying! * (I, 153-162) He i s , as yet, however, not able to verbalize h i s f e e l i n g s , but only able to f e e l . But he i s well prepared for the reception of a l l the things which must pass into him to imply some lesson 'deep of love': In h i s heart When fear sate thus, a cherished v i s i t a n t , Was wanting yet the pure delight of love By sound diffused, or by the breathing a i r , Or by the s i l e n t looks of happy things, Or flowing from the universal face Of earth and sky. But he had f e l t the power Of nature, and already was prepared, By h i s intense conceptions, to receive Deeply the lesson deep of love which he Whom Nature, by whatever means, has taught To f e e l intensely, cannot but receive. (I, 186-196) - 29 -Earth and sky are a 'universal face' for the portraying of some q u a l i t i e s . The aspects of earth and sky w i l l play a v i t a l part in communication from the 'power' that i s in Nature. The mind prepared to receive such communications i s sure to receive them eventually. Such communications w i l l be described by an interplay of the 'great objects' which l i e l i k e substances upon his mind. The 'mind' with which he w i l l be communicating i s an 'ebbing' and a 'flowing' mind. It i s a flux which moves i n , around and through physical objects and images. The foundation of a creative and an inte r p r e t i v e mind i s l a i d while he i s yet a c h i l d . As a youth, however, his powers are increased by the operation of the main agency: the soul-....but for the growing youth What soul was his, when, from the naked top Of some bold headland, he beheld the sun Rise up, and bathe the world i n l i g h t ! He looked Ocean and earth, the s o l i d frame of earth And ocean's l i q u i d mass, in gladness lay Beneath him:- Far and wide the clouds were touched, And in t h e i r s i l e n t faces could he read Unutterable love. (I, 197-205) His soul expands with the r e a l i z a t i o n of the sense of adora-ti o n inherent in these 'Forms' of nature. The soul and the sun, or at least a metaphorical l i g h t , seem to be very closely connected. It i s i n t h i s sun's l i g h t that a l l other - 30 -physical images assume t h e i r human q u a l i t i e s . They l i e in 'gladness', and t h e i r faces express 'unutterable love'. In addition to having a communicating function, these images are to become his form of expression and conceptualization of ideas: ....his s p i r i t drank The spectacle: sensation, soul and form, A l l melted into him; they swallowed up His animal being; in them did he l i v e , And by them did he l i v e ; they were his l i f e . (I, 206-210) It i s clear that his experiences in the r e a l world are to be integrated in him as implications of a s p i r i t u a l dimension. He w i l l express his understanding of a s p i r i t u a l dimension through these images. His s p i r i t u a l being i s t o t a l l y integrated with the physical realm, and mentally at least, he i s a concentration of the operation of a s p i r i t in Nature. In fact, he i s so poised on the boundary between the s p i r i t u a l and the physical that his mind i n the physical realm i s a 'thanksgiving' to the power in the s p i r i t u a l realm that made him. It i s on the mountain top, as a summer herdsman, that he feels his inte r p r e t i v e s e n s i t i v i t i e s raised to a s i g n i -f i c a n t l e v e l . His existence i s often 'possessed' by the power in nature that w i l l make him nature's p r i e s t . In - 31 -these mountains, he i s able to ' f e e l ' a f a i t h . He i s con-nected to a message from the i n f i n i t e by his enlivened s e n s i b i l i t i e s . The f i n a l integration of his personal sensi-t i v i t i e s , his exposure to the informing power of nature, and his i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of nature's forms and measures with states of consciousness and awareness become a f a c i l i t y for projecting onto experience an int e r p r e t i v e system based on a God-given appreciation of patterns of physical phenomena and t h e i r s p i r i t u a l implications. His s p i r i t 'shapes her prospects': A l l things, responsive to the writing, there Breathed immortality, revolving l i f e , And greatness s t i l l revolving; i n f i n i t e : There l i t t l e n e s s was not; the least of things Seemed i n f i n i t e ; and there his s p i r i t shaped Her prospects, nor did he believe, — he saw. What wonder i f his being thus became Sublime and comprehensive I (I, 227-233) He appreciates a scheme of t o t a l i t y . A l l things seem to be related to each other; the scale of being, and the r e l a t i o n -ships include him. He, with his consciousness, gives things an existence. While he continues in the h i l l s pursuing more bookish r e f l e c t i o n over Milton and geometry, he keeps Nature upper-most in his heart by applying her images to abstract truth: Therefore wi Her forms, and with th He clothed the nakedne th her hues e s p i r i t of her forms, ss of austere truth. (I, 267-269) - 32 -The Wanderer i s thus prepared to absorb any experiences and to f i t them to a scheme which would imply an o v e r a l l plan including both physical and s p i r i t u a l dimensions: . . . . l i k e a Being made Of many Beings, he had wondrous s k i l l To blend with knowledge of the years to come, Human, or such as l i e beyond the grave. (I, 430-433) The model for the development of a soul, and i t s application, therefore, i s in the Wanderer. Within each in d i v i d u a l i s the potential to develop soul. Each in d i v i d u a l needs the operation of the soul to discern s p i r i t u a l continuity as a comfort against the fact of death. Temperament i s one of those factors which w i l l influence the degree of success of th i s operation of the soul, and the extent of the acceptance of i t s messages. We s h a l l see how the a b i l i t y to discern the s p i r i t u a l within the temporal i s applied i n other books of The Excursion. As the scenes unfold, and are plumbed by the soul, revelations occur in an atmosphere of considerable gratitude and reassurance. In Book II of The Excursion, the narrator and the Wanderer start the journey to v i s i t the S o l i t a r y . The characters of The Excursion are embarked on a journey upwards: f i r s t the vale of the S o l i t a r y , and then up to the - 33 -Pastor's churchyard. These are the physical extremes, which have t h e i r counterparts in the attitudes towards the events of adversity and death. For the S o l i t a r y , there seems to be no comfort; whereas for the Pastor there i s every comfort for an acceptance of adversity and death in t h i s temporal world. The journey ends with a l l three friends together, in Book IX, half way down the mountain, at the lake, at sunset. They occupy a mid-point, a type of point of repose and mutual acquiescence. The t r a v e l l e r s ' path i s upward. There i s an equating of r i s i n g and height with increasing perception. The journey upward c e r t a i n l y rewards the pair of t r a v e l l e r s with a v i s i o n of splendour. The landscape has two aspects for the t r a v e l l e r s , depending upon l i g h t and distance. Perspective and height allow a f u l l e r r e a l i z a t i o n of the potential of the landscape: ....with higher h i l l s Before us, mountains stern and desolate; But i n the majesty of distance, now Set o f f , and to our ken appearing f a i r Of aspect, with a e r i a l softness clad, And beautified with morning's purple beams. (II, 91-96) The q u a l i t i e s of f e e l i n g : 'stern', 'desolate', 'majesty', 'beautified', are projected by the observer. The scene could represent an act of veneration of something approaching - 34 -a royal or exalted state. The 'purple 1 beams give the occasion royal splendour. The t r a v e l l e r s ' minds are opened to generous and noble influences: ....our s p i r i t s braced, our thoughts Pleasant as roses in the thickets blown, And pure as dew bathing t h e i r crimson leaves. ( I I , 108-110) There i s a reassurance of purpose i n s p i r i t s that have been 'braced as roses'. Thoughts are given royal stature compared to the rather general q u a l i t y of the thic k e t s . A q u a l i t y of pur i t y i s added i n the gesture of anointing by 'dew bathing t h e i r crimson leaves'. The point of view developed i n The Excursion, s i m i l a r s p e c i f i c a l l y to that of the Wanderer, sees many actions and si t u a t i o n s as representative of other things. The s p i r i t u a l within tEe physical xs pos s i b l e , i f the physical imagery i s given a l l e g o r i c a l function. The images of roses, thickets, and dew are passed over by a wind, that which represents experience and poss i b l y that of adversity. Here i s a presentation of noble thoughts in a surrounding wilderness, of the endurance of the v i c i s s i t u d e s of experience, and then of the reception of d i v i n e sanction. R e f l e c t i o n i s rewarded with ennobling awareness. Man i s becoming aware of the tendency within the scale of being to exalt a Godhead. The 'Forms' of nature guide his thoughts. The soul receives the transmissions of nature, enlarges to them, and presents an intimation of the g r a t i f y i n g majesty of God's s p i r i t u a l dimension. - 35 -The t r a v e l l e r s continue t h e i r journey to meet the S o l i t a r y , the Wanderer recounting the misfortune of the S o l i t a r y who has become sc e p t i c a l of a l l things, and d i s -content with himself. The S o l i t a r y had the same or i g i n s as the Wanderer, 'from a stock of lowly parentage/Among the wilds of Scotland'. With great personal promise he entered the ministry. There was a certain weakness i n his character, however: by 'nature's power' and force of 'native i n c l i n a t i o n ' he became an ' i n t e l l e c t u a l r u l e r in the haunts/Of s o c i a l vanity'. For him, his image was important, and he expected rewards for his b r i l l i a n c e . For one with his p r i o r i t i e s so much in t h i s world, the deaths of his children and wife were p a r t i c u l a r l y hard to accept. In fact, for him, "Death blasted a l l ' . His own involvements i n the French Revolution and in the a c t i v i t i e s of men were so self-centred that he became disenchanted with a l l and jaundiced i n his outlook. He renounced a l l , and, by default, r e t i r e d to the h i l l s , to be at a safe distance from a world, 'not moving to his mind'. The ascent continues for 'some secret of the mountains' as they observe along the way cavern f a l l Of water, or some l o f t y eminence, Renowned for splendid prospect far and wide. (II, 320-322) - 36 -The ' l o f t y eminence1 i s a height from which they are to look down. It i s a point of view which enables revelation, 'splendid prospect'. They are on a p l a i n which i s a savage region, but which w i l l give a revelation of a vale. Such an image-structure i s similar to 'roses in thickets'. As there i s a sacramental gesture in the 'dew bathing t h e i r crimson leaves', so, also, i s there another such gesture i n the 'lowly vale — u p l i f t e d high/Among the mountains'. The language and action suggest the elevation of the sacred host. The friends come upon the vale which has been a sunken retreat from the world. It has at one end a quiet, treeless nook with two green f i e l d s , a g l i t t e r i n g pool and one bare dwelling. What the vale contains i s sacred. The enclosure i s 'urn-like' — a receptacle for something, or, perhaps, hinting at the work of art which i s the l i f e and hope i t contains. Two green f i e l d s suggest regeneration by the ef f o r t s of man. The pool of man's experience i s presented as a ' l i q u i d pool that g l i t t e r e d i n the sun'. It i s exper-ience which has had the l i g h t of revelation both shining on i t , and shining from i t . The hard surrounding rocks, within an atmosphere of 'poverty and t o i l ' , form a vessel of hope and knowledge 'uplifted high'. The whole action i s accom-panied by the cry of a cuckoo - for Wordsworth a b i r d of - 37 -hope which has been able to straggle upwards to shout f a i n t t idings of 'some gladder place'. The action i s an ind i c a t i o n of the existence of another dimension to which man may grow through experience by aspiring to the heights of his present existence. The narrator covets t h i s niche i n the mountains where man may c o l l e c t himself, 'unruffled by the gale/Of public news or private'. The t r a v e l l e r s ' a r r i v a l at t h e i r objective, which takes them through a rock passage into the vale, i s described as an emergence into l i g h t : 'we stepped/Into the presence of the cheerful l i g h t ' . Their e f f o r t s have brought them along the path of knowledge and experience towards further revelation. The friends l i s t e n to the disenchantments of the S o l i t a r y , the occupant of the one bare dwelling, then enjoy a meal and his description of the view from his window. In his descrip-t i o n , there i s an interplay of many of the peom's most frequently used images which are often linked to a sense of human a c t i v i t i e s . The S o l i t a r y himself sums everything up by drawing an intentional correspondence between 'thoughts' in the mind of man, and the mute agents of nature ' s t i r r i n g ' . From the window can be seen 'two peaks' around which the So l i t a r y describes the movement of the elements: - 38 -Many are the notes Which, in his tuneful course, the wind draws forth From rocks, woods, caverns and heaths and dashing shores, And well those l o f t y brethren bear t h e i r part In the wild concert — c h i e f l y when the storm Rides high; then a l l the upper a i r they f i l l With roaring sound, that ceases not to flow Like smoke, along the l e v e l of the blast, In mighty current.... (II, 696-703) The interplay of the wind and the storm with the elements of nature and the mountains i s si m i l a r to the a c t i v i t i e s and experiences which surround man to produce the symphony of l i f e . The mountains are involved not only i n the sounds, but also in the sights of l i f e : .... the clouds The mist, the shadows, l i g h t of golden suns, Motions of moonlight, a l l come hither (II, 712-714) ....there the sun himself At the calm close of summer's longest day Rests his substantial orb; — between those heights And on top of either pinnacle More keenly than elsewhere in night's blue vault Sparkle the stars, as of t h e i r station, proud. Thoughts are not busier in the mind of man Than the mute agents s t i r r i n g there: (II, 717-724) In t h i s scene of the 'wild concert', the clouds, mists and shadows represent nuances of understanding f i n a l l y to be defined by the sun's revealing rays. Some revelation i s attributable to the action of inner a c t i v i t y , the imagination, - 39 -'motions of moonlight'. It i s i n the moment of calm r e f l e c -t i o n of maturity, summer, that the l i g h t of understanding, the sun, 'rests' his revelations between 'those heights' and on the 'pinnacles', heights to which one must aspire and r i s e . It i s in the v i c i n i t y of these upthrusts of nature, the peaks, that the stars, tiny glimmerings of understanding, shine more br i g h t l y . This heightened and enlivened segment of man's existence allows greater c l a r i t y and b r i l l i a n c e of transmission of l i g h t , and understanding of a mutual s p i r i t within man and within nature. Exposure to the workings of nature with the action of the imagination allows a l i n k i n g of man's experiences with actions and permanence of nature's forms. The soul, of course, needs to be equal to the task of presenting the connection. The message, however, i s there i n nature, that there i s permanance within the p e r i o d i c i t y of mutability, but i t i s in a s p i r i t u a l sense, a sense of benevolent process and repose. The t r a v e l l e r s have arrived i n the vale, just after the death of an old man, known to the S o l i t a r y . A t a l e i s to l d , in part, to explain the cause of death of the old man. He had been working up on the mountainside, and had been caught - 40 -i n a f e a r f u l storm. The elements of the storm around him also produced revelations and transformations. He survived the storm by almost t o t a l l y covering himself with heathplant. The S o l i t a r y ' s description of the storm in i t s severity i s p a r t i c u l a r l y v i v i d : ....persevering r a i n Had f a l l e n in torrents; a l l the mountain tops Were hidden, and the black vapours coursed t h e i r sides.... (II, 781-783) The old man survived his storm, therefore, through his covering consisting of heathplant, a product of nature. Nature has q u a l i t i e s which w i l l preserve man in adversity. The searchers found him and carried him down the mountain. The S o l i t a r y had a v i s i o n during the descent. A l l the elements of nature and the storm interacted to produce a b r i l l i a n t spectacle, which was revealed to him in one step outside the 'blind' vapour. From his comprehension, the dimness had been removed, and there was revealed to his view Glory beyond a l l glory ever seen By waking sense or by the dreaming soul! (II, 832-833) There was a mighty c i t y descending to the depths of the vale. Everything was bathed i n splendour. This magnificent state which overpowered everything i s described as 'blazing terrace upon terrace, high/Uplifted'. Such an exalting of - 41 -illumination simulates, again, a sacramental gesture. A l l of t h i s was accomplished by the elements of nature, and the storm may be likened to the relationship of man to his struggle: By earthly nature had the effect been wrought Upon the dark materials of the storm Now p a c i f i e d . . . . (II, 846-848) Man can take his experience and develop magnificent r e s u l t s . Within the normal context of an earthly existence, using the elements of our existence, we can generate a heavenly state: This l i t t l e Vale, a dwelling place of Man, Lay low beneath my feet; 'twas v i s i b l e — I saw not, but f e l t that i t was there. That which I saw was the revealed abode Of S p i r i t s i n beatitude.... (II, 870-874) The passage stacks images which are consistently used to describe the agencies acting on man in a l i b e r a t i o n of his soul, which i s his capacity to appreciate the wonders of creation: jewels, temples, palaces, stars, mountain tops, steeps and summits, emerald t u r f , skies, throne and canopy, clouds, mists, streams, watery rocks, and b r i l l i a n t l i g h t . We must note how t h i s ideal dimension i s seen within the physical dimension of man. As the old man was returned to his home, he showed a 'faint shining from the heart'. Perhaps he was showing a r e f l e c t i o n of the v i s i o n scene. Perhaps he was soon to be a part of i t . Three weeks l a t e r , - 42 -he would die. After the t a l e i s to l d , the Wanderer i s anxious to get out into the sun. Perhaps he wishes to r e f l e c t , and to allow the l i g h t of revelation to work on him, while i t i s s t i l l there. Looking upon the interplay of the physical elements of nature, and sensing the flux of man's s p i r i t u a l l i f e , p o s i t i v e l y or otherwise, can have much to do with the state of mind of the observer. For the Wanderer, who has spent his l i f e giving himself to people and exercising right judgement, there can be no question of confidence in s p i r i t u a l continuity, whatever l i f e i n t h i s temporal existence brings. Long has he been a source of reassurance to those i n despair: To him appeal was made as to a judge; Who with an understanding heart, allayed The perturbation.... (II, 75-77) The S o l i t a r y , however, whose l i f e has been centred on himself and disappointments, cannot see p o s i t i v e l y beyond t h i s temporal existence. His a b i l i t y to perceive the s p i r i t u a l realm does not give him the confidence he craves. For him, his b e l i e f s are useless. He looked on the b u r i a l of the old man with bitterness: 'That poor Man taken hence today', r e p l i e d The S o l i t a r y , with a f a i n t s a r c a s t i c smile Which did not please me, 'must be deemed, I fear, Of the unblest; for he w i l l surely sink Into his mother earth without such pomp Of g r i e f , depart without occasion given By him for such array of fo r t i t u d e ' . (II, 593-599) - 43 -In spite of the v i s i o n of the ' S p i r i t s i n beatitude' which the S o l i t a r y had at the end of the search for the old man on the mountain, he f e e l s that he cannot be sustained beyond the end of t h i s temporal existence by i t . Book III of The Excursion, "Despondency", contains extensive interweaving of the s p i r i t u a l with the physical to probe deeply into the message of hope which the knowledge of a s p i r i t u a l future must mean to man. The S o l i t a r y accom-panies the t r a v e l l e r s on a ramble during which they might follow a stream to i t s source, where, haply, crowned with flowerets and green herbs, The mountain infant to the sun comes forth Like human l i f e from darkness. ( I l l , 32-34) The stream presents a human and a noble image. Its beginning i s 'crowned'. The crowning process i s a movement towards l i g h t . The d i r e c t i o n of nature i s towards l i g h t from a height. Human l i f e , as a stream, may be considered in the same way. From the heights, from the heavens, come the rains which swell the current 'into a loud and white robed w a t e r f a l l ' . Here i s imposing and pure majesty as the stream gains stature. As man moves along the stream of experience and knowledge, he w i l l gain a si m i l a r majesty of stature in awareness. - 44 • -Dwelling i n contemplation upon the scene r e s u l t s in the suggestion of human aspirations and concerns. The t r a v e l l e r s come upon another urn-like enclosure, t h i s time containing three p i l l a r s crowned with holly - another royal image. A wate r f a l l descends into the scene, but there i s no other movement. This i s imagined as a cabinet 'for sages b u i l t ' . The sky i s s i g n i f i c a n t l y linked to the place as a 'chasm' -the heavenly counterpart of the rock enclosure. Contemplation in such a place must elevate one's mind from the c i t y , or even from academic groves, to pursue truth. The herbalist and the geologist are not concerned with the region for purposes other than exploitation, and, therefore, would not be aware of any s p i r i t u a l q u a l i t i e s about the place. The S o l i t a r y sees l i t t l e hope and l i t t l e reason for the soul to 'soar/Far as she finds a y i e l d i n g element/In past or future'. He does not see where any words of assurance may be found. In fact, he states that nowhere can be found a 'better sanctuary/From doubt and sorrow, than the senseless grave'. He has been alluding, however, to 'impulses between earth and soul' that generate questions to soar towards a f u l l e r understanding of things. Although he does not pursue the image because of his despondency, i t i s intere s t i n g that he, also, should use the impulse idea. Here i s an image of transmitter and receiver, with messages from nature to man. - 45 -The waterfa l l and enclosure s i g n i f y the lif e - p r o c e s s in a manner similar to the Hindoos, who drawing the Ganges from a 'skyey fount', invoke a stream of human l i f e 'from seats of power divine'. Experience i s drawn into our souls, ever expanding i t . The S o l i t a r y , in an e f f o r t to lessen the severity of his despondent words, r e c a l l s a time when he could l i v e with the problems of t h i s l i f e . He had a f l e x i b l e and r e s i l i e n t s p i r i t which allowed him to 'enjoy the v i t a l beams/Of present sunshine'. He continues on to describe how he met adversity and despair, using the imagery of nature in a manner sim i l a r to the Wanderer's. — "Blow winds of autumnl — l e t your c h i l l i n g breath Take the l i v e herbage from the mead, and s t r i p The shady forest of i t s green a t t i r e , — And l e t the bursting clouds of fury rouse The gentle brooks! — Your desolating sway Sheds", I exclaimed, "no sadness upon me, And no disorder i n your rage I f i n d " . ( I l l , 307-313) He has always seen t h i s as preferable to the 'perpetual warbling that prevails/In Arcady, beneath unaltered skies'. Man i s able to accept the stripping away of the greenness of l i f e , the passing of youth and the sapping of the s p i r i t . He also reveals i n the bursting clouds rousing the gentle brooks. Such i s the charging of s e n s i t i v i t y , swelling the flow of experience and r e f l e c t i o n . The human process and - 46 -the natural image are very closely bound together in the Sol i t a r y ' s view. Also, he feels there i s a more s i g n i f i c a n t r e a l i t y in the 'elements' than i n the conceits of fancy. Man may better interpret his human process in natural images than in the contrived conceits of fancy. The S o l i t a r y i s attempting to s t a b i l i z e his state of mind and perceptions with something fundamental, such as nature. He must show nature as both s p i r i t u a l agent and physical r e a l i t y , portraying his inner and outer states. The events of his l i f e , consisting of many disappointments, the death of his children and wife, and his disillusionment with the course of the French Revolution, make him search for s t a b i l i t y and assurance. He says that man's prime aim i s 'security from shock of accident/Release from fear...'. In enduring and regenerating Nature he has a hope of eternal security. He continues by saying that we have a universal i n s t i n c t for repose, The longing for confirmed t r a n q u i l l i t y , Inward and outward.... — the l i f e where hope and memory are as one — (III, 397-400) To him the outward r e a l i t y should be just another extension of the inner state. There may well be a f a c i l e t r a n s i t i o n from the mental process to the r e a l , natural process, and vice-versa. He i s i n an acquiescent state as he notes the - 47 -earth's 'native energies' which can permeate man to provide a 'calm/Without v i c i s s i t u d e ' . It i s , however, an acquiescence in hopes not quite r e a l i z e d . Though the S o l i t a r y i s a d i s i l l u s i o n e d man, his description of the events of his l i f e i s s t i l l best made by his resort to 'nature' imagery, as i f the imagery implied the event, and the experience of the event was inherent in the imagery. An e c s t a t i c state of nature i s presented as a picture of his marriage. With his young bride, the S o l i t a r y took many walks. Their l i f e together was a time of awakening, growth and deepening of perception. Their changing state i s described in terms of the sun's e f f e c t s . They behold ....the shining giver of the day diff u s e His brightness o'er the tract of sea and land, Gay as our s p i r i t s , free as our desires; As our enjoyments, boundless. .. . ( I l l , 539-543) There i s no difference between the natural l i g h t and the enlightenment of th e i r emerging s e n s i t i v i t y . The sun i s both a natural brightness and the brightness of human comprehension. The S o l i t a r y ' s luck changes, and his disappointments begin. His children die. His wife's reaction i s described in the imagery of water and wind: - 48 -Calm as a frozen lake when ruthless winds Blow f i e r c e l y , agitated earth and sky, The mother now remained.... ( I l l , 650-652) The body i s described as water, earth and sky, and i t s condition i s termed as frozen, and agitated. The influences on i t are 'ruthless winds' which 'blow f i e r c e l y ' . When her second c h i l d dies, the woman's condition can only be hardene and a l l a b i l i t y to perceive i s limited to an acceptance of some divine plan. Another death cannot cause her to sink any lower. Although she to the lowest region of the soul Had been erewhile unsettled and disturbed, This second v i s i t a t i o n had no power To shake; but only to bind up the soul; And to establish thankfulness of heart In heaven's determinations, ever j u s t . ( I l l , 653-658) The event of death brings her a r e a l i z a t i o n of 'heavens's determinations'. She has gone from one extreme to the other. She has been 'intimate with love and joy/And a l l the tender motions of the soul', and now she has descended to the 'lowest regions of the soul'. This process seems to complete her development of s e n s i b i l i t y , 'to bind up and seal', and leaves her with the ultimate r e a l i z a t i o n of the s p i r i t u a l within the physical dimension of l i f e . The mother dies, and now the S o l i t a r y must reconcile the s i t u a t i o n to himself. It i s his turn to review meanings - 49 -Then my soul Turned inward - to examine of what s t u f f Time's f e t t e r s are composed. ( I l l , 695-697) His f i n a l reaction i s to leave England for America to escape. The v i s i t to America r a i s e s him to another height of r e a l i z a t i o n , however. He i s walking along the banks of the M i s s i s s i p p i . He i s able to project his mind to a mental 'eminence' and i s able to look down on what his mind i l l u m -inates - l i g h t from the soul: ....he walks; Pleased to perceive his own unshackled l i f e And h i s innate c a p a c i t i e s of soul, There imaged: or when, having gained the top Of some commanding eminence, which yet Intruder ne'er beheld, he thence surveys Regions of wood and wide savannahy- vast - . Expanse of unappropriated earth, With mind that sheds l i g h t on what he sees; Free as the sun and lonely as the sun, Pouring above his head i t s radiance down Upon a l i v i n g and r e j o i c i n g world.' ( I l l , 932-943) It i s as i f he i s able, at t h i s time at any rate, to 'perceive' an 'unshackled l i f e ' . He r e a l i z e s that he does have capaci-t i e s of soul which are both innate and imaged i n nature. In surveying nature, he comprehends with a mind that sheds l i g h t on what he sees. This comprehension i s free-ranging, but e s s e n t i a l l y lonely, or requires loneliness. The compre-hension has the image of 'pouring' radiance from above his - 50 -head, s p e c i f i c a l l y i d e n t i f i e d as the sun, and sim i l a r to a wate r f a l l pouring into a rocky enclosure. The radiance both illuminates a ' l i v i n g and r e j o i c i n g world' and i s the l i v i n g and r e j o i c i n g of the soul. Thus a s p i r i t u a l promise i s apprehended within the physical realm. The l i n k between the beholder and the beheld, between physical r e a l i t y and grace, i s the radiance of the sun, the l i g h t of divine revelation, the operation of the soul. The composition of the So l i t a r y ' s l i f e i s sim i l a r to the 'mountain brook' which, in some ' s t i l l passage of i t s course', contains 'within the depths of i t s capacious breast/Inverted trees, rocks, clouds, azure sky'. The stream i t s path and obstacles represents human l i f e composed of elements of nature: 'Such a stream/Is human l i f e ' . The events in the stream, 'specks of foam/And conglobulated bubbles undissolved', are evidence of the stream's movement. A 'murmur' and 'floating i s l e s ' make the earthborn t r a v e l l e r in the stream think and r e a l i z e that things encountered w i l l be encountered again and again, u n t i l he reaches an 'unfathom-able gulf' where ' a l l i s s t i l l ' . The S o l i t a r y looks forward, longingly, to absorption in t h i s f i n a l state of death, the 'senseless grave'. He i s not long one who delights in the variety of l i f e ' s stimulations. - 51 -In Book V of The Excursion, another person, the Pastor, enters to reinforce interweaving of the s p i r i t u a l and the physical. Light and awareness occur together again, where the t r a v e l l e r s journey to meet the Pastor. The Pastor must represent a p r i e s t that the friends can consider 'genuine'. They a l l seem prepared to l i s t e n to his conversation, though the S o l i t a r y finds l i t t l e encouragement in what i s said. The Wanderer describes the Pastor as a minister, Detached from pleasure, to the love of gain Superior, insusceptible of pride, And by ambitious longings undisturbed. (V, 45-47) The valley i s spoken of as a place of growth of awareness. It i s a place open to the ' s t i l l flux of the morning l i g h t ' . The narrator i s following his friends along the road. They are already i n 'morning sunshine', being further along the road in t h e i r quest. They descend into a val l e y . To describe t h e i r view a number of regularly used images occur together: grey churchtower, c r y s t a l Mere, steep h i l l s , a copious stream, with the whole construct l i t by a ' g l i t t e r i n g sun'. Although they descend, they pause on an eminence below which the valley i s stretched. They survey, Upon a r i s i n g ground a grey churchtower, Whose battlements were screened by the tufted trees. And towards a c r y s t a l Mere, that lay beyond Among steep h i l l s and woods embosomed, flowed A copious stream with boldly-winding course; Here traceable, there hidden — there again To sight restored, and g l i t t e r i n g in the sun - 52 -On the stream's bank, and everywhere, appeared F a i r dwellings, single, or in s o c i a l knots; Some scattered o'er the l e v e l , others perched On the h i l l s i d e s , a cheerful quiet scene, Now in i t s morning purity arrayed. ( V , 8 0 - 9 1 ) Wordsworth presents the scale of being in a most g r a t i f y i n g l i g h t . The grey churchtower i s on ' r i s i n g ground', a hint that the church may represent something greater than the commonplace. A 'copious stream' from these 'knots' of human existence moves over a 'boldly-winding' course. This i s a stream of human experience which has found a way through the ' h i l l s ' of adversity and aspiration, through the 'woods' which grow upon r e a l i t y , to tr a v e l to a 'crystal Mere' of the consolidation of a l l experience. The l i v e s of men are able to maintain t h e i r positions on the h i l l s i d e s of exper-ience to bask in the morning purity of l i g h t , an aura of grace. The t r a v e l l e r s arrive at the churchyard which represents the important consolidation of human experience. The sun has rise n over t h i s scene. In the church, they meet the Pastor who leads them out 'to a spot/Where sun and shade (area) intermixed'. He w i l l recount the l i v e s of some of the occupants of the churchyard to present examples that span the scale of being. The friends w i l l be par t l y enlightened, partly puzzled, and even disconcerted in some cases. The churchyard i s the - 53 -place of the dead. The So l i t a r y looks on the churchyard dejectedly. He sees nothing but tales of 'sorrow and shame' coming from the graves. The season of autumn i s equated with the loss of l i f e , a time when bowers that hear no more The voice of gladness, less and less supply Of outward sunshine and inter n a l warmth. (V, 406-408) If the narrator i s using the conventional images in such a consistent way, with sunshine and warmth comprising part of a l i v i n g state, i t i s f a i r to assume sim i l a r q u a l i t i e s about the other seasons. In t h i s i d y l l i c v a l ley, a l l the content-edness, happiness and love are described in terms of l i g h t . It i s the S o l i t a r y , t h i s time, who i s able to resort to l i g h t imagery, as he looks on the valley, protected from the greater distresses of the outside world, As i f the sunshine of the day were met With answering brightness in the hearts of a l l Who walk the favoured ground. (V, 414-417) There i s an obvious attempt to allude to an inner brightness 'of the sky' which would also seem to be operating in a state of r e l a t i v e grace: 'in the hearts of all/Who walk the favoured ground'. After an introduction to 'our nature', the Pastor describes 'best reason' through a l l our weaknesses and clouded judgements as being a 'noble aim'. His i l l u s t r a t i o n - 54 -i s one of the action of l i g h t . His terms of 'best reason' and 'unassisted reason" become two aspects of the graveyard. The revealing l i g h t in the churchyard i s that of the sun. The observer must be i n the appropriate p o s i t i o n to observe i t s two e f f e c t s : Go forward and look back; Look from the quarter whence the l o r d of l i g h t , Of l i f e , of love and gladness does dispense His beams; which unexcluded i n t h e i r f a l l Upon the southern side of every grave Here gently exercise a meeting power; Then w i l l a vernal prospect greet your eye A l l f resh and b e a u t i f u l , and green and b r i g h t , Hopeful and cheerful (V, 538-547) It i s most noteworthy that the sun respresents two states. He i s l o r d of not only l i g h t , a physical state, but also of l i f e , love and gladness: s p i r i t u a l q u a l i t i e s . Since we see his brightness presiding over enlightenment, even r e v e l a t i o n , we may assume a connection between these q u a l i t i e s . Spring i s simulated by t h i s l i g h t . The q u a l i t y of the greenness of spring must give hope and cheer wherever i t occurs. One can look from the north at the gravesides which have not the l i g h t of the sun, and see an 'unillumined, blank and dreary p l a i n ' . One can go forward, however, and look back. From the north, of course, the l i g h t i s not seen from the r i g h t angle, and another image emerges, that of winter, with a l l i t s q u a l i t i e s : - 55 -This contrast, not unsuitable to l i f e , Is to that other state more apposite, Death and i t s two-fold aspect! wintry Cold, sullen, blank, from hope and joy shut out; The other, which the ray divine hath touched, Replete with v i v i d promise, bright as spring. (V, 551-557) It i s inter e s t i n g to note that one of these aspects of death, the one seen in the right l i g h t , has been touched with a 'ray divine', a ray 'replete with v i v i d promise, bright as spring'. The season of winter, one of dormancy, gives way to a type of spring, a r e b i r t h , but into another dimension. Death i s a necessary state for t h i s t r a n s i t i o n 'not unsuitable to l i f e ' . The l i g h t of t h i s world, therefore, can so reveal things as to suggest the hope of r e b i r t h into the l i g h t of another world. If we can assume these two l i g h t s to be of the same source, then, perhaps, we can assume that both l i g h t s are operating in any one si t u a t i o n at the same time, but giving a double v i s i o n such as the So l i t a r y had on the mountain i n Book II. It r e a l l y i s a matter of the observer being in the right position or state for the observation. The Wanderer i l l u s t r a t e s t h i s idea when he says to the Pastor, "We see, then, as we f e e l " . The Pastor responds to the request of the friends to describe the l i v e s and q u a l i t i e s of some of the occupants of the graveyard. He begins with the cottage of the quarryman up on the mountainside. We have some interplay of images, with a notable resort to a quality of l i g h t . - 56 -You behold, High on the breast of yon dark mountain, With stoney barrenness, a shining dark speck Bright as a sunbeam sleeping t i l l a shower Brush i t away, or cloud pass over i t ; And such i t might be deemed — a sleepy sunbeam, But ' t i s a plot of c u l t i v a t e d ground, Cut o f f , an island in the dusky waste; And that a t t r a c t i v e brightness i s i t s own. (V, 670-678) The spot on the mountain i s representative of man's endeavours, presented as lightness, a sleeping sunbeam. This l i g h t i s latent, and w i l l be brought to b r i l l i a n c e by a shower. Something capable of b r i l l i a n c e in man can be awakened by experience, and a revealed understanding of beauty i s available to those i n the sun, in the presence of the l i g h t of revelation. C u l t i v a t i o n of nature reveals an 'attractive brightness' which i s ' i t s (our?) own'. The Wanderer has had some acquaintance with t h i s spot. He r e c a l l s a journey of his through the dark pass in autumn and of being greeted by the l i g h t held up by the Dame of the cottage. It was a journey through darkness, towards l i g h t , and since autumn i s mentioned, one wonders whether i t was a time of personal autumn for the Wanderer, less supplied of 'outward sunshine and inte r n a l warmth'. He c e r t a i n l y found the antidote to such a problem in the cottage. The f r i e n d -ship there, exchange of ideas, increase of knowledge, are - 57 -a l l enjoyed in the l i g h t of the f i r e . It i s by the l i g h t of that f i r e that the Wanderer i s able to review the state of the quarryman: I studied as we sate By the bright f i r e , the good man's form and face Not less than b e a u t i f u l . . . . (V, 778-780) He begins to f e e l that such q u a l i t i e s have been with man for a long time and are from a superior spurce: From a fount Lost, thought I, in the obscurities of time, But honoured once, those features and that mien May have descended, though I see them here. (V, 786-789) These two people have a state next to holiness in th e i r existence which the Wanderer represents favourably in a condition of l i g h t : For you each evening hath i t s shining star, And every sabbath-day i t s golden sun. (V, 836-837) Each day in the winter months the quarryman i s guided home from darkness by l i g h t . Each Sunday the pair enjoy the l i g h t of th e i r relationship together, after the separation and darkness of the week. The Pastor points out how the people of the churchyard have made t h e i r several contributions to the existence of man. The imagery he uses i s consistent with what we have - 58 -come to expect when such matters are being described: streams and lakes -- with l i g h t . The t o t a l experience of man has been enriched by the i n d i v i d u a l experiences: Even as the multitude of kindred brooks And streams, whose murmur f i l l s t h i s hollow vale Whether t h e i r course be turbulent or smooth, Their waters cl e a r or s u l l i e d , a l l are l o s t Within the bosom of yon c r y s t a l Lake. (V, 916-920) The material here, water, i s the same wherever i t i s , but i t s movement requires an energy. Brooks and streams can only exist i f water i s raised to a height by sunlight. They tumble down the mountain streambed to the lake to give up t h e i r energy i n turbulence and sound. Some a r r i v e c l e a r , some s u l l i e d . Such i s the experience of man, ra i s e d by the l i g h t of knowledge to j o i n in a struggle and to s t r i v e f or repose in joy. The Pastor i s eminently suited to present a moderating and balanced viewpoint. The Wanderer considers him to be a 'genuine P r i e s t ' . He i s one who has withdrawn from academic bowers, powerful friends, and an a r i s t o c r a t i c family to the 'calm del i g h t s of unambitious piety'. He has emulated The ancient r u r a l character, composed Of simple manners, feel i n g s unsupprest And undisguised, and strong and serious thought; A character r e f l e c t e d in himself. (V, 116-120) - 59 -The Wanderer agrees with the more rigorous 'best reason' suggested by the Pastor for man's enlightenment. The So l i t a r y , however, prefers the other 'unassisted reason' which the Pastor mentions as the easier, though less rewarding exercise for man. Here, things are just accpeted, though, i r o n i c a l l y enough, the S o l i t a r y cannot do that. Hence, we see his continual f r u s t r a t i o n and unhappiness. He i s in the position of having knowledge which w i l l not ea s i l y allow him to r e t i r e from duty. He would be with those who do not question, who to your d u l l society are born, And with t h e i r humble b i r t h r i g h t rest content. — Would I had ne'er renounced i t I (V, 619-621) The Wanderer i s able to applaud the Pastor in his views. He i s sometimes, however, too effusive in his agreements. He r e a l l y has his confidence in a s p i r i t of nature which he has worked out for himself, or for the in d i v i d u a l , at le a s t . The Wanderer reports in terms of the whole of the cosmic scale of being. In his optimism, he evades the very r e a l dissuasive anguish of the immediacy of man's adversity. Man can forget his part in the t o t a l scheme without some pa r t i c u l a r attention and reinforcement. The Pastor, however, - 60 -speaks for the concept of the s o c i a l scale of being. He can apply t h e i r shared understandings of the temporal and s p i r i t u a l in p r a c t i c a l terms for the present comfort of man. He, alone, i s best able to sum i t up: L i f e , I repeat, i s energy of love Divine or human; exercised in pain, In s t r i f e , i n t r i b u l a t i o n ; and ordained, If so approved and s a n c t i f i e d , to pass, Through shades of s i l e n t rest, to endless joy. (V, 1012-1016) The Pastor represents something at which the i n s t i t u t i o n -a l i z e d priesthood has f a i l e d , though he i s accepted as successful. He presents humanity as ordained to pass through a testing process to achieve a state of grace, the awareness of which i s a reassurance to man in adversity. He can do t h i s i n a meaningful way, however, without alienating the extremes represented by the Wanderer and the S o l i t a r y . In Book VI of The Excursion, the Pastor and some of the occupants of the graveyard exemplify the type of mortal who has responded successfully to the action of the l i g h t of the soul. The Pastor represents one of the enlightened clergy who can lead the Church to maintain a dignity of freedom in the land. The greatness of the nation i s exalted with the greatness of the Church, each of which may endure as 'long as the sea surrounds/This favoured land or sunshine warms her s o i l ' . The 'sea' i s the wealth of human experience in - 61 -close moderating proximity to our dai l y actions, and the 'sunshine' i s that which pervades enlightened actions. The church, d i r e c t i n g the nation and r i s i n g above those things which would obscure the s p i r i t of freedom, can exercise the l i b e r a t i n g agency of enlightenment and grace. The Church can provide the understanding necessary for preserving sovereignity so that man can continue his d i g n i f i e d pursuits The poet c a l l s for clergy intent on accepting t h i s charge for the Church. Their day must 'shine' with the 'heavenly l u s t r e ' . They must be scholars, protect truth, and gain 'illuminating grace' by t h e i r diligence and constancy 'divine'. The Pastor i s one of these people. As the Pastor recounts the experiences of some of the occupants of the graveyard, we see an application of l i g h t imagery to t h e i r episodes of soul development. The herb-gatherer has had his disappointments in love with a subseque physical decline. He has come to f e e l more strongly; his s e n s i t i v i t y has been heightened. His loss in one area w i l l be assuaged by heaven with a gain in some other area. Reassurance w i l l come from ....the eye of Heaven, That opens, for such sufferers, r e l i e f Within the soul, fountains of grace divine; And doth command th e i r weakness and disease To nature's care And by her beautiful array of forms Shedding sweet influence from above.... (VI, 179-187) - 62 -It i s within the soul that a healing agency can operate. The soul must assimilate the beauty of the 'forms' of nature. The illumination of those forms w i l l come from above — from the sun, the source of l i f e , the Godhead. The soul w i l l recognize t h i s as i t s own l i g h t , also. The herbgatherer recovers, to die l a t e r of a fever, but he has remained f a i t h f u l to his early love to the end. His has been a simple f a i t h , sustained by the dignity of nature. The mine labourer has, apparently, negative pursuits. His persistence in the face of much discouragement simply reinforces the Wanderer's impression that man has been given strength of perserverence to endure adversity. Though his eagerness borders on an indescriminate acceptance of a l l onslaughts of fate against man's s p i r i t , his enthusiastic endorsement of the Pastor's words voices his assurance that God must and w i l l provide strength and d i r e c t i o n to r e c o n c i l adversity and death To the virtuous grant The penetrative eye which can perceive In t h i s b l i n d world the vein of hope. (VI, 254-256) The miner's tenacity could hardly be seen as any manifes-tati o n of great virtue, but, perhaps, more as the under-standable human blindness of p l a i n greed. The Pastor, however, urges a more generous view of the needs of humanity - 63 -Yet the sigh Which wafts that prayer to heaven i s due to a l l , Wherever l a i d , who l i v i n g f e l l below Their v i r t u e ' s humbler mark; a sigh of pain If to the opposite extreme they sank. (VI, 266-270) A l i t t l e l a t e r , the S o l i t a r y ' s b i t t e r attitude i s evident i n his own outburst over the pretentious i n s c r i p t i o n above the graves of the 'Jacobite' and the 'Hanoverian'. In speaking • of some 'tragic muse' that could f i n d 'apt subjects' i n such a graveyard, he shows his view of the existence with which he sees us a f f l i c t e d , 'dread s t r i f e ' , Of poor humanity's a f f l i c t e d w i l l Struggling i n vain with ruthless destiny. (VI, 555-557) The Pastor, however, gives a moderating response to t h i s . He says that we must admit that human l i f e abounds with 'mysteries' that tear at our t r u s t in a ' c o n t r o l l i n g Providence' Not denying the S o l i t a r y ' s grounds for bitterness, but urging a more philosophical approach to these r e v e r s a l s of fortune, the Pastor counsels, i f F a i t h were l e f t untried, How could the might, that lurks within her, then Be shown? her glorious excellence — that ranks Among the f i r s t of Powers and Virtues proved? (VI, 563-566) The graveyard covers a l l graves with the same greenness, s i g n i f y i n g a new st a r t for a l l . The spectacle of the graveyard i s one of harmony a f t e r death: - 64 -Green i s the churchyard, beautiful and green, Ridge r i s i n g gently by the side of ridge, A heaving surface, almost wholly free From interruption of sepulchral stones, And mantled o'er with aboriginal turf And everlasting flowers. (VI, 605-610) Undulations are common, usually on water or land — movements on a mother body of permanence. The graveyard i s another form of repository of experience, marked in a regal way, or 'mantled' and garlanded with 'everlasting flowers'. The flowers are signs of growth, beauty and memory. The memories of the Dalesmen are termed as l i n g e r i n g 'gleams': presences of l i g h t , small occurrences of r e a l i z a t i o n , soul, dying embers, shared experiences which contributed to mutual growth. There i s hope here, a reassurance that death can prey only on mortal things: 'things/Of earth and human nature's mortal part'. In the graveyard, the Pastor has experienced a 'natural s p i r i t ' which soothes. The epitaphs t e l l of t r i a l s borne. The graves are 'enclosures' protecting from malice and e v i l i n c l i n a t i o n s . The Pastor i s prepared to t a l k about examples of love, esteem, and admiration, and, in so doing, — l i f t i n g up a v e i l , A sunbeam introducing among hearts Retired and covert.... (VI, 649-651) He fe e l s that some sto r i e s of the Dalesmen would touch on q u a l i t i e s of merit, the 'elements of virt u e , that declare/ The native grandeur of the human soul'. Some q u a l i t i e s are found in a l l types of men, even in 'the grey cottage by the murmuring stream'. There i s a close comparison between the Dalesmen's 'natural grandeur' and the sunbeams casting clear images, before your gladdened eyes, Of nature's unambitious underwood, And flowers that prosper in the shade. (VI, 652-654) This could be a general metaphor for most men, and man's average condition. We should be glad that i t i s possible for man in his 'unambitious' or enlightened state to bloom, even in the p a r t i a l l i g h t of the 'shade'. E l l e n i s an example of the range of imagery applied to the progression of awareness in one l i f e . As a young g i r l , she was spotless in her character and f i l l e d the area with mirth, merriment, dancing and singing: a l l manifestations of the soul's g i f t s from God. Her performances were f i t for Twelfth Night, 'beneath the frosty stars/Or the clear moon'. She i s an example of the l i g h t of the soul at work. She becomes pregnant and i s deserted by her lover. Darkness and l i g h t are Ellen's images for the actions of - 66 -unenlightened animal nature and those of man, or her lover, at le a s t . Standing by the cottage, El l e n ' s home, are trees in which two birds have a nest. One b i r d i s singing to the other in the nest, as i f he wished the firmament of heaven Should l i s t e n , and give back to him the voice Of his triumphant constancy and love. (VI, 882-884) E l l e n i s unable to understand that, in spite of a l l things such as a solemn pledge, nature, reason, and 'fear of him who i s a righteous judge', her lover i s able to desert her. Speaking of the b i r d and man, she i s dismayed 'how far/His darkness doth transcend our f i c k l e l i g h t ' . Even at the lower end of the scale of being there i s a sense of adoration. In man, where reason must be exerted, where a d i s c i p l i n e d attitude must be fostered, our l i g h t becomes ' f i c k l e ' . There i s the implication that aspiration to a state of grace must be a conscious and r a t i o n a l action. Ellen's lover c l e a r l y i s not exercising his reason in his attitude towards the scale of being. The b i r t h of her c h i l d , however, causes a 'kin d l i e r passion' to open 'on her soul'. Her joy i s now greater than that which the bewildered t r a v e l l e r f eels When he beholds the f i r s t pale speck serene Of dayspring in the gloomy east, revealed. (VI, 911-915) - 67 -Our l i f e ' s path i s through experiences which could obscure our view of God's greatness. There i s l i g h t at the end of the journey, however, and great joy in moving towards i t through the gloom. E l l e n leaves home to r e l i e v e her mother of the double burden of looking a f t e r her baby, but the baby dies. Great i s E l l e n ' s sadness: 'the green s t a l k of E l l e n ' s i i f e was snapped/And the flower drooped'. She has b u i l t her 'nest' too near the r i v e r ' s edge, the way of the world, and i t has been wrecked by the summer flood, her maturity. Now she wishes to die. There i s nothing l e f t . In her g r i e f , her s e n s i t i v i t y i s greatly heightened, and t h i s i s r e f l e c t e d in the imagery. Her ghastly face of 'cold decay' put on a 'sunlike beauty' and 'appeared divine'. E l l e n dies, and she moves to another realm, away fr-gm t h i s earthly dimension of l i m i t a t i o n and d i s t r e s s : ....through the cloud of death her s p i r i t passed Into the pure unknown world of love Where injury cannot come. (VI, 1049-1051) In the act of dying, the s p i r i t passes through a 'cloud' to a pure dimension whence i t came. After the story of E l l e n , the friends are a l l very moved. Even the S o l i t a r y showed acquiescence i n 'the power of nature'. The Wanderer was the f i r s t to break the s i l e n c e : He was i t who f i r s t broke The pensive s i l e n c e , saying: 'Blest are they Whose sorrow rather i s to suffer wrong Than to do wrong, a l b e i t themselves have erred.' (VI, 1068-1071) - 68 -'Wrong' i s a condition which we must endure in t h i s dimension. To do so i s to aspire to grace. In the l a s t example of fo r t i t u d e in Book VI, a father has been l e f t a widower. The daughters, however, are a great boon to him, and, therefore, we might expect l i g h t to attend the scene. There i s a brightness of considerable flower imagery surrounding the cottage of t h i s family nearby, which a r i l l , sparkling thrids the rocks (attuning) his voice To the pure course of human l i f e which there Flows on in solitude. (VI, 1171-1173) The p r i e s t has seen something through the window of t h i s abode that would hint at the graceful atmosphere of the home showing through the 'blazing window'. The l i g h t of the 'mother's s p i r i t yet survives on earth' in the wonderful ministry of these g i r l s . Light i s c l e a r l y i d e n t i f i e d with a state of grace and enlightenment. It i s through the soul that t h i s l i g h t of grace can show us things. The soul operates to inform us of the message of hope illuminated by the metaphorical l i g h t of grace and enlightenment. In Book VII of The Excursion, the s t o r i e s t o l d by the Pastor f i l l the l i s t e n e r with strong feelings more than any other pleasures. - 69 -But to a higher mark than song can reach Rose t h i s pure eloquence. And when the stream Which overflowed the soul was passed away A consciousness remained that i t had l e f t Deposited upon the s i l e n t shore Of memory, images and precious thoughts That s h a l l not die, and cannot be destroyed. (VII, 24-30) The soul i s mentioned as being f i l l e d to overflowing with a stream of experience, such that a 'consciousness' remains after the stream has passed. We are put into contact with man's experience and are made to i d e n t i f y ourselves with i t . It may be noted that memory i s described as a s i l e n t shore, a margin between water and land, between another dimension and t h i s r e a l i t y . There are 'images' and 'precious thoughts' which w i l l endure. The images w i l l correspond to the 'forms' of nature whose several constructions and interactions w i l l teach us God's truths. There i s an atmosphere of jewels, opulence and b r i l l i a n c e , similar to that of the visionary c i t y in the vale of Book II, with the use of 'precious' thoughts that 'shall not die'. The graves again are described as 'surges' on another al l - c o n t a i n i n g body, a 'mountain pool'. They are 'heaving in the wind'. Feeling, growth, and i r r e s i s t i b l e expansion could a l l be described by 'heaving'. The wind i s the agency which passes over a l l things, moulding and defining t h e i r shape. - 70 -A distant vale i s inhabited by a p r i e s t , his family and wife. He i s p r o f i c i e n t i n many i n t e l l e c t u a l and a r t i s t i c ways. He has mingled with society, has condescended to help those in need, has furnished the needs of his family well, and s t i l l indulges his memories of the b r i l l i a n c e of society. He would seem to emulate the type of pri e s t that the Pastor i s . We can also say that his s i t u a t i o n and potential are not unlike those i n the early l i f e of the S o l i t a r y . His wife complements him in a most supportive way. The imagery in t h e i r comparative descriptions i s of l i g h t , sun, operation of soul, and a mingling of the physical and s p i r i t u a l . The wife's attitudes and demeanour put her closer to heaven: Far nearer, in the habit of her soul To that s t i l l region whither a l l are bound. (VII, 228-229) Her soul i s much more operative in the connecting of our present r e a l i t y with a region 'whither we are bound'. This p r i e s t of the vale also seems to f i t the requirements for a 'genuine p r i e s t ' . He has many q u a l i t i e s : he i s temperate, industrious, constant, self-denying, forebearing, resolute, and i n his preaching and administering, he appears A labourer, with moral virt u e g i r t , With s p i r i t u a l graces, l i k e a glory crowned. (VII, 323-339) - 71 -A comparison i s made between the p r i e s t and his wife: Him might we l i k e n to the setting sun : As seen not seldom on a gusty day, Struggling and bold, shining from the west With an inconstant and mellowed l i g h t ; She was a soft attendant cloud, that hung As i f with wish to v e i l the r e s t l e s s orb; From which i t did i t s e l f imbibe a ray Of pleasing l u s t r e . (VII, 230-237) There i s an interplay between the wife whose 'soul' seems nearer i t s goal of the i n f i n i t e , and the p r i e s t whose talents agitate in some manifestation of divine energy. Her personality i s able to moderate his and i s able to give some d e f i n i t i o n to his b r i l l i a n c e . She i s able to assimilate his ' l i g h t ' , to 'imbibe', to show a pleasing 'lustre': a brightness on a surface which hints at something much greater. His image, of course, i s the sunburst, an image of consistent occurrence throughout The Excursion, at times of great revelation and expansion of soul. Light and the presence of soul describe another p r i e s t — in t h i s case, however, in terms of removal of l i g h t after he dies. He has a l l the virtues of s e l f - d e n i a l , generosity, forebearance and charity. He w i l l eventually be buried, be remembered for a while, then w i l l fade l i k e a dying l i g h t : 'Then, s h a l l the slowly gathering twilight close/In utter night'. As his soul leaves for another dimension, so the l i g h t of his presence in the l i v e s of men w i l l gradually fade. - 72 -There i s deaf Dalesman who i s unaware of the 'stormy-winds' of contention and stress which work the 'broad bosom of the lake'. The lake i s the common repository of a l l humanity which i s worked into a 'thousand, thousand sparkling waves'. These flashes are flashes of l i g h t among humanity as the separate elements make t h e i r reaction to t h e i r i n d i -vidual stresses and experiences. They each show l i g h t as they move along the path of knowledge. The Dalesman's deafness leaves him c h i l d l i k e . He l i v e s a very simple, charming, d i g n i f i e d l i f e with other families. He dies and i s buried with a funeral marked by many neighbours. An i n t e r e s t i n g aspect of l i g h t i s revealed in connection with the b l i n d Dalesman. The Pastor makes a grateful invocation to l i g h t : Soul cheering l i g h t , most bountiful of things! Guide of our way, mysterious comforter! Whose sacred influence, spread through earth and heaven, We a l l too thanklessly p a r t i c i p a t e . (VII, 482-485) Light seems to have a d e f i n i t e function for the soul's morale. We have a 'way' along which we are led by l i g h t , to a revelation of 'something'. Light i s 'mysterious', perhaps even suggesting a mystery. It i s also described as a 'comforter', giving us assurance of something about which we - 73 -may have fears or wonder. It i s 'sacred' and exists in earth and heaven. It i s a medium from God that passes from heaven to earth through the human soul. Inclusion of the deaf and the b l i n d show that even those with physical i n f i r m i t i e s belong to the cosmic and s o c i a l scales of being. The blindman i s proof of the great wonders of f u t u r i t y and another glorious realm. The same message of hope i s revealed to his other senses to compensate for his loss of sight: ....to the imagination may be given A type and shadow of an awful truth; How, likewise, under sufferance divine, Darkness i s banished from the realm of death, By man's imperishable s p i r i t . (VII, 526-530) Although the truth cannot be seen, we can i n f e r i t s presence by the existence of i t s shadow. Man's s p i r i t i s allowed to operate with divine sufferance. It i s God's plan that the truth s h a l l be revealed in some way. Therefore, blindness of eye does not mean that the soul i s incapable of action. The soul w i l l work through the other senses. 'Seeing' in the above.extract i s 'comprehending'. There follows a passage f u l l of natural images in operation, simulating the human and divine i n t e r a c t i o n . The Pastor, while commending the attributes of a waggoner, deplores his logging a c t i v i t i e s : - 74 -F u l l oft his doings leave me to deplore T a l l ash trees sown by winds, by vapours nursed, In the dry crannies of the pendent rocks; Light birch, a l o f t upon the horizon's edge -A v e i l of glory for the ascending moon; An oak whose roots by noon-tide dew were damped And on whose forehead inaccessible The raven lodged in safety. (VII, 595-602) The ash tree i s an organism, o r i g i n a l l y c a r r i e d by the wind. It could be considered as i n s p i r a t i o n or the flow of ideas. It i s in germinal form and i s nurtured by l i g h t vapours of experience. It i s placed in the barrenness of man's bulk. The crannies are empty of any ideas, or movement of l i f e , but w i l l be eventually f i l l e d by l i f e from the organism, which w i l l bring changes to the area -- s o i l , shade, grass, flowers, moisture, protection, and cover to the landscape. It w i l l give significance to the moon, or imagination, in a ' v e i l ' form. There i s a touch of pride and honour here, at the r e a l i z a t i o n of man's nature. The bir c h i s a suggestion of d e f i n i t i o n to the future. It defines the horizon. The oak represents d u r a b i l i t y , s o l i d i t y , on which the raven, a symbol of knowledge, i s able to make a landing safely. These trees are metaphors for men and t h e i r rules in physical r e a l i t y . The trees are used to b u i l d boats which w i l l determine more voyages into knowledge and growth. We are often carried by chance, as by a 'wind'. - 75 -Lakes and r i v e r s , repositories of the streams of experience, evaporate, and vapour i s formed which comes as rain to nurture new growth. We are nurtured by a d i s t i l l a t i o n of experience. Once again, we have a royal image or descr i p t i o of grace in that the birc h i s to form a v e i l of glory for the ascending moon. Light and grace occur with one another. At the introduction of Oswald, a young adventurer, there occurs another construction of natural images to describe human q u a l i t i e s . A description of the mountain ash shows the autumn berries, f r u i t i o n , to be brighter than the spring's blossom and promise. Such a comparison i s made beside a pool, which i s a symbol of experience. The eff e c t s of both the r e a l i t y and the r e a l i z a t i o n are to brighten the 'gloomy rocks' around. So, Oswald brightens his surrounding He i s a peasant boy who has great a b i l i t i e s , serves in the Napoleonic Wars, and returns to his country as a symbol of freedom. Europe i s oppressed, but there are the stronger l i g h t s to bring illumination: So providence i s served; The forked weapon of the skies can send Illumination into deep, dark holds, Which the wild sunbeam hath not power to pierce. (VII, 833-836) Oswald i s a stronger l i g h t who has been able to send illum-ination, l i b e r a t i o n , into 'deep, dark holds'. The oppressor - 76 -are likewise referred to i n l i g h t imagery, but in negative terms. They obstruct the l i g h t as pagan temples extend t h e i r pride Like cedars on the top of Lebanon Darkening the sun. (VII, 844-847) The funeral of the peasant takes place i n a moment b r i l l i a n t l y attended by nature, in a manner prescient of h i s l i f e . His worthy q u a l i t i e s are "represented i n nature's most i l l u s t r i o u s images: At his funeral hour Bright was the sun, the sky a cloudless blue — A golden l u s t r e slept upon the h i l l s ; And i f by a chance a stranger, wandering there, From some commanding eminence had looked Down on t h i s spot, well pleased would he have seen A g l i t t e r i n g spectacle. (VII, 874-881) This passage r e c a l l s the v i s i o n of the g l i t t e r i n g c i t y i n Book I I . The time i s of the passing of a glorious s p i r i t into the dimension around us. There i s brightness of l i g h t , symbolic of God's i n f i n i t e soul. The blue sky i s the 'temple' dome. The golden l u s t r e depicts a surface of something else, the h i l l s being the temple of God's s p i r i t . This could be an actual report, or the Parson could be r e l a t i n g hi s f e e l i n g s , as one who i s aware of s p i r i t u a l l i g h t and increasing awareness. He i s enabled in t h i s by h i s own soul which must have 'seen' much l i f e and must have developed i t s s e n s i t i v i t y . - 77 -The Wanderer's response i s in tune with the impassioned delivery of the Pastor, as i f both had been stimulated to a s i m i l a r response, Sent by the ancient Soul of t h i s wide land, The S p i r i t of i t s mountains and i t s seas, Its c i t i e s , temples, f i e l d s , i t s awful power, Its rights and virtues — by that Deity Descending.... (VII, 894-900) This extract c e r t a i n l y emphasizes the idea that nature i s God's temple and has a d e f i n i t e connection with a soul both in terms of o r i g i n and operation of that soul. But, the Wanderer has a propensity for exaggerated reactions when demonstrations of noble human q u a l i t i e s s t i r him. After the Pastor's story about Oswald, the Wanderer i s enrapt i n romantic feelings of p a t r i o t i c confidence and joy. The S o l i t a r y , however, can never share such feelings. Once again, we have confirmation of his attitudes. He i s always embarrassed by p r i n c i p l e and has a jaundiced outlook on things: The pining S o l i t a r y turned aside; Whether through manly i n s t i n c t to conceal Tender emotions spreading from the heart To his worn cheek; or with uneasy shame For those cold humours of habitual spleen That, fondly seeking in dispraise of man Solace and self-excuse had sometimes urged To self-abuse a not ineloquent tongue. (VII, 904-910) Book VIII of The Excursion opens with a discussion of the dignity of man, and point i s made about the dependence - 78 -of proper human development on adequate exposure to nature's t r a i n i n g . The S o l i t a r y r e f l e c t s on the story of S i r A l f r e d Erthing by lamenting how the f i n e opportunities he provided for the vale seems to have come to naught in i t s present inhabitants. With the gross aims and body bending t o i l Of a poor brotherhood who work the earth P i t i e d , and, where they are not known, despised. (VIII 41-43) He does, however, admit that there i s s t i l l some saving grace among people who manage 'to maintain/Conciliatory manners and smooth speech'. The Wanderer continues the discussion by saying that the area has l i t t l e reason to aim at the p r i n c i p l e s so revered by the S o l i t a r y because i t i s under the oppressive atmosphere of the Industrial Revolution: I have l i v e d to mark A new and unforseen creation r i s e From out the labours of a peaceful land Wielding her potent enginery to frame And to produce, with appetite as keen As that of war, which rests not night or day Industrious to destroy! (VIII, 89-95) In d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n i s preventing man from developing. Child labour takes the.children out of t h e i r environment of nature and r e f l e c t i o n and subjects them to the d e b i l i t a t i n g necess-i t i e s of working in f a c t o r i e s : - 79 -premature necessity Blocks out the forms of nature, preconsumes The reason, famishes the heart, shuts up The infant Being in i t s e l f , and makes Its very spring a season of decay! (VIII, 287-291) Blocking out the forms of nature prevents the soul from operating in the appointed way. Reason, which w i l l be needed l a t e r for a r a t i o n a l synthesis of an adoration towards God and the scale of being, i s being preconsumed. Therefore, at a time when the organism should be opening up to a l l p o s s i b i l i t i e s , i t i s entering a stage of decline because i t i s starved of experience. A native Briton must not be 'fixed in his soul', pre-vented by s o c i a l or physical circumstances from ever growing s p i r i t u a l l y . When a young boy should be learning, he i s a prisoner. The wind 'among the clouds', or the roaring 'through ancient woods', and the sun 'shining in the east/ Quiet and calm' have no influence on him. These have been shown to be important to the development of the soul. The child's body i s not able to respond to 'what there i s delight-f u l in the breeze', or 'gentle v i s i t a t i o n s of the sun'. The Wanderer i s appalled at the pli g h t of the young c h i l d who i s not allowed to develop and i s denied the influence of nature's power. The S o l i t a r y , however, disagrees - 80 -with the Wanderer. His view of the products of the natural education are not at a l l f l a t t e r i n g . He says he can present other examples which would make us wonder what had happened to the 'whistling plough-boy whose s h r i l l notes/Impart new gladness to the morning a i r ' . Instead, we have clumsiness and ineptitude. He asks, What penetrating power of sun or breeze, Shall e'er dissolve the crust wherein the soul Sleeps ? (VIII, 417-419) He disgustedly continues his remarks of disenchantment with the Wanderer's reliance on education in the out-of-doors and in nature: This torpor i s no p i t i a b l e work Of modern ingenuity; no town Nor crowded c i t y can be taxed with aught Of s o t t i s h vice or desperate breach of law To which (and who can t e l l where or how soon?) He may be roused. This Boy, the f i e l d s produce. (VIII, 420-425) The friends walk along a holly-bordered path which has been l a i d by a thoughtful hand, l i n k i n g the church with the Parson's house. The path i s covered with 'cerulean gravel' brought from the 'heights' by a 'neighbouring brook'. The gravel i s reminiscent of the sky, the 'temple dome'. The 'heights' are the mountains, the high places of surveillance and r e a l i z a t i o n . A l l was brought by the 'brook' — that pure, permanent agency, symbolic of man's progress and - 81 -experience. The holly i s designed to provide a break against 'frosty winds' that 'howl from the north'. The images piece together to describe a si t u a t i o n of s p i r i t u a l enlightenment. The parsonage represents something that has strength and depth. It i s a 'revealed p i l e ' with 'bold projections' and 'recesses deep'. It 'fronts' the 'noonday sun' which i s a strong and bright revealing l i g h t . Enlightenment exists in t h i s house, which, though shadowy and r e f l e c t i n g nuance of l i g h t , i s gay and lightsome. The house i s surrounded by many trees, similar to those that were cut down for ships. These trees cluster for kinship, however, and t h e i r whole image i s one of consolidation and mutual compatibility, gracing the benign presence of the church. The matron of the house i s described in the imagery of a returning ship which has weathered d i f f i c u l t i e s elsewhere. As that ship r a l l i e s when i n home waters, struck by the sun and the 'impartial breeze', so the matron emits a f r i e n d l i -ness as she shines 'in the beams of unexpected pleasure'. Her soul has had many experiences to develop i t s ef f e c t and to allow i t s l i g h t to shine b r i g h t l y . While the friends are relaxing, the S o l i t a r y i s able to r e c a l l his e a r l i e r happiness and r e f l e c t on the landscape of - 82 -the 'sun-bright vale'. He i s able to praise the consummate harmony: .... serene Of gaiety and elegance, dif f u s e d Around the mansion and i t s whole domain. (VIII, 538-540) Two boys burst in with t h e i r report of a f i s h i n g t r i p by the r i v e r . They have captured something from the stream which has increased the dimension of t h e i r vigour and sense of beauty. The narrator compares each boy to a stream. Of the boy narrating excitedly, he says, Him might I compare, His looks, tones, gestures, eager eloquence, To a bold brook that s p l i t s for better speed, And at the self-same -moment, works- i t s way Through many channels, ever and anon, Parted and reunited. (VIII, 576-581) This i s much too comprehensive a comparison to be mere playing on words: looks, tones, gestures, eager eloquence. It describes how man's l i f e passes through many channels, experiences of many kinds, then reunites into a much enriched stream. A si m i l a r type of imagery describes the other boy, though with a difference of e f f e c t . The other boy i s viewed as his compeer To the s t i l l lake, whose s t i l l n e s s i s to sight As be a u t i f u l — as gr a t e f u l in the mind. (VIII, 581-583) - 83 -The use of t h i s imagery to describe human attributes and processes, and the integration of the human dimension with the s p i r i t u a l , i s consistent with i t s use elsewhere in the poem. Much of the f i r s t part of the Book i s concerned with the decline of the area and i t s peoples, ending in the S o l i t a r y ' s general expression of disenchantment with the re s u l t s of childhood development there. With the i n t r o -duction of the two boys and the g i r l , however, we are given d e f i n i t e evidence that there i s s t i l l spontaneity, freshness, vigour and beauty possible among the children of the vale. Although the time elapsed for the narrator of The Excursion i s just a few days, the work, i n fact, covers the l i v e s of several people as they develop in conversation, recounting and r e f l e c t i o n . Book IX of The Excursion draws together many strands in the discourse of the Wanderer, the v i s i t of the friends to the lake, and in the Pastor's prayer at the. lake. Viewing things from a height gives greater prospect and illumination. The Wanderer has had most of his revela-tory experiences from a height, and i t i s as i f i t was his own illumination which shone down. He assesses Age as more than a Vale, which i t i s commonly considered, but rather as an Eminence. The eminence i s the place from which revelations - 84 -are frequently experienced. Age i s a progression in time, and, therefore, revelatory experience becomes possible to an indi v i d u a l as he progresses through time. At the opening of Book IX, the Wanderer states that a l l 'forms' have an 'active p r i n c i p l e ' which exists everywhere to communicate. It i s the 'Soul of a l l the worlds'. It i s that by which we come to know. It i s through knowing that we can continue to hope. From the 'eminence' of age, man can survey events, as he would survey the world from a great height. The height i s free of d i s t r a c t i o n s . The soul can l i s t e n . The distance allows Fresh power to commune with the i n v i s i b l e world, And hear the mighty stream of tendency Uttering, for elevation of our thought, A clear sonorous voice. (IX, 86-89) The Wanderer, however, imposes a requirement on the a b i l i t y so to ascend. People must be allowed to grow. Their minds must not be 'starved by absolute neglect;/Nor bodies crushed by unremitting t o i l ' . Then the ascent w i l l have some significance in terms of man's fears of death: .... the hopes Of Man may r i s e , as to a welcome close And termination of his mortal course.... (IX, 93-95) - 85 -Man needs the action of nature for the development of the soul to gain a view of his l i f e and purpose. He was not raised to waste by being used as a 'passive thing employed/ As a brute mean'. Man was created to 'obey the law/Of l i f e , and hope, and action'. He has to be able to overcome the fear of death and to see his s p i r i t u a l continuation. The 'soul' became active in youth to give f e e l i n g which would l a s t forever. It i s in man, created to be aware of and to manifest his Creator's greatness, that t h i s active p r i n c i p l e operates to bring him into communion with another i n f i n i t e dimension: ....when we stand upon our native s o i l Unelbowed by such objects as oppress Our active powers, those powers themselves become Strong to subvert our noxious q u a l i t i e s : They sweep distemper from the busy day, And make the chalice of the big round year Run o'er with gladness; whence the Being moves In beauty through the world; and a l l who see, Bless him, r e j o i c i n g i n his neighbourhood. (IX, 129-137) The passage suggests we have 'active powers' in sympathy with the 'active p r i n c i p l e ' of the forms of nature. The p r i n c i p l e would move us toward grace, such that the 'chalice' of the year's experiences w i l l 'run o'er with gladness'. The use of 'chalice' suggests something sacramental, and such an image connected with Being would place us close to God, but a God moving 'in beauty through the world'. We become aware of t h i s p r i n c i p l e and movement of the Being in our observation of the interaction of nature's 'forms'. - 86 -The S o l i t a r y cannot give much endorsement of the Wanderer's enthusiasms. He cannot see how we can ignore the multitude, in whom We look for health from seeds that have been sown In sickness, and for increase in a power That works but by extinction. (IX, 140-143) The Wanderer recognizes these l i m i t a t i o n s and says he shares with the S o l i t a r y a 'wide compassion'. He r e c a l l s the S o l i t a r y ' s comments in Book VIII about how d u l l the country children are. He uses them as a springboard for an appeal to d i g n i f i e d freedom. The Wanderer sees man's immortality bound up in man's moral relationship with his neighbour. Nature i s constructed for the guidance and influence of man. It i s possible for man, through reason, imagination and conscience, to perceive a ' b l i s s f u l immortality,/To them whose holiness on earth s h a l l make/The S p i r i t capable of heaven'. In t h i s scheme of nature are manifest our 'primal duties': The generous i n c l i n a t i o n , the just rule, Kind wishes, and good actions, and pure thoughts. (IX, 241-242) The Wanderer vents his B r i t i s h nationalism i n a long pro-gression through the need for good childhood education, a need for the d i s c i p l i n e of virt u e to preserve order in a time of foreign despots, a need for the preparation of - 87 -emigrants to s e t t l e foreign shores, and a need to broadcast the q u a l i t i e s of human dignity as part of the nation's 'glori-ous destiny'. The Pastor's wife draws to everyone's attention the natural scene and suggests that they walk out into the beauty: 'Behold the shades of afternoon have f a l l e n Upon t h i s flowery slope; and see — beyond — The s i l v e r y lake i s streaked with p l a c i d blue; As i f preparing for the peace of evening. How temptingly the landscape shines! the a i r Breathes i n v i t a t i o n ; easy i s the walk To the lake's margin, where a boat l i e s moored Under a sheltering tree! ( I X , 418-426) The 'shades' are nuances of r e a l i z a t i o n , applied to the state of appreciation, symbolized by 'flowery slope'. The s i l v e r y lake, repository of common experience, i s covered by a network of contemplation, 'streaked with p l a c i d blue'. There i s a luminosity in the landscape which perhaps a n t i c i -pates the greater r e a l i z a t i o n that comes in the 'peace of the evening'. The whole composition of images i s drawing the observers towards an enlarging experience. The a i r a c t i v e l y 'breathes' an i n v i t a t i o n for the friends to approach the 'lake's margin', the edge of knowledge. The boat symbolizes t h e i r means of t r a v e l l i n g over experience, and the presence of the 'sheltering tree' lends assurance to the adventure. - 88 -Their actions are closely p a r a l l e l l e d by arrangements of images which have become a l l i e d to growth in knowledge for the human participants in the scene: Forth we went, And down the vale along the streamlet's edge Pursued our way, a broken company, Mute or conversing, single or in pairs. In a deep pool, by happy chance we saw A twofold image; on a grassy bank A snow-white ram, and i n the c r y s t a l flood Another and the samel Most bea u t i f u l On the green t u r f , with his imperial front Shaggy and bold, and wreathed horns superb The breathing creature stood; as b e a u t i f u l , Beneath him, showed his shadowy counterpart. (IX, 433-446) The company progresses through the beauties of the vale s k i r t i n g experience's edge, the lake. They reach a bridge, a t r a n s i t i o n point from which observations may be made, and they are able to survey the r e s u l t s of the r i v u l e t s ' flow, a 'deep pool'. The pool furnishes them with a 'twofold image'. There i s a ram in t h i s r e a l i t y and a r e f l e c t i o n of i t , in the c r y s t a l flood, in another r e a l i t y . Here i s a re i n f o r c e -ment of how the s p i r i t u a l and temporal interweave. The ram has a royal appearance with an 'imperial front' and 'wreathed horns'. We are drawn to the suggestion that he has a 'counter-part' just as beautiful i n another plane. The Pastor's wife has great interest in the Wanderer's meditations. She draws a comparison between the fleetingness of the ram's r e f l e c t i o n i n the pool and her grasp of the - 89 -implications of the Wanderer's speech. The ram i s there in physical r e a l i t y , but his r e f l e c t i o n which represents another world i s there only as long as the lake provides r e f l e c t i o n . The Wanderer i s there in physical r e a l i t y , but i t i s only his speech, in the v i s i o n of his soul, that there can be 'combinations so serene and bright' for the Pastor's wife. The other dimension i s similar to our present r e a l i t y with the same composition, but i t i s not r e a l l y aware of t h i s dimension. We are afforded the p r i v i l e g e of making the connection: Each had his glowing mountains, each his sky, And each seemed centre of his own f a i r world: Antipodes unconscious of each other, Yet in p a r t i t i o n , with t h e i r several spheres, Blended in perfect s t i l l n e s s to our sight! (IX, 447-451) The two dimensions exist side by side with only the enlight-ened observer in a position to r e a l i z e t h i s . These images and operations from a basic metaphor for man's moving towards a journey through experience and the r e a l i z a t i o n of the close integration of the physical dimension with the i n f i n -itude of the s p i r i t u a l realm. In t h i s f i n a l t r i p , the guide w i l l be the Pastor. The choice of d i r e c t i o n w i l l be his. The work w i l l close with his summary of nature, man and God. - 90 -The company enters the boat with the two young boys reminding the narrator of his youthful t r i p s on Windemere. The boat proceeds out across the lake, the consolidation of experience and the images again indicate a process of visionary transport into another region. It i s in t e r e s t i n g that the boat i s compared to the image of the hawk, a symbol of the f l i g h t of the soul: Soon as the reedy marge Was cleared, I dipped with arms accordant, oars Free from obstruction; and the boat advanced Through c r y s t a l water, smoothly as a hawk, That, disentangled from the shady boughs Of some thick wood, her place of covert, cleaves With correspondent wings the abyss of a i r . ( I X , 488-494) There are those things which would hold us back - reeds and other 'obstructions' - but we can clear them, and so our v i s i o n clears. This allows the soul to r i s e from darkness and entanglements, cleaving the a i r , moving towards r e a l i z -ation of the l i g h t of knowledge. The use of the word 'covert' also suggests the p o s s i b i l i t y of hesitation, or caution, that must be overcome. The narrator i s r e a l l y t r a n s f e r r i n g from one image to another. F i r s t , i t i s his arms 'accordant' which operate through the oars on the water; then, subse-quently, they become 'correspondent wings'; from himself, to nature, to the f l i g h t of the soul. - 91 -The party i s moving through a world of images which are associated with God's presence: ....bare columns of those l o f t y f i r s , Supporting gracefully a massy dome Of sombre foli a g e , seem to imitate A Grecian temple r i s i n g from the deep. (IX, 499-502) There i s a quality of poise and mystery of something emerging from the depths of experience and s e n s i b i l i t y . The atmosphere i s pregnant with expectation, as i f a v i s i o n of another dimension were constituting i t s e l f in t h i s realm's images. The beauty of the scene cannot be adequately presented with words. The friends land upon an i s l e in the lake to l i g h t a f i r e . The f i r e i s to be an 'emblem' of one day's pleasure, and a l l 'mortal joys'. The pleasure i s companionship, sharing food, song, gathering flowers and absorbing the beauty of the scene, which seems to be composed to represent a state of grace. The f i r e , which has consumed i t s e l f , has been the object (or process) around which they have made th e i r communion with each other and the s p i r i t of the place. The earthly sustenance, the 'choice repast', i s served by the 'young'. The beauty of the place i s assimilated by the older members of the party. The young skim stones on the lake, l i k e sending thoughts bouncing out on experience, tr y i n g to get further each time. They have gathered 'flowery s p o i l ' . The flowers grow on land and in the water: In r e a l i t y and in another medium. - 92 -Once again, as the party leaves the i s l e , we are given an example of the So l i t a r y ' s b i t t e r point of view. He looks on the f i r e around which they have been gathered and sees i t now 'Dying or deadl'. The care which we have for t h i s , he says, i s sim i l a r to the 'common course of human gratitude' for that 'which i s no longer needed'. Wherever he goes, or whatever he experiences, i s tainted by his unhappiness for which he has no solution. The boat continues to s k i r t the margin of the lake where many views of nature are observed: 'glades', 'thicket's, 'spotted deer', 'goats', and 'dashing waterfalls'. They come upon a promontory of land j u t t i n g out into the lake, a projection of r e a l i t y into a dream dimension. The promontory can only be approached from the water, through dreams and experience, because of 'rocks impassable and mountains huge'. The promontory leads, however, to an i d y l l i c green valley presided over 'in majesty' by an old church-tower. The greenness of hope i s linked with the 'prospect' of the valley presided over by the authoritative permanence of the church. A l l i s sealed off from the 'intrusion of the re s t l e s s world'. Reclining, and surveying the scene, they are suddenly entranced by a magnificent prospect: - 93 -Already had the sun, Sinking with less than ordinary state, Attained his western bound; but rays of l i g h t — Now suddenly diverging from the orb Retired behind the mountain-tops or v e i l e d By the dense a i r — shot upwards in the crown Of the blue firmament — a l o f t and wide.... (IX, 590-596) There i s a sunburst which r i s e s into the heavens from behind the western horizon. The whole scene now seems to be anointed with f i r e , another sacramental gesture of the g i f t of the holy s p i r i t . Their assimilation of a l l that they have seen t h i s day i s being recognized with a great l i g h t of revelation. The image i s of some great monarch surrounded by t h i s acolytes: ....multitudes of l i t t l e f l o a t i n g clouds, Through t h e i r ethereal texture pierced — ere we Who saw, of change were conscious — had become V i v i d as f i r e . . . . (IX, 597-600) Everything has been influenced by the sun, the great lord of earth, and which i s knowledge of the splendour of the beyond. Such a scene i s a hint of the wonders of God's i n f i n i t y : ....clouds separately poised Innumberable multitude of forms Scattered through half the c i r c l e of the sky And giving back and shedding each on each With prodigal communion, the bright hues Which from the unapparent fount of glory They had imbibed, and ceased not to receive. (IX, 600-606) - 9 4 -There is both absorption and emission of light. There is exchange and augmentation. The pattern of diffusion and integration is so like human activity engendering more human understanding. The whole action is caused by an 'unapparent fount of glory', a description of God. This is the prodigal communion -- a returning to one's source of feeling, and the essence is absorbed in a form of 'imbibing' as of a communion wine. Man takes what he is given and makes i t a reality. Man is likened to the watery depths: That which the heavens displayed, the liquid deep Repeated; but with unity sublime. (IX, 607-608) What man exists for is to realize the content of the heavens and to give i t human significance. The mirror imagery of the ram's reflection in the lake simulates two dimensions. There is the physical reality, and there is the reflection — a picture, a hint of what the original is like. The composition of the sunset is reflected back with a 'unity sublime'. In some way, we are given a meaningful integration by reflection. We are made to look again. Surrounded by the magnificence of the scene, the Pastor is moved to pray to the 'Eternal Spirit!', the 'universal - 95 -God' which he terms a power inaccessible to human thought, Save by degrees and steps which (he hath) deigned To furnish; for t h i s effluence of th y s e l f To the i n f i r m i t y of mortal sense Vouchsafed.... (IX, 615-619) There i s an a l l u s i o n to the 'faint r e f l e c t i o n s of God's face', represented in the int e r a c t i o n s of the forms of nature. The 'steps' have been deigned to be in the 'forms' of nature, a scale of being, mute witness to the e f f e c t s produced: These barren rocks, your stern inheritance; These f e r t i l e f i e l d s , that recompense your pains; The shadowy vale, the sunny mountain-top; Woods waving in the winds t h e i r l o f t y heads, Or hushed; the roaring waters, and the s t i l l — They see the offering'of my l i f t e d - hands, They hear my l i p s present t h e i r s a c r i f i c e , They know i f I be s i l e n t , morn or even: For, though in whispers speaking, the f u l l heart W i l l f i n d vent; and thought i s praise to him, Audible praise, to thee omniscient Mind, From whom a l l g i f t s descend, a l l blessings flow. (IX, 743-754) There i s a communion between the 'forms' and man. The 'barren rocks' of man's existence are there to test him; yet ' f e r t i l e f i e l d s ' , items of hope, w i l l be his reward f o r persistence and endeavour. Areas of doubt and vagueness w i l l give way to knowledge, as a 'shadowy vale' i s compared to a 'sunny mountain-top'. The vale i s traversed as a progress through the years to splendid r e v e l a t i o n . The - 96 -'woods waving', the 'roaring waters', processes of movement and p a r t i c i p a t i o n or acquiescence, a l l these things w i l l witness the in t e n s i t y of even his thought, in his gratitude to, and adoration of, the omniscient Mind. The company i s brought to a r e a l i z a t i o n of the proximity of man's existence to God's plan by t h i s scene and the Pastor's prayer. The friends are very much a part of the scene of l i g h t l i n k i n g a l l nature. They are the ones who see i t and show a reaction to i t . The whole event i s integrated in them and responded to by t h e i r souls. The half c i r c l e of the sky and the l i q u i d deep are linked by 'bright hues' from a source which i s not v i s i b l e i t s e l f , but only in i t s e f f e c t s in a 'refulgent spectacle, diffused/ Through earth, sky, water and a l l v i s i b l e space'. The prayer i s in two sections, the f i r s t dwelling on the physical appearance of the scene as a reminder of heavenly splendour which the 'elect of earth' may hope to see, and the second c a l l i n g for an e f f e c t i v e spreading of God's Word to 'take away/The sting of human nature'. In the second section, the Pastor sees no end to persecution and wars u n t i l the Word i s spread. He points out, however, that those who meet in 'Christian temples' do not seem to be e f f e c t i n g the Word. The answer to bondage and darkness i s a - 9 7 -'redeeming love/Proferred to a l l , while yet on the earth detained'. The Pastor acknowledges, therefore, the heavenly splendours to which we may aspire, but also reminds us of an earthly duty that we must perform. The Pastor thus relates the scene to God for the company in terms of our adoration of the Godhead, and our contingent regard for the scale of being. At the end, the S o l i t a r y declines the i n v i t a t i o n of the Pastor to return to the house. He must return to his own home. It i s the narrator who comments on the S o l i t a r y ' s propensity for looking on people and situations with d i s -affected eyes. There i s no knowing to what extent his 'erring notions' may have been corrected by t h i s 'communion with uninjured Minds'. The S o l i t a r y does not, however, rule out the p o s s i b i l i t y of further encounters. He anticipates further occasions when they may learn together. The Pastor affirms a b e l i e f i n a benevolent God and a f a i t h 'derived through Him who bled/Upon the cross'. The occasion leads him to give thanksgivings to the 'Eternal King', Whose love, whose counsel, whose commands, have made Your very poorest r i c h in peace of thought And in good works. (IX, 7 3 3 - 7 3 5 ) - 98 -The outflowing of the Pastor's f a i t h has been prompted by, and presided over by, a magnificent display of l i g h t . It has been a moment of great s p i r i t u a l revelation and communion in l i g h t for the friends, similar to other occasions of revelation throughout the poem. The Wanderer, S o l i t a r y , and, of course, the narrator, have a l l had t h e i r moments of special revelation of the s p i r i t u a l dimension b r i l l i a n t l y attended by l i g h t . That l i g h t i s r e c a l l e d in the q u a l i t i e s of the l i v e s of the occupants of the graveyard and surrounding areas, as i f those q u a l i t i e s were linked with the l i g h t of the moments of revelation. The s p i r i t u a l i s f e l t within the physical. It i s the awareness of t h i s concept that gives reassurance against the f i n a l i t y of death. The s p i r i t u a l continues within the physical, even though the ind i v i d u a l span of physical existence may cease at any time. The l i g h t i s the operation of the soul connecting man in the temporal dimension with his creator in the s p i r i t u a l dimension. By that connection, man gains a hint of the splendour which i s his s p i r i t u a l i t y . In the knowledge of his s p i r i t u a l being, man has freedom from despair of death i n the temporal dimension. Wordsworth's suggestion i s that we must recognize a continuing s p i r i t u a l dimension within the physical dimension as a continuation of ourselves, i n the realm of the s p i r i t . We s h a l l continue to exist in the s p i r i t u a l dimension which - 99 -permeates the physical world. Our soul i d e n t i f i e s physical objects as the manifestation of the s p i r i t u a l world in the temporal world. A moment of transcendence i s a great occasion of r e a l i z a t i o n , often attended by l i g h t , when the s p i r i t u a l and the physical are f e l t to exist within each other. Immortality, therefore, i s our s p i r i t u a l return to the mainstream of the s p i r i t u a l dimension, while the physical dimension continues on as we have come to love and see i t as a pale r e f l e c t i o n of the beauty of the s p i r i t u a l realm, of the glory of the Creator. Our hope i s in an adoration of th i s Creator and i n a 'principle of love' which l i n k s us to his creation, the whole scale of being. - 100 -Bibliography Wordsworth: P o e t i c a l Works. Ed. Thomas Hutchinson, A New E d i t i o n . Rev. Ernest de Selincourt. London: Oxford Unive r s i t y Press, 1969. Murray, Roger 11. Wordsworth's Style. Lincoln: U n i v e r s i t y of Nebraska Press, 1967. .Welsford, Enid. Wordsworth's Salisbury P l a i n . Oxford: B a s i l Blackwell, 1966. L i t e r a r y C r i t i c i s m of William Wordsworth. Ed. Paul M. Z a l l . L incoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1966, pp 132-134. 

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