A Week On The Concord And Merrimack Rivers By Henry David Thoreau

 -   Nor can we be mistaken respecting the essential purity
of his character, disregarding the apology of the manners of the - Page 400
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Nor Can We Be Mistaken Respecting The Essential Purity Of His Character, Disregarding The Apology Of The Manners Of The Age.

A simple pathos and feminine gentleness, which Wordsworth only occasionally approaches, but does not equal, are peculiar to him.

We are tempted to say that his genius was feminine, not masculine. It was such a feminineness, however, as is rarest to find in woman, though not the appreciation of it; perhaps it is not to be found at all in woman, but is only the feminine in man.

Such pure and genuine and childlike love of Nature is hardly to be found in any poet.

Chaucer's remarkably trustful and affectionate character appears in his familiar, yet innocent and reverent, manner of speaking of his God. He comes into his thought without any false reverence, and with no more parade than the zephyr to his ear. If Nature is our mother, then God is our father. There is less love and simple, practical trust in Shakespeare and Milton. How rarely in our English tongue do we find expressed any affection for God. Certainly, there is no sentiment so rare as the love of God. Herbert almost alone expresses it, "Ah, my dear God!" Our poet uses similar words with propriety; and whenever he sees a beautiful person, or other object, prides himself on the "maistry" of his God. He even recommends Dido to be his bride, -

"if that God that heaven and yearth made, Would have a love for beauty and goodnesse, And womanhede, trouth, and semeliness."

But in justification of our praise, we must refer to his works themselves; to the Prologue to the Canterbury Tales, the account of Gentilesse, the Flower and the Leaf, the stories of Griselda, Virginia, Ariadne, and Blanche the Dutchesse, and much more of less distinguished merit.

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