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to each other. Upon much of the remainder, also, you have a peculiar claim,-for several of the best pieces were composed under the shade of your own groves, upon the classic ground of Coleorton; where I was animated by the recollection of those illustrious Poets, of your Name and Family, who were born in that neighbourhood; and, we may be assured, did not wander with indifference by the dashing stream of Grace-dieu, and among the rocks that diversify the forest of Charnwood.—Nor is there any one to whom such parts of this Collection as have been inspired or coloured by the beautiful Country from which I now address you, could be presented with more propriety than to yourself—who have composed so many admirable Pictures from the suggestions of the same scenery. Early in life, the sublimity and beauty of this Region
excited your admiration ; and I know that you are bound to it in mind by a stillstrengthening attachment.
Wishing and hoping that this Work, with the embellishments it has received from your Pencil, may survive as a lasting memorial of a friendship, which I reckon among the blessings of my life, I have the honour to be,
My dear Sir George,
and faithfully, WILLIAM WORDSWORTH.
Rydal Mount, Westmoreland,
February 1, 1815.
The observations prefixed to that portion of these Volumes, which was published many years ago, under the title of “ Lyrical Ballads,” have so little of a special application to the greater part, perhaps, of this collection, as subsequently enlarged and diversified, that they could not with any propriety stand as an Introduction to it. Not deeming it, however, expedient to suppress that exposition, slight and imperfect as it is, of the feelings which had determined the choice of the subjects, and the principles which had regulated the composition of those Pieces, I have transferred it to the end of the second Volume, to be attended to, or not, at the pleasure of the Reader.
In the Preface to that part of“ The Recluse,” lately published under the title of “ The Excursion,” I have alluded to a meditated arrangement of my minor Poems, which should assist the attentive Reader in perceiving their connection with each other, and also their subordination to that Work. I shall here say a few words explanatory of this arrangement, as carried into effect in the present Volumes.
The powers requisite for the production of poetry are, first, those of observation and description,i.e.the ability to observe with accuracy things as they are in themselves, and with fidelity to describe them, unmodified by any passion or feeling existing in the mind of the Describer : whether the things depicted be actually present to the senses, or have a place only in the memory. This power, though indispensable to a. Poet, is one which he employs only in submission to necessity, and never for a continuance of time; as its exercise supposes all the higher qualities of the mind to be passive, and in a