The Solitary Reaper

It has beintend a niggardlyplace in orderrn years that the Fanciful rhymers were preoccupied following a occasion the adventitiouss of their own graphic magnitude. Clearly, a confidence of rhymerry which places so plenteous argument on the rhymer not as an expositor, nor as a consider, but as a source of verity, must enjoin a sarcastic self-consciousness on the uncombined adroit, and it is not striking that unconcealed through Fanciful rhymerry thither is a notion of awe, sometimes precipitated into indecision at the gigantic potentiality of the ingenuity.Wordsworth's "The Desolate Reaper," unequally his "Immortality ode," or Shelley's "Ode to the West Wind," is not normally a lay which we consort following a occasion this tumultuous introspection, notwithstanding it has beintend increasingly clear to admirers of Wordsworth's rhymerry that abundant of his insufficient lyrics are self-reflective flush when they intend mediumest to be so. "The Desolate Reaper," I revere, provides us following a occasion a cheerful precedence of what we regularly reach to be gentleman of his insufficipenetrate lays, which is, that under the lyric charm thither is a totally astonishing attention of conceptionl commitment.Wordsworth's ingenuity constantly transfigures what it touches, and in one expressive notion this aim lay is merely marginally pauseless following a occasion what answer to be its main gists; the reaper and her epic. I nonproduction to intend at the lay in some specialty, for abutting its clear conciseness I revere it to be a exertion in which Wordsworth meditates following a occasion large subtlety on the situation of the unauthentic act, and its avail as a 92 GEOFFREY J. FINCH basic cosmical endeavour.A s my argument of the lay is, as I bear said, fairly specialtyed, I gard I ought to exhibit the integral citation primeval of a l l : The Desolate Reaper B e h o l d her, uncombined i n the room, Yon desolate Highland Lass! R e a p i n g a n d s i n g i n g b y herself; Seal hither, or gently pass! A l o n e she cuts a n d binds the g r a i n , A n d whistles a m e l a n c h o l y s t r a i n ; 0 l i s t e n ! f o r the V a l e penetrating Is o v e r f l o w i n g w i t h the investigate.N o N i g h t i n g a l e did constantly cadhere-to M o r e pleawhistle melodys to w e a r y bands Of t r a v e l l e r s i n some shady adhere-to, A m o n g A r a b i a n sands: A expression so t h r i l l i n g ne'er w a s heard I n spring-era f r o m the Cuckoo-bird, B r e a k i n g the orderly of the seas A m o n g the ultimate Hebrides. W i l l no one t e l l me w h a t she whistles? P e r h a p s the p l a i n t i v e gum career F o r old, disastrous, far-off arts, A n d battles l o n g ago: O r is it some m o r e h u m b l e lay, F a m i l i a r m a t t e r of to-day?Some n a t u r a l affliction, detriment, or indisposition, T h a t has been, a n d m a y be a g a i n ? W h a t e ' e r the gist, the M a i d e n s a n g A s i f h e r epic could bear no e n d i n g ; 1 s a w h e r s i n g i n g at h e r w o r k , A n d o'er the sickle b e n d i n g ; — I give-eared, unalterable a n d s t i l l ; A n d , as I mounted u p the h i l l , T h e m u s i c i n m y truth I penetrate, L o n g following it w a s h e a r d no further. 1 Plenteous of the potentiality of this very adhere-toing lay comes from a succession of ironies or mysteryes which Wordsworth allows to issue implicitly through the effigyry and composture of the thread.A s G. Ingli James has remarked, we do not normally consort the use of sarcasm or mystery following a occasion Wordsworth's "The Desolate Reaper," but thither intends to be no other way of describing the quibbletic disposture of the lay. The primeval, and most manifest aim, which we heed in balbutiation it, is that for the primeval three stanzas the cloak is made that the rational is occurmelody in the give, 2 WORDSWORTH'S SOLITARY SONG 93 since in the immodestth stanza the healthy flusht is distanced by use of the gone-by close. Further expressive than this, notwithstanding, is the mysteryical rectilinearity of the ong, which in gist is sad, but which does not consequence soberness in the rhymer. Then intermittently, the epic is " t h r i l l i n g , " it penetratingly instigates Wordsworth, but notwithstanding its promiseinal consequence is not to stimulate, but to set the aggravatements at pause. The epic itself is a cosmical animation, made as a exertion of art is made, but yet Wordsworth sees it as penetratingly flattentual, as the epic of a bird is flattentual. Yet intermittently, the epic is a result of the maiden's unstateliness, but it suggests to the rhymer the witchcraft and verity of "Arabian sands. Finally, although the diction is "The Desolate Reaper," we glean substantially pin of the maiden herself. Wordsworth's order could be sensation as dejected, owing the lay does not clear-up, but intends. The many iteration of expression and conceptions suggests the way in which Wordsworth's ingenuity centres entire positive expressive facets. Thither are a sum of allusions, for precedence, to the maiden's ghost: stanza one, "ingathemelody and whistleing," "cuts and binds"; stanza immodest, "singing at her exertion," " A n d o'er the sickle bending. Wordsworth give-ears not merely " s t i l l " but "motionless. " The gist gist of the epic is suitable, in the primeval half of the third stanza, by "old," "far-off," "long-ago," and in the prevent half, by "sorrow," "loss" and " p a i n " (expression which if not wholly selfcorresponding notwithstanding conmelody the corresponding conception). The maiden herself is "single," "solitary," "by herself," and "alone," occasion the reader is ordered three eras in the primeval stanza:— Behold . . . Seal . . . . give-ear.Wordsworth's manner has the unconnected disposture of the dejected order correspondent to that attributed by Conrad to Marlow's recital in The Truth of Darkness: "The yarns of seamen bear a plain plainness, the healthy purport of which lies following a occasionin the shell of a queer nut. But Marlow was not regular (if his predilection to mold yarns be excepted), and to him the purport of an incident was not delayin attachment a wood 94 GEOFFREY J. FINCH but extraneously, enveloping the recital which brought it out merely as a verity fetchs out a truth, in the attachmentness of one of those dense halos that sometimes are made clear by the ghostly considerableness of drug. I am not suggesting that "The Desolate Reaper" is mystic in the notion that Marlow's recital is, but merely that Wordsworth's lay is of a skin that does not manifestly specify what it is encircling. We glean pin embodied encircling the maiden or the epic she whistles. The lay has an tortuous, imceremonious suggestiveness which merely on reflecting crystallizes into a ceremonious purport. Wordsworth skilfully manages to animate the reader's intepause following a occasionout wholly satisfying it.The contrive of the lay in its use of the give and gone-by closes counteracts the vividness of the rational intermittentlyst its adventitious absence. If we order the lay, then, following a occasion the conception of getting at the wood delayin, it end mock us. The authentic purport lies in the visible shell of Wordsworth's own defense. 3 The lay begins, as Ingli James melodys, following a occasion an arresting temper, to which the give close gives a heightened notion of immediacy. But "Behold" does further than this. It has an harsh biblical melody encircling it, and as such adds ordersty and heaviness to the order.Together following a occasion the measured change-of-place of the rhythm it conveys the reaching of potentialityful respect. The maiden's unstateliness manifestly fascinates Wordsworth, but it is not merely that she endures an existential aggravateness that is niggardly to all. The maiden has a disposture of "apartness" or idiosyncrasy that is best conveyed by the promise "single. " The ideal rectilinearity of "ingathemelody and whistleing" and "cuts and binds" suggests the rhythmic diction of her labour. She is exertioning to the accompaniment of her epic.She explicitly is absorbed, but not merely in the conventional notion of dryity. It is expressive to heed that she does not seal to whistle, for the epic is not merely an accompaniment to her exertion but in some way is linked to the rigorous, painstaking rectilinearity of her lot. The maiden, the ingathemelody and her epic are fused in the rhymer's con- WORDSWORTH'S SOLITARY SONG 95 templation. She is not an precedence of imbecility, but of cognate. Nevertheless, although the whistleer appertains to her labour and her environment, she is eminent from it i n the soul of the rhymer by the investigate of her expression. The disposture of its hush is suggested in the promiseinal two continuitys in which the temper of order in "Behold" and "Stop" has penitent to an almost deferential invoke, " O give-ear. " Contemporaneously following a occasion the touch s's, f's, and l's, and the unconcealed vowels of "sound," "profound," it conveys the peculiar mildness of the epic. Thus the stanza instigates from a unaffected pur-pose of the maiden to what is going to be the adventitious gist of the rhymer; the fairness of the epic in which the maiden and her exertion are transfigured.She is a archearchetype of the adroit forging from meek embodied a fragrant investigate, a conservator of joy, and it is in this that her "apartness" lies. She is adventitiously a source and as such deserves the awe following a occasion which Wordsworth intends her. The primeval stanza then, establishes positive mysteryes which the pause of the lay tests. In this way Wordsworth implicitly suggests to the reader the synthesizing disposture of the aembodied defense, in which opposites are held contemporaneously. The maiden is explicitly conventional yet distinctive; she is aggravate and yet thither is no notion of imbecility; her epic is sad but it consequences choice.The ingenuity of the rhymer composes a concord out of ill-assorted components, and the retaining three stanzas of the lay each test a irrelative exhibition of this concord. In the prevent stanza, Wordsworth's ingenuity develops further the straight outskirts of the Highland enhancement to suggest a exceptional alien disposture encircling the epic; "shady adhere-to" and "Among A r a bian sands" do not fetch to soul the dry wastes of the authentic Arabia, but the eastern fable of the skin invoked by Pope in " A n d all Arabia breathes from yonder B o x " (The Rape of the Lock, Canto I, 1. 34). The ingenuity, as Wordsworth regularly betrays us, is not unquestioning in significance, but locomotive. The notions "half compose" the motive of cognizance ("Tintern Abbey," 11. 106-8), so that it is the 96 GEOFFREY J. FINCH rhymer as give-earer who completes the epic of the maiden. It absorbs him, and beseems a adventitiously aembodied order of message in which the rhymer joins following a occasion the maiden, her epic and her exertion. The use of the archaism "chaunt" is expressive hither.It is explicitly helpful owing it rhymes following a occasion "haunt" — and may-be Wordsworth is as-courteous uwhistle the preventary purport of "haunt" to suggest the adhere-toing disposture of the epic — but further than this, the archaism avoids the collision of automatic utterance in "chant" and following a occasion its richer vowel investigate indicates the satisfaction of the hush. The nightingale effigy then conveys the fruitfulness of the epic and the notion of portent animated in the rhymer. The cuckoo effigy, notwithstanding, alters the perspective.The nightingale's epic is pauseful and welcoming i n a exuberant notion, and it is shareing hither to melody the way i n which the run-on continuitys propel the expression self-assertive on to the expressive characteristic "Among Arabian sands," but the cuckoo's is " t h r i l l i n g " and ceremonious; it takes us from the east to the far north. The rhythm picks up solicit and gives to the continuitys a vivacious, vibrant disposition. We consort "springtime" of route following a occasion the awakening of truth, following a occasion ghost and change-of-place, not following a occasion pause. This purport is vividly rendered by the weight on "Breaking. The expression breaks into the quietness of the continuity — "the orderly of the seas" — creating ripples, attachment a stemper dropped into a orderly pond. We bear then, in stanza two, a further succession of mysteryes which develop the significance of the epic; it is twain sensational and orderly, ceremonious and yet exquisite; it finds Wordsworth gard of the verity of the east as courteous as the apathetic asperity of the north; and promiseinally, and may-be most shareingly of all, it intends self-generated, a art of rectilinearity attachment the epics of the nightingale and cuckoo, but yet it is the result of cosmical endeavour.The reaper's epic, attachment all expressive art, represents a contrive of cosmical idiosyncrasy in which the marks of aware exertion are obscure. F o r the rhymer it is the summit at which art tips aggravate into rectilinearity, providing for twain whistleer and give-earer a uniquely cosmical flattentualness. WORDSWORTH'S SOLITARY SONG 97 Stanza three tests yet another extent of the maiden's epic. Putting it little, in the prevent stanza Wordsworth's ingenuity extends in space; in the third it extends in era. The succession in "old," "far-off," and "hanker ago" animates the collision of wide ages of era, inconspicuous tailwards into the mists of truth.The maiden's epic suggest to Wordsworth the gorgeous layer of era. Not merely this; it would intend that if the epic animates a give joy, it does so mysteryically by perpetuating the perpetuation of gone-by wretchedness. But the most expressive exhibition of Wordsworth's consideration that the gist gist is someart secreted in the truth of the maiden's career, is that it implies that the epic has the imfeature disposture of art. This is shareing owing the suggestion in the prevent half of the stanza touches on a totally irrelative exhibition of the epic. Wordsworth authenticised, I gard, that an unvarnished gist gist has an gentleman fanciful mildness encircling it. " A n d battles hanker ago" is insensible of a child's storybook. But thither is for Wordsworth a potentialityful suggest of authentic " p a i n " encircling the epic. Whilst the primeval half then suggests the regular imfeature disposture of the transmitted epic, the prevent half intimates the closeness of a strongly felt feature component in the epic, which instigates the rhymer to ask whether it gists the maiden's own truth. "Humble," "familiar," and "natural," counteract "old," "far-off," and "hanker ago. The spirited iteration in "sorrow," "loss," and "pain," in which the centre gets scamp, and the pensive reflecting in the promiseinal continuity "and may be intermittently," compose the potentialityful collision of a persistent wretchedness. In the third stanza, then, we are giveed following a occasion irrelative perspectives, which, as in the foregoing stanza, animate the reader's awareness of the exceptionally mysteryical disposture of the epic. In the primeval half the maiden is dwarfed by the collision of a wide era layer, whilst in the prevent half the lens is adjusted to a close-up confidence of the maiden's own site.The inherently fanciful component of the transmitted epic is counteractd by the involution of unaffected feature sorrow. The epic is twain imfeature and feature. 98 GEOFFREY J. FINCH Its fairness represents a exultation, but whilst it preserves joy it as-courteous conceals quick the notion of soberness. The epic in occurrence has for the rhymer a multiple suggestiveness. It no hankerer intends to be a aim epic but to bear the larger inclusiveness of art itself. In the promiseinal stanza the questions influential by Wordsworth are left, and we retaliate wholly to the globe of the rhymer.The lay has been in the rectilinearity of a flashback, a few seconds of formless attention which permission the rhymer and the reader following a occasion the promiseinal quibble as to what the epic is authenticly encircling. The epic itself continues as if cognate to an visible globe — "as if her epic could bear no ending" —• but the rhymer appertains to the globe of era. It is gentleman that he bears the hush in his truth and in this notion it is eraless. Nevertheless, thither is the plain melody of soberness, a skin of "dying-fall" encircling the promiseinal continuity " L o n g following it was heard no further. " The promiseinal mystery of the lay is that fairness must adventitiously be contingent.Hence I gard in Wordsworth's fact his wistful admiration following a occasion the desolate maiden and her epic. In a notion he is match encircling his own unstateliness, encircling his reaching of animation left out. They behanker to a globe which the rhymer can intend and flush little penetrate, but nconstantly promiseinally enjoy, yet it is merely owing of this that the epic, and hence Wordsworth's lay, can end the penetratingly tender, yet adventitiously imfeature disposture of all unauthentic art. The aim is made clearer in Wordsworth's promiseinal summation of his lie as give-earer: "I give-eared, unalterable and orderly. The iteration is not merely calculated to betray us that he did not instigate. The consequence of the hush was not merely to find him conceal orderly, but to set the aggravatements at pause. The continuity itself, following a occasion its allay specifyly change-of-place, underlines the notion of order. In spleen of the epic's ceremonious disposture its promiseinal consequence is one of serenity. The change-of-place of Wordsworth's ingenuity is twain towards and separate from the motive of pur-pose. In the prevent WORDSWORTH'S SOLITARY SONG 99 stanza we bear a potentialityful conceptionl identification of the rhymer following a occasion the maiden's epic in which the foe of maiden, rhymer and epic is closed.In the third stanza, Wordsworth has instigated tail to the posture of bystander: " W i l l no one betray me . . . ." Finally, the rhymer is full not to apprehend "Whate'er the gist . . . ," and it is owing he stands twain delayin and extraneously the globe of the epic, and owing the lay counteracts the solicit to enjoy intermittentlyst the deficiency to let be, that Wordsworth's promiseinal aembodied trial is "static," in the notion in which Stephen Daedalus uses the promise in Joyce's A Portrait of The Adroit as a Young Man: "I medium that the calamitous aggravatement is static. Or rather the ceremonious aggravatement is.The reachings distracted by indecent art are kinetic, crave or horror. Crave solicits us to enjoy, to go to triton; loaart solicits us to forfeit, to go from triton. The arts which aggravate them, pornographical or moral, are hence indecent arts. The embodied aggravatement (I used the unconcealed promise) is hence static. The soul is arrested and influential over crave and horror. " Wordsworth's defense instigates from an significance of the epic's disposition, to an instinct of its contriveal concord as hush. It is not merely the rhymer who is " s t i l l . The reaper's epic has the orderlyness of Eliot's Chinese jar which "Moves perpetually in its orderlyness" ("Burnt Norton," V, 6-7). 4 Twain Eliot and Joyce are talking encircling the skin of unanxious attention — "the soul is arrested" — which Wordsworth is contemplating and as-courteous experiencing in his lay. In the rhymer's fact notwithstanding, it is an trial reached not through "crave and horror," but through the inconsistent change-of-place of the ingenuity. Mystery is accessible to this change-of-place owing it suggests the gist of Wordsworth's own aembodied defense.The suspension of ghost which he trials is reached not through stagnation of aggravatement but through the very vigor of it. Aembodied trial, the lay implies, is at its deepest flatten the second when the solicit for idanimation is held intermittentlyst the notion of 100 GEOFFREY J. FINCH separateness. Interestingly, Lawrence was to find the corresponding aim encircling sexual attachment in its most ecstatic seconds, but may-be Wordsworth's continuitys aim self-assertive most unquestionably to T. S. Eliot's "orderly aim" whither "the jump i s " ("Burnt Norton," II, 63), and whither for a driblet of truth the cosmical situation is transfigured in a confidence of concord. In misentry then, Wordsworth's "The Desolate Reaper" is a lay in which the main gist is further than its clear gist gist. It fixs for us the rectilinearity and gist of aembodied possession, but it does so by abutting the solicit to fix. In contemplating the reaper and her epic Wordsworth was explicitly drawn in kinship to a partner source. He was contemplating not merely another epic, but what he considered to be gentleman art, and his lay is unquestionably the best panegyric of the cosmical avail of such whistleing.