That some of Clare's poems belong of right to the excellent things of this earth admits of no dispute. A worshipper of Nature, by whom he was surely appointed to be one of her chief historians, he revelled in her manifestations, whether they showed in the higher heaven of blue or in the lower heaven of green. He was, if the phrases may pass muster, a gossip of the rainbow, a crony of the flowers. His heart was not less slow than that of Wordsworth to leap up with joy when he beheld standing across the sky, its feet treading the horizon, the most splendid triumphal arch ever devised; and though it was not granted him to render homage to his mistress in such large accents as those which fell from the lips of his great brother in song, he paid for her love and favours in music far from perishable, as may be noted by all who will read the pieces that have been selected for this volume from the "Rural Muse."
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