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form of their art, they appeal to the feelings and the imagination, and their most affecting passages are those in which the human element is bound up with the natural, and nature seems to be in sympathy with their feelings.
Cowper realizes this:
“A Song.” Cowper.
“When all within is peace
“The vast majestic globe,
So beauteously array'd
But he does not see that the painter should
“Strange! there should be found,
“The Sofa." Cowper.
Who, satisfied with only pencill'd scenes,
But imitative strokes can do no more
Nothing could show more clearly the confusion that exists in so many minds as to what painting really is than this passage. It is a beautiful piece of poetry and a charming description of nature, and it is all perfectly true as regards anyone who would prefer such an art to nature, or even compare nature and art at all. But painting is not a "mimic” art, produced by "imitative strokes”; it is something far higher, and there should be no comparison like this made. It shows the necessity of clearly understanding that nature and art are entirely different things, and that the
artist does not try merely to copy nature. Sir Thomas Browne saw further: “Nature “Religio
Medici." is not at variance with art, nor art with nature. Art is the perfection of nature. Nature hath made one world, and art another.” Coleridge puts forward the subjective view very strongly:
“It were a vain endeavour
“Ode on Though I should gaze forever
Dejection.' On that green light that lingers in the West; I may not hope from outward forms to win The passion and the life, whose fountains are within, O lady! we receive but what we give And in our life alone does nature live; Ours is her wedding garment, ours her shroud! And would we aught behold of higher worth Than that inanimate cold world allow'd To the poor loveless, ever anxious crowd, Ah! from the soul itself must issue forth A light, a glory, a fair luminous cloud Enveloping the earth ... And from the soul itself must there be sent A sweet and potent voice, of its own birth, Of all sweet sounds the life and element.”
And again he tells us in his wonderful poem how the personality is affected by nature:
"Beyond the shadow of the ship
“The Ancient Mariner."
They moved in tracks of shining white,
'Within the shadow of the ship
"O happy living things! No tongue
kind saint took pity on me,
“ The selfsame moment I could pray;
And from my neck so free
Wordsworth shows us how nature moved him:
“For I have learn'd
*" Just between the third and fourth stanzas the thing has occurred in the mind, which makes all nature and external phenomena part of the history of the personality. It is reality passing into higher reality, the world being minted by the soul.” Dr. F. W. Gunsaulus.
Nor harsh, nor grating, though of ample power
What a world is lost to the man typified by the same poet:
“He rov'd among the vales and streams,
“In vain through every changing year
Did nature lead him as before.
Well might such a lover of nature as Wordsworth cry out in irony:
“Great God! I'd rather be