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The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume XI. The Period of the French Revolution.

V. William Wordsworth

§ 17. Wordsworth and Shelley

One English poet only can be compared with Wordsworth here: Shelley, whose senses were endowed with an unusual, almost a superhuman, gift of insight. He, too, was to enrich our knowledge of sensation by his verse. His sensitiveness goes into things even deeper than Wordsworth’s. He can see further through the screen, even spy “the warm light of life.” But few, if any, can follow him to the end, or remember having themselves experienced his wonderful ecstasies. He is alone. On the contrary, Wordsworth has no abnormal and hypertrophied sensitiveness. It was the common healthy sensibility of mankind which he found himself sharing. He merely reveals to us what everyone has felt, or may feel any day.