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The Poetical Works of William Wordsworth, Vol. III
by William Wordsworth
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THE POETICAL WORKS

OF



WILLIAM WORDSWORTH



EDITED BY WILLIAM KNIGHT

VOL. III

1896



CONTENTS

1804

"She was a Phantom of delight"

"I wandered lonely as a cloud"

The Affliction of Margaret—

The Forsaken

Repentance

Address to my Infant Daughter, Dora

The Kitten and Falling Leaves

The Small Celandine

At Applethwaite, near Keswick

Vaudracour and Julia

1805

French Revolution

Ode to Duty

To a Sky-Lark

Fidelity

Incident characteristic of a Favourite Dog

Tribute to the Memory of the same Dog

To the Daisy (#4)

Elegiac Stanzas

Elegiac Verses

"When, to the attractions of the busy world"

The Cottager to her Infant

The Waggoner

The Prelude; or, Growth of a Poet's Mind

From the Italian of Michael Angelo

From the Same

From the Same. To the Supreme Being

APPENDICES

I

II

III

IV

V

VI

VII



WORDSWORTH'S POETICAL WORKS



1804

The poems written in 1804 were not numerous; and, with the exception of 'The Small Celandine', the stanzas beginning "I wandered lonely as a cloud," and "She was a Phantom of delight," they were less remarkable than those of the two preceding, and the three following years. Wordsworth's poetical activity in 1804 is not recorded, however, in Lyrical Ballads or Sonnets, but in 'The Prelude', much of which was thought out, and afterwards dictated to Dorothy or Mary Wordsworth, on the terrace walk of Lancrigg during that year; while the 'Ode, Intimations of Immortality' was altered and added to, although it did not receive its final form till 1806. In the sixth book of 'The Prelude', p. 222, the lines occur:

'Four years and thirty, told this very week, Have I been now a sojourner on earth.'

That part of the great autobiographical poem must therefore have been composed in April, 1804.—Ed.



* * * * *



"SHE WAS A PHANTOM OF DELIGHT"

Composed 1804.—Published 1807

[Written at Town-end, Grasmere. The germ of this poem was four lines composed as a part of the verses on the 'Highland Girl'. Though beginning in this way, it was written from my heart, as is sufficiently obvious.—I. F.]

One of the "Poems of the Imagination."—Ed.



She was a Phantom of delight When first she gleamed upon my sight; [A] A lovely Apparition, sent To be a moment's ornament; Her eyes as stars of Twilight fair; 5 Like Twilight's, too, her dusky hair; But all things else about her drawn From May-time and the cheerful Dawn; [1] A dancing Shape, an Image gay, To haunt, to startle, and way-lay. 10

I saw her upon nearer view, A Spirit, yet a Woman too! Her household motions light and free, And steps of virgin-liberty; A countenance in which did meet 15 Sweet records, promises as sweet; A Creature not too bright or good For human nature's daily food; For transient sorrows, simple wiles, Praise, blame, love, kisses, tears, and smiles. 20

And now I see with eye serene The very pulse of the machine; A Being breathing thoughtful breath, A Traveller between [2] life and death; The reason firm, the temperate will, 25 Endurance, foresight, strength, and skill; A perfect Woman, [3] nobly planned, To warn, to comfort, and command; And yet a Spirit still, and bright With something of angelic light. [4] 30



* * * * *

VARIANTS ON THE TEXT

[Variant 1:

1807.

From May-time's brightest, liveliest dawn; 1836

The text of 1840 returns to that of 1807.]

[Variant 2:

1832.

... betwixt ... 1807.]

[Variant 3:

1815.

A perfect Woman; ... 1807.]

[Variant 4:

1845.

... of an angel light. 1807.

... angel-light. 1836.]



* * * * *

FOOTNOTE ON THE TEXT

[Footnote A: Compare two references to Mary Wordsworth in 'The Prelude':

'Another maid there was, who also shed A gladness o'er that season, then to me, By her exulting outside look of youth And placid under-countenance, first endeared;'

(Book vi. l. 224).

'She came, no more a phantom to adorn A moment, but an inmate of the heart, And yet a spirit, there for me enshrined To penetrate the lofty and the low;'

(Book xiv, l. 268).—Ed.]



It is not easy to say what were the "four lines composed as a part of the verses on the 'Highland Girl'" which the Fenwick note tells us was "the germ of this poem." They may be lines now incorporated in those 'To a Highland Girl', vol. ii. p. 389, or they may be lines in the present poem, which Wordsworth wrote at first for the 'Highland Girl', but afterwards transferred to this one. They may have been the first four lines of the later poem. The two should be read consecutively, and compared.

After Wordsworth's death, a writer in the 'Daily News', January 1859—then understood to be Miss Harriet Martineau—wrote thus:

"In the 'Memoirs', by the nephew of the poet, it is said that these verses refer to Mrs. Wordsworth; but for half of Wordsworth's life it was always understood that they referred to some other phantom which 'gleamed upon his sight' before Mary Hutchinson."

This statement is much more than improbable; it is, I think, disproved by the Fenwick note. They cannot refer to the "Lucy" of the Goslar poems; and Wordsworth indicates, as plainly as he chose, to whom they actually do refer. Compare the Hon. Justice Coleridge's account of a conversation with Wordsworth ('Memoirs', vol. ii. p. 306), in which the poet expressly said that the lines were written on his wife. The question was, however, set at rest in a conversation of Wordsworth with Henry Crabb Robinson, who wrote in his 'Diary' on

"May 12 (1842).—Wordsworth said that the poems 'Our walk was far among the ancient trees' [vol. ii. p. 167], then 'She was a Phantom of delight,' [B] and finally the two sonnets 'To a Painter', should be read in succession as exhibiting the different phases of his affection to his wife."

('Diary, Reminiscences, and Correspondence of Henry Crabb Robinson', vol. iii. p. 197.)

The use of the word "machine," in the third stanza of the poem, has been much criticised, but for a similar use of the term, see the sequel to 'The Waggoner' (p. 107):

'Forgive me, then; for I had been On friendly terms with this Machine.'

See also 'Hamlet' (act II. scene ii. l. 124):

'Thine evermore, most dear lady, whilst this machine is to him.'

The progress of mechanical industry in Britain since the beginning of the present century has given a more limited, and purely technical, meaning to the word, than it bore when Wordsworth used it in these two instances.—Ed.

[Footnote B: The poet expressly told me that these verses were on his wife.—H. C. R.]



* * * * *



"I WANDERED LONELY AS A CLOUD"

Composed 1804.—Published 1807

[Town-end, 1804. The two best lines in it are by Mary. The daffodils grew, and still grow, on the margin of Ullswater, and probably may be seen to this day as beautiful in the month of March, nodding their golden heads beside the dancing and foaming waves.—I. F.]

This was No. VII. in the series of Poems, entitled, in the edition of 1807, "Moods of my own Mind." In 1815, and afterwards, it was classed by Wordsworth among his "Poems of the Imagination."—Ed.



I wandered lonely as a cloud That floats on high o'er vales and hills, When all at once I saw a crowd, A host, of golden [1] daffodils; Beside the lake, beneath the trees, 5 Fluttering and dancing in the breeze. [2]

Continuous as the stars that shine And twinkle on the milky way, They stretched in never-ending line Along the margin of a bay: 10 Ten thousand saw I at a glance, Tossing their heads in sprightly dance. [3]

The waves beside them danced; but they Out-did the sparkling waves in glee: A poet could not but be gay, [4] 15 In such a jocund [5] company: I gazed—and gazed—but little thought What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie In vacant or in pensive mood, 20 They flash upon that inward eye Which is the bliss of solitude; And then my heart with pleasure fills, And dances with the daffodils.



* * * * *

VARIANTS ON THE TEXT

[Variant 1:

1815.

... dancing ... 1807.]

[Variant 2:

1815.

Along the Lake, beneath the trees, Ten thousand dancing in the breeze. 1807]

[Variant 3: This stanza was added in the edition of 1815.]

[Variant 4:

1807

... be but gay, 1836.

The 1840 edition returns to the text of 1807.]

[Variant 5:

1815.

... laughing ... 1807.]



The following is from Dorothy Wordsworth's Journal, under date, Thursday, April 15, 1802:

"When we were in the woods beyond Gowbarrow Park, we saw a few daffodils close to the water side. We fancied that the sea had floated the seeds ashore, and that the little colony had so sprung up. But as we went along there were more, and yet more; and, at last, under the boughs of the trees, we saw that there was a long belt of them along the shore, about the breadth of a country turnpike road. I never saw daffodils so beautiful. They grew among the mossy stones, about and above them; some rested their heads upon these stones, as on a pillow for weariness; and the rest tossed and reeled and danced, and seemed as if they verily laughed with the wind that blew upon them over the lake. They looked so gay, ever glancing, ever changing. This wind blew directly over the lake to them. There was here and there a little knot, and a few stragglers higher up; but they were so few as not to disturb the simplicity, unity, and life of that one busy highway. We rested again and again. The bays were stormy, and we heard the waves at different distances, and in the middle of the water, like the sea...."

In the edition of 1815 there is a footnote to the lines

'They flash upon that inward eye Which is the bliss of solitude'

to the following effect:

"The subject of these Stanzas is rather an elementary feeling and simple impression (approaching to the nature of an ocular spectrum) upon the imaginative faculty, than an exertion of it. The one which follows [A] is strictly a Reverie; and neither that, nor the next after it in succession, 'Power of Music', would have been placed here except for the reason given in the foregoing note."

The being "placed here" refers to its being included among the "Poems of the Imagination." The "foregoing note" is the note appended to 'The Horn of Egremont Castle'; and the "reason given" in it is "to avoid a needless multiplication of the Classes" into which Wordsworth divided his poems. This note of 181? [B], is reprinted mainly to show the difficulties to which Wordsworth was reduced by the artificial method of arrangement referred to. The following letter to Mr. Wrangham is a more appropriate illustration of the poem of "The Daffodils." It was written, the late Bishop of Lincoln says, "sometime afterwards." (See 'Memoirs of Wordsworth', vol. i. pp. 183, 184); and, for the whole of the letter, see a subsequent volume of this edition.

"GRASMERE, Nov. 4.

"MY DEAR WRANGHAM,—I am indeed much pleased that Mrs. Wrangham and yourself have been gratified by these breathings of simple nature. You mention Butler, Montagu's friend; not Tom Butler, but the conveyancer: when I was in town in spring, he happened to see the volumes lying on Montagu's mantelpiece, and to glance his eye upon the very poem of 'The Daffodils.' 'Aye,' says he, 'a fine morsel this for the Reviewers.' When this was told me (for I was not present) I observed that there were 'two lines' in that little poem which, if thoroughly felt, would annihilate nine-tenths of the reviews of the kingdom, as they would find no readers. The lines I alluded to were these:

'They flash upon that inward eye Which is the bliss of solitude.'"

These two lines were composed by Mrs. Wordsworth. In 1877 the daffodils were still growing in abundance on the shore of Ullswater, below Gowbarrow Park.

Compare the last four lines of James Montgomery's poem, 'The Little Cloud':

'Bliss in possession will not last: Remembered joys are never past: At once the fountain, stream, and sea, They were—they are—they yet shall be.'

Ed.

[Footnote A: It was 'The Reverie of Poor Susan'.—Ed.]

[Footnote B: This is an error in the original printed text. Evidently a year before the above-mentioned publication in 1815: one of 1810-1815. text Ed.]



* * * * *



THE AFFLICTION OF MARGARET—[A]

Composed 1804.—Published 1807

[Written at Town-end, Grasmere. This was taken from the case of a poor widow who lived in the town of Penrith. Her sorrow was well known to Mrs. Wordsworth, to my sister, and, I believe, to the whole town. She kept a shop, and when she saw a stranger passing by, she was in the habit of going out into the street to enquire of him after her son.—I. F.]

Included by Wordsworth among his "Poems founded on the Affections."—Ed.



I Where art thou, my beloved Son, Where art thou, worse to me than dead? Oh find me, prosperous or undone! Or, if the grave be now thy bed, Why am I ignorant of the same 5 That I may rest; and neither blame Nor sorrow may attend thy name?

II Seven years, alas! to have received No tidings of an only child; To have despaired, have hoped, believed, 10 And been for evermore beguiled; [1] Sometimes with thoughts of very bliss! I catch at them, and then I miss; Was ever darkness like to this?

III He was among the prime in worth, 15 An object beauteous to behold; Well born, well bred; I sent him forth Ingenuous, innocent, and bold: If things ensued that wanted grace, As hath been said, they were not base; 20 And never blush was on my face.

IV Ah! little doth the young-one dream, When full of play and childish cares, What power is in [2] his wildest scream, Heard by his mother unawares! 25 He knows it not, he cannot guess: Years to a mother bring distress; But do not make her love the less.

V Neglect me! no, I suffered long From that ill thought; and, being blind, 30 Said, "Pride shall help me in my wrong: Kind mother have I been, as kind As ever breathed:" and that is true; I've wet my path with tears like dew, Weeping for him when no one knew. 35

VI My Son, if thou be humbled, poor, Hopeless of honour and of gain, Oh! do not dread thy mother's door; Think not of me with grief and pain: I now can see with better eyes; 40 And worldly grandeur I despise, And fortune with her gifts and lies.

VII Alas! the fowls of heaven have wings, And blasts of heaven will aid their flight; They mount—how short a voyage brings 45 The wanderers back to their delight! Chains tie us down by land and sea; And wishes, vain as mine, may be All that is left to comfort thee.

VIII Perhaps some dungeon hears thee groan, 50 Maimed, mangled by inhuman men; Or thou upon a desert thrown Inheritest the lion's den; Or hast been summoned to the deep, Thou, thou and all thy mates, to keep 55 An incommunicable sleep.

IX I look for ghosts; but none will force Their way to me: 'tis falsely said That there was ever intercourse Between [3] the living and the dead; 60 For, surely, then I should have sight Of him I wait for day and night, With love and longings infinite.

X My apprehensions come in crowds; I dread the rustling of the grass; 65 The very shadows of the clouds Have power to shake me as they pass: I question things and do not find One that will answer to my mind; And all the world appears unkind. 70

XI Beyond participation lie My troubles, and beyond relief: If any chance to heave a sigh, They pity me, and not my grief. Then come to me, my Son, or send 75 Some tidings that my woes may end; I have no other earthly friend!



* * * * *

VARIANTS ON THE TEXT

[Variant 1:

1836.

To have despair'd, and have believ'd, And be for evermore beguil'd; 1807.]

[Variant 2:

1832.

What power hath even ... 1807.]

[Variant 3:

1832.

Betwixt ... 1807.]



* * * * *

FOOTNOTE ON THE TEXT

[Footnote A: In the edition of 1807, the title was 'The Affliction of Margaret—of—'; in 1820, it was 'The Affliction of Margaret'; and in 1845, it was as above. In an early MS. it was 'The Affliction of Mary—of—'. For an as yet unpublished Preface to it, see volume viii. of this edition.—Ed.]



* * * * *



THE FORSAKEN

Composed 1804.—Published 1842

[This was an overflow from 'The Affliction of Margaret', and was excluded as superfluous there, but preserved in the faint hope that it may turn to account by restoring a shy lover to some forsaken damsel. My poetry has been complained of as deficient in interests of this sort,—a charge which the piece beginning, "Lyre! though such power do in thy magic live," will scarcely tend to obviate. The natural imagery of these verses was supplied by frequent, I might say intense, observation of the Rydal torrent. What an animating contrast is the ever-changing aspect of that, and indeed of every one of our mountain brooks, to the monotonous tone and unmitigated fury of such streams among the Alps as are fed all the summer long by glaciers and melting snows. A traveller observing the exquisite purity of the great rivers, such as the Rhone at Geneva, and the Reuss at Lucerne, when they issue out of their respective lakes, might fancy for a moment that some power in nature produced this beautiful change, with a view to make amends for those Alpine sullyings which the waters exhibit near their fountain heads; but, alas! how soon does that purity depart before the influx of tributary waters that have flowed through cultivated plains and the crowded abodes of men.—I. F.]

Included by Wordsworth among his "Poems founded on the Affections."—Ed.



The peace which others seek they find; The heaviest storms not longest last; Heaven grants even to the guiltiest mind An amnesty for what is past; When will my sentence be reversed? 5 I only pray to know the worst; And wish as if my heart would burst.

O weary struggle! silent years Tell seemingly no doubtful tale; And yet they leave it short, and fears 10 And hopes are strong and will prevail. My calmest faith escapes not pain; And, feeling that the hope is vain, I think that he will come again.



* * * * *



REPENTANCE

A PASTORAL BALLAD

Composed 1804.—Published 1820

[Written at Town-end, Grasmere. Suggested by the conversation of our next neighbour, Margaret Ashburner.—I. F.]

This "next neighbour" is constantly referred to in Dorothy Wordsworth's Grasmere Journal.

Included in 1820 among the "Poems of Sentiment and Reflection"; in 1827, and afterwards, it was classed with those "founded on the Affections."—Ed.



The fields which with covetous spirit we sold, Those beautiful fields, the delight of the day, Would have brought us more good than a burthen of gold, [1] Could we but have been as contented as they.

When the troublesome Tempter beset us, said I, 5 "Let him come, with his purse proudly grasped in his hand; But, Allan, be true to me, Allan,—we'll die [2] Before he shall go with an inch of the land!"

There dwelt we, as happy as birds in their bowers; Unfettered as bees that in gardens abide; 10 We could do what we liked [3] with the land, it was ours; And for us the brook murmured that ran by its side.

But now we are strangers, go early or late; And often, like one overburthened with sin, With my hand on the latch of the half-opened gate, [4] 15 I look at the fields, but [5] I cannot go in!

When I walk by the hedge on a bright summer's day, Or sit in the shade of my grandfather's tree, A stern face it puts on, as if ready to say, "What ails you, that you must come creeping to me!" 20

With our pastures about us, we could not be sad; Our comfort was near if we ever were crost; But the comfort, the blessings, and wealth that we had, We slighted them all,—and our birth-right was lost. [6]

Oh, ill-judging sire of an innocent son 25 Who must now be a wanderer! but peace to that strain! Think of evening's repose when our labour was done, The sabbath's return; and its leisure's soft chain!

And in sickness, if night had been sparing of sleep, How cheerful, at sunrise, the hill where I stood, [7] 30 Looking down on the kine, and our treasure of sheep That besprinkled the field; 'twas like youth in my blood!

Now I cleave to the house, and am dull as a snail; And, oftentimes, hear the church-bell with a sigh, That follows the thought—We've no land in the vale, 35 Save six feet of earth where our forefathers lie!



* * * * *

VARIANTS ON THE TEXT

[Variant 1:

1820.

the delight of our day, MS.

O fools that we were—we had land which we sold MS.

O fools that we were without virtue to hold MS.

The fields that together contentedly lay Would have done us more good than another man's gold MS.]

[Variant 2:

1820.

When the bribe of the Tempter beset us, said I, Let him come with his bags proudly grasped in his hand. But, Thomas, be true to me, Thomas, we'll die MS.]

[Variant 3:

1836.

... chose ... 1820 and MS.]

[Variant 4:

1820.

When my hand has half-lifted the latch of the gate, MS.]

[Variant 5:

1820.

... and ... MS.]

[Variant 6:

1827.

But the blessings, and comfort, and wealth that we had, We slighted them all,—and our birth-right was lost. 1820 and MS.

But we traitorously gave the best friend that we had For spiritless pelf—as we felt to our cost! MS.]

[Variant 7:

1820.

When my sick crazy body had lain without sleep, How cheering the sunshiny vale where I stood, MS.]



* * * * *



ADDRESS TO MY INFANT DAUGHTER, DORA, [A]

ON BEING REMINDED THAT SHE WAS A MONTH OLD THAT DAY, SEPTEMBER 16

Composed September 16, 1804.—Published 1815

Included by Wordsworth among his "Poems of the Fancy."—Ed.



—Hast thou then survived— Mild Offspring of infirm humanity, Meek Infant! among all forlornest things The most forlorn—one life of that bright star, The second glory of the Heavens?—Thou hast; 5 Already hast survived that great decay, That transformation through the wide earth felt, And by all nations. In that Being's sight From whom the Race of human kind proceed, A thousand years are but as yesterday; 10 And one day's narrow circuit is to Him Not less capacious than a thousand years. But what is time? What outward glory? neither A measure is of Thee, whose claims extend Through "heaven's eternal year." [B]—Yet hail to Thee, 15 Frail, feeble, Monthling!—by that name, methinks, Thy scanty breathing-time is portioned out Not idly.—Hadst thou been of Indian birth, Couched on a casual bed of moss and leaves, And rudely canopied by leafy boughs, 20 Or to the churlish elements exposed On the blank plains,—the coldness of the night, Or the night's darkness, or its cheerful face Of beauty, by the changing moon adorned, Would, with imperious admonition, then 25 Have scored thine age, and punctually timed Thine infant history, on the minds of those Who might have wandered with thee.—Mother's love, Nor less than mother's love in other breasts, Will, among us warm-clad and warmly housed, 30 Do for thee what the finger of the heavens Doth all too often harshly execute For thy unblest coevals, amid wilds Where fancy hath small liberty to grace The affections, to exalt them or refine; 35 And the maternal sympathy itself, Though strong, is, in the main, a joyless tie Of naked instinct, wound about the heart. Happier, far happier is thy lot and ours! Even now—to solemnise thy helpless state, 40 And to enliven in the mind's regard Thy passive beauty—parallels have risen, Resemblances, or contrasts, that connect, Within the region of a father's thoughts, Thee and thy mate and sister of the sky. 45 And first;—thy sinless progress, through a world By sorrow darkened and by care disturbed, Apt likeness bears to hers, through gathered clouds, Moving untouched in silver purity, And cheering oft-times their reluctant gloom. 50 Fair are ye both, and both are free from stain: But thou, how leisurely thou fill'st thy horn With brightness! leaving her to post along, And range about, disquieted in change, And still impatient of the shape she wears. 55 Once up, once down the hill, one journey, Babe That will suffice thee; and it seems that now Thou hast fore-knowledge that such task is thine; Thou travellest so contentedly, and sleep'st In such a heedless peace. Alas! full soon 60 Hath this conception, grateful to behold, Changed countenance, like an object sullied o'er By breathing mist; and thine appears to be A mournful labour, while to her is given Hope, and a renovation without end. 65 —That smile forbids the thought; for on thy face Smiles are beginning, like the beams of dawn, To shoot and circulate; smiles have there been seen; Tranquil assurances that Heaven supports The feeble motions of thy life, and cheers 70 Thy loneliness: or shall those smiles be called Feelers of love, put forth as if to explore This untried world, and to prepare thy way Through a strait passage intricate and dim? Such are they; and the same are tokens, signs, 75 Which, when the appointed season hath arrived, Joy, as her holiest language, shall adopt; And Reason's godlike Power be proud to own.



* * * * *

FOOTNOTES ON THE TEXT

[Footnote A: The title from 1815 to 1845 was 'Address to my Infant Daughter, on being reminded that she was a Month old, on that Day'. After her death in 1847, her name was added to the title.—Ed.]

[Footnote B: See Dryden's poem, 'To the pious memory of the accomplished young lady, Mrs. Anne Killigrew', I. l. 15.—Ed.]

The text of this poem was never altered.—Ed.



* * * * *



THE KITTEN AND FALLING LEAVES [A]

Composed 1804.—Published 1807

[Seen at Town-end, Grasmere. The elder-bush has long since disappeared; it hung over the wall near the cottage: and the kitten continued to leap up, catching the leaves as here described. The Infant was Dora.—J. F.]

One of the "Poems of the Fancy." In Henry Crabb Robinson's 'Diary, etc.', under date Sept. 10, 1816, we find,

"He" (Wordsworth) "quoted from 'The Kitten and the Falling Leaves' to show he had connected even the kitten with the great, awful, and mysterious powers of Nature."

Ed.



That way look, my Infant, [1] lo! What a pretty baby-show! See the Kitten on the wall, Sporting with the leaves that fall, Withered leaves—one—two—and three—5 From the lofty elder-tree! Through the calm and frosty [2] air Of this morning bright and fair, Eddying round and round they sink Softly, slowly: one might think, 10 From the motions that are made, Every little leaf conveyed Sylph or Faery hither tending,— To this lower world descending, Each invisible and mute, 15 In his wavering parachute. ——But the Kitten, how she starts, Crouches, stretches, paws, and darts! [3] First at one, and then its fellow Just as light and just as yellow; 20 There are many now—now one— Now they stop and there are none: What intenseness of desire In her upward eye of fire! With a tiger-leap half-way 25 Now she meets the coming prey, Lets it go as fast, and then Has it in her power again: Now she works with three or four, Like an Indian conjurer; 30 Quick as he in feats of art, Far beyond in joy of heart. Were her antics played in the eye Of a thousand standers-by, Clapping hands with shout and stare, 35 What would little Tabby care For the plaudits of the crowd? Over happy to be proud, Over wealthy in the treasure Of her own exceeding pleasure! 40

'Tis a pretty baby-treat; Nor, I deem, for me unmeet; [4] Here, for neither Babe nor [5] me, Other play-mate can I see. Of the countless living things, 45 That with stir of feet and wings (In the sun or under shade, Upon bough or grassy blade) And with busy revellings, Chirp and song, and murmurings, 50 Made this orchard's narrow space, And this vale so blithe a place; Multitudes are swept away Never more to breathe the day: Some are sleeping; some in bands 55 Travelled into distant lands; Others slunk to moor and wood, Far from human neighbourhood; And, among the Kinds that keep With us closer fellowship, 60 With us openly abide, All have laid their mirth aside.

Where is he that giddy [6] Sprite, Blue-cap, with his colours bright, Who was blest as bird could be, 65 Feeding in the apple-tree; Made such wanton spoil and rout, Turning blossoms inside out; Hung—head pointing towards the ground—[7] Fluttered, perched, into a round 70 Bound himself, and then unbound; Lithest, gaudiest Harlequin! Prettiest tumbler ever seen! Light of heart and light of limb; What is now become of Him? 75 Lambs, that through the mountains went Frisking, bleating merriment, When the year was in its prime, They are sobered by this time. If you look to vale or [8] hill, 80 If you listen, all is still, Save a little neighbouring rill, That from out the rocky ground Strikes a solitary sound. Vainly glitter [9] hill and plain, 85 And the air is calm in vain; Vainly Morning spreads the lure Of a sky serene and pure; Creature none can she decoy Into open sign of joy: 90 Is it that they have a fear Of the dreary season near? Or that other pleasures be Sweeter even than gaiety?

Yet, whate'er enjoyments dwell 95 In the impenetrable cell Of the silent heart which Nature Furnishes to every creature; Whatsoe'er we feel and know Too sedate for outward show, 100 Such a light of gladness breaks, Pretty Kitten! from thy freaks,— Spreads with such a living grace O'er my little Dora's [10] face; Yes, the sight so stirs and charms 105 Thee, Baby, laughing in my arms, That almost I could repine That your transports are not mine, That I do not wholly fare Even as ye do, thoughtless pair! [11] 110 And I will have my careless season Spite of melancholy reason, [12] Will walk through life in such a way That, when time brings on decay, Now and then I may possess 115 Hours of perfect gladsomeness. [13] —Pleased by any random toy; By a kitten's busy joy, Or an infant's laughing eye Sharing in the ecstasy; 120 I would fare like that or this, Find my wisdom in my bliss; Keep the sprightly soul awake, And have faculties to take, Even from things [14] by sorrow wrought, 125 Matter for a jocund thought, Spite of care, and spite of grief, To gambol with Life's falling Leaf.



* * * * *

VARIANTS ON THE TEXT

[Variant 1:

... Darling, ... MS.]

[Variant 2:

... silent ... MS.]

[Variant 3:

Knows not what she would be at, Now on this side, now on that. MS.]

[Variant 4:

One for me, too, as is meet. MS.]

[Variant 5:

1815.

... or ... 1807.]

[Variant 6:

... busy ... MS.]

[Variant 7:

1836,

Hung with head towards the ground, 1807.]

[Variant 8:

... and ... MS.]

[Variant 9:

1836.

... glitters ... 1807.]

[Variant 10:

1849.

Laura's [a] 1807]

[Variant 11: Additional lines:

But I'll take a hint from you, And to pleasure will be true, MS.]

[Variant 12:

Be it songs of endless Spring Which the frolic Muses sing, Jest, and Mirth's unruly brood Dancing to the Phrygian mood; Be it love, or be it wine, Myrtle wreath, or ivy twine, Or a garland made of both; Whether then Philosophy That would fill us full of glee Seeing that our breath we draw Under an unbending law, That our years are halting never; Quickly gone, and gone for ever, And would teach us thence to brave The conclusion in the grave; Whether it be these that give Strength and spirit so to live, Or the conquest best be made, By a sober course and staid, I would walk in such a way, MS.]

[Variant 13:

... joyousness. MS.]

[Variant 14:

From the things by ... MS.]



* * * * *

FOOTNOTE ON THE TEXT

[Footnote A: In the editions of 1807-1832 the title was 'The Kitten and the Falling Leaves'.—Ed.]



* * * * *

SUB-FOOTNOTE ON THE TEXT

[Sub-Footnote a: Dora Wordsworth died in July 1847. Probably the change of text in 1849—one of the latest which the poet made—was due to the wish to connect this poem with memories of his dead daughter's childhood, and her "laughing eye."—Ed.]



* * * * *



THE SMALL CELANDINE [A]

Composed 1804.—Published 1807

[Grasmere, Town-end. It is remarkable that this flower coming out so early in the spring as it does, and so bright and beautiful, and in such profusion, should not have been noticed earlier in English verse. What adds much to the interest that attends it, is its habit of shutting itself up and opening out according to the degree of light and temperature of the air.—I. F.]

In pencil on opposite page "Has not Chaucer noticed it?"—W. W.

This was classed by Wordsworth among his "Poems referring to the Period of Old Age."-Ed.



There is a Flower, the lesser Celandine, That shrinks, like many more, from cold and rain; And, the first moment that the sun may shine, Bright as the sun himself, [1] 'tis out again!

When hailstones have been falling, swarm on swarm, 5 Or blasts the green field and the trees distrest, Oft have I seen it muffled up from harm, In close self-shelter, like a Thing at rest.

But lately, one rough day, this Flower I passed And recognised it, though an altered form, 10 Now standing forth an offering to the blast, And buffeted at will by rain and storm.

I stopped, and said with inly-muttered voice, "It doth not love the shower, nor seek the cold: This neither is its courage nor its choice, 15 But its necessity in being old.

"The sunshine may not cheer [2] it, nor the dew; It cannot help itself in its decay; Stiff in its members, withered, changed of hue." And, in my spleen, I smiled that it was grey. 20

To be a Prodigal's Favourite—then, worse truth, A Miser's Pensioner—behold our lot! O Man, that from thy fair and shining youth Age might but take the things Youth needed not!



* * * * *

VARIANTS ON THE TEXT

[Variant 1:

1837.

... itself, ... 1807.]

[Variant 2:

1827

... bless ... 1807.]



* * * * *

FOOTNOTE ON THE TEXT

[Footnote A: Common Pilewort.—W. W. 1807.]



With the last stanza compare one from 'The Fountain', vol. ii. p. 93:

'Thus fares it still in our decay: And yet the wiser mind Mourns less for what age takes away Than what it leaves behind.'

Compare also the other two poems on the Celandine, vol. ii. pp. 300, 303, written in a previous year.—Ed.



* * * * *



AT APPLETHWAITE, NEAR KESWICK

1804

Composed 1804.—Published 1842

[This was presented to me by Sir George Beaumont, with a view to the erection of a house upon it, for the sake of being near to Coleridge, then living, and likely to remain, at Greta Hall, near Keswick. The severe necessities that prevented this arose from his domestic situation. This little property, with a considerable addition that still leaves it very small, lies beautifully upon the banks of a rill that gurgles down the side of Skiddaw; and the orchard and other parts of the grounds command a magnificent prospect of Derwent Water, the mountains of Borrowdale and Newlands. Not many years ago I gave the place to my daughter.—I. F.]

In pencil on the opposite page in Dora Wordsworth's (Mrs. Quillinan's) handwriting—"Many years ago, Sir; for it was given when she was a frail feeble monthling."

One of the "Miscellaneous Sonnets."—Ed.



BEAUMONT! it was thy wish that I should rear A seemly Cottage in this sunny Dell, On favoured ground, thy gift, where I might dwell In neighbourhood with One to me most dear, That undivided we from year to year 5 Might work in our high Calling—a bright hope To which our fancies, mingling, gave free scope Till checked by some necessities severe. And should these slacken, honoured BEAUMONT! still Even then we may perhaps in vain implore 10 Leave of our fate thy wishes [1] to fulfil. Whether this boon be granted us or not, Old Skiddaw will look down upon the Spot With pride, the Muses love it evermore. [2] [A]



* * * * *

VARIANTS ON THE TEXT

[Variant 1:

... pleasure ... MS.]

[Variant 2:

... will be proud, and that same spot Be dear unto the Muses evermore. MS.]



* * * * *

FOOTNOTE ON THE TEXT

[Footnote A: In the edition of 1842 the following footnote is given by Wordsworth,

"This biographical Sonnet, if so it may be called, together with the Epistle that follows, have been long suppressed from feelings of personal delicacy."

The "Epistle" was that addressed to Sir George Beaumont in 1811.—Ed.]

This little property at Applethwaite now belongs to Mr. Gordon Wordsworth, the grandson of the poet. It is a "sunny dell" only in its upper reaches, above the spot where the cottage—which still bears Wordsworth's name—is built. This sonnet, and Sir George Beaumont's wish that Wordsworth and Coleridge should live so near each other, as to be able to carry on joint literary labour, recall the somewhat similar wish and proposal on the part of W. Calvert, unfolded in a letter from Coleridge to Sir Humphry Davy.—Ed.



* * * * *



VAUDRACOUR AND JULIA

Composed 1804.—Published 1820

The following Tale was written as an Episode, in a work from which its length may perhaps exclude it. [A] The facts are true; no invention as to these has been exercised, as none was needed.—W. W. 1820.

[Written at Town-end, Grasmere. Faithfully narrated, though with the omission of many pathetic circumstances, from the mouth of a French lady, [B] who had been an eye-and-ear witness of all that was done and said. Many long years after, I was told that Dupligne was then a monk in the Convent of La Trappe.—I. F.]

This was included among the "Poems founded on the Affections."—Ed.



O happy time of youthful lovers (thus My story may begin) O balmy time, In which a love-knot on a lady's brow Is fairer than the fairest star in heaven! To such inheritance of blessed fancy 5 (Fancy that sports more desperately with minds Than ever fortune hath been known to do) The high-born Vaudracour was brought, by years Whose progress had a little overstepped His stripling prime. A town of small repute, 10 Among the vine-clad mountains of Auvergne, Was the Youth's birth-place. There he wooed a Maid Who heard the heart-felt music of his suit With answering vows. Plebeian was the stock, Plebeian, though ingenuous, the stock, 15 From which her graces and her honours sprung: And hence the father of the enamoured Youth, With haughty indignation, spurned the thought Of such alliance.—From their cradles up, With but a step between their several homes, 20 Twins had they been in pleasure; after strife And petty quarrels, had grown fond again; Each other's advocate, each other's stay; And, in their happiest moments, not content, If more divided than a sportive pair [1] 25 Of sea-fowl, conscious both that they are hovering Within the eddy of a common blast, Or hidden only by the concave depth Of neighbouring billows from each other's sight.

Thus, not without concurrence of an age 30 Unknown to memory, was an earnest given By ready nature for a life of love, For endless constancy, and placid truth; But whatsoe'er of such rare treasure lay Reserved, had fate permitted, for support 35 Of their maturer years, his present mind Was under fascination;—he beheld A vision, and adored the thing he saw. Arabian fiction never filled the world With half the wonders that were wrought for him. 40 Earth breathed in one great presence of the spring; Life turned the meanest of her implements, Before his eyes, to price above all gold; The house she dwelt in was a sainted shrine; Her chamber-window did surpass in glory 45 The portals of the dawn; all paradise Could, by the simple opening of a door, Let itself in upon him:—pathways, walks, Swarmed with enchantment, till his spirit sank, Surcharged, within him, overblest to move 50 Beneath a sun that wakes a weary world To its dull round of ordinary cares; A man too happy for mortality!

So passed the time, till whether through effect Of some unguarded moment that dissolved 55 Virtuous restraint—ah, speak it, think it, not! Deem rather that the fervent Youth, who saw So many bars between his present state And the dear haven where he wished to be In honourable wedlock with his Love, 60 Was in his judgment tempted to decline To perilous weakness, [2] and entrust his cause To nature for a happy end of all; Deem that by such fond hope the Youth was swayed, And bear with their transgression, when I add 65 That Julia, wanting yet the name of wife, Carried about her for a secret grief The promise of a mother. To conceal The threatened shame, the parents of the Maid 70 Found means to hurry her away by night, And unforewarned, that in some distant spot She might remain shrouded in privacy, Until the babe was born. When morning came, The Lover, thus bereft, stung with his loss, 75 And all uncertain whither he should turn, Chafed like a wild beast in the toils; but soon Discovering traces of the fugitives, Their steps he followed to the Maid's retreat. Easily may the sequel be divined—[3] 80 Walks to and fro—watchings at every hour; And the fair Captive, who, whene'er she may, Is busy at her casement as the swallow Fluttering its pinions, almost within reach, About the pendent nest, did thus espy 85 Her Lover!—thence a stolen interview, Accomplished under friendly shade of night.

I pass the raptures of the pair;—such theme Is, by innumerable poets, touched In more delightful verse than skill of mine 90 Could fashion; chiefly by that darling bard Who told of Juliet and her Romeo, And of the lark's note heard before its time, And of the streaks that laced the severing clouds In the unrelenting east.—Through all her courts 95 The vacant city slept; the busy winds, That keep no certain intervals of rest, Moved not; meanwhile the galaxy displayed Her fires, that like mysterious pulses beat Aloft;—momentous but uneasy bliss! 100 To their full hearts the universe seemed hung On that brief meeting's slender filament!

They parted; and the generous Vaudracour Reached speedily the native threshold, bent On making (so the Lovers had agreed) 105 A sacrifice of birthright to attain A final portion from his father's hand; Which granted, Bride and Bridegroom then would flee To some remote and solitary place, Shady as night, and beautiful as heaven, 110 Where they may live, with no one to behold Their happiness, or to disturb their love. But now of this no whisper; not the less, If ever an obtrusive word were dropped Touching the matter of his passion, still, 115 In his stern father's hearing, Vaudracour Persisted openly that death alone Should abrogate his human privilege Divine, of swearing everlasting truth, Upon the altar, to the Maid he loved. 120

"You shall be baffled in your mad intent If there be justice in the court of France," Muttered the Father.—From these words the Youth [4] Conceived a terror; and, by night or day, Stirred nowhere without weapons, that full soon 125 Found dreadful provocation: for at night [5] When to his chamber he retired, attempt Was made to seize him by three armed men, Acting, in furtherance of the father's will, Under a private signet of the State. 130 One the rash Youth's ungovernable hand Slew, and as quickly to a second gave [6] A perilous wound—he shuddered to behold The breathless corse; then peacefully resigned His person to the law, was lodged in prison, 135 And wore the fetters of a criminal.

Have you observed [7] a tuft of winged seed That, from the dandelion's naked stalk, Mounted aloft, is suffered not to use Its natural gifts for purposes of rest, 140 Driven by the autumnal whirlwind to and fro Through the wide element? or have you marked The heavier substance of a leaf-clad bough, Within the vortex of a foaming flood, Tormented? by such aid you may conceive 145 The perturbation that ensued; [8]—ah, no! Desperate the Maid—the Youth is stained with blood; Unmatchable on earth is their disquiet! [9] Yet [10] as the troubled seed and tortured bough Is Man, subjected to despotic sway. 150

For him, by private influence with the Court, Was pardon gained, and liberty procured; But not without exaction of a pledge, Which liberty and love dispersed in air. He flew to her from whom they would divide him—155 He clove to her who could not give him peace— Yea, his first word of greeting was,—"All right Is gone from me; my lately-towering hopes, To the least fibre of their lowest root, Are withered; thou no longer canst be mine, 160 I thine—the conscience-stricken must not woo The unruffled Innocent,—I see thy face, Behold thee, and my misery is complete!"

"One, are we not?" exclaimed the Maiden—"One, For innocence and youth, for weal and woe?" 165 Then with the father's name she coupled words Of vehement indignation; but the Youth Checked her with filial meekness; for no thought Uncharitable crossed his mind, no sense Of hasty anger rising in the eclipse [11] 170 Of true domestic loyalty, did e'er Find place within his bosom.—Once again The persevering wedge of tyranny Achieved their separation: and once more Were they united,—to be yet again 175 Disparted, pitiable lot! But here A portion of the tale may well be left In silence, though my memory could add Much how the Youth, in scanty space of time, Was traversed from without; much, too, of thoughts 180 That occupied his days in solitude Under privation and restraint; and what, Through dark and shapeless fear of things to come, And what, through strong compunction for the past, He suffered—breaking down in heart and mind! 185

Doomed to a third and last captivity, His freedom he recovered on the eve Of Julia's travail. When the babe was born, Its presence tempted him to cherish schemes Of future happiness. "You shall return, 190 Julia," said he, "and to your father's house Go with the child.—You have been wretched; yet The silver shower, whose reckless burthen weighs Too heavily upon the lily's head, Oft leaves a saving moisture at its root. 195 Malice, beholding you, will melt away. Go!—'tis a town where both of us were born; None will reproach you, for our truth is known; And if, amid those once-bright bowers, our fate Remain unpitied, pity is not in man. 200 With ornaments—the prettiest, nature yields Or art can fashion, shall you deck our [12] boy, And feed his countenance with your own sweet looks Till no one can resist him.—Now, even now, I see him sporting on the sunny lawn; 205 My father from the window sees him too; Startled, as if some new-created thing Enriched the earth, or Faery of the woods Bounded before him;—but the unweeting Child Shall by his beauty win his grandsire's heart 210 So that it shall be softened, and our loves End happily, as they began!"

These gleams Appeared but seldom; oftener was he seen Propping a pale and melancholy face 215 Upon the Mother's bosom; resting thus His head upon one breast, while from the other The Babe was drawing in its quiet food. —That pillow is no longer to be thine, Fond Youth! that mournful solace now must pass 220 Into the list of things that cannot be! Unwedded Julia, terror-smitten, hears The sentence, by her mother's lip pronounced, That dooms her to a convent.—Who shall tell, Who dares report, the tidings to the lord 225 Of her affections? so they blindly asked Who knew not to what quiet depths a weight Of agony had pressed the Sufferer down: The word, by others dreaded, he can hear Composed and silent, without visible sign 230 Of even the least emotion. Noting this, When the impatient object of his love Upbraided him with slackness, he returned No answer, only took the mother's hand And kissed it; seemingly devoid of pain, 235 Or care, that what so tenderly he pressed Was a dependant on [13] the obdurate heart Of one who came to disunite their lives For ever—sad alternative! preferred, By the unbending Parents of the Maid, 240 To secret 'spousals meanly disavowed. —So be it!

In the city he remained A season after Julia had withdrawn To those religious walls. He, too, departs—245 Who with him?—even the senseless Little-one. With that sole charge he passed the city-gates, For the last time, attendant by the side Of a close chair, a litter, or sedan, In which the Babe was carried. To a hill, 250 That rose a brief league distant from the town, The dwellers in that house where he had lodged Accompanied his steps, by anxious love Impelled;—they parted from him there, and stood Watching below till he had disappeared 255 On the hill top. His eyes he scarcely took, Throughout that journey, from the vehicle (Slow-moving ark of all his hopes!) that veiled The tender infant: and at every inn, And under every hospitable tree 260 At which the bearers halted or reposed, Laid him with timid care upon his knees, And looked, as mothers ne'er were known to look, Upon the nursling which his arms embraced.

This was the manner in which Vaudracour 265 Departed with his infant; and thus reached His father's house, where to the innocent child Admittance was denied. The young man spake No word [14] of indignation or reproof, But of his father begged, a last request, 270 That a retreat might be assigned to him Where in forgotten quiet he might dwell, With such allowance as his wants required; For wishes he had none. To a lodge that stood Deep in a forest, with leave given, at the age 275 Of four-and-twenty summers he withdrew; And thither took with him his motherless Babe, [15] And one domestic for their common needs, An aged woman. It consoled him here To attend upon the orphan, and perform 280 Obsequious service to the precious child, Which, after a short time, by some mistake Or indiscretion of the Father, died.— The Tale I follow to its last recess Of suffering or of peace, I know not which: 285 Theirs be the blame who caused the woe, not mine!

From this time forth he never shared a smile With mortal creature. An Inhabitant Of that same town, in which the pair had left So lively a remembrance of their griefs, 290 By chance of business, coming within reach Of his retirement, to the forest lodge Repaired, but only found the matron there, [16] Who told him that his pains were thrown away, For that her Master never uttered word 295 To living thing—not even to her.—Behold! While they were speaking, Vaudracour approached; But, seeing some one near, as on the latch Of the garden-gate his hand was laid, he shrunk—[17] And, like a shadow, glided out of view. 300 Shocked at his savage aspect, from the place The visitor retired.

Thus lived the Youth Cut off from all intelligence with man, And shunning even the light of common day; 305 Nor could the voice of Freedom, which through France Full speedily resounded, public hope, Or personal memory of his own deep wrongs, Rouse him: but in those solitary shades His days he wasted, an imbecile mind! 310



* * * * *

VARIANTS ON THE TEXT

[Variant 1:

1836.

And strangers to content if long apart, Or more divided ... 1820.]

[Variant 2:

1827.

Was inwardly prepared to turn aside From law and custom, ... 1820.]

[Variant 3:

1836.

The sequel may be easily divined,—1820.]

[Variant 4:

1827.

... From this time the Youth 1820.]

[Variant 5:

1827.

Stirred no where without arms. To their rural seat, Meanwhile, his Parents artfully withdrew, Upon some feigned occasion, and the Son Remained with one attendant. At midnight 1820.]

[Variant 6:

1836.

One, did the Youth's ungovernable hand Assault and slay;—and to a second gave 1820.]

[Variant 7:

1836.

... beheld ... 1820.]

[Variant 8:

1836.

The perturbation of each mind;—... 1820.]

[Variant 9: This line was added in 1836.]

[Variant 10:

1836.

But ... 1820.]

[Variant 11:

1845.

... for no thought Uncharitable, no presumptuous rising Of hasty censure, modelled in the eclipse 1820.

... for no thought Undutifully harsh dwelt in his mind, No proud resentment cherished in the eclipse C.]

[Variant 12:

1840.

... your ... 1820.]

[Variant 13:

1827.

... upon ... 1820.]

[Variant 14:

1836.

No words ... 1820.]

[Variant 15:

1836.

... infant Babe, 1820.]

[Variant 16:

1827.

... to the spot repaired With an intent to visit him. He reached The house, and only found the Matron there, 1820]

[Variant 17:

1836.

But, seeing some one near, even as his hand Was stretched towards the garden gate, he shrunk—1820]



* * * * *

FOOTNOTES ON THE TEXT

[Footnote A: The work was 'The Prelude'. See book ix., p. 310 of this volume.—Ed.]

[Footnote B: Compare 'The Prelude', book ix. l. 548, p. 310, where Wordsworth says it was told him "by my Patriot friend."—Ed.]



In the preface to his volume, "'Poems of Wordsworth' chosen and edited by Matthew Arnold," that distinguished poet and critic has said (p. xxv.), "I can read with pleasure and edification ... everything of Wordsworth, I think, except 'Vaudracour and Julia'."—Ed.



* * * * *



1805

During 1805, the autobiographical poem, which was afterwards named by Mrs. Wordsworth 'The Prelude', was finished. In that year also Wordsworth wrote the 'Ode to Duty', 'To a Sky-Lark', 'Fidelity', the fourth poem 'To the Daisy', the 'Elegiac Stanzas suggested by a Picture of Peele Castle in a Storm', the 'Elegiac Verses' in memory of his brother John, 'The Waggoner', and a few other poems.—Ed.



* * * * *



FRENCH REVOLUTION,

AS IT APPEARED TO ENTHUSIASTS AT ITS COMMENCEMENT

REPRINTED FROM 'THE FRIEND'

Composed 1805.—Published 1809

[An extract from the long poem on my own poetical education. It was first published by Coleridge in his 'Friend', which is the reason of its having had a place in every edition of my poems since.—I. F.]

These lines appeared first in 'The Friend', No. 11, October 26, 1809, p. 163. They afterwards found a place amongst the "Poems of the Imagination," in all the collective editions from 1815 onwards. They are part of the eleventh book of 'The Prelude', entitled "France— (concluded)," ll. 105-144. Wordsworth gives the date 1805, but these lines possibly belong to the year 1804.—Ed.



Oh! pleasant exercise of hope and joy! For mighty were [1] the auxiliars which then stood Upon our side, we [2] who were strong in love! Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive, But to be young was very heaven!—Oh! times, 5 In which the meagre, stale, forbidding ways Of custom, law, and statute, took at once The attraction of a country in romance! When Reason seemed the most to assert her rights, When most intent on making of herself 10 A prime Enchantress [3]—to assist the work, Which then was going forward in her name! Not favoured spots alone, but the whole earth, The beauty wore of promise, that which sets (As at some moment might not be unfelt [4] 15 Among the bowers of paradise itself) The budding rose above the rose full blown. What temper at the prospect did not wake To happiness unthought of? The inert Were roused, and lively natures rapt away! 20 They who had fed their childhood upon dreams, The playfellows of fancy, who had made All powers of swiftness, subtilty, and strength Their ministers,—who in lordly wise had stirred [5] Among the grandest objects of the sense, 25 And dealt [6] with whatsoever they found there As if they had within some lurking right To wield it;—they, too, who, of gentle mood, Had watched all gentle motions, and to these Had fitted their own thoughts, schemers more mild, 30 And in the region of their peaceful selves;— Now was it that both [7] found, the meek and lofty Did both find, helpers to their heart's desire, And stuff at hand, plastic as they could wish; Were called upon to exercise their skill, 35 Not in Utopia, subterranean [8] fields, Or some secreted island, Heaven knows where! But in the very world, which is the world Of all of us,—the place where in the end We find our happiness, or not at all! 40



* * * * *

VARIANTS ON THE TEXT

[Variant 1: "were" omitted from the 1820 edition only.]

[Variant 2:

1809.

... us ... 'The Prelude', 1850.]

[Variant 3:

1815.

... Enchanter ... 1809.]

[Variant 4:

1832.

(To take an image which was felt no doubt 1809.

(As at some moments might not be unfelt 'The Prelude', 1850.]

[Variant 5:

1815.

Their ministers—used to stir in lordly wise 1809.]

[Variant 6:

1815.

And deal ... 1809.]

[Variant 7: "both" 'italicised' from 1815 to 1832, and also in 'The Prelude'.]

[Variant 8:

1832

... subterraneous ... 1809.]



Compare Coleridge's remarks in 'The Friend', vol. ii. p. 38, before quoting this poem,

"My feelings and imagination did not remain unkindled in this general conflagration; and I confess I should be more inclined to be ashamed than proud of myself if they had! I was a sharer in the general vortex, though my little world described the path of its revolution in an orbit of its own," etc.

Ed.



* * * * *



ODE TO DUTY

Composed 1805.—Published 1807

"Jam non consilio bonus, sed more eo perductus, ut non tantum recte facere possim, sed nisi recte facere non possim." [A]

[This Ode is on the model of Gray's 'Ode to Adversity', which is copied from Horace's Ode to Fortune. Many and many a time have I been twitted by my wife and sister for having forgotten this dedication of myself to the stern law-giver. Transgressor indeed I have been from hour to hour, from day to day: I would fain hope, however, not more flagrantly, or in a worse way than most of my tuneful brethren. But these last words are in a wrong strain. We should be rigorous to ourselves, and forbearing, if not indulgent, to others; and, if we make comparison at all, it ought to be with those who have morally excelled us.—I. F.]

In pencil on the MS.,

"But is not the first stanza of Gray's from a chorus of AEschylus? And is not Horace's Ode also modelled on the Greek?"

This poem was placed by Wordsworth among his "Poems of Sentiment and Reflection."—Ed.



Stern Daughter of the Voice of God! O Duty! if that name thou love Who art a light to guide, a rod To check the erring, and reprove; Thou, who art victory and law 5 When empty terrors overawe; From vain temptations dost set free; And calm'st the weary strife of frail humanity! [1]

There are who ask not if thine eye Be on them; who, in love and truth, 10 Where no misgiving is, rely Upon the genial sense of youth: [B] Glad Hearts! without reproach or blot; Who do thy work, [2] and know it not: Oh, if through confidence misplaced 15 They fail, thy saving arms, dread Power! around them cast. [3]

Serene will be our days and bright, And happy will our nature be, When love is an unerring light, And joy its own security. 20 And they a blissful course may hold Even now, who, not unwisely bold, [4] Live in the spirit of this creed; Yet seek thy firm support, [5] according to their need.

I, loving freedom, and untried; 25 No sport of every random gust, Yet being to myself a guide, Too blindly have reposed my trust: And oft, when in my heart was heard Thy timely mandate, I deferred 30 The task, in smoother walks to stray; [6] But thee I now [7] would serve more strictly, if I may.

Through no disturbance of my soul, Or strong compunction in me wrought, I supplicate for thy control; 35 But in the quietness of thought: Me this unchartered freedom tires; [C] I feel the weight of chance-desires: My hopes no more must change their name, I long for a repose that [8] ever is the same. 40 [9] Stern Lawgiver! yet thou dost wear The Godhead's most benignant grace; Nor know we any thing so [10] fair As is the smile upon thy face: [D] Flowers laugh before thee on their beds 45 And fragrance in thy footing treads; [E] Thou dost preserve the stars from wrong; And the most ancient heavens, through Thee, are fresh and strong.

To humbler functions, awful Power! I call thee: I myself commend 50 Unto thy guidance from this hour; Oh, let my weakness have an end! Give unto me, made lowly wise, The spirit of self-sacrifice; The confidence of reason give; 55 And in the light of truth thy Bondman let me live! [F]



* * * * *

VARIANTS ON THE TEXT

[Variant 1:

1815

From strife and from despair; a glorious ministry. 1807.]

[Variant 2:

... the right ... MS.

... thy will ... MS.]

[Variant 3:

1837.

May joy be theirs while life shall last! And Thou, if they should totter, teach them to stand fast! 1807.

Long may the kindly impulse last! But Thou, ... 1827.

And may that genial sense remain, when youth is past. MS.]

[Variant 4:

1827.

And bless'd are they who in the main This faith, even now, do entertain: 1807.

Even now this creed do entertain MS.

This holy creed do entertain MS.]

[Variant 5:

1845.

Yet find that other strength, ... 1807.

Yet find thy firm support, ... 1837.]

[Variant 6:

1827.

Resolved that nothing e'er should press Upon my present happiness, I shoved unwelcome tasks away; 1807.

Full oft, when in my heart was heard Thy timely mandate, I deferred The task imposed, from day to day; 1815.]

[Variant 7:

But henceforth I would ... MS.]

[Variant 8:

1827.

... which ... 1807.]

[Variant 9:

Yet not the less would I throughout Still act according to the voice Of my own wish; and feel past doubt That my submissiveness was choice: Not seeking in the school of pride For "precepts over dignified," Denial and restraint I prize No farther than they breed a second Will more wise.

Only in the edition of 1807.]

[Variant 10:

... more ... MS.]



* * * * *

FOOTNOTES ON THE TEXT

[Footnote A: This motto was added in the edition of 1837.—Ed.]

[Footnote B: Compare S. T. C. in 'The Friend' (edition 1818, vol. iii. p. 62),

"Its instinct, its safety, its benefit, its glory is to love, to admire, to feel, and to labour."

Ed.]

[Footnote C: Compare Churchill's 'Gotham', i. 49:

'An Englishman in chartered freedom born.'

Ed.]

[Footnote D: Compare in 'Sartor Resartus',

"Happy he for whom a kind of heavenly sun brightens it [Necessity] into a ring of Duty, and plays round it with beautiful prismatic refractions."

Ed.]

[Footnote E: Compare Persius, 'Satura', ii. l. 38:

'Quidquic calcaverit hic, rosa fiat.'

And Ben Jonson, in 'The Sad Shepherd', act I. scene i. ll. 8, 9:

'And where she went, the flowers took thickest root, As she had sow'd them with her odorous foot.'

Also, a similar reference to Aphrodite in Hesiod, 'Theogony', vv. 192 'seq.'—Ed.]

[Footnote F: Compare S. T. C. in 'The Friend' (edition 1818), vol. iii. p. 64.—Ed.]



Mr. J. R. Tutin has supplied me with the text of a proof copy of the sheets of the edition of 1807, which was cancelled by Wordsworth, in which the following stanzas take the place of the first four of that edition:

'There are who tread a blameless way In purity, and love, and truth, Though resting on no better stay Than on the genial sense of youth: Glad Hearts! without reproach or blot; Who do the right, and know it not: May joy be theirs while life shall last And may a genial sense remain, when youth is past.

Serene would be our days and bright; And happy would our nature be; If Love were an unerring light; And Joy its own security. And bless'd are they who in the main, This creed, even now, do entertain, Do in this spirit live; yet know That Man hath other hopes; strength which elsewhere must grow.

I, loving freedom, and untried; No sport of every random gust, Yet being to myself a guide, Too blindly have reposed my trust; Resolv'd that nothing e'er should press Upon my present happiness, I shov'd unwelcome tasks away: But henceforth I would serve; and strictly if I may.

O Power of DUTY! sent from God To enforce on earth his high behest, And keep us faithful to the road Which conscience hath pronounc'd the best: Thou, who art Victory and Law When empty terrors overawe; From vain temptations dost set free, From Strife, and from Despair, a glorious Ministry! [G]'

Ed.

[Footnote G: In the original MS. sent to the printer, I find that this stanza was transcribed by Coleridge.—Ed.]



* * * * *



TO A SKY-LARK

Composed 1805.—Published 1807

[Rydal Mount, 1825. [A]—I. F.]

In pencil opposite,

"Where there are no skylarks; but the poet is everywhere."

In the edition of 1807 this is No. 2 of the "Poems, composed during a Tour, chiefly on foot." [B] In 1815 it became one of the "Poems of the Fancy."—Ed.



Up with me! up with me into the clouds! For thy song, Lark, is strong; Up with me, up with me into the clouds! Singing, singing, With clouds and sky [1] about thee ringing, 5 Lift me, guide me till I find That spot which seems so to thy mind!

I have walked through wildernesses dreary, And [2] to-day my heart is weary; Had I now the wings [3] of a Faery, 10 Up to thee would I fly. There is madness about thee, and joy divine In that song of thine; Lift me, guide me high and high [4] To thy banqueting-place in the sky. 15

Joyous as morning, [5] Thou art laughing and scorning; Thou hast a nest for thy love and thy rest, And, though little troubled with sloth, Drunken Lark! thou would'st be loth 20 To be such a traveller as I. Happy, happy Liver, With a soul as strong as a mountain river Pouring out praise to the almighty Giver, Joy and jollity be with us both! 25

Alas! my journey, rugged and uneven, Through prickly moors or dusty ways must wind; But hearing thee, or others of thy kind, As full of gladness and as free of heaven, I, with my fate contented, will plod on, 30 And hope for higher raptures, when life's day is done. [6]



* * * * *

VARIANTS ON THE TEXT

[Variant 1:

1827.

With all the heav'ns ... 1807]

[Variant 2:

But ... MS.]

[Variant 3:

1815.

the soul ... 1807.]

[Variant 4:

1832.

Up with me, up with me, high and high, ... 1807.]

[Variant 5: This and the previous stanza were omitted in the edition of 1827, but restored in that of 1832.]

[Variant 6:

1827.

Joy and jollity be with us both! Hearing thee, or else some other, As merry a Brother, I on the earth will go plodding on, By myself, chearfully, till the day is done. 1807.

What though my course be rugged and uneven, To prickly moors and dusty ways confined, Yet, hearing thee, or others of thy kind, As full of gladness and as free of heaven, I on the earth will go plodding on, By myself, cheerfully, till the day is done. 1820.]



* * * * *

FOOTNOTES ON THE TEXT

[Footnote A: So it is printed in the 'Prose Works of Wordsworth' (1876); but the date was 1805.—Ed.]

[Footnote B: In a MS. copy this series is called "Poems composed 'for amusement' during a Tour, chiefly on foot."—Ed.]



Compare this poem with Shelley's 'Skylark', and with Wordsworth's poem, on the same subject, written in the year 1825, and the last five stanzas of his 'Morning Exercise' written in 1827; also with William Watson's 'First Skylark of Spring', 1895.—Ed.



* * * * *



FIDELITY

Composed 1805.—Published 1807

[The young man whose death gave occasion to this poem was named Charles Gough, and had come early in the spring to Patterdale for the sake of angling. While attempting to cross over Helvellyn to Grasmere he slipped from a steep part of the rock where the ice was not thawed, and perished. His body was discovered as described in this poem. Walter Scott heard of the accident, and both he and I, without either of us knowing that the other had taken up the subject, each wrote a poem in admiration of the dog's fidelity. His contains a most beautiful stanza:

"How long did'st thou think that his silence was slumber! When the wind waved his garment how oft did'st thou start!"

I will add that the sentiment in the last four lines of the last stanza of my verses was uttered by a shepherd with such exactness, that a traveller, who afterwards reported his account in print, was induced to question the man whether he had read them, which he had not.—I. F.]

One of the "Poems of Sentiment and Reflection."—Ed.



A barking sound the Shepherd hears, A cry as of a dog or fox; He halts—and searches with his eyes Among the scattered rocks: And now at distance can discern 5 A stirring in a brake of fern; And instantly a dog is seen, Glancing through that covert green. [1]

The Dog is not of mountain breed; Its motions, too, are wild and shy; 10 With something, as the Shepherd thinks, Unusual in its cry: Nor is there any one in sight All round, in hollow or on height; Nor shout, nor whistle strikes his ear; 15 What is the creature doing here?

It was a cove, a huge recess, That keeps, till June, December's snow; A lofty precipice in front, A silent tarn [A] below! [B] 20 Far in the bosom of Helvellyn, Remote from public road or dwelling, Pathway, or cultivated land; From trace of human foot or hand.

There sometimes doth [2] a leaping fish 25 Send through the tarn a lonely cheer; The crags repeat the raven's croak, [C] In symphony austere; Thither the rainbow comes—the cloud— And mists that spread the flying shroud; 30 And sunbeams; and the sounding blast, That, if it could, would hurry past; But that enormous barrier holds [3] it fast.

Not free from boding thoughts, [4] a while The Shepherd stood; then makes his way 35 O'er rocks and stones, following the Dog [5] As quickly as he may; Nor far had gone before he found A human skeleton on the ground; The appalled Discoverer with a sigh [6] 40 Looks round, to learn the history.

From those abrupt and perilous rocks The Man had fallen, that place of fear! At length upon the Shepherd's mind It breaks, and all is clear: 45 He instantly recalled the name, [7] And who he was, and whence he came; Remembered, too, the very day On which the Traveller passed this way.

But hear a wonder, for whose sake 50 This lamentable tale I tell! [8] A lasting monument of words This wonder merits well. The Dog, which still was hovering nigh, Repeating the same timid cry, 55 This Dog, had been through three months' space A dweller in that savage place.

Yes, proof was plain that, since the day When this ill-fated Traveller died, [9] The Dog had watched about the spot, 60 Or by his master's side: How nourished here through such long time He knows, who gave that love sublime; And gave that strength of feeling, great Above all human estimate! 65



* * * * *

VARIANTS ON THE TEXT

[Variant 1:

1820.

From which immediately leaps out A Dog, and yelping runs about. 1807.

And instantly a Dog is seen, Glancing from that covert green. 1815.]



[Variant 2:

1820.

... does ... 1807.]

[Variant 3:

1837.

binds 1807.]

[Variant 4:

1815.

Not knowing what to think 1807.]

[Variant 5:

1837.

Towards the Dog, o'er rocks and stones, 1807.]

[Variant 6:

1815.

Sad sight! the Shepherd with a sigh 1807.]

[Variant 7:

And signs and circumstances dawned Till everything was clear; He made discovery of his name. MS.]

[Variant 8:

1815.

But hear a wonder now, for sake Of which this mournful Tale I tell! 1807.]

[Variant 9:

1827.

On which the Traveller thus had died 1807.]



* * * * *

FOOTNOTES ON THE TEXT

[Footnote A: Tarn is a small Mere or Lake mostly high up in the mountains,—W. W.]

[Footnote B: Compare the reference to Helvellyn, and its "deep coves, shaped by skeleton arms," in the 'Musings near Aquapendente' (1837). Wordsworth here describes Red Tarn, under Helvellyn, to the east; but Charles Gough was killed on the Kepplecove side of Swirell Edge, and not at Red Tarn. Bishop Watson of Llandaff, writing to Hayley (see 'Anecdotes of the Life of Bishop Watson', p. 440), writes about Charles Gouche (evidently Gough). He had been lodging at "the Cherry Inn," near Wytheburn, sometime before his death.—Ed.]

[Footnote C: Compare 'The Excursion', book iv. ll. 1185-94.—Ed.]



Thomas Wilkinson—referred to in the notes to 'The Solitary Reaper', vol. ii. pp. 399, 400, and the verses 'To the Spade of a Friend', in vol. iv.—alludes to this incident at some length in his poem, 'Emont Vale'. Wilkinson attended the funeral of young Gough, and writes of the incident with feeling, but without inspiration. Gough perished early in April, and his body was not found till July 22nd, 1805. A reference to his fate will be found in Lockhart's 'Life of Scott' (vol. ii. p. 274); also in a letter of Mr. Luff of Patterdale, to his wife, July 23rd, 1805. Henry Crabb Robinson records (see his 'Diary, Reminiscences', etc., vol. ii. p. 25) a conversation with Wordsworth, in which he said of this poem, that "he purposely made the narrative as prosaic as possible, in order that no discredit might be thrown on the truth of the incident."—Ed.



* * * * *



INCIDENT CHARACTERISTIC OF A FAVOURITE DOG [A]

Composed 1805.—Published 1807

[This dog I knew well. It belonged to Mrs. Wordsworth's brother, Mr. Thomas Hutchinson, who then lived at Sockburn-on-the-Tees, a beautiful retired situation, where I used to visit him and his sisters before my marriage. My sister and I spent many months there after my return from Germany in 1799—I. F.]

One of the "Poems of Sentiment and Reflection."—Ed.



On his morning rounds the Master Goes to learn how all things fare; Searches pasture after pasture, Sheep and cattle eyes with care; And, for silence or for talk, 5 He hath comrades in his walk; Four dogs, each pair of different breed, Distinguished two for scent, and two for speed.

See a hare before him started! —Off they fly in earnest chase; 10 Every dog is eager-hearted, All the four are in the race: And the hare whom they pursue, Knows from instinct [1] what to do; Her hope is near: no turn she makes; 15 But, like an arrow, to the river takes.

Deep the river was, and crusted Thinly by a one night's frost; But the nimble Hare hath trusted To the ice, and safely crost; so 20 She hath crost, and without heed All are following at full speed, When, lo! the ice, so thinly spread, Breaks—and the greyhound, DART, is over-head!

Better fate have PRINCE and SWALLOW—25 See them cleaving to the sport! MUSIC has no heart to follow, Little MUSIC, she stops short. She hath neither wish nor heart, Hers is now another part: 30 A loving creature she, and brave! And fondly strives [2] her struggling friend to save.

From the brink her paws she stretches, Very hands as you would say! And afflicting moans she fetches, 35 As he breaks the ice away. For herself she hath no fears,— Him alone she sees and hears,— Makes efforts with complainings; nor gives o'er Until her fellow sinks to re-appear no more. [3] 40



* * * * *

VARIANTS ON THE TEXT

[Variant 1:

1837.

Hath an instinct ... 1807.]

[Variant 2:

1815.

And doth her best ... 1807.]

[Variant 3:

1837.

Makes efforts and complainings; nor gives o'er Until her Fellow sunk, and reappear'd no more. 1807.

... sank, ... 1820.]



* * * * *

FOOTNOTE ON THE TEXT

[Footnote A: In 1807 and 1815 the title was 'Incident, Characteristic of a favourite Dog, which belonged to a Friend of the Author'.—Ed.]



* * * * *



TRIBUTE TO THE MEMORY OF THE SAME DOG

Composed 1805.—Published 1807

[Was written at the same time, 1805. The Dog Music died, aged and blind, by falling into a draw-well at Gallow] Hill, to the great grief of the family of the Hutchinsons, who, as has been before mentioned, had removed to that place from Sockburn.—I. F.]

One of the "Poems of Sentiment and Reflection."—Ed.



Lie [1] here, without a record of thy worth, Beneath a [2] covering of the common earth! It is not from unwillingness to praise, Or want of love, that here no Stone we raise; More thou deserv'st; but this man gives to man, 5 Brother to brother, this is all we can. Yet [3] they to whom thy virtues made thee dear Shall find thee through all changes of the year: This Oak points out thy grave; the silent tree Will gladly stand a monument of thee. 10

We grieved for thee, and wished thy end were past; [4] And willingly have laid thee here at last: For thou hadst lived till every thing that cheers In thee had yielded to the weight of years; Extreme old age had wasted thee away, 15 And left thee but a glimmering of the day; Thy ears were deaf, and feeble were thy knees,— I saw thee stagger in the summer breeze, Too weak to stand against its sportive breath, And ready for the gentlest stroke of death. 20 It came, and we were glad; yet tears were shed; Both man and woman wept when thou wert dead; Not only for a thousand thoughts that were, Old household thoughts, in which thou hadst thy share; But for some precious boons vouchsafed to thee, 25 Found scarcely any where in like degree! For love, that comes wherever life and sense Are given by God, in thee was most intense; [5] A chain of heart, a feeling of the mind, A tender sympathy, which did thee bind 30 Not only to us Men, but to thy Kind: Yea, for thy fellow-brutes in thee we saw A soul [6] of love, love's intellectual law:— Hence, if we wept, it was not done in shame; Our tears from passion and from reason came, 35 And, therefore, shalt thou be an honoured name!



* * * * *

VARIANTS ON THE TEXT

[Variant 1: In the editions of 1807 to 1820 the following lines began the poem. They were withdrawn in 1827.

Lie here sequester'd:—be this little mound For ever thine, and be it holy ground!]

[Variant 2:

1827.

Beneath the ... 1807.]

[Variant 3:

But ... MS.]

[Variant 4:

1837.

I pray'd for thee, and that thy end were past; 1807.

I grieved for thee, and wished thy end were past; 1820.]

[Variant 5:

1837.

For love, that comes to all; the holy sense, Best gift of God, in thee was most intense; 1807.]

[Variant 6:

1837.

The soul ... 1807.]



* * * * *



TO THE DAISY (#4)

Composed 1805.—Published 1815

Placed by Wordsworth among his "Epitaphs and Elegiac Pieces."—Ed.



Sweet Flower! belike one day to have A place upon thy Poet's grave, I welcome thee once more: But He, who was on land, at sea, My Brother, too, in loving thee, 5 Although he loved more silently, Sleeps by his native shore.

Ah! hopeful, hopeful was the day When to that Ship he bent his way, To govern and to guide: 10 His wish was gained: a little time Would bring him back in manhood's prime And free for life, these hills to climb; With all his wants supplied.

And full of hope day followed day 15 While that stout Ship at anchor lay Beside the shores of Wight; The May had then made all things green; And, floating there, in pomp serene, That Ship was goodly to be seen, 20 His pride and his delight!

Yet then, when called ashore, he sought The tender peace of rural thought: In more than happy mood To your abodes, bright daisy Flowers! 25 He then would steal at leisure hours, And loved you glittering in your bowers, A starry multitude.

But hark the word!—the ship is gone;— Returns from her long course: [1]—anon 30 Sets sail:—in season due, Once more on English earth they stand: But, when a third time from the land They parted, sorrow was at hand For Him and for his crew. 35

Ill-fated Vessel!—ghastly shock! —At length delivered from the rock, The deep she hath regained; And through the stormy night they steer; Labouring for life, in hope and fear, 40 To reach a safer shore [2]—how near, Yet not to be attained!

"Silence!" the brave Commander cried; To that calm word a shriek replied, It was the last death-shriek. 45 —A few (my soul oft sees that sight) Survive upon the tall mast's height; [3] But one dear remnant of the night— For Him in vain I seek.

Six weeks beneath the moving sea 50 He lay in slumber quietly; Unforced by wind or wave To quit the Ship for which he died, (All claims of duty satisfied;) And there they found him at her side; 55 And bore him to the grave.

Vain service! yet not vainly done For this, if other end were none, That He, who had been cast Upon a way of life unmeet 60 For such a gentle Soul and sweet, Should find an undisturbed retreat Near what he loved, at last—

That neighbourhood of grove and field To Him a resting-place should yield, 65 A meek man and a brave! The birds shall sing and ocean make A mournful murmur for his sake; And Thou, sweet Flower, shalt sleep and wake Upon his senseless grave. [4] 70



* * * * *

VARIANTS ON THE TEXT

[Variant 1:

1837.

From her long course returns:—... 1815.]

[Variant 2:

1837.

Towards a safer shore—... 1815.]

[Variant 3:

1837

—A few appear by morning light, Preserved upon the tall mast's height: Oft in my Soul I see that sight; 1815.]

[Variant 4: In the edition of 1827 and subsequent ones, Wordsworth here inserted a footnote, asking the reader to refer to No. VI. of the "Poems on the Naming of Places," beginning "When, to the attractions of the busy world," p. 66. His note of 1837 refers also to the poem which there precedes the present one, viz. the 'Elegiac Stanzas.'—Ed.]



* * * * *



ELEGIAC STANZAS [A]

SUGGESTED BY A PICTURE OF PEELE CASTLE, IN A STORM, PAINTED BY SIR GEORGE BEAUMONT

Composed 1805.—Published 1807

[Sir George Beaumont painted two pictures of this subject, one of which he gave to Mrs. Wordsworth, saying she ought to have it; but Lady Beaumont interfered, and after Sir George's death she gave it to Sir Uvedale Price, at whose house at Foxley I have seen it.—I. F.]

Placed by Wordsworth among his "Epitaphs and Elegiac Pieces."—Ed.



I was thy neighbour once, thou rugged Pile! Four summer weeks I dwelt in sight of thee: I saw thee every day; and all the while Thy Form was sleeping on a glassy sea.

So pure the sky, so quiet was the air! 5 So like, so very like, was day to day! Whene'er I looked, thy Image still was there; It trembled, but it never passed away.

How perfect was the calm! it seemed no sleep; No mood, which season takes away, or brings: 10 I could have fancied that the mighty Deep Was even the gentlest of all gentle Things.

Ah! THEN, if mine had been the Painter's hand, To express what then I saw; and add the gleam, The light that never was, on sea or land, 15 The consecration, and the Poet's dream; [1]

I would have planted thee, thou hoary Pile Amid a world how different from this! Beside a sea that could not cease to smile; On tranquil land, beneath a sky of bliss. 20

Thou shouldst have seemed a treasure-house divine [2] Of peaceful years; a chronicle of heaven;— Of all the sunbeams that did ever shine The very sweetest had to thee been given.

A Picture had it been of lasting ease, 25 Elysian quiet, without toil or strife; No motion but the moving tide, a breeze, Or merely silent Nature's breathing life.

Such, in the fond illusion [3] of my heart, Such Picture would I at that time have made: 30 And seen the soul of truth in every part, A stedfast peace that might not be betrayed. [4]

So once it would have been,—'tis so no more; I have submitted to a new control: A power is gone, which nothing can restore; 35 A deep distress hath humanised my Soul.

Not for a moment could I now behold A smiling sea, and be what I have been: The feeling of my loss will ne'er be old; This, which I know, I speak with mind serene. 40

Then, Beaumont, Friend! who would have been the Friend, If he had lived, of Him whom I deplore, This work of thine I blame not, but commend; This sea in anger, and that dismal shore.

O 'tis a passionate Work!—yet wise and well, 45 Well chosen is the spirit that is here; That Hulk which labours in the deadly swell, This rueful sky, this pageantry of fear!

And this huge Castle, standing here sublime, 1 love to see the look with which it braves, 50 Cased in the unfeeling armour of old time, The lightning, the fierce wind, and trampling waves.

Farewell, farewell the heart that lives alone, Housed in a dream, at distance from the Kind! Such happiness, wherever it be known, 55 Is to be pitied; for 'tis surely blind.

But welcome fortitude, and patient cheer, And frequent sights of what is to be borne! Such sights, or worse, as are before me here.— Not without hope we suffer and we mourn. 60

* * * * *

VARIANTS ON THE TEXT

[Variant 1:

1807.

and add a gleam, The lustre, known to neither sea nor land, But borrowed from the youthful Poet's dream; 1820.

... the gleam, 1827.

The edition of 1832 returns to the text of 1807. [a]]

[Variant 2:

1845.

... a treasure-house, a mine 1807.

The whole of this stanza was omitted in the editions of 1820-1843.]

[Variant 3:

1815.

... delusion ... 1807.]

[Variant 4:

1837.

A faith, a trust, that could not be betray'd. 1807.]

* * * * *

FOOTNOTE ON THE TEXT

[Footnote A: The original title, in MS, was 'Verses suggested', etc,—Ed.]

* * * * *

SUB-FOOTNOTE ON THE TEXT

[Sub-Footnote a: Many years ago Principal Shairp wrote to me,

"Have you noted how the two lines, 'The light that never was,' etc., stood in the edition of 1827? I know no other such instance of a change from commonplace to perfection of ideality."

The Principal had not remembered at the time that the "perfection of ideality" was in the original edition of 1807. The curious thing is that the prosaic version of 1820 and 1827 ever took its place. Wordsworth's return to his original reading was one of the wisest changes he introduced into the text of 1832.—Ed.]



There is a Peele Castle, on a small rocky island, close to the town of Peele, in the Isle of Man; yet separated from it, much as St. Michael's Mount in Cornwall is separated from the mainland. This castle was believed by many to be the one which Sir George painted, and which gave rise to the foregoing lines. I visited it in 1879, being then ignorant that any other Peele Castle existed; and although, the day being calm, and the season summer, I thought Sir George had idealized his subject much—(as I had just left Coleorton, where the picture still exists)—I accepted the customary opinion. But I am now convinced, both from the testimony of the Arnold family, [B] and as the result of a visit to Piel Castle, near Barrow in Furness, that Wordsworth refers to it. The late Bishop of Lincoln, in his uncle's 'Memoirs' (vol. i. p. 299), quotes the line

"I was thy neighbour once, thou rugged pile,"

and adds,

"He had spent four weeks there of a college summer vacation at the house of his cousin, Mr. Barker."

This house was at Rampside, the village opposite Piel, on the coast of Lancashire. The "rugged pile," too, now "cased in the unfeeling armour of old time," painted by Beaumont, is obviously this Piel Castle near Barrow. I took the engraving of his picture with me, when visiting it: and although Sir George—after the manner of landscape artists of his day—took many liberties with his subjects, it is apparent that it was this, and not Peele Castle in Mona, that he painted. The "four summer weeks" referred to in the first stanza, were those spent at Piel during the year 1794.

With the last verse of these 'Elegiac Stanzas' compare stanzas ten and eleven of the 'Ode, Intimations of Immortality', vol. viii.

One of the two pictures of "Peele Castle in a Storm"—engraved by S. W. Reynolds, and published in the editions of Wordsworth's poems of 1815 and 1820—is still in the Beaumont Gallery at Coleorton Hall.

The poem is so memorable that I have arranged to make this picture of "Peele Castle in a Storm," the vignette to vol. xv. of this edition. It deserves to be noted that it was to the pleading of Barron Field that we owe the restoration of the original line of 1807,

'The light that never was, on sea or land.'

An interesting account of Piel Castle will be found in Hearne and Byrne's 'Antiquities'. It was built by the Abbot of Furness in the first year of the reign of Edward III.—Ed.

[Footnote B: Miss Arnold wrote to me, in December 1893:

"I have never doubted that the Peele Castle of Wordsworth is the Piel off Walney Island. I know that my brother Matthew so believed, and I went with him some years ago from Furness Abbey over to Piel, visiting it as the subject of the picture and the poem."

Ed.]



* * * * *



ELEGIAC VERSES,

IN MEMORY OF MY BROTHER, JOHN WORDSWORTH, COMMANDER OF THE E. I. COMPANY'S SHIP, 'THE EARL OF ABERGAVENNY', IN WHICH HE PERISHED BY CALAMITOUS SHIPWRECK, FEB. 6TH, 1805.

Composed near the Mountain track, that leads from Grasmere through Grisdale Hawes, where it descends towards Patterdale.

Composed 1805.—Published 1842

[ "Here did we stop; and here looked round, While each into himself descends."

The point is two or three yards below the outlet of Grisedale Tarn, on a foot-road by which a horse may pass to Patterdale—a ridge of Helvellyn on the left, and the summit of Fairfield on the right.—I. F.]

This poem was included among the "Epitaphs and Elegiac Pieces."—Ed.



I The Sheep-boy whistled loud, and lo! That instant, startled by the shock, The Buzzard mounted from the rock Deliberate and slow: Lord of the air, he took his flight; 5 Oh! could he on that woeful night Have lent his wing, my Brother dear, For one poor moment's space to Thee, And all who struggled with the Sea, When safety was so near. 10

II Thus in the weakness of my heart I spoke (but let that pang be still) When rising from the rock at will, I saw the Bird depart. And let me calmly bless the Power 15 That meets me in this unknown Flower, Affecting type of him I mourn! With calmness suffer and believe, And grieve, and know that I must grieve, Not cheerless, though forlorn. 20

III Here did we stop; and here looked round While each into himself descends, For that last thought of parting Friends That is not to be found. Hidden was Grasmere Vale from sight, 25 Our home and his, his heart's delight, His quiet heart's selected home. But time before him melts away, And he hath feeling of a day Of blessedness to come. 30

IV Full soon in sorrow did I weep, Taught that the mutual hope was dust, In sorrow, but for higher trust, How miserably deep! All vanished in a single word, 35 A breath, a sound, and scarcely heard. Sea—Ship—drowned—Shipwreck—so it came, The meek, the brave, the good, was gone; He who had been our living John Was nothing but a name. 40

V That was indeed a parting! oh, Glad am I, glad that it is past; For there were some on whom it cast Unutterable woe. But they as well as I have gains;—45 From many a humble source, to pains Like these, there comes a mild release; Even here I feel it, even this Plant Is in its beauty ministrant To comfort and to peace. 50

VI He would have loved thy modest grace, Meek Flower! To Him I would have said, "It grows upon its native bed Beside our Parting-place; There, cleaving to the ground, it lies 55 With multitude of purple eyes, Spangling a cushion green like moss; But we will see it, joyful tide! Some day, to see it in its pride, The mountain will we cross." 60

VII—Brother and friend, if verse of mine Have power to make thy virtues known, Here let a monumental Stone Stand—sacred as a Shrine; And to the few who pass this way, 65 Traveller or Shepherd, let it say, Long as these mighty rocks endure,— Oh do not Thou too fondly brood, Although deserving of all good, On any earthly hope, however pure! [A] 70

* * * * *

FOOTNOTE ON THE TEXT

[Footnote A: See 2nd vol. of the Author's Poems, page 298, and 5th vol., pages 311 and 314, among Elegiac Pieces.—W. W. 1842.

These poems are those respectively beginning:

"When, to the attractions of the busy world ..."

"I was thy neighbour once, thou rugged Pile! ..."

"Sweet Flower! belike one day to have ..."

Ed.

The plant alluded to is the Moss Campion (Silene acaulis, of Linnaeus). See note at the end of the volume.—W. W. 1842.

See among the "Poems on the Naming of Places," No. VI.—W. W. 1845.

The note is as follows:

"Moss Campion ('Silene acaulis'). This most beautiful plant is scarce in England, though it is found in great abundance upon the mountains of Scotland. The first specimen I ever saw of it in its native bed was singularly fine, the tuft or cushion being at least eight inches diameter, and the root proportionably thick. I have only met with it in two places among our mountains, in both of which I have since sought for it in vain.

Botanists will not, I hope, take it ill, if I caution them against carrying off inconsiderately rare and beautiful plants. This has often been done, particularly from Ingleborough and other mountains in Yorkshire, till the species have totally disappeared, to the great regret of lovers of nature living near the places where they grew."—W. W. 1842.

See also 'The Prelude', book xiv. 1. 419, p. 379.—Ed.]



This poem underwent no change in successive editions.

At a meeting of "The Wordsworth Society" held at Grasmere, in July 1881, it was proposed by one of the members, the Rev. H. D. Rawnsley, then Vicar of Wray, to erect some memorial at the parting-place of the brothers. The brothers John and William Wordsworth parted at Grisedale Tarn, on the 29th September 1800. The originator of the idea wrote thus of it in June 1882:

"A proposition, made by one of its members to the Wordsworth Society when it met in Grasmere in 1881, to mark the spot in the Grisedale Pass of Wordsworth's parting from his brother John—and to carry out a wish the poet seems to have hinted at in the last of his elegiac verses in memory of that parting—is now being put into effect. It has been determined, after correspondence with Lord Coleridge, Dr. Cradock, Professor Knight, and Mr. Hills, to have inscribed—(on the native rock, if possible)—the first four lines of Stanzas III. and VII. of these verses:

'Here did we stop; and here looked round While each into himself descends, For that last thought of parting Friends That is not to be found. ... Brother and friend, if verse of mine Have power to make thy virtues known, Here let a monumental Stone Stand—sacred as a Shrine.'

The rock selected is a fine mass, facing the east, on the left of the track as one descends from Grisedale Tarn towards Patterdale, and is about 100 yards from the tarn. No more suitable one can be found, and we have the testimony of Mr. David Richardson of Newcastle, who has practical knowledge of engineering, that it is the fittest, both from shape and from slight incline of plane.

It has been proposed to sink a panel in the face of the rock, that so the inscription may be slightly protected, and to engrave the letters upon the face of the panel thus obtained. But it is not quite certain yet that the grain of the rock—volcanic ash—will admit of the lettering. If this cannot be carried out, it has been determined to have the letters engraved upon a slab of Langdale slate, and imbed it in the Grisedale Rock.

It is believed that the simplicity of the design, the lonely isolation of this mountain memorial, will appeal at once

' ... to the few who pass this way, Traveller or Shepherd.'

And we in our turn appeal to English tourists who may chance to see it, to forego the wish of adding to it, or taking anything from it, by engraving their own names; and to let the Monumental Stone stand, as the poet wished it might

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