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Title: The Poetical Works of William Wordsworth, Vol. VII
Author: Wordsworth, William
Language: English
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*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Poetical Works of William Wordsworth, Vol. VII" ***

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                          THE POETICAL WORKS
                          WILLIAM WORDSWORTH

                               VOL. VII

                   [Illustration: William Wordsworth
                          after B. R. Haydon]

                          THE POETICAL WORKS
                          WILLIAM WORDSWORTH

                              EDITED BY
                            WILLIAM KNIGHT

                               VOL. VII

                [Illustration: _Dove Cottage Grasmere_]

                       MACMILLAN AND CO., LTD.
                      NEW YORK: MACMILLAN & CO.

                         _All rights reserved_




  Ecclesiastical Sonnets. In Series--

  Part I.--From the Introduction of Christianity into
      Britain, to the Consummation of the Papal Dominion--

         I.  Introduction                                              4

        II.  Conjectures                                               5

       III.  Trepidation of the Druids                                 6

        IV.  Druidical Excommunication                                 7

         V.  Uncertainty                                               7

        VI.  Persecution                                               8

       VII.  Recovery                                                  9

      VIII.  Temptations from Roman Refinements                       10

        IX.  Dissensions                                              10

         X.  Struggle of the Britons against the Barbarians           11

        XI.  Saxon Conquest                                           12

       XII.  Monastery of Old Bangor                                  13

      XIII.  Casual Incitement                                        14

       XIV.  Glad Tidings                                             15

        XV.  Paulinus                                                 15

       XVI.  Persuasion                                               16

      XVII.  Conversion                                               17

     XVIII.  Apology                                                  18

       XIX.  Primitive Saxon Clergy                                   19

        XX.  Other Influences                                         19

       XXI.  Seclusion                                                20

      XXII.  Continued                                                21

     XXIII.  Reproof                                                  21

      XXIV.  Saxon Monasteries, and Lights and Shades of the
             Religion                                                 22

       XXV.  Missions and Travels                                     23

      XXVI.  Alfred                                                   24

     XXVII.  His Descendants                                          25

    XXVIII.  Influence Abused                                         26

      XXIX.  Danish Conquests                                         27

       XXX.  Canute                                                   27

      XXXI.  The Norman Conquest                                      28

     XXXII.  "Coldly we spake. The Saxons, overpowered"               29

    XXXIII.  The Council of Clermont                                  30

     XXXIV.  Crusades                                                 31

      XXXV.  Richard I                                                31

     XXXVI.  An Interdict                                             32

    XXXVII.  Papal Abuses                                             33

   XXXVIII.  Scene in Venice                                          34

     XXXIX.  Papal Dominion                                           34

  Part II.--To the Close of the Troubles in the Reign of Charles I--

         I.  "How soon--alas! did Man, created pure"                  33

        II.  "From false assumption rose, and fondly hail'd"          36

       III.  Cistertian Monastery                                     37

        IV.  "Deplorable his lot who tills the ground"                38

         V.  Monks and Schoolmen                                      39

        VI.  Other Benefits                                           40

       VII.  Continued                                                40

      VIII.  Crusaders                                                41

        IX.  "As faith thus sanctified the warrior's crest"           42

         X.  "Where long and deeply hath been fixed the root"         43

        XI.  Transubstantiation                                       44

       XII.  The Vaudois                                              44

      XIII.  "Praised be the Rivers, from their mountain springs"     45

       XIV.  Waldenses                                                46

        XV.  Archbishop Chichely to Henry V.                          47

       XVI.  Wars of York and Lancaster                               48

      XVII.  Wicliffe                                                 49

     XVIII.  Corruptions of the Higher Clergy                         49

       XIX.  Abuse of Monastic Power                                  50

        XX.  Monastic Voluptuousness                                  51

       XXI.  Dissolution of the Monasteries                           52

      XXII.  The Same Subject                                         52

     XXIII.  Continued                                                53

      XXIV.  Saints                                                   54

       XXV.  The Virgin                                               54

      XXVI.  Apology                                                  55

     XXVII.  Imaginative Regrets                                      56

    XXVIII.  Reflections                                              57

      XXIX.  Translation of the Bible                                 58

       XXX.  The Point at Issue                                       58

      XXXI.  Edward VI                                                59

     XXXII.  Edward signing the Warrant for the Execution of Joan
             of Kent                                                  60

    XXXIII.  Revival of Popery                                        61

     XXXIV.  Latimer and Ridley                                       61

      XXXV.  Cranmer                                                  62

     XXXVI.  General View of the Troubles of the Reformation          64

    XXXVII.  English Reformers in Exile                               64

   XXXVIII.  Elizabeth                                                65

     XXXIX.  Eminent Reformers                                        66

        XL.  The Same                                                 67

       XLI.  Distractions                                             68

      XLII.  Gunpowder Plot                                           69

     XLIII.  Illustration. The Jung-frau and the Fall of
             the Rhine near Schaffhausen                              70

      XLIV.  Troubles of Charles the First                            71

       XLV.  Laud                                                     71

      XLVI.  Afflictions of England                                   72

  Part III.--From the Restoration to the Present Times--

         I.  "I saw the figure of a lovely Maid"                      74

        II.  Patriotic Sympathies                                     74

       III.  Charles the Second                                       75

        IV.  Latitudinarianism                                        76

         V.  Walton's Book of Lives                                   77

        VI.  Clerical Integrity                                       78

       VII.  Persecution of the Scottish Covenanters                  79

      VIII.  Acquittal of the Bishops                                 79

        IX.  William the Third                                        80

         X.  Obligations of Civil to Religious Liberty                81

        XI.  Sacheverel                                               82

       XII.  "Down a swift Stream, thus far, a bold design"           83

      XIII.  Aspects of Christianity in America.--1. The Pilgrim
             Fathers                                                  84

       XIV.  2. Continued                                             85

        XV.  3. Concluded.--American Episcopacy                       85

       XVI.  "Bishops and Priests, blessèd are ye, if deep"           86

      XVII.  Places of Worship                                        87

     XVIII.  Pastoral Character                                       87

       XIX.  The Liturgy                                              88

        XX.  Baptism                                                  89

       XXI.  Sponsors                                                 90

      XXII.  Catechising                                              91

     XXIII.  Confirmation                                             92

      XXIV.  Confirmation Continued                                   92

       XXV.  Sacrament                                                93

      XXVI.  The Marriage Ceremony                                    94

     XXVII.  Thanksgiving after Childbirth                            95

    XXVIII.  Visitation of the Sick                                   96

      XXIX.  The Commination Service                                  96

       XXX.  Forms of Prayer at Sea                                   97

      XXXI.  Funeral Service                                          97

     XXXII.  Rural Ceremony                                           98

    XXXIII.  Regrets                                                  99

     XXXIV.  Mutability                                              100

      XXXV.  Old Abbeys                                              100

     XXXVI.  Emigrant French Clergy                                  101

    XXXVII.  Congratulation                                          102

   XXXVIII.  New Churches                                            102

      XXIX.  Church to be erected                                    103

        XL.  Continued                                               104

       XLI.  New Churchyard                                          104

      XLII.  Cathedrals, etc.                                        105

     XLIII.  Inside of King's College Chapel, Cambridge              106

      XLIV.  The Same                                                106

       XLV.  Continued                                               107

      XLVI.  Ejaculation                                             107

     XLVII.  Conclusion                                              108

  To the Lady Fleming, on seeing the Foundation preparing
    for the Erection of Rydal Chapel, Westmoreland                   109

  On the Same Occasion                                               114


  Memory                                                             117

  "Not Love, not War, nor the tumultuous swell"                      118

  "A volant Tribe of Bards on earth are found"                       119


  To ----                                                            121

  To ----                                                            122

  "How rich that forehead's calm expanse!"                           123

  To ----                                                            124

  A Flower Garden, at Coleorton Hall, Leicestershire                 125

  To the Lady E. B. and the Hon. Miss P.                             128

  To the Torrent at the Devil's Bridge, North Wales, 1824            129

  Composed among the Ruins of a Castle in North Wales                131

  Elegiac Stanzas                                                    132

  Cenotaph                                                           135


  The Pillar of Trajan                                               137

  The Contrast: The Parrot and the Wren                              141

  To a Skylark                                                       143


  "Ere with cold beads of midnight dew"                              145

  Ode composed on May Morning                                        146

  To May                                                             148

  "Once I could hail (howe'er serene the sky)"                       152

  "The massy Ways, carried across these heights"                     154

  Farewell Lines                                                     155


  On seeing a Needlecase in the Form of a Harp                       157

  Miscellaneous Sonnets--

    Dedication                                                       159

    To ----                                                          159

    "Her only pilot the soft breeze, the boat"                       160

    "Why, Minstrel, these untuneful murmurings"                      161

    To S. H.                                                         162

    Decay of Piety                                                   163

    "Scorn not the Sonnet; Critic, you have frowned"                 163

    "Fair Prime of life! were it enough to gild"                     164

    Retirement                                                       165

    "There is a pleasure in poetic pains"                            166

    Recollection of the Portrait of King Henry Eighth,
        Trinity Lodge, Cambridge                                     166

    "When Philoctetes in the Lemnian isle"                           167

    "While Anna's peers and early playmates tread"                   168

    To the Cuckoo                                                    169

    The Infant M---- M----                                           170

    To Rotha Q----                                                   171

    To ----, in her Seventieth Year                                  172

    "In my mind's eye a Temple, like a cloud"                        173

    "Go back to antique ages, if thine eyes"                         174

    "If thou indeed derive thy light from Heaven"                    174

    In the Woods of Rydal                                            176

    Conclusion. To ----                                              177


  A Morning Exercise                                                 178

  The Triad                                                          181

  The Wishing-Gate                                                   189

  The Wishing-Gate Destroyed                                         192

  A Jewish Family                                                    195

  Incident at Brugès                                                 198

  A Grave-Stone upon the Floor in the Cloisters of Worcester
    Cathedral                                                        201

  The Gleaner                                                        202

  On the Power of Sound                                              203


  Gold and Silver Fishes in a Vase                                   214

  Liberty. (Sequel to the above)                                     216

  Humanity                                                           222

  "This Lawn, a carpet all alive"                                    227

  Thoughts on the Seasons                                            229

  A Tradition of Oker Hill in Darley Dale, Derbyshire                230

  Filial Piety                                                       231


  The Armenian Lady's Love                                           232

  The Russian Fugitive                                               239

  The Egyptian Maid; or, The Romance of the Water Lily               252

  The Poet and the Caged Turtledove                                  265

  Presentiments                                                      266

  "In these fair vales hath many a Tree"                             269

  Elegiac Musings                                                    269

  "Chatsworth! thy stately mansion, and the pride"                   272


  The Primrose of the Rock                                           274

  To B. R. Haydon, on seeing his Picture of Napoleon
    Bonaparte on the Island of St. Helena                            276

  Yarrow Revisited, and Other Poems--

         I.  "The gallant Youth, who may have gained"                280

        II.  On the Departure of Sir Walter Scott from
        Abbotsford, for Naples                                       284

       III.  A Place of Burial in the South of Scotland              285

        IV.  On the Sight of a Manse in the South of Scotland        286

         V.  Composed in Roslin Chapel, during a Storm               287

        VI.  The Trosachs                                            288

       VII.  "The pibroch's note, discountenanced or mute"           290

      VIII.  Composed after reading a Newspaper of the Day           290

        IX.  Composed in the Glen of Loch Etive                      291

         X.  Eagles                                                  292

        XI.  In the Sound of Mull                                    293

       XII.  Suggested at Tyndrum in a Storm                         294

      XIII.  The Earl of Breadalbane's Ruined Mansion, and
             Family Burial-Place, near Killin                        295

       XIV.  "Rest and be Thankful!"                                 295

        XV.  Highland Hut                                            296

       XVI.  The Brownie                                             297

      XVII.  To the Planet Venus, an Evening Star                    299

     XVIII.  Bothwell Castle                                         299

       XIX.  Picture of Daniel in the Lions' Den, at Hamilton
             Palace                                                  301

        XX.  The Avon                                                303

       XXI.  Suggested by a View from an Eminence in Inglewood
             Forest                                                  304

      XXII.  Hart's-Horn Tree, near Penrith                          305

     XXIII.  Fancy and Tradition                                     306

      XXIV.  Countess' Pillar                                        307

       XXV.  Roman Antiquities                                       308

      XXVI.  Apology for the Foregoing Poems                         309

     XXVII.  The Highland Broach                                     310


  Devotional Incitements                                             314

  "Calm is the fragrant air, and loth to lose"                       317

  To the Author's Portrait                                           318

  Rural Illusions                                                    319

  Loving and Liking                                                  320

  Upon the late General Fast                                         323


  A Wren's Nest                                                      325

  To ----, upon the Birth of her First-born Child, March 1833        328

  The Warning. A Sequel to the Foregoing                             330

  "If this great world of joy and pain"                              336

  On a High Part of the Coast of Cumberland                          337

  (By the Sea-Side)                                                  338

  Composed by the Sea-Shore                                          340

  Poems, composed or suggested during a Tour in the
  Summer of 1833--

         I.  "Adieu, Rydalian Laurels! that have grown"              342

        II.  "Why should the Enthusiast, journeying through this
             Isle"                                                   343

       III.  "They called Thee Merry England, in old time"           343

        IV.  To the River Greta, near Keswick                        344

         V.  To the River Derwent                                    345

        VI.  In Sight of the Town of Cockermouth                     346

       VII.  Address from the Spirit of Cockermouth Castle           347

      VIII.  Nun's Well, Brigham                                     347

        IX.  To a Friend                                             348

         X.  Mary Queen of Scots                                     349

        XI.  Stanzas suggested in a Steam-Boat off Saint Bees'
             Heads, on the Coast of Cumberland                       351

       XII.  In the Channel, between the Coast of Cumberland
             and the Isle of Man                                     358

      XIII.  At Sea off the Isle of Man                              359

       XIV.  "Desire we past illusions to recal?"                    360

        XV.  On entering Douglas Bay, Isle of Man                    360

       XVI.  By the Sea-Shore, Isle of Man                           361

      XVII.  Isle of Man                                             362

     XVIII.  Isle of Man                                             363

       XIX.  By a Retired Mariner                                    364

        XX.  At Bala-Sala, Isle of Man                               365

       XXI.  Tynwald Hill                                            366

      XXII.  "Despond who will--_I_ heard a Voice exclaim"           368

     XXIII.  In the Frith of Clyde, Ailsa Crag, during an
             Eclipse of the Sun, July 17                             369

      XXIV.  On the Frith of Clyde                                   370

       XXV.  On revisiting Dunolly Castle                            371

      XXVI.  The Dunolly Eagle                                       372

     XXVII.  Written in a Blank Leaf of Macpherson's Ossian          373

    XXVIII.  Cave of Staffa                                          376

      XXIX.  Cave of Staffa. (After the Crowd had departed)          377

       XXX.  Cave of Staffa                                          377

      XXXI.  Flowers on the Top of the Pillars at the Entrance of
             the Cave                                                378

     XXXII.  Iona                                                    379

    XXXIII.  Iona. (Upon Landing)                                    380

     XXXIV.  The Black Stones of Iona                                381

      XXXV.  "Homeward we turn. Isle of Columba's Cell"              382

     XXXVI.  Greenock                                                383

    XXXVII.  "'There!' said a Stripling, pointing with meet pride"   383

   XXXVIII.  The River Eden, Cumberland                              385

     XXXIX.  Monument of Mrs. Howard, in Wetheral
             Church, near Corby, on the Banks of the
             Eden                                                    386

        XL.  Suggested by the Foregoing                              387

       XLI.  Nunnery                                                 388

      XLII.  Steamboats, Viaducts, and Railways                      389

     XLIII.  The Monument, commonly called Long Meg
         and her Daughters, near the River Eden                      390

      XLIV.  Lowther                                                 391

       XLV.  To the Earl of Lonsdale                                 392

      XLVI.  The Somnambulist                                        393

     XLVII.  To Cordelia M----                                       400

    XLVIII.  "Most sweet it is with unuplifted eyes"                 401


  "Not in the lucid intervals of life"                               402

  By the Side of Rydal Mere                                          403

  "Soft as a cloud is yon blue Ridge--the Mere"                      405

  "The leaves that rustled on this oak-crowned hill"                 406

  The Labourer's Noon-Day Hymn                                       408

  The Redbreast                                                      410

  ADDENDA                                                            415



The only poems belonging to the years 1821-2 were the "Ecclesiastical
Sonnets," originally called "Ecclesiastical Sketches." These were
written at intervals, from 1821 onwards, but the great majority belong
to 1821. They were first published in 1822, in three parts; 102 Sonnets
in all. Ten were added in the edition of 1827, several others in the
years 1835 and 1836, and fourteen in 1845,--the final edition of 1850
containing 132.

After Wordsworth's return from the Continent in 1820, he visited
the Beaumonts at Coleorton, and as Sir George was then about to
build a new Church on his property, conversation turned frequently
to ecclesiastical topics, and gave rise to the idea of embodying
the History of the Church of England in a series of "Ecclesiastical
Sketches" in verse. The Sonnets Nos. XXXIX., XL., and XLI., in the
third series, entitled, _Church to be erected_, and _New Churchyard_,
are probably those to which Wordsworth refers as written first, in
memory of his morning walk with Sir George Beaumont to fix the site
of the Church: but it was the discussions which were being carried on
in the British Parliament and elsewhere, in 1821, on the subject of
Catholic Disabilities, that led him to enlarge his idea, and project a
series of Sonnets dealing with the whole course of the Ecclesiastical
History of his country. His brother Christopher--while Dean and Rector
of Bocking, and domestic chaplain to the Archbishop of Canterbury--had
published, in 1809, six volumes of _Ecclesiastical Biography; or,
the Lives of Eminent Men connected with the History of Religion in
England_. Southey's _Book of the Church_,--to which Wordsworth refers
in the Fenwick note prefixed to his _Sonnets_--was not published till
1823; and Wordsworth says, in a note to the edition of 1822, that his
own work was far advanced before he was aware that Southey had taken up
the subject. As several of the Sonnets, however, are well illustrated
by passages in Southey's book, I have given a number of extracts from
the latter work in the editorial notes.

Southey, writing to C. H. Townshend, on 6th May 1821, says: "Wordsworth
was with me lately. His thoughts and mine have for some time
unconsciously been travelling in the same direction; for while I have
been sketching a brief history of the English Church, and the systems
which it has subdued or struggled with, he has been pursuing precisely
the same subject in a series of sonnets, to which my volume will serve
for a commentary, as completely as if it had been written with that
intent." (See _Life and Correspondence of R. Southey_, vol. v. p. 65.)

Wordsworth's own notes appended to the Sonnets, and others which are
added, will show his indebtedness to such writers as Bede, Strype,
Foxe, Walton, Whitaker, and Sharon Turner. The subjects of the sonnets
on the "Aspects of Christianity in America" were suggested to him
by Bishop Doane and Professor Henry Reed; and others in the series,
dealing with offices of the English Liturgy, were also suggested by Mr.



                     Composed 1821.--Published 1822

[My purpose in writing this Series was, as much as possible, to confine
my view to the introduction, progress, and operation of the Church in
England, both previous and subsequent to the Reformation. The Sonnets
were written long before ecclesiastical history and points of doctrine
had excited the interest with which they have been recently enquired
into and discussed. The former particular is mentioned as an excuse for
my having fallen into error in respect to an incident which had been
selected as setting forth the height to which the power of the Popedom
over temporal sovereignty had attained, and the arrogance with which it
was displayed. I allude to the last Sonnet but one in the first series,
where Pope Alexander the Third at Venice is described as setting his
foot on the neck of the Emperor Barbarossa. Though this is related
as a fact in history, I am told it is a mere legend of no authority.
Substitute for it an undeniable truth not less fitted for my purpose,
namely the penance inflicted by Gregory the Seventh upon the Emperor
Henry the Fourth.

Before I conclude my notice of these Sonnets, let me observe that the
opinion I pronounced in favour of Laud (long before the Oxford Tract
Movement) and which had brought censure upon me from several quarters,
is not in the least changed. Omitting here to examine into his conduct
in respect to the persecuting spirit with which he has been charged, I
am persuaded that most of his aims to restore ritual practices which
had been abandoned were good and wise, whatever errors he might commit
in the manner he sometimes attempted to enforce them. I further believe
that, had not he, and others who shared his opinions and felt as he
did, stood up in opposition to the reformers of that period, it is
questionable whether the Church would ever have recovered its lost
ground and become the blessing it now is, and will, I trust, become in
a still greater degree, both to those of its communion and to those who
unfortunately are separated from it.--I. F.]


[1] During the month of December, 1820, I accompanied a much-beloved
and honoured Friend[2] in a walk through different parts of his estate,
with a view to fix upon the site of a new Church which he intended to
erect. It was one of the most beautiful mornings of a mild season,--our
feelings were in harmony with the cherishing[3] influences of the
scene; and such being our purpose, we were naturally led to look back
upon past events with wonder and gratitude, and on the future with
hope. Not long afterwards, some of the Sonnets which will be found
towards the close of this series were produced as a private memorial of
that morning's occupation.

The Catholic Question, which was agitated in Parliament about that
time, kept my thoughts in the same course; and it struck me that
certain points in the Ecclesiastical History of our Country might
advantageously be presented to view in verse. Accordingly, I took up
the subject, and what I now offer to the reader was the result.

When this work was far advanced, I was agreeably surprised to find that
my friend, Mr. Southey, had been engaged with similar views in writing
a concise History of the Church _in_ England. If our Productions, thus
unintentionally coinciding, shall be found to illustrate each other, it
will prove a high gratification to me, which I am sure my friend will

                                                          W. WORDSWORTH.

  RYDAL MOUNT, _January 24, 1822_.

For the convenience of passing from one point of the subject to another
without shocks of abruptness, this work has taken the shape of a
series of Sonnets: but the Reader, it is to be hoped, will find that
the pictures are often so closely connected as to have jointly the
effect of passages of a poem in a form of stanza to which there is no
objection but one that bears upon the Poet only--its difficulty.--W. W.

[2] Sir George Beaumont.--ED.

[3] This occurs in all the editions. It maybe a misprint for



    A verse may catch a wandering Soul, that flies
    Profounder Tracts, and by a blest surprise
    Convert delight into a Sacrifice.[4]


[4] Compare, in George Herbert's "The Temple," _The Church Porch_, i.

    A verse may find him, who a Sermon flies,
    And turn delight into a Sacrifice.--ED.



    I, who accompanied with faithful pace[5]
    Cerulean Duddon from its[6] cloud-fed spring,[7]
    And loved with spirit ruled by his to sing
    Of mountain-quiet and boon nature's grace;[8]
    I, who essayed the nobler Stream to trace                          5
    Of Liberty,[9] and smote the plausive string
    Till the checked torrent, proudly triumphing,
    Won for herself a lasting resting-place;[10]
    Now seek upon the heights of Time the source
    Of a HOLY RIVER,[11]on whose banks are found                      10
    Sweet pastoral flowers, and laurels that have crowned
    Full oft the unworthy brow of lawless force;
    And,[12] for delight of him who tracks its course,[13]
    Immortal amaranth and palms abound.


[5] 1827.

    I, who descended with glad step to chase 1822.

[6] 1850.

    ... his ... 1822.

The text of 1857 (edited by Mr. Carter) returned to that of 1822.

[7] See "The River Duddon, a Series of Sonnets" (vol. vi. p. 225).--ED.

[8] 1827.

    And of my wild Companion dared to sing,
    In verse that moved with strictly-measured pace; 1822.

[9] See the series of "Poems dedicated to National Independence and

[10] 1827.

                  ... Torrent, fiercely combating,
    In victory found her natural resting-place; 1822.

[11] Compare the last sonnet of this Series (Part III. XLVII., p.

[12] 1837.

    Where, ... 1822.

[13] It may not be unworthy of note that in the first edition of this
sonnet Wordsworth made the stream of the Duddon masculine, that of
Liberty feminine, and that of the Church neuter.--ED.



    If there be prophets on whose spirits rest
    Past things, revealed like future, they can tell
    What Powers, presiding o'er the sacred well
    Of Christian Faith, this savage Island blessed
    With its first bounty. Wandering through the west,
    Did holy Paul[14] a while in Britain dwell,                        6
    And call the Fountain forth by miracle,
    And with dread signs the nascent Stream invest?
    Or He, whose bonds dropped off, whose prison doors
    Flew open, by an Angel's voice unbarred?[15]                      10
    Or some of humbler name, to these wild shores
    Storm-driven; who, having seen the cup of woe
    Pass from their Master, sojourned here to guard
    The precious Current they had taught to flow?


[14] Stillingfleet adduces many arguments in support of this opinion,
but they are unconvincing. The latter part of this Sonnet refers to a
favourite notion of Roman Catholic writers, that Joseph of Arimathea
and his companions brought Christianity into Britain, and built a rude
church at Glastonbury; alluded to hereafter, in a passage upon the
dissolution of monasteries.--W. W. 1822.

[15] St. Peter.--ED.



    Screams round the Arch-druid's brow the seamew[16]--white
    As Menai's foam; and toward the mystic ring
    Where Augurs stand, the Future questioning,
    Slowly the cormorant aims her heavy flight,
    Portending ruin to each baleful rite,                              5
    That, in the lapse, of ages,[17] hath crept o'er
    Diluvian truths, and patriarchal lore.
    Haughty the Bard: can these meek doctrines blight
    His transports? wither his heroic strains?
    But all shall be fulfilled;--the Julian spear                     10
    A way first opened;[18] and, with Roman chains,
    The tidings come of Jesus crucified;
    They come--they spread--the weak, the suffering, hear;
    Receive the faith, and in the hope abide.


[16] This water-fowl was, among the Druids, an emblem of those
traditions connected with the deluge that made an important part of
their mysteries. The Cormorant was a bird of bad omen.--W. W. 1822.

[17] 1827.

    ... seasons ... 1822.

[18] The reference is to the conquest of Britain by Julius Cæsar.--ED.



    Mercy and Love have met thee on thy road,
    Thou wretched Outcast, from the gift of fire
    And food cut off by sacerdotal ire,
    From every sympathy that Man bestowed!
    Yet shall it claim our reverence, that to God,                     5
    Ancient of days! that to the eternal Sire,
    These jealous Ministers of law aspire,
    As to the one sole fount whence wisdom flowed,
    Justice, and order. Tremblingly escaped,
    As if with prescience of the coming storm,                        10
    _That_ intimation when the stars were shaped;
    And still, 'mid yon thick woods, the primal truth
    Glimmers through many a superstitious form[19]
    That fills the Soul with unavailing ruth.


[19] 1827.

    And yon thick woods maintain the primal truth,
    Debased by many a superstitious form, 1822.



    Darkness surrounds us: seeking, we are lost
    On Snowdon's wilds, amid Brigantian coves,[20]
    Or where the solitary shepherd roves
    Along the plain of Sarum, by the ghost
    Of Time and shadows of Tradition, crost;[21]                       5

    And where the boatman of the Western Isles
    Slackens his course--to mark those holy piles
    Which yet survive on bleak Iona's coast.[22]
    Nor these, nor monuments of eldest name,[23]
    Nor Taliesin's unforgotten lays,[24]                              10
    Nor characters of Greek or Roman fame,
    To an unquestionable Source have led;
    Enough--if eyes, that sought the fountain-head
    In vain, upon the growing Rill may gaze.


[20] The reference is to Yorkshire. The Brigantes inhabited England
from sea to sea, from Cumberland to Durham, but more especially
Yorkshire. See Tacitus, _Annals_, book xii. 32; Ptolemy, _Geographia_,
27, 1; Camden, _Britannia_, 556-648.--ED.

[21] 1827.

    Of silently departed ages crossed; 1822.

[22] Compare the four sonnets on Iona, in the "Poems composed or
suggested during a Tour in the Summer of 1833."--ED.

[23] 1841.

    ... fame, 1822.

[24] See note [40], p. 13.--ED.



    Lament! for Diocletian's fiery sword
    Works busy as the lightning; but instinct
    With malice ne'er to deadliest weapon linked,
    Which God's ethereal store-houses afford:
    Against the Followers of the incarnate Lord                        5
    It rages;--some are smitten in the field--
    Some pierced to the heart through the ineffectual shield[25]
    Of sacred home;--with pomp are others gored
    And dreadful respite. Thus was Alban tried,[26]

    England's first Martyr, whom no threats could shake;
    Self-offered victim, for his friend he died,                      11
    And for the faith; nor shall his name forsake
    That Hill, whose flowery platform seems to rise
    By Nature decked for holiest sacrifice.[27]


[25] 1840.

    Some pierced beneath the unavailing shield 1822.

    ... ineffectual 1827.

[26] "The first man who laid down his life in Britain for the Christian
faith was Saint Alban.... During the tenth, and most rigorous of the
persecutions, a Christian priest, flying from his persecutors, came
to the City of Verulamium, and took shelter in Alban's house: he, not
being of the faith himself, concealed him for pure compassion; but when
he observed the devotion of his guest, how fervent it was, and how
firm, his heart was touched.... When the persecutors came to search the
house, Alban, putting on the hair-cassock of his teacher, delivered
himself into their hands, as if he had been the fugitive, and was
carried before the heathen governor.... Because he refused to betray
his guest or offer sacrifices to the Roman gods, he was scourged, and
then led to execution upon the spot where the abbey now stands, which
in after times was erected to his memory, and still bears his name.
That spot was then a beautiful meadow upon a little rising ground,
'seeming,' says the venerable Bede, 'a fit theatre for the martyr's
triumph.'" (Southey's _Book of the Church_, vol. i.--pp. 13-14.)--ED.

[27] This hill at St. Albans must have been an object of great interest
to the imagination of the venerable Bede, who thus describes it,
with a delicate feeling, delightful to meet with in that rude age,
traces of which are frequent in his works:--"Variis herbarum floribus
depictus imo usquequaque vestitus, in quo nihil repente arduum, nihil
præceps, nihil abruptum, quem lateribus longe lateque deductum in modum
æquoris natura complanat, dignum videlicet eum pro insita sibi specie
venustatis jam olim reddens, qui beati martyris cruore dicaretur."--W.
W. 1822.



    As, when a storm hath ceased, the birds regain
    Their cheerfulness, and busily retrim
    Their nests, or chant a gratulating hymn
    To the blue ether and bespangled plain;
    Even so, in many a re-constructed fane,                            5
    Have the survivors of this Storm renewed
    Their holy rites with vocal gratitude:
    And solemn ceremonials they ordain
    To celebrate their great deliverance;
    Most feelingly instructed 'mid their fear--                       10
    That persecution, blind with rage extreme,
    May not the less, through Heaven's mild countenance,
    Even in her own despite, both feed and cheer;
    For all things are less dreadful than they seem.



    Watch, and be firm! for, soul-subduing vice,
    Heart-killing luxury, on your steps await.
    Fair houses, baths, and banquets delicate,
    And temples flashing, bright as polar ice,
    Their radiance through the woods--may yet suffice                  5
    To sap your hardy virtue, and abate
    Your love of Him upon whose forehead sate
    The crown of thorns; whose life-blood flowed, the price
    Of your redemption. Shun the insidious arts
    That Rome provides, less dreading from her frown                  10
    Than from her wily praise, her peaceful gown,
    Language, and letters;--these, though fondly viewed
    As humanising graces, are but parts
    And instruments of deadliest servitude!



    That heresies should strike (if truth be scanned
    Presumptuously) their roots both wide and deep,
    Is natural as dreams to feverish sleep.
    Lo! Discord at the altar dares to stand[28]
    Uplifting toward[29] high Heaven her fiery brand,                  5
    A cherished Priestess of the new-baptized!
    But chastisement shall follow peace despised.
    The Pictish cloud darkens the enervate land
    By Rome abandoned; vain are suppliant cries,
    And prayers that would undo her forced farewell;                  10
    For she returns not.--Awed by her own knell,
    She casts the Britons upon strange Allies,
    Soon to become more dreaded enemies
    Than heartless misery called them to repel.


[28] Arianism had spread into Britain, and British Bishops were
summoned to councils held concerning it, at Sardica, A.D. 347, and at
Ariminum, A.D. 360. See Fuller's _Church History_, p. 25; and Churton's
_Early English Church_, p. 9.--ED.

[29] 1827.

    Lifting towards ... 1822.



    Rise!--they _have_ risen: of brave Aneurin ask[30]
    How they have scourged old foes, perfidious friends:
    The Spirit of Caractacus descends
    Upon the Patriots, animates their task;[31]
    Amazement runs before the towering casque                              5
    Of Arthur, bearing through the stormy field
    The Virgin sculptured on his Christian shield:--
    Stretched in the sunny light of victory bask
    The Host that followed Urien[32] as he strode
    O'er heaps of slain;--from Cambrian wood and moss                     10
    Druids descend, auxiliars of the Cross;
    Bards, nursed on blue Plinlimmon's still abode,[33]
    Rush on the fight, to harps preferring swords,
    And everlasting deeds to burning words!


[30] Aneurin was the bard who--in the poem named the
_Gododin_--celebrated the struggle between the Cymri and the Teutons
in the middle of the sixth century, which ended in the great battle of
Catterick, or Cattreath, in Yorkshire. Aneurin was himself chieftain as
well as bard.--ED.

[31] 1837.

    The spirit of Caractacus defends
    The Patriots, animates their glorious task;-- 1822.

[32] Urien was chief of the Cymri, and led them in the great conflict
of the sixth century against the Angles.--ED.

[33] Such as Aneurin, Taliesin, Llywarch Hen, and Merlin.--ED.



    Nor wants the cause the panic-striking aid
    Of hallelujahs[34] tost from hill to hill--
    For instant victory. But Heaven's high will
    Permits a second and a darker shade
    Of Pagan night. Afflicted and dismayed,                            5
    The Relics of the sword flee to the mountains:
    O wretched Land! whose tears have flowed like fountains;
    Whose arts and honours in the dust are laid
    By men yet scarcely conscious of a care
    For other monuments than those of Earth;[35]                      10
    Who, as the fields[36] and woods have given them birth,
    Will[37] build their savage fortunes only there;
    Content, if foss, and barrow, and the girth
    Of long-drawn rampart, witness what they were.[38]


[34] Alluding to the victory gained under Germanus. See Bede.--W. W.

The Saxons and Picts threatening the Britons, the latter asked the
assistance of Germanus. The following is Bede's account:--"Germanus
bearing in his hands the standard, instructed his men all in a loud
voice to repeat his words, and the enemy advancing securely, as
thinking to take them by surprise, the priests three times cried
Hallelujah. A universal shout of the same word followed, and the hills
resounding the echo on all sides, the enemy was struck with dread....
They fled in disorder, casting away their arms." (Bede, _Ecclesiastica
Historia gentis Anglorum_, book i. chap. xx.)--ED.

[35] The last six lines of this Sonnet are chiefly from the prose
of Daniel; and here I will state (though to the Readers whom this
Poem will chiefly interest it is unnecessary) that my obligations to
other prose writers are frequent,--obligations which, even if I had
not a pleasure in courting, it would have been presumptuous to shun,
in treating an historical subject. I must, however, particularise
Fuller, to whom I am indebted in the Sonnet upon Wicliffe and in other
instances. And upon the acquittal of the Seven Bishops I have done
little more than versify a lively description of that event in the MS.
Memoirs of the first Lord Lonsdale.--W. W. 1822.

[36] 1827.

    Intent, as fields ... 1822.

[37] 1827.

    To ... 1822.

[38] 1827.

    Witness the foss, the barrow, and the girth
    Of many a long-drawn rampart, green and bare! 1822.



    _The oppression of the tumult--wrath and scorn--_
    _The tribulation--and the gleaming blades_--
    Such is the impetuous spirit that pervades
    The song of Taliesin;[40]--Ours shall mourn
    The _unarmed_ Host who by their prayers would turn                 5
    The sword from Bangor's walls, and guard the store
    Of Aboriginal and Roman lore,
    And Christian monuments, that now must burn
    To senseless ashes. Mark! how all things swerve
    From their known course, or vanish like a dream;[41]              10
    Another language spreads from coast to coast;
    Only perchance some melancholy Stream[42]
    And some indignant Hills old names preserve,[43]
    When laws, and creeds, and people all are lost!


[39] "Ethelforth reached the convent of Bangor, he perceived the Monks,
twelve hundred in number, offering prayers for the success of their
countrymen: 'If they are praying against us,' he exclaimed, 'they
are fighting against us'; and he ordered them to be first attacked:
they were destroyed; and, appalled by their fate, the courage of
Brocmail wavered, and he fled from the field in dismay. Thus abandoned
by their leader, his army soon gave way, and Ethelforth obtained a
decisive conquest. Ancient Bangor itself soon fell into his hands, and
was demolished; the noble monastery was levelled to the ground; its
library, which is mentioned as a large one, the collection of ages, the
repository of the most precious monuments of the ancient Britons, was
consumed; half ruined walls, gates, and rubbish were all that remained
of the magnificent edifice." (See Turner's valuable history of the

The account Bede gives of this remarkable event, suggests a most
striking warning against National and Religious prejudices.--W. W.
1822. Appendix note.

[40] Taliesin was present at the battle which preceded this
desolation.--W. W. 1822.

Taliesin was chief bard and retainer in the Hall of Urien, the great
North England Cymric chief. He sang of Urien's and his son Owain's
victories, in the middle of the sixth century. See Pitseus, _Relationes
Historicae de rebus Anglicis_, 1619, vol. i. p. 95, _De Thelesino_.
See also Sharon Turner's _History of the Anglo-Saxons_ (vol. i. book
iii. chap, iv.).--ED.

[41] 1827.

    ... or pass away like steam; 1822.

[42] _e.g._ in the Lake District, the Greta, Derwent, etc.--ED.

[43] _e.g._ in the Lake District, Stone Arthur, Blencathara, and



    A bright-haired company of youthful slaves,
    Beautiful strangers, stand within the pale
    Of a sad market, ranged for public sale,
    Where Tiber's stream the immortal[44] City laves:
    ANGLI by name; and not an ANGEL waves                              5
    His wing who could seem lovelier to man's eye[45]
    Than they appear to holy Gregory;
    Who, having learnt that name, salvation craves
    For Them, and for their Land. The earnest Sire,
    His questions urging, feels, in slender ties                      10
    Of chiming sound, commanding sympathies;
    DE-IRIANS--he would save them from God's IRE;
    Subjects of Saxon ÆLLA--they shall sing
    Glad HALLE-lujahs to the eternal King![46]


[44] 1827.

    ... glorious ... 1822.

[45] 1837.

    His wing who seemeth lovelier in Heaven's eye 1822.

[46] The story is told of Gregory who was afterwards Pope, and is known
as Gregory the Great, that "he was one day led into the market-place at
Rome to look at a large importation from, abroad. Among other things
there were some boys exposed for sale like cattle. He was struck by the
appearance of the boys, their fine clear skins, their flaxen or golden
hair, and their ingenuous countenances; so that he asked from what
country they came; and when he was told from the island of
Britain, ... and were Angles, he played upon the word and said, 'Well
may they be so called, for they are like Angels.' ... Then demanding
from what province they were brought, the answer was 'from Deira'; and
in the same humour he observed that rightly might this also be said,
for _de Dei ira_, from the wrath of God were they to be delivered. And
when he was told that their King was Ælla, he replied that Hallelujahs
ought to be sung in his dominions. This trifling sprung from serious
thought. From that day the conversion of the Anglo-Saxons became a
favourite object with Gregory." (Southey's _Book of the Church_, vol.
i. pp. 22, 23.)--ED.



    For ever hallowed be this morning fair,
    Blest be the unconscious shore on which ye tread,
    And blest the silver Cross, which ye, instead
    Of martial banner, in procession bear;
    The Cross preceding Him who floats in air,                         5
    The pictured Saviour!--By Augustin led,
    They come--and onward travel without dread,
    Chanting in barbarous ears a tuneful prayer--
    Sung for themselves, and those whom they would free!
    Rich conquest waits them:--the tempestuous sea                    10
    Of Ignorance, that ran so rough and high
    And heeded not the voice of clashing swords,
    These good men humble by a few bare words,
    And calm with fear of God's divinity.[47]


[47] Augustin was prior of St. Gregory's Monastery, dedicated to St.
Andrew in Rome, and was sent by Gregory in the year 597 with several
other monks into Britain. Ethelbert was then king of Kent, and, as they
landed on the Isle of Thanet, he ordered them to stay there. According
to Bede, "Some days after, the king came into the island and ordered
Augustin and his companions to be brought into his presence.... They
came ... bearing a silver cross for their banner, and an image of
our Lord and Saviour painted on a board; and singing the litany they
offered up their prayers to the Lord for the eternal salvation both
of themselves and of those to whom they were come." (_Ecclesiastica
Historia gentis Anglorum_, book i. chap, xxv.)--ED.



    But, to remote Northumbria's royal Hall,
    Where thoughtful Edwin, tutored in the school
    Of sorrow, still maintains a heathen rule,
    _Who_ comes with functions apostolical?
    Mark him,[48] of shoulders curved, and stature tall,               5
    Black hair, and vivid eye, and meagre cheek,
    His prominent feature like an eagle's beak;
    A Man whose aspect doth at once appal
    And strike with reverence. The Monarch leans
    Toward the pure truths[49] this Delegate propounds,               10
    Repeatedly his own deep mind he sounds
    With careful hesitation,--then convenes
    A synod of his Councillors:--give ear,
    And what a pensive Sage doth utter, hear![50]


[48] The person of Paulinus is thus described by Bede, from the memory
of an eye-witness:--"Longæ staturæ, paululum incurvus, nigro capillo,
facie macilenta, naso adunco, pertenui, venerabilis simul et terribilis
aspectu."--W. W. 1822.

[49] 1832.

    Towards the Truths.... 1822.

[50] Paulinus won over Edwin, king of the Northumbrians, to the
Christian faith, and baptized him "with his people," A.D. 627. (See
_The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle_.)--ED.



    "Man's life is like a Sparrow,[51] mighty King!
    "That--while at banquet with your Chiefs you sit
    "Housed near a blazing fire--is seen to flit
    "Safe from the wintry tempest. Fluttering,[52]
    "Here did it enter; there, on hasty wing,                          5
    "Flies out, and passes on from cold to cold;
    "But whence it came we know not, nor behold
    "Whither it goes. Even such, that transient Thing,
    "The human Soul; not utterly unknown
    "While in the Body lodged, her warm abode;                        10
    "But from what world She came, what woe or weal
    "On her departure waits, no tongue hath shown;
    "This mystery if the Stranger can reveal,
    "His be a welcome cordially bestowed!"


[51] See the original of this speech in Bede.--The Conversion of Edwin,
as related by him, is highly interesting--and the breaking up of this
Council accompanied with an event so striking and characteristic, that
I am tempted to give it at length in a translation. "Who, exclaimed
the King, when the Council was ended, shall first desecrate the
altars and the temples? I, answered the Chief Priest: for who more
fit than myself, through the wisdom which the true God hath given me,
to destroy, for the good example of others, what in foolishness I
worshipped? Immediately, casting away vain superstition, he besought
the King to grant him what the laws did not allow to a priest, arms
and a courser (equum emissarium); which mounting, and furnished with a
sword and lance, he proceeded to destroy the Idols. The crowd, seeing
this, thought him mad--he however, halted not, but, approaching, he
profaned the temple, casting it against the lance which he had held in
his hand, and, exulting in acknowledgement of the worship of the true
God, he ordered his companions to pull down the temple, with all its
enclosures. The place is shown where those idols formerly stood, not
far from York, at the source of the river Derwent, and is at this day
called Gormund Gaham [W. W. 1822], ubi pontifex ille, inspirante Deo
vero, polluit ac destruxit eas, _quas ipse sacraverat aras_." The last
expression is a pleasing proof that the venerable monk of Wearmouth was
familiar with the poetry of Virgil.--W. W. 1832.

The following is Bede's account of the speech of "another of the
king's chief men":--"The present life of man, O king, seems to me in
comparison of that time which is unknown to us, like to the swift
flight of a sparrow through the room wherein you sit, at supper in
winter, with your commanders and ministers, and a good fire in the
midst, whilst the storms of rain and snow prevail abroad. The sparrow,
I say--flying in at one door, and immediately out at another--whilst
he is within, is safe from the misty storm; but, after a short space
of fair weather, he immediately vanishes out of your sight into the
dark winter from which he had emerged. So this life of man appears for
a short space, but of what went before, and of what is to follow, we
are utterly ignorant. If therefore this new doctrine contains something
more certain, it seems justly to deserve to be followed."--ED.

[52] 1837.

    "That, stealing in while by the fire you sit
    "Housed with rejoicing Friends, is seen to flit
    "Safe from the storm, in comfort tarrying." 1822.



    Prompt transformation works the novel Lore;
    The Council closed, the Priest in full career
    Rides forth, an armèd man, and hurls a spear
    To desecrate the Fane which heretofore
    He served in folly. Woden falls, and Thor                          5
    Is overturned: the mace, in battle heaved
    (So might they dream) till victory was achieved,
    Drops, and the God himself is seen no more.
    Temple and Altar sink, to hide their shame
    Amid oblivious weeds, "_O come to me,                               10_
    _Ye heavy laden!_" such the inviting voice
    Heard near fresh streams;[54] and thousands, who rejoice
    In the new Rite--the pledge of sanctity,
    Shall, by regenerate life, the promise claim.


[53] See Wordsworth's note to Sonnet XVI.--ED.

[54] The early propagators of Christianity were accustomed to preach
near rivers, for the convenience of baptism.--W. W. 1822.



    Nor scorn the aid which Fancy oft doth lend
    The Soul's eternal interests to promote:
    Death, darkness, danger, are our natural lot;
    And evil Spirits _may_ our walk attend
    For aught the wisest know or comprehend;                           5
    Then be _good_ Spirits free[55] to breathe a note
    Of elevation; let their odours float
    Around these Converts; and their glories blend,
    The midnight stars outshining,[56] or the blaze
    Of the noon-day. Nor doubt that golden cords                      10
    Of good works, mingling with the visions, raise
    The Soul to purer worlds: and _who_ the line
    Shall draw, the limits of the power define,
    That even imperfect faith to man affords?


[55] 1827.

    Then let the _good_ be free ... 1822.

[56] 1837.

    Outshining nightly tapers, ... 1822.



    How beautiful your presence, how benign,
    Servants of God! who not a thought will share
    With the vain world; who, outwardly as bare
    As winter trees, yield no fallacious sign
    That the firm soul is clothed with fruit divine!                   5
    Such Priest, when service worthy of his care
    Has called him forth to breathe the common air,
    Might seem a saintly Image from its shrine
    Descended:--happy are the eyes that meet
    The Apparition; evil thoughts are stayed                          10
    At his approach, and low-bowed necks entreat
    A benediction from his voice or hand;
    Whence grace, through which the heart can understand,
    And vows, that bind the will, in silence made.



    Ah, when the Body,[58] round which in love we clung,
    Is chilled by death, does mutual service fail?
    Is tender pity then of no avail?
    Are intercessions of the fervent tongue
    A waste of hope?--From this sad source have sprung
    Rites that console the Spirit, under grief                         6
    Which ill can brook more rational relief:
    Hence, prayers are shaped amiss, and dirges sung
    For Souls[59] whose doom is fixed! The way is smooth
    For Power that travels with the human heart:                      10
    Confession ministers the pang to soothe
    In him who at the ghost of guilt doth start.
    Ye holy Men, so earnest in your care,
    Of your own mighty instruments beware!


[57] Having spoken of the zeal, disinterestedness, and temperance of
the clergy of those times, Bede thus proceeds:--"Unde et in magna
erat veneratione tempore illo religionis habitus, ita ut ubicunque
clericus aliquis aut monachus adveniret, gaudenter ab omnibus tanquam
Dei famulus exciperetur. Etiam si in itinere pergens inveniretur,
accurrebant, et flexa cervice, vel manu signari, vel ore illius se
benedici, gaudebant. Verbis quoque horum exhortatonis diligenter
auditum praebebant" (Lib. iii. cap. 26.)--W. W. 1822.

[58] 1837.

    ... Frame,.... 1822

[59] 1832.

    For those ... 1822.



    Lance, shield, and sword relinquished--at his side
    A bead-roll, in his hand a claspèd book,
    Or staff more harmless than a shepherd's crook,
    The war-worn Chieftain quits the world--to hide
    His thin autumnal locks where Monks abide                          5
    In cloistered privacy. But not to dwell
    In soft repose he comes. Within his cell,
    Round the decaying trunk of human pride,
    At morn, and eve, and midnight's silent hour,
    Do penitential cogitations cling;                                 10
    Like ivy, round some ancient elm, they twine
    In grisly folds and strictures serpentine;[61]
    Yet, while they strangle, a fair growth they bring,[62]
    For recompense--their own perennial bower.


[60] This, and the two following sonnets, were published in _Time's
Telescope_, July 2, 1823.--ED.

[61] The "ancient elm," with ivy twisting round it "in grisly folds
and strictures serpentine," which suggested these lines, grew in Rydal
Park, near the path to the upper waterfall.--ED.

[62] 1837.

    ... strangle without mercy, bring 1822.



    Methinks that to some vacant hermitage
    _My_ feet would rather turn--to some dry nook
    Scooped out of living rock, and near a brook
    Hurled down a mountain-cove from stage to stage,
    Yet tempering, for my sight, its bustling rage                     5
    In the soft heaven of a translucent pool;
    Thence creeping under sylvan[63] arches cool,
    Fit haunt of shapes whose glorious equipage
    Would elevate[64] my dreams.[65] A beechen bowl,
    A maple dish, my furniture should be;                             10
    Crisp, yellow leaves my bed; the hooting owl
    My night-watch: nor should e'er the crested fowl
    From thorp or vill his matins sound for me,
    Tired of the world and all its industry.


[63] 1837.

    ... forest ... 1822.

[64] 1827.

    Perchance would throng ... 1822.

[65] There are several natural "hermitages," such as this, near the
Rydal beck.--ED.



    But what if One, through grove or flowery meed,
    Indulging thus at will the creeping feet
    Of a voluptuous indolence, should meet
    Thy hovering Shade, O[66] venerable Bede!
    The saint, the scholar, from a circle freed                        5
    Of toil stupendous, in a hallowed seat
    Of learning, where thou heard'st[67] the billows beat
    On a wild coast, rough monitors to feed
    Perpetual industry.[68] Sublime Recluse!
    The recreant soul, that dares to shun the debt                    10
    Imposed on human kind, must first forget
    Thy diligence, thy unrelaxing use
    Of a long life; and, in the hour of death,
    The last dear service of thy passing breath![69]


[66] 1827.

    The hovering Shade of ... 1822.

[67] 1827.

    ... he heard ... 1822.

[68] Bede spent the most of his life in the seclusion of the monastery
of Jarrow, near the mouth of the Tyne; the wild coast referred to in
the Sonnet being the coast of Northumberland.--ED.

[69] He expired in the act of concluding a translation of St. John's
Gospel.--W. W. 1822.

He expired dictating the last words of a translation of St. John's
Gospel.--W. W. 1827.



    By such examples moved to unbought pains,
    The people work like congregated bees;[70]
    Eager to build the quiet Fortresses
    Where Piety, as they believe, obtains
    From Heaven a _general_ blessing; timely rains                     5
    Or needful sunshine; prosperous enterprise,
    Justice and peace:--bold faith! yet also rise
    The sacred Structures for less doubtful gains.[71]
    The Sensual think with reverence of the palms
    Which the chaste Votaries seek, beyond the grave;
    If penance be redeemable, thence alms                             11
    Flow to the poor, and freedom to the slave;
    And if full oft the Sanctuary save
    Lives black with guilt, ferocity it calms.


[70] See, in Turner's _History_, vol. iii. p. 528, the account of
the erection of Ramsey Monastery. Penances were removable by the
performance of acts of charity and benevolence.--W. W. 1822.

"Wherever monasteries were founded, marshes were drained, or woods
cleared, and wastes brought into cultivation; the means of subsistence
were increased by improved agriculture, and by improved horticulture
new comforts were added to life. The humblest as well as the
highest pursuits were followed in these great and most beneficial
establishments. While part of the members were studying the most
inscrutable points of theology, ... others were employed in teaching
babes and children the rudiments of useful knowledge; others as
copyists, limners, carvers, workers in wood, and in stone, and in
metal, and in trades and manufactures of every kind which the community
required." (Southey's _Book of the Church_, vol. i. chap. iv. pp. 61,

[71] 1832.

    And peace, and equity.--Bold faith! yet rise
    The sacred Towers for universal gains. 1822.

    And peace, and equity.--Bold faith! yet rise
    The sacred Structures for less doubtful gains. 1827.



    Not sedentary all: there are who roam
    To scatter seeds of life on barbarous shores;
    Or quit with zealous step their knee-worn floors
    To seek the general mart of Christendom;
    Whence they, like richly-laden merchants, come                     5
    To their belovèd cells:--or shall we say
    That, like the Red-cross Knight, they urge their way,
    To lead in memorable triumph home
    Truth, their immortal Una? Babylon,
    Learned and wise, hath perished utterly,                          10
    Nor leaves her Speech one word to aid the sigh[72]
    That would lament her;--Memphis, Tyre, are gone
    With all their Arts,--but classic lore glides on
    By these Religious saved for all posterity.


[72] 1827.

    ... speech wherewith to clothe a sigh 1822.



    Behold a pupil of the monkish gown,
    The pious ALFRED, King to Justice dear!
    Lord of the harp and liberating spear;[73]
    Mirror of Princes![74] Indigent Renown
    Might range the starry ether for a crown                           5
    Equal to _his_ deserts, who, like the year,
    Pours forth his bounty, like the day doth cheer,
    And awes like night with mercy-tempered frown.
    Ease from this noble miser of his time
    No moment steals; pain narrows not his cares.[75]                 10
    Though small his kingdom as a spark or gem,
    Of Alfred boasts remote Jerusalem,[76]
    And Christian India, through her wide-spread clime,
    In sacred converse gifts with Alfred shares.[77][78]


[73] "The memory of the life and doings of the noblest of English
rulers has come down to us living and distinct through the mist of
exaggeration and legend that gathered round it.... He lived solely
for the good of his people. He is the first instance in the history
of Christendom of the Christian king, of a ruler who put aside every
personal aim or ambition to devote himself to the welfare of those whom
he ruled. So long as he lived he strove 'to live worthily'; but in his
mouth a life of worthiness meant a life of justice, temperance, and
self-sacrifice. Ardent warrior as he was, with a disorganised England
before him, he set aside at thirty-one the dream of conquest to leave
behind him the memory, not of victories, but of 'good works,' of daily
toils by which he secured peace, good government, education for his
people.... The spirit of adventure that made him in youth the first
huntsman of his day took later and graver form in an activity that
found time amidst the cares of state for the daily duties of religion,
for converse with strangers, for study and translation, for learning
poems by heart, for planning buildings and instructing craftsmen
in gold work, for teaching even falconers and dog-keepers their
business.... He himself superintended a school for the young nobles of
the court." (Green's _Short History of the English People_, chap. i.
sec. 5.)--ED.

[74] Compare Voltaire, _Essai sur les Moeurs_, chap. xxvi.; and
Herder's _Ideen zur Philosophie der Geschichte der Menschheit_. Werke
(1820), vol. vi. p. 153.--ED.

[75] Through the whole of his life, Alfred was subject to grievous
maladies.--W. W. 1822.

"Although disease succeeded disease, and haunted him with tormenting
agony, nothing could suppress his unwearied and inextinguishable
genius." (Sharon Turner's _History of the Anglo-Saxons_, vol. i. book
iv. chap. v. p. 503.)--ED.

[76] "His mind was far from being prisoned within his own island. He
sent a Norwegian shipmaster to explore the White Sea.... Envoys bore
his presents to the Christians of India and Jerusalem, and an annual
mission carried Peter's-pence to Rome." (Green's _Short History of the
English People_, i. 5.)--ED.

[77] 1827.

    And Christian India gifts with Alfred shares
    By sacred converse link'd with India's clime. 1822

[78] "With Alfred" is in all the editions. The late Bishop of St.
Andrews, Charles Wordsworth, suggested that "of Alfred" or "from
Alfred" would be a better reading.--ED.



    When thy great soul was freed from mortal chains,
    Darling of England! many a bitter shower
    Fell on thy tomb; but emulative power
    Flowed in thy line through undegenerate veins.[79]
    The Race of Alfred covet[80] glorious pains[81]                    5
    When dangers threaten, dangers ever new!
    Black tempests bursting, blacker still in view!
    But manly sovereignty its hold retains;
    The root sincere, the branches bold to strive
    With the fierce tempest, while,[82] within the round              10
    Of their protection, gentle virtues thrive;
    As oft, 'mid some green plot of open ground,
    Wide as the oak extends its dewy gloom,
    The fostered hyacinths spread their purple bloom.[83]


[79] 1837.

    Can aught survive to linger in the veins
    Of kindred bodies--an essential power
    That may not vanish in one fatal hour,
    And wholly cast away terrestrial chains? 1822.

[80] 1832.

    ... covets ... 1822.

[81] In Eadward the elder, his son; Eadmund I., his grandson; Eadward
(the Martyr), grandson of Eadmund I.; and Eadward (the Confessor),
nephew to the Martyr.--ED.

[82] 1827.

    ... to thrive
    With the fierce storm; meanwhile, ... 1822.

[83] As, pre-eminently, in the wood by the road, half-way from Rydal to



    Urged by Ambition, who with subtlest skill
    Changes her means, the Enthusiast as a dupe
    Shall soar, and as a hypocrite can stoop,
    And turn the instruments of good to ill,
    Moulding the credulous people to his will.                         5
    Such DUNSTAN:--from its Benedictine coop
    Issues the master Mind,[84] at whose fell swoop
    The chaste affections tremble to fulfil
    Their purposes. Behold, pre-signified,
    The Might of spiritual sway! his thoughts, his dreams,
    Do in the supernatural world abide:                               11
    So vaunt a throng of Followers, filled with pride
    In what they see of virtues pushed to extremes,[85]
    And sorceries of talent misapplied.


[84] Dunstan was made Abbot of Glastonbury by Eadmund, and there he
introduced the Benedictine rule, being the first Benedictine Abbot in
England. His aim was a remodelling of the Anglo-Saxon Church, "for
which," says Southey, "he was qualified by his rank, his connections,
his influence at court, his great and versatile talents, and more
than all, it must be added, by his daring ambition, which scrupled at
nothing for the furtherance of its purpose." (_Book of the Church_, i.
6.) "Dunstan stands first in the line of ecclesiastical statesmen, who
counted among them Lanfranc and Wolsey, and ended in Laud." "Raised to
the See of Canterbury, he wielded for sixteen years, as the minister of
Eadgar, the secular and ecclesiastical powers of the realm." (Green, i.
6.) In the effort to retain the ascendency he had won, he lent himself,
however, to superstition and to fraud, to craft and mean device. He was
a type of the ecclesiastical sorcerer.--ED.

[85] 1837.

    In shows of virtue pushed to its extremes, 1822.



    Woe to the Crown that doth the Cowl obey![86]
    Dissension, checking[87] arms that would restrain
    The incessant Rovers of the northern main,[88]
    Helps to restore and spread a Pagan sway:[89]
    But Gospel-truth is potent to allay                                5
    Fierceness and rage; and soon the cruel Dane
    Feels, through the influence of her gentle reign,
    His native superstitions melt away.
    Thus, often, when thick gloom the east o'ershrouds,
    The full-orbed Moon, slow-climbing, doth appear                   10
    Silently to consume the heavy clouds;
    _How_ no one can resolve; but every eye
    Around her sees, while air is hushed, a clear
    And widening circuit of ethereal sky.


[86] The violent measures carried on under the influence of _Dunstan_,
for strengthening the Benedictine Order, were a leading cause of the
second series of Danish invasions. See Turner.--W. W. 1822.

[87] 1837.

    Dissention checks the ... 1822.

[88] _e.g._ Anlaef, Haco, Svein. (See Turner's _History of the_
_Anglo-Saxons_, book ii. chaps. iii., viii., ix.)--ED.

[89] 1837.

    And widely spreads once more a Pagan sway; 1822.



    A pleasant music floats along the Mere,
    From Monks in Ely chanting service high,
    While-as Canùte the King is rowing by:
    "My Oarsmen," quoth the mighty King, "draw near,
    "That we the sweet song of the Monks may hear!"[90]
    He listens (all past conquests and all schemes                     6
    Of future vanishing like empty dreams)
    Heart-touched, and haply not without a tear.
    The Royal Minstrel, ere the choir is still,[91]
    While his free Barge skims the smooth flood along,
    Gives to that rapture an accordant Rhyme.[92][93]                 11
    O suffering Earth! be thankful; sternest clime
    And rudest age are subject to the thrill
    Of heaven-descended Piety and Song.


[90] A monk of Ely, who wrote a History of the Church (circa 1166),
records a fragment of song, said to have been composed by Canute when
on his way to a church festival. He told his rowers to proceed slowly,
and near the shore, that he might hear the chanting of the Psalter by
the monks, and he then composed a song himself.

    Merie sangen the Muneches binnen Ely,
    Tha Cnut ching reu therby:
    Roweth cnites ner the land
    And here ye thes Muneches sang.--ED.

[91] 1827.

    ... was still, 1822.

[92] 1827.

    ... a memorial Rhyme. 1822.

[93] Which is still extant.--W. W. 1822. See last note.--ED.



    The woman-hearted Confessor prepares[94]
    The evanescence of the Saxon line.
    Hark! 'tis the tolling Curfew!--the stars shine;[95]
    But of the lights that cherish household cares
    And festive gladness, burns not one that dares                     5
    To twinkle after that dull stroke of thine,
    Emblem and instrument, from Thames to Tyne,
    Of force that daunts, and cunning that ensnares!
    Yet as the terrors of the lordly bell,
    That quench, from hut to palace, lamps and fires,[96]             10
    Touch not the tapers of the sacred quires;
    Even so a thraldom, studious to expel
    Old laws, and ancient customs to derange,
    To Creed or Ritual brings no fatal change.[97]


[94] Edward the Confessor (1042-1066).--"There was something shadowlike
in the thin form, the delicate complexion, the transparent womanly
hands, that contrasted with the blue eyes and golden hair of his race;
and it is almost as a shadow that he glides over the political stage.
The work of government was done by sterner hands." (Green's _Short
History of the English People_, chap. ii. sec. 2.)--ED.



                             Published 1837

    Coldly we spake. The Saxons, overpowered
    By wrong triumphant through its own excess,
    From fields laid waste, from house and home devoured
    By flames, look up to heaven and crave redress
    From God's eternal justice. Pitiless                               5
    Though men be, there are angels that can feel
    For wounds that death alone has power to heal,
    For penitent guilt, and innocent distress.
    And has a Champion risen in arms to try
    His Country's virtue, fought, and breathes no more;               10
    Him in their hearts the people canonize;
    And far above the mine's most precious ore
    The least small pittance of bare mould they prize
    Scooped from the sacred earth where his dear relics lie.


[95] 1827.

    Hark! 'tis the Curfew's knell! the stars may shine; 1822.

[96] The introduction of the curfew-bell (_couvre-feu_, cover fire)
into England is ascribed to the Conqueror, but the custom was common in
Europe long before his time.--ED.

[97] 1837.

    Brings to Religion no injurious change. 1822.



    "And shall," the Pontiff asks, "profaneness flow
    From Nazareth--source of Christian piety,
    From Bethlehem, from the Mounts of Agony
    And glorified Ascension? Warriors, go,
    With prayers and blessings we your path will sow;                  5
    Like Moses hold our hands erect, till ye
    Have chased far off by righteous victory
    These sons of Amalek, or laid them low!"--
    "GOD WILLETH IT," the whole assembly cry;
    Shout which the enraptured multitude astounds![98]                10
    The Council-roof and Clermont's towers reply;--
    "God willeth it," from hill to hill rebounds,
    And, in awe-stricken[99] Countries far and nigh,
    Through "Nature's hollow arch"[100] that voice resounds.[101][102]


[98] 1827.

    ... astounded. 1822.

[99] 1827.

    ... rebounded;
    Sacred resolve, in ... 1822.

[100] Compare Fuller's _Holy War_, I. 8.--ED.

[101] 1837.

    ... that night, resounded! 1822.

    ... the voice resounds. 1827.

[102] The decision of this Council was believed to be instantly known
in remote parts of Europe.--W. W. 1822.

There were several Councils of Clermont, the chief of them being that
of 1095, at which the Crusade was definitely planned. Pope Urban
II. addressed the Council in such a way that at the close the whole
multitude exclaimed simultaneously _Deus Vult_; and this phrase became
the war-cry of the Crusade.--ED.



    The turbaned Race are poured in thickening swarms
    Along the west; though driven from Aquitaine,
    The Crescent glitters on the towers of Spain;
    And soft Italia feels renewed alarms;
    The scimitar, that yields not to the charms                        5
    Of ease, the narrow Bosphorus will disdain;
    Nor long (that crossed) would Grecian hills detain
    Their tents, and check the current of their arms.
    Then blame not those who, by the mightiest lever
    Known to the moral world, Imagination,                            10
    Upheave, so seems it, from her natural station
    All Christendom:--they sweep along (was never
    So huge a host!)[103]--to tear from the Unbeliever
    The precious Tomb, their haven of salvation.


[103] Ten successive armies, amounting to nearly 950,000 men, took
part in the first Crusade. "The most distant islands and savage
countries," says William of Malmesbury, "were inspired with this ardent



    Redoubted King, of courage leonine,
    I mark thee, Richard! urgent to equip
    Thy warlike person with the staff and scrip;
    I watch thee sailing o'er the midland brine;
    In conquered Cyprus see thy Bride decline                          5
    Her blushing cheek, love-vows[104] upon her lip,
    And see love-emblems streaming from thy ship,
    As thence she holds her way to Palestine.[105]
    My Song, a fearless homager, would attend
    Thy thundering battle-axe as it cleaves the press                 10
    Of war, but duty summons her away
    To tell--how, finding in the rash distress
    Of those Enthusiasts a subservient friend,
    To[106] giddier heights hath clomb the Papal sway.


[104] 1827.

    ... Love's vow ... 1822.

[105] Richard I. (Coeur de Lion), one of the two leaders in the third
Crusade, after conquering Cyprus--on his way to Palestine--while
in that island married Berengaria, daughter of Sanchez, King of

[106] 1837.

    Of those enthusiast powers a constant Friend,
    Through ... 1822.



    Realms quake by turns: proud Arbitress of grace,
    The Church, by mandate shadowing forth the power
    She arrogates o'er heaven's eternal door,
    Closes the gates of every sacred place.
    Straight from the sun and tainted air's embrace                    5
    All sacred things are covered: cheerful morn
    Grows sad as night--no seemly garb is worn,
    Nor is a face allowed to meet a face
    With natural smiles[108] of greeting. Bells are dumb;
    Ditches are graves--funereal rites denied;                        10
    And in the church-yard he must take his bride
    Who dares be wedded! Fancies thickly come
    Into the pensive heart ill fortified,
    And comfortless despairs the soul benumb.


[107] At the command of Pope Innocent III., the Bishops of London, Ely,
and Worcester were charged to lay England under an interdict. They did
so, in defiance of King John, and left England. Southey's description
of the result maybe compared with this sonnet. "All the rites of a
Church whose policy it was to blend its institutions with the whole
business of private life were suddenly suspended: no bell heard, no
taper lighted, no service performed, no church open; only baptism was
permitted, and confession and sacrament for the dying. The dead were
either interred in unhallowed ground, without the presence of a priest,
or any religious ceremony, ... or they were kept unburied.... Some
little mitigation was allowed, lest human nature should have rebelled
against so intolerable a tyranny. The people, therefore, were called
to prayers and sermon on the Sunday, in the churchyards, and marriages
were performed at the church door." (Southey's _Book of the Church_,
vol. i. chap. ix. pp. 261, 262.)--ED.

[108] 1845.

    ... smile ... 1822.



    As with the Stream our voyage we pursue,
    The gross materials of this world present
    A marvellous study of wild accident;[109]
    Uncouth proximities of old and new;
    And bold transfigurations, more untrue                             5
    (As might be deemed) to disciplined intent
    Than aught the sky's fantastic element,
    When most fantastic, offers to the view.
    Saw we not Henry scourged at Becket's shrine?[110]
    Lo! John self-stripped of his insignia:--crown,                   10
    Sceptre and mantle, sword and ring, laid down
    At a proud Legate's feet![111] The spears that line
    Baronial halls, the opprobrious insult feel;
    And angry Ocean roars a vain appeal.


[109] Compare Aubrey de Vere's _Thomas à Becket_.--ED.

[110] After Becket's murder and canonisation Henry II., from political
motives, did penance publicly at his shrine. Clad in a coarse garment,
he walked three miles barefoot to Canterbury, and at the shrine
submitted to the discipline of the Church. Four bishops, abbots, and
eighty clergy were present, each with a knotted cord, and inflicted 380
lashes. Bleeding he threw sackcloth over his shoulders, and continued
till midnight kneeling at prayer, then visited all the altars,
and returned fainting to Becket's shrine, where he remained till

[111] On the festival of the Ascension, John "laid his crown at
Pandulph's feet, and signed an instrument by which, for the remission
of his sins, and those of his family, he surrendered the kingdoms
of England and Ireland to the Pope, to hold them thenceforth under
him, and the Roman see." Pandulph "kept the crown five days before he
restored it to John." (Southey, _Book of the Church_, vol. i. p.



    Black Demons hovering o'er his mitred head,
    To Cæsar's Successor the Pontiff spake;[112]
    "Ere I absolve thee, stoop! that on thy neck
    Levelled with earth this foot of mine may tread."
    Then he, who to the altar had been led,                            5
    He, whose strong arm the Orient could not check,
    He, who had held the Soldan[113] at his beck,
    Stooped, of all glory disinherited,
    And even the common dignity of man!--
    Amazement strikes the crowd: while many turn                      10
    Their eyes away in sorrow, others burn
    With scorn, invoking a vindictive ban
    From outraged Nature; but the sense of most
    In abject sympathy with power is lost.


[112] The reference is to the legend of Pope Alexander III. and
Frederick Barbarossa. See the Fenwick note prefixed to these

[113] Soldan, or Sultan, "Soldanus quasi solus dominus."--ED.



    Unless to Peter's Chair the viewless wind[114]
    Must come and ask permission when to blow,
    What further empire would it have? for now
    A ghostly Domination, unconfined
    As that by dreaming Bards to Love assigned,                        5
    Sits there in sober truth--to raise the low,
    Perplex the wise, the strong to overthrow;
    Through earth and heaven to bind and to unbind!--
    Resist--the thunder quails thee!--crouch--rebuff
    Shall be thy recompense! from land to land                        10
    The ancient thrones of Christendom are stuff
    For occupation of a magic wand,
    And 'tis the Pope that wields it:--whether rough
    Or smooth his front, our world is in his hand![115]


[114] Compare _Measure for Measure_, act III. scene i. l. 124.--ED.

[115] According to the canons of the Church, the Pope was above all
kings, "He was king of kings and lord of lords, although he subscribed
himself the servant of servants." He might dethrone kings, and tax
nations, or destroy empires, as he pleased. All power had been
committed to him, and any secular law that was opposed to a papal
decree was, _ipso facto_, null and void.--ED.





                             Published 1845

    How soon--alas! did Man, created pure--
    By Angels guarded, deviate from the line
    Prescribed to duty:--woeful forfeiture[116]
    He made by wilful breach of law divine.
    With like perverseness did the Church abjure                       5
    Obedience to her Lord, and haste to twine,[117]
    'Mid Heaven-born flowers that shall for aye endure,
    Weeds on whose front the world had fixed her sign.
    O Man,--if with thy trials thus it fares,
    If good can smooth the way to evil choice,                        10
    From all rash censure be the mind kept free;
    He only judges right who weighs, compares,
    And, in the sternest sentence which his voice
    Pronounces, ne'er abandons Charity.[118]


[116] 1845.

    Even when the state of man seems most secure
    And tempted least to deviate from the line
    Of simple duty, woeful forfeiture C.

    How difficult for man to keep the line
    Prescribed by duty! Happy once and pure C.

[117] 1845.

    Though Angels watched lest man should from the line
    Of duty sever, blest though he was, and pure
    In thought and deed, a woeful forfeiture
    He made by wilful breach of law divine,
    The church of Christ how prompt was she to abjure
    Allegiance to her Lord how prone to twine C.

[118] 1845.

    {The visible church how prone was she to abjure}
    {Allegiance to Christ's Kingdom and entwine}
    With glorious flowers that shall for aye endure
    Weeds on whose front the world had fixed her sign.
    False man--if with thy trials thus it fared--
    If good can smooth the way to evil choice,
    From hasty answer be our minds kept free;
    He only judges right who weighs, compares,
    And, in the sternest sentence that his voice
    May utter, ne'er abandons charity. C.



                             Published 1845

    From false assumption rose, and fondly hail'd
    By superstition, spread the Papal power;
    Yet do not deem the Autocracy prevail'd
    Thus only, even in error's darkest hour.
    She daunts, forth-thundering from her spiritual tower
    Brute rapine, or with gentle lure she tames.                       6
    Justice and Peace through Her uphold their claims;
    And Chastity finds many a sheltering bower.
    Realm there is none that if controul'd or sway'd
    By her commands partakes not, in degree,                          10
    Of good, o'er manners arts and arms, diffused:
    Yes, to thy domination, Roman See,
    Tho' miserably, oft monstrously, abused
    By blind ambition, be this tribute paid.[119]


[119] The following version of this sonnet is from a MS. copy of it in
Wordsworth's own handwriting.--ED.

    On false assumption, though the Papal Power
    Rests, and spreads wide, beduped, by ignorance hailed,
    A darker empire must have else prevailed,
    For deeds of mischief strengthening every hour.
    Behold how thundering from her spiritual tower
    She daunts brute rapine, cruelty she tames.
    Justice and charity through her assert their claims,
    And chastity finds many a sheltering bower.
    Realm is there none that, if controlled or swayed
    By her commands, partakes not in degree
    Of good, on manners arts and arms diffused:
    To mock thy exaltation, Roman See,
    And to the Autocracy, howe'er abused
    Through blind ambition, be this tribute paid.



    "_Here Man more purely lives, less oft doth fall,_
    _More promptly rises, walks with stricter heed,[121]_
    _More safely rests, dies happier, is freed_
    _Earlier from cleansing fires, and gains withal_
    _A brighter crown._"[122]--On yon Cistertian wall                  5
    _That_ confident assurance may be read;
    And, to like shelter, from the world have fled
    Increasing multitudes. The potent call
    Doubtless shall cheat full oft the heart's desires:[123]
    Yet, while the rugged Age on pliant knee                          10
    Vows to rapt Fancy humble fealty,
    A gentler life spreads round the holy spires;
    Where'er they rise, the sylvan waste retires,
    And aëry harvests crown the fertile lea.


[120] The Cistertian order was named after the monastery of Citéaux
or Cistercium, near Dijon, founded in 1098 by the Benedictine abbot,
Robert of Molême.--ED.

[121] 1837.

    ... with nicer heed, 1822.

[122] "Bonum est nos hic esse, quia homo vivit purius, cadit rarius,
surgit velocius, incedit cautius, quiescit securius, moritur felicius,
purgatur citius, praemiatur copiosius."--Bernard. "This sentence," says
Dr. Whitaker, "is usually inscribed on some conspicuous part of the
Cistertian houses."--W. W. 1822.

[123] 1827.

    ... desire; 1822.



                             Published 1835

    Deplorable his lot who tills the ground,
    His whole life long tills it, with heartless toil
    Of villain-service, passing with the soil
    To each new Master, like a steer or hound,
    Or like a rooted tree, or stone earth-bound;                       5
    But mark how gladly, through their own domains,
    The Monks relax or break these iron chains;
    While Mercy, uttering, through their voice, a sound
    Echoed in Heaven, cries out, "Ye Chiefs, abate
    These legalized oppressions! Man--whose name                      10
    And nature God disdained not; Man--whose soul
    Christ died for--cannot forfeit his high claim
    To live and move exempt from all controul
    Which fellow-feeling doth not mitigate!"


[124] The following note, referring to Sonnets IV., XII., and XIII.,
appears in the volume of 1835--entitled _Yarrow Revisited, and other
Poems_--immediately after the poem _St. Bees_--

"The three following Sonnets are an intended addition to the
'Ecclesiastical Sketches,' the first to stand second; and the two that
succeed, seventh and eighth, in the second part of the Series. (See the
Author's Poems.) They are placed here as having some connection with
the foregoing Poem."--ED.



    Record we too, with just and faithful pen,
    That many hooded Cenobites[125] there are,
    Who in their private cells have yet a care
    Of public quiet; unambitious Men,
    Counsellors for the world, of piercing ken;                        5
    Whose fervent exhortations from afar
    Move Princes to their duty, peace or war;[126]
    And oft-times in the most forbidding den
    Of solitude, with love of science strong,
    How patiently the yoke of thought they bear!                      10
    How subtly glide its finest threads along!
    Spirits that crowd the intellectual sphere[127]
    With mazy boundaries, as the astronomer
    With orb and cycle girds the starry throng.


[125] Cenobites (#koinobioi#), monks who live in common, as
distinguished from hermits or anchorites, who live alone.--ED.

[126] "Counts, kings, bishops," says F.D. Maurice, "in the fulness of
their wealth and barbaric splendour, may be bowing before a monk, who
writes them letters from a cell in which he is living upon vegetables
and water." (_Moral and Metaphysical Philosophy_ (Edition 1873), vol.
i., Mediæval Philosophy, chap. iv. p. 534.)--ED.

[127] _e.g._ Anselm (1033-1109); Albertus Magnus (1193-1280); Thomas
Aquinas (1226-1274); Duns Scotus (1265-1308).--ED.



    And, not in vain embodied to the sight,
    Religion finds even in the stern retreat
    Of feudal sway her own appropriate seat;[128]
    From the collegiate pomps on Windsor's height
    Down to the humbler[129] altar, which the Knight                   5
    And his Retainers of the embattled hall
    Seek in domestic oratory small,
    For prayer in stillness, or the chanted rite;
    Then chiefly dear, when foes are planted round,
    Who teach the intrepid guardians of the place--                   10
    Hourly exposed to death, with famine worn,
    And suffering under many a perilous wound--[130]
    How sad would be their durance, if forlorn
    Of offices dispensing heavenly grace!


[128] St. George's Chapel, Windsor, begun by Henry III. and finished
by Edward III., rebuilt by Henry VII., and enlarged by Cardinal

[129] 1837.

    ... humble ... 1822.

[130] 1827.

    ... doubtful wound, 1822.



    And what melodious sounds at times prevail!
    And, ever and anon, how bright a gleam
    Pours on the surface of the turbid Stream!
    What heartfelt fragrance mingles with the gale
    That swells the bosom of our passing sail!                         5
    For where, but on _this_ River's margin, blow
    Those flowers of chivalry, to bind the brow
    Of hardihood with wreaths that shall not fail?--
    Fair Court of Edward! wonder of the world![131]
    I see a matchless blazonry unfurled                               10
    Of wisdom, magnanimity, and love;
    And meekness tempering honourable pride;
    The lamb is couching by the lion's side,
    And near the flame-eyed eagle sits the dove.


[131] Edward the Third (1336-1360). See _The Wonderful Deeds of Edward_
_the Third_, by Robert of Avesbury; and Longman's _History of Edward
the Third_.--ED.



    Furl we the sails, and pass with tardy oars
    Through these bright regions, casting many a glance
    Upon the dream-like issues--the romance[132]
    Of many-coloured life that[133] Fortune pours
    Round the Crusaders, till on distant shores                        5
    Their labours end; or they return to lie,
    The vow performed, in cross-legged effigy,
    Devoutly stretched upon their chancel floors.
    Am I deceived? Or is their requiem chanted
    By voices never mute when Heaven unties                           10
    Her inmost, softest, tenderest harmonies;
    Requiem which Earth takes up with voice undaunted,
    When she would tell how Brave, and Good, and Wise,[134]
    For their high guerdon not in vain have panted!


[132] 1845.

    Nor can Imagination quit the shores
    Of these bright scenes without a farewell glance
    Given to those dream-like Issues--that Romance 1822.

    Given to the dream-like Issues--that Romance 1837.

[133] 1837.

    ... which ... 1822.

[134] 1837.

    ... Good, and Brave, and Wise, 1822



                     Composed 1842.--Published 1845

    As faith thus sanctified the warrior's crest
    While from the Papal Unity there came,
    What feebler means had fail'd to give, one aim
    Diffused thro' all the regions of the West;
    So does her Unity its power attest                                 5
    By works of Art, that shed, on the outward frame
    Of worship, glory and grace, which who shall blame
    That ever looked to heaven for final rest?
    Hail countless Temples! that so well befit
    Your ministry; that, as ye rise and take                          10
    Form spirit and character from holy writ,
    Give to devotion, wheresoe'er awake,
    Pinions of high and higher sweep, and make
    The unconverted soul with awe submit.[135]


[135] In a letter to Professor Henry Reed, Philadelphia, September
4, 1842, Wordsworth writes: "To the second part of the Series" (the
"Ecclesiastical Sonnets") "I have also added two, in order to do more
justice to the Papal Church for the services which she did actually
render to Christianity and humanity in the Middle Ages."--ED.



                     Composed 1842.--Published 1845

    Where long and deeply hath been fixed the root
    In the blest soil of gospel truth, the Tree,
    (Blighted or scathed tho' many branches be,
    Put forth to wither, many a hopeful shoot)
    Can never cease to bear celestial fruit.                           5
    Witness the Church that oft-times, with effect
    Dear to the saints, strives earnestly to eject[136]
    Her bane, her vital energies recruit.
    Lamenting, do not hopelessly repine
    When such good work is doomed to be undone,[137]                  10
    The conquests lost that were so hardly won:--
    All promises vouchsafed by Heaven will shine[138]
    In light confirmed while years their course shall run,
    Confirmed alike in[139] progress and decline.


[136] 1845.

    Blighted and scathed tho' many branches be,
    Can never cease to bear and ripen fruit
    Worthy of Heaven. This law is absolute.
    Behold the Church that often with effect
    Dear to the Saints doth labouring to eject C.

[137] 1845.

    {The Church not seldom surely with effect}
    {Dear to the Saints doth labour to eject}
    Her bane, her vital energy recruit.
    So Providence ordains and why repine
    If this good work is doomed to be undone, C.

[138] 1845.

    Trust that the promises vouchsafed will shine C.

[139] 1845.

    ... thro' ... C.



    Enough! for see, with dim association
    The tapers burn; the odorous incense feeds
    A greedy flame; the pompous mass proceeds;
    The Priest bestows the appointed consecration;
    And, while the HOST is raised, its elevation                       5
    An awe and supernatural horror breeds;
    And all the people bow their heads, like reeds
    To a soft breeze, in lowly adoration.
    This Valdo brooks[140] not.[141] On the banks of Rhone
    He taught, till persecution chased him thence,                    10
    To adore the Invisible, and Him alone.
    Nor are[142] his Followers loth to seek defence,
    'Mid woods and wilds, on Nature's craggy throne,
    From rites that trample upon soul and sense.


[140] 1837.

    ... brook'd ... 1822.

[141] Peter Waldo (or Valdo), a rich merchant of Lyons (1160 or 1170),
becoming religious, dedicated himself to poverty and almsgiving.
Disciples gathered round him; and they were called the poor men of
Lyons--a modest, frugal, and industrious order. They were reformers
before the Reformation. Peter Waldo exposed the corruption of the
clergy, had the four gospels translated for the people, and maintained
the rights of the laity to read them to the masses. He was condemned by
the Lateran Council in 1179.--ED.

[142] 1837.

    ... were ... 1822.



                             Published 1835

    But whence came they who for the Saviour Lord
    Have long borne witness as the Scriptures teach?--
    Ages ere Valdo raised his voice to preach
    In Gallic ears the unadulterate Word,
    Their fugitive Progenitors explored                                5
    Subalpine vales, in quest of safe retreats
    Where that pure Church survives, though summer heats
    Open a passage to the Romish sword,
    Far as it dares to follow. Herbs self-sown,
    And fruitage gathered from the chesnut wood,                      10
    Nourish the sufferers then; and mists, that brood
    O'er chasms with new-fallen obstacles bestrown,
    Protect them; and the eternal snow that daunts
    Aliens, is God's good winter for their haunts.



                             Published 1835

    Praised be the Rivers, from their mountain springs
    Shouting to Freedom, "Plant thy banners here!"[143]
    To harassed Piety, "Dismiss thy fear,
    "And in our caverns smooth thy ruffled wings!"
    Nor be unthanked their final lingerings--                          5
    Silent, but not to high-souled Passion's ear--
    'Mid reedy fens wide-spread and marshes drear,
    Their own creation. Such glad welcomings
    As Po was heard to give where Venice rose
    Hailed from aloft those Heirs of truth divine[144]                10
    Who near his fountains sought obscure repose,
    Yet came[145] prepared as glorious lights to shine,
    Should that be needed for their sacred Charge;
    Blest Prisoners They, whose spirits were[146] at large!


[143] See the story of the rebuilding of Rome after its plunder by the

[144] 1837.

    ... their tardiest lingerings
    'Mid reedy fens wide-spread and marshes drear,
    Their own creation, till their long career
    End in the sea engulphed. Such welcomings
    As came from mighty Po when Venice rose,
    Greeted those simple Heirs of truth divine 1835.

[145] 1837.

    Yet were ... 1835.

[146] 1840.

    ... are ... 1835.



    Those had given[148] earliest notice, as the lark
    Springs from the ground the morn to gratulate;
    Or[149] rather rose the day to antedate,
    By striking out a solitary spark,                                  4
    When all the world with midnight gloom was dark.--
    Then followed the Waldensian bands, whom Hate[150]
    In vain endeavours[151] to exterminate,
    Whom[152] Obloquy pursues with hideous bark:[153]
    But they desist not;--and the sacred fire,[154]
    Rekindled thus, from dens and savage woods                        10
    Moves, handed on with never-ceasing care,
    Through courts, through camps, o'er limitary floods;
    Nor lacks this sea-girt Isle a timely share
    Of the new Flame, not suffered to expire.


[147] The followers of Peter Waldo afterwards became a separate
community, and multiplied in the valleys of Dauphiné and Piedmont. They
suffered persecutions in 1332, 1400, and 1478, but these only drove
them into fresh districts in Europe. Francis I. of France ordered them
to be extirpated from Piedmont in 1541, and many were massacred. In
1560 the Duke of Savoy renewed the persecution at the instance of the
Papal See. Charles Emmanuel II., in 1655, continued it.--ED.

[148] 1845.

    These who gave ... 1822.

    These had given ... 1840.

[149] 1840.

    Who ... 1822.

[150] 1845.

    These Harbingers of good, whom bitter hate 1822.

    At length come those Waldensian bands, whom Hate 1840.

[151] 1840.

    ... endeavoured ... 1822

[152] 1840.

    Fell ... 1822

[153] The list of foul names bestowed upon those poor creatures is long
and curious:--and, as is, alas! too natural, most of the opprobrious
appellations are drawn from circumstances into which they were forced
by their persecutors, who even consolidated their miseries into one
reproachful term, calling them Patarenians, or Paturins, from _pati_,
to suffer.

    Dwellers with wolves, she names them, for the pine
    And green oak are their covert; as the gloom
    Of night oft foils their enemy's design,
    She calls them Riders on the flying broom;
    Sorcerers, whose frame and aspect have become
    One and the same through practices malign.--W. W. 1822.

[154] 1827.

    Meanwhile the unextinguishable fire, 1822



    "What beast in wilderness or cultured field
    "The lively beauty of the leopard shows?
    "What flower in meadow-ground or garden grows
    "That to the towering lily doth not yield?
    "Let both meet only on thy royal shield!                           5
    "Go forth, great King! claim what thy birth bestows;
    "Conquer the Gallic lily which thy foes
    "Dare to usurp;--thou hast a sword to wield,
    "And Heaven will crown the right."--The mitred Sire
    Thus spake--and lo! a Fleet, for Gaul addrest,                    10
    Ploughs her bold course across the wondering seas;[155]
    For, sooth to say, ambition, in the breast
    Of youthful heroes, is no sullen fire,
    But one that leaps to meet the fanning breeze.


[155] Henry Chichele, Archbishop of Canterbury in 1414, persuaded Henry
V. to carry on war with France, and helped to raise money for the
purpose. Henry crossed to Harfleur, Chichele accompanying him, with an
army of 30,000, and won the battle of Agincourt.--ED.



    Thus is the storm abated by the craft
    Of a shrewd Counsellor, eager to protect
    The Church, whose power hath recently been checked,
    Whose monstrous riches threatened. So the shaft
    Of victory mounts high, and blood is quaffed                       5
    In fields that rival Cressy and Poictiers--[156]
    Pride to be washed away by bitter tears!
    For deep as Hell itself, the avenging draught[157]
    Of civil slaughter. Yet, while temporal power
    Is by these shocks exhausted, spiritual truth                     10
    Maintains the else endangered gift of life;
    Proceeds from infancy to lusty youth;
    And, under cover of this[158] woeful strife,
    Gathers unblighted strength from hour to hour.


[156] _e.g._ the battles of St. Albans, Wakefield, Mortimer's Cross,
Towton, Barnet, Tewkesbury, Bosworth.--ED.

[157] 1827.

    But mark the dire effect in coming years!
    Deep, deep as hell itself, the future draught 1822.

[158] 1827.

    ... that ... 1822.



    Once more the Church is seized with sudden fear,
    And at her call is Wicliffe disinhumed:
    Yea, his dry bones to ashes are consumed
    And flung into the brook that travels near;                        4
    Forthwith, that ancient Voice which Streams can hear
    Thus speaks (that Voice which walks upon the wind,
    Though seldom heard by busy human kind)--
    "As thou these ashes, little Brook! wilt bear
    "Into the Avon, Avon to the tide
    "Of Severn, Severn to the narrow seas,                            10
    "Into main Ocean they, this deed accurst
    "An emblem yields to friends and enemies
    "How the bold Teacher's Doctrine, sanctified
    "By truth, shall spread, throughout the world dispersed."[159]


[159] The Council of Constance condemned Wicliffe as a heretic,
and issued an order that his remains should be exhumed, and burnt.
"Accordingly, by order of the Bishop of Lincoln, as Diocesan of
Lutterworth, his grave, which was in the chancel of the church, was
opened, forty years after his death; the bones were taken out and burnt
to ashes, and the ashes thrown into a neighbouring brook called the
Swift." (Southey's _Book of the Church_, vol. i. p. 384.) "Thus this
brook," says Fuller, "hath conveyed his ashes into Avon, Avon into
Severn, Severn into the narrow seas, they into the main ocean; and
thus the ashes of Wicliffe are the emblem of his doctrine, which now
is dispersed all the world over." (_The Church History of Britain
from the Birth of Christ until the year MDCXLVIII. endeavoured_, book
iv. p. 424.) In the note to the 11th Sonnet of Part I., Wordsworth
acknowledges his obligations to Fuller in connection with this Sonnet
on Wicliffe.

See Charles Lamb's comment on this passage of Fuller's, Prose Works
(1876), vol. iv. p. 277.--ED.



    "Woe to you, Prelates! rioting in ease
    "And cumbrous wealth--the shame of your estate;
    "You, on whose progress dazzling trains await
    "Of pompous horses; whom vain titles please;
    "Who will be served by others on their knees,                      5
    "Yet will yourselves to God no service pay;
    "Pastors who neither take nor point the way
    "To Heaven; for, either lost in vanities
    "Ye have no skill to teach, or if ye know
    "And speak the word ----" Alas! of fearful things
    'Tis the most fearful when the people's eye                       11
    Abuse hath cleared from vain imaginings;
    And taught the general voice to prophesy
    Of Justice armed, and Pride to be laid low.



    And what is Penance with her knotted thong;
    Mortification with the shirt of hair,
    Wan cheek, and knees indúrated with prayer,
    Vigils, and fastings rigorous as long;
    If cloistered Avarice scruple not to wrong                         5
    The pious, humble, useful Secular,[160]
    And rob[161] the people of his daily care,
    Scorning that world whose blindness makes her strong?
    Inversion strange! that, unto One who lives[162]
    For self, and struggles with himself alone,                       10
    The amplest share of heavenly favour gives;
    That to a Monk allots, both in the esteem
    Of God and man, place higher than to him[163]
    Who on the good of others builds his own!


[160] The _secular_ clergy are the priests of the Roman church, who
belong to no special religious order, but have the charge of parishes,
and so live in the world (_seculum_). The _regular_ clergy are the
monks belonging to one or other of the monastic orders, and are subject
to its rules (_regulæ_).--ED.

[161] 1827.

    And robs ... 1822.

[162] 1827.

    Scorning their wants because her arm is strong?
    Inversion strange! that to a Monk, who lives 1822.

[163] 1845.

    And hath allotted, in the world's esteem,
    To such a higher station than to him 1822.

    That to a Monk allots, in the esteem
    Of God and Man, place higher than to him 1827.



    Yet more,--round many a Convent's blazing fire
    Unhallowed threads of revelry are spun;
    There Venus sits disguisèd like a Nun,--
    While Bacchus, clothed in semblance of a Friar,
    Pours out his choicest beverage high and higher                    5
    Sparkling, until it cannot choose but run
    Over the bowl, whose silver lip hath won
    An instant kiss of masterful desire--
    To stay the precious waste. Through every brain
    The domination of the sprightly juice                             10
    Spreads high conceits to madding Fancy dear,[164]
    Till the arched roof, with resolute abuse
    Of its grave echoes, swells a choral strain,
    Whose votive burthen is--"OUR KINGDOM 'S HERE!"[165]


[164] 1832.

                                    In every brain
    Spreads the dominion of the sprightly juice,
    Through the wide world to madding Fancy dear, 1822.

[165] See Wordsworth's note to the next Sonnet.--ED.



    Threats come which no submission may assuage,
    No sacrifice avert, no power dispute;
    The tapers shall be quenched, the belfries mute,
    And,'mid their choirs unroofed by selfish rage,
    The warbling wren shall find a leafy cage;                         5
    The gadding bramble hang her purple fruit;
    And the green lizard and the gilded newt
    Lead unmolested lives, and die of age.[166]
    The owl of evening and the woodland fox
    For their abode the shrines of Waltham choose:[167]               10
    Proud Glastonbury can no more refuse
    To stoop her head before these desperate shocks--
    She whose high pomp displaced, as story tells,
    Arimathean Joseph's wattled cells.[168]


[166] These two lines are adopted from a MS., written about the year
1770, which accidentally fell into my possession. The close of the
preceding Sonnet on monastic voluptuousness is taken from the same
source, as is the verse, "Where Venus sits," etc. [W. W. 1822], and
the line, "Once ye were holy, ye are holy still," in a subsequent
Sonnet.--W. W. 1837.

[167] Waltham Abbey is in Essex, on the Lea.--ED.

[168] Alluding to the Roman legend that Joseph of Arimathea brought
Christianity into Britain, and built Glastonbury Church. See Part I.
Sonnet II. (p. 5) and note [14].--ED.



    The lovely Nun (submissive, but more meek
    Through saintly habit than from effort due
    To unrelenting mandates that pursue
    With equal wrath the steps of strong and weak)
    Goes forth--unveiling timidly a cheek[169]                         5
    Suffused with blushes of celestial hue,
    While through the Convent's[170] gate to open view
    Softly she glides, another home to seek.
    Not Iris, issuing from her cloudy shrine,
    An Apparition more divinely bright!                               10
    Not more attractive to the dazzled sight
    Those watery glories, on the stormy brine
    Poured forth, while summer suns at distance shine,
    And the green vales lie hushed in sober light!


[169] 1837.

    ... her cheek 1822.

[170] 1837.

    ... Convent ... 1822.



    Yet many a Novice of the cloistral shade,
    And many chained by vows, with eager glee[171]
    The warrant hail, exulting to be free;
    Like ships before whose keels, full long embayed
    In polar ice, propitious winds have made                           5
    Unlooked-for outlet to an open sea,
    Their liquid world, for bold discovery,
    In all her quarters temptingly displayed!
    Hope guides the young; but when the old must pass
    The threshold, whither shall they turn to find                    10
    The hospitality--the alms (alas!
    Alms may be needed) which that House bestowed?
    Can they, in faith and worship, train the mind
    To keep this new and questionable road?


[171] 1840.

    Yet some, Noviciates of the cloistral shade,
    Or chained by vows, with undissembled glee 1822.



    Ye, too, must fly before a chasing hand,
    Angels and Saints, in every hamlet mourned!
    Ah! if the old idolatry be spurned,
    Let not your radiant Shapes desert the Land:
    Her adoration was not your demand,                                 5
    The fond heart proffered it--the servile heart;
    And therefore are ye summoned to depart,
    Michael, and thou, St. George, whose flaming brand[172]
    The Dragon quelled; and valiant Margaret[173]
    Whose rival sword a like Opponent slew:                           10
    And rapt Cecilia, seraph-haunted Queen[174]
    Of harmony; and weeping Magdalene,
    Who in the penitential desert met
    Gales sweet as those that over Eden blew!


[172] St. George, patron Saint of England, supposed to have suffered
A.D. 284. The Greek Church honours him as "the great martyr."--ED.

[173] St. Margaret, supposed to have suffered martyrdom at Antioch,
A.D. 275.--ED.

[174] St. Cecilia, patron Saint of Music, has been enrolled as a martyr
by the Latin Church from the fifth century.--ED.



    Mother! whose virgin bosom was uncrost
    With the least shade of thought to sin allied;
    Woman! above all women glorified,
    Our tainted nature's solitary boast;
    Purer than foam on central ocean tost;                             5
    Brighter than eastern skies at daybreak strewn
    With fancied roses, than the unblemished moon
    Before her wane begins on heaven's blue coast;
    Thy Image falls to earth. Yet some, I ween,
    Not unforgiven the suppliant knee might bend,                     10
    As to a visible Power, in which did blend
    All that was mixed and reconciled in Thee
    Of mother's love with maiden purity,
    Of high with low, celestial with terrene![176]


[175] Compare the _Stanzas suggested in a Steam-boat off Saint Bees'
Head_, (l. 114); also the following sonnet by the late John Nichol,
Professor of English Literature in the University of Glasgow. (See _The
Death of Themistocles, and other Poems_, p. 189.)

                               AVE MARIA

    Ave Maria! on a thousand thrones
      Raised by the weary hearts that beat to thee,
      As 'neath the softer light the throbbing sea,
    Thy name a spell of peace, in lingering tones
    Is whispered through the world: thy truth condones
      The feebler faith of worshippers that flee,
      Lost in the sovereign awe, to bend the knee
    By pictured holiness or breathing stones.
    Mother of Christ! whom ages old adorn,
      And hundred climes, by gentle thought and deed,
    Forgive the sacrilege, the brandished scorn
      Of the grim guardians of a narrow creed,
    Who fence their folds from Love's serener law,
    And "grate on scrannel pipes of wretched straw."--ED.

[176] This sonnet was published in _Time's Telescope_, July 2, 1823, p.



    Not utterly unworthy to endure
    Was the supremacy of crafty Rome;[177]
    Age after age to the arch of Christendom
    Aërial keystone haughtily secure;
    Supremacy from Heaven transmitted pure,                            5
    As many hold; and, therefore, to the tomb
    Pass, some through fire--and by the scaffold some--
    Like saintly Fisher,[178] and unbending More.[179]
    "Lightly for both the bosom's lord did sit
    Upon his throne;"[180] unsoftened, undismayed                     10
    By aught that mingled with the tragic scene
    Of pity or fear; and More's gay genius played
    With the inoffensive sword of native wit,
    Than the bare axe more luminous and keen.


[177] "To the second part of the same series" (the "Ecclesiastical
Sonnets") "I have added two, in order to do more justice to the Papal
Church for the services which she did actually render to Christianity
and Humanity in the Middle Ages."--W. W. (in a letter to Professor
Reed, Sept. 4, 1842).--ED.

[178] John Fisher, born in 1469, became Bishop of Rochester in 1504,
was one of the first in England to write against Luther, opposed the
divorce of Henry VIII., was sent to the Tower in 1534, and his see
declared void, was made a Cardinal by the Pope while in prison, and
beheaded on Tower Hill, 1535.--ED.

[179] Sir Thomas More, the author of _Utopia_, born in 1478, was
Speaker of the House of Commons in 1523, and succeeded Wolsey as Lord
Chancellor in 1529. Disapproving of the king's divorce, he resigned
office, was committed to the Tower for refusing to take the oath of
supremacy, found guilty of treason, and beheaded in 1535.--ED.

[180] See _Romeo and Juliet_, act V. scene i. l. 3--

    My bosom's lord sits lightly on his throne.--ED.



    Deep is the lamentation! Not alone
    From Sages justly honoured by mankind;
    But from the ghostly tenants of the wind,
    Demons and Spirits, many a dolorous groan
    Issues for that dominion overthrown:                               5
    Proud Tiber grieves, and far-off Ganges, blind
    As his own worshippers: and Nile, reclined
    Upon his monstrous urn, the farewell moan
    Renews.[181] Through every forest, cave, and den,
    Where frauds were hatched of old, hath sorrow past--
    Hangs o'er the Arabian Prophet's native Waste,[182]               11
    Where once his airy helpers[183] schemed and planned
    'Mid spectral[184] lakes bemocking thirsty men,[185]
    And stalking pillars built of fiery sand.[186]


[181] Compare the echo of the Lady's voice in the lines _To Joanna_, in
the "Poems on the Naming of Places" (vol. ii. p. 157).--ED.

[182] The desert around Mecca.--ED.

[183] Mahomet affirmed that he had constant visits from angels; and
that the angel Gabriel dictated to him the Koran.--ED.

[184] 1837.

    'Mid phantom ... 1822.

[185] The mirage.--ED.

[186] Pillars of sand raised by whirlwinds in the desert, which
correspond to waterspouts at sea.--ED.



    Grant, that by this unsparing hurricane
    Green leaves with yellow mixed are torn away,
    And goodly fruitage with the mother spray;
    'Twere madness--wished we, therefore, to detain,
    With hands stretched forth in[187] mollified disdain,              5
    The "trumpery" that ascends in bare display--
    Bulls, pardons, relics, cowls black, white, and grey--[188]
    Upwhirled, and flying o'er the ethereal plain
    Fast bound for Limbo Lake.[189] And yet not choice
    But habit rules the unreflecting herd,                            10
    And airy bonds are hardest to disown;
    Hence, with the spiritual sovereignty transferred
    Unto itself, the Crown assumes a voice
    Of reckless mastery, hitherto unknown.


[187] 1827.

    With farewell sighs of 1822.

[188] See _Paradise Lost_, book iii. ll. 474, 475--

                        Eremites and Friars,
    White, black, and grey, with all their trumperie.--ED.

[189] Hades.--ED.



    But, to outweigh all harm, the sacred Book,
    In dusty sequestration wrapt too long,
    Assumes the accents of our native tongue;
    And he who guides the plough, or wields the crook,
    With understanding spirit now may look                             5
    Upon her records, listen to her song,
    And sift her laws--much wondering that the wrong,
    Which Faith has suffered, Heaven could calmly brook
    Transcendent Boon! noblest that earthly King
    Ever bestowed to equalize and bless                               10
    Under the weight of mortal wretchedness!
    But passions spread like plagues, and thousands wild
    With bigotry shall tread the Offering
    Beneath their feet, detested and defiled.[190]


[190] As was the case during the French Revolution.--ED.



                             Published 1827

    For what contend the wise?--for nothing less
    Than that the Soul, freed from the bonds of Sense,
    And to her God restored by evidence[191]
    Of things not seen, drawn forth from their recess,
    Root there, and not in forms, her holiness;--                      5
    For[192] Faith, which to the Patriarchs did dispense
    Sure guidance, ere a ceremonial fence
    Was needful round men thirsting to transgress;--
    For[193] Faith, more perfect still, with which the Lord
    Of all, himself a Spirit, in the youth                            10
    Of Christian aspiration, deigned to fill
    The temples of their hearts who, with his word
    Informed, were resolute to do his will,
    And worship him in spirit and in truth.


[191] 1832.

    Than that pure Faith dissolve the bonds of Sense;
    The Soul restored to God by evidence 1827.

[192] 1832.

    _That_ ... 1827.

[193] 1832.

    That ... 1827.



    "Sweet is the holiness of Youth"--so felt
    Time-honoured Chaucer speaking through that Lay[194]
    By which the Prioress beguiled the way,[195]
    And many a Pilgrim's rugged heart did melt.
    Hadst thou, loved Bard! whose spirit often dwelt                   5
    In the clear land of vision, but foreseen
    King, child, and seraph,[196] blended in the mien
    Of pious Edward kneeling as he knelt
    In meek and simple infancy, what joy
    For universal Christendom had thrilled                            10
    Thy heart! what hopes inspired thy genius, skilled
    (O great Precursor, genuine morning Star)
    The lucid shafts of reason to employ,
    Piercing the Papal darkness from afar!


[194] 1845.

    ... Chaucer when he framed the lay 1822.

    ... Chaucer when he framed that Lay 1837.

[195] The quotation is not from _The Prioress's Tale_ of Chaucer, but
from Wordsworth's own _Selections from Chaucer modernized_, stanza ix.
Wordsworth adds an idea, not found in the original, and to make room
for it, he extends the stanza from seven to eight lines.--ED.

[196] King Edward VI. ascended the throne in 1547, at the age of ten,
and reigned for six years.--ED.



    The tears of man in various measure gush
    From various sources; gently overflow
    From blissful transport some--from clefts of woe
    Some with ungovernable impulse rush;
    And some, coëval with the earliest blush                           5
    Of infant passion, scarcely dare to show
    Their pearly lustre--coming but to go;
    And some break forth when others' sorrows crush
    The sympathising heart. Nor these, nor yet
    The noblest drops to admiration known,                            10
    To gratitude, to injuries forgiven--
    Claim Heaven's regard like waters that have wet
    The innocent eyes of youthful Monarchs driven
    To pen the mandates, nature doth disown.[197]


[197] Joan Bocher, of Kent, a woman of good birth, friend of Ann Askew
at Court, was accused, and condemned to die for maintaining that
Christ was human only in appearance. Cranmer, by order of the Council,
obtained from Edward a warrant for her execution. Edward, who was then
in his thirteenth year, signed it, telling Cranmer that he must be
answerable for the deed.--ED.



                             Published 1827

    The saintly Youth has ceased to rule, discrowned[198]
    By unrelenting Death.[199] O People keen
    For change, to whom the new looks always green!
    Rejoicing did they cast upon the ground[200]
    Their Gods of wood and stone; and, at the sound                    5
    Of counter-proclamation, now are seen,
    (Proud triumph is it for a sullen Queen!)
    Lifting them up, the worship to confound
    Of the Most High. Again do they invoke
    The Creature, to the Creature glory give;                         10
    Again with frankincense the altars smoke
    Like those the Heathen served; and mass is sung;
    And prayer, man's rational prerogative,
    Runs through blind channels of an unknown tongue.[201]


[198] 1832.

    Melts into silent shades the Youth, discrowned 1827.

[199] Edward died in 1553, aged sixteen.--ED.

[200] 1832.

    They cast, they cast with joy upon the ground 1827.

[201] On the death of Edward and the accession of Mary Tudor, the Roman
Catholic worship was restored, all the statutes of Edward VI. with
regard to religion being repealed by Parliament.--ED.



                             Published 1827

    How fast the Marian death-list is unrolled!
    See Latimer and Ridley in the might
    Of Faith stand coupled for a common flight![202]
    One (like those prophets whom God sent of old)
    Transfigured,[203] from this kindling hath foretold                5
    A torch of inextinguishable light;
    The Other gains a confidence as bold;
    And thus they foil their enemy's despite.
    The penal instruments, the shows of crime,
    Are glorified while this once-mitred pair                         10
    Of saintly Friends the "murtherer's chain partake,
    Corded, and burning at the social stake:"
    Earth never witnessed object more sublime
    In constancy, in fellowship more fair!


[202] Hugh Latimer, Bishop of Worcester, and Nicholas Ridley, Bishop of
Winchester, were sent to the Tower, and subsequently burnt together at
Oxford in the front of Balliol College, October 16, 1555.--ED.

[203] M. Latimer suffered his keeper very quietly to pull off his
hose, and his other array, which to looke unto was very simple: and
being stripped into his shrowd, he seemed as comely a person to them
that were present, as one should lightly see: and whereas in his
clothes hee appeared a withered and crooked sillie (weak) olde man,
he now stood bolt upright, as comely a father as one might lightly
behold.... Then they brought a faggotte, kindled with fire, and laid
the same downe at doctor Ridley's feete. To whome M. Latimer spake in
this manner, "Bee of good comfort, master Ridley, and play the man:
wee shall this day light such a candle by God's grace in England, as I
trust shall never bee put out." (_Fox's Acts_, _etc._)

Similar alterations in the outward figure and deportment of persons
brought to like trial were not uncommon. See note to the above passage
in Dr. Wordsworth's _Ecclesiastical Biography_, for an example in an
humble Welsh fisherman.--W. W. 1827. (_Ecclesiastical Biography_, vol.
iii. pp. 287, 288.)--ED.



    Outstretching flame-ward his upbraided hand[205]
    (O God of mercy, may no earthly Seat
    Of judgment such presumptuous doom repeat!)
    Amid the shuddering throng doth Cranmer stand;
    Firm as the stake to which with iron band                          5
    His frame is tied; firm from the naked feet
    To the bare head. The victory is complete;[206]
    The shrouded Body to the Soul's command
    Answers[207] with more than Indian fortitude,
    Through all her nerves with finer sense endued,                   10
    Till breath departs in blissful aspiration:
    Then, 'mid the ghastly ruins of the fire,
    Behold the unalterable heart entire,
    Emblem of faith untouched, miraculous attestation![208][209]


[204] Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, and leader in the
ecclesiastical affairs of England during the latter part of Henry
VIII. and Edward VI.'s reign, was, on the accession of Mary Tudor,
committed to the Tower, tried on charges of heresy, and condemned. He
recanted his opinions, but was nevertheless condemned to die. He then
recanted his recantation. "They brought him to the spot where Latimer
and Ridley had suffered. After a short prayer, he put off his clothes
with a cheerful countenance and a willing mind. His feet were bare;
his head appeared perfectly bald. Called to abide by his recantation,
he stretched forth his right arm, and replied, 'This is the hand that
wrote it, and therefore it shall suffer punishment first.' Firm to
his purpose, as soon as the flame rose, he held his hand out to meet
it, and retained it there steadfastly, so that all the people saw
it sensibly burning before the fire reached any other part of his
body; and after he repeated with a loud and firm voice, 'This hand
hath offended, this unworthy right hand.' Never did martyr endure the
fire with more invincible resolution; no cry was heard from him, save
the exclamation of the protomartyr Stephen, 'Lord Jesus, receive my
spirit!' The fire did its work soon--and his heart was found unconsumed
amid the ashes." (Southey's _Book of the Church_, vol. ii. pp. 240,

[205] 1827.

    ... upbraiding ... 1822.

[206] 1837.

    ... head, the victory complete; 1822.

[207] 1837.

    Answering ... 1822.

[208] 1827.

    Now wrapt in flames--and now in smoke embowered--
    'Till self-reproach and panting aspirations
    Are, with the heart that held them, all devoured;
    The Spirit set free, and crown'd with joyful acclamations! 1822.

[209] For the belief in this fact, see the contemporary Historians.--W.
W. 1827.



    Aid, glorious Martyrs, from your fields of light,
    Our mortal ken! Inspire a perfect trust
    (While we look round) that Heaven's decrees are just:
    Which few can hold committed to a fight
    That shows, ev'n on its better side, the might                     5
    Of proud Self-will, Rapacity, and Lust,
    'Mid clouds enveloped of polemic dust,
    Which showers of blood seem rather to incite
    Than to allay. Anathemas are hurled
    From both sides; veteran thunders (the brute test                 10
    Of truth) are met by fulminations new--
    Tartarean flags are caught at, and unfurled--
    Friends strike at friends--the flying shall pursue--
    And Victory sickens, ignorant where to rest!



    Scattering, like birds escaped the fowler's net,
    Some seek with timely flight a foreign strand;
    Most happy, re-assembled in a land
    By dauntless Luther freed, could they forget
    Their Country's woes. But scarcely have they met,                  5
    Partners in faith, and brothers in distress,
    Free to pour forth their common thankfulness,
    Ere hope declines:--their union is beset
    With speculative notions[211] rashly sown,                         9
    Whence thickly-sprouting growth of poisonous weeds;
    Their forms are broken staves; their passions, steeds
    That master them. How enviably blest
    Is he who can, by help of grace, enthrone
    The peace of God within his single breast!


[210] During Mary's reign, fully 800 of the English clergy and laity
sought refuge on the Continent, and they were hospitably received in
Switzerland, the Low Countries, and along the Rhine. Some of the best
known were Coverdale, Sandys, Jewel, Knox, Whittingham, and Foxe. They
lived in Basle, Zurich, Geneva, Strasburg, Worms, and Frankfort; and
it was in the latter town that the dissensions prevailed, referred to
in the sonnet. These were unfolded in a Tract entitled _The Troubles
of Frankfort_. The chief point in dispute was the use of the English
_Book of Common Prayer_. Knox and Whittingham, under the guidance of
Calvin, wished a modification of this book. The dispute ended in the
Frankfort magistrates requesting Knox to leave the city. He retired to
Geneva. On the accession of Elizabeth, the Frankfort exiles returned to

[211] 1827.

    With prurient speculations ... 1822.



    Hail, Virgin Queen! o'er many an envious bar
    Triumphant, snatched from many a treacherous wile!
    All hail, sage Lady, whom a grateful Isle
    Hath blest, respiring from that dismal war
    Stilled by thy voice! But quickly from afar                        5
    Defiance breathes with more malignant aim;
    And alien storms with home-bred ferments claim
    Portentous fellowship.[212] Her silver car,
    By sleepless prudence[213] ruled, glides slowly on;
    Unhurt by violence, from menaced taint                            10
    Emerging pure, and seemingly more bright:
    Ah! wherefore yields it to a foul constraint[214]
    Black as the clouds its beams dispersed, while shone,
    By men and angels blest, the glorious light?[215]


[212] Alluding doubtless to the foreign conspiracies against Elizabeth,
the intrigues of Mary Queen of Scots, the Pope's excommunication,
and conspiracies in the North of England, etc. See _The White Doe of

[213] 1827.

    Meanwhile, by prudence ... 1822.

[214] An allusion probably to the Court of High Commission, and perhaps
also to the execution of the Scottish Queen.--ED.

[215] 1845.

    For, wheresoe'er she moves, the clouds anon
    Disperse; or--under a Divine constraint--
    Reflect some portion of her glorious light! 1822.



    Methinks that I could trip o'er heaviest soil,
    Light as a buoyant bark from wave to wave,
    Were mine the trusty staff that JEWEL gave
    To youthful HOOKER, in familiar style
    The gift exalting, and with playful smile:[216]                    5
    For thus equipped, and bearing on his head
    The Donor's farewell blessing, can[217] he dread
    Tempest, or length of way, or weight of toil?--
    More sweet than odours caught by him who sails
    Near spicy shores of Araby the blest,                             10
    A thousand times more exquisitely sweet,
    The freight of holy feeling which we meet,
    In thoughtful moments, wafted by the gales
    From fields where good men walk, or bowers wherein they rest.


[216] "On foot they[218] went, and took Salisbury in their way,
purposely to see the good Bishop, who made Mr. Hooker sit at his own
table; which Mr. Hooker boasted of with much joy and gratitude when he
saw his mother and friends; and at the Bishop's parting with him, the
Bishop gave him good counsel and his benediction, but forgot to give
him money; which when the Bishop had considered, he sent a servant in
all haste to call Richard back to him, and at Richard's return, the
Bishop said to him, 'Richard, I sent for you back to lend you a horse
which hath carried me many a mile, and I thank God with much ease,'
and presently delivered into his hand a walking-staff, with which he
professed he had travelled through many parts of Germany; and he said,
'Richard, I do not give, but lend you my horse; be sure you be honest,
and bring my horse back to me, at your return this way to Oxford. And I
do now give you ten groats to bear your charges to Exeter; and here is
ten groats more, which I charge you to deliver to your mother, and tell
her I send her a Bishop's benediction with it, and beg the continuance
of her prayers for me. And if you bring my horse back to me, I will
give you ten groats more to carry you on foot to the college; and
so God bless you, good Richard.'" (See Walton's _Life of Richard
Hooker_.)--W. W. 1822.

[217] 1827.

    ... could ... 1822.

[218] _i.e._ Richard Hooker and a College companion.--ED.



    Holy and heavenly Spirits as they are,
    Spotless in life, and eloquent as wise,
    With what entire affection do they prize[219]
    Their Church reformed![220] labouring with earnest care
    To baffle all that may[221] her strength impair;                   5
    That Church, the unperverted Gospel's seat;
    In their afflictions a divine retreat;
    Source of their liveliest hope, and tenderest prayer!--
    The truth exploring with an equal mind,
    In doctrine and communion they have sought[222]                   10
    Firmly between the two extremes to steer;
    But theirs the wise man's ordinary lot,
    To trace right courses for the stubborn blind,
    And prophesy to ears that will not hear.


[219] The reading, "Their new-born Church," printed in all editions
of the poems from 1822 till 1842, had been objected to by several
correspondents; and out of deference to their suggestions it was
altered to "Their Church reformed": but Wordsworth wrote to his
nephew and biographer, November 12, 1846, "I don't like the term
_reformed_; if taken in its literal sense as a _transformation_,
it is very objectionable" (see _Memoirs_, vol. ii. p. 113), and in
the "postscript" _to Yarrow Revisited_, _etc._, he says, "The great
Religious Reformation of the sixteenth century did not profess to be a
new construction, but a restoration of something fallen into decay, or
put out of sight."--ED.

[220] 1845.

    ... did they prize
    Their new-born Church!... 1822.

    ... do they prize
    Their new-born Church!... 1827.

[221] 1827.

    ... might ... 1822.

[222] 1827.

    In polity and discipline they sought 1822.



    Men, who have ceased to reverence, soon defy
    Their forefathers; lo! sects are formed, and split
    With morbid restlessness;[223]--the ecstatic fit
    Spreads wide; though special mysteries multiply,
    _The Saints must govern_ is their common cry;                      5
    And so they labour, deeming Holy Writ
    Disgraced by aught that seems content to sit
    Beneath the roof of settled Modesty.
    The Romanist exults; fresh hope he draws
    From the confusion, craftily incites                              10
    The overweening, personates the mad--[224]
    To heap disgust upon the worthier Cause:
    Totters the Throne;[225] the new-born Church[226] is sad
    For every wave against her peace unites.


[223] The first nonconforming sect in England originated in 1556.
It broke off from the Church, on a question of vestments. The chief
divisions of English Nonconformity in the latter half of the sixteenth
century were (1) the _Brunists_, or _Barronists_. The disciples of
Brun quarrelled and divided amongst themselves. (2) The _Familists_,
an offshoot of the Dutch Anabaptists, a mystic sect which quarrelled
with the Puritans. (3) The _Anabaptists_, who were not only religious
sectaries, but who differed with the Church on sundry social and civil
matters. "They denied the sanctity of an oath, the binding power
of laws, the right of the magistrate to punish, and the rights of
property." (Perry's _History of the English Church_, p. 315.) See also
Hooker's Preface to his _Ecclesiastical Polity_, c. viii. 6-12; and the
"Life of Sir Matthew Hale," _Eccl. Biog._ iv. 533, on the "indigested
enthusiastical scheme called _The Kingdom of Christ_, or _of his

[224] A common device in religious and political conflicts. See
_Strype_, in support of this instance.--W. W. 1822.

Probably the reference is to the case of Cussin, a Dominican Friar. He
pretended to be a Puritan minister; and, in his devotions, assumed the
airs of madness. See in Strype's _The Life and Acts of Matthew Parker,_
_Archbishop of Canterbury_, vol. i. chaps, xiii. and xvi.--ED.

[225] 1827.

    The Throne is plagued; ... 1822.

[226] See the note to the previous sonnet, No. XL.--ED.



    Fear hath a hundred eyes that all agree
    To plague her beating heart; and there is one
    (Nor idlest that!) which holds communion
    With things that were not, yet were _meant_ to be.
    Aghast within its gloomy cavity                                    5
    That eye (which sees as if fulfilled and done
    Crimes that might stop the motion of the sun)
    Beholds the horrible catastrophe
    Of an assembled Senate unredeemed
    From subterraneous Treason's darkling power:                      10
    Merciless act of sorrow infinite!
    Worse than the product of that dismal night,
    When gushing, copious as a thunder-shower,
    The blood of Huguenots through Paris streamed.[228]


[227] Originated by Robert Catesby, the intention being to destroy
King, Lords, and Commons, by an explosion at Westminster, when James I.
went in person to open Parliament on the 5th November 1605.--ED.

[228] The massacre of St. Bartholomew, which occurred on August 24,




    The Virgin Mountain,[229] wearing like a Queen
    A brilliant crown of everlasting snow,
    Sheds ruin from her sides; and men below
    Wonder that aught of aspect so serene
    Can link with desolation. Smooth and green,
    And seeming, at a little distance, slow,
    The waters of the Rhine; but on they go
    Fretting and whitening, keener and more keen;
    Till madness seizes on the whole wide Flood,
    Turned to a fearful Thing whose nostrils breathe                  10
    Blasts of tempestuous smoke--wherewith he tries
    To hide himself, but only magnifies;
    And doth in more conspicuous torment writhe,
    Deafening the region in his ireful mood.[230]


[229] The Jung-frau.--W. W. 1822.

[230] This Sonnet was included among the "Memorials of a Tour on the
Continent" (1822), and the following note was added:--"This Sonnet
belongs to another publication, but from its fitness for this place
is inserted here also, '_Voilà un énfer d'eau_,' cried out a German
Friend of Ramond, falling on his knees on the scaffold in front of this
Waterfall. See Ramond's Translation of Coxe."--W. W.

The following extracts from Mrs. Wordsworth's Journal of the
Continental Tour in 1820 illustrate it. "Aug. 9.--I am seated before
_Jung-frau_, in the green vale of Interlaken, 'green to the very
door,' with rich shade of walnut trees, the river behind the house....
Mountains and that majestic _Virgin_ closing up all.... By looking
across into a nook at the entrance of the Vale of Lauterbrunnen,
Jung-frau presses forward and seems to preside over and give a
character to the whole of the vale that belongs only to this one
spot," ... "Aug. 10th.-- ... Reached Grindelwald, by the pass close
to Jung-frau (at least separated from it by a deep cleft only), which
sent forth its avalanches,--one grand beyond all description. It was an
awful and a solemn sound." ... "Aug. 1st.-- ... Nothing could exceed
my delight when, through an opening between buildings at the skirts of
the town, we _unexpectedly_ hailed our old and side-by-side companion,
the Rhine, now roaring like a lion, along his rocky channel. Never
beheld so soft, so lovely a green, as is here given to the waters of
this lordly river; and then, how they glittered and heaved to meet the



    Even such the contrast that, where'er we move,[231]
    To the mind's eye[232] Religion doth present;
    Now with her own deep quietness content;
    Then, like the mountain, thundering from above
    Against the ancient pine-trees of the grove                        5
    And the Land's humblest comforts. Now her mood
    Recals the transformation of the flood,
    Whose rage the gentle skies in vain reprove,
    Earth cannot check. O terrible excess
    Of headstrong will! Can this be Piety?                            10
    No--some fierce Maniac hath usurped her name;
    And scourges England struggling to be free:
    Her peace destroyed! her hopes a wilderness!
    Her blessings cursed--her glory turned to shame!


[231] 1832.

    Such contrast, in whatever track we move, 1822.

    Such is the contrast, which, where'er we move, 1827.

[232] Compare _Hamlet_, act I. scene i. l. 112.--ED.



    Prejudged by foes determined not to spare,[234]
    An old weak Man for vengeance thrown aside,
    Laud,[235] "in the painful art of dying" tried,
    (Like a poor bird entangled in a snare
    Whose heart still flutters, though his wings forbear               5
    To stir in useless struggle) hath relied
    On hope that conscious innocence supplied,[236]
    And in his prison breathes[237] celestial air.
    Why tarries then thy chariot?[238] Wherefore stay,
    O Death! the ensanguined yet triumphant wheels,                   10
    Which thou prepar'st, full often, to convey
    (What time a State with madding faction reels)
    The Saint or Patriot to the world that heals
    All wounds, all perturbations doth allay?


[233] See the Fenwick note preceding the Series.--ED.

In this age a word cannot be said in praise of Laud, or even in
compassion for his fate, without incurring a charge of bigotry; but
fearless of such imputation, I concur with Hume, "that it is sufficient
for his vindication to observe that his errors were the most excusable
of all those which prevailed during that zealous period." A key to the
right understanding of those parts of his conduct that brought the most
odium upon him in his own time, may be found in the following passage
of his speech before the bar of the House of Peers:--"Ever since I came
in place, I have laboured nothing more than that the external publick
worship of God, so much slighted in divers parts of this kingdom, might
be preserved, and that with as much decency and uniformity as might
be. For I evidently saw that the public neglect of God's service in
the outward face of it, and the nasty lying of many places dedicated
to that service, _had almost cast a damp upon the true and inward
worship of God, which while we live in the body, needs external
helps, and all little enough to keep it in any vigour_."--W. W. 1827.

[234] 1827.

    Pursued by Hate, debarred from friendly care; 1822.

[235] 1827.

    Long ... 1822.

[236] 1827.

                               ... Laud relied
    Upon the strength which Innocence supplied, 1822.

[237] 1827.

    ... breathed ... 1822.

[238] In his address, before his execution, Archbishop Laud said, "I am
not in love with this passage through the Red Sea, and I have prayed
_ut transiret calix iste_, but if not, God's will be done."--ED.



    Harp! could'st thou venture, on thy boldest string,
    The faintest note to echo which the blast
    Caught from the hand of Moses as it pass'd
    O'er Sinai's top, or from the Shepherd-king,
    Early awake, by Siloa's brook, to sing                             5
    Of dread Jehovah; then, should wood and waste
    Hear also of that name, and mercy cast
    Off to the mountains, like a covering
    Of which the Lord was weary. Weep, oh! weep,
    Weep with the good,[239] beholding King and Priest                10
    Despised by that stern God to whom they raise
    Their suppliant hands; but holy is the feast
    He keepeth; like the firmament his ways:
    His statutes like the chambers of the deep.[240]


[239] 1827.

    As good men wept, ... 1822.

[240] See Psalm xxxvi. 5, 6.--ED.



[When I came to this part of the series I had the dream described in
this Sonnet.[241] The figure was that of my daughter, and the whole
passed exactly as here represented. The Sonnet was composed on the
middle road leading from Grasmere to Ambleside: it was begun as I left
the last house of the vale, and finished, word for word as it now
stands, before I came in view of Rydal. I wish I could say the same of
the five or six hundred I have written: most of them were frequently
retouched in the course of composition, and, not a few, laboriously.

I have only further to observe that the intended Church which
prompted these Sonnets was erected on Coleorton Moor towards the
centre of a very populous parish between three and four miles from
Ashby-de-la-Zouch, on the road to Loughborough, and has proved, I
believe, a great benefit to the neighbourhood.--I.F.]


[241] The first of Part III. p. 74.--ED.



    I saw the figure of a lovely Maid
    Seated alone beneath a darksome tree,
    Whose fondly-overhanging canopy
    Set off her brightness with a pleasing shade.
    No Spirit was she; _that_[242] my heart betrayed,                  5
    For she was one I loved exceedingly;
    But while I gazed in tender reverie
    (Or was it sleep that with my Fancy played?)
    The bright corporeal presence--form and face--
    Remaining still distinct grew thin and rare,                      10
    Like sunny mist;--at length the golden hair,
    Shape, limbs, and heavenly features, keeping pace
    Each with the other in a lingering race
    Of dissolution, melted into air.


[242] 1837.

    Substance she seem'd (and _that_ ... 1822.



    Last night, without a voice, that Vision spake
    Fear to my Soul, and sadness which might seem[243]
    Wholly[244] dissevered from our present theme;
    Yet, my belovèd Country! I partake[245]
    Of kindred agitations for thy sake;                                5
    Thou, too, dost visit oft[246] my midnight dream;
    Thy[247] glory meets me with the earliest beam
    Of light, which tells that Morning is awake.
    If aught impair thy[248] beauty or destroy,
    Or but forebode destruction, I deplore                            10
    With filial love the sad vicissitude;
    If thou hast[249] fallen, and righteous Heaven restore
    The prostrate, then my spring-time is renewed,
    And sorrow bartered for exceeding joy.


[243] 1845.

    ... this Vision spake
    Fear to my Spirit--passion that might seem 1822.

    ... this Vision spake
    Fear to my Soul, and sadness that might seem 1837.

[244] 1827.

    To lie ... 1822.

[245] 1832.

    Yet do I love my Country--and partake 1822.

[246] 1832.

    ... for her sake;
    She visits oftentimes ... 1822.

[247] 1832.

    Her ... 1822.

[248] 1832.

    ... her ... 1822.

[249] 1832.

    If she hath ... 1822.



    Who comes--with rapture greeted, and caress'd
    With frantic love--his kingdom to regain?[250]
    Him Virtue's Nurse, Adversity, in vain
    Received, and fostered in her iron breast:
    For all she taught of hardiest and of best,                        5
    Or would have taught, by discipline of pain
    And long privation, now dissolves amain,
    Or is remembered only to give zest
    To wantonness--Away, Circean revels![251]
    But for what gain? if England soon must sink                      10
    Into a gulf which all distinction levels--
    That bigotry may swallow the good name,[252][253]
    And, with that draught, the life-blood: misery, shame,
    By Poets loathed; from which Historians shrink!


[250] "No event ever marked a deeper or a more lasting change in the
temper of the English people, than the entry of Charles the Second into
Whitehall. With it modern England begins." (Green's _Short History of
the English People_, chap. ix. sec. 1.)--ED.

[251] "The Restoration brought Charles to Whitehall; and in an instant
the whole face of England was changed. All that was noblest and best in
Puritanism was whirled away." (Green, chap. ix. sec. I.) The excesses
of every kind that came in with the Restoration were notorious.--ED.

[252] 1837.

    Already stands our Country on the brink
    Of bigot rage, that all distinction levels
    Of truth and falsehood, swallowing the good name, 1822.

[253] In 1672 the Duke of York was publicly received into the Church of



    Yet Truth is keenly sought for, and the wind
    Charged with rich words poured out in thought's defence;
    Whether the Church inspire that eloquence,[254]
    Or a Platonic Piety confined
    To the sole temple of the inward mind;[255]                        5
    And One there is who builds immortal lays,
    Though doomed to tread in solitary ways,[256]
    Darkness before and danger's voice behind;
    Yet not alone, nor helpless to repel
    Sad thoughts; for from above the starry sphere                    10
    Come secrets, whispered nightly to his ear;
    And the pure spirit of celestial light
    Shines through his soul--"that he may see and tell
    Of things invisible to mortal sight."[257]


[254] As in the case of John Hales of Eton, William Chillingworth, who
wrote _The Religion of Protestants_, and Jeremy Taylor, author of _The_
_Liberty of Prophesying_.--ED.

[255] The Cambridge Platonists, Ralph Cudworth, John Smith, and Henry
More, are referred to.--ED.

[256] Milton.--ED.

[257] Compare _Paradise Lost_, book iii. ll. 54, 55.--ED.



    There are no colours in the fairest sky
    So fair as these. The feather, whence the pen
    Was shaped that traced the lives of these good men,
    Dropped from an Angel's wing.[259] With moistened eye
    We read of faith and purest charity                                5
    In Statesman, Priest, and humble Citizen:
    O could we copy their mild virtues, then
    What joy to live, what blessedness to die!
    Methinks their very names shine still and bright;
    Apart--like glow-worms on a summer night;                         10
    Or lonely tapers when from far they fling
    A guiding ray;[260] or seen--like stars on high,
    Satellites burning in a lucid ring
    Around meek Walton's heavenly memory.


[258] Izaak Walton, author of _The Complete Angler_, wrote also _The
Lives of_ John Donne, Sir Henry Wotton, Richard Hooker, George Herbert,
and Robert Sanderson.--ED.

[259] With those lines of Wordsworth compare the following: a Sonnet
addressed "to the King of Scots," in Henry Constable's _Diana_,
published in 1594--

    The pen wherewith thou dost so heavenly singe,
    Made of a quill pluck't from an Angell's winge.

A sonnet by Dorothy Berry, prefixed to Diana Primrose's _Chain of
Pearl, a memorial of the peerless graces, etc., of Queen Elizabeth_,
London, 1639--

                      Whose noble praise
    Deserves a quill pluck't from an angel's wing.

Also John Evelyn, in his _Life of Mrs. Godolphin_, "It would become the
pen of an angel's wing to describe the life of a saint," etc.--ED.

[260] 1827.

    ... glow-worms in the woods of spring,
    Or lonely tapers shooting far a light
    That guides and cheers,-- ... 1822.



    Nor shall the eternal roll of praise reject
    Those Unconforming; whom one rigorous day
    Drives from their Cures, a voluntary prey
    To poverty, and grief, and disrespect,[261]
    And some to want--as if by tempests wrecked[262]                   5
    On a wild coast; how destitute! did They
    Feel not that Conscience never can betray,
    That peace of mind is Virtue's sure effect.
    Their altars they forego, their homes they quit,
    Fields which they love, and paths they daily trod,                10
    And cast the future upon Providence;
    As men the dictate of whose inward sense
    Outweighs the world; whom self-deceiving wit
    Lures not from what they deem the cause of God.


[261] By the Act of Uniformity (1662), nearly 2000 Presbyterian and
Independent Ministers, who had been admitted to benefices in the Church
of England during the Puritan Ascendency, were ejected from their

[262] 1827.

    ... tempest wreck'd 1822.



                             Published 1827

    When Alpine Vales threw forth a suppliant cry,
    The majesty of England interposed[263]
    And the sword stopped; the bleeding wounds were closed;
    And Faith preserved her ancient purity.
    How little boots that precedent of good,                           5
    Scorned or forgotten, Thou canst testify,
    For England's shame, O Sister Realm! from wood,
    Mountain, and moor, and crowded street, where lie[264]
    The headless martyrs of the Covenant,
    Slain by Compatriot-protestants that draw                         10
    From councils senseless as intolerant
    Their warrant. Bodies fall by wild sword-law;
    But who would force the Soul, tilts with a straw
    Against a Champion cased in adamant.


[263] See Milton's Sonnet XVIII., _On the late Massacre in Piedmont_,

    Avenge, O Lord, thy slaughtered saints, ...

This was in 1655. In the following year Cromwell, to whom the
persecuted Vaudois subjects of the Duke of Savoy had appealed,
interposed in their behalf. Nearly £40,000 were collected in England
for their relief.--ED.

[264] Compare _The Excursion_, book i. 11. 175, 176.--ED.



    A voice, from long-expecting[266] thousands sent,
    Shatters the air, and troubles tower and spire;
    For Justice hath absolved the innocent,
    And Tyranny is balked of her desire:
    Up, down, the busy Thames--rapid as fire                           5
    Coursing a train of gunpowder--it went,
    And transport finds in every street a vent,
    Till the whole City rings like one vast quire.
    The Fathers urge the People to be still,                           9
    With outstretched hands and earnest speech[267]--in vain!
    Yea, many, haply wont to entertain
    Small reverence for the mitre's offices,
    And to Religion's self no friendly will,
    A Prelate's blessing ask on bended knees.


[265] The Bishops who protested against James II.'s Declaration of
Indulgence and refused to read it. He ordered the Ecclesiastical
Commissioners, to deprive them of their Sees, and the Bishops were sent
to the Tower. "They passed to their prison amidst the shouts of a great
multitude, the sentinels knelt for their blessing as they entered the
gates, and the soldiers of the garrison drank their healths.... The
Bishops appeared as criminals at the bar of the King's Bench. The jury
had been packed, the judges were mere tools of the Crown, but judges
and jury were alike overawed by the indignation of the people at large.
No sooner had the foreman of the jury uttered the words 'Not guilty,'
than a roar of applause burst from the crowd, and horsemen spurred
along every road to carry over the country the news of the acquittal."
(Green.) See Wordsworth's note to the eleventh sonnet in Part I. (p.

[266] 1827.

    ... long-expectant ... 1822.

[267] 1827.

    ... voice ... 1822.



    Calm as an under-current, strong to draw
    Millions of waves into itself, and run,
    From sea to sea, impervious to the sun
    And ploughing storm, the spirit of Nassau[268]
    (Swerves not, how blest if by religious awe[269]                   5
    Swayed, and thereby enabled to contend
    With the wide world's commotions) from its end
    Swerves not--diverted by a casual law.
    Had mortal action e'er a nobler scope?
    The Hero comes to liberate, not defy;                             10
    And, while he marches on with stedfast hope,[270]
    Conqueror beloved! expected anxiously!
    The vacillating Bondman of the Pope[271]
    Shrinks from the verdict of his stedfast eye.


[268] William III. of Nassau, Prince of Orange, was invited over to
England by the nobles and commons who were disaffected towards James
II., and landed at Torbay in November 1688.--ED.

[269] 1845.

    (By constant impulse of religious awe ... 1822.

[270] 1845.

    ... righteous hope, 1822.

[271] King James II., who fled to France in December 1688.--ED.



    Ungrateful Country, if thou e'er forget
    The sons who for thy civil rights have bled!
    How, like a Roman, Sidney bowed his head,[272]
    And Russell's milder blood the scaffold wet;[273]
    But these had fallen for profitless regret                         5
    Had not thy holy Church her champions bred,
    And claims from other worlds inspirited
    The star of Liberty to rise. Nor yet
    (Grave this within thy heart!) if spiritual things
    Be lost, through apathy, or scorn, or fear,                       10
    Shalt thou thy humbler franchises support,
    However hardly won or justly dear:
    What came from heaven to heaven by nature clings,
    And, if dissevered thence, its course is short.


[272] Algernon Sidney, second son of the Earl of Leicester, equally
opposed to the tyranny of Charles and of Cromwell, was implicated
in the Rye House Plot, arraigned before the chief-justice Jeffries,
condemned illegally, and executed at Tower Hill in December 1683.--ED.

[273] Lord William Russell, third son of the Duke of Bedford, member
of the House of Commons like Sidney, and like him implicated in
the Rye House Plot, condemned at the Old Bailey, and beheaded at
Lincoln's-Inn-Fields in July 1683.--ED.



                             Published 1827

    A sudden conflict rises from the swell
    Of a proud slavery met by tenets strained
    In Liberty's behalf. Fears, true or feigned,
    Spread through all ranks; and lo! the Sentinel
    Who loudest rang his pulpit 'larum bell                            5
    Stands at the Bar, absolved by female eyes
    Mingling their glances with grave flatteries[275]
    Lavished on _Him_--that England may rebel
    Against her ancient virtue. HIGH and LOW,
    Watch-words of Party, on all tongues are rife;                    10
    As if a Church, though sprung from heaven, must owe
    To opposites and fierce extremes her life,--
    Not to the golden mean, and quiet flow
    Of truths that soften hatred, temper strife.


[274] Henry Sacheverel, a high-church clergyman, preached two sermons
in 1709, one at Derby, and the other in St. Paul's, London, in which
he attacked the principles of the Revolution Settlement, taught the
doctrine of non-resistance, and decried the Act of Toleration. He was
impeached by the Commons, and tried before the House of Lords in 1710,
was found guilty, and suspended from office for three years. This made
him for the time the most popular man in England; and the general
election which followed was fatal to the Government which condemned
him. He was a weak and a vain man, who attained to notoriety without

[275] 1832.

    ... Light with graver flatteries, 1827.



                             Published 1827

    Down a swift Stream, thus far, a bold design
    Have we pursued, with livelier stir of heart
    Than his who sees, borne forward by the Rhine,
    The living landscapes greet him, and depart;
    Sees spires fast sinking--up again to start!                       5
    And strives the towers to number, that recline
    O'er the dark steeps, or on the horizon line
    Striding with shattered crests his[277] eye athwart.
    So have we hurried on with troubled pleasure:
    Henceforth, as on the bosom of a stream                           10
    That slackens, and spreads wide a watery gleam,
    We, nothing loth a lingering course to measure,
    May gather up our thoughts, and mark at leisure
    How widely spread the interests of our theme.[278]


[276] Compare the extracts from Mary and Dorothy Wordsworth's Journals
in the "Memorials of a Tour on the Continent" (vol. vi. p. 300).--ED.

[277] 1845.

    ... the ... 1827.

[278] 1845.

    Features that else had vanished like a dream. 1827.

    ... sound at leisure
    The depths, and mark the compass of our theme. C.




                             Published 1845

    Well worthy to be magnified are they
    Who, with sad hearts, of friends and country took
    A last farewell, their loved abodes forsook,
    And hallowed ground in which their fathers lay;
    Then to the new-found World explored their way,                    5
    That so a Church, unforced, uncalled to brook
    Ritual restraints, within some sheltering nook
    Her Lord might worship and his word obey
    In freedom. Men they were who could not bend;
    Blest Pilgrims, surely, as they took for guide                    10
    A will by sovereign Conscience sanctified;
    Blest while their Spirits from the woods ascend
    Along a Galaxy that knows no end,
    But in His glory who for Sinners died.


[279] In a letter to Professor Henry Reed, dated March 1, 1842,
Wordsworth wrote:--"I have sent you three sonnets upon certain 'Aspects
of Christianity in America,' having, as you will see, a reference to
the subject upon which you wished me to write. I wish they had been
more worthy of the subject: I hope, however, you will not disapprove of
the connection which I have thought myself warranted in tracing between
the Puritan fugitives and Episcopacy."--ED.

[280] American episcopacy, in union with the church in England,
strictly belongs to the general subject; and I here make my
acknowledgments to my American friends, Bishop Doane, and Mr. Henry
Reed of Philadelphia, for having suggested to me the propriety
of adverting to it, and pointed out the virtues and intellectual
qualities of Bishop White, which so eminently fitted him for the great
work he undertook. Bishop White was consecrated at Lambeth, Feb.
4, 1787, by Archbishop Moore; and before his long life was closed,
twenty-six bishops had been consecrated in America, by himself. For
his character and opinions, see his own numerous Works, and a "Sermon
in commemoration of him, by George Washington Doane, Bishop of New
Jersey."--W. W. 1845.



                             Published 1845

    From Rite and Ordinance abused they fled
    To Wilds where both were utterly unknown;
    But not to them had Providence foreshown
    What benefits are missed, what evils bred,
    In worship neither raised nor limited                              5
    Save by Self-will. Lo! from that distant shore,
    For Rite and Ordinance, Piety is led
    Back to the Land those Pilgrims left of yore,
    Led by her own free choice.[281] So Truth and Love
    By Conscience governed do their steps retrace.--                  10
    Fathers! your Virtues, such the power of grace,
    Their spirit, in your Children, thus approve.
    Transcendent over time, unbound by place,
    Concord and Charity in circles move.


[281] The Book of Common Prayer of the American Episcopal Church was
avowedly derived from that of England, and substantially agrees with



                             Published 1845

    Patriots informed with Apostolic light
    Were they, who, when their Country had been freed,
    Bowing with reverence to the ancient creed,
    Fixed on the frame of England's Church their sight,[282]
    And strove in filial love to reunite                               5
    What force had severed. Thence they fetched the seed
    Of Christian unity, and won a meed
    Of praise from Heaven. To Thee, O saintly WHITE,[283]
    Patriarch of a wide-spreading family,
    Remotest lands and unborn times shall turn,                       10
    Whether they would restore or build--to Thee,
    As one who rightly taught how zeal should burn,
    As one who drew from out Faith's holiest urn
    The purest stream of patient Energy.


[282] "I hope you will not disapprove of the connection which I have
thought myself warranted in tracing between the Puritan fugitives and
Episcopacy." (Wordsworth to Henry Reed, March 1, 1842.)--ED.

[283] Dr. Seabury was consecrated Bishop of Connecticut by Scottish
Bishops at Aberdeen, in November 1784. Dr. White was consecrated Bishop
of Pennsylvania, and Dr. Provoost, Bishop of New York, at Lambeth, in
February 1787. It was Wordsworth's intention, in 1841, to add a sonnet
to his "Ecclesiastical Series" "On the union of the two Episcopal
Churches of England and America."--ED.



                             Published 1845

    Bishops and Priests, blessèd are ye, if deep
    (As yours above all offices is high)
    Deep in your hearts the sense of duty lie;
    Charged as ye are by Christ to feed and keep
    From wolves your portion of his chosen sheep:
    Labouring as ever in your Master's sight,
    Making your hardest task your best delight,
    What perfect glory ye in Heaven shall reap!--
    But, in the solemn Office which ye sought
    And undertook premonished, if unsound                             10
    Your practice prove, faithless though but in thought,
    Bishops and Priests, think what a gulf profound
    Awaits you then, if they were rightly taught
    Who framed the Ordinance by your lives disowned!



    As star that shines dependent upon star
    Is to the sky while we look up in love;
    As to the deep fair ships which though they move
    Seem fixed, to eyes that watch them from afar;
    As to the sandy desert fountains are,                              5
    With palm-groves shaded at wide intervals,
    Whose fruit around the sun-burnt Native falls
    Of roving tired or desultory war--
    Such to this British Isle her christian Fanes,
    Each linked to each for kindred services;                         10
    Her Spires, her Steeple-towers with glittering vanes[284]
    Far-kenned, her Chapels lurking among trees,
    Where a few villagers on bended knees
    Find solace which a busy world disdains.


[284] Compare _The Excursion_, book vi. ll. 17-29 (vol. v. p. 236).--ED.



    A GENIAL hearth, a hospitable board,
    And a refined rusticity, belong[285]
    To the neat mansion, where, his flock among,
    The learned Pastor dwells, their watchful Lord.[286]
    Though meek and patient as a sheathèd sword;                       5
    Though pride's least lurking thought appear a wrong
    To human kind; though peace be on his tongue,
    Gentleness in his heart--can earth afford
    Such genuine state, pre-eminence so free,
    As when, arrayed in Christ's authority,                           10
    He from the pulpit lifts his awful hand;
    Conjures, implores, and labours all he can
    For re-subjecting to divine command
    The stubborn spirit of rebellious man?


[285] Among the benefits arising, as Mr. Coleridge has well observed,
from a Church establishment of endowments corresponding with the wealth
of the country to which it belongs, may be reckoned as eminently
important, the examples of civility and refinement which the Clergy
stationed at intervals, afford to the whole people. The established
clergy in many parts of England have long been, as they continue to
be, the principal bulwark against barbarism, and the link which unites
the sequestered peasantry with the intellectual advancement of the
age. Nor is it below the dignity of the subject to observe, that their
taste, as acting upon rural residences and scenery, often furnishes
models which country gentlemen, who are more at liberty to follow the
caprices of fashion, might profit by. The precincts of an old residence
must be treated by ecclesiastics with respect, both from prudence and
necessity. I remember being much pleased, some years ago, at Rose
Castle, the rural seat of the See of Carlisle, with a style of garden
and architecture which, if the place had belonged to a wealthy layman,
would no doubt have been swept away. A parsonage-house generally stands
not far from the church; this proximity imposes favourable restraints,
and sometimes suggests an affecting union of the accommodations and
elegancies of life with the outward signs of piety and mortality. With
pleasure I recall to mind a happy instance of this in the residence
of an old and much-valued Friend in Oxfordshire. The house and church
stand parallel to each other, at a small distance; a circular lawn or
rather grass-plot, spreads between them; shrubs and trees curve from
each side of the dwelling, veiling, but not hiding, the church. From
the front of this dwelling, no part of the burial-ground is seen;
but as you wind by the side of the shrubs towards the steeple-end
of the church, the eye catches a single, small, low, monumental
headstone, moss-grown, sinking into, and gently inclining towards the
earth. Advance, and the churchyard, populous and gay with glittering
tombstones, opens upon the view. This humble, and beautiful parsonage
called forth a tribute which will not be out of its place here.--W. W.

He then quotes the seventh of the "Miscellaneous Sonnets," Part III.
(see vol. vi. p. 217).--ED.

[286] Compare the sonnet, _On the sight of a Manse in the South of
Scotland_, belonging to the Tour in the year 1831.--ED.



    Yes, if the intensities of hope and fear
    Attract us still, and passionate exercise
    Of lofty thoughts, the way before us lies
    Distinct with signs, through which in set career,[287]
    As through a zodiac, moves the ritual year[288]                    5
    Of England's Church; stupendous mysteries!
    Which whoso travels in her bosom eyes,
    As he approaches them, with solemn cheer.
    Upon that circle traced from sacred story
    We only dare to cast a transient glance,                          10
    Trusting in hope that Others may advance
    With mind intent upon the King of Glory,[289]
    From his mild advent till his countenance
    Shall dissipate the seas and mountains hoary.[290]


[287] 1837

    ... fixed career, 1822.

[288] Compare _The Christian Year_, by Keble, _passim_.--ED.

[289] 1845.

    Enough for us to cast a transient glance
    The circle through; relinquishing its story
    For those whom Heaven hath fitted to advance
    And, harp in hand, rehearse the King of Glory-- 1822.

    Enough for us to cast no careless glance
    Upon that circle, leaving Christian story
    To those ... has ... C.


    Here let us cast a more than Transient glance,
    And harp in hand endeavour to advance,
    With mind intent ... C.

[290] See _The Revelation of St. John_, chapter xx. v. II.--ED.



                             Published 1827

    Dear[291] be the Church, that, watching o'er the needs
    Of Infancy, provides a timely shower
    Whose virtue changes to a Christian Flower
    A Growth from sinful Nature's bed of weeds!--[292]
    Fitliest beneath the sacred roof proceeds                          5
    The ministration; while parental Love
    Looks on, and Grace descendeth from above
    As the high service pledges now, now pleads.
    There, should vain thoughts outspread their wings and fly
    To meet the coming hours of festal mirth,                         10
    The tombs--which hear and answer that brief cry,
    The Infant's notice of his second birth--
    Recal the wandering Soul to sympathy
    With what man hopes from Heaven, yet fears from Earth.


[291] 1845.

    Blest ... 1827.

[292] 1832.

    The sinful product of a bed of Weeds! 1827.



                             Published 1832

    Father! to God himself we cannot give
    A holier name! then lightly do not bear
    Both names conjoined, but of thy spiritual care
    Be duly mindful: still more sensitive
    Do Thou, in truth a second Mother, strive[293]                     5
    Against disheartening custom, that by Thee
    Watched, and with love and pious industry[294]
    Tended at need, the adopted Plant may thrive
    For everlasting bloom. Benign and pure[295]
    This Ordinance, whether loss it would supply,                     10
    Prevent omission, help deficiency,
    Or seek to make assurance doubly sure.[296][297]
    Shame if the consecrated Vow be found
    An idle form, the Word an empty sound![298][299]


[293] 1832.

    ... yet more sensitive,
    More faithful, thou, a second Mother, MS.

                                                    W. W., Dec. 7, 1827.

[294] 1832.

    Watched at all seasons, and with industry MS.

                                                    W. W., Dec. 7, 1827.

[295] 1832.

    ... Benign must be. MS.

                                                    W. W., Dec. 7, 1827.

[296] Compare _Macbeth_, act IV. scene i. l. 83.--ED.

[297] 1832.

    ... "Assurance doubly sure." MS.

                                                    W. W., Dec. 7, 1827.

[298] 1832.

    ... the Name an empty sound. MS.

                                                    W. W., Dec. 7, 1827.

[299] This Sonnet was sent by Wordsworth in holograph MS. to Orton Hall
in the form indicated in the footnotes, dated Dec. 7, 1827.--ED.



    From Little down to Least, in due degree,
    Around the Pastor, each in new-wrought vest,
    Each with a vernal posy at his breast,
    We stood, a trembling, earnest Company!
    With low soft murmur, like a distant bee,                          5
    Some spake, by thought-perplexing fears betrayed;
    And some a bold unerring answer made:
    How fluttered then thy anxious heart for me,
    Belovèd Mother! Thou whose happy hand
    Had bound the flowers I wore, with faithful tie:[300]             10
    Sweet flowers! at whose inaudible command
    Her countenance, phantom-like, doth re-appear:
    O lost too early for the frequent tear,
    And ill requited by this heartfelt sigh!


[300] See Wordsworth's reference to his Mother in his
_Autobiographical Memoranda_.--ED.



                             Published 1827

    The Young-ones gathered in from hill and dale,
    With holiday delight on every brow:
    'Tis passed away; far other thoughts prevail;
    For they are taking the baptismal Vow
    Upon their conscious selves; their own lips speak                  5
    The solemn promise. Strongest sinews fail,
    And many a blooming, many a lovely, cheek
    Under the holy fear of God turns pale;
    While on each head his lawn-robed servant lays
    An apostolic hand, and with prayer seals                          10
    The Covenant. The Omnipotent will raise
    Their feeble Souls; and bear with _his_ regrets,
    Who, looking round the fair assemblage, feels
    That ere the Sun goes down their childhood sets.



    I saw a Mother's eye intensely bent
    Upon a Maiden trembling as she knelt;
    In and for whom the pious Mother felt
    Things that we judge of by a light too faint:
    Tell, if ye may, some star-crowned Muse, or Saint!                 5
    Tell what rushed in, from what she was relieved--
    Then, when her Child the hallowing touch received,
    And such vibration through[301] the Mother went
    That tears burst forth amain. Did gleams appear?
    Opened a vision of that blissful place                            10
    Where dwells a Sister-child? And was power given
    Part of her lost One's glory back to trace
    Even to this Rite? For thus _She_ knelt, and, ere
    The summer-leaf had faded, passed to Heaven.[302]


[301] 1837.

    ... to ... 1827.

[302] Compare the tribute to a Daughter, who died within the year after
her confirmation, in _A Presbyterian Clergyman looking for the Church_,
by the Rev. Flavel S. Mines, p. 95.--ED.



                             Published 1827

    By chain yet stronger must the Soul be tied:
    One duty more, last stage of[303] this ascent,
    Brings to thy food, mysterious[304] Sacrament!
    The Offspring, haply at the Parent's side;
    But not till They, with all that do abide                          5
    In Heaven, have lifted up their hearts to laud
    And magnify the glorious name of God,
    Fountain of Grace, whose Son for sinners died.
    Ye, who have duly weighed the summons, pause
    No longer; ye,[305] whom to the saving rite                       10
    The Altar calls; come early under laws
    That can secure for you a path of light
    Through gloomiest shade; put on (nor dread its weight)
    Armour divine, and conquer in your cause!


[303] 1827.

    ... to ... Coleorton MS.

[304] 1845.

    ... memorial ... 1827.

[305] 1845.

    Here must my Song in timid reverence pause:
    But shrink not ye ... 1827.



                     Composed 1842.--Published 1845

    The Vested Priest before the Altar stands;
    Approach, come gladly, ye prepared, in sight
    Of God and chosen friends, your troth to plight
    With the symbolic ring, and willing hands[307]
    Solemnly joined. Now sanctify the bands,                           5
    O Father!--to the Espoused thy blessing give,
    That mutually assisted they may live
    Obedient, as here taught, to thy commands.
    So prays the Church, to consecrate a Vow
    "The which would endless matrimony make";[308]                    10
    Union that shadows forth and doth partake
    A mystery potent human love to endow
    With heavenly, each more prized for the other's sake;
    Weep not, meek Bride! uplift thy timid brow.


[306] In a letter to Professor Henry Reed, dated "Rydal Mount, Sept. 4,
1842," Wordsworth says: "A few days ago, after a very long interval, I
returned to poetical composition; and my first employment was to write
a couple of Sonnets upon subjects recommended by you to take place in
the Ecclesiastical Series. They are upon the Marriage Ceremony and the
Funeral Service. I have, about the same time, added two others, both
upon subjects taken from the Services of our Liturgy."--ED.

[307] 1842.

    Together they kneel down who come in sight
    Of God and chosen friends their troth to plight.
    This have they done, by words, and prayers, and hands c.



                     Composed 1842.--Published 1845

    Woman! the Power who left his throne on high,
    And deigned to wear the robe of flesh we wear,
    The Power that thro' the straits of Infancy
    Did pass dependent on maternal care,
    His own humanity with Thee will share,                             5
    Pleased with the thanks that in his People's eye
    Thou offerest up for safe Delivery
    From Childbirth's perilous throes. And should the Heir
    Of thy fond hopes hereafter walk inclined
    To courses fit to make a mother rue                               10
    That ever he was born, a glance of mind
    Cast upon this observance may renew
    A better will; and, in the imagined view
    Of thee thus kneeling, safety he may find.


[308] Compare Spenser's _Epithalamion_, stanza xl. ll. 216, 217--

    The sacred ceremonies these partake,
    The which do endlesse matrimony make;

Also, Southey's _All for Love, or a sinner well saved_, Part IV. stanza

    While they the sacred rites partake
    Which endless matrimony make.--ED.



                     Composed 1842.--Published 1845

    The Sabbath bells renew the inviting peal;
    Glad music! yet there be that, worn with pain
    And sickness, listen where they long have lain,
    In sadness listen. With maternal zeal
    Inspired, the Church sends ministers to kneel                      5
    Beside the afflicted; to sustain with prayer,
    And soothe the heart confession hath laid bare--
    That pardon, from God's throne, may set its seal
    On a true Penitent. When breath departs
    From one disburthened so, so comforted,                           10
    His Spirit Angels greet; and ours be hope
    That, if the Sufferer rise from his sick-bed,
    Hence he will gain a firmer mind, to cope
    With a bad world, and foil the Tempter's arts.



                             Published 1845

    Shun not this rite, neglected, yea abhorred,
    By some of unreflecting mind, as calling
    Man to curse man, (thought monstrous and appalling.)
    Go thou and hear the threatenings of the _Lord_;[309]
    Listening within his Temple see his sword                          5
    Unsheathed in wrath to strike the offender's head,
    Thy own, if sorrow for thy sin be dead,
    Guilt unrepented, pardon unimplored.
    Two aspects bears Truth needful for salvation;
    Who knows not _that_?--yet would this delicate age                10
    Look only on the Gospel's brighter page:
    Let light and dark duly our thoughts employ;
    So shall the fearful words of Commination
    Yield timely fruit of peace and love and joy.


[309] 1845.

    ... as dealing
    With human curses, banish the false feeling.
    Go thou ... terrors ... C.



                             Published 1845

    To kneeling Worshippers no earthly floor
    Gives holier invitation than the deck
    Of a storm-shattered Vessel saved from Wreck
    (When all that Man could do avail'd no more)
    By him who raised the Tempest and restrains:                       5
    Happy the crew who this have felt, and pour
    Forth for his mercy, as the Church ordains,
    Solemn thanksgiving. Nor will _they_ implore
    In vain who, for a rightful cause, give breath
    To words the Church prescribes aiding the lip                     10
    For the heart's sake, ere ship with hostile ship
    Encounters, armed for work of pain and death.
    Suppliants! the God to whom your cause ye trust
    Will listen, and ye know that He is just.



                     Composed 1842.--Published 1845

    From the Baptismal hour, thro' weal and woe,
    The Church extends her care to thought and deed;
    Nor quits the Body when the Soul is freed,
    The mortal weight cast off to be laid low.
    Blest Rite for him who hears in faith, "I know                     5
    That my Redeemer liveth,"--hears each word
    That follows--striking on some kindred chord
    Deep in the thankful heart;--yet tears will flow.
    Man is as grass that springeth up at morn,
    Grows green, and is cut down and withereth                        10
    Ere nightfall--truth that well may claim a sigh,
    Its natural echo; but hope comes reborn
    At JESU'S bidding. We rejoice: "O Death
    Where is thy Sting?--O Grave where is thy Victory?"



    Closing the sacred Book[311] which long has fed
    Our meditations,[312] give we to a day
    Of annual[313] joy one tributary lay;
    This[314] day, when, forth by rustic music led,
    The village Children, while the sky is red                         5
    With evening lights, advance in long array
    Through the still church-yard, each with garland gay,
    That, carried sceptre-like, o'ertops the head
    Of the proud Bearer. To the wide church-door,
    Charged with these offerings which their fathers bore             10
    For decoration in the Papal time,
    The innocent Procession softly moves:--
    The spirit of Laud is pleased in heaven's pure clime,
    And Hooker's voice the spectacle approves!


[310] This is still continued in many churches in Westmoreland.
It takes place in the month of July, when the floor of the
stalls is strewn with fresh rushes; and hence it is called the
"Rush-bearing."--W. W. 1822.

[311] 1822.

    ... precious Book ... C.

[312] 1845.

    With smiles each happy face was overspread,
    That trial ended ... 1822.

    Content with calmer scenes around us spread
    And humbler objects, ... 1827.

[313] 1827.

    Of festal ... 1822.

[314] 1827.

    That ... 1822.



    Would that our scrupulous Sires had dared to leave
    Less scanty measure of those graceful rites
    And usages, whose due return invites
    A stir of mind too natural to deceive;
    Giving to[315] Memory help when she would weave                    5
    A crown for Hope!--I dread the boasted lights
    That all too often are but fiery blights,
    Killing the bud o'er which in vain we grieve.
    Go, seek, when Christmas snows discomfort bring,
    The counter Spirit found in some gay church                       10
    Green with fresh holly, every pew a perch
    In which the linnet or the thrush might sing,
    Merry and loud and safe from prying search,
    Strains offered only to the genial Spring.


[315] 1845.

    Giving the ... 1822.



    From low to high doth dissolution climb,
    And sink[316] from high to low, along a scale
    Of awful notes, whose concord shall not fail;
    A musical but melancholy chime,
    Which they can hear who meddle not with crime,                     5
    Nor avarice, nor over-anxious care.
    Truth fails not; but her outward forms that bear
    The longest date do melt like frosty rime,
    That in the morning whitened hill and plain
    And is no more; drop like the tower sublime                       10
    Of yesterday, which royally did wear
    His[317] crown of weeds, but could not even sustain
    Some casual shout that broke the silent air,
    Or the unimaginable touch of Time.


[316] 1840.

    And sinks ... 1822.

[317] 1837.

    Its ... 1822.



    Monastic Domes! following my downward way,
    Untouched by due regret I marked your fall!
    Now, ruin, beauty, ancient stillness, all
    Dispose to judgments temperate as we lay
    On our past selves in life's declining day:                        5
    For as, by discipline of Time made wise,
    We learn to tolerate the infirmities
    And faults of others--gently as he may,[318]
    So with[319] our own the mild Instructor deals
    Teaching us to forget them or forgive.[320]                       10
    Perversely curious, then, for hidden ill
    Why should we break Time's charitable seals?
    Once ye were holy, ye are holy still;
    Your spirit freely let me drink, and live!


[318] 1822.

    ...--so, where'er he may 1837.

                        The edition of 1845 returns to the text of 1822.

[319] 1837.

    Towards ... 1822.

[320] This is borrowed from an affecting passage in Mr. George Dyer's
History of Cambridge.--W. W. 1822.



                             Published 1827

    Even while I speak, the sacred roofs of France
    Are shattered into dust; and self-exiled
    From altars threatened, levelled, or defiled,
    Wander the Ministers of God, as chance
    Opens a way for life, or consonance                                5
    Of faith invites. More welcome to no land
    The fugitives than to the British strand,
    Where priest and layman with the vigilance
    Of true compassion greet them. Creed and test
    Vanish before the unreserved embrace                              10
    Of catholic humanity:--distrest
    They came,--and, while the moral tempest roars
    Throughout the Country they have left, our shores
    Give to their Faith a fearless[321] resting-place.


[321] 1837.

    ... dreadless ... 1827.



    Thus all things lead to Charity, secured
    By THEM who blessed the soft and happy gale
    That landward urged the great Deliverer's sail,[322]
    Till in the sunny bay his fleet was moored!
    Propitious hour! had we, like them, endured                        5
    Sore stress of apprehension,[323] with a mind
    Sickened by injuries, dreading worse designed,
    From month to month trembling and unassured,
    How had we then rejoiced! But we have felt,
    As a loved substance, their futurity:                             10
    Good, which they dared not hope for, we have seen;
    A State whose generous will through earth is dealt;
    A State--which, balancing herself between
    Licence and slavish order, dares be free.


[322] The Statesmen of the Revolution, who hailed the arrival of
William of Orange from Holland.--ED.

[323] See Burnet, who is unusually animated on this subject; the east
wind, so anxiously expected and prayed for, was called the "Protestant
wind."--W. W. 1822.



    But liberty, and triumphs on the Main,
    And laurelled armies, not to be withstood--
    What serve they? if, on transitory good
    Intent, and sedulous of abject gain,
    The State (ah, surely not preserved in vain!)                      5
    Forbear to shape due channels which the Flood
    Of sacred truth may enter--till it brood
    O'er the wide realm, as o'er the Egyptian plain
    The all-sustaining Nile. No more--the time
    Is conscious of her want; through England's bounds,
    In rival haste, the wished-for Temples rise![324]                 11
    I hear their sabbath bells' harmonious chime
    Float on the breeze--the heavenliest of all sounds
    That vale or hill[325] prolongs or multiplies!


[324] In 1818, under the ministry of Lord Liverpool, £1,000,000 was
voted by Parliament to build new churches in England.--ED.

[325] 1837.

    That hill or vale ... 1822.



    Be this the chosen site; the virgin sod,
    Moistened from age to age by dewy eve,
    Shall disappear, and grateful earth receive
    The corner-stone from hands that build to God.
    Yon reverend hawthorns, hardened to the rod                        5
    Of winter storms, yet budding cheerfully;
    Those forest oaks of Druid memory,
    Shall long survive, to shelter the Abode
    Of genuine Faith. Where, haply, 'mid this band
    Of daisies, shepherds sate of yore and wove                       10
    May-garlands, there let[327] the holy altar stand
    For kneeling adoration;--while--above,
    Broods, visibly portrayed, the mystic Dove,
    That shall protect from blasphemy the Land.


[326] This, and the two following sonnets, were probably the first
composed of these "Ecclesiastical Sketches." The "church to be erected"
was a new one built on Coleorton Moor by Sir George Beaumont. (See
Prefatory note to the series, p. 1.)--ED.

[327] 1840.

    May-garlands, let ... 1822.



    Mine ear has rung, my spirit[328] sunk subdued,
    Sharing the strong emotion of the crowd,
    When each pale brow to dread hosannas bowed
    While clouds of incense mounting veiled the rood,
    That glimmered like a pine-tree dimly viewed                       5
    Through Alpine vapours. Such appalling rite
    Our Church prepares not, trusting to the might
    Of simple truth with grace divine imbued;
    Yet will we not conceal the precious Cross,
    Like men ashamed:[329] the Sun with his first smile
    Shall greet that symbol crowning the low Pile:                    11
    And the fresh air of incense-breathing morn[330]
    Shall wooingly embrace it; and green moss
    Creep round its arms through centuries unborn.


[328] 1827.

    ... spirits ... 1822.

[329] The Lutherans have retained the Cross within their churches: it
is to be regretted that we have not done the same.--W. W. 1822.

It has always been retained _without_, and is now scarcely less common
_within_ the churches of England. Did the poet confound the Cross with
the Crucifix?--ED.

[330] Compare Gray's _Elegy_, stanza v.--

    The breezy call of incense-breathing morn.--ED.



    The encircling ground, in native turf arrayed,
    Is now by solemn consecration given
    To social interests, and to favouring Heaven,
    And where the rugged colts their gambols played,
    And wild deer bounded through the forest glade,                    5
    Unchecked as when by merry Outlaw driven,
    Shall hymns of praise resound at morn and even;
    And soon, full soon, the lonely Sexton's spade
    Shall wound the tender sod. Encincture small,
    But infinite its grasp of weal and woe![331]                      10
    Hopes, fears, in never-ending ebb and flow;--
    The spousal trembling, and the "dust to dust,"
    The prayers, the contrite struggle, and the trust
    That to the Almighty Father looks through all.


[331] 1837.

    ... its grasp of joy and woe! 1822.
    ... in grasp of weal and woe! 1832.



    Open your gates, ye everlasting Piles!
    Types of the spiritual Church which God hath reared;
    Not loth we quit the newly-hallowed sward
    And humble altar, 'mid your sumptuous aisles
    To kneel, or thrid your intricate defiles,                         5
    Or down the nave to pace in motion slow;
    Watching, with upward eye,[332] the tall tower grow
    And mount, at every step, with living wiles
    Instinct--to rouse the heart and lead the will
    By a bright ladder to the world above.                            10
    Open your gates, ye Monuments of love
    Divine! thou Lincoln, on thy sovereign hill!
    Thou, stately York! and Ye, whose splendours cheer
    Isis and Cam, to patient Science dear![333]


[332] 1827.

    ... eyes, ... 1822.

[333] This Sonnet was published in _Time's Telescope_, September 1823,
p. 260.--ED.



    Tax not the royal Saint[334] with vain expense,
    With ill-matched aims the Architect who planned--
    Albeit labouring for a scanty band
    Of white-robed Scholars only--this immense
    And glorious Work of fine intelligence!                            5
    Give all thou canst; high Heaven rejects the lore
    Of nicely-calculated less or more;
    So deemed the man who fashioned for the sense
    These lofty pillars, spread that branching roof
    Self-poised, and scooped into ten thousand cells,                 10
    Where light and shade repose, where music dwells
    Lingering--and wandering on as loth to die;
    Like thoughts whose very sweetness yieldeth proof
    That they were born for immortality.


[334] King Henry VI., who founded King's College, Cambridge.--ED.



    What awful pérspective! while from our sight
    With gradual stealth the lateral windows hide
    Their Portraitures, their stone-work glimmers, dyed
    In[335] the soft chequerings of a sleepy light.
    Martyr, or King, or sainted Eremite,                               5
    Whoe'er ye be, that thus, yourselves unseen,
    Imbue your prison-bars with solemn sheen,
    Shine on, until ye fade with coming Night!--
    But, from the arms of silence--list! O list!
    The music bursteth into second life;                               5
    The notes luxuriate, every stone is kissed
    By sound, or ghost of sound, in mazy strife;
    Heart-thrilling strains, that cast, before the eye
    Of the devout, a veil of ecstasy!


[335] 1827.

    Their portraiture the lateral windows hide,
    Glimmers their corresponding stone-work, dyed
    With ... 1822.



    They dreamt not of a perishable home
    Who thus could build.[336] Be mine, in hours of fear
    Or grovelling thought, to seek a refuge here;
    Or through the aisles of Westminster to roam;
    Where bubbles burst, and folly's dancing foam                      5
    Melts, if it cross the threshold; where the wreath
    Of awe-struck wisdom droops: or let my path
    Lead to that younger Pile, whose sky-like dome[337]
    Hath typified by reach of daring art
    Infinity's embrace; whose guardian crest,                         10
    The silent Cross, among the stars shall spread
    As now, when She hath also seen her breast
    Filled with mementos, satiate with its part
    Of grateful England's overflowing Dead.


[336] Compare _The Excursion_, book v. l. 145--

    Not raised in nice proportions was the pile;
    But large and massy; for duration built.

[337] St. Paul's Cathedral, designed by Sir Christopher Wren



    Glory to God! and to the Power who came
    In filial duty, clothed with love divine,
    That made his human tabernacle shine
    Like Ocean burning with purpureal flame;
    Or like the Alpine Mount, that takes its name                      5
    From roseate hues,[338] far kenned at morn and even,
    In hours of peace, or when the storm is driven
    Along the nether region's rugged frame!
    Earth prompts--Heaven urges; let us seek the light,
    Studious of that pure intercourse begun                           10
    When first our infant brows their lustre won;
    So, like the Mountain, may we grow more bright
    From unimpeded commerce with the Sun,
    At the approach of all-involving night.


[338] Some say that Monte Rosa takes its name from a belt of rock at
its summit--a very unpoetical and scarcely a probable supposition.--W.
W. 1822.



    Why sleeps the future, as a snake enrolled,
    Coil within coil, at noon-tide? For the WORD
    Yields, if with unpresumptuous faith explored,
    Power at whose touch the sluggard shall unfold
    His drowsy rings. Look forth!--that Stream behold,
    THAT STREAM upon whose bosom we have passed                        6
    Floating at ease while nations have effaced
    Nations, and Death has gathered to his fold
    Long lines of mighty Kings--look forth, my Soul!
    (Nor in this[339] vision be thou slow to trust)                   10
    The living Waters, less and less by guilt
    Stained and polluted, brighten as they roll,
    Till they have reached the eternal City--built
    For the perfected Spirits of the just!


[339] 1827.

    ... that ... 1822.



                     Composed 1822.--Published 1827

[After thanking Lady Fleming in prose for the service she had done
to her neighbourhood by erecting this Chapel, I have nothing to say
beyond the expression of regret that the architect did not furnish an
elevation better suited to the site in a narrow mountain-pass, and,
what is of more consequence, better constructed in the interior for
the purposes of worship. It has no chancel; the altar is unbecomingly
confined; the pews are so narrow as to preclude the possibility of
kneeling with comfort; there is no vestry; and what ought to have been
first mentioned, the font, instead of standing at its proper place
at the entrance, is thrust into the farther end of a pew. When these
defects shall be pointed out to the munificent Patroness, they will, it
is hoped, be corrected.--I. F.[342]]

One of the "Poems of Sentiment and Reflection," from the edition of
1827 to that of 1843; but transferred, in 1845, to the "Miscellaneous
Poems." From 1827 to 1836 the title was "To the Lady ----, on
seeing the foundation preparing for the erection of ---- Chapel,


    Blest is this Isle--our native Land;
    Where battlement and moated gate
    Are objects only for the hand
    Of hoary Time to decorate;
    Where shady hamlet, town that breathes                             5
    Its busy smoke in social wreaths,
    No rampart's stern defence require,
    Nought but the heaven-directed spire,
    And[343] steeple tower (with pealing bells
    Far-heard)--our only citadels.                                    10


    O Lady! from a noble line
    Of chieftains sprung,[344] who stoutly bore
    The spear, yet gave to works divine
    A bounteous help in days of yore,
    (As records mouldering in the Dell                                15
    Of Nightshade[345] haply yet may tell;)
    Thee kindred aspirations moved
    To build, within a vale beloved,
    For Him upon whose high behests
    All peace depends, all safety rests.                              20


    How fondly will the woods embrace
    This daughter of thy pious care,
    Lifting her[347] front with modest grace
    To make a fair recess more fair;
    And to exalt the passing hour;                                    25
    Or soothe it with a healing power
    Drawn from the Sacrifice fulfilled,
    Before this rugged soil was tilled,
    Or human habitation rose
    To interrupt the deep repose![348]                                30


    Well may the villagers rejoice!
    Nor heat, nor cold, nor weary ways,
    Will be[349] a hindrance to the voice
    That would unite in prayer and praise;
    More duly shall wild wandering Youth                              35
    Receive the curb of sacred truth,
    Shall tottering Age, bent earthward, hear
    The Promise, with uplifted ear;[350]
    And all shall welcome the new ray
    Imparted to their sabbath-day.                                    40


    Nor deem the Poet's hope misplaced,
    His fancy cheated--that can see
    A shade upon the future cast,
    Of time's pathetic sanctity;
    Can hear the monitory clock                                       45
    Sound o'er the lake with gentle shock[351]
    At evening,[352] when the ground beneath
    Is ruffled o'er with cells of death;
    Where happy generations lie,
    Here tutored for eternity.                                        50


    Lives there a man whose sole delights
    Are trivial pomp and city noise,
    Hardening a heart that loathes or slights
    What every natural heart enjoys?
    Who never caught a noon-tide dream                                55
    From murmur of a running stream;
    Could strip, for aught the prospect yields
    To him, their verdure from the fields;
    And take the radiance from the clouds
    In which the sun his setting shrouds.[353]                        60


    A soul so pitiably forlorn,
    If such do on this earth abide,
    May season apathy with scorn,
    May turn indifference to pride;
    And still be not unblest--compared                                65
    With him who grovels, self-debarred[354]
    From all that lies within the scope
    Of holy faith and christian hope;
    Or, shipwreck'd, kindles on the coast
    False fires, that others may be lost.[355]                        70


    Alas! that such perverted zeal
    Should spread on Britain's favoured ground![356]
    That public order, private weal,
    Should e'er have felt or feared a wound
    From champions of the desperate law                               75
    Which from their own blind hearts they draw;[357]
    Who tempt their reason to deny
    God, whom their passions dare defy,[358]
    And boast that they alone are free
    Who reach this dire extremity!                                    80


    But turn we from these "bold bad" men;[359]
    The way, mild Lady! that hath led
    Down to their "dark opprobrious den,"[360]
    Is all too rough for Thee to tread.
    Softly as morning vapours glide                                   85
    Down Rydal-cove from Fairfield's side,[361]
    Should move the tenor of _his_ song
    Who means to charity no wrong;
    Whose offering gladly would accord
    With this day's work, in thought and word.                        90


    Heaven prosper it! may peace, and love,
    And hope, and consolation, fall,
    Through its meek influence, from above,
    And penetrate the hearts of all;
    All who, around the hallowed Fane,                                95
    Shall sojourn in this fair domain;
    Grateful to Thee, while service pure,
    And ancient ordinance, shall endure,
    For opportunity bestowed
    To kneel together, and adore their God![362]                     100


[340] 1840.

    To the Lady ---- ... 1827.

[341] 1840.

    Of ---- Chapel ... 1827.

[342] Rydal Chapel remained in the state mentioned in the Fenwick note
till the year 1884.--ED.

[343] 1827.

                                       Or ... MS. sent to Lady Beaumont.

[344] The Fleming family is descended from Sir Michael le Fleming,
a relative of Baldwin, Earl of Flanders, brother-in-law to William
the Conqueror. This Sir Michael le Fleming, who came over with the
Conqueror, was sent into Cumberland against the Scots, and was
rewarded for his services by the gift of several manors in _Copeland_,

[345] Bekangs Ghyll--or the dell of Nightshade--in which stands St.
Mary's Abbey in Low Furness.--W. W. 1827.

[346] In the edition of 1827, stanzas iii. and iv. are numbered iv. and
iii. respectively.--ED.

[347] 1832.

    Even Strangers, slackening here their pace,
    Shall hail this work of pious care,
    Lifting its ... 1827.

[348] Compare _Glen-Almain_ (vol. ii. p. 394)--

    A convent, even a hermit's cell,
    Would break the silence of this Dell.--ED.

[349] 1827.

    Nor storms henceforth, nor weary ways,
    Shall be ...

                                              MS. sent to Lord Lonsdale.

[350] 1827.

    The Aged shall be free to hear
    The Promise, caught with steadfast ear.

                                              MS. sent to Lord Lonsdale.

[351] 1832.

    Not yet the corner stone is laid
    With solemn rite; but Fancy sees
    The tower time-stricken, and in shade
    Embosomed of coeval trees;
    Hears, o'er the lake, the warning clock
    As it shall sound with gentle shock 1827.

[352] Compare the last stanza of _The Wishing Gate_.--ED.

[353] Compare the _Ode, Intimations of Immortality_, stanza xi.--ED.

[354] 1827.

    With one who fosters disregard

                                              MS. sent to Lady Beaumont.

[355] 1827.

    Yea, strives for others to bedim
    The glorious Light too pure for him. 1832.

    The text of 1845 returns to that of 1827.

[356] 1827.

    ... happy ground.

                                                   MS. to Lady Beaumont.

[357] 1827.

    From Scoffers leagued in desperate plot
    To make their own the general lot;

                                                   MS. to Lady Beaumont.

[358] 1827.

    ... do defy,

                                                   MS. to Lady Beaumont.

[359] See _The Faërie Queene_, book I. canto i. stanza 37. Also
Shakespeare's _Henry VIII._, act II. scene ii. l. 44.--ED.

[360] See _Paradise Lost_, book ii. l. 58.--ED.

[361] 1832.

    Through Rydal Cove from Fairfield's side,

                                                   MS. to Lady Beaumont.

    Through Mosedale-Cove from Carrock's side, 1827.

[362] Dorothy Wordsworth wrote to Henry Crabb Robinson (December 21,
1822), "William has just written a poem upon the Foundation of a
Church, which Lady Fleming is about to erect at Rydal. It is about 80
lines. I like it much." This letter was obviously written before the
poem reached its final form.--ED.


                     Composed 1822.--Published 1827

One of the "Poems of Sentiment and Reflection" from the edition of 1827
to that of 1843. In 1835 transferred to the "Miscellaneous Poems."--ED.

    Oh! gather whencesoe'er ye safely may
    The help which slackening Piety requires;
    Nor deem that he perforce must go astray
    Who treads upon the footmarks of his sires.

Our churches, invariably perhaps, stand east and west, but _why_ is by
few persons _exactly_ known; nor, that the degree of deviation from
_due_ east often noticeable in the ancient ones was determined, in each
particular case, by the point in the horizon, at which the sun rose
upon the day of the saint to whom the church was dedicated.[363] These
observances of our ancestors, and the causes of them, are the subject
of the following stanzas.

    When in the antique age of bow and spear
    And feudal rapine clothed with iron mail,
    Came ministers of peace, intent to rear
    The Mother Church in yon sequestered vale;[364]

    Then, to her Patron Saint a previous rite                          5
    Resounded with deep swell and solemn close,
    Through unremitting vigils of the night,
    Till from his couch the wished-for Sun uprose.

    He rose, and straight--as by divine command,
    They, who had waited for that sign to trace                       10
    Their work's foundation, gave with careful hand
    To the high altar its determined place;

    Mindful of Him who in the Orient born
    There lived, and on the cross his life resigned,
    And who, from out the regions of the morn,                        15
    Issuing in pomp, shall come to judge mankind.

    So taught _their_ creed;--nor failed the eastern sky,
    'Mid these more awful feelings, to infuse
    The sweet and natural hopes that shall not die,
    Long as the sun his gladsome course renews.                       20

    For us hath such prelusive vigil ceased;
    Yet still we plant, like men of elder days,
    Our christian altar faithful to the east,
    Whence the tall window drinks the morning rays;

    That obvious emblem giving to the eye                             25
    Of meek devotion, which erewhile it gave,
    That symbol of the day-spring from on high,
    Triumphant o'er the darkness of the grave.[365]


[363] St. Oswald's Day is the 8th of August in the Calendar.--ED.

[364] Doubtless Grasmere Church (itself originally a chapelry under
Kendal), the advowson of which was sold in 1573 to the Le Flemings of
Rydal. The date of the foundation is prehistoric. There is a thirteenth
century window in it, but the tower is older. The church is dedicated
to St. Oswald, King of Northumbria.--ED.

[365] Compare _Ode, Intimations of Immortality_, l. 117--

    In darkness lost, the darkness of the grave.--ED.


Only one poem and two sonnets were written in 1823.--ED.


                     Composed 1823.--Published 1827

One of the "Poems of Sentiment and Reflection." See the Fenwick note to
the lines _Written in a Blank Leaf of Macpherson's Ossian_ (p. 373
of this volume), where Wordsworth says that the poem was "suggested
from apprehensions of the fate of his friend, H. C." (Hartley

    A pen--to register; a key--
    That winds through secret wards;
    Are well assigned to Memory
    By allegoric Bards.

    As aptly, also, might be given                                     5
    A Pencil to her hand;
    That, softening objects, sometimes even
    Outstrips the heart's demand;

    That smooths foregone distress, the lines
    Of lingering care subdues,                                        10
    Long-vanished happiness refines,
    And clothes in brighter hues;

    Yet, like a tool of Fancy, works
    Those Spectres to dilate
    That startle Conscience, as she lurks                             15
    Within her lonely seat.

    O! that our lives, which flee so fast,
    In purity were such,
    That not an image of the past
    Should fear that pencil's touch!                                  20

    Retirement then might hourly look
    Upon a soothing scene,
    Age steal to his allotted nook
    Contented and serene;

    With heart as calm as lakes that sleep,                           25
    In frosty moonlight glistening;
    Or mountain rivers, where they creep
    Along a channel smooth and deep,
    To their own far-off murmurs listening.


                     Composed 1823.--Published 1827

One of the "Miscellaneous Sonnets."--ED.

    Not Love, not[366] War, nor the tumultuous swell
    Of civil conflict, nor the wrecks of change,
    Nor[367] Duty struggling with afflictions strange--
    Not these _alone_ inspire the tuneful shell;
    But where untroubled peace and concord dwell,                      5
    There also is the Muse not loth to range,
    Watching the twilight smoke of cot or grange,[368]
    Skyward ascending from a woody dell.[369][370]
    Meek aspirations please her, lone endeavour,
    And sage content, and placid melancholy;                          10
    She loves to gaze upon a crystal river--
    Diaphanous because it travels slowly;[371]
    Soft is the music that would charm for ever;[372]
    The flower of sweetest smell is shy and lowly.


[366] 1832.

    ... nor ... 1823.

[367] 1827.

    And ... 1823.[373]

[368] 1837.

    Watching the blue smoke of the elmy grange, 1823.

[369] 1837.

    ... from the twilight dell, 1823.

[370] Compare _Tintern Abbey_, II. 17, 18.--ED.

[371] _e. g._ The Rothay, or the Duddon.--ED.

[372] 1827.

    ... please for ever, 1823.

[373] See the same reading in _The Poetical Album_, 1829, vol. i. p.
43, edited by Alaric Watts.--ED.


                     Composed 1823.--Published 1827

One of the "Miscellaneous Sonnets."--ED.

    A volant Tribe of Bards on earth are found,
    Who, while the flattering Zephyrs round them play,
    On "coignes of vantage"[374] hang their nests of clay;
    How quickly from that aery hold unbound,
    Dust for oblivion! To the solid ground                             5
    Of nature trusts the Mind that builds for aye;
    Convinced that there, there only, she can lay
    Secure foundations. As the year runs round,
    Apart she toils within the chosen ring;
    While the stars shine,[375] or while day's purple eye             10
    Is gently closing with the flowers of spring;
    Where even the motion of an Angel's wing
    Would interrupt the intense tranquillity
    Of silent hills, and more than silent sky.[376]


[374] _Macbeth_, act I. scene vi. l. 7.--ED.

[375] 1827.

    ... nests of clay,
    Work cunningly devised, and seeming sound;
    But quickly from its airy hold unbound
    By its own weight, or washed, or blown away
    With silent imperceptible decay.
    If man must build, admit him to thy ground,
    O Truth! to work within the eternal ring,
    Where the stars shine, ... 1823.

[376] Compare Alexander Hume's _Day's Estival_ (1599). This and the
preceding sonnet were first published in 1823 in _A Collection of
Poems, chiefly manuscript, and from living authors, edited for the
benefit of a Friend_, by Joanna Baillie. The collection includes Sir
Walter Scott's _Macduff's Cross_, and Southey's _The Cataract of


The poems written in 1824 were few. They include two addressed to
Mrs. Wordsworth, two or three composed at Coleorton, and a couple of
memorial sonnets suggested during a tour in North Wales.--ED.

TO ----

                     Composed 1824.--Published 1827

[Written at Rydal Mount. On Mrs. Wordsworth.--I.F.]

One of the "Poems founded on the Affections."--ED.

    Let other bards of angels sing,
      Bright suns without a spot;
    But thou art no such perfect thing:
      Rejoice that thou art not!

    Heed not tho' none should call thee fair;[378]                     5
      So, Mary, let it be
    If nought in loveliness compare
      With what thou art to me.

    True beauty dwells in deep retreats,
      Whose veil is unremoved                                         10
    Till heart with heart in concord beats,
      And the lover is beloved.



    Such if thou wert in all men's view,
      A universal show,
    What would my Fancy have to do,
      My Feelings to bestow?

    A second (additional) stanza in the editions of 1827-43.

[378] 1832.

    The world denies that Thou art fair; 1827.

TO ----

                     Composed 1824.--Published 1827

[Written at Rydal Mount. To Mrs. W.--I. F.]

One of the "Poems founded on the Affections."--ED.

    O dearer far than light and life are dear,
    Full oft our human foresight I deplore;
    Trembling, through my unworthiness, with fear
    That friends, by death disjoined, may meet no more!

    Misgivings, hard to vanquish or control,                           5
    Mix with the day, and cross the hour of rest;
    While all the future, for thy purer soul,
    With "sober certainties" of love is blest.[379]

    That sigh of thine,[380] not meant for human ear,
    Tells[381] that these words thy humbleness offend;                10
    Yet bear me up[382]--else faltering in the rear
    Of a steep march: support[383] me to the end.

    Peace settles where the intellect is meek,
    And Love is dutiful in thought and deed;
    Through Thee communion with that Love I seek:                     15
    The faith Heaven strengthens where _he_ moulds the Creed.


[379] See _Comus_, l. 263.--ED.

[380] 1836.

    If a faint sigh, ... 1827.

[381] 1836.

    Tell ... 1827.

[382] 1836.

    Cherish me still-- ... 1827.

[383] 1836.

    ... uphold ... 1827.


                     Composed 1824.--Published 1827

[Written at Rydal Mount. Mrs. Wordsworth's impression is that the Poem
was written at Coleorton: it was certainly suggested by a Print at
Coleorton Hall.--I. F.]

One of the "Poems founded on the Affections."--ED.

    How rich that forehead's calm expanse!
    How bright that heaven-directed glance!
    --Waft her to glory, wingèd Powers,
    Ere sorrow be renewed,
    And intercourse with mortal hours                                  5
    Bring back a humbler mood!
    So looked Cecilia when she drew
    An Angel from his station;[384]
    So looked; not ceasing to pursue
    Her tuneful adoration!                                            10

    But hand and voice alike are still;
    No sound _here_ sweeps away the will
    That gave it birth: in service meek
    One upright arm sustains the cheek,
    And one across the bosom lies--                                   15
    That rose, and now forgets to rise,
    Subdued by breathless harmonies
    Of meditative feeling;
    Mute strains from worlds beyond the skies,
    Through the pure light of female eyes,                            20
    Their sanctity revealing!


[384] Compare Dryden's _Alexander's Feast_, an Ode in honour of St.
Cecilia's Day--

    _Timotheus._ He raised a mortal to the skies.

    _Cecilia._ She drew an angel down.--ED.

TO ----

                     Composed 1824.--Published 1827

[Written at Rydal Mount. Prompted by the undue importance attached to
personal beauty by some dear friends of mine.--I. F.]

One of the "Poems founded on the Affections."--ED.

    Look at the fate of summer flowers,
    Which blow at daybreak, droop ere even-song;[385]
    And, grieved for their brief date, confess that ours,
    Measured by what we are and ought to be,
    Measured by all that, trembling, we foresee,                       5
              Is not so long!

    If human Life do pass away,
    Perishing yet more swiftly than the flower,
    If we are creatures of a _winter's_ day;[386]
    What space hath Virgin's beauty to disclose                       10
    Her sweets, and triumph o'er the breathing rose?
                Not even an hour!

    The deepest grove whose foliage hid
    The happiest lovers Arcady might boast
    Could not the entrance of this thought forbid:                    15
    O be thou wise as they, soul-gifted Maid!
    Nor rate too high what must so quickly fade,
                So soon be lost.

    Then shall love teach some virtuous Youth
    "To draw, out of the object of his eyes,"[387]                    20
    The while[388] on thee they gaze in simple truth,
    Hues more exalted, "a refinèd Form,"
    That dreads not age, nor suffers from the worm,
                And never dies.


[385] Compare Robert Herrick's poem _To Daffodils_--

    Fair daffodils, we weep to see
      You haste away so soon;
    As yet the early rising sun
      Has not attain'd his noon.
              Stay, stay,
          Until the hasting day
              Has run
          But to the even-song, etc.

See also his poem _To Blossoms_.--ED.

[386] 1836.

    Whose frail existence is but of a day; 1827.

[387] Compare Lyly's _Endymion_, v. 3--

    To have him in the object of mine eyes.--ED.

[388] 1836.

    The whilst ... 1827.



                     Composed 1824.--Published 1827

[Planned by my friend, Lady Beaumont, in connection with the garden at
Coleorton.--I. F.]

One of the "Poems of the Fancy."--ED.

    Tell me, ye Zephyrs! that unfold,
    While fluttering o'er this gay Recess,[390]
    Pinions that fanned the teeming mould
    Of Eden's blissful wilderness,
    Did only softly-stealing hours                                     5
    There close the peaceful lives of flowers?

    Say, when the _moving_ creatures saw
    All kinds commingled without fear,
    Prevailed a like indulgent law
    For the still growths that prosper here?                          10
    Did wanton fawn and kid forbear
    The half-blown rose, the lily spare?

    Or peeped they often from their beds
    And prematurely disappeared,
    Devoured like pleasure ere it spreads                             15
    A bosom to the sun endeared?
    If such their harsh untimely doom,
    It falls not _here_ on bud or bloom.

    All summer-long the happy Eve
    Of this fair Spot her flowers may bind,                           20
    Nor e'er, with ruffled fancy, grieve,
    From the next glance she casts, to find
    That love for little things by Fate
    Is rendered vain as love for great.

    Yet, where the guardian fence is wound,                           25
    So subtly are our eyes beguiled
    We see not nor suspect a bound,[391]
    No more than in some forest wild;
    The sight is free as air--or crost[392]
    Only by art in nature lost.                                       30

    And, though[393] the jealous turf refuse
    By random footsteps to be prest,
    And feed[394] on never-sullied dews,
    _Ye_, gentle breezes from the west,
    With all the ministers of hope                                    35
    Are tempted to this sunny slope!

    And hither throngs of birds resort;
    Some, inmates lodged in shady nests,
    Some, perched on stems of stately port
    That nod to welcome transient guests;                             40
    While hare and leveret, seen at play,
    _Appear_ not more shut out than they.

    Apt emblem (for reproof of pride)
    This delicate Enclosure shows
    Of modest kindness, that would hide                               45
    The firm protection she bestows;
    Of manners, like its viewless fence,
    Ensuring peace to innocence.

    Thus spake the moral Muse--her wing
    Abruptly spreading to depart,                                     50
    She left that[395] farewell offering,
    Memento for some docile heart;
    That may respect the good old age
    When Fancy was Truth's willing Page;
    And Truth would skim the flowery glade,                           55
    Though entering but as Fancy's Shade.

In a letter from Mrs. Wordsworth to Lady Beaumont, dated "Rydal Mount,
Feb. 28" (1824), the following occurs:--

"This garden is made out of Lady Caroline Price's, and your own,
combining the recommendations of both. Like you, I enjoy the beauty of
flowers, but do not carry my admiration so far as my sister, not to
feel how very troublesome they are. I have more pleasure in clearing
away thickets, and making such arrangements as produced the Winter
Garden, and those sweet glades behind Coleorton Church."--ED.


[389] 1836.


[390] The flower garden was constructed below the terrace to the east
of the Hall.--ED.

[391] 1836.

    So subtly is the eye beguiled
    It sees not nor suspects a Bound, 1827.

                           MS. sent by Mrs. Wordsworth to Lady Beaumont.

[392] 1836.

    Free as the light in semblance--crost. 1827.

                           MS. sent by Mrs. Wordsworth to Lady Beaumont.

[393] 1827.

    What though ...

                           MS. sent by Mrs. Wordsworth to Lady Beaumont.

[394] 1836.

    And feeds ... 1827.

[395] 1827.

    ... this ...

                           MS. sent by Mrs. Wordsworth to Lady Beaumont.


          Composed in the Grounds of Plass Newidd,[396] near
                           Llangollen, 1824.

                    Composed 1824.--Published 1827

[In this Vale of Meditation my friend Jones resided, having been
allowed by his diocesan to fix himself there without resigning his
Living in Oxfordshire. He was with my wife and daughter and me when
we visited these celebrated ladies who had retired, as one may say,
into notice in this vale. Their cottage lay directly in the road
between London and Dublin, and they were of course visited by their
Irish friends as well as innumerable strangers. They took much delight
in passing jokes on our friend Jones's plumpness, ruddy cheeks and
smiling countenance, as little suited to a hermit living in the Vale
of Meditation. We all thought there was ample room for retort on his
part, so curious was the appearance of these ladies, so elaborately
sentimental about themselves and their _Caro Albergo_ as they named it
in an inscription on a tree that stood opposite, the endearing epithet
being preceded by the word Ecco! calling upon the saunterer to look
about him. So oddly was one of these ladies attired that we took her,
at a little distance, for a Roman Catholic priest, with a crucifix and
relics hung at his neck. They were without caps, their hair bushy and
white as snow, which contributed to the mistake.--I. F.]

One of the "Miscellaneous Sonnets."--ED.

    A STREAM, to mingle with your favourite Dee,
    Along the VALE OF MEDITATION[397] flows;
    So styled by those fierce Britons, pleased to see
    In Nature's face the expression of repose;
    Or haply there some pious hermit chose                             5
    To live and die, the peace of heaven his aim;
    To whom the wild sequestered region owes,
    At this late day, its sanctifying name.
    GLYN CAFAILLGAROCH, in the Cambrian tongue,
    In ours, the VALE OF FRIENDSHIP, let _this_ spot                  10
    Be named; where, faithful to a low-roofed Cot,
    On Deva's banks, ye have abode so long;
    Sisters in love, a love allowed to climb,
    Even on this earth, above the reach of Time!


[396] Plass Newidd is close to Llangollen, a small cottage a quarter
of a mile to the south of the town. The ladies referred to in the
Fenwick note, Lady Eleanor Butler and the Hon. Miss Ponsonby, formed a
romantic attachment; and, having an extreme love of independence, they
withdrew from society, and settled in this remote and secluded cottage.
Lady Butler died in 1829, aged ninety, and Miss Ponsonby in 1831, aged
seventy-six, their faithful servant, Mary Caroll, having predeceased
them. The three are buried in the same grave in Llangollen Churchyard,
and an inscription to the memory of each is carved on a triangular
pillar beside their tomb.

In a letter to Sir George Beaumont from Hindwell, Radnorshire,
Wordsworth gives an account of this tour in North Wales.... "We
turned from the high-road three or four miles to visit the 'Valley of
Meditation' (Glyn Myvyr), where Mr. Jones has, at present, a curacy
with a comfortable parsonage. We slept at Corwen, and went down the Dee
to Llangollen, which you and dear Lady B. know well. Called upon the
celebrated Recluses, who hoped that you and Lady B. had not forgotten
them.... Next day I sent them the following sonnet from Ruthin, which
was conceived, and in a great measure composed, in their grounds."
Compare Sir Walter Scott's account of his visit to these Ladies in 1825
(Lockhart's _Life of Scott_, vol. viii. pp. 48, 49).--ED.

[397] Glyn Myvyr.--W. W. The word is misspelt in most of the


                     Composed 1824.--Published 1827

One of the "Miscellaneous Sonnets."--ED.

    How art thou named? In search of what strange land,
    From what huge height, descending? Can such force
    Of waters issue from a British source,[399]
    Or hath not Pindus fed thee,[400] where the band
    Of Patriots scoop their freedom out, with hand                     5
    Desperate as thine? Or come the incessant shocks
    From that young Stream,[401] that smites the throbbing rocks
    Of Viamala? There I seem to stand,
    As in life's morn; permitted to behold,
    From the dread chasm, woods climbing above woods,                 10
    In pomp that fades not; everlasting snows;
    And skies that ne'er relinquish their repose;
    Such power possess the family of floods
    Over the minds of Poets, young or old!


[398] The Devil's Bridge in North Wales is at Hafod, near Aberystwyth,
in Cardiganshire. Like the Teufelsbrücke, on the road from Göschenen to
Airola, over the St. Gotthard in Switzerland, which spans the Reuss,
the Devil's Bridge in Wales is double; _i.e._ an upper and an under
bridge span the river Mynach. This _Pont-y-Mynach_ was built either by
the monks of Strata Florida, or by the Knights Hospitallers.

In the letter to Sir George Beaumont, referred to in a previous note,
Wordsworth writes: "We went up the Rhydiol to the Devil's Bridge, where
we passed the following day in exploring these two rivers, and Hafod
in the neighbourhood. I had seen these things long ago, but either my
memory or my powers of observation had not done them justice. It rained
heavily in the night, and we saw the waterfalls in perfection. While
Dora was attempting to make a sketch from the chasm in the rain, I
composed by her side the following address to the torrent,

    How art thou named? etc."--ED.

[399] There are several consecutive falls on the river Mynach, at the
Devil's Bridge, the longest being one of 114 feet, and the whole taken
together amounting to 314 feet.--ED.

[400] The lofty ridge of mountains in northern Greece between Thessaly
and Epirus, which, like the Apennines in Italy, form the back-bone of
the country.--ED.

[401] The Rhine. The Via Mala is the gorge between Thusis and Zillis,
near the source of the Rhine. Compare _Descriptive Sketches_ (vol. i.
p. 46)--

    Or, led where Via Mala's chasms confine
    The indignant waters of the infant Rhine.--ED.


                     Composed 1824.--Published 1827

One of the "Miscellaneous Sonnets."--ED.

    Through shattered galleries, 'mid roofless halls,
    Wandering with timid footsteps[402] oft betrayed,
    The Stranger sighs, nor scruples to upbraid
    Old Time, though he, gentlest among the Thralls
    Of Destiny, upon these wounds hath laid                            5
    His lenient touches, soft as light that falls,
    From the wan Moon, upon the towers and walls,
    Light deepening the profoundest sleep of shade.
    Relic of Kings! Wreck of forgotten wars,
    To winds abandoned and the prying stars,                          10
    Time _loves_ Thee! at his call the Seasons twine
    Luxuriant wreaths around thy forehead hoar;
    And, though past pomp no changes can restore,
    A soothing recompense, his gift, is thine![403]


[402] 1837.

    ... footstep ... 1827.

[403] Compare _The White Doe of Rylstone_, canto i. ll. 118, 119 (vol.
iv. p. 110)--

    Nature, softening and concealing,
    And busy with a hand of healing.

This was doubtless Carnarvon Castle, which Wordsworth visited in
September 1824, at the close of his three weeks' ramble in North Wales,
of which he wrote to Sir George Beaumont, "We employed several hours
in exploring the interior of the noble castle, and looking at it from
different points of view in the neighbourhood."--ED.


                           HIS SISTER-IN-LAW)


                     Composed 1824.--Published 1827

[On Mrs. Fermor. This lady had been a widow long before I knew her. Her
husband was of the family of the lady celebrated in the _Rape of the
Lock_, and was, I believe, a Roman Catholic. The sorrow which his death
caused her was fearful in its character as described in this poem, but
was subdued in course of time by the strength of her religious faith.
I have been for many weeks at a time, an inmate with her at Coleorton
Hall, as were also Mrs. Wordsworth and my sister. The truth in the
sketch of her character here given was acknowledged with gratitude by
her nearest relatives. She was eloquent in conversation, energetic upon
public matters, open in respect to those, but slow to communicate her
personal feelings; upon these she never touched in her intercourse with
me, so that I could not regard myself as her confidential friend, and
was accordingly surprised when I learnt she had left me a legacy of
£100, as a token of her esteem. See in further illustration the second
stanza inscribed upon her cenotaph in Coleorton church.--I.F.]

One of the "Epitaphs and Elegiac Pieces." In 1827 the title was simply,
_Elegiac Stanzas, 1824_, and the title of the group was then, and in
1832, "Epitaphs and Elegiac Poems."--ED.

    O for a dirge! But why complain?
    Ask rather a triumphal strain
    When FERMOR'S race is run;
    A garland of immortal boughs
    To twine[405] around the Christian's brows,                        5
    Whose glorious work is done.

    We pay a high and holy debt;
    No tears of passionate regret
    Shall stain this votive lay;
    Ill-worthy, Beaumont! were the grief                              10
    That flings itself on wild relief
    When Saints have passed away.

    Sad doom, at Sorrow's shrine to kneel,
    For ever covetous to feel,
    And impotent to bear!                                             15
    Such once was hers--to think and think
    On severed love, and only sink
    From anguish to despair!

    But nature to its inmost part
    Faith had[406] refined; and to her heart                          20
    A peaceful cradle given:
    Calm as the dew-drop's, free to rest
    Within a breeze-fanned rose's breast
    Till it exhales to Heaven.

    Was ever Spirit that could bend:                                  25
    So graciously?[407]--that could descend,
    Another's need to suit,
    So promptly from her lofty throne?--
    In works of love, in these alone,
    How restless, how minute!                                         30

    Pale was her hue; yet mortal cheek[408]
    Ne'er kindled with a livelier streak
    When aught had suffered wrong,--
    When aught that breathes had felt a wound;
    Such look the Oppressor might confound,                           35
    However proud and strong.

    But hushed be every thought that springs
    From out the bitterness of things;
    Her quiet is secure;
    No thorns can pierce her tender feet,                             40
    Whose life was, like the violet, sweet,
    As climbing jasmine, pure--

    As snowdrop on an infant's grave,
    Or lily heaving with the wave
    That feeds it and defends;                                        45
    As Vesper, ere the star hath kissed
    The mountain top, or breathed the mist
    That from the vale ascends.

    Thou takest not away, O Death!
    Thou strikest[409]--absence perisheth,                            50
    Indifference is no more;
    The future brightens on our sight;
    For on the past hath fallen a light
    That tempts us to adore.

In a letter from Mrs. Wordsworth to Lady Beaumont, dated "Rydal Mount,
Feb. 25, 1825," she says:--

"We are all much moved by the manner in which Miss Willes has received
the verses,--particularly Wm., who feels himself more than rewarded
for the _labour_ I cannot call it of the composition--for the tribute
was poured forth with a deep stream of fervour that was something
beyond labour, and it has required very little correction. In one
instance a single word in the '_Address to Sir George_' is changed
since we sent the copy, viz.: 'graciously' for 'courteously,' as being
a word of more dignity."

The following inscription was "copied from the Churchyard of Claines,
Sept. 14, 1826," by Dorothy Wordsworth, in a MS. book, containing
numerous epitaphs on tombstones, and inscriptions on rural monuments in
Cathedrals and Churches, in various parts of the country.

    To the memory of Frances Fermor,
    Relict of Henry Fermor, Esqre.,
    Of Fritwell, in the County of Oxford,
    And eldest Daughter of the late
    John Willes, Esqre., of Astrop, in the county
    _Of Northamptonshire_, who departed this life,
    Dec. 5th, 1824, aged 68 years.
    I am the way, the truth, and
    The life. Whoso cometh to me
    I will in no wise cast out.--ED.


[404] 1837.

  ELEGIAC STANZAS, 1824. 1827.

[405] 1845.

    To bind ... 1827.

[406] 1837.

    Had Faith ... 1827.

[407] 1827.

    So courteously ...

                                        In a MS. copy sent to Coleorton.

[408] 1827.

    Pale was her hue, but mortal cheek

                           In MS. from Mrs. Wordsworth to Lady Beaumont.

[409] 1840.

    Thou strik'st--and ... 1827.


In affectionate remembrance of Frances Fermor, whose remains are
deposited in the church of Claines, near Worcester, this stone is
erected by her sister, Dame Margaret, wife of Sir George Beaumont,
Bart., who, feeling not less than the love of a brother for the
deceased, commends this memorial to the care of his heirs and
successors in the possession of this place.

                     Composed 1824.--Published 1842

[See "Elegiac Stanzas. (Addressed to Sir G.H.B., upon the death of his

One of the "Epitaphs and Elegiac Pieces."--ED.

    By vain affections unenthralled,
    Though resolute when duty called
    To meet the world's broad eye,
    Pure as the holiest cloistered nun
    That ever feared the tempting sun,                                 5
    Did Fermor live and die.

    This Tablet, hallowed by her name,[410]
    One heart-relieving tear may claim;
    But if the pensive gloom
    Of fond regret be still thy choice,                               10
    Exalt thy spirit, hear the voice
    Of Jesus from her tomb!


In the letter to Lady Beaumont, referred to in the notes, the title of
this poem is "Inscription in the Church of Coleorton," and a footnote
is added, "Say, to the left of the vista, within the thicket, below the
churchyard wall.--M. W."

Mrs. Wordsworth also says, "To fit the lines, intended for an urn, for
a Monument, W. has altered the closing stanza, which (though they are
not what he would have produced had he first cast them with a view to
the Church) he hopes you will not disapprove."--ED.


[410] 1842.

    This cenotaph that bears her name,

                                   MS. Mrs. Wordsworth to Lady Beaumont.

    This sacred stone that bears her name,

                                   MS. Mrs. Wordsworth to Lady Beaumont.


Three Poems were written in 1825, _The Pillar of Trajan_, _The
Contrast: The Parrot and the Wren_, and the lines _To a Skylark_.--ED.


                     Composed 1825.--Published 1827

[These verses perhaps had better be transferred to the class of
"Italian Poems." I had observed in the newspaper, that the Pillar
of Trajan was given as a subject for a prize-poem in English verse.
I had a wish perhaps that my son, who was then an undergraduate at
Oxford, should try his fortune, and I told him so; but he, not having
been accustomed to write verse, wisely declined to enter on the task;
whereupon I showed him these lines as a proof of what might, without
difficulty, be done on such a subject.--I.F.]

From 1827 to 1842 one of the "Poems of Sentiment and Reflection"; in
1845 one of the "Memorials of a Tour in Italy."--ED.

    Where towers are crushed, and unforbidden weeds
    O'er mutilated arches shed their seeds;
    And temples, doomed to milder change, unfold
    A new magnificence that vies with old;
    Firm in its pristine majesty hath stood                            5
    A votive Column, spared by fire and flood:--
    And, though the passions of man's fretful race
    Have never ceased to eddy round its base,
    Not injured more by touch of meddling hands
    Than a lone obelisk, 'mid Nubian sands,                           10
    Or aught in Syrian deserts left to save
    From death the memory of the good and brave.
    Historic figures round the shaft embost
    Ascend, with lineaments in air not lost:
    Still as he turns, the charmed spectator sees                     15
    Group winding after group with dream-like ease;
    Triumphs in sunbright gratitude displayed,[411]
    Or softly stealing into modest shade.
    --So, pleased with purple clusters to entwine
    Some lofty elm-tree, mounts the daring vine;                      20
    The woodbine so, with spiral grace, and breathes
    Wide-spreading odours from her flowery wreaths.

    Borne by the Muse from rills in shepherds' ears
    Murmuring but one smooth story for all years,
    I gladly commune with the mind and heart                          25
    Of him who thus survives by classic art,
    His actions witness, venerate his mien,
    And study Trajan as by Pliny seen;
    Behold how fought the Chief whose conquering sword
    Stretched far as earth might own a single lord;                   30
    In the delight of moral prudence schooled,
    How feelingly at home the Sovereign ruled;
    Best of the good--in pagan faith allied
    To more than Man, by virtue deified.

      Memorial Pillar! 'mid the wrecks of Time                        35
    Preserve thy charge with confidence sublime--
    The exultations, pomps, and cares of Rome,
    Whence half the breathing world received its doom;
    Things that recoil from language; that, if shown
    By apter pencil, from the light had flown.                        40
    A Pontiff, Trajan _here_ the Gods implores,
    _There_ greets an Embassy from Indian shores;
    Lo! he harangues his cohorts--_there_ the storm
    Of battle meets him in authentic form!
    Unharnessed, naked, troops of Moorish horse                       45
    Sweep to the charge;[412] more high, the Dacian force,
    To hoof and finger mailed;[413]--yet, high or low,
    None bleed, and none lie prostrate but the foe;[414]
    In every Roman, through all turns of fate,
    Is Roman dignity inviolate;                                       50
    Spirit in him pre-eminent, who guides,[415]
    Supports, adorns, and over all presides;
    Distinguished only by inherent state
    From honoured Instruments that round him wait;[416]
    Rise as he may, his grandeur scorns the test                      55
    Of outward symbol, nor will deign to rest
    On aught by which another is deprest.
    --Alas! that One thus disciplined could toil
    To enslave whole nations on their native soil;
    So emulous of Macedonian fame,                                    60
    That, when his age was measured with his aim,
    He drooped, 'mid else unclouded victories,
    And turned his eagles back with deep-drawn sighs.
    O weakness of the Great! O folly of the Wise!

      Where now the haughty Empire that was spread                    65
    With such fond hope? her very speech is dead;
    Yet glorious Art the power of Time defies,
    And Trajan still, through various enterprise,
    Mounts, in this fine illusion, toward the skies:
    Still are we present with the imperial Chief,                     70
    Nor cease to gaze upon the bold Relief
    Till Rome, to silent marble unconfined,
    Becomes with all her years a vision of the Mind.

Trajan's Column was set up by the Senate and people of Rome, in honour
of the Emperor, about A.D. 114. It is one of the most remarkable
pillars in the world; and still stands, little injured by time, in
the centre of the _Forum Trajanum_ (now a ruin); its height--132
feet--marking the height of the earth removed when the Forum was made.
On the pedestal bas-reliefs were carved in series showing the arms
and armour of the Romans; and round the shaft of the column similar
reliefs, exhibiting pictorially the whole story of the Decian campaign
of the Emperor. These are of great value as illustrating the history
of the period, the costume of the Roman soldiers and the barbarians. A
colossal statue of Trajan crowned the column; and, when it fell, Pope
Sixtus V. replaced it by a figure of St. Peter. It is referred to by
Pausanias (v. 12. 6), and by all the ancient topographers. See a minute
account of it, with excellent illustrations, in Hertzberg's _Geschichte
des Römischen Kaiserreiches_, pp. 330-345 (Berlin: 1880); also
Müller's _Denkmäler der alten Kunst_, p. 51. The book, however, from
which Wordsworth gained his information of this pillar was evidently
Joseph Forsyth's _Remarks on Antiquities, Arts, and Letters, during
an Excursion in Italy in 1802-3_ (London: 1813). It is thus that Dean
Merivale speaks of it:--

"Amid this profusion of splendour" (_i.e._ in the _Forum Trajanum_)
"the great object to which the eye was principally directed was the
column, which rose majestically in the centre of the forum to the
height of 126 feet, sculptured from the base of the shaft to the
summit with the story of the Decian wars, shining in every volute and
moulding, with gold and pigments, and crowned with the colossal effigy
of the august conqueror.... The proportions of the Trajan column are
peculiarly graceful; the compact masses of stone, nineteen in number,
of which the whole shaft is composed, may lead us to admire the skill
employed in its construction; but the most interesting feature of
this historic monument is the spiral band of figures which throughout
enriches it. To the subjects of Trajan himself, this record of his
exploits in bold relief must have given a vivid and sufficient idea of
the people, the places, and the actions indicated; even to us, after
so many centuries, they furnish a correct type of the arms, the arts,
and the costume both of the Romans and barbarians which we should
vainly seek for elsewhere. The Trajan column forms a notable chapter
in the pictorial history of Rome." (_History of the Romans under the
Empire_, vol. viii. pp. 46, 47.)

In the Fenwick note, Wordsworth mentions that, what gave rise to this
poem was, his observing in the newspapers that "the Pillar of Trajan"
was prescribed as a subject for a prize poem at Oxford. This determines
the date of composition. _The Pillar of Trajan_ was the Newdigate prize
poem, won by W. W. Tireman, Wadham Coll., in 1826. We may therefore
assume that the subject was proposed about the summer of 1825.--ED.


[411] As Wordsworth says, in his note of 1827, "See Forsyth," it may
be interesting to add Forsyth's account of the Pillar, in footnotes.
"Trajan's Column, considered as a long historical record to be read
round and round a long convex surface, made perspective impossible.
Every perspective has one fixed point of view, but here are ten
thousand. The eye, like the relievos of the column, must describe a
spiral round them, widening over the whole piazza. Hence, to be legible
the figures must be lengthened as they rise. This licence is necessary
here; but in architecture it may be contested against Vitruvius
himself." (Forsyth's _Remarks on Antiquities, Arts, and Letters,
during an Excursion in Italy in 1802-3_, pp. 250, 251.)--ED.

[412] "In detailing the two wars, this column sets each nation in
contrast: here the Moorish horse, all naked and unharnessed" (Forsyth's
_Remarks_, _etc._, p. 251.)--ED.

[413] See Forsyth.--W. W. 1827.

"There the Taranatians, in complete mail down to the fingers and the
hoofs. It exhibits without embellishment all the tactics of that age,
and forms grand commentary on Vegetius and Frontinus." (_Remarks_,
_etc._, p. 252.)--ED.

[414] "How unlike the modern relievos, where dress appears in all its
distinctions, and prostration in all its angles! none kneel here but
priests and captives; no Roman appears in a fallen state: none are
wounded or slain but the foe.

"No monument gives the complete and real costume of its kind so
correctly as this column.... On this column we can see parts of the
_subarmalia_; we can see real drawers falling down to the officers'
legs; and some figures have _focalia_, like invalids, round the neck."
(_Remarks_, _etc._, p. 251-2.)--ED.

[415] "This column is an immense field of antiquities, where the
emperor appears in a hundred different points, as sovereign, as
general, as priest." (_Remarks_, _etc._, p. 251.)--ED.

[416] "His dignity he derives from himself or his duties; not from the
trappings of power, for he is dressed like any of his officers, not
from the debasement of others, for the Romans stand bold and erect
before him." (_Remarks_, _etc._, p. 251.)--ED.



                     Composed 1825.--Published 1827

[The Parrot belonged to Mrs. Luff while living at Fox-Ghyll. The Wren
was one that haunted for many years the summerhouse between the two
terraces at Rydal Mount.--I. F.]

    One of the "Poems of the Fancy."--ED.


    Within her gilded cage confined,
    I saw a dazzling Belle,
    A Parrot of that famous kind
    Whose name is NON-PAREIL.

    Like beads of glossy jet her eyes;                                 5
    And, smoothed by Nature's skill,
    With pearl or gleaming agate vies
    Her finely-curvèd bill.

    Her plumy mantle's living hues
    In mass opposed to mass,                                          10
    Outshine the splendour that imbues
    The robes of pictured glass.

    And, sooth to say, an apter Mate
    Did never tempt the choice
    Of feathered Thing most delicate                                  15
    In figure and in voice.

    But, exiled from Australian bowers,
    And singleness her lot,
    She trills her song with tutored powers,
    Or mocks each casual note.                                        20

    No more of pity for regrets
    With which she may have striven!
    Now but in wantonness she frets,
    Or spite, if cause be given;

    Arch, volatile, a sportive bird                                   25
    By social glee inspired;
    Ambitious to be seen or heard
    And pleased to be admired!


    This Moss-Lined shed, green, soft, and dry,
    Harbours a self-contented Wren,                                   30
    Not shunning man's abode, though shy,
    Almost as thought itself, of human ken.

    Strange places, coverts unendeared,
    She never tried; the very nest
    In which this Child of Spring was reared,                         35
    Is warmed, thro' winter, by her feathery breast.

    To the bleak winds she sometimes gives
    A slender unexpected strain;
    Proof that[418] the hermitess still lives,
    Though she appear not, and be sought in vain.                     40

    Say, Dora! tell me, by yon placid moon,
    If called to choose between the favoured pair,
    Which would you be,--the bird of the saloon,
    By lady-fingers tended with nice care,
    Caressed, applauded, upon dainties fed,                           45
    Or Nature's DARKLING of this mossy shed?

The "moss-lined shed, green, soft, and dry," still remains at Rydal
Mount, as it was in the poet's time.--ED.


[417] 1832.

    The Contrast. 1827.

[418] 1836.

    That tells ... 1827.


                     Composed 1825.--Published 1827

[Written at Rydal Mount, where there are no skylarks, but the Poet is
everywhere.--I. F.]

    One of the "Poems of the Imagination."--ED.

    Ethereal minstrel! pilgrim of the sky!
    Dost thou despise the earth where cares abound?
    Or, while the[419] wings aspire, are heart and eye
    Both with thy nest upon the dewy ground?
    Thy nest which thou canst drop into at will,                       5
    Those quivering wings composed, that music still!

    Leave to the nightingale her[421] shady wood;
    A privacy of glorious light is thine;
    Whence thou dost pour upon the world a flood
    Of harmony, with instinct[422] more divine;                       10
    Type of the wise who soar, but never roam;
    True to the kindred points of Heaven and Home!

Compare this with the earlier poem _To a Skylark_, written in 1805, and
both poems with Shelley's still finer lyric to the same bird, written
in 1820. See also the _Morning Exercise_ (1828), stanzas v.-x. The
eighth stanza of that poem was, from 1827 to 1842, the second stanza
of this one. The poem was published in the _Poetical Album_, for 1829,
edited by Alaric Watts, vol. ii. p. 30.--ED.


[419] 1827.

    ... thy ...

    _Poetical Album_, 1829.

[420] The following second stanza occurs only in the editions 1827-43--

    To the last point of vision, and beyond,
    Mount, daring Warbler! that love-prompted strain,
    ('Twixt thee and thine a never-failing bond)
    Thrills not the less the bosom of the plain:
    Yet might'st thou seem, proud privilege! to sing
    All independent of the leafy spring.

[421] 1827.

    ... the ...

    _Poetical Album_, 1829.

[422] 1832.

    ... rapture ... 1827.


The poems composed in 1826 were six. They include two referring to the
month of May, and two descriptive of places near Rydal Mount.--ED.


                     Composed 1826.--Published 1827

[Written at Rydal Mount. Suggested by the condition of a friend.--I. F.]

    One of the "Poems founded on the Affections."--ED.

    Ere with cold beads of midnight dew
      Had mingled tears of thine,
    I grieved, fond Youth! that thou shouldst sue
      To haughty Geraldine.

    Immoveable by generous sighs,                                      5
      She glories in a train
    Who drag, beneath our native skies,
      An oriental chain.

    Pine not like them with arms across,
      Forgetting in thy care                                          10
    How the fast-rooted trees can toss
      Their branches in mid air.

    The humblest rivulet will take
      Its own wild liberties;
    And, every day, the imprisoned lake                               15
      Is flowing in the breeze.

    Then, crouch no more on suppliant knee,
      But scorn with scorn outbrave;
    A Briton, even in love, should be
      A subject, not a slave!                                         20



                     Composed 1826.--Published 1835

[This and the following poem originated in the lines, "How delicate
the leafy veil," etc. My daughter and I left Rydal Mount upon a tour
through our mountains, with Mr. and Mrs. Carr,[423] in the month of
May, 1826, and as we were going up the Vale of Newlands I was struck
with the appearance of the little chapel gleaming through the veil
of half-opened leaves; and the feeling which was then conveyed to my
mind was expressed in the stanza referred to above. As in the case of
_Liberty_ and _Humanity_, my first intention was to write only one
poem, but subsequently I broke it into two, making additions to each
part so as to produce a consistent and appropriate whole.--I. F.]

    In 1835, included in the Poems on _Yarrow Revisited_, etc. In
    1837, one of the "Poems of Sentiment and Reflection."--ED.

    While from the purpling east departs
      The star that led the dawn,
    Blithe Flora from her couch upstarts,
      For May is on the lawn,[424]
    A quickening hope, a freshening glee,                              5
      Foreran the expected Power,
    Whose first-drawn breath, from bush and tree,
      Shakes off that pearly shower.

    All Nature welcomes Her whose sway
      Tempers the year's extremes;                                    10
    Who scattereth lustres o'er noon-day,
      Like morning's dewy gleams;
    While mellow warble, sprightly trill,
      The tremulous heart excite;
    And hums the balmy air to still                                   15
      The balance of delight.

    Time was, blest Power! when youths and maids
      At peep of dawn would rise,
    And wander forth in forest glades
      Thy birth to solemnize.                                         20
    Though mute the song--to grace the rite
      Untouched the hawthorn bough,
    Thy Spirit triumphs o'er the slight;
      Man changes, but not Thou!

    Thy feathered Lieges bill and wings                               25
      In love's disport employ;
    Warmed by thy influence, creeping things
      Awake to silent joy:
    Queen art thou still for each gay plant
      Where the slim wild deer roves;                                 30
    And served in depths where fishes haunt
      Their own mysterious groves.

    Cloud-piercing peak, and trackless heath,
      Instinctive homage pay;
    Nor wants the dim-lit cave a wreath                               35
      To honour thee, sweet May!
    Where cities fanned by thy brisk airs
      Behold a smokeless sky,
    Their puniest flower-pot-nursling dares
      To open a bright eye.                                           40

    And if, on this thy natal morn,
      The pole, from which thy name
    Hath not departed, stands forlorn
      Of song and dance and game;
    Still from the village-green a vow                                45
      Aspires to thee addrest,
    Wherever peace is on the brow,
      Or love within the breast.

    Yes! where Love nestles thou canst teach
      The soul to love the more;                                      50
    Hearts also shall thy lessons reach
      That never loved before.
    Stript is the haughty one of pride,
      The bashful freed from fear,
    While rising, like the ocean-tide,                                55
      In flows the joyous year.

    Hush, feeble lyre! weak words refuse
      The service to prolong!
    To yon exulting thrush the Muse
      Entrusts the imperfect song;                                    60
    His voice shall chant, in accents clear,
      Throughout the live-long day,
    Till the first silver star appear,
      The sovereignty of May.


[423] Doubtless the Rev. Mr. Carr, of Bolton Abbey, and his wife.--ED.

[424] Compare _Thoughts on the Seasons_, written in 1829.--ED.

TO MAY[425]

                   Composed 1826-34.--Published 1835

One of the "Poems of Sentiment and Reflection."--ED.

    Though many suns have risen and set
      Since thou, blithe May, wert born,
    And Bards, who hailed thee, may forget
      Thy gifts, thy beauty scorn;
    There are who to a birthday strain                                 5
      Confine not harp and voice,
    But evermore throughout thy reign
      Are grateful and rejoice!

    Delicious odours! music sweet,
      Too sweet to pass away!                                         10
    Oh for a deathless song to meet
      The soul's desire--a lay
    That, when a thousand years are told,
      Should praise thee, genial Power!
    Through summer heat, autumnal cold,                               15
      And winter's dreariest hour.

    Earth, sea, thy presence feel--nor less,
      If yon ethereal blue
    With its soft smile the truth express,
      The heavens have felt it too.                                   20
    The inmost heart of man if glad
      Partakes a livelier cheer;
    And eyes that cannot but be sad
      Let fall a brightened tear.

    Since thy return, through days and weeks                          25
      Of hope that grew by stealth,
    How many wan and faded cheeks
      Have kindled into health!
    The Old, by thee revived, have said,
      "Another year is ours;"                                         30
    And wayworn Wanderers, poorly fed,
      Have smiled upon thy flowers.

    Who tripping lisps a merry song
      Amid his playful peers?
    The tender Infant who was long                                    35
      A prisoner of fond fears;
    But now, when every sharp-edged blast
      Is quiet in its sheath,
    His Mother leaves him free to taste
      Earth's sweetness in thy breath.                                40

    Thy help is with the weed that creeps
      Along the humblest ground;
    No cliff so bare but on its steeps
      Thy favours may be found;
    But most on some peculiar nook                                    45
      That our own hands have drest,
    Thou and thy train are proud to look,
      And seem to love it best.

    And yet how pleased we wander forth
      When May is whispering, "Come!                                  50
    "Choose from the bowers of virgin earth
      "The happiest for your home;
    "Heaven's bounteous love through me is spread
      "From sunshine, clouds, winds, waves,
    "Drops on the mouldering turret's head,                           55
      "And on your turf-clad graves!"

    Such greeting heard, away with sighs
      For lilies that must fade,
    Or "the rathe primrose as it dies
      Forsaken"[426] in the shade!                                    60
    Vernal fruitions and desires
      Are linked in endless chase;
    While, as one kindly growth retires,
      Another takes its place.

    And what if thou, sweet May, hast known                           65
      Mishap by worm and blight;
    If expectations newly blown
      Have perished in thy sight;
    If loves and joys, while up they sprung,
      Were caught as in a snare;                                      70
    Such is the lot of all the young,
      However bright and fair.

    Lo! Streams that April could not check
      Are patient of thy rule;
    Gurgling in foamy water-break,                                    75
      Loitering in glassy pool:
    By thee, thee only, could be sent
      Such gentle mists as glide,
    Curling with unconfirmed intent,
      On that green mountain's side.                                  80

    How delicate the leafy veil
      Through which yon house of God
    Gleams 'mid the peace of this deep dale[427]
      By few but shepherds trod!
    And lowly huts, near beaten ways,                                 85
      No sooner stand attired
    In thy fresh wreaths, than they for praise
      Peep forth, and are admired.

    Season of fancy and of hope,
      Permit not for one hour,                                        90
    A blossom from thy crown to drop,
      Nor add to it a flower!
    Keep, lovely May, as if by touch
      Of self-restraining art,
    This modest charm of not too much,                                95
      Part seen, imagined part!


[425] Some of the stanzas of this poem were composed in Nov. 1830,
on the way from Rydal to Cambridge. See Wordsworth's letter to W. R.
Hamilton, Nov. 26, 1830.--ED.

[426] Compare _Lycidas_, l. 142.--ED.

[427] Newlands. See the Fenwick note, p. 146.--ED.


                     Composed 1826.--Published 1827

    "Late, late yestreen I saw the new moone
    Wi' the auld moone in hir arme."

_Ballad of Sir Patrick Spence_, _Percy's Reliques_.--W. W.

    ["No faculty yet given me to espy
    The dusky Shape within her arms imbound."

Afterwards, when I could not avoid seeing it, I wondered at this, and
the more so because, like most children, I had been in the habit of
watching the moon through all her changes, and had often continued to
gaze at it when at the full till half blinded.--I. F.]

    From 1827 to 1842, one of the "Epitaphs and Elegiac Poems." In
    1845 transferred to the "Miscellaneous Poems."--ED.

    Once I could hail (howe'er serene the sky)
    The Moon re-entering her monthly round,
    No faculty yet given me to espy
    The dusky Shape within her arms imbound,
    That thin memento of effulgence lost                               5
    Which some have named her Predecessor's ghost.

    Young, like the Crescent that above me shone,
    Nought I perceived within it dull or dim;
    All that appeared was suitable to One
    Whose fancy had a thousand fields to skim;                        10
    To expectations spreading with wild growth,
    And hope that kept with me her plighted troth.

    I saw (ambition quickening at the view)
    A silver boat launched on a boundless flood;
    A pearly crest, like Dian's when it threw                         15
    Its brightest splendour round a leafy wood;
    But not a hint from under-ground, no sign
    Fit for the glimmering brow of Proserpine.[428]

    Or was it Dian's self[428] that seemed to move
    Before me?--nothing blemished the fair sight;                     20
    On her I looked whom jocund Fairies love,
    Cynthia,[428] who puts the _little_ stars to flight,
    And by that thinning magnifies the great,
    For exaltation of her sovereign state.

    And when I learned to mark the spectral Shape                     25
    As each new Moon obeyed the call of Time,
    If gloom fell on me, swift was my escape;
    Such happy privilege hath life's gay Prime,
    To see or not to see, as best may please
    A buoyant Spirit, and a heart at ease.                            30

    Now, dazzling Stranger! when thou meet'st my glance,
    Thy dark Associate ever I discern;
    Emblem of thoughts too eager to advance
    While I salute my joys, thoughts sad or stern;
    Shades of past bliss, or phantoms that, to gain                   35
    Their fill of promised lustre, wait in vain.

    So changes mortal Life with fleeting years;
    A mournful change, should Reason fail to bring
    The timely insight that can temper fears,
    And from vicissitude remove its sting;                            40
    While Faith aspires to seats in that domain
    Where joys are perfect--neither wax nor wane.



    Terret, lustrat, agit, Proserpina, Luna, Diana;
    Ima, suprema, feras, sceptro, fulgore, sagitta.--ED.


                  Composed 1826.--Published 1835[429]

[The walk is what we call the _Far-terrace_, beyond the summerhouse
at Rydal Mount. The lines were written when we were afraid of being
obliged to quit the place to which we were so much attached.--I.F.]

One of the "Inscriptions."--ED.

    The massy Ways, carried across these heights[430]
    By Roman perseverance,[431] are destroyed,
    Or hidden under ground, like sleeping worms.
    How venture then to hope that Time will spare[432]
    This humble Walk? Yet on the mountain's side                       5
    A POET'S hand first shaped it; and the steps
    Of that same Bard--repeated to and fro
    At morn, at noon,[433] and under moonlight skies
    Through the vicissitudes of many a year--
    Forbade the weeds to creep o'er its grey line.                    10
    No longer, scattering to the heedless winds
    The vocal raptures of fresh poesy,
    Shall he frequent these precincts; locked no more
    In earnest converse with beloved Friends,
    Here will he gather stores of ready bliss,                        15
    As from the beds and borders of a garden
    Choice flowers are gathered! But, if Power may spring
    Out of a farewell yearning--favoured more
    Than kindred wishes mated suitably
    With vain regrets--the Exile would consign                        20
    This Walk, his loved possession, to the care
    Of those pure Minds that reverence the Muse.[434]


[429] The title of these lines in the edition of 1835 was

[430] 1835.

    ... once carried o'er these hills MS.

[431] Referring to the Roman Way, fragments of which are to be seen on
High Street. Ambleside was a Roman station. "At the upper corner of
Windermere lieth the dead carcase of an ancient city, with great ruins
of walls, and many heaps of rubbish, one from another, remaining of
building without the walls, yet to be seen. The fortress thereof was
somewhat long, fenced with a ditch and rampire, took up in length 132
ells, and breadth 80. That it had been the Romans' work is evident by
the British bricks, by the mortar tempered with little pieces of brick
among it, by small earthen pots or pitchers, by small cruets or phials
of glass, by pieces of Roman money oftentimes found, and by round
stones as big as millstones or quernstones, of which laid and couched
together they framed in old times their columns, and by the paved ways
leading to it. Now the ancient name is gone, unless a man would guess
at it, and think it were that Amboglana, whereof the book of notices
maketh mention, seeing at this day it is called Ambleside."--See
Camden's _Britannia_, 645 (edition 1590).--ED.

[432] 1835.

    ... to hope that private claims
    Will from the injuries of time protect MS.

[433] 1835.

    ... and the foot
    Of that same Bard, by pacing to and fro
    At morn, and noon, ... MS.

[434] 1835.

    ... its gray line.
    Murmuring his unambitious verse alone,
    Or in sweet converse with beloved Friends.
    No more must he frequent it. Yet might power
    Follow the yearnings of the spirit, he
    Reluctantly departing, would consign
    This walk, his heart's possession, to the care
    Of those pure Minds that reverence the Muse. MS.


                     Composed 1826.--Published 1842

[These lines were designed as a farewell to Charles Lamb and his
sister, who had retired from the throngs of London to comparative
solitude in the village of Enfield--I.F.]

One of the "Poems founded on the Affections."--ED.

    "High bliss is only for a higher state,"[436]
    But, surely, if severe afflictions borne
    With patience merit the reward of peace,
    Peace ye deserve; and may the solid good,
    Sought by a wise though late exchange, and here                    5
    With bounteous hand beneath a cottage-roof
    To you accorded, never be withdrawn,
    Nor for the world's best promises renounced.
    Most soothing was it for a welcome Friend,
    Fresh from the crowded city, to behold                            10
    That lonely union, privacy so deep,
    Such calm employments, such entire content.
    So when the rain is over, the storm laid,
    A pair of herons oft-times have I seen,
    Upon a rocky islet, side by side,                                 15
    Drying their feathers in the sun, at ease;
    And so, when night with grateful gloom had fallen,
    Two glow-worms in such nearness that they shared,
    As seemed, their soft self-satisfying light,
    Each with the other, on the dewy ground,                          20
    Where He that made them blesses their repose.--
    When wandering among lakes and hills I note,
    Once more, those creatures thus by nature paired,
    And guarded in their tranquil state of life,
    Even, as your happy presence to my mind                           25
    Their union brought, will they repay the debt,
    And send a thankful spirit back to you,
    With hope that we, dear Friends! shall meet again.


[435] As Charles Lamb retired to Enfield in 1826, these lines cannot
have been composed much later than that year, although they were
not published till 1842. Lamb wrote thus to Wordsworth on the 6th
of April 1825: "I came home FOR EVER on Tuesday in last week. The
incomprehensibleness of my condition overwhelmed me. It was like
passing from life into eternity. ... I wandered about, thinking I was
happy, but feeling I was not. But that tumultuousness is passing off,
and I begin to understand the nature of the gift. Holidays, even the
annual month, were always uneasy joys: their conscious fugitiveness;
the craving after making the most of them. Now, when all is holiday,
there are no holidays. I can sit at home, in rain or shine, without a
restless impulse for walkings. I am daily steadying, and shall soon
find it as natural to me to be my own master, as it has been irksome
to have had a master. Mary wakes every morning with an obscure feeling
that some good has happened to us."--ED.

[436] See Thomson's lines _To the Reverend Patrick Murdoch_, Rector of
Stradishall, in Suffolk, 1738, l. 10.--ED.


The poems composed in 1827 were for the most part sonnets. But several
of those first published in 1827 evidently belong to an earlier year,
the date of which it is impossible to discover.--ED.


                       THE WORK OF E. M. S.[437]

                     Composed 1827.--Published 1827

One of the "Poems of the Fancy."--ED.

    Frowns are on every Muse's face,
      Reproaches from their lips are sent,
    That mimicry should thus disgrace
      The noble Instrument.

    A very Harp in all but size!                                       5
      Needles for strings in apt gradation!
    Minerva's self would stigmatize
      The unclassic profanation.

    Even her _own_ needle that subdued
      Arachne's rival spirit,[438]                                    10
    Though wrought in Vulcan's happiest mood,
      Such honour[439] could not merit.

    And this, too, from the Laureate's Child,
      A living lord of melody!
    How will her Sire be reconciled                                   15
      To the refined indignity?

    I spake, when whispered a low voice,
      "Bard! moderate your ire;
    Spirits of all degrees rejoice
      In presence of the lyre.                                        20

    The Minstrels of Pygmean bands,[440]
      Dwarf Genii, moonlight-loving Fays,
    Have shells to fit their tiny hands
      And suit their slender lays.

    Some, still more delicate of ear,                                 25
      Have lutes (believe my words)
    Whose framework is of gossamer,
      While sunbeams are the chords.

    Gay Sylphs[B] this miniature will court,
      Made vocal by their brushing wings,                             30
    And sullen Gnomes[441] will learn to sport
      Around its polished strings;

    Whence strains to love-sick maiden dear,
      While in her lonely bower she tries
    To cheat the thought she cannot cheer,                            35
      By fanciful embroideries.

    Trust, angry Bard! a knowing Sprite,
      Nor think the Harp her lot deplores;
    Though 'mid the stars the Lyre shine[442] bright,
      Love _stoops_ as fondly as he soars."[443]                      40


[437] Edith May Southey.--ED.

[438] Arachne, daughter of a dyer of Colophon, skilful with her needle,
challenged Minerva to a trial of skill. Minerva defeated her, and
committing suicide, she was changed by the goddess into a spider.--ED.

[439] 1845.

    Like station ... 1827.

[440] Pygmæi, the nation of Lilliputian dwarfs, fabled to dwell in
India, or Ethiopia. (See Ovid, _Metamorphoses_, vi. 90; Aristotle, _De
Anima_, viii. 12.)--ED.

[441] According to mediæval belief, the Sylphs were elemental
spirits of the air; the Gnomes the elemental spirits of the earth.
"The Gnomes or Dæmons of Earth delight in mischief; but the Sylphs,
whose habitation is in the Air, are the best-condition'd creatures
imaginable."--(See Pope, _Rape of the Lock_, Preface.)--ED.

[442] 1832.

    ... shines ... 1827.

[443] 1827.

    ... as she soars." MS.



                     Composed 1827.--Published 1827

[In the cottage, Town-end, Grasmere, one afternoon in 1801, my Sister
read to me the Sonnets of Milton. I had long been well acquainted with
them, but I was particularly struck on that occasion by the dignified
simplicity and majestic harmony that runs through most of them,--in
character so totally different from the Italian, and still more so from
Shakespeare's fine Sonnets. I took fire, if I may be allowed to say
so, and produced three Sonnets the same afternoon, the first I ever
wrote except an irregular one at school. Of these three, the only one
I distinctly remember is "I grieved for Buonaparté." One was never
written down: the third, which was, I believe, preserved, I cannot
particularise.--I. F.]

One of the "Miscellaneous Sonnets."--ED.

TO ----[444]

    Happy the feeling from the bosom thrown
    In perfect shape (whose beauty Time shall spare
    Though a breath made it) like a bubble blown
    For summer pastime into wanton air;
    Happy the thought best likened to a stone                          5
    Of the sea-beach, when, polished with nice care,
    Veins it discovers exquisite and rare,
    Which for the loss of that moist gleam atone
    That tempted first to gather it. That here,
    O chief of Friends![445] such feelings I present,                 10
    To thy regard, with thoughts so fortunate,
    Were a vain notion; but the hope is dear,[446]
    That thou, if not with partial joy elate,
    Wilt smile upon this gift with[447] more than mild content![448]


[444] This dedicatory sonnet may possibly have been inscribed to his
sister, whose reading of Milton's sonnets in 1801 first led him (as the
Fenwick note tells us) to write sonnets.--ED.

[445] See the note on the previous page.--ED.

[446] 1837.

    ... gather it. O chief
    Of Friends! such feelings if I here present,
    Such thoughts, with others mixed less fortunate;
    Then smile into my heart a fond belief
    That Thou, ... 1827.

[447] 1837.

    Receiv'st the gift for ... 1827.


    "_Something less than joy, but more than dull content._"



                     Composed 1827.--Published 1827

One of the "Miscellaneous Sonnets."--ED.

    Her only pilot the soft breeze, the boat
    Lingers, but Fancy is well satisfied;
    With keen-eyed Hope, with Memory, at her side,
    And the glad Muse at liberty to note
    All that to each is precious, as we float                          5
    Gently along; regardless who shall chide
    If the heavens smile, and leave us free to glide,
    Happy Associates breathing air remote
    From trivial cares. But, Fancy and the Muse,
    Why have I crowded this small bark with you                       10
    And others of your kind, ideal crew!
    While here sits One whose brightness owes its hues
    To flesh and blood; no Goddess from above,
    No fleeting Spirit, but my own true Love?[449]


[449] The reminiscence of a day spent on Grasmere Lake with Mrs.

Compare Robert Browning's lines--

    No angel, but a dearer being
    All dipt in angel instincts.--ED.


                     Composed 1827.--Published 1827

One of the "Miscellaneous Sonnets."--ED.

    "Why, Minstrel, these untuneful murmurings--
    Dull, flagging notes that with each other jar?"
    "Think, gentle Lady, of a Harp so far
    From its own country, and forgive the strings."
    A simple answer! but even so forth springs,                        5
    From the Castalian fountain of the heart,[450]
    The Poetry of Life, and all _that_ Art
    Divine of words quickening insensate things.
    From the submissive necks of guiltless men
    Stretched on the block, the glittering axe recoils;               10
    Sun, moon, and stars, all struggle in the toils
    Of mortal sympathy; what wonder then
    That[451] the poor Harp distempered music yields
    To its sad Lord, far from his native fields?


[450] Castaly (Castalius fons), a fountain near Parnassus sacred to the
Muses. See Virgil, _Georgics_, iii. 293.--ED.

[451] 1837.

    If ... 1827.

TO S. H.[452]

                     Composed 1827.--Published 1827

One of the "Miscellaneous Sonnets."--ED.

    Excuse is needless when with love sincere
    Of occupation, not by fashion led,
    Thou turn'st the Wheel that slept with dust o'erspread;
    _My_ nerves from no such murmur shrink,--tho' near,
    Soft as the Dorhawk's to a distant ear,                            5
    When twilight shades darken[453] the mountain's head.[454]
    Even She who toils to spin[455] our vital thread[456]
    Might smile on work, O Lady, once so dear[457]
    To household virtues. Venerable Art,
    Torn from the Poor![458] yet shall kind Heaven protect            10
    Its own; though Rulers, with undue respect,
    Trusting to crowded factory and mart[459]
    And[460] proud discoveries of the intellect,
    Heed not[461] the pillage of man's ancient heart.


[452] Sarah Hutchinson, Mrs. Wordsworth's sister.--ED.

[453] 1837.

    ... bedim ... 1827.

[454] Either Wansfell, or Loughrigg.--ED.

[455] 1840.

    She who was feigned to spin ... 1827.

    She who even toils to spin ... C.

[456] Lachesis, the second of the three Parcæ, who was supposed to spin
out the actions of our life.

    Clotho colum retinet, Lachesis net, et Atropos occat.--ED.

[457] 1837.

    Might smile, O Lady! on a task once dear 1827.

[458] Referring to the introduction of steam-looms, which displaced the
hand-loom spinning of a previous generation.--ED.

[459] Compare _The Excursion_, book viii. ll. 165-185.--ED.

[460] 1837.

    ... yet will kind Heaven protect
    Its own, not left without a guiding chart,
    If Rulers, trusting with undue respect
    To ... 1827.

[461] 1837.

    Sanction ... 1827.


                     Composed 1827.--Published 1827

[Attendance at church on prayer-days, Wednesdays and Fridays and
Holidays, received a shock at the Revolution. It is now, however,
happily reviving. The ancient people described in this Sonnet were
among the last of that pious class. May we hope that the practice, now
in some degree renewed, will continue to spread.--I. F.]

One of the "Miscellaneous Sonnets."--ED.

    Oft have I seen, ere Time had ploughed my cheek,
    Matrons and Sires--who, punctual to the call
    Of their loved Church, on fast or festival
    Through the long year the House of Prayer would seek:
    By Christmas snows, by visitation bleak                            5
    Of Easter winds, unscared, from hut or hall
    They came to lowly bench or sculptured stall,
    But with one fervour of devotion meek.
    I see the places where they once were known,
    And ask, surrounded even by kneeling crowds,                      10
    Is ancient Piety for ever flown?
    Alas! even then they seemed like fleecy clouds
    That, struggling through the western sky, have won
    Their pensive light from a departed sun!


                     Composed 1827.--Published 1827

[Composed, almost extempore, in a short walk on the western side of
Rydal Lake.--I. F.]

One of the "Miscellaneous Sonnets."--ED.

    Scorn not the Sonnet; Critic, you have frowned,
    Mindless of its just honours; with this key
    Shakspeare unlocked his heart;[462] the melody
    Of this small lute gave ease to Petrarch's wound;[463]
    A thousand times this pipe did Tasso sound;[464]                   5
    With it Camöens soothed[465] an exile's grief;[466]
    The Sonnet glittered a gay myrtle leaf
    Amid the cypress with which Dante[467] crowned
    His visionary brow: a glow-worm lamp,
    It cheered mild Spenser, called from Faery-land                   10
    To struggle through dark ways;[468] and, when a damp
    Fell round the path of Milton, in his hand
    The Thing became a trumpet;[469] whence he blew
    Soul-animating strains--alas, too few![470]


[462] Shakespeare's sonnets are autobiographical: compare Nos. 24, 30,
39, 105, 116.--ED.

[463] Petrarch's were all inspired by his devotion to Laura.--ED.

[464] Tasso's works include two volumes of sonnets, first published in
1581 and 1592.--ED.

[465] 1837.

    Camöens soothed with it ... 1827.

[466] For his satire _Disparates na India_, Camöens was banished to
Macao in 1556, where he wrote the _Os Lusiadas_, also many sonnets and
lyric poems.--ED.

[467] Compare the _Vita Nuova_, _passim_.--ED.

[468] Spenser wrote ninety-two sonnets. From the eightieth sonnet it
would seem that the writing of them was a relaxation, after the labour
spent upon the _Faërie Queene_. It is to this sonnet that Wordsworth

    After so long a race as I have run
    Through Faery land, which these six books compile,
    Give leave to rest me, being half foredone,
    And gather to myself new breath awhile.--ED.

[469] Milton's twenty-three sonnets were written partly in English,
partly in Italian. Compare Wordsworth's sonnet, addressed to him in
1802, beginning:--

    Milton, thou should'st be living at this hour.--ED.

[470] Compare the sonnet beginning--

    Nuns fret not at their convent's narrow room.--ED.


                     Composed 1827.--Published 1827

[Suggested by observation of the way in which a young friend, whom I do
not choose to name, misspent his time and misapplied his talents. He
took afterwards a better course, and became a useful member of society,
respected, I believe, wherever he has been known.--I. F.]

One of the "Miscellaneous Sonnets."--ED.

    Fair Prime of life! were it enough to gild
    With ready sunbeams every straggling shower;
    And, if an unexpected cloud should lower,
    Swiftly thereon a rainbow arch to build
    For Fancy's errands,--then, from fields half-tilled                5
    Gathering green weeds to mix with poppy flower,
    Thee might thy Minions crown, and chant thy power,
    Unpitied by the wise, all censure stilled.
    Ah! show that worthier honours are thy due;
    Fair Prime of life! arouse the deeper heart;                      10
    Confirm the Spirit glorying to pursue
    Some path of steep ascent and lofty aim;
    And, if there be a joy that slights the claim
    Of grateful memory, bid that joy depart.


                     Composed 1827.--Published 1827

One of the "Miscellaneous Sonnets."--ED.

    If the whole weight of what we think and feel,
    Save only far as thought and feeling blend
    With action, were as nothing, patriot Friend!
    From thy remonstrance would be no appeal;
    But to promote and fortify the weal                                5
    Of our own Being is her paramount end;
    A truth which they alone shall comprehend
    Who shun the mischief which they cannot heal.
    Peace in these feverish times is sovereign bliss:
    Here, with no thirst but what the stream can slake,               10
    And startled only by the rustling brake,
    Cool air I breathe; while the unincumbered Mind,
    By some weak aims at services assigned
    To gentle Natures, thanks not Heaven amiss.


                     Composed 1827.--Published 1827

One of the "Miscellaneous Sonnets."--ED.

    _There is a pleasure in poetic pains_
    _Which only Poets know_;[471]--'twas rightly said;
    Whom could the Muses else allure to tread
    Their smoothest paths, to wear their lightest chains?
    When happiest Fancy has inspired the strains,                      5
    How oft the malice of one luckless word
    Pursues the Enthusiast to the social board,
    Haunts him belated on the silent plains!
    Yet he repines not, if his thought stand clear,
    At last, of hindrance and obscurity,                              10
    Fresh as the star that crowns the brow of morn;
    Bright, speckless, as a softly-moulded tear
    The moment it has left the virgin's eye,
    Or rain-drop lingering on the pointed thorn.


[471] See Cowper's _Task_, book ii. l. 285.--ED.


                     Composed 1827.--Published 1827

One of the "Miscellaneous Sonnets."--ED.

    The imperial Stature, the colossal stride,
    Are yet before me; yet do I behold
    The broad full visage, chest of amplest mould,
    The vestments 'broidered with barbaric pride:
    And lo! a poniard, at the Monarch's side,                          5
    Hangs ready to be grasped in sympathy
    With the keen threatenings of that fulgent eye,
    Below the white-rimmed bonnet, far-descried.
    Who trembles now at thy capricious mood?
    'Mid those surrounding Worthies, haughty King,                    10
    We rather think, with grateful mind sedate,
    How Providence educeth, from the spring
    Of lawless will, unlooked-for streams of good,
    Which neither force shall check nor time abate!


[472] Trinity College, Cambridge, was founded by King Henry VIII. in
1546, on the site of King's Hall, founded by Edward III. in 1337. Two
of the gateways of the latter remain, as parts of the great court of
Trinity. Over one of these--the King's or entrance gate way--the statue
of Henry VIII. is erected. The portrait, described in the sonnet, is in
the Hall of the College.--ED.


                     Composed 1827.--Published 1827

One of the "Miscellaneous Sonnets."--ED.

    When Philoctetes in the Lemnian isle[473]
    Like a Form sculptured on a monument
    Lay couched; on him or his dread bow unbent[474]
    Some wild Bird oft might settle and beguile
    The rigid features of a transient smile,                           5
    Disperse the tear, or to the sigh give vent,
    Slackening the pains of ruthless banishment
    From his lov'd home, and from heroic toil.
    And trust[475] that spiritual Creatures round us move,
    Griefs to allay which[476] Reason cannot heal;                    10
    Yea, veriest[477] reptiles have sufficed to prove
    To fettered wretchedness, that no Bastile[478]
    Is deep enough to exclude the light of love,
    Though man for brother man has ceased to feel.


[473] The original title of this sonnet in MS. was _Suggested by the
same Incident_ (referring to the previous sonnet); and its original
form, with one line awanting, was as follows:--

    When Philoctetes, in the Lemnian Isle
    Reclined with shaggy forehead earthward bent,
    Lay silent like a weed-grown Monument,
    Such Friend, for such brief moment as a smile
    Asks to be born and die in, might beguile
    The wounded Chief of pining discontent
    From home affections, and heroic toil.
    Seen, or unseen, beneath us, or above,
    Are Powers that soften anguish, if not heal;
    And toads and spiders have sufficed to prove
    To fettered wretchedness that no Bastile
    Is deep enough to exclude the light of Love,
    Though man for Brother man have ceased to feel.

Philoctetes, one of the Argonauts, received from the dying Hercules his
arrows. Called by Menelaus to go with the Greeks to the Trojan war, he
was sent to the island of Lemnos, owing to a wound in his foot. There
he remained for ten years, till the oracle informed the Greeks that
Troy could not be taken without the arrows of Hercules. The sonnet
refers to the legend of his life in Lemnos.--ED.

[474] 1837.

    ... isle
    Lay couched; upon that breathless Monument,
    On him, or on his fearful bow unbent, 1827.

[475] 1837.

    From home affections, and heroic toil.
    Nor doubt ... 1827.

[476] 1837.

    ... that ... 1827.

[477] 1837.

    And very ... 1827.

[478] Compare the sonnet _To Toussaint l'Ouverture_ (vol. ii. p.


                     Composed 1827.--Published 1827

[This is taken from the account given by Miss Jewsbury of the pleasure
she derived, when long confined to her bed by sickness, from the
inanimate object on which this sonnet turns.--I.F.]

One of the "Miscellaneous Sonnets."--ED.

    While Anna's peers[479] and early playmates tread,
    In freedom, mountain-turf and river's marge;[480]
    Or float with music in the festal barge;
    Rein the proud steed, or through the dance are led;
    Her doom it is[481] to press a weary bed--                         5
    Till oft her guardian Angel, to some charge
    More urgent called, will stretch his wings at large,
    And friends too rarely prop the languid head.
    Yet, helped by Genius--untired comforter,[482]
    The presence even of a stuffed Owl for her                        10
    Can cheat the time; sending her fancy out
    To ivied castles and to moonlight skies,
    Though he can neither stir a plume, nor shout;
    Nor veil, with restless film, his staring eyes.


[479] Anna Jewsbury, afterwards Mrs. William Fletcher. Compare
_Liberty_, in this volume, stanza 1, and the note (p. 222).--ED.

[480] 1837.

    While they, her Playmates once, light-hearted tread
    The mountain turf and river's flowery marge; 1827.

    While they, who once were Anna's Playmates, tread
    The mountain turf and river's flowery marge; 1832.

[481] 1832.

    Is Anna doomed ... 1827.

[482] 1837.

    Yet Genius is no feeble comforter: 1827.


                     Composed 1827.--Published 1827

One of the "Miscellaneous Sonnets."--ED.

    Not the whole warbling grove in concert heard
    When sunshine follows shower, the breast can thrill
    Like the first summons, Cuckoo! of thy bill,
    With its twin notes inseparably paired.[483]
    The captive 'mid damp vaults unsunned, unaired,                    5
    Measuring the periods of his lonely doom,
    That cry can reach; and to the sick man's room
    Sends gladness, by no languid smile declared.
    The lordly eagle-race through hostile search
    May perish; time may come when never more                         10
    The wilderness shall hear the lion roar;
    But, long as cock shall crow from household perch
    To rouse the dawn, soft gales shall speed thy wing,
    And thy erratic voice[484] be faithful to the Spring!


[483] Compare _To the Cuckoo_--1802 (vol. ii. p. 290)--

    Thy twofold shout I hear.

Also Robert Browning's _A Lovers' Quarrel_, stanza 18--

    ... that minor third
    There is none but the cuckoo knows.--ED.

[484] Compare (vol. ii. p. 289)--

    O Cuckoo! shall I call thee Bird,
    Or but a wandering Voice?--ED.

THE INFANT M---- M----

                     Composed 1827.--Published 1827

[The infant was Mary Monkhouse,[485] the only daughter of my friend and
cousin, Thomas Monkhouse.--I. F.]

One of the "Miscellaneous Sonnets."--ED.

    Unquiet Childhood here by special grace
    Forgets her nature, opening like a flower
    That neither feeds nor wastes its vital power
    In painful struggles. Months each other chase,
    And nought untunes that Infant's voice; no trace[486]              5
    Of fretful temper sullies her pure cheek;[487]
    Prompt, lively, self-sufficing, yet so meek
    That one enrapt with gazing on her face
    (Which even the placid innocence of death
    Could scarcely make more placid, heaven more bright)
    Might learn to picture, for the eye of faith,                     11
    The Virgin, as she shone with kindred light;
    A nursling couched upon her mother's knee,
    Beneath some shady palm of Galilee.


[485] Afterwards Mrs. Henry Dew of Whitney Rectory, Herefordshire.--ED.

[486] 1837.

    ... a trace 1827.

[487] 1837.

    ... sullies not her cheek; 1827.


                     Composed 1827.--Published 1827

[Rotha, the daughter of my son-in-law, Mr. Quillinan.--I. F.]

    Rotha, my Spiritual Child! this head was grey
    When at the sacred font for thee I stood;
    Pledged till thou reach the verge of womanhood,
    And shalt become thy own sufficient stay:
    Too late, I feel, sweet Orphan, was the day                        5
    For stedfast hope the contract to fulfil;
    Yet shall my blessing hover o'er thee still,
    Embodied in the music of this Lay,
    Breathed forth beside the peaceful mountain Stream[488]
    Whose murmur soothed thy languid Mother's ear                     10
    After her throes, this Stream of name more dear
    Since thou dost bear it,--a memorial theme[489]
    For others; for thy future self, a spell
    To summon fancies out of Time's dark cell.[490]


[488] The river Rotha, which flows into Windermere from the lakes of
Grasmere and Rydal.--ED.

[489] 1827.

    ... whose name is thine to bear
    Hanging around thee a memorial theme MS.

[490] Compare the poem on the Borrowdale _Yew Trees_.--ED.


                     Composed 1827.--Published 1827

[Lady Fitzgerald, as described to me by Lady Beaumont.--I.F.]

One of the "Miscellaneous Sonnets."--ED.

    Such age how beautiful! O Lady bright,
    Whose mortal lineaments seem all refined
    By favouring Nature and a saintly Mind
    To something purer and more exquisite
    Than flesh and blood; whene'er thou meet'st my sight,
    When I behold thy blanched unwithered cheek,                       6
    Thy temples fringed with locks of gleaming white,
    And head that droops because the soul is meek,
    Thee with the welcome Snowdrop I compare;
    That child of winter, prompting thoughts that climb               10
    From desolation toward[492] the genial prime;
    Or with the Moon conquering earth's misty air,
    And filling more and more with crystal light
    As pensive Evening deepens into night.[493]


[491] 1832.

    To ----, 1827.

[492] 1832.

    ... tow'rds ... 1827.

[493] Another version of this sonnet is given in a letter from Mrs.
Wordsworth to Lady Beaumont:--

    Lady, what delicate graces may unite
    In age--so often comfortless and bleak!
    Though from thy unenfeebled eye-balls break
    Those saintly emanations of delight,
    A snow-drop let me name thee; pure, chaste, white,
    Too pure for flesh and blood; with smooth, blanch'd cheek,
    And head that droops because the soul is meek,
    And not that Time presses with weary weight.
    Hope, Love, and Joy are with thee fresh as fair;
    A Child of Winter prompting thoughts that climb
    From desolation towards the genial prime:
    Or, like the moon, conquering the misty air
    And filling more and more with chrystal light,
    As pensive evening deepens into night.--ED.


                     Composed 1827.--Published 1827

One of the "Miscellaneous Sonnets."--ED.

    In my mind's eye a Temple, like a cloud
    Slowly surmounting some invidious hill,
    Rose out of darkness: the bright Work stood still;
    And might of its own beauty have been proud,
    But it was fashioned and to God was vowed                          5
    By Virtues that diffused, in every part,
    Spirit divine through forms of human art:
    Faith had her arch--her arch, when winds blow loud,
    Into the consciousness of safety thrilled;
    And Love her towers of dread foundation laid                      10
    Under the grave of things; Hope had her spire
    Star-high, and pointing still to something higher;
    Trembling I gazed, but heard a voice--it said,
    "Hell-gates are powerless Phantoms when _we_ build."


                     Composed 1827.--Published 1827

One of the "Poems dedicated to National Independence and Liberty."--ED.

    Go back to antique ages, if thine eyes
    The genuine mien and character would trace
    Of the rash Spirit that still holds her place,
    Prompting the world's audacious vanities!
    Go back, and see[494] the Tower of Babel rise;                     5
    The pyramid extend its monstrous base,
    For some Aspirant of our short-lived race,
    Anxious an aery name to immortalize.
    There, too, ere wiles and politic dispute
    Gave specious colouring to aim and act,                           10
    See the first mighty Hunter leave the brute--
    To chase mankind, with men in armies packed
    For his field-pastime high and absolute,
    While, to dislodge his game, cities are sacked!


[494] 1837.

    See, at her call, ... 1827.


                             Published 1827

[These verses were written some time after we had become residents at
Rydal Mount, and I will take occasion from them to observe upon the
beauty of that situation, as being backed and flanked by lofty fells,
which bring the heavenly bodies to touch, as it were, the earth upon
the mountain-tops, while the prospect in front lies open to a length
of level valley, the extended lake, and a terminating ridge of low
hills; so that it gives an opportunity to the inhabitants of the place
of noticing the stars in both the positions here alluded to, namely, on
the tops of the mountains, and as winter-lamps at a distance among the
leafless trees.--I. F.]

    If thou indeed derive thy light from Heaven,
    Then, to the measure of that heaven-born light,
    Shine, Poet![495] in thy place, and be content:--
    The stars pre-eminent in magnitude,
    And they that from the zenith dart their beams,[496]               5
    (Visible though they[497] be to half the earth,
    Though half a sphere be conscious of their brightness)
    Are[498] yet of no diviner origin,
    No purer essence, than the one that burns,
    Like an untended watch-fire, on the ridge                         10
    Of some dark mountain; or than those which seem
    Humbly to hang, like twinkling winter lamps,
    Among the branches of the leafless trees;
    All are the undying offspring of one Sire:
    Then, to the measure of the light vouchsafed,                     15
    Shine, Poet! in thy place, and be content.[499]

These lines, first published in 1827, found a place in the edition of
that year, amongst the "Poems of Sentiment and Reflection." In the
edition of 1845 they appeared as a Preface to the entire volume of


[495] 1837.

    ... from Heaven,
    Shine, Poet, ... 1827.

[496] 1837.

    The Star that from the zenith darts its beams, 1827.

[497] 1837.

    ... it ... 1827.

[498] 1837.

    ... its brightness,
    Is ... 1827.

[499] The last three lines were added in 1837.--ED.


                     Composed 1827.--Published 1827

One of the "Miscellaneous Sonnets."--ED.

    Wild Redbreast![501] hadst them at Jemima's lip[502]
    Pecked, as at mine, thus boldly, Love might say[503]
    A half-blown rose had tempted thee to sip
    Its glistening dews: but hallowed is the clay
    Which the Muse warms; and I, whose head is grey,[504]              5
    Am not unworthy of thy fellowship;
    Nor could I let one thought--one motion--slip
    That might thy sylvan confidence betray.
    For are we not all His without whose care
    Vouchsafed no sparrow falleth to the ground?[505]                 10
    Who gives his Angels wings to speed through air,
    And rolls the planets through the blue profound;
    Then peck or perch, fond Flutterer! nor forbear
    To trust a Poet in still musings bound.[506]


[500] The original title (in MS.) was "To a Redbreast." _In the Woods
of Rydal_ was added in 1836.--ED.

[501] This Sonnet, as Poetry, explains itself, yet the scene of the
incident having been a wild wood, it may be doubted, as a point of
natural history, whether the bird was aware that his attentions were
bestowed upon a human, or even a living creature. But a Redbreast will
perch upon the foot of a gardener at work, and alight on the handle of
the spade when his hand is half upon it,--this I have seen. And under
my own roof I have witnessed affecting instances of the creature's
friendly visits to the chambers of sick persons, as described in the
verses to the Redbreast. One of these welcome intruders used frequently
to roost upon a nail in the wall, from which a picture had hung, and
was ready, as morning came, to pipe his song in the hearing of the
Invalid, who had been long confined to her room. These attachments to
a particular person, when marked and continued, used to be reckoned
ominous; but the superstition is passing away.--W. W. 1827.

[502] Jemima Quillinan.--ED.

[503] 1837.

    Strange visitation! at _Jemima's_ lip
    Thus hadst thou pecked, wild Redbreast! Love might say, 1827.

[504] 1827.

    That the Muse warms; and I, though old and grey, MS.

[505] Compare _The Ancient Mariner_, Part vii., stanza 23.--ED.

[506] 1837.

    ... vision bound. 1827.


TO ----[507]

                     Composed 1827.--Published 1827

One of the "Miscellaneous Sonnets."--ED.

    If these brief Records, by the Muses' art
    Produced as lonely Nature or the strife
    That animates the scenes of public life[508]
    Inspired, may in thy leisure claim a part;
    And if these Transcripts of the private heart                      5
    Have gained a sanction from thy falling tears;
    Then I repent not. But my soul hath fears
    Breathed from eternity; for as a dart
    Cleaves the blank air, Life flies: now every day
    Is but a glimmering spoke in the swift wheel                      10
    Of the revolving week. Away, away,
    All fitful cares, all transitory zeal!
    So timely Grace the immortal wing may heal,
    And honour rest upon the senseless clay.


[507] I have been unable to discover to whom this _Conclusion_ was
addressed. It may have been to his daughter.--ED.

[508] This line alludes to Sonnets which will be found in another
Class.--W. W. 1837.

He refers to the sonnets on Liberty, etc.--ED.


The poems belonging to 1828 include _A Morning Exercise_, _The Triad_,
two on _The Wishing-Gate_, _The Gleaner_, a sonnet, two short pieces
suggested during the fortnight which Wordsworth spent on the Rhine with
his daughter and S. T. Coleridge in that year, and the ode on _The
Power of Sound_.--ED.


                     Composed 1828.--Published 1832

[Written at Rydal Mount. I could wish the last five stanzas of this to
be read with the poem addressed to the skylark.--I.F.]

One of the "Poems of the Fancy."--ED.

    Fancy, who leads the pastimes of the glad,
    Full oft is pleased a wayward dart to throw;
    Sending sad shadows after things not sad,
    Peopling the harmless fields with signs of woe:
    Beneath her sway, a simple forest cry                              5
    Becomes an echo of man's misery.

    Blithe ravens croak of death; and when the owl
    Tries his two voices for a favourite strain--
    _Tu-whit--Tu-whoo!_ the unsuspecting fowl
    Forebodes mishap or seems but to complain;                        10
    Fancy, intent to harass and annoy,
    Can thus pervert the evidence of joy.

    Through border wilds where naked Indians stray,
    Myriads of notes attest her subtle skill;
    A feathered task-master cries, "WORK AWAY!"                       15
    And, in thy iteration, "WHIP POOR WILL!"[509]
    Is heard the spirit of a toil-worn slave,
    Lashed out of life, not quiet in the grave.

    What wonder? at her bidding, ancient lays
    Steeped in dire grief the voice of Philomel;                      20
    And that fleet messenger of summer days,
    The Swallow, twittered subject to like spell;
    But ne'er could Fancy bend the buoyant Lark
    To melancholy service--hark! O hark!

    The daisy sleeps upon the dewy lawn,                              25
    Not lifting yet the head that evening bowed;
    But _He_ is risen, a later star of dawn,
    Glittering and twinkling near yon rosy cloud;
    Bright gem instinct with music, vocal spark;
    The happiest bird that sprang out of the Ark!                     30

    Hail, blest above all kinds!--Supremely skilled
    Restless with fixed to balance, high with low,
    Thou leav'st the halcyon free her hopes to build
    On such forbearance as the deep may show;
    Perpetual flight, unchecked by earthly ties,                      35
    Leav'st to the wandering bird of paradise.

    Faithful, though swift as lightning, the meek dove;
    Yet more hath Nature reconciled in thee;
    So constant with thy downward eye of love,
    Yet, in aërial singleness, so free;[510]                          40
    So humble, yet so ready to rejoice
    In power of wing and never-wearied voice.[511]

    To the last point of vision, and beyond,
    Mount, daring warbler!--that love-prompted strain,
    ('Twixt thee and thine a never-failing bond)                      45
    Thrills not the less the bosom of the plain:
    Yet might'st thou seem, proud privilege! to sing
    All independent of the leafy spring.[512]

    How would it please old Ocean to partake,
    With sailors longing for a breeze in vain,                        50
    The harmony thy notes most gladly make[513]
    Where earth resembles most his own domain![514]
    Urania's self[515] might welcome with pleased ear
    These matins mounting towards her native sphere.

    Chanter by heaven attracted, whom no bars                         55
    To daylight known deter from that pursuit,
    'Tis well that some sage instinct, when the stars
    Come forth at evening, keeps Thee still and mute;
    For not an eyelid could to sleep incline
    Wert thou among them, singing as they shine![516]                 60


[509] See Waterton's _Wanderings in South America_.--W. W. 1832.

Compare the reference to the "Melancholy Muccawiss" in _The Excursion_,
book iii. l. 947 (vol. v. p. 140), and the note [dagger] in that page,
with the appendix note C, p. 393.--ED.

[510] Compare the two last lines of the poem _To a Skylark_, 1825--

    Type of the wise who soar, but never roam;
    True to the kindred points of Heaven and Home!--ED.

[511] Compare in Shelley's _Ode to the Skylark_, stanza ii.--

    And singing still dost soar, and soaring ever singest.--ED.

[512] This stanza was included in the _Morning Exercise_, for the first
time, in 1845. It had been previously the second stanza of the poem _To
a Skylark_, composed in 1825, and first published in 1827.--ED.

[513] 1836.

    The harmony that thou best lovest to make 1832.

[514] 1836.

    ... his blank domain! 1832.

[515] The muse who presided over astronomy.--ED.

[516] Compare, in Addison's hymn in _The Spectator_, No. 465 (August
23), stanza iii. l. 7--

    For ever singing as they shine.--ED.


           Composed 1828.--Published 1829 (in _The Keepsake_)

[Written at Rydal Mount. The girls, Edith Southey, my daughter Dora,
and Sara Coleridge.--I. F.]

One of the "Poems of the Imagination."--ED.

    Show me the noblest Youth of present time,
    Whose trembling fancy would to love give birth;
    Some God or Hero, from the Olympian clime
    Returned, to seek a Consort upon earth;
    Or, in no doubtful prospect, let me see                            5
    The brightest star of ages yet to be,
    And I will mate and match him blissfully.

    I will not fetch a Naiad from a flood
    Pure as herself--(song lacks not mightier power)
    Nor leaf-crowned Dryad from a pathless wood,                      10
    Nor Sea-nymph glistening from her coral bower;
    Mere Mortals bodied forth in vision still,
    Shall with Mount Ida's triple lustre fill[518]
    The chaster coverts of a British hill.

      "Appear!--obey my lyre's command!                               15
    Come, like the Graces, hand in hand![519]
    For ye, though not by birth allied,
    Are Sisters in the bond of love;
    Nor shall the tongue of envious pride
    Presume those interweavings to reprove                            20
    In you, which that fair progeny of Jove,
    Learned[520] from the tuneful spheres that glide
    In endless union, earth and sea above."
    --I sing[521] in vain;--the pines have hushed their waving:
    A peerless Youth expectant at my side,                            25
    Breathless as they, with unabated craving
    Looks to the earth, and to the vacant air;
    And, with a wandering eye that seems to chide,
    Asks of the clouds what occupants they hide:--
    But why solicit more than sight could bear,                       30
    By casting on a moment all we dare?
    Invoke we those bright Beings one by one;
    And what was boldly promised, truly shall be done.

      "Fear not a constraining measure!
    --Yielding to this gentle spell,[522]                             35
    Lucida![523] from domes of pleasure,
    Or from cottage-sprinkled dell,
    Come to regions solitary,
    Where the eagle builds her aery,
    Above the hermit's long-forsaken cell!"                           40
    --She comes!--behold
    That Figure, like a ship with snow-white sail![524]
    Nearer she draws; a breeze uplifts her veil;
    Upon her coming wait
    As pure a sunshine and as soft a gale                             45
    As e'er, on herbage covering earthly mold,
    Tempted the bird of Juno[525] to unfold
    His richest splendour--when his veering gait
    And every motion of his starry train
    Seem governed by a strain                                         50
    Of music, audible to him alone.

      "O Lady, worthy of earth's proudest throne!
    Nor less, by excellence of nature, fit
    Beside an unambitious hearth to sit
    Domestic queen, where grandeur is unknown;                        55
    What living man could fear
    The worst of Fortune's malice, wert Thou near,
    Humbling that lily-stem, thy sceptre meek,
    That its fair flowers may from his cheek
    Brush the too happy tear?[526]                                    60
    ---- Queen, and handmaid lowly!
    Whose skill can speed the day with lively cares,
    And banish melancholy
    By all that mind invents or hand prepares;
    O Thou, against whose lip, without its smile                      65
    And in its silence even, no heart is proof;
    Whose goodness, sinking deep, would reconcile
    The softest Nursling of a gorgeous palace
    To the bare life beneath the hawthorn-roof
    Of Sherwood's Archer,[527] or in caves of Wallace--
    Who that hath seen thy beauty could content                       71
    His soul with but a _glimpse_ of heavenly day?
    Who that hath loved thee, but would lay
    His strong hand on the wind, if it were bent
    To take thee in thy majesty away?                                 75
    --Pass onward (even the glancing deer
    Till we depart intrude not here;)
    That mossy slope, o'er which the woodbine throws
    A canopy, is smoothed for thy repose!"

    Glad moment is it[528] when the throng                            80
    Of warblers in full concert strong
    Strive, and not vainly strive, to rout
    The lagging shower, and force coy Phoebus out,
    Met by the rainbow's form divine,
    Issuing from her cloudy shrine;--                                 85
    So may the thrillings of the lyre
    Prevail to further our desire,
    While to these shades a sister Nymph I call.

      "Come, if the notes thine ear may pierce,
    Come, youngest of the lovely Three,[529]                          90
    Submissive to the might of verse
    And the dear voice of harmony,
    By none[530] more deeply felt than Thee!"
    --I sang; and lo! from pastimes virginal
    She hastens to the tents                                          95
    Of nature, and the lonely elements.
    Air sparkles round her with a dazzling sheen;
    But[531] mark her glowing cheek, her vesture green!
    And, as if wishful to disarm
    Or to repay the potent Charm,                                    100
    She bears the stringèd lute of old romance,
    That cheered the trellised arbour's privacy,
    And soothed war-wearied knights in raftered hall.
    How vivid, yet[532] how delicate, her glee!
    So tripped the Muse, inventress of the dance;                    105
    So, truant in waste woods, the blithe Euphrosyne![533]

    But the ringlets of that head
    Why are they ungarlanded?
    Why bedeck her temples less
    Than the simplest shepherdess?                                   110
    Is it not a brow inviting
    Choicest flowers[534] that ever breathed,
    Which the myrtle would delight in
    With Idalian rose enwreathed?
    But her humility is well content                                 115
    With _one_ wild floweret (call it not forlorn)
    FLOWER OF THE WINDS,[535] beneath her bosom worn--
    Yet[536] more for love than ornament.

    Open, ye thickets! let her fly,
    Swift as a Thracian Nymph o'er field and height!                 120
    For She, to all but those who love her, shy,
    Would gladly vanish from a Stranger's sight;
    Though where she is beloved and loves,
    Light as the wheeling butterfly she moves;
    Her happy spirit as a bird is free,                              125
    That rifles blossoms on a tree,[537]
    Turning them inside out with arch audacity.
    Alas! how little can a moment show
    Of an eye where feeling plays
    In ten thousand dewy rays;                                       130
    A face o'er which a thousand shadows go!
    --She stops--is fastened to that rivulet's side;
    And there (while, with sedater mien,
    O'er timid waters that have scarcely left
    Their birth-place in the rocky cleft                             135
    She bends) at leisure may be seen
    Features to old ideal grace allied,[538]
    Amid their smiles and dimples dignified--
    Fit countenance for the soul of primal truth;
    The bland composure of eternal youth!                            140

    What more changeful than the sea?
    But over his great tides
    Fidelity presides;
    And this light-hearted Maiden constant is as he.
    High is her aim as heaven above,                                 145
    And wide as ether her good-will;
    And, like the lowly reed, her love
    Can drink its nurture from the scantiest rill:
    Insight as keen as frosty star
    Is to _her_ charity no bar,                                      150
    Nor interrupts her frolic graces
    When she is, far from these wild places,
    Encircled by familiar faces.

    O the charm that manners draw,
    Nature, from thy genuine law![539]                               155
    If from what her hand would do,
    Her voice would utter, aught ensue
    Untoward[540] or unfit;
    She, in benign affections pure,
    In self-forgetfulness secure,                                    160
    Sheds round the transient harm or vague mischance
    A light unknown to tutored elegance:[541]
    Her's is not a cheek shame-stricken,
    But her blushes are joy-flushes;
    And the fault (if fault it be)                                   165
    Only ministers to quicken
    Laughter-loving gaiety,
    And kindle sportive wit---
    Leaving this Daughter of the mountains free[542]
    As if she knew that Oberon king of Faery[543]                    170
    Had crossed her purpose with some quaint vagary,
    And heard his viewless bands
    Over their mirthful triumph clapping hands.

      "Last of the Three, though eldest born,[544]
    Reveal thyself, like pensive Morn                                175
    Touched by the skylark's earliest note,
    Ere humbler gladness be afloat.
    But whether in the semblance drest
    Of Dawn--or Eve, fair vision of the west,
    Come with each anxious hope subdued                              180
    By woman's gentle fortitude,
    Each grief, through meekness, settling into rest.
    --Or I would hail thee when some high-wrought page
    Of a closed volume lingering in thy hand
    Has raised thy spirit to a peaceful stand                        185
    Among the glories of a happier age."

    Her brow hath opened on me--see it there,
    Brightening the umbrage of her hair;
    So gleams the crescent moon, that loves
    To be descried through shady groves.                             190
    Tenderest bloom is on her cheek;
    Wish not for a richer streak;
    Nor dread the depth of meditative eye;
    But let thy love, upon that azure field
    Of thoughtfulness and beauty, yield                              195
    Its homage offered up in purity.
    What would'st thou more? In sunny glade,
    Or under leaves of thickest shade,
    Was such a stillness e'er diffused
    Since earth grew calm while angels mused?                        200
    Softly she treads, as if her foot were loth
    To crush the mountain dew-drops--soon to melt
    On the flower's breast; as if she felt
    That flowers themselves, whate'er their hue,
    With all their fragrance, all their glistening,                  205
    Call to the heart for inward listening--
    And though for bridal wreaths and tokens true
    Welcomed wisely; though a growth
    Which the careless shepherd sleeps on,
    As fitly spring from turf the mourner weeps on--
    And without wrong are cropped the marble tomb to strew.          211
    The Charm is over;[545] the mute Phantoms gone,
    Nor will return--but droop not, favoured Youth;
    The apparition that before thee shone
    Obeyed a summons covetous of truth.                              215
    From these wild rocks thy footsteps I will guide
    To bowers in which thy fortune may be tried,
    And one of the bright Three become thy happy Bride.

The Triad was first published in _The Keepsake_, in 1829, and next in
the 1832 edition of the Poems. See the criticism passed upon it by one
of the three described, viz., Sara Coleridge, in her _Memoirs_, vol.
ii. pp. 409-10. Of this poem Mr. Aubrey de Vere writes, "perhaps the
most _accomplished_ of Wordsworth's works, and the most unlike his
earlier manner."--ED.


[517] This poem is called _The Promise_, in a letter written upon its
publication in _The Keepsake_.--ED.

[518] The Phrygian Ida was a many-branched range of mountains; two
subordinate ranges, parting from the principal summit, enclosed Troy
as with a crescent. The Cretan Ida terminated in three snowy peaks.
There may be a reference to Skiddaw's triple summit in the "British

[519] The Charites--Aglaia, Thalia, and Euphrosyne--were usually
represented with hands joined, as a token of graciousness and

[520] 1836.

    And not the boldest tongue of envious pride
    In you those interweavings could reprove
    Which They, the progeny of Jove,
    Learnt ... 1829.

[521] 1836.

    --I speak ... 1829.

[522] 1836.

    ... this constraining measure!
    Drawn by a poetic spell, 1829.

[523] Edith Southey.--ED.

[524] 1845.

    ... with silver sail! 1832.

[525] The peacock.--ED.

[526] 1845.

    ... may brush from off his cheek
    The too, too happy tear! 1832.

[527] Robin Hood.--ED.

[528] The following version of ll. 80-101, is given in a MS. letter:--

    Like notes of birds that after showers
    In April concert try their powers,
    And with a tumult and a rout
    Of warbling, force coy Phoebus out;
    Or bid some dark cloud's bosom show
    That form divine, the many-coloured Bow.
    E'en so the thrillings of the Lyre
    Prevail to further our desire,
    While to these shades a Nymph I call.
    The youngest of the lovely three;
    With glowing cheeks from pastimes virginal
    Behold her hastening to the tents
    Of Nature, and the lonely elements!
    And as if wishful to disarm
    Or to repay the tuneful charm
    She bears the stringed lute of old Romance,--ED.

[529] Dora Wordsworth.--ED.

[530] 1836.

    ... a Nymph I call,
    The youngest of the lovely Three.--
    "Come, if the notes thine ear may pierce,
    Submissive to the might of verse,
    By none ... 1820.

[531] 1836.

    And ... 1829.

[532] 1836.

    How light her air!... 1829.

[533] Compare _L'Allegro_, ll. 11-13--

    Thou Goddess fair and free
    In heaven yclept Euphrosyne,
    And by men heart-easing Mirth.--ED.

[534] 1832.

    Choicest flower ... 1829.

[535] The wild anemone.--ED.

[536] 1836.

    Yet is it ... 1829.

[537] 1836.

    Though where she is beloved and loves, as free
    As bird that rifles blossoms on a tree, 1829.

[538] According to Sara Coleridge this was an allusion to a likeness
supposed to have been found in the poet's daughter's countenance to the
Memnon Head in the British Museum. See Sara Coleridge's _Memoirs_, vol.
ii. p. 410.--ED.

[539] 1840.

    ... the genuine law. 1836.

[540] 1845.

    ... there ensue
    Aught untoward ... 1832.

[541] 1832.

    Nature, from thy perfect law!
    Through benign affections pure
    In the light of self secure,
    If from what her hand would do
    Or tongue utter, there ensue
    Aught untoward or unfit,
    Transient mischief, vague mischance
    Shunned by guarded elegance. 1829.

[542] 1829.

    Only minister to quicken
    Sallies of instinctive wit;
    Unchecked in laughter-loving gaiety
    In all the motions of her spirit free. MS.

[543] 1832.

    ... that Oberon the fairy 1829.

[544] Sara Coleridge.--ED.

[545] Compare in _The Wishing-Gate Destroyed_, stanza 4--

    ... the charm is fled.--ED.


                     Composed 1828.--Published 1829

[Written at Rydal Mount. See also _Wishing-gate Destroyed_.--I. F.]

In the vale of Grasmere, by the side of the old high-way leading to
Ambleside, is a gate, which, time out of mind, has been called the
Wishing-gate, from a belief that wishes formed or indulged there have a
favourable issue.--W. W. 1828.[546]

One of the "Poems of the Imagination."--ED.

    Hope rules a land for ever green:
    All powers that serve the bright-eyed Queen
      Are confident and gay;
    Clouds at her bidding disappear;
    Points she to aught?--the bliss draws near,                        5
      And Fancy smooths the way.

    Not such the land of Wishes--there
    Dwell fruitless day-dreams, lawless prayer,
      And thoughts with things at strife;
    Yet how forlorn, should _ye_ depart,                              10
    Ye superstitions of the _heart_,
      How poor, were human life!

    When magic lore abjured its might,
    Ye did not forfeit one dear right,
      One tender claim abate;                                         15
    Witness this symbol of your sway,
    Surviving near the public way,
      The rustic Wishing-gate!

    Inquire not if the faery race
    Shed kindly influence on the place,                               20
      Ere northward they retired;
    If here a warrior left a spell,
    Panting for glory as he fell;
      Or here a saint expired.

    Enough that all around is fair,                                   25
    Composed with Nature's finest care,
      And in her fondest love--
    Peace to embosom and content--
    To overawe the turbulent,
      The selfish to reprove.                                         30

    Yea![547] even the Stranger from afar,
    Reclining on this moss-grown bar,
      Unknowing, and unknown,
    The infection of the ground partakes,
    Longing for his Belov'd--who makes                                35
      All happiness her own.

    Then why should conscious Spirits fear
    The mystic stirrings that are here,
      The ancient faith disclaim?
    The local Genius ne'er befriends                                  40
    Desires whose course in folly ends,
      Whose just reward is shame.

    Smile if thou wilt, but not in scorn,
    If some, by ceaseless pains outworn,
      Here crave an easier lot;                                       45
    If some have thirsted to renew
    A broken vow, or bind a true,
      With firmer, holier knot.

    And not in vain, when thoughts are cast
    Upon the irrevocable past,                                        50
      Some Penitent sincere
    May for a worthier future sigh,
    While trickles from his downcast eye
      No unavailing tear.

    The Worldling, pining to be freed                                 55
    From turmoil, who would turn or speed
      The current of his fate,
    Might stop before this favoured scene,
    At Nature's call, nor blush to lean
      Upon the Wishing-gate.                                          60

    The Sage, who feels how blind, how weak
    Is man, though loth such help to _seek_,
      Yet, passing, here might pause,
    And thirst[548] for insight to allay
    Misgiving, while the crimson day                                  65
      In quietness withdraws;

    Or when the church-clock's knell profound[549]
    To Time's first step across the bound
      Of midnight makes reply;
    Time pressing on with starry crest,                               70
    To filial sleep upon the breast
      Of dread eternity.

_The Wishing-gate_ was first published in _The Keepsake_ in 1829, and
next in the 1832 edition of the Poems.--ED.


[546] Having been told, upon what I thought good authority, that this
gate had been destroyed, and the opening where it hung walled up, I
gave vent immediately to my feelings in these stanzas. But going to the
place some time after, I found, with much delight, my old favourite
unmolested.--W. W. 1832.

"The same triumphant power attributed to the Wishing-gate is fancifully
attributed to an image of St. Bridget in the ruined Franciscan convent
at Adare." (Mr. Aubrey de Vere.)

[547] 1832.

    Yes! even ... 1829.

[548] 1836.

    And yearn ... 1829.

[549] Grasmere Church.--ED.


                     Composed 1828.--Published 1842

One of the "Poems of the Imagination."--ED.

    'Tis gone--with old belief and dream
    That round it clung, and tempting scheme
      Released from fear and doubt;
    And the bright landscape too must lie,
    By this blank wall, from every eye,                                5
      Relentlessly shut out.

    Bear witness ye who seldom passed
    That opening--but a look ye cast
      Upon the lake below,
    What spirit-stirring power it gained                              10
    From faith which here was entertained,
      Though reason might say no.

    Blest is that ground, where, o'er the springs
    Of history, Glory claps her wings,
      Fame sheds the exulting tear;                                   15
    Yet earth is wide, and many a nook
    Unheard of is, like this, a book
      For modest meanings dear.

    It was in sooth a happy thought
    That grafted, on so fair a spot,                                  20
      So confident a token
    Of coming good;--the charm is fled;
    Indulgent centuries spun a thread,
      Which one harsh day has broken.

    Alas! for him who gave the word;                                  25
    Could he no sympathy afford,
      Derived from earth or heaven,
    To hearts so oft by hope betrayed;
    Their very wishes wanted aid
      Which here was freely given?                                    30

    Where, for the love-lorn maiden's wound,
    Will now so readily be found
      A balm of expectation?
    Anxious for far-off children, where
    Shall mothers breathe a like sweet air                            35
      Of home-felt consolation?
    And not unfelt will prove the loss
    'Mid trivial care and petty cross
      And each day's shallow grief;
    Though the most easily beguiled                                   40
    Were oft among the first that smiled
      At their own fond belief.

    If still the reckless change we mourn,
    A reconciling thought may turn
      To harm that might lurk here,                                   45
    Ere judgment prompted from within
    Fit aims, with courage to begin,
      And strength to persevere.

    Not Fortune's slave is Man: our state
    Enjoins, while firm resolves await                                50
      On wishes just and wise,
    That strenuous action follow both,
    And life be one perpetual growth
      Of heaven-ward enterprise.

    So taught, so trained, we boldly face                             55
    All accidents of time and place;
      Whatever props may fail,
    Trust in that sovereign law can spread
    New glory o'er the mountain's head,
      Fresh beauty through the vale.                                  60

    That truth informing mind and heart,
    The simplest cottager may part,
      Ungrieved, with charm and spell;
    And yet, lost Wishing-gate, to thee
    The voice of grateful memory                                      65
      Shall bid a kind farewell!

Agate--though not the "moss-grown bar" of 1828--still stands at the old
place, where Wordsworth tells us one had stood "time out of mind;" so
that a "blank wall" does not now shut out the "bright landscape," at
the old, and classic, spot. Long may this gate stand, defying wind and



                     Composed 1828.--Published 1835

[Coleridge, my daughter, and I, in 1828, passed a fortnight upon the
banks of the Rhine, principally under the hospitable roof of Mr. Aders
of Gotesburg, but two days of the time we spent at St. Goar in rambles
among the neighbouring valleys. It was at St. Goar that I saw the
Jewish family here described. Though exceedingly poor, and in rags,
they were not less beautiful than I have endeavoured to make them
appear. We had taken a little dinner with us in a basket, and invited
them to partake of it, which the mother refused to do, both for herself
and children, saying it was with them a fast-day; adding, diffidently,
that whether such observances were right or wrong, she felt it her
duty to keep them strictly. The Jews, who are numerous on this part
of the Rhine, greatly surpass the German peasantry in the beauty of
their features and in the intelligence of their countenances. But the
lower classes of the German peasantry have, here at least, the air of
people grievously opprest. Nursing mothers, at the age of seven or
eight-and-twenty, often look haggard and far more decayed and withered
than women of Cumberland and Westmoreland twice their age. This comes
from being under-fed and over-worked in their vineyards in a hot and
glaring sun.--I. F.]

One of the "Poems of the Imagination."--ED.

    Genius of Raphael! if thy wings
      Might bear thee to this glen,
    With faithful memory left of things[550]
      To pencil dear and pen,
    Thou would'st forego the neighbouring Rhine,                       5
      And all his majesty--
    A studious forehead to incline
      O'er[551] this poor family.

    The Mother--her thou must have seen,
      In spirit, ere she came                                         10
    To dwell these rifted rocks between,
      Or found on earth a name;
    An image, too, of that sweet Boy,[552]
      Thy inspirations give--
    Of playfulness,[553] and love, and joy,                           15
      Predestined here to live.

    Downcast, or shooting glances far,
      How beautiful his eyes,
    That blend the nature of the star
      With that of summer skies!                                      20
    I speak as if of sense beguiled;
      Uncounted months are gone,
    Yet am I with the Jewish Child,
      That exquisite Saint John.

    I see the dark-brown curls, the brow,                             25
      The smooth transparent skin,
    Refined, as with intent to show
      The holiness within;[554]
    The grace of parting Infancy
      By blushes yet untamed;                                         30
    Age faithful to the mother's knee,
      Nor of her arms ashamed.

    Two lovely Sisters, still and sweet
      As flowers, stand side by side;
    Their soul-subduing looks[555] might cheat                        35
      The Christian of his pride:
    Such beauty hath the Eternal poured
      Upon them not forlorn,[556]
    Though of a lineage once abhorred,
      Nor yet redeemed from scorn.                                    40

    Mysterious safeguard, that, in spite
      Of poverty and wrong,
    Doth here preserve a living light,
      From Hebrew fountains sprung;
    That gives this ragged group to cast                              45
      Around the dell a gleam
    Of Palestine, of glory past,
      And proud Jerusalem!

The title given to this poem by Dorothy Wordsworth, in the letter
to Lady Beaumont in which the different MS. readings occur, is "A
Jewish Family, met with in a Dingle near the Rhine." During the
Continental Tour of 1820,--in which Wordsworth was accompanied by
his wife and sister and other friends,--they went up the Rhine (see
the notes to the poems recording that Tour). An extract from Mrs.
Wordsworth's Journal, referring to the road from St. Goar to Bingen,
may illustrate this poem, written in 1828. "From St. Goar to Bingen,
castles commanding innumerable small fortified villages. Nothing could
exceed the delightful variety, and at first the postilions whisked us
too fast through these scenes; and afterwards, the same variety so
often repeated, we became quite exhausted, at least D. and I were;
and, beautiful as the road continued to be, we could scarcely keep our
eyes open; but, on my being roused from one of these slumbers, no
eye wide-awake ever beheld such celestial pictures as gleamed before
mine, like visions belonging to dreams. The castles seemed now almost
_stationary_, a continued succession always in sight, rarely without
two or three before us at once. There they rose from the craggy cliffs,
out of the centre of the stately river, from a green island, or a
craggy rock, etc., etc."

In Dorothy Wordsworth's record of the same Tour, the following
occurs:--"July 24.--We looked down into one of the vales tributary to
the Rhine, which, in memory of the mountain recesses of Ullswater, I
named Deep-dale, a green quiet place, spotted with villages and single
houses, and enlivened by a sinuous brook." ... "A lovely dell runs
behind one of these hills. At its opening, where it pours out its
stream into the Rhine, we espied a one-arched Borrowdale bridge; and,
behind the bridge, a village almost buried between the abruptly rising


[550] 1835.

    With memory left of shapes and things

                                      MS. written by Dorothy Wordsworth.

[551] 1835.

    On ...

                                              MS. by Dorothy Wordsworth.

[552] 1835.

    ... this sweet Boy,

                                              MS. by Dorothy Wordsworth.

[553] 1835.

    In playfulness, ...

                                              MS. by Dorothy Wordsworth.

[554] Compare _The Russian Fugitive_, ll. 1-4.--ED.

[555] 1835.

    Fair Creatures, in this lone retreat
      By happy chance espied,
    Your soul-subduing looks ...

                                              MS. by Dorothy Wordsworth.

[556] 1835.

    Upon you--not forlorn,

                                              MS. by Dorothy Wordsworth.


                     Composed 1828.--Published 1835

[This occurred at Brugès in 1828. Mr. Coleridge, my daughter, and I
made a tour together in Flanders, upon the Rhine, and returned by
Holland. Dora and I, while taking a walk along a retired part of the
town, heard the voice as here described, and were afterwards informed
it was a convent in which were many English. We were both much touched,
I might say affected, and Dora moved as appears in the verses.--I. F.]

One of the "Memorials of a Tour on the Continent."--ED.

    In Brugès town is many a street
      Whence busy life hath fled;[557]
    Where, without hurry, noiseless feet,
      The grass-grown pavement tread.
    There heard we, halting in the shade                               5
      Flung from a Convent-tower,
    A harp that tuneful prelude made
      To a voice of thrilling power.[558]

    The measure, simple truth to tell,
      Was fit for some gay throng;                                    10
    Though from the same grim turret fell
      The shadow and the song.
    When silent were both voice and chords,
      The strain seemed doubly dear,
    Yet sad as sweet,--for _English_ words                            15
      Had fallen upon the ear.[559]

    It was a breezy hour of eve;
      And[560] pinnacle and spire
    Quivered and seemed almost to heave,
      Clothed with innocuous fire;                                    20
    But, where we stood, the setting sun
      Showed little of his state;
    And, if the glory reached the Nun,
      'Twas through an iron grate.[561]

    Not always is the heart unwise,[562]                              25
      Nor pity idly born,
    If even[563] a passing Stranger sighs
      For them who do not mourn.
    Sad is thy doom, self-solaced dove,
      Captive, whoe'er thou be![564]                                  30
    Oh! what is beauty, what is love,
      And opening life to thee?

    Such feeling pressed upon my soul,
      A feeling sanctified
    By one soft trickling tear that stole                             35
      From the Maiden at my side;
    Less tribute could she pay than this,
      Borne gaily o'er the sea,
    Fresh from the beauty and the bliss
      Of English liberty?                                             40

In the final arrangement of the poems, this one was published amongst
the _Memorials of a Tour on the Continent_ (1820), where it followed
the two sonnets on Brugès. The poems suggested by the shorter Tour of
1828 are here published together, in their chronological order.

In an undated letter of Dorothy Wordsworth's to Lady Beaumont, before
copying out this poem and _A Jewish Family_, she says, "The two
following poems were taken from incidents recorded in Dora's journal of
her tour with her father and S. T. Coleridge. As I well recollect, she
has related the incidents very pleasingly, and I hope you will agree
with me in thinking that the poet has made good use of them."--ED.


[557] 1835.

    ... is fled,

                                      MS. written by Dorothy Wordsworth.

[558] 1835.

    To a voice like bird in bower.

                                              MS. by Dorothy Wordsworth.

    ... birds ...

                                                 MS. by Mrs. Wordsworth.

[559] 1835.

      Like them who _think_ they hear,
    We listened still; for _English_ words
      Had dropped upon the ear.

                                                 MS. by Mrs. Wordsworth.

      The strain seemed doubly dear,
    Yea passing sweet--for English words
      Had dropt upon the ear.

                                              MS. by Dorothy Wordsworth.

[560] 1835.

    When ...

                                              MS. by Dorothy Wordsworth.

[561] Compare the Sonnet--

    It is a beauteous evening, calm and free,
    The holy time is quiet as a Nun.--ED.

[562] 1835.

    The restless heart is not unwise,

                                              MS. by Dorothy Wordsworth.

[563] 1835.

    When even ...

                                              MS. by Dorothy Wordsworth.

[564] 1835.

    Sad is thy doom, imprisoned dove,
      Whoe'er thou mayest be.

                                              MS. by Dorothy Wordsworth.


        Composed 1828.[565]--Published 1829 (in _The Keepsake_)

["Miserrimus." Many conjectures have been formed as to the person who
lies under this stone. Nothing appears to be known for a certainty.
Query--The Rev. Mr. Morris, a non-conformist, a sufferer for
conscience-sake; a worthy man who, having been deprived of his benefice
after the accession of William III., lived to an old age in extreme
destitution, on the alms of charitable Jacobites.--I.F.]

One of the "Miscellaneous Sonnets."--ED.

    "_Miserrimus!_" and neither name nor date,
    Prayer, text, or symbol, graven upon the stone;[566]
    Nought but that word assigned to the unknown,
    That solitary word--to separate
    From all, and cast a cloud around the fate                         5
    Of him who lies beneath. Most wretched one,
    _Who_ chose his epitaph?--Himself alone
    Could thus have dared the grave to agitate,
    And claim, among the dead, this awful crown;
    Nor doubt that He marked also for his own                         10
    Close to these cloistral steps a burial-place,
    That every foot might fall with heavier tread,
    Trampling upon his vileness. Stranger, pass
    Softly!--To save the contrite, Jesus bled.


[565] This, and the following sonnet on the tradition of Oker Hill,
first published in _The Keepsake_ of 1829, appeared in the 1832 edition
of the Poetical Works.--ED.

[566] The stone is in the cloisters of Worcester Cathedral, at the
north-west corner of the quadrangle, just below the doorway leading
into the nave of the cathedral. It is a small stone, two feet, by one
and a half. The Reverend Thomas Maurice (or Morris)--a minor canon of
Worcester, and vicar of Clains--refused to take the oath of allegiance
at the Revolution Settlement, and was accordingly deprived of his
benefice. He lived to the age of 88, on the generosity of the richer
non-jurors, and died 1748. (See Murray's _Guide to Warwickshire_, and
Richard King's _Handbook to the Cathedral of Worcester_.)--ED.


                        (SUGGESTED BY A PICTURE)

                     Composed 1828.--Published 1829

[This poem was first printed in the annual called _The Keepsake_. The
painter's name I am not sure of, but I think it was Holmes.[567]--I.F.]

In 1832 one of the "Poems of Sentiment and Reflection." Transferred in
1845 to "Miscellaneous Poems."--ED.

    That happy gleam of vernal eyes,
    Those locks from summer's golden skies,
        That o'er thy brow are shed;
    That cheek--a kindling of the morn,
    That lip--a rose-bud from the thorn,                               5
        I saw; and Fancy sped
    To scenes Arcadian, whispering, through soft air,
    Of bliss that grows without a care,
    And[568] happiness that never flies--
    (How can it where love never dies?)                               10
    Whispering of promise,[569] where no blight
    Can reach the innocent delight;
    Where pity, to the mind conveyed
    In pleasure, is the darkest shade
    That Time, unwrinkled grandsire, flings                           15
    From his smoothly gliding wings.

      What mortal form, what earthly face
    Inspired the pencil, lines to trace,
    And mingle colours, that should breed
    Such rapture, nor want power to feed;                             20
    For had thy charge been idle flowers,
    Fair Damsel! o'er my captive mind,
    To truth and sober reason blind,
    'Mid that soft air, those long-lost bowers,
    The sweet illusion might have hung, for hours.                    25

      Thanks to this tell-tale sheaf of corn,
    That touchingly bespeaks thee born
    Life's daily tasks with them to share
    Who, whether from their lowly bed
    They rise, or rest the weary head,                                30
    Ponder the blessing[570] they entreat
    From Heaven, and _feel_ what they repeat,
    While they give utterance to the prayer
    That asks for daily bread.

The year of the publication of this poem in _The Keepsake_ was 1829.
It then appeared under the title of _The Country Girl_, and it was
afterwards included in the 1832 edition of the poems.--ED.


[567] The painter was J. Holmes, and his picture was engraved by C.

[568] 1837.

    Of ... 1829.

[569] 1837.

    Of promise whispering, ... 1832.

[570] 1832.

    Do _weigh_ the blessing ... 1829.


                Composed December 1828.--Published 1835

[Written at Rydal Mount. I have often regretted that my tour in
Ireland, chiefly performed in the short days of October in a
carriage-and-four (I was with Mr. Marshall), supplied my memory with so
few images that were new, and with so little motive to write. The lines
however in this poem, "Thou too be heard, lone eagle!" were suggested
near the Giants' Causeway, or rather at the promontory of Fairhead,
where a pair of eagles wheeled above our heads and darted off as if to
hide themselves in a blaze of sky made by the setting sun.--I.F.]

One of the "Poems of the Imagination."-ED.


    _The Ear addressed, as occupied by a spiritual functionary,
        in communion with sounds, individual, or combined in
        studied harmony.--Sources and effects of those sounds
        (to the close of 6th Stanza).--The power of music,
        whence proceeding, exemplified in the idiot.--Origin
        of music, and its effect in early ages--how produced
        (to the middle of 10th Stanza).--The mind recalled to
        sounds acting casually and severally.--Wish uttered
        (11th Stanza) that these could be united into a
        scheme or system for moral interests and intellectual_
        _contemplation.--(Stanza 12th.) The Pythagorean theory_
        _of numbers and music, with their supposed power over the_
        _motions of the universe--imaginations consonant with such_
        _a theory.--Wish expressed (in 11th Stanza) realised, in_
        _some degree, by the representation of all sounds under
        the form of thanksgiving to the Creator.--(Last Stanza)
        the destruction of earth and the planetary system--the
        survival of audible harmony, and its support in the
        Divine Nature, as revealed in Holy Writ._


    Thy functions are ethereal,
    As if within thee dwelt a glancing mind,
    Organ of vision! And a Spirit aërial
    Informs the cell of Hearing, dark and blind;
    Intricate labyrinth, more dread for thought                        5
    To enter than oracular cave;
    Strict passage, through which sighs are brought,
    And whispers for the heart, their slave;
    And shrieks, that revel in abuse
    Of shivering flesh; and warbled air,                              10
    Whose piercing sweetness can unloose
    The chains of frenzy, or entice a smile
    Into the ambush of despair;
    Hosannas pealing down the long-drawn aisle,[572]
    And requiems answered by the pulse that beats                     15
    Devoutly, in life's last retreats!


    The headlong streams and fountains
    Serve Thee, invisible Spirit, with untired powers;
    Cheering the wakeful tent on Syrian mountains,
    They lull perchance ten thousand thousand flowers.                20
    _That_ roar, the prowling lion's _Here I am_,
    How fearful to the desert wide!
    That bleat, how tender! of the dam
    Calling a straggler to her side.
    Shout, cuckoo!--let the vernal soul                               25
    Go with thee to the frozen zone;
    Toll from thy loftiest perch, lone bell-bird, toll!
    At the still hour to Mercy dear,
    Mercy from her twilight throne
    Listening to nun's faint throb of holy fear,                      30
    To sailor's prayer breathed from a darkening sea,
    Or widow's cottage-lullaby.


    Ye Voices, and ye Shadows
    And Images of voice--to hound and horn
    From rocky steep and rock-bestudded meadows                       35
    Flung back, and, in the sky's blue caves, reborn--
    On with your pastime! till the church-tower bells
    A greeting give of measured glee;
    And milder echoes from their cells
    Repeat the bridal symphony.                                       40
    Then, or far earlier, let us rove
    Where mists are breaking up or gone,
    And from aloft look down into a cove
    Besprinkled with a careless quire,
    Happy milk-maids, one by one                                      45
    Scattering a ditty each to her desire,
    A liquid concert matchless by nice Art,
    A stream as if from one full heart.


    Blest be the song that brightens
    The blind man's gloom, exalts the veteran's mirth;                50
    Unscorned the peasant's whistling breath, that lightens
    His duteous toil of furrowing the green earth.
    For the tired slave, Song lifts the languid oar,
    And bids it aptly fall, with chime
    That beautifies the fairest shore,                                55
    And mitigates the harshest clime.
    Yon pilgrims see--in lagging file
    They move; but soon the appointed way
    A choral _Ave Marie_ shall beguile,
    And to their hope the distant shrine                              60
    Glisten with a livelier ray:
    Nor friendless he, the prisoner of the mine,
    Who from the well-spring of his own clear breast
    Can draw, and sing his griefs to rest.


    When civic renovation                                             65
    Dawns on a kingdom, and for needful haste
    Best eloquence avails not, Inspiration
    Mounts with a tune, that travels like a blast
    Piping through cave and battlemented tower;
    Then starts the sluggard, pleased to meet                         70
    That voice of Freedom, in its power
    Of promises, shrill, wild, and sweet!
    Who, from a martial _pageant_, spreads
    Incitements of a battle-day,                                      74
    Thrilling the unweaponed crowd with plumeless heads?--
    Even She whose Lydian airs inspire[573]
    Peaceful striving, gentle play
    Of timid hope and innocent desire
    Shot from the dancing Graces, as they move
    Fanned by the plausive wings of Love.                             80


    How oft along thy mazes,
    Regent of sound, have dangerous Passions trod!
    O Thou, through whom the temple rings with praises,
    And blackening clouds in thunder speak of God,
    Betray not by the cozenage of sense[574]                          85
    Thy votaries, wooingly resigned
    To a voluptuous influence
    That taints the purer, better, mind;
    But lead sick Fancy to a harp
    That hath in noble tasks been tried;                              90
    And, if the virtuous feel a pang too sharp,
    Soothe it into patience,--stay
    The uplifted arm of Suicide;
    And let some mood of thine in firm array
    Knit every thought the impending issue needs,                     95
    Ere martyr burns, or patriot bleeds!


    As Conscience, to the centre
    Of being, smites with irresistible pain
    So shall a solemn cadence, if it enter
    The mouldy vaults of the dull idiot's brain,                     100
    Transmute him to a wretch from quiet hurled--
    Convulsed as by a jarring din;
    And then aghast, as at the world
    Of reason partially let in
    By concords winding with a sway                                  105
    Terrible for sense and soul!
    Or, awed he weeps, struggling to quell dismay.
    Point not these mysteries to an Art
    Lodged above the starry pole;
    Pure modulations flowing from the heart                          110
    Of divine Love, where Wisdom, Beauty, Truth
    With Order dwell, in endless youth?


    Oblivion may not cover
    All treasures hoarded by the miser, Time.
    Orphean Insight! truth's undaunted lover,                        115
    To the first leagues of tutored passion climb,
    When Music deigned within this grosser sphere
    Her subtle essence to enfold,
    And voice and shell drew forth a tear
    Softer than Nature's self could mould.                           120
    Yet _strenuous_ was the infant Age:
    Art, daring because souls could feel,
    Stirred nowhere but an urgent equipage
    Of rapt imagination sped her march
    Through the realms of woe and weal:                              125
    Hell to the lyre bowed low; the upper arch
    Rejoiced that clamorous spell and magic verse
    Her wan disasters could disperse.[575]


    The GIFT to king Amphion
    That walled a city with its melody                               130
    Was for belief no dream:[576]--thy skill, Arion!
    Could humanise the creatures of the sea,
    Where men were monsters.[577] A last grace he craves,
    Leave for one chant;--the dulcet sound
    Steals from the deck o'er willing waves,                         135
    And listening dolphins gather round.[578]
    Self-cast, as with a desperate course,
    'Mid that strange audience, he bestrides
    A proud One docile as a managed horse;
    And singing, while the accordant hand                            140
    Sweeps his harp, the Master rides;
    So shall he touch at length a friendly strand,
    And he, with his preserver, shine star-bright
    In memory, through silent night.


    The pipe of Pan, to shepherds                                    145
    Couched in the shadow of Mænalian pines,[579]
    Was passing sweet; the eyeballs of the leopards,
    That in high triumph drew the Lord of vines,
    How did they sparkle to the cymbal's clang!
    While Fauns and Satyrs beat the ground                           150
    In cadence,[580]--and Silenus swang
    This way and that, with wild-flowers crowned.[581]
    To life, to _life_ give back thine ear:
    Ye who are longing to be rid
    Of fable, though to truth subservient, hear                      155
    The little sprinkling of cold earth that fell
    Echoed from the coffin-lid;
    The convict's summons in the steeple's knell;
    "The vain distress-gun,"[582] from a leeward shore,
    Repeated-heard, and heard no more!                               160


    For terror, joy, or pity,
    Vast is the compass and the swell of notes:
    From the babe's first cry to voice of regal city,
    Rolling a solemn sea-like bass, that floats
    Far as the woodlands--with the trill to blend                    165
    Of that shy songstress,[583] whose love-tale
    Might tempt an angel to descend,
    While hovering o'er the moonlight vale.
    Ye wandering Utterances,[584] has earth no scheme,
    No scale of moral music--to unite                                170
    Powers that survive but in the faintest dream[585]
    Of memory?-O that ye[586] might stoop to bear
    Chains, such precious chains of sight
    As laboured minstrelsies through ages wear!
    O for a balance fit the truth to tell                            175
    Of the Unsubstantial, pondered well!


    By one pervading spirit
    Of tones and numbers all things are controlled,
    As sages taught, where faith was found to merit
    Initiation in that mystery old.[587][588]                        180
    The heavens, whose aspect makes our minds as still
    As they themselves appear to be,
    Innumerable voices fill
    With everlasting harmony;
    The towering headlands, crowned with mist,                       185
    Their feet among the billows, know
    That Ocean is a mighty harmonist;[589]
    Thy pinions, universal Air,
    Ever waving to and fro,
    Are delegates of harmony, and bear                               190
    Strains that support the Seasons in their round;
    Stern Winter loves a dirge-like sound.


    Break forth into thanksgiving,
    Ye banded instruments of wind and chords;
    Unite, to magnify the Ever-living,[590]                          195
    Your inarticulate notes with the voice of words!
    Nor hushed be service from the lowing mead,
    Nor mute the forest hum of noon;
    Thou too be heard, lone eagle![591] freed
    From snowy peak and cloud, attune                                200
    Thy hungry barkings to the hymn
    Of joy, that from her utmost walls
    The six-days' Work,[592] by flaming Seraphim
    Transmits to Heaven! As Deep to Deep
    Shouting through one valley calls,                               205
    All worlds, all natures, mood and measure keep
    For praise and ceaseless gratulation, poured
    Into the ear of God, their Lord!


    A Voice to Light gave Being;[593]
    To Time, and Man his earth-born chronicler;                      210
    A Voice shall finish doubt and dim foreseeing,
    And sweep away life's visionary stir;
    The trumpet (we, intoxicate with pride,
    Arm at its blast for deadly wars)
    To archangelic lips applied,                                     215
    The grave shall open, quench the stars.[594]
    O Silence! are Man's noisy years
    No more than moments of thy life?[595]
    Is Harmony, blest queen of smiles and tears,
    With her smooth tones and discords just,                         220
    Tempered into rapturous strife,
    Thy destined bond-slave? No! though earth be dust
    And vanish, though the heavens dissolve, her stay
    Is in the WORD, that shall not pass away.[596]


[571] 1836.

  STANZAS ON ... 1835.

[572] Compare Gray's _Elegy_, l. 39.--ED.

[573] Compare _L'Allegro_, II. 135-37--

    And ever, against eating cares,
    Lap me in soft Lydian airs,
    Married to immortal verse.


[574] The deception of the senses.--ED.

[575] Orpheus, is search of his lost Eurydice, gained admittance with
his lyre to the infernal regions. Pluto was charmed with his music, the
wheel of Ixion stopped, the stone of Sisyphus stood still, Tantalus
forgot his thirst, and the Furies relented, while Pluto and Proserpine
consented to restore Eurydice. The sequel is well known.--ED.

[576] The fable of Amphion moving stones and raising the walls of
Thebes by his melody is explained by supposing him gifted with an
eloquence and power of persuasion that roused the savage people to rise
and build the town of Thebes.--ED.

[577] The story of Arion, lyric poet and musician of Lesbos, was that
having gone into Italy, settled there, and grown rich, he wished to
revisit his native country, taking some of his fortune with him. The
sailors of the ship determined to murder him, and steal his treasure.
He asked, as a last favour, that he might play a tune on his lyre. As
soon as he began he attracted the creatures of the deep, and leaping
into the sea, one of the dolphins carried him, lyre in hand, to the

[578] Compare _A Midsummer Night's Dream_, act II. scene i. l. 150.--ED.

[579] Mænalus, a mountain in Arcadia, sacred to Pan, covered with pine
trees, a favourite haunt of shepherds.--See Virgil, _Eclogues_, viii.
24; _Georgics_, i. 17; Ovid, _Metamorphoses_, i. 216.--ED.

[580] Compare Gray's _Progress of Poesy_, ll. 33-35.--ED.

[581] In his expedition to the East, Bacchus was clothed in a panther's
skin. He was accompanied by all the Satyrs, and by Silenus crowned with
flowers and almost always intoxicated.--ED.

[582] I have been unable to trace this quotation.--ED.

[583] The nightingale.--ED.

[584] Compare _To the Cuckoo_, vol. ii. p. 289--

    A wandering Voice.--ED.

[585] 1836.

    O for some soul-affecting scheme
    Of _moral_ music, to unite
    Wanderers whose portion is the faintest dream 1835.

[586] 1836

    ... they ... 1835.

[587] 1835.

    There is a world of spirit,
    By tones and numbers guided and controlled;
    And glorious privilege have they who merit
    Initiation in that mystery old.

                                         MS. copy by Dorothy Wordsworth.

[588] The fundamental idea, both in the intellectual and moral
philosophy of the Pythagoreans, was that of harmony or proportion.
Their natural science or cosmology was dominated by the same idea,
that as the world and all spheres within the universe were constructed
symmetrically, and moved around a central focus, the forms and the
proportions of things were best expressed by number. All good was due
to the principle of order; all evil to disorder. In accordance with the
mathematical conception of the universe which ruled the Pythagoreans,
justice was equality (#isotês#), that is to say it consisted in each
one receiving equally according to his deserts. Friendship too was
equality of feeling and relationship; harmony being the radical idea,
alike in the ethics and in the cosmology of the school.--ED.

[589] Compare Keats, in a letter to his friend Bailey, in 1817: "The
great elements we know of are no mean comforters; the open sky sits
upon our senses like a sapphire crown; the air is our robe of state;
the earth is our throne; and the sea a mighty minstrel playing before

[590] Compare _The Excursion_, book iv. l. 1163 (vol. v. p. 188)--

    ... choral song, or burst
    Sublime of instrumental harmony,
    To glorify the Eternal!--ED.

[591] See the Fenwick note prefixed to this poem.--ED.

[592] Genesis i.--ED.

[593] "And God said, Let there be light, and there was light" (Genesis
i. 3).


[594] 1 Corinthians xv. 52.--ED.

[595] Compare _Ode, Intimations of Immortality_, in stanza ix.--

    Our noisy years seem moments in the being
    Of the eternal Silence.--ED.

[596] St. Luke xxi. 33.--ED.


The Poems of 1829 were few; and were, for the most part, suggested by
incidents or occurrences at Rydal Mount.--ED.


                     Composed 1829.--Published 1835

[They were a present from Miss Jewsbury, of whom mention is made in
the note at the end of the next poem. The fish were healthy to all
appearance in their confinement for a long time, but at last, for some
cause we could not make out, they languished, and, one of them being
all but dead, they were taken to the pool under the old pollard-oak.
The apparently dying one lay on its side unable to move. I used to
watch it, and about the tenth day it began to right itself, and in a
few days more was able to swim about with its companions. For many
months they continued to prosper in their new place of abode; but one
night by an unusually great flood they were swept out of the pool, and
perished to our great regret.--I. F.]

One of the "Miscellaneous Poems."--ED.

    The soaring lark is blest as proud
      When at heaven's gate she sings;[597]
    The roving bee proclaims aloud
      Her flight by vocal wings;
    While Ye, in lasting durance pent,                                 5
      Your silent lives employ
    For something more than dull content,
      Though haply less than joy.[598]

    Yet might your glassy prison seem
      A place where joy is known,                                     10
    Where golden flash and silver gleam
      Have meanings of their own;
    While, high and low, and all about,
      Your motions, glittering Elves!
    Ye weave--no danger from without,                                 15
      And peace among yourselves.

    Type of a sunny human breast
      Is your transparent cell;
    Where Fear is but a transient guest,
      No sullen Humours dwell;                                        20
    Where, sensitive of every ray
      That smites this tiny sea,
    Your scaly panoplies repay
      The loan with usury.

    How beautiful!--Yet none knows why                                25
      This ever-graceful change,
    Renewed--renewed incessantly--
      Within your quiet range.
    Is it that ye with conscious skill
      For mutual pleasure glide;                                      30
    And sometimes, not without your will,
      Are dwarfed, or magnified?

    Fays, Genii of gigantic size!
      And now, in twilight dim,
    Clustering like constellated eyes,                                35
      In wings of Cherubim,
    When the fierce orbs abate their glare;--[599]
      Whate'er your forms express,
    Whate'er ye seem, whate'er ye are--
      All leads to gentleness.                                        40

    Cold though your nature be, 'tis pure;
      Your birthright is a fence
    From all that haughtier kinds endure
      Through tyranny of sense.
    Ah! not alone by colours bright                                   45
      Are Ye to heaven allied,
    When, like essential Forms of light,
      Ye mingle, or divide.

    For day-dreams soft as e'er beguiled
      Day-thoughts while limbs repose;                                50
    For moonlight fascinations mild,
      Your gift, ere shutters close--
    Accept, mute Captives! thanks and praise;
      And may this tribute prove
    That gentle admirations raise                                     55
      Delight resembling love.


[597] Compare _Cymbeline_, act II. scene iii. l. 21.--ED.

[598] See note [448] to p. 160.--ED.

[599] 1837.

    When they abate their fiery glare: 1835.




                     Composed 1829.--Published 1835

"The liberty of a people consists in being governed by laws which they
have made for themselves, under whatever form it be of government. The
liberty of a private man, in being master of his own time and actions,
as far as may consist with the laws of God and of his country. Of this
latter we are here to discourse."--COWLEY.

One of the "Miscellaneous Poems."--ED.

    Those breathing Tokens of your kind regard,
    (Suspect not, Anna,[601] that their fate is hard;
    Not soon does aught to which mild fancies cling
    In lonely spots, become a slighted thing;)
    Those silent Inmates now no longer share,                          5
    Nor do they need, our hospitable care,
    Removed in kindness from their glassy Cell
    To the fresh waters of a living Well--[602]
    An elfin pool so sheltered that its rest
    No winds disturb;[603] the mirror of whose breast                 10
    Is smooth as clear, save where with dimples small[604]
    A fly may settle, or a blossom fall.[605]
    --_There_ swims, of blazing sun and beating shower
    Fearless (but how obscured!) the golden Power,
    That from his bauble prison used to cast                          15
    Gleams by the richest jewel unsurpast;
    And near him, darkling like a sullen Gnome,
    The silver Tenant of the crystal dome;
    Dissevered both from all the mysteries
    Of hue and altering shape that charmed all eyes.                  20
    Alas! they pined,[606] they languished while they shone;
    And, if not so, what matters beauty gone
    And admiration lost, by change of place
    That brings to the inward creature no disgrace?
    But if the change restore his birth-right, then,                  25
    Whate'er the difference, boundless is the gain.
    Who can divine what impulses from God
    Reach the caged lark, within a town-abode,
    From his poor inch or two of daisied sod?
    O yield him back his privilege!--No sea                           30
    Swells like the bosom of a man set free;
    A wilderness is rich with liberty.
    Roll on, ye spouting whales, who die or keep
    Your independence in the fathomless Deep!
    Spread, tiny nautilus, the living sail;                           35
    Dive, at thy choice, or brave the freshening gale!
    If unreproved the ambitious eagle mount
    Sunward to seek the daylight in its fount,[607]
    Bays, gulfs, and ocean's Indian width, shall be,
    Till the world perishes, a field for thee!                        40

      While musing here I sit in shadow cool,
    And watch these mute Companions, in the pool,
    (Among reflected boughs of leafy trees)
    By glimpses caught--disporting at their ease,
    Enlivened, braced, by hardy luxuries,                             45
    I ask what warrant fixed them (like a spell
    Of witchcraft fixed them) in the crystal cell;
    To wheel with languid motion round and round,
    Beautiful, yet in mournful durance bound.
    Their peace, perhaps, our lightest footfall marred;               50
    On their quick sense our sweetest music jarred;
    And whither could they dart, if seized with fear?
    No sheltering stone, no tangled root was near.
    When fire or taper ceased to cheer the room,
    They wore away the night in starless gloom;                       55
    And, when the sun first dawned upon the streams,
    How faint their portion of his vital beams!
    Thus, and unable to complain, they fared,
    While not one joy of ours by them was shared.

      Is there a cherished bird (I venture now                        60
    To snatch a sprig from Chaucer's reverend brow)--[608]
    Is there a brilliant fondling of the cage,
    Though sure of plaudits on his costly stage,
    Though fed with dainties from the snow-white hand
    Of a kind mistress, fairest of the land,                          65
    But gladly would escape; and, if need were,
    Scatter the colours from the plumes that bear
    The emancipated captive through blithe air
    Into strange woods, where he at large may live
    On best or worst which they and Nature give?                      70
    The beetle loves his unpretending track,
    The snail the house he carries on his back;
    The far-fetched worm with pleasure would disown
    The bed we give him, though of softest down;
    A noble instinct; in all kinds the same,                          75
    All ranks! What Sovereign, worthy of the name,
    If doomed to breathe against his lawful will
    An element that flatters him--to kill,
    But would rejoice to barter outward show
    For the least boon that freedom can bestow?                       80

      But most the Bard is true to inborn right,
    Lark of the dawn, and Philomel of night,
    Exults in freedom, can with rapture vouch
    For the dear blessings of a lowly couch,                          84
    A natural meal--days, months, from Nature's hand;
    Time, place, and business, all at his command!--
    Who bends to happier duties, who more wise
    Than the industrious Poet, taught to prize,
    Above all grandeur, a pure life uncrossed
    By cares in which simplicity is lost?                             90
    That life--the flowery path that[609] winds by stealth--
    Which Horace needed for his spirit's health;[610]
    Sighed for, in heart and genius, overcome
    By noise and strife, and questions wearisome,
    And the vain splendours of Imperial Rome?--[611]                  95
    Let easy mirth his social hours inspire,
    And fiction animate his sportive lyre,
    Attuned to verse that, crowning light Distress
    With garlands, cheats her into happiness;
    Give _me_ the humblest note of those sad strains                 100
    Drawn forth by pressure of his gilded chains,
    As a chance-sunbeam from his memory fell
    Upon the Sabine farm he loved so well;[612]
    Or when the prattle of Blandusia's spring[613]
    Haunted his ear--he only listening--                             105
    He proud to please, above all rivals, fit
    To win the palm of gaiety and wit;
    He, doubt not, with involuntary dread,
    Shrinking from each new favour to be shed,
    By the world's Ruler, on his honoured head!                      110

      In a deep vision's intellectual scene,
    Such earnest longings and regrets as keen
    Depressed the melancholy Cowley, laid
    Under a fancied yew-tree's luckless shade;
    A doleful bower for penitential song,                            115
    Where Man and Muse complained of mutual wrong;
    While Cam's ideal current glided by,
    And antique towers nodded their foreheads high,
    Citadels dear to studious privacy.
    But Fortune, who had long been used to sport                     120
    With this tried Servant of a thankless Court,
    Relenting met his wishes; and to you
    The remnant of his days at least was true;
    You, whom, though long deserted, he loved best;
    You, Muses, books, fields, liberty, and rest![614]               125

      Far[615] happier they who, fixing hope and aim
    On the humanities of peaceful fame,
    Enter betimes with more than martial fire
    The generous course, aspire, and still aspire;
    Upheld by warnings heeded not too late                           130
    Stifle the contradictions of their fate,
    And to one purpose cleave, their Being's godlike mate!

      Thus, gifted Friend, but with the placid brow
    That woman ne'er should forfeit, keep _thy_ vow;
    With modest scorn reject whate'er would blind                    135
    The ethereal eyesight, cramp the wingèd mind!
    Then, with a blessing granted from above
    To every act, word, thought, and look of love,
    Life's book for Thee may lie unclosed, till age
    Shall with a thankful tear bedrop its latest page.[616]          140


[600] 1835.


                               The text of 1857 returns to that of 1835.

[601] See the Sonnet (p. 168) beginning--

    While Anna's peers and early playmates tread.


[602] See _The Faërie Queene_, book i. canto 2, stanza 43--

    Till we be bathed in a living well.


[603] This "elfin pool," to which the gold and silver fishes were
removed, still exists beneath the pollard oak tree in "Dora's
Field," at Rydal Mount. The field is now the property of Mr. Gordon

[604] 1845.

                                       ... Well;
    That spreads into an elfin pool opaque
    Of which close boughs a glimmering mirror make,
    On whose smooth breast with dimples light and small 1835.

[605] 1845.

    The fly may settle, leaf or blossom fall. 1835.
    The fly may settle, or the blossom fall. 1837.

[606] 1845.

    They pined, perhaps, ... 1835.

[607] See the reference to the Eagle in _The Power of Sound_ (p. 212),
and in the "Poems composed or suggested during a Tour in the Summer of
1833," _The Dunolly Eagle_.--ED.

[608] See, in "The Canterbury Tales," _The Squire's Tale_, ll.

[609] 1837.

    ... which ... 1835.

[610] These last five lines are amongst the best instances of
Wordsworth's appreciation of one of his great predecessors. Compare the
second of the two poems _September_ 1819.--ED.

[611] "The Sabine farm was situated in the valley of Ustica, thirty
miles from Rome and twelve miles from Tivoli. It possessed the
attraction, no small one to Horace, of being very secluded: yet, at the
same time, within an easy distance of Rome. When his spirits wanted the
stimulus of society or the bustle of the capital, which they often did,
his ambling mule would speedily convey him thither; and when jaded, on
the other hand, by the noise and racket and dissipations of Rome, he
could, in the same homely way, bury himself in a few hours among the
hills, and there, under the shadow of his favourite Lucretilis, or by
the banks of the clear-flowing and ice-cold Digentia, either stretch
himself to dream upon the grass, lulled by the murmurs of the stream,
or do a little farming in the way of clearing his fields of stones, or
turning over a furrow here and there with the hoe." (See Sir Theodore
Martin's _Horace_, p. 68.)--ED.

[612] See Horace, _Odes_, II. 18--

        Satis beatus unicis Sabinis.
    With what I have completely blest,
    My happy little Sabine nest.--ED.

[613] See _Odes_, III. 13.--ED.

[614] Abraham Cowley (born 1618), educated at Westminster and Trinity
College, Cambridge, a Royalist, and therefore expelled from Cambridge,
settled in St. John's College, Oxford, crossed over with the Queen
Mother to France for twelve years, returned at the Restoration, but was
neglected at Court, and retired to a farm at Chertsey, on the Thames,
where he lived for some years, "the melancholy Cowley."--ED.

[615] 1837.

    But ... 1835.

[616] There is now, alas! no possibility of the anticipation, with
which the above Epistle concludes, being realised: nor were the
verses ever seen by the Individual for whom they were intended. She
accompanied her husband, the Rev. Wm. Fletcher, to India, and died of
cholera, at the age of thirty-two or thirty-three years, on her way
from Shalapore to Bombay, deeply lamented by all who knew her.

Her enthusiasm was ardent, her piety steadfast; and her great talents
would have enabled her to be eminently useful in the difficult path of
life to which she had been called. The opinion she entertained of her
own performances, given to the world under her maiden name, Jewsbury,
was modest and humble, and, indeed, far below their merits; as is
often the case with those who are making trial of their powers, with a
hope to discover what they are best fitted for. In one quality, viz.,
quickness in the motions of her mind, she had,[617] within the range of
the Author's acquaintance, no equal.--W. W. 1835.

[617] 1837.

    She was in the author's estimation unequalled.--W. W. 1835.


                     Composed 1829.--Published 1835

    Not from his fellows only man may learn
    Rights to compare and duties to discern:
    All creatures and all objects, in degree,
    Are friends and patrons of humanity.--MS. 1835.

The Rocking-stones, alluded to in the beginning of the following
verses, are supposed to have been used, by our British ancestors, both
for judicial and religious purposes. Such stones are not uncommonly
found, at this day, both in Great Britain and in Ireland.--W. W. 1835.

[These verses and those entitled "Liberty" were composed as one piece,
which Mrs. Wordsworth complained of as unwieldy and ill-proportioned;
and accordingly it was divided into two, on her judicious
recommendation.--I. F.]

One of the "Poems of Sentiment and Reflection."--ED.

    What though the Accused, upon his own appeal
    To righteous Gods when man has ceased to feel,
    Or at a doubting Judge's stern command,
    Before the STONE OF POWER no longer stand--
    To take his sentence from the balanced Block,                      5
    As, at his touch, it rocks, or seems to rock;[619]
    Though, in the depths of sunless groves, no more
    The Druid-priest the hallowed Oak adore;
    Yet, for the Initiate, rocks and whispering trees
    Do still perform mysterious offices!                              10
    And functions dwell in beast and bird that sway
    The reasoning mind, or with the fancy play,
    Inviting, at all seasons, ears and eyes
    To watch for undelusive auguries:--[620]
    Not uninspired appear their simplest ways;                        15
    Their voices mount symbolical of praise--
    To mix with hymns that Spirits make and hear;
    And to fallen man their innocence is dear.
    Enraptured Art draws from those sacred springs
    Streams that reflect the poetry of things!                        20
    Where christian Martyrs stand in hues portrayed,
    That, might a wish avail, would never fade,
    Borne in their hands the lily and the palm
    Shed round the altar a celestial calm;
    There, too, behold the lamb and guileless dove                    25
    Prest in the tenderness of virgin love
    To saintly bosoms!--Glorious in the blending
    Of right affections climbing or descending
    Along a scale of light and life, with cares
    Alternate; carrying holy thoughts and prayers                     30
    Up to the sovereign seat of the Most High;
    Descending to the worm in charity;[621]
    Like those good Angels whom a dream of night
    Gave, in the field of Luz, to Jacob's sight[622]
    All, while _he_ slept, treading the pendent stairs                35
    Earthward or heavenward, radiant messengers,
    That, with a perfect will in one accord
    Of strict obedience, serve[623] the Almighty Lord;
    And with untired humility forbore
    To speed their errand by[624] the wings they wore.                40

      What a fair world were ours for verse to paint,
    If Power could live at ease with self-restraint!
    Opinion bow before the naked sense
    Of the great Vision,--faith in Providence;
    Merciful over all his creatures, just[625]                        45
    To the least particle of sentient dust;[626]
    But,[627] fixing by immutable decrees,
    Seedtime and harvest for his purposes!
    Then would be closed the restless oblique eye
    That looks for evil like a treacherous spy;                       50
    Disputes would then relax, like stormy winds
    That into breezes sink; impetuous minds
    By discipline endeavour to grow meek
    As Truth herself, whom they profess to seek.
    Then Genius, shunning fellowship with Pride,                      55
    Would braid his golden locks at Wisdom's side;
    Love ebb and flow untroubled by caprice;
    And not alone _harsh_ tyranny would cease,
    But unoffending creatures find release
    From qualified oppression, whose defence                          60
    Rests on a hollow plea of recompense;
    Thought-tempered wrongs, for each humane respect
    Oft worse to bear, or deadlier in effect.
    Witness those glances of indignant scorn
    From some high-minded Slave, impelled to spurn                    65
    The kindness that would make him less forlorn;
    Or, if the soul to bondage be subdued,
    His look of pitiable gratitude!

      Alas for thee, bright Galaxy of Isles,
    Whose[628] day departs in pomp, returns with smiles--
    To greet the flowers and fruitage of a land,                      71
    As the sun mounts, by sea-born breezes fanned;
    A land whose azure mountain-tops are seats
    For Gods in council, whose green vales, retreats
    Fit for the shades of heroes, mingling there                      75
    To breathe Elysian peace in upper air.

      Though cold as winter, gloomy as the grave,
    Stone-walls a prisoner make, but not a slave.[629]
    Shall man assume a property in man?
    Lay on the moral will a withering ban?                            80
    Shame that our laws at distance still protect[630]
    Enormities, which they at home reject!
    "Slaves cannot breathe in England"[631]--yet that boast
    Is but a mockery! when[632] from coast to coast,
    Though _fettered_ slave be none, her floors and soil              85
    Groan underneath a weight of slavish toil,
    For the poor Many, measured out by rules
    Fetched with cupidity from heartless schools,
    That to an Idol, falsely called[633] "the Wealth
    Of Nations,"[634] sacrifice a People's health,                    90
    Body and mind and soul; a thirst so keen[635]
    Is ever urging on the vast machine
    Of sleepless Labour, 'mid whose dizzy wheels
    The Power least prized is that which thinks and feels.

      Then, for the pastimes of this delicate age,                    95
    And all the heavy or light vassalage
    Which for their sakes we fasten, as may suit
    Our varying moods, on human kind or brute,
    'Twere well in little, as in great, to pause,
    Lest Fancy trifle with eternal laws.                             100
    Not from his fellows only man may learn
    Rights to compare and duties to discern!
    All creatures and all objects, in degree,
    Are friends and patrons of humanity.
    There are to whom the[636] garden, grove, and field,             105
    Perpetual lessons of forbearance yield;
    Who would not lightly violate the grace
    The lowliest flower possesses in its place;
    Nor shorten the sweet life, too fugitive,                        109
    Which nothing less than Infinite Power could give.[637]


[618] 1837.


    (WRITTEN IN THE YEAR 1829.) 1835.

[619] There are several, so-called, "rocking-stones" in Yorkshire and
Lancashire, in Derbyshire, in Cornwall, and in Wales. There are one or
two in Scotland, and there used to be several in the Lake District.
Some are natural; others artificial.--ED.

[620] 1837.

    ... offices!
    And still in beast and bird a function dwells,
    That, while we look and listen, sometimes tells
    Upon the heart, in more authentic guise
    Than Oracles, or winged Auguries,
    Spake to the Science of the ancient wise. 1835.

[621] The author is indebted, here, to a passage in one of Mr. Digby's
valuable works.--W. W. 1835.

See his _Of Bodies, and of man's Soul_.--ED.

[622] Genesis xxviii. 12.--ED.

[623] 1845.

    ... served ... 1835.

[624] 1837.

    The ready service of ... 1835.

[625] 1840.

    Merciful over all existence, just 1835.

[626] 1837.

    Compassionate to all that suffer, just
    In the end to every creature born of dust. C.

[627] 1840.

    And, ... 1835.

[628] 1837.

    Where ... 1835.

[629] Compare Richard Lovelace, _To Althea, from Prison_--

    Stone walls do not a prison make,
      Nor iron bars a cage.
    Minds innocent and quiet take
      That for a hermitage.--ED.

[630] 1837.

    ... should protect 1835.

[631] Compare Cowper's _Task_, book ii. l. 40.--ED.

[632] 1837.

    ...--a proud boast!
    And yet a mockery! if, ... 1835.


    That to a monstrous idol, called ... C.

[634] Compare _The Prelude_, book xiii. ll. 77, 78--

    ... that idol proudly named
    "The Wealth of Nations."--ED.


    The weal of body and soul; so keen a thirst C.

    The weal of body, mind, and soul; so keen
    A thirst urging ... C.

[636] 1837.

    ... eternal laws.
    There are to whom even ... 1835.

[637] Compare the closing lines of the _Ode, Intimations of

    To me the meanest flower that blows can give
    Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.--ED.


                     Composed 1829.--Published 1835

[This Lawn is the sloping one approaching the kitchen-garden, and
was made out of it. Hundreds of times have I watched the dancing of
shadows amid a press of sunshine, and other beautiful appearances of
light and shade, flowers and shrubs. What a contrast between this
and the cabbages and onions and carrots that used to grow there on
a piece of ugly-shaped unsightly ground! No reflection, however,
either upon cabbages or onions; the latter we know were worshipped
by the Egyptians, and he must have a poor eye for beauty who has
not observed how much of it there is in the form and colour which
cabbages and plants of that genus exhibit through the various stages
of their growth and decay. A richer display of colour in vegetable
nature can scarcely be conceived than Coleridge, my sister, and I
saw in a bed of potato-plants in blossom near a hut upon the moor
between Inversneyd and Loch Katrine.[638] These blossoms were of such
extraordinary beauty and richness that no one could have passed them
without notice. But the sense must be cultivated through the mind
before we can perceive these inexhaustible treasures of Nature, for
such they really are, without the least necessary reference to the
utility of her productions, or even to the laws whereupon, as we learn
by research, they are dependent. Some are of opinion that the habit of
analysing, decomposing, and anatomising, is inevitably unfavourable
to the perception of beauty. People are led into this mistake by
overlooking the fact that such processes being to a certain extent
within the reach of a limited intellect, we are apt to ascribe to them
that insensibility of which they are in truth the effect and not the
cause. Admiration and love, to which all knowledge truly vital must
tend, are felt by men of real genius in proportion as their discoveries
in natural Philosophy are enlarged; and the beauty in form of a plant
or an animal is not made less but more apparent as a whole by more
accurate insight into its constituent properties and powers. A _Savant_
who is not also a poet in soul and a religionist in heart is a feeble
and unhappy creature.--I. F.]

One of the "Poems of Sentiment and Reflection."--ED.

    This Lawn, a carpet all alive
    With shadows flung from leaves--to strive
      In dance, amid a press
    Of sunshine, an apt emblem yields
    Of Worldlings revelling in the fields                              5
      Of strenuous idleness;[639]

    Less quick the stir when tide and breeze
    Encounter, and to narrow seas
      Forbid a moment's rest;
    The medley less when boreal Lights                                10
    Glance to and fro, like aery Sprites
      To feats of arms addrest!

    Yet, spite of all this eager strife,
    This ceaseless play, the genuine life
      That serves the stedfast hours,                                 15
    Is in the grass beneath, that grows
    Unheeded, and the mute repose
      Of sweetly-breathing flowers.


[638] In 1803, Miss Wordsworth thus records it:--"We passed by
one patch of potatoes that a florist might have been proud of; no
carnation-bed ever looked more gay than this square plot of ground
on the waste common. The flowers were in very large bunches, and of
an extraordinary size, and of every conceivable shade of colouring
from snow-white to deep purple. It was pleasing in that place, where
perhaps was never yet a flower cultivated by man for his own pleasure,
to see these blossoms grow more gladly than elsewhere, making a summer
garden near the mountain dwellings." (_Recollections of a Tour made in
Scotland in 1803_, p. 85).--ED.

[639] Compare _The Prelude_, book iv. l. 378.--ED.


                     Composed 1829.--Published 1835

[Written at Rydal Mount.--I. F.]

One of the "Poems of Sentiment and Reflection."--ED.

    Flattered with promise of escape
      From every hurtful blast,
    Spring takes, O sprightly May! thy shape,
      Her loveliest and her last.[641]

    Less fair is summer riding high                                    5
      In fierce solstitial power,
    Less fair than when a lenient sky
      Brings on her parting hour.

    When earth repays with golden sheaves
      The labours of the plough,                                      10
    And ripening fruits and forest leaves
      All brighten on the bough;

    What pensive beauty autumn shows,
      Before she hears the sound
    Of winter rushing in, to close                                    15
      The emblematic round!

    Such be our Spring, our Summer such;
      So may our Autumn blend
    With hoary Winter, and Life touch,
      Through heaven-born hope, her end!                              20


[640] 1850.

  THOUGHT ... 1835.

                               The text of 1857 returns to that of 1835.

[641] Compare _Ode, composed on May Morning_, 1826 (p. 146); also _To
May_, 1826 (p. 148).--ED.


                  Composed 1829.--Published 1829[643]

[This pleasing tradition was told me by the coachman at whose side I
sate while he drove down the dale, he pointing to the trees on the hill
as he related the story.--I.F.]

One of the "Miscellaneous Sonnets."--ED.

    'Tis said that to the brow of yon fair hill
    Two Brothers clomb, and, turning face from face,
    Nor one look more exchanging, grief to still
    Or feed, each planted on that lofty place
    A chosen Tree;[644] then, eager to fulfil                          5
    Their courses, like two new-born rivers, they
    In opposite directions urged their way
    Down from the far-seen mount. No blast might kill
    Or blight that fond memorial;--the trees grew,
    And now entwine their arms; but ne'er again                       10
    Embraced those Brothers upon earth's wide plain;
    Nor aught of mutual joy or sorrow knew
    Until their spirits mingled in the sea
    That to itself takes all, Eternity.


[642] 1837.


[643] In _The Keepsake_.--ED.

[644] Mr. T. W. Shore (Southampton), writes to me: "The two trees
referred to by the poet are still on the hill, and called the
Shore Trees. The family of Shore is an ancient one in Derbyshire,
extending back to the reign of Richard II. In the time of Charles I,
several members of the family impoverished themselves in support of
the Royalist cause.... The trees on Oker Hill are supposed to have
been planted by those who remembered the family misfortunes, or who
succeeded the family which took part in the 17th century struggle."--ED.



               Composed 1829 (probably).--Published 1832

[This was also communicated to me by a coachman in the same way.[645]
In the course of my many coach rambles and journeys, which, during the
day-time always, and often in the night, were taken on the outside
of the coach, I had good and frequent opportunities of learning the
characteristics of this class of men. One remark I made that is worth
recording; that whenever I had occasion especially to notice their
well-ordered, respectful and kind behaviour to women, of whatever age,
I found them, I may say almost always, to be married men.--I.F.]

This happened near Ormskirk. Thomas Scarisbrick was killed by a flash
of lightning, whilst building a turf-stack in 1799. His son James
completed the work, and kept it intact during his life-time. James
was buried April 21st, 1824. Wordsworth was therefore wrong as to the
"fifty winters."--ED.

One of the "Miscellaneous Sonnets."--ED.

    Untouched through all severity of cold;
    Inviolate, whate'er the cottage hearth
    Might need for comfort, or for festal mirth;
    That Pile of Turf is half a century old:
    Yes, Traveller! fifty winters have been told                       5
    Since suddenly the dart of death went forth
    'Gainst him who raised it,--his last work on earth:
    Thence has it, with the Son, so strong a hold
    Upon his Father's memory, that his hands,
    Through reverence, touch it only to repair[646]                   10
    Its waste.--Though crumbling with each breath of air,
    In annual renovation thus it stands--
    Rude Mausoleum! but wrens nestle there,
    And red-breasts warble when sweet sounds are rare.


[645] Compare the Fenwick note to _A Tradition of Oker Hill in Darley_
_Dale, Derbyshire_, p. 230.--ED.

[646] 1837.

    Thence by his Son more prized than aught which gold
    Could purchase--watched, preserved by his own hands,
    That, faithful to the Structure, still repair 1832.


The Poems written in 1830 include, _The Armenian Lady's Love_, _The
Russian Fugitive_, _The Egyptian Maid_, the Elegiac Stanzas on Sir
George Beaumont, and several minor pieces.--ED.


                     Composed 1830.--Published 1835

The subject of the following poem is from the Orlandus of the author's
friend, Kenelm Henry Digby: and the liberty is taken of inscribing
it to him as an acknowledgment, however unworthy, of pleasure
and instruction derived from his numerous and valuable writings,
illustrative of the piety and chivalry of the olden time.--W. W.

[Written at Rydal Mount.--I. F.]

One of the "Poems founded on the Affections."--ED.


          You have heard "a Spanish Lady
            How she wooed an English man;"[647]
          Hear now of a fair Armenian,
            Daughter of the proud Soldàn;
    How she loved a Christian Slave, and told her pain                 5
    By word, look, deed, with hope that he might love again.


          "Pluck that rose, it moves my liking,"
            Said she, lifting up her veil;
          "Pluck it for me, gentle gardener,
            Ere it wither and grow pale."                             10
    "Princess fair, I till the ground, but may not take
    From twig or bed an humbler flower, even for your sake!"


          "Grieved am I, submissive Christian!
            To behold thy captive state;
          Women, in your land, may pity                               15
            (May they not?) the unfortunate."
    "Yes, kind Lady! otherwise man could not bear
    Life, which to every one that breathes is full of care."


          "Worse than idle is compassion
            If it end in tears and sighs;                             20
          Thee from bondage would I rescue
            And from vile indignities;
    Nurtured, as thy mien bespeaks, in high degree,
    Look up--and help a hand that longs to set thee free."


          "Lady! dread the wish, nor venture                          25
            In such peril to engage;
          Think how it would stir against you
            Your most loving father's rage:
    Sad deliverance would it be, and yoked with shame,
    Should troubles overflow on her from whom it came."               30


          "Generous Frank! the just in effort
            Are of inward peace secure:
          Hardships for the brave encountered,
            Even the feeblest may endure:
    If almighty grace through me thy chains unbind                    35
    My father for slave's work may seek a slave in mind."


          "Princess, at this burst of goodness,
            My long-frozen heart grows warm!"
          "Yet you make all courage fruitless,
            Me to save from chance of harm:                           40
    Leading such companion I that gilded dome,
    Yon minarets, would gladly leave for his worst home."


          "Feeling tunes your voice, fair Princess!
            And your brow is free from scorn,
          Else these words would come like mockery,                   45
            Sharper than the pointed thorn."
    "Whence the undeserved mistrust? Too wide apart
    Our faith hath been,--O would that eyes could see the heart!"


          "Tempt me not, I pray; my doom is
            These base implements to wield;                           50
          Rusty lance, I ne'er shall grasp thee,
            Ne'er assoil my cobwebb'd shield!
    Never see my native land, nor castle towers,
    Nor Her who thinking of me there counts widowed hours."


          "Prisoner! pardon youthful fancies;                         55
            Wedded? If you _can_, say no!
          Blessed is and be your consort;
            Hopes I cherished--let them go!
    Handmaid's privilege would leave my purpose free,
    Without another link to my felicity."                             60


          "Wedded love with loyal Christians,
            Lady, is a mystery rare;
          Body, heart, and soul in union,
            Make one being of a pair."
    "Humble love in me would look for no return,                      65
    Soft as a guiding star that cheers, but cannot burn."


          "Gracious Allah! by such title
            Do I dare to thank the God,
          Him who thus exalts thy spirit,
            Flower of an unchristian sod!                             70
    Or hast thou put off wings which thou in heaven dost wear?
    What have I seen, and heard or dreamt? where am I? where?"


          Here broke off the dangerous converse:
            Less impassioned words might tell
          How the pair escaped together,                              75
            Tears not wanting, nor a knell
    Of sorrow in her heart while through her father's door,
    And from her narrow world, she passed for evermore.


          But affections higher, holier,
            Urged her steps; she shrunk from trust                    80
          In a sensual creed that trampled
            Woman's birthright into dust.
    Little be the wonder then, the blame be none,
    If she, a timid Maid, hath put such boldness on.


          Judge both Fugitives with knowledge:                        85
            In those old romantic days
          Mighty were the soul's commandments
            To support, restrain, or raise.
    Foes might hang upon their path, snakes rustle near,
    But nothing from their inward selves had they to fear.            90


          Thought infirm ne'er came between them,
            Whether printing desert sands
          With accordant steps, or gathering
            Forest-fruit with social hands;                           94
    Or whispering like two reeds that in the cold moonbeam
    Bend with the breeze their heads, beside a crystal stream.


          On a friendly deck reposing
            They at length for Venice steer;
          There, when they had closed their voyage,
            One, who daily on the pier                               100
    Watched for tidings from the East, beheld his Lord,
    Fell down and clasped his knees for joy, not uttering word.


          Mutual was the sudden transport;
            Breathless questions followed fast,
          Years contracting to a moment,                             105
            Each word greedier than the last;
    "Hie thee to the Countess, friend! return with speed,
    And of this Stranger speak by whom her lord was freed.


          Say that I, who might have languished,
            Drooped and pined till life was spent,                   110
          Now before the gates of Stolberg[648]
            My Deliverer would present
    For a crowning recompense, the precious grace
    Of her who in my heart still holds her ancient place.


          Make it known that my Companion                            115
            Is of royal eastern blood,
          Thirsting after all perfection,
            Innocent, and meek, and good,
    Though with misbelievers bred; but that dark night
    Will holy Church disperse by beams of gospel-light."             120


          Swiftly went that grey-haired Servant,
            Soon returned a trusty Page
          Charged with greetings, benedictions,
            Thanks and praises, each a gage
    For a sunny thought to cheer the Stranger's way,                 125
    Her virtuous scruples to remove, her fears allay.


          And how blest the Reunited,
            While beneath their castle-walls,
          Runs a deafening noise of welcome!--
            Blest, though every tear that falls                      130
    Doth in its silence of past sorrow tell,
    And makes[649] a meeting seem most like a dear farewell.


          Through a haze of human nature,
            Glorified by heavenly light,
          Looked the beautiful Deliverer                             135
            On that overpowering sight,
    While across her virgin cheek pure blushes strayed,
    For every tender sacrifice her heart had made.


          On the ground the weeping Countess
            Knelt, and kissed the Stranger's hand;                   140
          Act of soul-devoted homage,
            Pledge of an eternal band:
    Nor did aught of future days that kiss belie,
    Which, with a generous shout, the crowd did ratify.


          Constant to the fair Armenian,                             145
            Gentle pleasures round her moved,
          Like a tutelary spirit
            Reverenced, like a sister, loved.
    Christian meekness smoothed for all the path of life,            149
    Who, loving most, should wiseliest love, their only strife.


          Mute memento of that union
            In a Saxon church survives,
          Where a cross-legged Knight lies sculptured
            As between two wedded Wives--
    Figures with armorial signs of race and birth,                   155
    And the vain rank the pilgrims bore while yet on earth.


[647] See, in Percy's _Reliques_, that fine old ballad, "The Spanish
Lady's Love;" from which Poem the form of stanza, as suitable to
dialogue, is adopted.--W. W. 1835.

[648] A small town in Prussian-Saxony, the residence of the Counts of

[649] 1836.

          Fancy (while, to banners floating
            High on Stolberg's Castle walls,
          Deafening noise of welcome mounted,
            Trumpets, Drums, and Atabals,)
    The devout embraces still, while such tears fell
    As made ... 1835.


                     Composed 1830.--Published 1835

[Early in life this story had interested me, and I often thought it
would make a pleasing subject for an opera or musical drama.--I. F.]

In 1837 this poem was placed among those grouped as "Yarrow revisited,
etc." In 1845 it was transferred to the "Miscellaneous Poems."--ED.

                                 PART I

    Enough of rose-bud lips, and eyes
      Like harebells bathed in dew,
    Of cheek that with carnation vies,
      And veins of violet hue;[651]
    Earth wants not beauty that may scorn                              5
      A likening to frail flowers;
    Yea, to the stars, if they were born[652]
      For seasons and for hours.

    Through Moscow's gates, with gold unbarred,[653]
      Stepped One at dead of night,                                   10
    Whom such high beauty could not guard
      From meditated blight;
    By stealth she passed, and fled as fast
      As doth the hunted fawn,
    Nor stopped, till in the dappling east                            15
      Appeared unwelcome dawn.

    Seven days she lurked in brake and field,
      Seven nights her course renewed,
    Sustained by what her scrip might yield,
      Or berries of the wood;                                         20
    At length, in darkness travelling on,
      When lowly doors were shut,
    The haven of her hope she won,
      Her Foster-mother's hut.

    "To put your love to dangerous proof                              25
      I come," said she, "from far;
    For I have left my Father's roof,
      In terror of the Czar."
    No answer did the Matron give,
      No second look she cast,                                        30
    But hung upon the Fugitive,[654]
      Embracing and embraced.

    She led the Lady[655] to a seat
      Beside the glimmering fire,
    Bathed duteously her wayworn feet,                                35
      Prevented each desire:--
    The cricket chirped, the house-dog dozed,
      And on that simple bed,
    Where she in childhood had reposed,
      Now rests her weary head.                                       40

    When she, whose couch had been the sod,
      Whose curtain, pine or thorn,
    Had breathed a sigh of thanks to God,
      Who comforts the forlorn;
    While over her the Matron bent                                    45
      Sleep sealed her eyes, and stole
    Feeling from limbs with travel spent,
      And trouble from the soul.

    Refreshed, the Wanderer rose at morn,
      And soon again was dight                                        50
    In those unworthy vestments worn
      Through long and perilous flight;
    And "O beloved Nurse," she said,
      "My thanks with silent tears
    Have unto Heaven and You been paid:                               55
      Now listen to my fears!

    "Have you forgot"--and here she smiled--
      "The babbling flatteries
    You lavished on me when a child
      Disporting round your knees?                                    60
    I was your lambkin, and your bird,
      Your star, your gem, your flower;
    Light words, that were more lightly heard
      In many a cloudless hour!

    "The blossom you so fondly praised                                65
      Is come to bitter fruit;
    A mighty One upon me gazed;
      I spurned his lawless suit,
    And must be hidden from his wrath:[656]
      You, Foster-father dear,                                        70
    Will guide me in my forward path;
      I may not tarry here!

    "I cannot bring to utter woe
      Your proved fidelity."----
    "Dear Child, sweet Mistress, say not so!                          75
      For you we both would die."
    "Nay, nay, I come with semblance feigned
      And cheek embrowned by art;
    Yet, being inwardly unstained,
      With courage will depart."                                      80

    "But whither would you, could you, flee?
      A poor Man's counsel take;
    The Holy Virgin gives to me
      A thought for your dear sake;
    Rest, shielded by our Lady's grace,                               85
      And soon shall you be led
    Forth to a safe abiding-place,
      Where never foot doth tread."

                                PART II

    The dwelling of this faithful pair
      In a straggling village stood,
    For One who breathed unquiet air
      A dangerous neighbourhood;
    But wide around lay forest ground                                  5
      With thickets rough and blind;
    And pine-trees made a heavy shade
      Impervious to the wind.

    And there, sequestered from the sight,
      Was spread a treacherous swamp,                                 10
    On which the noon-day sun shed light
      As from a lonely lamp;
    And midway in the unsafe morass,
      A single Island rose
    Of firm dry ground, with healthful grass                          15
      Adorned, and shady boughs.

    The Woodman knew, for such the craft
      This Russian vassal plied,
    That never fowler's gun, nor shaft
      Of archer, there was tried;                                     20
    A sanctuary seemed the spot
      From all intrusion free;
    And there he planned an artful Cot
      For perfect secrecy.

    With earnest pains unchecked by dread                             25
      Of Power's far-stretching hand,
    The bold good Man his labour sped
      At nature's pure command;
    Heart-soothed, and busy as a wren,
      While, in a hollow nook,                                        30
    She moulds her sight-eluding den
      Above a murmuring brook.

    His task accomplished to his mind,
      The twain ere break of day
    Creep forth, and through the forest wind                          35
      Their solitary way;
    Few words they speak, nor dare to slack
      Their pace from mile to mile,
    Till they have crossed the quaking marsh,
      And reached the lonely Isle.                                    40

    The sun above the pine-trees showed
      A bright and cheerful face;
    And Ina looked for her abode,
      The promised hiding-place;
    She sought in vain, the Woodman smiled;                           45
      No threshold could be seen,
    Nor roof, nor window;--all seemed wild
      As it had ever been.

    Advancing, you might guess an hour,
      The front with such nice care                                   50
    Is masked, "if house it be or bower,"
      But in they entered are;
    As shaggy as were wall and roof
      With branches intertwined,
    So smooth was all within, air-proof,                              55
      And delicately lined:

    And hearth was there, and maple dish,
      And cups in seemly rows,
    And couch--all ready to a wish
      For nurture or repose;                                          60
    And Heaven doth to her virtue grant
      That there[657] she may abide
    In solitude, with every want
      By cautious love supplied.

    No queen, before a shouting crowd,                                65
      Led on in bridal state,
    E'er struggled with a heart so proud,
      Entering her palace gate;
    Rejoiced to bid the world farewell,
      No saintly anchoress                                            70
    E'er took possession of her cell
      With deeper thankfulness.

    "Father of all, upon thy care
      And mercy am I thrown;
    Be thou my safeguard!"--such her prayer                           75
      When she was left alone,
    Kneeling amid the wilderness
      When joy had passed away,
    And smiles, fond efforts of distress
      To hide what they betray![658]                                  80

    The prayer is heard, the Saints have seen,
      Diffused through form and face,
    Resolves devotedly serene;
      That monumental grace
    Of Faith, which doth[659] all passions tame                       85
      That Reason _should_ control;
    And shows in the untrembling frame
      A statue of the soul.

                                PART III

    Tis sung in ancient minstrelsy
      That Phoebus wont to wear
    The leaves of any pleasant tree
      Around his golden hair;[660]
    Till Daphne, desperate with pursuit                                5
      Of his imperious love,
    At her own prayer transformed, took root,
      A laurel in the grove.

    Then did the Penitent adorn
      His brow with laurel green;                                     10
    And 'mid his bright locks never shorn
      No meaner leaf was seen;
    And poets sage, through every age,
      About their temples wound
    The bay; and conquerors thanked the Gods,                         15
      With laurel chaplets crowned.

    Into the mists of fabling Time
      So far runs back the praise
    Of Beauty, that disdains to climb
      Along forbidden ways;                                           20
    That scorns temptation; power defies
      Where mutual love is not;
    And to the tomb for rescue flies
      When life would be a blot.

    To this fair Votaress, a fate                                     25
      More mild doth Heaven ordain
    Upon her Island desolate;
      And words, not breathed in vain,
    Might tell what intercourse she found,
      Her silence to endear;                                          30
    What birds she tamed, what flowers the ground
      Sent forth her peace to cheer.

    To one mute Presence, above all,
      Her soothed affections clung,
    A picture on the cabin wall                                       35
      By Russian usage hung--
    The Mother-maid,[661] whose countenance bright
      With love abridged the day;
    And, communed with by taper light,
      Chased spectral fears away.                                     40

    And oft, as either Guardian came,
      The joy in that retreat
    Might any common friendship shame,
      So high their hearts would beat;
    And to the lone Recluse, whate'er                                 45
      They brought, each visiting
    Was like the crowding of the year
      With a new burst of spring.

    But, when she of her Parents thought,
      The pang was hard to bear;                                      50
    And, if with all things not enwrought,
      That trouble still is near.
    Before her flight she had not dared
      Their constancy to prove,
    Too much the heroic Daughter feared                               55
      The weakness of their love.

    Dark is the past to them, and dark
      The future still must be,
    Till pitying Saints conduct her bark
      Into a safer sea--                                              60
    Or gentle Nature close her eyes,
      And set her Spirit free
    From the altar of this sacrifice,
      In vestal purity.

    Yet, when above the forest-glooms                                 65
      The white swans southward passed,
    High as the pitch of their swift plumes
      Her fancy rode the blast;
    And bore her toward the fields of France,
      Her Father's native land,                                       70
    To mingle in the rustic dance,
      The happiest of the band!

    Of those belovèd fields she oft
      Had heard her Father tell
    In phrase that now with echoes soft                               75
      Haunted her lonely cell;
    She saw the hereditary bowers,
      She heard the ancestral stream;
    The Kremlin[662] and its haughty towers
      Forgotten like a dream!                                         80

                                PART IV

    The ever-changing Moon had traced
      Twelve times her monthly round,
    When through the unfrequented Waste
      Was heard a startling sound;
    A shout thrice sent from one who chased                            5
      At speed a wounded deer,
    Bounding through branches interlaced,
      And where the wood was clear.

    The fainting creature took the marsh,
      And toward the Island fled,                                     10
    While plovers screamed with tumult harsh
      Above his antlered head;
    This, Ina saw; and, pale with fear,
      Shrunk to her citadel;
    The desperate deer rushed on, and near                            15
      The tangled covert fell.

    Across the marsh, the game in view,
      The Hunter followed fast,
    Nor paused, till o'er the stag he blew
      A death-proclaiming blast;                                      20
    Then, resting on her upright mind,
      Came forth the Maid--"In me
    Behold," she said, "a stricken Hind
      Pursued by destiny!

    "From your deportment, Sir! I deem                                25
      That you have worn a sword,
    And will not hold in light esteem
      A suffering woman's word;
    There is my covert, there perchance
      I might have lain concealed,                                    30
    My fortunes hid, my countenance
      Not even to you revealed.

    "Tears might be shed, and I might pray,
      Crouching and terrified,
    That what has been unveiled to-day,                               35
      You would in mystery hide;
    But I will not defile with dust
      The knee that bends to adore
    The God in heaven;--attend, be just;
      This ask I, and no more!                                        40

    "I speak not of the winter's cold,
      For summer's heat exchanged,
    While I have lodged in this rough hold,
      From social life estranged;
    Nor yet of trouble and alarms:                                    45
      High Heaven is my defence;
    And every season has soft arms
      For injured Innocence.

    "From Moscow to the Wilderness
      It was my choice to come,                                       50
    Lest virtue should be harbourless,
      And honour want a home;
    And happy were I, if the Czar
      Retain his lawless will,
    To end life here like this poor deer,                             55
      Or a lamb on a green hill."

    "Are you the Maid," the Stranger cried,
      "From Gallic parents sprung,
    Whose vanishing was rumoured wide,
      Sad theme for every tongue;                                     60
    Who foiled an Emperor's eager quest?
      You, Lady, forced to wear
    These rude habiliments, and rest
      Your head in this dark lair!"

    But wonder, pity, soon were quelled;                              65
      And in her face and mien
    The soul's pure brightness he beheld
      Without a veil between:
    He loved, he hoped,--a holy flame
      Kindled 'mid rapturous tears;                                   70
    The passion of a moment came
      As on the wings of years.

    "Such bounty is no gift of chance,"
      Exclaimed he; "righteous Heaven,
    Preparing your deliverance,                                       75
      To me the charge hath given.
    The Czar full oft in words and deeds
      Is stormy and self-willed;
    But, when the Lady Catherine pleads,
      His violence is stilled.                                        80

    "Leave open to my wish the course,
      And I to her will go;
    From that humane and heavenly source,
      Good, only good, can flow."
    Faint sanction given, the Cavalier                                85
      Was eager to depart,
    Though question followed question, dear
      To the Maiden's filial heart.[663]

    Light was his step,--his hopes, more light,
      Kept pace with his desires;                                     90
    And the fifth[664] morning gave him sight
      Of Moscow's glittering spires.
    He sued:--heart-smitten by the wrong,
      To the lorn Fugitive
    The Emperor sent a pledge as strong                               95
      As sovereign power could give.

    O more than mighty change! If e'er
      Amazement rose to pain,
    And joy's excess[665] produced a fear
      Of something void and vain;                                    100
    'Twas when the Parents, who had mourned
      So long the lost as dead,
    Beheld their only Child returned,
      The household floor to tread.

    Soon gratitude gave way to love                                  105
      Within the Maiden's breast:
    Delivered and Deliverer move
      In bridal garments drest;
    Meek Catherine had her own reward;
      The Czar bestowed a dower;                                     110
    And universal Moscow shared
      The triumph of that hour.

    Flowers strewed the ground; the nuptial feast
      Was held with costly state;
    And there, 'mid many a noble guest,                              115
      The Foster-parents sate;
    Encouraged by the imperial eye,
      They shrank not into shade;
    Great was their bliss, the honour high
      To them and nature paid!                                       120


[650] Peter Henry Bruce, having given in his entertaining Memoirs the
substance of this Tale,[666] affirms that, besides the concurring
reports of others, he had the story from the lady's own mouth.

The Lady Catherine, mentioned towards the close, is[667] the famous
Catherine, then bearing that name as the acknowledged Wife of Peter the
Great.--W. W. 1835.

The title of this poem in the MS. copy by Mrs. Wordsworth is--

                       THE LODGE IN THE FOREST,
                            A Russian Tale.


[651] Compare S. T. Coleridge's verses, _To a Lady_--

    'Tis not the lily-brow I prize,
    Nor roseate cheeks, nor sunny eyes,
        Enough of lilies and of roses!
    A thousand-fold more dear to me
    The gentle look that Love discloses,--
        The look that Love alone can see!

And Keats' lines beginning--

    Woman! when I behold thee flippant, vain.

Also Wordsworth's _Jewish Family_, II. 25-28.--ED.

[652] 1835.

    Yea, to the stars themselves, if born C.

[653] 1835.

    ... by gold unbarred,

                                            MS. copy by Mrs. Wordsworth.

[654] 1837.

    She hung upon ... 1835.

[655] 1837.

    She led her Lady ... 1835.

[656] 1835.

    And I must hide me from his wrath.


[657] 1850.

    That here ... 1835.

[658] 1835.

    And smiles, the sunshine of distress,
      That hide-yet more betray.


[659] 1835.

    ... serene;
      Exalting lowly grace,
    A Faith which does ...


[660] In the edition of 1835 the two preceding lines were placed within
quotation marks, and the following added "From Golding's Translation of
Ovid's _Metamorphoses_. See also his Dedicatory Epistle prefixed to the
same work."-ED.

[661] "Not a Russian house, Bruce tells us, was, at his time, without
a picture of the Virgin." (MS. note to a copy of this poem, in Mrs.
Wordsworth's handwriting.)--ED.

[662] The Royal Palace at Moscow.--ED.

[663] 1835.

    ... the Cavalier
      Recounted all he knew,
    The sufferer's filial heart to cheer;
      Then hastily withdrew.


[664] 1837.

    ... third ... 1835.

[665] 1837.

    And over-joy ... 1835.

[666] 1845.

    of the following Tale 1835.

[667] 1837.

    was 1835.



                     Composed 1830.--Published 1835

For the names and persons in the following poem, see the "History of
the renowned Prince Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table"; for
the rest the Author is answerable; only it may be proper to add, that
the Lotus, with the bust of the Goddess appearing to rise out of the
full-blown flower, was suggested by the beautiful work of ancient
art, once included among the Townley Marbles, and now in the British
Museum.--W. W. 1835.

[In addition to the short notice prefixed to this poem, it may be worth
while here to say, that it rose out of a few words casually used in
conversation by my nephew, Henry Hutchinson. He was describing with
great spirit the appearance and movement of a vessel which he seemed
to admire more than any other he had ever seen, and said her name was
the Water Lily. This plant has been my delight from my boyhood, as I
have seen it floating on the lake; and that conversation put me upon
constructing and composing the poem. Had I not heard those words, it
would never have been written. The form of the stanza is new, and is
nothing but a repetition of the first five lines as they were thrown
off, and is not perhaps well suited to narrative, and certainly would
not have been trusted to had I thought at the beginning that the poem
would have gone to such a length.--I. F.]

In the editions of 1835 and 1837 this poem was assigned a place of its
own. In 1845 it was placed among the "Memorials of a Tour in Italy,

      While Merlin paced the Cornish sands,
      Forth-looking toward the rocks of Scilly,
      The pleased Enchanter was aware
      Of a bright Ship that seemed to hang in air,
      Yet was she work of mortal hands,                                5
    And took from men her name--THE WATER LILY.

      Soft was the wind, that landward blew;
      And, as the Moon, o'er some dark hill ascendant,
      Grows from a little edge of light
      To a full orb, this Pinnace bright                              10
      Became, as nearer to the coast she drew,
    More glorious, with spread sail and streaming pendant.

      Upon this wingèd Shape so fair
      Sage Merlin gazed with admiration:
      Her lineaments, thought he, surpass                             15
      Aught that was ever shown in magic glass;
      Was ever built with patient care;
    Or, at a touch, produced by happiest transformation.[668]

      Now, though a Mechanist, whose skill
      Shames the degenerate grasp of modern science,                  20
      Grave Merlin (and belike the more
      For practising occult and perilous lore)
      Was subject to a freakish will
    That sapped good thoughts, or scared them with defiance.

      Provoked to envious spleen, he cast                             25
      An altered look upon the advancing Stranger
      Whom he had hailed with joy, and cried,
      "My Art shall help to tame her pride--"
      Anon the breeze became a blast,
    And the waves rose, and sky portended danger.                     30

      With thrilling word, and potent sign
      Traced on the beach, his work the Sorcerer urges;
      The clouds in blacker clouds are lost,
      Like spiteful Fiends that vanish, crossed
      By Fiends of aspect more malign;                                35
    And the winds roused the Deep with fiercer scourges.

      But worthy of the name she bore
      Was this Sea-flower, this buoyant Galley:
      Supreme in loveliness and grace
      Of motion, whether in the embrace                               40
      Of trusty anchorage, or scudding o'er
    The main flood roughened into hill and valley.

      Behold, how wantonly she laves
      Her sides, the Wizard's craft confounding;
      Like something out of Ocean sprung                              45
      To be for ever fresh and young,
      Breasts the sea-flashes, and huge waves
    Top-gallant high, rebounding and rebounding!

      But Ocean under magic heaves,
      And cannot spare the Thing he cherished:                        50
      Ah! what avails that she was fair,
      Luminous, blithe, and debonair?
      The storm has stripped her of her leaves;
    The Lily floats no longer!--She hath perished.

      Grieve for her,--she deserves no less;                          55
      So like, yet so unlike, a living Creature!
      No heart had she, no busy brain;
      Though loved, she could not love again;
      Though pitied, _feel_ her own distress;
    Nor aught that troubles us, the fools of Nature.                  60

      Yet is there cause for gushing tears;
      So richly was this Galley laden,
      A fairer than herself she bore,
      And, in her struggles, cast ashore;
      A lovely One, who nothing hears                                 65
    Of wind or wave--a meek and guileless Maiden.

      Into a cave had Merlin fled
      From mischief, caused by spells himself had muttered;
      And while, repentant all too late,
      In moody posture there he sate,                                 70
      He heard a voice, and saw, with half-raised head,
    A Visitant by whom these words were uttered;

      "On Christian service this frail Bark
      Sailed" (hear me, Merlin!) "under high protection,
      Though on her prow a sign of heathen power                      75
      Was carved--a Goddess with a Lily flower,
      The old Egyptian's emblematic mark
    Of joy immortal and of pure affection.

      "Her course was for the British strand;
      Her freight, it was a Damsel peerless;                          80
      God reigns above, and Spirits strong
      May gather to avenge this wrong
      Done to the Princess, and her Land
    Which she in duty left, sad but not cheerless.[669]

      "And to Caerleon's loftiest tower                               85
      Soon will the Knights of Arthur's Table
      A cry of lamentation send;
      And all will weep who there attend,
      To grace that Stranger's bridal hour,
    For whom the sea was made unnavigable.                            90

      "Shame! should a Child of royal line
      Die through the blindness of thy malice?"
      Thus to the Necromancer spake
      Nina, the Lady of the Lake,
      A gentle Sorceress, and benign,                                 95
    Who ne'er embittered any good man's chalice.

      "What boots," continued she, "to mourn?
      To expiate thy sin endeavour:
      From the bleak isle where she is laid,
      Fetched by our art, the Egyptian Maid                          100
      May yet to Arthur's court be borne
    Cold as she is, ere life be fled for ever.

      "My pearly Boat, a shining Light,
      That brought me down that sunless river,
      Will bear me on from wave to wave,                             105
      And back with her to this sea-cave;--
      Then Merlin! for a rapid flight
    Through air, to thee my Charge will I deliver.

      "The very swiftest of thy cars
      Must, when my part is done, be ready;                          110
      Meanwhile, for further guidance, look
      Into thy own prophetic book;
      And, if that fail, consult the Stars
    To learn thy course; farewell! be prompt and steady."

      This scarcely spoken, she again                                115
      Was seated in her gleaming shallop,
      That, o'er the yet-distempered Deep,
      Pursued its way with bird-like sweep,
      Or like a steed, without a rein,
    Urged o'er the wilderness in sportive gallop.                    120

      Soon did the gentle Nina reach
      That Isle without a house or haven;
      Landing, she found not what she sought,
      Nor saw of wreck or ruin aught
      But a carved Lotus cast upon the beach[670]                    125
    By the fierce waves, a flower in marble graven.

      Sad relique, but how fair the while!
      For gently each from each retreating
      With backward curve, the leaves revealed
      The bosom half, and half concealed,                            130
      Of a Divinity, that seemed to smile
    On Nina, as she passed, with hopeful greeting.

      No quest was hers of vague desire,
      Of tortured hope and purpose shaken;
      Following the margin of a bay,                                 135
      She spied the lonely Cast-away,
      Unmarred, unstripped of her attire,
    But with closed eyes,--of breath and bloom forsaken.

      Then Nina, stooping down, embraced,
      With tenderness and mild emotion,                              140
      The Damsel, in that trance embound;
      And, while she raised her from the ground,
      And in the pearly shallop placed,
    Sleep fell upon the air, and stilled the ocean.

      The turmoil hushed, celestial springs                          145
      Of music opened, and there came a blending
      Of fragrance, underived from earth,
      With gleams that owed not to the sun their birth,
      And that soft rustling of invisible wings[671]
    Which Angels make, on works of love descending.                  150

      And Nina heard a sweeter voice
      Than if the Goddess of the flower had spoken:
      "Thou hast achieved, fair Dame! what none
      Less pure in spirit could have done;
      Go, in thy enterprise rejoice!                                 155
    Air, earth, sea, sky, and heaven, success betoken."

      So cheered, she left that Island bleak,
      A bare rock of the Scilly cluster,
      And, as they traversed the smooth brine,
      The self-illumined Brigantine                                  160
      Shed, on the Slumberer's cold wan cheek
    And pallid brow, a melancholy lustre.

      Fleet was their course, and when they came
      To the dim cavern, whence the river
      Issued into the salt-sea flood,                                165
      Merlin, as fixed in thought he stood,
      Was thus accosted by the Dame;
    "Behold to thee my Charge I now deliver!

      But where attends thy chariot--where?"--
      Quoth Merlin, "Even as I was bidden,                           170
      So have I done; as trusty as thy barge
      My vehicle shall prove--O precious Charge!
      If this be sleep, how soft! if death, how fair!
    Much have my books disclosed, but the end is hidden."

      He spake; and gliding into view                                175
      Forth from the grotto's dimmest chamber
      Came two mute Swans, whose plumes of dusky white
      Changed, as the pair approached the light,
      Drawing an ebon car, their hue
    (Like clouds of sunset) into lucid amber.                        180

      Once more did gentle Nina lift
      The Princess, passive to all changes:
      The car received her:--then up-went
      Into the ethereal element
      The Birds with progress smooth and swift                       185
    As thought, when through bright regions memory ranges.

      Sage Merlin, at the Slumberer's side,
      Instructs the Swans their way to measure;
      And soon Caerleon's towers appeared,
      And notes of minstrelsy were heard                             190
      From rich pavilions spreading wide,
    For some high day of long-expected pleasure.

      Awe-stricken stood both Knights and Dames
      Ere on firm ground the car alighted;
      Eftsoons astonishment was past,                                195
      For in that face they saw the last
      Last lingering look of clay, that tames
    All pride; by which all happiness is blighted.

      Said Merlin, "Mighty King, fair Lords,
      Away with feast and tilt and tourney!                          200
      Ye saw, throughout this royal House,
      Ye heard, a rocking marvellous
      Of turrets, and a clash of swords
    Self-shaken, as I closed my airy journey.

      "Lo! by a destiny well known                                   205
      To mortals, joy is turned to sorrow;
      This is the wished-for Bride, the Maid
      Of Egypt, from a rock conveyed
      Where she by shipwreck had been thrown;
    Ill sight! but grief may vanish ere the morrow."                 210

      "Though vast thy power, thy words are weak,"
      Exclaimed the King, "a mockery hateful;
      Dutiful Child, her lot how hard!
      Is this her piety's reward?
      Those watery locks, that bloodless cheek!                      215
    O winds without remorse! O shore ungrateful!

      "Rich robes are fretted by the moth;
      Towers, temples, fall by stroke of thunder;
      Will that, or deeper thoughts, abate
      A Father's sorrow for her fate?                                220
      He will repent him of his troth;
    His brain will burn, his stout heart split asunder.

      "Alas! and I have caused this woe;
      For, when my prowess from invading Neighbours
      Had freed his Realm, he plighted word                          225
      That he would turn to Christ our Lord,
      And his dear Daughter on a Knight bestow
    Whom I should choose for love and matchless labours.

      "Her birth was heathen; but a fence
      Of holy Angels round her hovered:                              230
      A Lady added to my court
      So fair, of such divine report
      And worship, seemed a recompense
    For fifty kingdoms by my sword recovered.

      "Ask not for whom, O Champions true!                           235
      She was reserved by me her life's betrayer;
      She who was meant to be a bride
      Is now a corse: then put aside
      Vain thoughts, and speed ye, with observance due
    Of Christian rites, in Christian ground to lay her."             240

      "The tomb," said Merlin, "may not close
      Upon her yet, earth hide her beauty;
      Not froward to thy sovereign will
      Esteem me, Liege! if I, whose skill
      Wafted her hither, interpose                                   245
    To check this pious haste of erring duty.

      "My books command me to lay bare
      The secret thou art bent on keeping:
      Here must a high attest be given,                              249
      _What_ Bridegroom was for her ordained by Heaven:
      And in my glass significants there are
    Of things that may to gladness turn this weeping.

      "For this, approaching, One by One,
      Thy Knights must touch the cold hand of the Virgin;
      So, for the favoured One, the Flower may bloom                 255
      Once more: but, if unchangeable her doom,
      If life departed be for ever gone,
    Some blest assurance, from this cloud emerging,

      "May teach him to bewail his loss;
      Not with a grief that, like a vapour, rises                    260
      And melts; but grief devout that shall endure,
      And a perpetual growth secure
      Of purposes which no false thought shall cross,
    A harvest of high hopes and noble enterprises."

      "So be it," said the King;--"anon,                             265
      Here, where the Princess lies, begin the trial;
      Knights each in order as ye stand
      Step forth."--To touch the pallid hand
      Sir Agravaine advanced; no sign he won
    From Heaven or earth;--Sir Kaye had like denial.                 270

      Abashed, Sir Dinas turned away;
      Even for Sir Percival was no disclosure;
      Though he, devoutest of all Champions, ere
      He reached that ebon car, the bier
      Whereon diffused like snow the Damsel lay,                     275
    Full thrice had crossed himself in meek composure.

      Imagine (but ye Saints! who can?)
      How in still air the balance trembled--
      The wishes, peradventure the despites
      That overcame some not ungenerous Knights;                     280
      And all the thoughts that lengthened out a span
    Of time to Lords and Ladies thus assembled.

      What patient confidence was here!
      And there how many bosoms panted!
      While drawing toward the car Sir Gawaine, mailed               285
      For tournament, his beaver vailed,
      And softly touched; but, to his princely cheer
    And high expectancy, no sign was granted.

      Next, disencumbered of his harp,
      Sir Tristram, dear to thousands as a brother,                  290
      Came to the proof, nor grieved that there ensued
      No change;--the fair Izonda he had wooed
      With love too true, a love with pangs too sharp,
    From hope too distant, not to dread another.

      Not so Sir Launcelot; from Heaven's grace                      295
      A sign he craved, tired slave of vain contrition;
      The royal Guinever looked passing glad.
      When his touch failed.--Next came Sir Galahad;
      He paused, and stood entranced by that still face
    Whose features he had seen in noontide vision.                   300

      For late, as near a murmuring stream
      He rested 'mid an arbour green and shady,
      Nina, the good Enchantress, shed
      A light around his mossy bed;
      And, at her call, a waking dream                               305
    Prefigured to his sense the Egyptian Lady.

      Now, while his bright-haired front he bowed,
      And stood, far-kenned by mantle furred with ermine,
      As o'er the insensate Body hung
      The enrapt, the beautiful, the young,                          310
      Belief sank deep into the crowd
    That he the solemn issue would determine.

      Nor deem it strange; the Youth had worn
      That very mantle on a day of glory,
      The day when he achieved that matchless feat,                  315
      The marvel of the PERILOUS SEAT,
      Which whosoe'er approached of strength was shorn,
    Though King or Knight the most renowned in story.

      He touched with hesitating hand--
      And lo! those Birds, far-famed through Love's dominions,       320
      The Swans, in triumph clap their wings;
      And their necks play, involved in rings,
      Like sinless snakes in Eden's happy land;--
    "Mine is she," cried the Knight;--again they clapped their pinions.

      "Mine was she--mine she is, though dead,                       325
      And to her name my soul shall cleave in sorrow;"
      Whereat, a tender twilight streak
      Of colour dawned upon the Damsel's cheek;
      And her lips, quickening with uncertain red,
    Seemed from each other a faint warmth to borrow.                 330

      Deep was the awe, the rapture high,
      Of love emboldened, hope with dread entwining,
      When, to the mouth, relenting Death
      Allowed a soft and flower-like breath,
      Precursor to a timid sigh,                                     335
    To lifted eyelids, and a doubtful shining.

      In silence did King Arthur gaze
      Upon the signs that pass away or tarry;
      In silence watched the gentle strife
      Of Nature leading back to life;                                340
      Then eased his soul at length by praise
    Of God, and Heaven's pure Queen--the blissful Mary.

      Then said he, "Take her to thy heart,
      Sir Galahad! a treasure, that God giveth,
      Bound by indissoluble ties to thee                             345
      Through mortal change and immortality;
      Be happy and unenvied, thou who art
    A goodly Knight that hath no peer that liveth!"

      Not long the Nuptials were delayed;
      And sage tradition still rehearses                             350
      The pomp, the glory of that hour
      When toward the altar from her bower
      King Arthur led the Egyptian Maid,
    And Angels carolled these far-echoed verses;--

              Who shrinks not from alliance                          355
              Of evil with good Powers,
              To God proclaims defiance,
              And mocks whom he adores.

              A Ship to Christ devoted
              From the Land of Nile did go;                          360
              Alas! the bright Ship floated,
              An Idol at her prow.

              By magic domination,
              The Heaven-permitted vent
              Of purblind mortal passion,                            365
              Was wrought her punishment.

              The Flower, the Form within it,
              What served they in her need?
              Her port she could not win it,
              Nor from mishap be freed.                              370

              The tempest overcame her,
              And she was seen no more;
              But gently, gently blame her--
              She cast a Pearl ashore.

              The Maid to Jesu hearkened,                            375
              And kept to him her faith,
              Till sense in death was darkened,
              Or sleep akin to death.

              But Angels round her pillow
              Kept watch, a viewless band;                           380
              And, billow favouring billow,
              She reached the destined strand.

              Blest Pair! whate'er befal you,
              Your faith in Him approve
              Who from frail earth can call you                      385
              To bowers of endless love!


[668] 1837.

    ... set forth with wondrous transformation. 1835.

[669] 1837.

    ... though sad not cheerless. 1835.

[670] 1837.

    ... shore 1835.

[671] Compare _Paradise Lost_, book i. l. 768.--ED.


                     Composed 1830.--Published 1835

[Written at Rydal Mount. This dove was one of a pair that had been
given to my daughter by our excellent friend, Miss Jewsbury,[673]
who went to India with her husband, Mr. Fletcher, where she died of
cholera. The dove survived its mate many years, and was killed, to
our great sorrow, by a neighbour's cat that got in at the window
and dragged it partly out of the cage. These verses were composed
extempore, to the letter, in the Terrace Summer-house before spoken of.
It was the habit of the bird to begin cooing and murmuring whenever it
heard me making my verses.--I.F.]

    One of the "Poems of the Fancy."--ED.

    As often as I murmur here
      My half-formed melodies,
    Straight from her osier mansion near,
      The Turtledove replies:
    Though silent as a leaf before,                                    5
      The captive promptly coos;
    Is it to teach her own soft lore,
      Or second my weak Muse?

    I rather think, the gentle Dove
      Is murmuring a reproof,                                         10
    Displeased that I from lays of love
      Have dared to keep aloof;
    That I, a Bard of hill and dale,
      Have carolled, fancy free,[674]
    As if nor dove nor nightingale,                                   15
      Had heart or voice for me.

    If such thy meaning, O forbear,
      Sweet Bird! to do me wrong;
    Love, blessed Love, is every where
      The spirit of my song:                                          20
    'Mid grove, and by the calm fireside,
      Love animates my lyre--
    That coo again!--'tis not to chide,
      I feel, but to inspire.


[672] In a MS. letter to Sir George Beaumont I find the poem entitled
"Twenty minutes Exercise on the Terrace last night, but Scene within

[673] Compare the Sonnet beginning--

    While Anna's peers and early playmates tread (p. 168.)--ED.

[674] Compare _A Midsummer Night's Dream_, act II. scene i. l. 164.--ED.


                     Composed 1830.--Published 1835

                    [Written at Rydal Mount.--I. F.]

    One of the "Poems of the Imagination."--ED.

    Presentiments! they judge not right
    Who deem that ye from open light
      Retire in fear of shame;
    All _heaven-born_ Instincts shun the touch
    Of vulgar sense,--and, being such,                                 5
      Such privilege ye claim.

    The tear whose source I could not guess,
    The deep sigh that seemed fatherless,
      Were mine in early days;
    And now, unforced by time to part                                 10
    With fancy, I obey my heart,
      And venture on your praise.

    What though some busy foes to good,
    Too potent over nerve and blood,
      Lurk near you--and combine                                      15
    To taint the health which ye infuse;
    This hides not from the moral Muse
      Your origin divine.

    How oft from you, derided Powers!
    Comes Faith that in auspicious hours                              20
      Builds castles, not of air:
    Bodings unsanctioned by the will
    Flow from your visionary skill,
      And teach us to beware.

    The bosom-weight, your stubborn gift,                             25
    That no philosophy can lift,
      Shall vanish, if ye please,
    Like morning mist: and, where it lay,
    The spirits at your bidding play
      In gaiety and ease.                                             30

    Star-guided contemplations move
    Through space, though calm, not raised above
      Prognostics that ye rule;
    The naked Indian of the wild,
    And haply, too, the cradled Child,                                35
      Are pupils of your school.

    But who can fathom your intents,
    Number their signs or instruments?
      A rainbow, a sunbeam,
    A subtle smell that Spring unbinds,                               40
    Dead pause abrupt of midnight winds,
      An echo, or a dream.[675]

    The laughter of the Christmas hearth
    With sighs of self-exhausted mirth
      Ye feelingly reprove;                                           45
    And daily, in the conscious breast,
    Your visitations are a test
      And exercise of love.

    When some great change gives boundless scope
    To an exulting Nation's hope,                                     50
      Oft, startled and made wise
    By your low-breathed interpretings,
    The simply-meek foretaste the springs
      Of bitter contraries.

    Ye daunt the proud array of war,                                  55
    Pervade the lonely ocean far
      As sail hath been unfurled;
    For dancers in the festive hall
    What ghastly partners hath your call
      Fetched from the shadowy world.                                 60

    'Tis said, that warnings ye dispense,
    Emboldened by a keener sense;
      That men have lived for whom,
    With dread precision, ye made clear
    The hour that in a distant year                                   65
      Should knell them to the tomb.

    Unwelcome insight! Yet there are
    Blest times when mystery is laid bare,
      Truth shows a glorious face,
    While on that isthmus which commands                              70
    The councils of both worlds, she stands,
      Sage Spirits! by your grace.

    God, who instructs the brutes to scent
    All changes of the element,
      Whose wisdom fixed the scale                                    75
    Of natures, for our wants provides
    By higher, sometimes humbler, guides,
      When lights of reason fail.


[675] Compare Robert Browning's _Bishop Blougram's Apology_, ll.

    ... there's a sunset-touch,
    A fancy from a flower-bell, some one's death,
    A chorus-ending from Euripides,--.
    And that's enough for fifty hopes and fears
    As old and new at once as Nature's self,
    To rap and knock and enter in our soul,
    Take hands and dance there, a fantastic ring, etc.--ED.


                     Composed 1830.--Published 1835

[Engraven, during my absence in Italy, upon a brass plate inserted in
the Stone.--I. F.]

This poem was classed among the "Inscriptions." In 1835 its title was
_Inscription intended for a Stone in the grounds of Rydal Mount_.
In 1845, and afterwards, the first line of the poem was its only

    In these fair vales hath many a Tree
      At Wordsworth's suit been spared;
    And from the builder's hand this Stone,
    For some rude beauty of its own,
      Was rescued by the Bard:                                         5
    So let it rest; and time will come
    When here the tender-hearted
    May heave a gentle sigh for him,
      As one of the departed.

The inscription is still preserved on the "brass plate inserted in the
stone," within the grounds at Rydal Mount.--ED.


               OF THE LATE[676] SIR G.H. BEAUMONT, BART.

                    Composed 1830.--Published 1835

In these grounds stands the Parish Church, wherein is a mural monument
bearing an inscription which,[677] in deference to the earnest request
of the deceased, is confined to name, dates, and these words:--"Enter
not into judgment with thy servant, O Lord!"--W. W.

[These verses were in part composed on horseback during a storm, while
I was on my way from Colcorton to Cambridge: they are alluded to

One of the "Epitaphs and Elegiac Pieces."--ED.

    With copious eulogy in prose or rhyme[679]
    Graven on the tomb we struggle against Time,
    Alas, how feebly! but our feelings rise
    And still we struggle when a good man dies:
    Such offering BEAUMONT dreaded and forbade,                        5
    A spirit meek in self-abasement clad.
    Yet _here_ at least, though few have numbered days
    That shunned so modestly the light of praise,
    His graceful manners, and the temperate ray
    Of that arch fancy which would round him play,                    10
    Brightening a converse never known to swerve
    From courtesy and delicate reserve;
    That sense, the bland philosophy of life,
    Which checked discussion ere it warmed to strife;
    Those rare accomplishments,[680] and varied powers,               15
    Might have their record among sylvan bowers.
    Oh, fled for ever! vanished like a blast
    That shook the leaves in myriads as it passed;--
    Gone from this world of earth, air, sea, and sky,
    From all its spirit-moving imagery,                               20
    Intensely studied with a painter's eye,
    A poet's heart; and, for congenial view,
    Portrayed with happiest pencil, not untrue
    To common recognitions while the line
    Flowed in a course of sympathy divine;--                          25
    Oh! severed, too abruptly, from delights
    That all the seasons shared with equal rights;--
    Rapt in the grace of undismantled age,
    From soul-felt music, and the treasured page
    Lit by that evening lamp which loved to shed                      30
    Its mellow lustre round thy honoured head;
    While Friends beheld thee give with eye, voice, mien,
    More than theatric force to Shakspeare's scene;--[681]
    If thou hast heard me--if thy Spirit know                         34
    Aught of these powers and whence their pleasures flow;
    If things in our remembrance held so dear,
    And thoughts and projects fondly cherished here,
    To thy exalted nature only seem
    Time's vanities, light fragments of earth's dream--
    Rebuke us not![682]--The mandate is obeyed                        40
    That said, "Let praise be mute where I am laid;"
    The holier deprecation, given in trust
    To the cold marble, waits upon thy dust;
    Yet have we found how slowly genuine grief
    From _silent_ admiration wins relief.                             45
    Too long abashed thy Name is like a rose
    That doth "within itself its sweetness close;"[683]
    A drooping daisy changed into a cup
    In which her bright-eyed beauty is shut up.
    Within these groves, where still are flitting by                  50
    Shades of the Past, oft noticed with a sigh,
    Shall stand a votive Tablet,[684] haply free,
    When towers and temples fall, to speak of Thee!
    If sculptured emblems of our mortal doom
    Recal not there the wisdom of the Tomb,                           55
    Green ivy risen from out the cheerful earth,
    Will[685] fringe the lettered stone; and herbs spring forth,
    Whose fragrance, by soft dews and rain unbound,
    Shall penetrate the heart without a wound;
    While truth and love their purposes fulfil,                       60
    Commemorating genius, talent, skill,
    That could not lie concealed where Thou wert known;
    Thy virtues _He_ must judge, and He alone,
    The God upon whose mercy they are thrown.


[676] Sir George Beaumont died on 7th February 1827.--ED.

[677] 1837.

    upon which, 1835.

[678] See the Fenwick note to the next poem.--ED.

[679] 1837.

    ... and rhyme 1835.

[680] 1837.

    Those fine accomplishments 1835.

[681] Sir George Beaumont used frequently to read Shakspeare aloud to
his household and friends at Coleorton.--ED.

[682] 1837.

    ... Shakespeare's scene--
    Rebuke us not!-- 1835.

[683] See, in Constable's "England's Helicon," Dametus' song to his
Diaphenia, stanza 2--

    Diaphenia like the spreading roses
    That in thy sweets all sweet encloses.

Also in Fairfax's translation of Tasso's _Godfrey of Bullogne; or the_
_Recovery of Jerusalem_, book ii. stanza 18--

    A veil obscured the sunshine of her eyes,
    The rose within herself her sweetness closed.--ED.

[684] This "votive Tablet" may still be seen, with its "green ivy,"
"fringing the lettered stone." Compare the Sonnet _To the Author's
Portrait_, p. 318.--ED.

[685] 1827.

    Shall ... 1835.


                    Composed 1830.--Published 1835.

[I have reason to remember the day that gave rise to this Sonnet, the
6th of November, 1830. Having undertaken, a great feat for me, to ride
my daughter's pony from Westmoreland to Cambridge, that she might have
the use of it while on a visit to her uncle at Trinity Lodge, on my way
from Bakewell to Matlock I turned aside to Chatsworth, and had scarcely
gratified my curiosity by the sight of that celebrated place before
there came on a severe storm of wind and rain which continued till I
reached Derby, both man and pony in a pitiable plight. For myself,
I went to bed at noon-day. In the course of that journey I had to
encounter a storm worse if possible, in which the pony could (or would)
only make his way slantwise.

I mention this merely to add that notwithstanding this battering I
composed, on horseback, the lines to the memory of Sir George Beaumont,
suggested during my recent visit to Coleorton.--I.F.]

One of the "Miscellaneous Sonnets."--ED.

    Chatsworth! thy stately mansion, and the pride
    Of thy domain, strange contrast do present
    To house and home in many a craggy rent
    Of the wild Peak; where new-born waters glide
    Through fields whose thrifty occupants abide                       5
    As in a dear and chosen banishment,
    With every semblance of entire content;
    So kind is simple Nature, fairly tried!
    Yet He whose heart in childhood gave her troth
    To pastoral dales, thin-set with modest farms,                    10
    May learn, if judgment strengthen with his growth,
    That, not for Fancy only, pomp hath charms;
    And, strenuous to protect from lawless harms
    The extremes of favoured life, may honour both.


The Poems of 1831 included _The Primrose of the Rock_, a few Sonnets,
and _Yarrow Revisited, and other Poems, composed during a tour in
Scotland, and on the English Border, in the Autumn of 1831_.--ED.


                     Composed 1831.--Published 1835

[Written at Rydal Mount. The Rock stands on the right hand a little way
leading up the middle road from Rydal to Grasmere. We have been in the
habit of calling it the glow-worm rock from the number of glow-worms we
have often seen hanging on it as described. The tuft of primrose has, I
fear, been washed away by the heavy rains.--I.F.]

One of the "Poems of the Imagination."--ED.

    A rock there is whose homely front[686]
      The passing traveller slights;
    Yet there the glow-worms hang their lamps,
      Like stars, at various heights;
    And one coy Primrose to that Rock                                  5
      The vernal breeze invites.

    What hideous warfare hath been waged,
      What kingdoms overthrown,
    Since first I spied that Primrose-tuft
      And marked it for my own;[687]                                  10
    A lasting link in Nature's chain
      From highest heaven let down!

    The flowers, still faithful to the stems,
      Their fellowship renew;
    The stems are faithful to the root,                               15
      That worketh out of view;
    And to the rock the root adheres
      In every fibre true.

    Close clings to earth the living rock,
      Though threatening still to fall;                               20
    The earth is constant to her sphere;
      And God upholds them all:
    So blooms this lonely Plant, nor dreads
       Her annual funeral.

           *       *       *       *       *

    Here closed the meditative strain;                                25
      But air breathed soft that day,
    The hoary mountain-heights were cheered,
      The sunny vale looked gay;
    And to the Primrose of the Rock
      I gave this after-lay.                                          30

    I sang--Let myriads of bright flowers,
      Like Thee, in field and grove
    Revive unenvied;--mightier far,
      Than tremblings that reprove
    Our vernal tendencies to hope,                                    35
      Is[688] God's redeeming love;

    That love which changed--for wan disease,
      For sorrow that had bent
    O'er hopeless dust, for withered age--
      Their moral element,                                            40
    And turned the thistles of a curse
      To types beneficent.

    Sin-blighted though we are, we too,
      The reasoning Sons of Men,
    From one oblivious winter called                                  45
      Shall rise, and breathe again;
    And in eternal summer lose
      Our threescore years and ten.

    To humbleness of heart descends
      This prescience from on high,                                   50
    The faith that elevates the just,
      Before and when they die;
    And makes each soul a separate heaven,
      A court for Deity.


[686] 1835.

    ... lonely front 1836.
    The edition of 1841 returns to the text of 1835.

[687] In Dorothy Wordsworth's Grasmere Journal the following
occurs:--April 24, 1802.--"We walked in the evening to Rydal. Coleridge
and I lingered behind. We all stood to look at Glow-worm Rock--a
primrose that grew there, and just looked out on the road from its own
sheltered bower."

The Primrose had disappeared when the Fenwick note was dictated, and
Glow-worms have now almost deserted the district; but the _Rock_ is
unmistakable, and it is one of the most interesting spots connected
with Wordsworth in the Lake District.--ED.

[688] 1836.

    In ... 1835.


                     Composed 1831.--Published 1832

[This Sonnet, though said to be written on seeing the Portrait of
Napoleon, was, in fact, composed some time after, extempore, in the
wood at Rydal Mount.--I.F.]

    Haydon! let worthier judges praise the skill
    Here by thy pencil shown in truth of lines
    And charm of colours; _I_ applaud those signs
    Of thought, that give the true poetic thrill;
    That unencumbered whole of blank and still,                        5
    Sky without cloud--ocean without a wave;
    And the one Man that laboured to enslave
    The World, sole-standing high on the bare hill--
    Back turned, arms folded, the unapparent face
    Tinged, we may fancy, in this dreary place                        10
    With light reflected from the invisible sun
    Set, like his fortunes; but not set for aye
    Like them. The unguilty Power pursues his way,
    And before _him_ doth dawn perpetual run.[689]


[689] Haydon, as he tells us in his Autobiography, received a
commission from Sir Robert Peel, in December 1830, "to paint Napoleon
musing, the size of life." He finished it in June 1831, and thus
described it himself:--

"Napoleon was peculiarly alive to poetical association as produced
by scenery or sound; village bells with their echoing ding, dong,
dang, now bursting full on the ear, now dying in the wind, affected
him as they affect everybody alive to natural impressions, and on the
eve of all his great battles you find him stealing away in the dead
of the night, between the two hosts, and indulging in every species
of poetical reverie. It was impossible to think of such a genius in
captivity, without mysterious associations of the sky, the sea, the
rock, and the solitude with which he was enveloped. I never imagined
him but as if musing at dawn, or melancholy at sunset, listening at
midnight to the beating and roaring of the Atlantic, or meditating as
the stars gazed and the moon shone on him; in short Napoleon never
appeared to me but at those seasons of silence and twilight, when
nature seems to sympathise with the fallen, and when if there be
moments in this turbulent earth fit for celestial intercourse, one
must imagine these would be the times immortal spirits might select
to descend within the sphere of mortality, to soothe and comfort, to
inspire and support the afflicted.

"Under such impressions the present picture was produced.... I imagined
him standing on the brow of an impending cliff, and musing on his past
fortunes, ... sea-birds screaming at his feet, ... the sun just
down, ... the sails of his guard-ship glittering on the horizon,
and the Atlantic, calm, silent, awfully deep, and endlessly
extensive."--_Life of Benjamin Robert Haydon_, vol. ii. pp. 301, 302.

This picture, one of the noblest which Haydon painted, is still at
Drayton Manor.--ED.



                     Composed 1831.--Published 1835

[In the autumn of 1831, my daughter and I set off from Rydal to visit
Sir Walter Scott before his departure for Italy. This journey had been
delayed by an inflammation in my eyes till we found that the time
appointed for his leaving home would be too near for him to receive
us without considerable inconvenience. Nevertheless we proceeded and
reached Abbotsford on Monday. I was then scarcely able to lift up my
eyes to the light. How sadly changed did I find him from the man I
had seen so healthy, gay, and hopeful, a few years before, when he
said at the inn at Paterdale, in my presence, his daughter Anne also
being there, with Mr. Lockhart, my own wife and daughter, and Mr.
Quillinan,--"I mean to live till I am _eighty_, and I shall write as
long as I live." But to return to Abbotsford: the inmates and guests we
found there were Sir Walter, Major Scott, Anne Scott, and Mr. and Mrs.
Lockhart, Mr. Liddell, his Lady and Brother, and Mr. Allan the painter,
and Mr. Laidlaw, a very old friend of Sir Walter's. One of Burns's
sons, an officer in the Indian service, had left the house a day or two
before, and had kindly expressed his regret that he could not wait my
arrival, a regret that I may truly say was mutual. In the evening, Mr.
and Mrs. Liddell sang, and Mrs. Lockhart chanted old ballads to her
harp; and Mr. Allan, hanging over the back of a chair, told and acted
old stories in a humorous way. With this exhibition and his daughter's
singing, Sir Walter was much amused, as indeed were we all as far as
circumstances would allow. But what is most worthy of mention is the
admirable demeanour of Major Scott during the following evening when
the Liddells were gone and only ourselves and Mr. Allan were present.
He had much to suffer from the sight of his father's infirmities and
from the great change that was about to take place at the residence
he had built, and where he had long lived in so much prosperity and
happiness. But what struck me most was the patient kindness with which
he supported himself under the many fretful expressions that his sister
Anne addressed to him or uttered in his hearing. She, poor thing, as
mistress of that house, had been subject, after her mother's death, to
a heavier load of care and responsibility and greater sacrifices of
time than one of such a constitution of body and mind was able to bear.
Of this, Dora and I were made so sensible, that, as soon as we had
crossed the Tweed on our departure, we gave vent at the same moment to
our apprehensions that her brain would fail and she would go out of her
mind, or that she would sink under the trials she had passed and those
which awaited her. On Tuesday morning Sir Walter Scott accompanied us
and most of the party to Newark Castle on the Yarrow. When we alighted
from the carriages he walked pretty stoutly, and had great pleasure in
revisiting those his favourite haunts. Of that excursion the verses
_Yarrow Revisited_ are a memorial. Notwithstanding the romance that
pervades Sir Walter's works and attaches to many of his habits, there
is too much pressure of fact for these verses to harmonise as much as
I could wish with other poems. On our return in the afternoon we had
to cross the Tweed directly opposite Abbotsford. The wheels of our
carriage grated upon the pebbles in the bed of the stream that there
flows somewhat rapidly: a rich but sad light of rather a purple than
a golden hue was spread over the Eildon Hills at that moment; and,
thinking it probable that it might be the last time Sir Walter would
cross the stream, I was not a little moved, and expressed some of my
feelings in the Sonnet beginning--"A trouble, not of clouds, or weeping
rain." At noon on Thursday we left Abbotsford, and in the morning of
that day Sir Walter and I had a serious conversation _tête-à-tête_,
when he spoke with gratitude of the happy life which upon the whole he
had led. He had written in my daughter's Album, before he came into the
breakfast-room that morning, a few stanzas addressed to her, and, while
putting the book into her hand, in his own study, standing by his desk,
he said to her in my presence--"I should not have done anything of this
kind but for your father's sake: they are probably the last verses I
shall ever write." They show how much his mind was impaired, not by
the strain of thought but by the execution, some of the lines being
imperfect, and one stanza wanting corresponding rhymes: one letter, the
initial S, had been omitted in the spelling of his own name. In this
interview also it was that, upon my expressing a hope of his health
being benefited by the climate of the country to which he was going,
and by the interest he would take in the classic remembrances of Italy,
he made use of the quotation from _Yarrow Unvisited_ as recorded by me
in the _Musings of Aquapendente_ six years afterwards. Mr. Lockhart has
mentioned in his life of him what I heard from several quarters while
abroad, both at Rome and elsewhere, that little seemed to interest him
but what he could collect or hear of the fugitive Stuarts and their
adherents who had followed them into exile. Both the _Yarrow Revisited_
and the "Sonnet" were sent him before his departure from England. Some
further particulars of the conversations which occurred during this
visit I should have set down had they not been already accurately
recorded by Mr. Lockhart. I first became acquainted with this great and
amiable man--Sir Walter Scott--in the year 1803, when my sister and I,
making a tour in Scotland, were hospitably received by him in Lasswade
upon the banks of the Esk, where he was then living. We saw a good deal
of him in the course of the following week; the particulars are given
in my sister's Journal of that tour.--I.F.]




  RYDAL MOUNT, _Dec._ 11, 1834.



[The following Stanzas are a memorial of a day passed with Sir Walter
Scott, and other Friends visiting the Banks of the Yarrow under his
guidance, immediately before his departure from Abbotsford, for Naples.

The title _Yarrow Revisited_ will stand in no need of explanation, for
Readers acquainted with the Author's previous poems, suggested by that
celebrated Stream.--I.F.]

    The gallant Youth, who may have gained,
      Or seeks, a "winsome Marrow,"
    Was but an Infant in the lap
      When first I looked on Yarrow;
    Once more, by Newark's Castle-gate                                 5
      Long left without a warder,
    I stood, looked, listened, and with Thee,
      Great Minstrel of the Border![690]

    Grave thoughts ruled wide on that sweet day,
      Their dignity installing                                        10
    In gentle bosoms, while sere leaves
      Were on the bough, or falling;
    But breezes played, and sunshine gleamed--
      The forest to embolden;
    Reddened the fiery hues, and shot                                 15
      Transparence through the golden.

    For busy thoughts the Stream flowed on
      In foamy agitation;
    And slept in many a crystal pool
      For quiet contemplation:[691]                                   20
    No public and no private care
      The freeborn mind enthralling,
    We made a day of happy hours,
      Our happy days recalling.

    Brisk Youth appeared, the Morn of youth,                          25
      With freaks of graceful folly,--
    Life's temperate Noon, her sober Eve,
      Her Night not melancholy;
    Past, present, future, all appeared
      In harmony united,                                              30
    Like guests that meet, and some from far,
      By cordial love invited.

    And if, as Yarrow, through the woods
      And down the meadow ranging,
    Did meet us with unaltered face,                                  35
      Though we were changed and changing;
    If, _then_, some natural shadows spread
      Our inward prospect over,
    The soul's deep valley was not slow
      Its brightness to recover.                                      40

    Eternal blessings on the Muse,
      And her divine employment!
    The blameless Muse, who trains her Sons
      For hope and calm enjoyment;
    Albeit sickness, lingering yet,                                   45
      Has o'er their pillow brooded;
    And Care waylays[692] their steps--a Sprite
      Not easily eluded.

    For thee, O SCOTT! compelled to change
      Green Eildon-hill and Cheviot                                   50
    For warm Vesuvio's vine-clad slopes;
      And leave thy Tweed and Tiviot
    For mild Sorento's breezy waves;
      May classic Fancy, linking
    With native Fancy her fresh aid,                                  55
      Preserve thy heart from sinking!

    O! while they minister to thee,
      Each vying with the other,
    May Health return to mellow Age,
      With Strength, her venturous brother;                           60
    And Tiber, and each brook and rill
      Renowned in song and story,
    With unimagined beauty shine,
      Nor lose one ray of glory!

    For Thou, upon a hundred streams,                                 65
      By tales of love and sorrow,
    Of faithful love, undaunted truth,
      Hast shed the power of Yarrow;
    And streams unknown, hills yet unseen,
      Wherever they[693] invite Thee,                                 70
    At parent Nature's grateful call,
      With gladness must requite Thee.

    A gracious welcome shall be thine,
      Such looks of love and honour
    As thy own Yarrow gave to me                                      75
      When first I gazed upon her;
    Beheld what I had feared to see,
      Unwilling to surrender
    Dreams treasured up from early days,
      The holy and the tender.                                        80

    And what, for this frail world, were all
      That mortals do or suffer,
    Did no responsive harp, no pen,
      Memorial tribute offer?
    Yea, what were mighty Nature's self?                              85
      Her features, could they win us,
    Unhelped by the poetic voice
      That hourly speaks within us?

    Nor deem that localised Romance
      Plays false with our affections;                                90
    Unsanctifies our tears--made sport
      For fanciful dejections:
    Ah, no! the visions of the past
      Sustain the heart in feeling
    Life as she is--our changeful Life,                               95
      With friends and kindred dealing.

    Bear witness, Ye, whose thoughts that day
      In Yarrow's groves were centred;
    Who through the silent portal arch
      Of mouldering Newark enter'd;                                  100
    And clomb the winding stair that once
      Too timidly was mounted
    By the "last Minstrel," (not the last!)
      Ere he his Tale recounted.

    Flow on for ever, Yarrow Stream!                                 105
      Fulfil thy pensive duty,
    Well pleased that future Bards should chant
      For simple hearts thy beauty;
    To dream-light dear while yet unseen,
      Dear to the common sunshine,                                   110
    And dearer still, as now I feel,
      To memory's shadowy moonshine!


[690] Wordsworth arrived at Abbotsford with his daughter to say
farewell to Scott on the 21st September 1831. "On the 22nd," says Mr.
Lockhart, "these two great poets, who had through life loved each other
well, and in spite of very different theories as to art, appreciated
each other's genius more justly than infirm spirits ever did either of
them, spent the morning together in a visit to Newark. Hence the last
of the three poems by which Wordsworth has connected his name to all
time with the most romantic of Scottish streams."--_Memoirs of the Life
of Sir Walter Scott_, vol. x. ch. lxxx. p. 104.

Compare the note to _Musings near Aquapendente_, in the Poems of the
Italian Tour of 1837.--ED.

[691] Compare Tennyson's _Brook_, and Burns's _Epistle to William
Simpson, Ochiltree_, stanza 15.--ED.

[692] 1837.

    ... waylay ... 1835.

[693] 1837.

    Where'er thy path ... 1835.



    A trouble, not of clouds, or weeping rain,
    Nor of the setting sun's pathetic light
    Engendered, hangs o'er Eildon's triple height:
    Spirits of Power, assembled there, complain
    For kindred Power departing from their sight;                      5
    While Tweed, best pleased in chanting a blithe strain,
    Saddens his voice again, and yet again.
    Lift up your hearts, ye Mourners! for the might
    Of the whole world's good wishes with him goes;
    Blessings and prayers in nobler retinue                           10
    Than sceptred king or laurelled conqueror knows,
    Follow this wondrous Potentate. Be true,
    Ye winds of ocean, and the midland sea,
    Wafting your Charge to soft Parthenope!

With the closing lines of this sonnet addressed to the "winds of
ocean," and Sir Walter's departure for Naples, compare Horace's ode to
the Ship carrying Virgil to Athens (_Odes_, I. 3).

On the 19th October 1833, Henry Crabb Robinson wrote thus to his
friend Masquerier--"It is, I think, the most perfect sonnet in the
language. Every word is a gem, from the 'pathetic light' in the second
to the 'soft Parthenope' in the last line. It is composed with that
deep feeling and perfection of style united that bespeak the master."
(_Diary, Reminiscences, etc._, vol. iii. p. 32.)

The sonnet was sent to Alaric Watts for his _Souvenir_ in 1832.
Wordsworth wrote, "I enclose a sonnet for your next volume if you
choose to insert it. It would have appeared with more advantage in this
year's, but was not written in time. It is proper that I should mention
it has been sent to Sir Walter Scott, and one or two of my other
friends." (See _Alaric Watts, a Narrative of his Life_, vol. ii. p.



[Similar places for burial are not unfrequent in Scotland. The one that
suggested this sonnet lies on the banks of a small stream called the
Wauchope that flows into the Esk near Langholme. Mickle, who, as it
appears from his poem on Sir Martin, was not without genuine poetic
feelings, was born and passed his boyhood in this neighbourhood, under
his father who was a minister of the Scotch Kirk. The Esk, both above
and below Langholme, flows through a beautiful country, and the two
streams of the Wauchope and the Ewes, which join it near that place,
are such as a pastoral poet would delight in.--I.F.]

    Part fenced by man, part by a rugged steep
    That curbs a foaming brook, a Grave-yard lies;
    The hare's best couching-place for fearless sleep;
    Which moonlit elves, far seen by credulous eyes,
    Enter in dance. Of church, or sabbath ties,                        5
    No vestige now remains; yet thither creep
    Bereft Ones, and in lowly anguish weep
    Their prayers out to the wind and naked skies.
    Proud tomb is none; but rudely-sculptured knights,
    By humble choice of plain old times, are seen                     10
    Level with earth, among the hillocks green:
    Union not sad, when sunny daybreak smites
    The spangled turf, and neighbouring thickets ring
    With _jubilate_ from the choirs of spring!



[The Manses in Scotland and the gardens and grounds about them have
seldom that attractive appearance which is common about our English
parsonages, even when the clergyman's income falls below the average
of the Scotch minister's. This is not merely owing to the one country
being poor in comparison with the other, but arises rather out of
the equality of their benefices, so that no one has enough to spare
for decorations that might serve as an example for others; whereas,
with us, the taste of the richer incumbent extends its influence more
or less to the poorest. After all, in these observations the surface
only of the matter is touched. I once heard a conversation in which
the Roman Catholic Religion was decried on account of its abuses.
"You cannot deny, however," said a lady of the party, repeating
an expression used by Charles II., "that it is the religion of a
gentleman." It may be left to the Scotch themselves to determine
how far this observation applies to their Kirk, while it cannot be
denied, if it is wanting in that characteristic quality, the aspect
of common life, so far as concerns its beauty, must suffer. Sincere
christian piety may be thought not to stand in need of refinement or
studied ornament; but assuredly it is ever ready to adopt them, when
they fall within its notice, as means allow; and this observation
applies not only to manners, but to everything a christian (truly so
in spirit) cultivates and gathers round him, however humble his social

    Say, ye far-travelled clouds, far-seeing hills--
    Among the happiest-looking homes of men
    Scatter'd all Britain over, through deep glen,
    On airy upland, and by forest rills,
    And o'er wide plains cheered by the lark that trills               5
    His sky-born warblings[694]--does aught meet your ken
    More fit to animate the Poet's pen,
    Aught that more surely by its aspect fills
    Pure minds with sinless envy, than the Abode
    Of the good Priest: who, faithful through all hours               10
    To his high charge, and truly serving God,
    Has yet a heart and hand for trees and flowers,
    Enjoys the walks his predecessors trod,
    Nor covets lineal rights in lands and towers.


[694] 1845.

    And o'er wide plains whereon the sky distils
    Her lark's loved warblings; ... 1835.



[We were detained by incessant rain and storm at the small inn near
Roslin Chapel, and I passed a great part of the day pacing to and fro
in this beautiful structure, which, though not used for public service,
is not allowed to go to ruin. Here, this sonnet was composed. If it
has at all done justice to the feeling which the place and the storm
raging without inspired, I was as a prisoner. A painter delineating the
interior of the chapel and its minute features under such circumstances
would have, no doubt, found his time agreeably shortened. But the
movements of the mind must be more free while dealing with words than
with lines and colours; such at least was then and has been on many
other occasions my belief, and, as it is allotted to few to follow
both arts with success, I am grateful to my own calling for this and
a thousand other recommendations which are denied to that of the
painter.--I. F.]

    The wind is now thy organist;--a clank
    (We know not whence) ministers for a bell
    To mark some change of service. As the swell
    Of music reached its height, and even when sank
    The notes, in prelude, ROSLIN! to a blank                          5
    Of silence, how it thrilled thy sumptuous roof,
    Pillars, and arches,--not in vain time-proof,
    Though Christian rites be wanting! From what bank
    Came those live herbs? by what hand were they sown
    Where dew falls not, where rain-drops seem unknown?               10
    Yet in the Temple they a friendly niche
    Share with their sculptured fellows, that, green-grown,
    Copy their beauty more and more, and preach,
    Though mute, of all things blending into one.[695]


[695] "I cannot agree with you in admiring the cathedral of Melrose
more than the chapel at Roslin. As far as it goes, as a whole, the
chapel at Roslin appeared to me to be _perfection_, most beautiful in
form, and of entire simplicity." (Dorothy Wordsworth to Mrs. Marshall,
Sept. 1807.)--ED.



[As recorded in my sister's Journal, I had first seen the Trosachs in
her and Coleridge's company. The sentiment that runs through this
Sonnet was natural to the season in which I again saw this beautiful
spot; but this and some other Sonnets that follow were coloured by the
remembrance of my recent visit to Sir Walter Scott, and the melancholy
errand on which he was going.--I. F.]

    There's not a nook within this solemn Pass,
    But were an apt confessional for One
    Taught by his summer spent, his autumn gone,
    That Life is but a tale of morning grass
    Withered at eve.[696] From scenes of art which chase[697]
    That thought away, turn, and with watchful eyes                    6
    Feed it 'mid Nature's old felicities,
    Rocks, rivers, and smooth lakes more clear than glass
    Untouched, unbreathed upon. Thrice happy quest,[698]
    If from a golden perch of aspen spray                             10
    (October's workmanship to rival May)
    The pensive warbler of the ruddy breast
    That[699] moral sweeten by a heaven-taught lay,
    Lulling the year, with all its cares, to rest!


[696] Compare _The Excursion_, book iii. 11. 468-474.--ED.

[697] 1837.

    ... that chase 1835.

[698] A supposed reading of this line printed, but placed by Wordsworth
amongst the _errata_ of the edition of 1835, may be quoted, as it has
given rise to some controversy. In that edition the phrase was "Thrice
happy Guest." In a copy of the same edition of 1835, which Wordsworth
presented to the Rev. T.C. Judkin, he crossed out the G and wrote in
Q in pencil. It was a point on which the late Matthew Arnold was much
interested; and although he retained, in his Selections, the reading
finally sanctioned by the poet, he thought, as many others have done,
that a good deal might be said in favour of the other reading.--ED.

[699] 1837.

    This ... 1835.



    The pibroch's note, discountenanced or mute;
    The Roman kilt, degraded to a toy
    Of quaint apparel for a half-spoilt boy;
    The target mouldering like ungathered fruit;
    The smoking steam-boat eager in pursuit,                           5
    As eagerly pursued; the umbrella spread
    To weather-fend the Celtic herdsman's head--
    All speak of manners withering to the root,
    And of[700] old honours, too, and passions high:
    Then may we ask, though pleased that thought should range         10
    Among the conquests of civility,
    Survives imagination--to the change
    Superior? Help to virtue does she give?[701]
    If not, O Mortals, better cease to live!


[700] 1845.

    And some ... 1835.

[701] 1845.

    ... it give? 1835.



    "People! your chains are severing link by link;
    Soon shall the Rich be levelled down--the Poor
    Meet them half-way." Vain boast! for These, the more
    They thus would rise, must low and lower sink
    Till, by repentance stung, they fear to think;                     5
    While all lie prostrate, save the tyrant few
    Bent in quick turns each other to undo,
    And mix the poison they themselves must drink.
    Mistrust thyself, vain Country! cease to cry,
    "Knowledge will save me from the threatened woe."
    For, if than other rash ones more thou know,                      11
    Yet on presumptuous wing as far would fly
    Above thy knowledge as they dared to go,
    Thou wilt provoke a heavier penalty.


[702] This Sonnet ought to have followed No. vii. in the series of
1831, but was omitted by mistake.--W. W. 1835.

As the above note indicates Wordsworth's own wish as to where
this sonnet should be placed, and approximately gives the date of
composition, it is placed as No. VIII. in the sonnets of 1831. In later
editions, Wordsworth placed it as the first in the series of "Sonnets
dedicated to Liberty and Order." The original title was _Sonnet,
composed after reading a Newspaper of the Day_.--ED.



["That make the Patriot spirit." It was mortifying to have frequent
occasions to observe the bitter hatred of the lower orders of the
Highlanders to their superiors; love of country seemed to have passed
into its opposite. Emigration was the only relief looked to with
hope.[703]--I. F.]

    "This Land of Rainbows spanning glens whose walls,
    Rock-built, are hung with rainbow-coloured mists--
    Of far-stretched Meres whose salt flood never rests--
    Of tuneful Caves and playful Waterfalls--
    Of Mountains varying momently their crests--                       5
    Proud be this Land! whose poorest huts are halls
    Where Fancy entertains becoming guests;
    While native song the heroic Past recals."
    Thus, in the net of her own wishes caught,
    The Muse exclaimed; but Story now must hide                       10
    Her trophies, Fancy crouch; the course of pride
    Has been diverted, other lessons taught,
    That make the Patriot-spirit bow her head
    Where the all-conquering Roman feared to tread.


[703] This Fenwick note is significant. These things repeat themselves,
and are as true in 1896, as they were in 1831.--ED.




["The last I saw was on the wing," off the promontory of Fairhead,
county of Antrim. I mention this because, though my tour in Ireland
with Mr. Marshall and his son was made many years ago, this allusion
to the eagle is the only image supplied by it to the poetry I have
since written. We travelled through that country in October, and to
the shortness of the days and the speed with which we travelled (in a
carriage and four) may be ascribed this want of notices, in my verse,
of a country so interesting. The deficiency I am somewhat ashamed
of, and it is the more remarkable as contrasted with my Scotch and
Continental tours, of which are to be found in these volumes so many
memorials.--I. F.]

    Dishonoured Rock and Ruin! that, by law
    Tyrannic, keep the Bird of Jove embarred
    Like a lone criminal whose life is spared.
    Vexed is he, and screams loud. The last I saw
    Was on the wing; stooping, he struck with awe                      5
    Man, bird, and beast; then, with a consort paired,[704]
    From a bold headland, their loved aery's guard,
    Flew high[705] above Atlantic waves, to draw
    Light from the fountain of the setting sun.
    Such was this Prisoner once; and, when his plumes
    The sea-blast ruffles as the storm comes on,                      11
    Then, for a moment, he, in spirit, resumes[706]
    His rank 'mong freeborn creatures that live free,
    His power, his beauty, and his majesty.


[704] 1835.

    Was on the wing, and struck my soul with awe,
    Now wheeling low, then with a consort paired,

                            MS. copy sent to Sir William Rowan Hamilton.

[705] 1835.

    Flying ...

                                              MS. to Sir W. R. Hamilton.

[706] 1845.

    In spirit, for a moment, he resumes

                                    MS. to Sir W. R. Hamilton, and 1835.



[Touring late in the season in Scotland is an uncertain speculation.
We were detained a week by rain at Bunaw on Loch Etive in a vain hope
that the weather would clear up and allow me to show my daughter the
beauties at Glencoe. Two days we were at the Isle of Mull, on a visit
to Major Campbell; but it rained incessantly, and we were obliged
to give up our intention of going to Staffa. The rain pursued us to
Tyndrum, where the Twelfth Sonnet was composed in a storm.--I. F.]

    Tradition, be thou mute! Oblivion, throw
    Thy veil in mercy o'er the records, hung
    Round strath and mountain, stamped by the ancient tongue
    On rock and ruin darkening as we go,--
    Spots where a word, ghost-like, survives to show                   5
    What crimes from hate, or desperate love, have sprung;
    From honour misconceived, or fancied wrong,
    What feuds, not quenched but fed by mutual woe.
    Yet, though a wild vindictive Race, untamed
    By civil arts and labours of the pen,                             10
    Could gentleness be scorned by those[707] fierce Men,
    Who, to spread wide the reverence they claimed[708]
    For patriarchal occupations, named
    Yon towering Peaks, "Shepherds of Etive Glen?"[709]


[707] 1837.

    ... these ... 1835.

[708] 1837.

    ... reverence that they claimed. 1835.

[709] In Gaelic, _Buachaill Etive_.--W. W. 1835.



    Enough of garlands, of the Arcadian crook,
    And all that Greece and Italy have sung
    Of Swains reposing myrtle groves among!
    _Ours_ couch on naked rocks,--will cross a brook
    Swoln with chill rains, nor ever cast a look                       5
    This way or that, or give it even a thought
    More than by smoothest pathway may be brought
    Into a vacant mind. Can written book
    Teach what _they_ learn? Up, hardy Mountaineer!
    And guide the Bard, ambitious to be One                           10
    Of Nature's privy council, as thou art,
    On cloud-sequestered heights, that see and hear
    To what dread Powers[711] He delegates his part
    On earth, who works in the heaven of heavens, alone.


[710] 1837.

In 1835 the title was _At Tyndrum_.

[711] 1837.

    ... Power ... 1835.



    Well sang the Bard who called the grave, in strains
    Thoughtful and sad, the "narrow house."[712] No style
    Of fond sepulchral flattery can beguile
    Grief of her sting; nor cheat, where he detains
    The sleeping dust, stern Death. How reconcile                      5
    With truth, or with each other, decked remains
    Of a once warm Abode, and that _new_ Pile,
    For the departed, built with curious pains
    And mausolean pomp?[713] Yet here they stand
    Together,--'mid trim walks and artful bowers,                     10
    To be looked down upon by ancient hills,
    That, for the living and the dead, demand
    And prompt a harmony of genuine powers;
    Concord that elevates the mind, and stills.


[712] This phrase is used by James Graham, in _The Poor Man's Funeral_;
by Southey, in _Joan of Arc_ (book viii.); by Ossian (frequently); and
by Burns, in his _Lament of Mary Queen of Scots_ (l. 53). Wordsworth
probably refers to Burns.--ED.

[713] Finlarig, near Killin, is the burial-place of the Breadalbane
family. "The modern mausoleum occupies a solitary position in the
vicinity of the old ruins."--ED.



                        AT THE HEAD OF GLENCROE

    Doubling and doubling with laborious walk,
    Who, that has gained at length the wished-for Height,
    This brief this simple way-side Call can slight,
    And rests not thankful? Whether cheered by talk
    With some loved friend, or by the unseen hawk                      5
    Whistling to clouds and sky-born streams, that shine
    At the sun's outbreak, as with light divine,
    Ere they descend to nourish root and stalk
    Of valley flowers. Nor, while the limbs repose,
    Will we forget that, as the fowl can keep                         10
    Absolute stillness, poised aloft in air,
    And fishes front, unmoved, the torrent's sweep,--
    So may the Soul, through powers that Faith bestows,
    Win rest, and ease, and peace, with bliss that Angels share.



    See what gay wild flowers deck this earth-built Cot,
    Whose smoke, forth-issuing whence and how it may,
    Shines in the greeting of the sun's first ray
    Like wreaths of vapour without stain or blot.
    The limpid mountain rill avoids it not;                            5
    And why shouldst thou?--If rightly trained and bred,
    Humanity is humble, finds no spot
    Which her Heaven-guided feet refuse to tread.
    The walls are cracked, sunk is the flowery roof,
    Undressed the pathway leading to the door;                        10
    But love, as Nature loves, the lonely Poor;
    Search, for their worth, some gentle heart wrong-proof,
    Meek, patient, kind, and, were its trials fewer,
    Belike less happy.--Stand no more aloof![714]


[714] This sonnet describes the _exterior_ of a Highland hut, as
often seen under morning or evening sunshine. To the authoress of the
_Address to the Wind_, and other poems, in these volumes, who was my
fellow-traveller in this tour, I am indebted for the following extract
from her journal, which[715] accurately describes, under particular
circumstances, the beautiful appearance of the _interior_ of one of
these rude habitations.

"On our return from the Trosachs the evening began to darken, and it
rained so heavily that we were completely wet before we had come two
miles, and it was dark when we landed with our boatman, at his hut upon
the banks of Loch Katrine. I was faint from cold: the good woman had
provided, according to her promise, a better fire than we had found in
the morning; and, indeed, when I sat down in the chimney-corner of her
smoky biggin, I thought I had never felt more comfortable in my life:
a pan of coffee was boiling for us, and, having put our clothes in the
way of drying, we all sat down thankful for a shelter. We could not
prevail upon our boatman, the master of the house, to draw near the
fire, though he was cold and wet, or to suffer his wife to get him dry
clothes till she had served us, which she did most willingly, though
not very expeditiously.

"A Cumberland man of the same rank would not have had such a notion of
what was fit and right in his own house, or, if he had, one would have
accused him of servility; but in the Highlander it only seemed like
politeness (however erroneous and painful to us), naturally growing
out of the dependence of the inferiors of the clan upon their laird;
he did not, however, refuse to let his wife bring out the whisky
bottle for his refreshment, at our request. 'She keeps a dram,' as the
phrase is: indeed, I believe there is scarcely a lonely house by the
way-side, in Scotland, where travellers may not be accommodated with
a dram. We asked for sugar, butter, barley-bread, and milk; and, with
a smile and a stare more of kindness than wonder, she replied, 'Ye'll
get that,' bringing each article separately. We caroused our cups of
coffee, laughing like children at the strange atmosphere in which we
were: the smoke came in gusts, and spread along the walls; and above
our heads in the chimney (where the hens were _roosting_) it appeared
like clouds[716] in the sky. We laughed and laughed again, in spite of
the smarting of our eyes, yet had a quieter pleasure in observing the
beauty of the beams and rafters gleaming between the clouds of smoke:
they had been crusted over, and varnished by many winters, till, where
the firelight fell upon them, they had become as glossy as black rocks,
on a sunny day, cased in ice. When we had eaten our supper we sat about
half an hour, and I think I never felt so deeply the blessing of a
hospitable welcome and a warm fire. The man of the house repeated from
time to time that we should often tell of this night when we got to
our homes, and interposed praises of his own lake, which he had more
than once, when we were returning in the boat, ventured to say was
'bonnier than Loch Lomond.' Our companion from the Trosachs, who, it
appeared, was an Edinburgh drawing-master going, during the vacation,
on a pedestrian tour to John o' Groat's house, was to sleep in the barn
with my fellow-travellers, where the man said he had plenty of dry hay.
I do not believe that the hay of the Highlands is ever very dry, but
this year it had a better chance than usual: wet or dry, however, the
next morning they said they had slept comfortably. When I went to bed,
the mistress, desiring me to '_go ben_,' attended me with a candle, and
assured me that the bed was dry, though not 'sic as I had been used
to.' It was of chaff; there were two others in the room, a cupboard and
two chests, upon one of which stood milk in wooden vessels, covered
over. The walls of the house were of stone unplastered: it consisted of
three apartments, the cowhouse at one end, the kitchen or house in the
middle, and the spence at the other end; the rooms were divided, not up
to the rigging, but only to the beginning of the roof, so that there
was a free passage for light and smoke from one end of the house to the
other. I went to bed some time before the rest of the family; the door
was shut between us, and they had a bright fire, which I could not see,
but the light it sent up amongst[717] the varnished rafters and beams,
which crossed each other in almost as intricate and fantastic a manner
as I have seen the under-boughs of a large beech tree withered by the
depth of shade above, produced the most beautiful effect that can be
conceived. It was like what I should suppose an under-ground cave or
temple to be, with a dripping or moist roof, and the moonlight entering
in upon it by some means or other: and yet the colours were more like
those of melted gems. I lay looking up till the light of the fire
faded away, and the man and his wife and child had crept into their
bed at the other end of the room: I did not sleep much, but passed a
comfortable night; for my bed, though hard, was warm and clean: the
unusualness of my situation prevented me from sleeping. I could hear
the waves beat against the shore of the lake: a little rill close to
the door made a much louder noise, and, when I sat up in my bed, I
could see the lake through an open window-place at the bed's head. Add
to this, it rained all night. I was less occupied by remembrance of the
Trosachs, beautiful as they were, than the vision of the Highland hut,
which I could not get out of my head; I thought of the Faery-land of
Spenser, and what I had read in romance at other times; and then what a
feast it would be for a London Pantomime-maker could he but transplant
it to Drury-lane, with all its beautiful colours!"--MS. W. W. 1835.

[715] 1837.

    ... sunshine. The reader may not be displeased with
    the following extract from the journal of a Lady, my
    fellow-traveller in Scotland in the autumn of 1803, which ...

[716] 1837.

    roosting) like clouds 1835.

[717] 1845.

    among 1835.



Upon a small island not far from the head of Loch Lomond, are some
remains of an ancient building, which was for several years the abode
of a solitary Individual, one of the last survivors of the clan of
Macfarlane, once powerful in that neighbourhood. Passing along the
shore opposite this island in the year 1814, the Author learned these
particulars, and that this person then living there had acquired the
appellation of "The Brownie." See _The Brownie's Cell_ (vol. vi. p.
16), to which the following[718] is a sequel.--W. W.

    "How disappeared he?" Ask the newt and toad;
    Ask of his fellow men, and they will tell
    How he was found, cold as an icicle,
    Under an arch of that forlorn abode;
    Where he, unpropp'd, and by the gathering flood                    5
    Of years hemm'd round, had dwelt, prepared to try
    Privation's worst extremities, and die
    With no one near save the omnipresent God.
    Verily so to live was an awful choice--
    A choice that wears the aspect of a doom;                         10
    But in the mould of mercy all is cast
    For Souls familiar with the eternal Voice;
    And this forgotten Taper to the last
    Drove from itself, we trust, all frightful gloom.


[718] 1837.

    following Sonnet is 1835.



                        COMPOSED AT LOCH LOMOND

    Though joy attend Thee orient at the birth
    Of dawn, it cheers the lofty spirit most
    To watch thy course when Day-light, fled from earth,
    In the grey sky hath left his lingering Ghost,
    Perplexed as if between a splendour lost                           5
    And splendour slowly mustering. Since the Sun,
    The absolute, the world-absorbing One,
    Relinquished half his empire to the host
    Emboldened by thy guidance, holy Star,
    Holy as princely, who that looks on thee                          10
    Touching, as now, in thy humility
    The mountain borders of this seat of care,
    Can question that thy countenance is bright,
    Celestial Power, as much with love as light?




[In my Sister's Journal is an account of Bothwell Castle as it
appeared to us at that time.--I.F.]

    Immured in Bothwell's Towers, at times the Brave
    (So beautiful is Clyde) forgot to mourn
    The liberty they lost at Bannockburn.
    Once on those steeps _I_ roamed[719] at large, and have
    In mind the landscape, as if still in sight;                       5
    The river glides, the woods before me wave;
    Then why repine that now in vain I crave[720]
    Needless renewal of an old delight?
    Better to thank a dear and long-past day
    For joy its sunny hours were free to give                         10
    Than blame the present, that our wish hath crost.
    Memory, like sleep, hath powers which dreams obey,
    Dreams, vivid dreams, that are not fugitive:
    How little that she cherishes is lost!


[719] The following is from the same MS., and gives an account of the
visit to Bothwell Castle here alluded to:--

"It was exceedingly delightful to enter thus unexpectedly upon such
a beautiful region. The castle stands nobly, overlooking the Clyde.
When we came up to it, I was hurt to see that flower-borders had
taken place of the natural overgrowings of the ruin, the scattered
stones and wild plants. It is a large and grand pile of red freestone,
harmonising perfectly with the rocks of the river, from which, no
doubt, it has been hewn. When I was a little accustomed to the
unnaturalness of a modern garden, I could not help admiring the
excessive beauty and luxuriance of some of the plants, particularly the
purple-flowered clematis, and a broad-leafed creeping plant without
flowers, which scrambled up the castle wall, along with the ivy, and
spread its vine-like branches so lavishly that it seemed to be in
its natural situation, and one could not help thinking that, though
not self-planted among the ruins of this country, it must somewhere
have its native abode in such places. If Bothwell Castle had not been
close to the Douglas mansion, we should have been disgusted with
the possessor's miserable conception of _adorning_ such a venerable
ruin; but it is so very near to the house, that of necessity the
pleasure-grounds must have extended beyond it, and perhaps the neatness
of a shaven lawn and the complete desolation natural to a ruin might
have made an unpleasing contrast; and, besides being within the
precincts of the pleasure-grounds, and so very near to the dwelling
of a noble family, it has forfeited, in some degree, its independent
majesty, and becomes a tributary to the mansion: its solitude being
interrupted, it has no longer the command over the mind in sending it
back into past times, or excluding the ordinary feelings which we bear
about us in daily life. We had then only to regret that the castle
and the house were so near to each other; and it was impossible _not_
to regret it; for the ruin presides in state over the river, far from
city or town, as if it might have a peculiar privilege to preserve its
memorials of past ages, and maintain its own character for centuries
to come. We sat upon a bench under the high trees, and had beautiful
views of the different reaches of the river, above and below. On the
opposite bank, which is finely wooded with elms and other trees, are
the remains of a priory built upon a rock; and rock and ruin are so
blended, that it is impossible to separate the one from the other.
Nothing can be more beautiful than the little remnant of this holy
place: elm trees (for we were near enough to distinguish them by their
branches) grow out of the walls, and overshadow a small, but very
elegant window. It can scarcely be conceived what a grace the castle
and priory impart to each other; and the river Clyde flows on, smooth
and unruffled below, seeming to my thoughts more in harmony with the
sober and stately images of former times, than if it had roared over
a rocky channel, forcing its sound upon the ear. It blended gently
with the warbling of the smaller birds, and the chattering of the
larger ones, that had made their nests in the ruins. In this fortress
the chief of the English nobility were confined after the battle of
Bannockburn. If a man _is_ to be a prisoner, he scarcely could have a
more pleasant place to solace his captivity; but I thought that, for
close confinement, I should prefer the banks of a lake, or the seaside.
The greatest charm of a brook or river is in the liberty to pursue it
through its windings: you can then take it in whatever mood you like;
silent or noisy, sportive or quiet. The beauties of a brook or river
must be sought, and the pleasure is in going in search of them; those
of a lake or of the sea come to you of themselves. These rude warriors
cared little, perhaps, about either; and yet, if one may judge from
the writings of Chaucer, and from the old romances, more interesting
passions were connected with natural objects in the days of chivalry
than now; though going in search of scenery, as it is called, had
not then been thought of. I had previously heard nothing of Bothwell
Castle, at least nothing that I remembered; therefore, perhaps, my
pleasure was greater, compared with what I received elsewhere, than
others might feel."--MS. Journal.--W. W. 1835.

[720] 1837.

    But, by occasion tempted, now I crave 1835.



    Amid a fertile region green with wood
    And fresh with rivers, well did[721] it become
    The ducal Owner, in his palace-home
    To naturalise this tawny Lion brood;
    Children of Art, that claim strange brotherhood                    5
    (Couched in their den) with those that roam at large
    Over the burning wilderness, and charge
    The wind with terror while they roar for food.
    Satiate are _these_; and stilled to eye and ear;
    Hence, while we gaze,[722] a more enduring fear!                  10
    Yet is the Prophet calm, nor would the cave
    Daunt him--if his Companions, now be-drowsed
    Outstretched[723] and listless, were by hunger roused:
    Man placed him here, and God, he knows, can save.

Henry Crabb Robinson gives an account of this picture in his _Diary,
etc._ (vol. ii. pp. 214, 215):--

"On September the 29th, from Lanark I visited the Duke of Hamilton's
palace, and had unusual pleasure in the paintings to be seen there.
I venture to copy my remarks on the famous Rubens' 'Daniel in the
Lions' Den:'--'The variety of character in the lions is admirable.
Here is indignation at the unintelligible power which restrains them;
there reverence towards the being whom they dare not touch. One of
them is consoled by the contemplation of the last skull he has been
picking; one is anticipating his next meal; two are debating the
subject together. But the Prophet, with a face resembling Curran's
(foreshortened so as to lose its best expression), has all the muscles
of his countenance strained from extreme terror. He is without joy or
hope; and though his doom is postponed, he has no faith in the miracle
which is to reward his integrity. It is a painting rather to astonish
than delight.'"

In a footnote Robinson adds, "Daniel's head is thrown back, and he
looks upwards with an earnest expression and clasped hands, as if
vehemently supplicating. The picture formerly belonged to King Charles
I. It was at that time entered as follows in the Catalogue of the Royal
Pictures:--'A piece of Daniel in the Lions' Den with lions about him,
given by the deceased Lord Dorchester to the king, being so big as the
life. Done by Sir Peter Paul Rubens.' Dr. Waagen very justly observes
that, upon the whole, the figure of Daniel is only an accessory
employed by the great master to introduce, in the most perfect form,
nine figures of lions and lionesses the size of life. Rubens, in a
letter to Sir Dudley Carleton (who presented the picture to the king),
dated April 28th, 1618, expressly states that it was wholly his own
workmanship. The price was six hundred florins. Engraved in mezzotint
by W. Ward, 1789."

This famous picture, after having been in the possession of the
Duke of Hamilton, was sold--in 1882--to Mr. Denison, Yorkshire. The
following is from the catalogue of the Hamilton Palace sale:--

RUBENS--DANIEL IN THE DEN OF LIONS.--The prophet is represented sitting
naked in the middle of the den, his hands clasped, and his countenance
directed upward with an expression of earnest prayer. Nine lions are
prowling around him. Engraved by Blooteling, Van der Leuw, and Lamb,
and in mezzotint by J. Ward. There is also an etching of it by Street,
extremely rare. This is one of the few great pictures by Rubens which
we know with certainty to have been entirely executed by his own
hand. Rubens says this explicitly in an Italian letter to Sir Dudley
Carleton, which Mr. Carpenter has printed in his _Pictorial Notices_,
p. 140. This picture was presented by Sir Dudley Carleton to Charles
I., and is inserted in the printed catalogue of his collection at page

                               "No. 14.

[Sidenote: Done by Sir Peter Paul Rubens.]

    Item.--A piece of Daniel in the lions' den, with lions about
        him. Given by the deceased Lord Dorchester to the king, so
        big as the life, in a black gilded frame."

It was sold to Mr. Denison for £5145.--ED.


[721] 1840.

    ... doth ... 1835.

[722] 1845.

    But _these_ are satiate, and a stillness drear
    Calls into life ... 1835.

    Satiate are _these_; and still--to eye and ear;
    Hence, while we gaze, ... 1837.

[723] 1837.

    Yawning ... 1835.



                        (A FEEDER OF THE ANNAN)

["Yet is it one that other rivulets bear." There is the Shakespeare
Avon, the Bristol Avon; the one that flows by Salisbury, and a small
river in Wales, I believe, bear the name; Avon being in the ancient
tongue the general name for river.--I. F.]

    Avon--a precious, an immortal name!
    Yet is it one that other rivulets bear
    Like this unheard-of, and their channels wear
    Like this contented, though unknown to Fame:
    For great and sacred is the modest claim                           5
    Of Streams to Nature's love, where'er they flow;
    And ne'er did Genius slight them, as they go,
    Tree, flower, and green herb, feeding without blame.
    But Praise can waste her voice on work of tears,
    Anguish, and death: full oft where innocent blood                 10
    Has mixed its current with the limpid flood,
    Her heaven-offending trophies Glory rears:
    Never for like distinction may the good
    Shrink from _thy_ name, pure Rill, with unpleased ears.



[The extensive forest of Inglewood has been enclosed within my memory.
I was well acquainted with it in its ancient state. The Hart's-horn
tree mentioned in the next Sonnet was one of its remarkable objects, as
well as another tree that grew upon an eminence not far from Penrith:
it was single and conspicuous; and being of a round shape, though it
was universally known to be a Sycamore, it was always called the "Round
Thorn," so difficult is it to chain fancy down to fact.--I.F.]

    The forest huge of ancient Caledon
    Is but a name, no[724] more is Inglewood,
    That swept from hill to hill, from flood to flood:
    On her last thorn the nightly moon has shone;
    Yet still, though unappropriate Wild be none,                      5
    Fair parks spread wide where Adam Bell might deign
    With Clym o' the Clough, were they alive again,
    To kill for merry feast their venison.
    Nor wants the holy Abbot's gliding Shade
    His church with monumental wreck bestrown;                        10
    The feudal Warrior-chief, a Ghost unlaid,
    Hath still his castle, though a skeleton,
    That he may watch by night, and lessons con
    Of power that perishes, and rights that fade.


[724] 1845.

    ... nor ... 1835.



    Here stood an Oak, that long had borne affixed
    To his huge trunk, or, with more subtle art,
    Among its withering topmost branches mixed,
    The palmy antlers of a hunted Hart,
    Whom the Dog Hercules pursued--his part                            5
    Each desperately sustaining, till at last
    Both sank and died, the life-veins of the chased
    And chaser bursting here with one dire smart.
    Mutual the victory, mutual the defeat!
    High was the trophy hung with pitiless pride;                     10
    Say, rather, with that generous sympathy
    That wants not, even in rudest breasts, a seat;
    And, for this feeling's sake, let no one chide
    Verse that would guard thy memory, HART'S-HORN TREE![726]


[725] This tree has perished, but its site is still well known. Compare
the note to _Roman Antiquities_, p. 308.--ED.

[726] "In the time of the first Robert de Clifford, in the year 1333 or
1334, Edward Baliol king of Scotland came into Westmoreland, and stayed
some time with the said Robert at his castles of Appleby, Brougham, and
Pendragon. And during that time they ran a stag by a single greyhound
out of Whinfell Park, to Redkirk, in Scotland,[727] and back again
to this place; where, being both spent, the stag leaped over the
pales, but died on the other side; and the greyhound, attempting to
leap, fell, and died on the contrary side. In memory of this fact the
stag's horns were nailed upon a tree just by, and (the dog being named
Hercules) this rhythm was made upon them:

    Hercules kill'd Hart a greese,
    And Hart a greese kill'd Hercules.

The tree to this day bears the name of Hart's-horn Tree. The horns in
process of time were almost grown over by the growth of the tree, and
another pair was put up in their place."--Nicholson and Burn's _History
of Westmoreland and Cumberland_.

The tree has now disappeared, but I well remember its[728] imposing
appearance as it stood, in a decayed state, by the side of the high
road leading from Penrith to Appleby. This whole neighbourhood abounds
in interesting traditions and vestiges of antiquity, viz., Julian's
Bower; Brougham and Penrith Castles; Penrith Beacon, and the curious
remains in Penrith Churchyard; Arthur's Round Table,[729] and, close
by, Maybrough; the excavation, called the Giant's Cave, on the banks
of the Emont; Long Meg and her Daughters, near Eden, etc., etc.--W. W.

[727] "So say the Countess's Memoirs; but they probably mistake Redkirk
for Ninekirks in this parish. A runnel, called Hart-horn Sike, in
Whinfell Park, is mentioned in the partition of the Veteripont estate,
between Isabella and Idonea."--Burn's _History of Westmoreland and

[728] 1845.

    but the author of these poems well remembers its ... 1835.

[729] 1845.

    Table; the Excavation ... 1835.



    The Lovers took within this ancient grove
    Their last embrace; beside those crystal springs[730]
    The Hermit saw the Angel spread his wings
    For instant flight; the Sage in yon alcove[731]
    Sate musing; on that hill the Bard would rove,                     5
    Not mute, where now the linnet only sings:
    Thus every where to truth Tradition clings,[732]
    Or Fancy localises Powers we love.
    Were only History[733] licensed to take note
    Of things gone by, her meagre monuments                           10
    Would ill suffice for persons and events:
    There is an ampler page for man to quote,
    A readier book of manifold contents,
    Studied alike in palace and in cot.


[730] 1835.

    There fell the Hero in this ancient grove
    The lovers pledged their faith beside these springs.


[731] 1835.

    ... this alcove


[732] 1835.

    Thus to the truth Tradition fondly clings


[733] 1835.

    Were History only ...




On the roadside between Penrith and Appleby, there stands a pillar with
the following inscription:--

"This Pillar was erected, anno 1656, By ye Rt honoble Anne Countess
Dowager of Pembrock etc., Daughter and sole heire of ye Rt honoble
George Earl of Cumberland, etc., for a memorial of her last parting
in this place with her good and pious mother, ye Rt honoble Margaret,
Countess Dowagr of Cumberland ye 2d of April 1616. In memory whereof
she also left an annuity of four pounds to be distributed to ye poor
within this parish of Brougham every 2d day of April for ever, upon ye
stone table here hard by. Laus Deo!"--W. W.

[Suggested by the recollection of Julian's Bower and other traditions
connected with this ancient forest.--I.F.]

    While the Poor gather round, till the end of time
    May this bright flower of Charity display
    Its bloom, unfolding at the appointed day;
    Flower than the loveliest of the vernal prime
    Lovelier--transplanted from heaven's purest clime!                 5
    "Charity never faileth:" on that creed,
    More than on written testament or deed,
    The pious Lady built with hope sublime.
    Alms on this stone to be dealt out, _for ever_!
    "LAUS DEO." Many a Stranger passing by                            10
    Has with that Parting mixed a filial sigh,
    Blest its humane Memorial's fond endeavour;
    And, fastening on those lines an eye tear-glazed,
    Has ended, though no Clerk, with "God be praised!"


[734] The Countess' Pillar is an octagonal one, on the high road from
Penrith, a couple of miles out of the town on the Appleby road, a
quarter of a mile from Brougham Castle, and over eleven miles from
Appleby. It is somewhat weather-worn, but is preserved with care. On
the north side of the pillar are the Pembroke Arms, and the date 1654.
The inscription is in a copper plate, sunk in the stone. I have copied
the "inscription" from the pillar itself, and have corrected, in what
is given above, some errata in the poet's transcript of it.--ED.




    How profitless the relics that we cull,
    Troubling the last holds of ambitious Rome,
    Unless they chasten fancies that presume
    Too high, or idle agitations lull!
    Of the world's flatteries if the brain be full,                    5
    To have no seat for thought were better doom,
    Like this old helmet, or the eyeless skull
    Of him who gloried in its nodding plume.
    Heaven out of view, our wishes what are they?
    Our fond regrets tenacious[735] in their grasp?                   10
    The Sage's theory? the Poet's lay?--
    Mere Fibulae without a robe to clasp;
    Obsolete lamps, whose light no time recals;
    Urns without ashes, tearless lacrymals!

I am indebted to Dr. Taylor of Penrith for the following note in
reference to these "Roman Antiquities" at Old Penrith:--"I have great
pleasure in giving you what information I can, concerning the Roman
Station of Old Penrith. It is called 'Petriana' by Camden, but most
archaeologists now allocate it in the '2nd Iter,' as the Station
'Voreda'--on the road between York and Carlisle. This road passes over
Stanemoor, by Bowes, Brough, Kirkbythore, Brougham, and Plumpton Wall
(or Voreda), to Lugovallum or Carlisle. The Roman Camps are visible
at all these places, and the old Roman road is recognisable in many
parts. This Old Penrith, Plumpton Wall, or Voreda, is a camp of the
third class. At a time, probably about the period which Wordsworth
alludes to, several Roman stones and altars were dug up at Voreda, and
are now deposited in Lowther Castle. Wordsworth had relations living in
Penrith, whom he used to visit occasionally, and it is probable that
after a visit to Voreda, which is about six miles from here, he wrote
the Sonnet alluded to. The 'Hart-horn Tree' referred to in the 'Legend
of the Hunt of the Stag' stood in the park of Whinfell, in the parish
of Brougham, but has disappeared for many years."--ED.


[735] 1837.

    ... insatiate ... 1835.
    Our fond regrets, all that our hopes would grasp C.




    No more: the end is sudden and abrupt,
    Abrupt--as without preconceived design
    Was the beginning; yet the several Lays
    Have moved in order, to each other bound
    By a continuous and acknowledged tie                               5
    Though unapparent--like those Shapes distinct
    That yet survive ensculptured on the walls
    Of palaces, or temples,[737] 'mid the wreck
    Of famed Persepolis;[738] each following each,
    As might beseem a stately embassy,
    In set array; these bearing in their hands
    Ensign of civil power, weapon of war,
    Or gift to be presented at the throne
    Of the Great King; and others, as they go
    In priestly vest, with holy offerings charged,                    15
    Or leading victims drest for sacrifice.
    Nor will the Power we serve, that sacred Power,
    The Spirit of humanity, disdain
    A[739] ministration humble but sincere,
    That from a threshold loved by every Muse                         20
    Its impulse took--that sorrow-stricken door,
    Whence, as a current from its fountain-head,
    Our thoughts have issued, and our feelings flowed,
    Receiving, willingly or not, fresh strength
    From kindred sources; while around us sighed                      25
    (Life's three first seasons having passed away)
    Leaf-scattering winds; and hoar-frost sprinklings fell
    (Foretaste of winter) on the moorland heights;
    And every day brought with it tidings new
    Of rash change, ominous for the public weal.                      30
    Hence, if dejection has[740] too oft encroached
    Upon that sweet and tender melancholy
    Which may itself be cherished and caressed
    More than enough; a fault so natural
    (Even with the young, the hopeful, or the gay)                    35
    For prompt forgiveness will not sue in vain.


[736] In the edition of 1835 the title was _Apology_.

[737] 1845.

    Of Palace, or of Temple, ... 1835.

[738] Compare _Processions in the Vale of Chamouny_, in the "Memorials
of a Tour on the Continent," 1820, vol. vi. p. 363.--ED.

[739] 1837.

    Nor will the Muse condemn, or treat with scorn
    Our ... 1835.

[740] 1837.

    ... have ... 1835.



The exact resemblance which the old Broach (still in use, though rarely
met with, among the Highlanders) bears to the Roman Fibula must
strike every one, and concurs, with the plaid and kilt, to recall to
mind the communication which the ancient Romans had with this remote
country.--W. W. 1835.

[On ascending a hill that leads from Loch Awe towards Inverary, I fell
into conversation with a woman of the humbler class who wore one of
those Highland Broaches. I talked with her about it; and upon parting
with her, when I said with a kindness I truly felt--"May that Broach
continue in your family through many generations to come, as you have
already possessed it"--she thanked me most becomingly and seemed not a
little moved.--I.F.]

    If to Tradition faith be due
    And echoes from old verse speak true
    Ere the meek Saint, Columba, bore
    Glad tidings to Iona's shore,
    No common light of nature blessed                                  5
    The mountain region of the west,
    A land where gentle manners ruled
    O'er men in dauntless virtues schooled,
    That raised, for centuries, a bar
    Impervious to the tide of war:                                    10
    Yet peaceful Arts did entrance gain
    Where haughty Force had striven in vain;
    And, 'mid the works of skilful hands,
    By wanderers brought from foreign lands
    And various climes, was not unknown                               15
    The clasp that fixed the Roman Gown;
    The Fibula, whose shape, I ween,
    Still in the Highland Broach is seen,
    The silver Broach of massy frame,
    Worn at the breast of some grave Dame                             20
    On road or path, or at the door
    Of fern-thatched hut on heathy moor:
    But delicate of yore its mould,
    And the material finest gold;
    As might beseem the fairest Fair,                                 25
    Whether she graced a royal chair,
    Or shed, within a vaulted hall,
    No fancied lustre on the wall
    Where shields of mighty heroes hung,
    While Fingal heard what Ossian sung.                              30

    The heroic Age expired--it slept
    Deep in its tomb:--the bramble crept
    O'er Fingal's hearth; the grassy sod
    Grew on the floors his sons had trod:
    Malvina! where art thou? Their state                              35
    The noblest-born must abdicate;
    The fairest, while with fire and sword
    Come Spoilers--horde impelling horde,
    Must walk the sorrowing mountains, drest
    By ruder hands in homelier vest.                                  40
    Yet still the female bosom lent,
    And loved to borrow, ornament;
    Still was its inner world a place
    Reached by the dews of heavenly grace;
    Still pity to this last retreat                                   45
    Clove fondly; to his favourite seat
    Love wound his way by soft approach,
    Beneath a massier Highland Broach.

    When alternations came of rage
    Yet fiercer, in a darker age;                                     50
    And feuds, where, clan encountering clan,
    The weaker perished to a man;
    For maid and mother, when despair
    Might else have triumphed, baffling prayer,
    One small possession lacked not power,                            55
    Provided in a calmer hour,
    To meet such need as might befal--
    Roof, raiment, bread, or burial:
    For woman, even of tears bereft,
    The hidden silver Broach was left.                                60

    As generations come and go
    Their arts, their customs, ebb and flow;
    Fate, fortune, sweep strong powers away,
    And feeble, of themselves, decay;
    What poor abodes the heir-loom hide,                              65
    In which the castle once took pride!
    Tokens, once kept as boasted wealth,
    If saved at all, are saved by stealth.
    Lo! ships, from seas by nature barred,
    Mount along ways by man prepared;                                 70
    And in far-stretching vales, whose streams
    Seek other seas, their canvas gleams.
    Lo! busy towns spring up, on coasts
    Thronged yesterday by airy ghosts;
    Soon, like a lingering star forlorn                               75
    Among the novelties of morn,
    While young delights on old encroach,
    Will vanish the last Highland Broach.

    But when, from out their viewless bed,
    Like vapours, years have rolled and spread;                       80
    And this poor verse, and worthier lays,
    Shall yield no light of love or praise;
    Then, by the spade, or cleaving plough,
    Or torrent from the mountain's brow,
    Or whirlwind, reckless what his might                             85
    Entombs, or forces into light;
    Blind Chance, a volunteer ally,
    That oft befriends Antiquity,
    And clears Oblivion from reproach,
    May render back the Highland Broach.[741]                         90


[741] How much the Broach is sometimes prized by persons in humble
stations may be gathered from an occurrence mentioned to me by a
female friend. She had had an opportunity of benefiting a poor old
woman in her own hut, who, wishing to make a return, said to her
daughter in Erse, in a tone of plaintive earnestness, "I would give
anything I have, but I _hope_ she does not wish for my Broach!" and,
uttering these words, she put her hand upon the Broach which fastened
her kerchief, and which, she imagined, had attracted the eye of her
benefactress.--W. W. 1835.


The poems written in 1832 were few. They include _Devotional
Incitements_, an _Evening Voluntary_, _Rural Illusions_, and a few


                     Composed 1832.--Published 1835

[Written at Rydal Mount.--I. F.]

One of the "Poems of the Imagination."--ED.

            "Not to the earth confined,
    Ascend to heaven."[742]

    Where will they stop, those breathing Powers,
    The Spirits of the new-born flowers?
    They wander with the breeze, they wind
    Where'er the streams a passage find;
    Up from their native ground they rise                              5
    In mute aërial harmonies;[743]
    From humble violet--modest thyme--
    Exhaled, the essential odours climb,
    As if no space below the sky
    Their subtle flight could satisfy:                                10
    Heaven will not tax our thoughts with pride
    If like ambition be _their_ guide.

      Roused by this kindliest of May-showers,
    The spirit-quickener of the flowers,
    That with moist virtue softly cleaves                             15
    The buds, and freshens the young leaves,
    The birds pour forth their souls in notes
    Of rapture from a thousand throats--
    Here checked by too impetuous haste,
    While there the music runs to waste,                              20
    With bounty more and more enlarged,
    Till the whole air is overcharged;
    Give ear, O Man! to their appeal
    And thirst for no inferior zeal,
    Thou, who canst _think_, as well as feel.                         25

      Mount from the earth; aspire! aspire!
    So pleads the town's cathedral quire,
    In strains that from their solemn height
    Sink, to attain a loftier flight;
    While incense from the altar breathes                             30
    Rich fragrance in embodied wreaths;
    Or, flung from swinging censer, shrouds
    The taper-lights, and curls in clouds
    Around angelic Forms, the still
    Creation of the painter's skill,                                  35
    That on the service wait concealed
    One moment, and the next revealed.
    --Cast off your bonds, awake, arise,
    And for no transient ecstasies!
    What else can mean the visual plea                                40
    Of still or moving imagery--
    The iterated summons loud,
    Not wasted on the attendant crowd,
    Nor wholly lost upon the throng
    Hurrying the busy streets along?                                  45
      Alas! the sanctities combined
    By art to unsensualise the mind,
    Decay and languish; or, as creeds
    And humours change, are spurned like weeds:
    The priests are from their altars thrust;                         50
    Temples are levelled with the dust;
    And solemn rites and awful forms
    Founder amid fanatic storms.[744][745]
    Yet evermore, through years renewed
    In undisturbed vicissitude                                        55
    Of seasons balancing their flight
    On the swift wings of day and night,
    Kind Nature keeps a heavenly door
    Wide open for the scattered Poor.
    Where flower-breathed incense to the skies                        60
    Is wafted in mute harmonies;
    And ground fresh-cloven by the plough
    Is fragrant with a humbler vow;
    Where birds and brooks from leafy dells
    Chime forth unwearied canticles,                                  65
    And vapours magnify and spread
    The glory of the sun's bright head--
    Still constant in her worship, still
    Conforming to the eternal Will,[746]
    Whether men sow or reap the fields,                               70
    Divine monition[747] Nature yields,
    That not by bread alone we live,
    Or what a hand of flesh can give;
    That every day should leave some part
    Free for a sabbath of the heart:                                  75
    So shall the seventh be truly blest,
    From morn to eve, with hallowed rest.


[742] See _Paradise Lost_, book v. ll. 78-80--

            Not to Earth confined,
    But sometimes in the Air, as we; sometimes
    Ascend to heaven.


[743] Compare, in Bacon's _Essays_, No. 46, 'Of Gardens,' "The _Breath_
of Flowers is farre Sweeter in the Aire, when it comes and goes, like
the Warbling of Musick."--ED.

[744] 1836.

    The solemn rites, the awful forms,
    Founder amid fanatic storms;
    The priests are from their altars thrust,
    The temples levelled with the dust: 1835.

[745] Compare a passage in Daniel's _Musopilus_, beginning--

    Sacred Religion! mother of form and fear!
    How gorgeously sometimes dost thou sit decked!--ED.

[746] 1836.

    ... almighty Will, 1835.

[747] 1845.

    Her admonitions Nature yields; 1835.
    Divine admonishment She yields, 1836.


                     Composed 1832.--Published 1835

One of the "Evening Voluntaries."--ED.

    Calm is the fragrant air, and loth to lose
    Day's grateful warmth, tho' moist with falling dews.
    Look for the stars, you'll say that there are none;
    Look up a second time, and, one by one,
    You mark them twinkling out with silvery light,                    5
    And wonder how they could elude the sight!
    The birds, of late so noisy in their bowers,
    Warbled a while with faint and fainter powers,
    But now are silent as the dim-seen flowers:
    Nor does the village Church-clock's iron tone                     10
    The time's and season's influence disown;
    Nine beats distinctly to each other bound
    In drowsy sequence--how unlike the sound
    That, in rough winter, oft inflicts a fear
    On fireside listeners, doubting what they hear!                   15
    The shepherd, bent on rising with the sun,
    Had closed his door before the day was done,
    And now with thankful heart to bed doth creep,
    And joins[748] his little children in their sleep.
    The bat, lured forth where trees the lane o'ershade,              20
    Flits and reflits along the close arcade;
    The busy[749] dor-hawk chases the white moth
    With burring note, which Industry and Sloth
    Might both be pleased with, for it suits them both.
    A stream is heard--I see it not, but know                         25
    By its soft music whence the waters flow:
    Wheels[750] and the tread of hoofs are heard no more;
    One boat there was, but it will touch the shore
    With the next dipping of its slackened oar;
    Faint sound, that, for the gayest of the gay,                     30
    Might give to serious thought a moment's sway,
    As a last token of man's toilsome day!


[748] 1837.

    And join ... 1835.

[749] 1837.

    Far-heard the ... 1835.

[750] 1837.

    ... both.
    Wheels ... 1835.


Painted at Rydal Mount, by W. Pickersgill, Esq., for St. John's
College, Cambridge.--ED.

                     Composed 1832.--Published 1835

[The last six lines of this Sonnet are not written for poetical effect,
but as a matter of fact, which, in more than one instance, could not
escape my notice in the servants of the house.--I. F.]

One of the "Miscellaneous Sonnets."--ED.

    Go, faithful Portrait! and where long hath knelt
    Margaret, the saintly Foundress, take thy place;
    And, if Time spare the colours[751] for the grace
    Which to the work surpassing skill hath dealt,
    Thou, on thy rock reclined, though kingdoms melt                   5
    And states be torn up by the roots,[752] wilt seem
    To breathe in rural peace, to hear the stream,[753]
    And[754] think and feel as once the Poet felt.
    Whate'er thy fate, those features have not grown
    Unrecognised through many a household tear[755]                   10
    More prompt, more glad, to fall than drops of dew
    By morning shed around a flower half-blown;
    Tears of delight, that testified how true
    To life thou art, and, in thy truth, how dear!


[751] The colour has already faded somewhat. The portrait is reproduced
in volume vi. of this edition.--ED.

[752] Compare _Elegiac Musings_, p. 269.--ED.

[753] 1835.

    Before the breath of change unchanged wilt seem,
    Green Hills in sight, and listening to the stream,


[754] 1837.

    To ... 1835.

[755] 1835.

    ... falling tear


    ... starting tear



                     Composed 1832.--Published 1835

[Written at Rydal Mount. Observed a hundred times in the grounds
there.--I. F.]

One of the "Poems of the Fancy."--ED.

    Sylph was it? or a Bird more bright
      Than those of fabulous stock?
    A second darted by;--and lo!
      Another of the flock,
    Through sunshine flitting from the bough                           5
      To nestle in the rock.
    Transient deception! a gay freak
      Of April's mimicries!
    Those brilliant strangers, hailed with joy
      Among the budding trees,                                        10
    Proved last year's leaves, pushed from the spray
      To frolic on the breeze.

    Maternal Flora! show thy face,
      And let thy hand be seen,
    Thy hand here sprinkling tiny flowers,[756]                       15
      That, as they touch the green,
    Take root (so seems it) and look up
      In honour of their Queen.
    Yet, sooth, those little starry specks,
      That not in vain aspired                                        20
    To be confounded with live growths,
      Most dainty, most admired,
    Were only blossoms dropped from twigs
      Of their own offspring tired.

    Not such the World's illusive shows;                              25
      _Her_ wingless flutterings,
    Her blossoms which, though shed, outbrave
      The floweret as it springs,
    For the undeceived, smile as they may,
      Are melancholy things:                                          30
    But gentle Nature plays her part
      With ever-varying wiles,
    And transient feignings with plain truth
      So well she reconciles,
    That those fond Idlers most are pleased                           35
      Whom oftenest she beguiles.


[756] 1836.

    Which sprinkles here these tiny flowers, 1835.


                           IRREGULAR VERSES
                         ADDRESSED TO A CHILD

                          (BY MY SISTER)[757]

                    Composed 1832.--Published 1835.

[Written at Rydal Mount. It arose, I believe, out of a casual
expression of one of Mr. Swinburne's children.--I. F.]

One of the "Poems founded on the Affections."--ED.

    There's more in words than I can teach:
    Yet listen, Child!--I would not preach;
    But only give some plain directions
    To guide your speech and your affections.
    Say not you _love_ a roasted fowl,                                 5
    But you may love a screaming owl,
    And, if you can, the unwieldy toad
    That crawls from his secure abode
    Within the mossy garden wall
    When evening dews begin to fall.                                  10
    Oh mark the beauty of his eye:
    What wonders in that circle lie!
    So clear, so bright, our fathers said
    He wears a jewel in his head!
    And when, upon some showery day,                                  15
    Into a path or public way
    A frog leaps out from bordering grass,
    Startling the timid as they pass,
    Do you observe him, and endeavour
    To take the intruder into favour;                                 20
    Learning from him to find a reason
    For a light heart in a dull season.
    And you may love him in the pool,
    That is for him a happy school,
    In which he swims as taught by nature,                            25
    Fit[758] pattern for a human creature,
    Glancing amid the water bright,
    And sending upward sparkling light.

      Nor blush if o'er your heart be stealing
    A love for things that have no feeling:                           30
    The spring's first rose by you espied,
    May fill your breast with joyful pride;
    And you may love the strawberry-flower,
    And love the strawberry in its bower;
    But when the fruit, so often praised                              35
    For beauty, to your lip is raised,
    Say not you _love_ the delicate treat,
    But _like_ it, enjoy it, and thankfully eat.

      Long may you love your pensioner mouse,
    Though one of a tribe that torment the house:                     40
    Nor dislike for her cruel sport the cat,
    Deadly foe both of[759] mouse and rat;
    Remember she follows the law of her kind,
    And Instinct is neither wayward nor blind.
    Then think of her beautiful gliding form,                         45
    Her tread that would scarcely[760] crush a worm,
    And her soothing song by the winter fire,
    Soft as the dying throb of the lyre.

      I would not circumscribe your love:
    It may soar with the eagle and brood with the dove,               50
    May pierce the earth with the patient mole,
    Or track the hedgehog to his hole.
    Loving and liking are the solace of life,
    Rock the cradle of joy, smooth the death-bed of strife.[761]
    You love your father and your mother,                             55
    Your grown-up and your baby-brother;
    You love your sister, and your friends,
    And countless blessings which God sends:
    And while these right affections play,
    You _live_ each moment of your day;                               60
    They lead you on to full content,
    And likings fresh and innocent,
    That store the mind, the memory feed,
    And prompt to many a gentle deed:
    But _likings_ come, and pass away;                                65
    'Tis _love_ that remains till our latest day:
    Our heavenward guide is holy love,
    And will[762] be our bliss with saints above.


[757] 1845.

In the former editions of the author's "Miscellaneous Poems" are three
pieces addressed to Children:--the following, a few lines excepted, is
by the same Writer; and as it belongs to the same unassuming class of
compositions, she has been prevailed upon to consent to its publication.

                                                             W. W. 1835.

By the author of the Poem, "Address to a child, during a boisterous
winter evening."

                                                             W. W. 1836.

[758] 1845.

    A ... 1835.

[759] 1845.

    That deadly foe of both ... 1835.

    That deadly foe both of ... 1836.

[760] 1836.

    ... not ... 1835.

[761] 1840.

    They foster all joy, and extinguish all strife. 1835.

[762] 1845.

    And it will ... 1835.


                              MARCH, 1832

                     Composed 1832.--Published 1832

One of the "Sonnets dedicated to Liberty and Order."--ED.

    Reluctant call it was; the rite delayed;
    And in the Senate some there were who doffed
    The last of their humanity, and scoffed
    At providential judgments,[764] undismayed
    By their own daring. But the People prayed                         5
    As with one voice; their flinty heart grew soft
    With penitential sorrow, and aloft
    Their spirit mounted, crying, "God us aid!"
    Oh that with aspirations more intense,
    Chastised by self-abasement more profound,                        10
    This People, once[765] so happy, so renowned
    For liberty, would seek from God defence
    Against far heavier ill, the pestilence[766]
    Of revolution, impiously unbound!


[763] 1837.

The title in 1832 was SONNET ON THE LATE GENERAL FAST, MARCH 21, 1832.

[764] 1840.

    ... judgment, ... 1832.

[765] 1837.

    Oh that with soul-aspirings more intense
    And heart-humiliations more profound
    This People, long ... 1832.

[766] The fast was appointed because of an outbreak of cholera in


The most important of the poems written in 1833 were the Memorials
of the Tour undertaken during the summer of that year. They refer to
several Cumbrian localities, to the Isle of Man, to the Clyde, the
Western Islands of Scotland, and again to Cumberland.--ED.


                     Composed 1833.--Published 1835

[Written at Rydal Mount. This nest was built, as described, in a
tree that grows near the pool in Dora's field, next the Rydal Mount
garden.[767]--I. F.]

One of the "Poems of the Fancy."--ED.

    Among the dwellings framed by birds
      In field or forest with nice care,
    Is none that with the little Wren's
      In snugness may compare.

    No door the tenement requires,                                     5
      And seldom needs a laboured roof;
    Yet is it to the fiercest sun
      Impervious, and storm-proof.

    So warm, so beautiful withal,
      In perfect fitness for its aim,                                 10
    That to the Kind by special grace
      Their instinct surely came.

    And when for their abodes they seek
      An opportune recess,
    The hermit has no finer eye                                       15
      For shadowy quietness.

    These find, 'mid ivied abbey-walls,
      A canopy in some still nook;
    Others are pent-housed by a brae
      That overhangs a brook.                                         20

    There to the brooding bird her mate
      Warbles by fits his low clear song;
    And by the busy streamlet both
      Are sung to all day long.

    Or in sequestered lanes they build,                               25
      Where, till the flitting bird's return,
    Her eggs within the nest repose,
      Like relics in an urn.

    But still, where general choice is good,
      There is a better and a best;                                   30
    And, among fairest objects, some
      Are fairer than the rest;

    This, one of those small builders proved
      In a green covert, where, from out
    The forehead of a pollard oak,                                    35
      The leafy antlers sprout;

    For She who planned the mossy lodge,
      Mistrusting her evasive skill,
    Had to a Primrose looked for aid
      Her wishes to fulfil.                                           40

    High on the trunk's projecting brow
      And fixed an infant's span above
    The budding flowers, peeped forth the nest,
      The prettiest of the grove!

    The treasure proudly did I show                                   45
      To some whose minds without disdain
    Can turn to little things; but once
      Looked up for it in vain:

    'Tis gone--a ruthless spoiler's prey,
      Who heeds not beauty, love, or song,                            50
    'Tis gone! (so seemed it) and we grieved
      Indignant at the wrong.

    Just three days after, passing by
      In clearer light the moss-built cell
    I saw, espied its shaded mouth;                                   55
      And felt that all was well.

    The Primrose for a veil had spread
      The largest of her upright leaves;
    And thus, for purposes benign,
      A simple flower deceives.                                       60

    Concealed from friends who might disturb
      Thy quiet with no ill intent,
    Secure from evil eyes and hands
      On barbarous plunder bent,

    Rest, Mother-bird! and when thy young                             65
      Take flight, and thou art free to roam,
    When withered is the guardian Flower,
      And empty thy late home,

    Think how ye prospered, thou and thine,
      Amid the unviolated grove                                       70
    Housed near the growing Primrose-tuft
      In foresight, or in love.


[767] Wrens still build (1896) in the same pollard oak tree, which
survives in "Dora's Field"; and primroses grow beneath it.--ED.

TO ----


    "Tum porro puer, ut sævis projectus ab undis
    Navita, nudus humi jacet," etc.--LUCRETIUS.[768]

                  Composed March 1833.--Published 1835

[Written at Moresby near Whitehaven, when I was on a visit to my
son, then incumbent of that small living. While I am dictating these
notes to my friend, Miss Fenwick, January 24, 1843, the child upon
whose birth these verses were written is under my roof, and is of a
disposition so promising that the wishes and prayers and prophecies
which I then breathed forth in verse are, through God's mercy, likely
to be realised.--I. F.]

One of the "Poems of Sentiment and Reflection."--ED.

    Like a shipwreck'd Sailor tost
    By rough waves on a perilous coast,
    Lies the Babe, in helplessness
    And in tenderest nakedness,
    Flung by labouring nature forth                                    5
    Upon the mercies of the earth.
    Can its eyes beseech?--no more
    Than the hands are free to implore:
    Voice but serves for one brief cry;
    Plaint was it? or prophecy                                        10
    Of sorrow that will surely come?
    Omen of man's grievous doom!

      But, O Mother! by the close
    Duly granted to thy throes;
    By the silent thanks, now tending                                 15
    Incense-like to Heaven, descending
    Now to mingle and to move
    With the gush of earthly love,
    As a debt to that frail Creature,
    Instrument of struggling Nature                                   20
    For the blissful calm, the peace
    Known but to this _one_ release--
    Can the pitying spirit doubt
    That for human-kind springs out
    From the penalty a sense                                          25
    Of more than mortal recompense?

      As a floating summer cloud,
    Though of gorgeous drapery proud,
    To the sun-burnt traveller,
    Or the stooping labourer,                                         30
    Oft-times makes its bounty known
    By its shadow round him thrown;
    So, by chequerings of sad cheer,
    Heavenly Guardians, brooding near,
    Of their presence tell--too bright                                35
    Haply for corporeal sight!
    Ministers of grace divine
    Feelingly their brows incline
    O'er this seeming Castaway
    Breathing, in the light of day,                                   40
    Something like the faintest breath
    That has power to baffle death--
    Beautiful, while very weakness
    Captivates like passive meekness.

      And, sweet Mother! under warrant                                45
    Of the universal Parent,
    Who repays in season due
    Them who have, like thee, been true
    To the filial chain let down
    From his everlasting throne,[769]                                 50
    Angels hovering round thy couch,
    With their softest whispers vouch,
    That--whatever griefs may fret,
    Cares entangle, sins beset,
    This thy First-born, and with tears                               55
    Stain her cheek in future years--
    Heavenly succour, not denied
    To the babe, whate'er betide,
    Will to the woman be supplied!

      Mother! blest be thy calm ease;                                 60
    Blest the starry promises,--
    And the firmament benign
    Hallowed be it, where they shine!
    Yes, for them whose souls have scope
    Ample for a wingèd hope,                                          65
    And can earthward bend an ear
    For needful listening, pledge is here,
    That, if thy new-born Charge shall tread
    In thy footsteps, and be led
    By that other Guide, whose light                                  70
    Of manly virtues, mildly bright,
    Gave him first the wished-for part
    In thy gentle virgin heart;
    Then, amid the storms of life
    Presignified by that dread strife                                 75
    Whence ye have escaped together,
    She may look for serene weather;
    In all trials sure to find
    Comfort for a faithful mind;
    Kindlier issues, holier rest,                                     80
    Than even now await her prest,
    Conscious Nursling, to thy breast!


[768] See _De Rerum Naturae_, lib. v. ll. 222-3.--ED.

[769] Compare _The Primrose of the Rock_, ll. 11-12.--ED.



                  Composed March 1833.--Published 1835

[These lines were composed during the fever spread through the nation
by the Reform Bill. As the motives which led to this measure, and the
good or evil which has attended or has risen from it, will be duly
appreciated by future historians, there is no call for dwelling on
the subject in this place. I will content myself with saying that
the then condition of the people's mind is not, in these verses,
exaggerated.--I. F.]

One of the "Poems of Sentiment and Reflection."--ED.

    List, the winds of March are blowing;
    Her ground-flowers shrink, afraid of showing
    Their meek heads to the nipping air,
    Which ye feel not, happy pair!
    Sunk into a kindly sleep.                                          5
    We, meanwhile, our hope will keep;
    And if Time leagued with adverse Change
    (Too busy fear!) shall cross its range,
    Whatsoever check they bring,
    Anxious duty hindering,                                           10
    To like hope[770] our prayers will cling.

      Thus, while the ruminating spirit feeds
    Upon the events of home[771] as life proceeds,
    Affections pure and holy in their source
    Gain a fresh impulse, run a livelier course;                      15
    Hopes that within the Father's heart prevail,
    Are in the experienced Grandsire's slow to fail;
    And if the harp pleased his gay youth, it rings
    To his grave touch with no unready strings,
    While thoughts press on, and feelings overflow,                   20
    And quick words round him fall like flakes of snow.[772]

      Thanks to the Powers that yet maintain their sway,
    And have renewed the tributary Lay.
    Truths of the heart flock in with eager pace,
    And FANCY greets them with a fond embrace;                        25
    Swift as the rising sun his beams extends
    She shoots the tidings forth to distant friends;
    Their gifts she hails (deemed precious, as they prove
    For the unconscious Babe so prompt a love!)--[773]
    But from this peaceful centre of delight                          30
    Vague sympathies have urged her to take flight:
    Rapt[774] into upper regions, like the bee
    That sucks from mountain heath her honey fee;
    Or, like the warbling lark intent to shroud
    His head in sunbeams or a bowery cloud,                           35
    She soars--and here and there her pinions rest
    On proud towers, like this humble cottage, blest
    With a new visitant, an infant guest--
    Towers where red streamers flout the breezy sky
    In pomp foreseen by her creative eye,                             40
    When feasts shall crowd the hall, and steeple bells
    Glad proclamation make, and heights and dells
    Catch the blithe music as it sinks and swells,[775]
    And harboured ships, whose pride is on the sea,
    Shall hoist their topmost flags in sign of glee,                  45
    Honouring the hope of noble ancestry.

      But who (though neither reckoning ills assigned
    By Nature, nor reviewing in the mind
    The track that was, and is, and must be, worn
    With weary feet by all of woman born)--                           50
    Shall _now_ by such a gift with joy be moved,
    Nor feel the fulness of that joy reproved?
    Not He, whose last faint memory will command
    The truth that Britain was his native land;[776]
    Whose infant soul was tutored to confide                          55
    In the cleansed faith for which her martyrs died;
    Whose boyish ear the voice of her renown
    With rapture thrilled; whose Youth revered the crown
    Of Saxon liberty that Alfred wore,[777]
    Alfred, dear Babe, thy great Progenitor!                          60
    --Not He, who from her mellowed practice drew
    His social sense of just, and fair, and true;
    And saw, thereafter, on the soil of France
    Rash Polity begin her maniac dance,[778]
    Foundations broken up, the deeps run wild,                        65
    Nor grieved to see (himself not unbeguiled)--
    Woke from the dream, the dreamer to upbraid,
    And learn how sanguine expectations fade
    When novel trusts by folly are betrayed,--
    To see Presumption, turning pale, refrain                         70
    From further havoc, but repent in vain,--
    Good aims lie down, and perish in the road
    Where guilt had urged them on with ceaseless goad.
    Proofs thickening round her that on public ends
    Domestic virtue vitally depends,                                  75
    That civic strife can turn the happiest hearth
    Into a grievous sore of self-tormenting earth.[779]

      Can such a One, dear Babe! though glad and proud
    To welcome thee, repel the fears that crowd
    Into his English breast, and spare to quake                       80
    Less for his own than[780] for thy innocent sake?
    Too late--or, should the providence of God
    Lead, through dark[781] ways by sin and sorrow trod,
    Justice and peace to a secure abode,
    Too soon--thou com'st into this breathing world;                  85
    Ensigns of mimic outrage are unfurled.
    Who shall preserve or prop the tottering Realm?
    What hand suffice to govern the state-helm?
    If, in the aims of men, the surest test
    Of good or bad (whate'er be sought for or profest)                90
    Lie in the means required, or ways ordained,
    For compassing the end, else never gained;
    Yet governors and govern'd both are blind
    To this plain truth, or fling it to the wind;
    If to expedience principle must bow;                              95
    Past, future, shrinking up beneath the incumbent Now;
    If cowardly concession still must feed
    The thirst for power in men who ne'er concede;
    Nor turn aside, unless to shape a way
    For domination at some riper day;                                100
    If[782] generous Loyalty must stand in awe
    Of subtle Treason, in[783] his mask of law,
    Or with bravado insolent and hard,
    Provoking punishment, to win reward;
    If office help the factious to conspire,                         105
    And they who _should_ extinguish, fan the fire--
    Then, will the sceptre be a straw, the crown
    Sit loosely, like the thistle's crest of down;
    To be blown off at will, by Power that spares it
    In cunning patience, from the head that wears it.                110

      Lost people, trained to theoretic feud!
    Lost above all, ye labouring multitude!
    Bewildered whether ye, by slanderous tongues
    Deceived, mistake calamities for wrongs;
    And over fancied usurpations brood,                              115
    Oft snapping at revenge in sullen mood;
    Or, from long stress of real injuries fly
    To desperation for a remedy;
    In bursts of outrage spread your judgments wide,
    And to your wrath cry out, "Be thou our guide;"                  120
    Or, bound by oaths, come forth to tread earth's floor
    In marshalled thousands, darkening street and moor
    With the worst shape mock-patience ever wore;
    Or, to the giddy top of self-esteem
    By Flatterers carried, mount into a dream                        125
    Of boundless suffrage, at whose sage behest
    Justice shall rule, disorder be supprest,
    And every man sit down as Plenty's Guest!
    --O for a bridle bitted with remorse
    To stop your Loaders in their headstrong course![784]            130
    Oh may the Almighty scatter with his grace
    These mists, and lead you to a safer place,
    By paths no human wisdom can foretrace!
    May He pour round you, from worlds far above
    Man's feverish passions, his pure light of love,                 135
    That quietly restores the natural mien
    To hope, and makes truth willing to be seen!
    _Else_ shall your blood-stained hands in frenzy reap
    Fields gaily sown when promises were cheap.--
    Why is the Past belied with wicked art,                          140
    The Future made to play so false a part,
    Among a people famed for strength of mind,
    Foremost in freedom, noblest of mankind?
    We act as if we joyed in the sad tune
    Storms make in rising, valued in the moon                        145
    Nought but her changes. Thus, ungrateful Nation!
    If thou persist, and, scorning moderation,
    Spread for thyself the snares of tribulation,
    Whom, then, shall meekness guard? What saving skill
    Lie in forbearance, strength in standing still?                  150
    --Soon shall the widow (for the speed of Time
    Nought equals when the hours are winged with crime)
    Widow, or wife, implore on tremulous knee,
    From him who judged her lord, a like decree;
    The skies will weep o'er old men desolate:                       155
    Ye little-ones! Earth shudders at your fate,
    Outcasts and homeless orphans----

      But turn, my Soul, and from the sleeping pair
    Learn thou the beauty of omniscient care!
    Be strong in faith, bid anxious thoughts lie still;              160
    Seek for the good and cherish it--the ill
    Oppose, or bear with a submissive will.


[770] 1835.

    To that hope ... C.

[771] 1837.

    Upon each home-event ... 1835.

[772] "_The Warning_ was composed on horseback when I was riding from
Moresby in a snow-storm."--(W. W. to his nephew, the late Bishop of

[773] 1840.

    ... Babe an unbelated love!) 1835.

    ... so prompt to love.) C.

[774] 1837.

    ... flight.
    She rivals the fleet Swallow, making rings
    In the smooth lake where'er he dips his wings:
    --Rapt ... 1835.

[775] 1837.

    ... or swells; 1835.

[776] Compare _The Lay of the Last Minstrel_, canto vi. ll. 1-3.--ED.

[777] Compare "Ecclesiastical Sonnets," Part I. XXVI., XXVII.--ED.

[778] At the Revolution, 1792.--ED.

[779] 1840.

    Till undiscriminating Ruin swept
    The Land, and Wrong perpetual vigils kept;
    With proof before her that on public ends
    Domestic virtue vitally depends. 1835.

    And civic strife, by hourly calling forth
    Mutual despite, can turn the happiest hearth
    Into a rankling sore of self-tormented earth. C.

[780] 1840.

    Not for his own, but ... 1835.

[781] 1840.

    ... blind ... 1835.

[782] 1837.

    ... concede;
    If ... 1835.

[783] 1837.

    ... with ... 1835.

[784] See the Fenwick note prefixed to the poem.--ED.


                     Composed 1833.--Published 1835

One of the "Poems of Sentiment and Reflection."--ED.

    If this great world of joy and pain
      Revolve in one sure track;
    If freedom, set, will rise again,
      And virtue, flown, come back;
    Woe to the purblind crew who fill                                  5
      The heart with each day's care;
    Nor gain, from past or future, skill
      To bear, and to forbear!


Easter Sunday, April                                                   7


                     Composed 1833.--Published 1835

[The lines were composed on the road between Moresby and Whitehaven
while I was on a visit to my son, then rector of the former place.
This succession of Voluntaries, with the exception of the 8th and
9th, originated in the concluding lines of the last paragraph of this
poem. With this coast I have been familiar from my earliest childhood,
and remember being struck for the first time by the town and port of
Whitehaven and the white waves breaking against its quays and piers,
as the whole came into view from the top of the high ground down which
the road (it has since been altered) then descended abruptly. My
sister, when she first heard the voice of the sea from this point, and
beheld the scene before her, burst into tears. Our family then lived at
Cockermouth, and this fact was often mentioned among us as indicating
the sensibility for which she was so remarkable.--I. F.]

One of the "Evening Voluntaries."--ED.

    The Sun, that seemed so mildly to retire,
    Flung back from distant climes a streaming fire,
    Whose blaze is now subdued to tender gleams,
    Prelude of night's approach with soothing dreams.
    Look round;--of all the clouds not one is moving;                  5
    'Tis the still hour of thinking, feeling, loving.
    Silent, and stedfast as the vaulted sky,
    The boundless plain of waters seems to lie:--
    Comes that low sound from breezes rustling o'er
    The grass-crowned headland that conceals the shore?
    No; 'tis the earth-voice of the mighty sea,                       11
    Whispering how meek and gentle he _can_ be![786]

      Thou Power supreme! who, arming to rebuke
    Offenders, dost put off the gracious look,
    And clothe thyself with terrors like the flood                    15
    Of ocean roused into his fiercest mood,
    Whatever discipline thy Will ordain
    For the brief course that must for me remain;
    Teach me with quick-eared spirit to rejoice
    In admonitions of thy softest voice!                              20
    Whate'er the path these mortal feet may trace,
    Breathe through my soul the blessing of thy grace,
    Glad, through a perfect love, a faith sincere
    Drawn from the wisdom that begins with fear,
    Glad to expand; and, for a season, free                           25
    From finite cares, to rest absorbed in Thee!


[785] 1837.

In 1835 the title was "The Sun, that seemed so mildly to retire."

[786] Compare the _Elegiac Stanzas, suggested by a Picture of Peele
Castle, in a Storm_ (1805), vol. iii. p. 54; also the sonnet (written
in 1807), "_Two Voices are there; one is of the sea_," vol. iv.
p. 61, and the second sonnet on the _Cave of Staffa_, in the poems
descriptive of the tour in Scotland in 1833.--ED.


                     Composed 1833.--Published 1835

One of the "Evening Voluntaries."--ED.

    The sun is couched, the sea-fowl gone to rest;
    And the wild storm hath somewhere found a nest;
    Air slumbers--wave with wave no longer strives,
    Only a heaving of the deep survives,[787]
    A tell-tale motion! soon will it be laid,                          5
    And by the tide alone the water swayed.
    Stealthy withdrawings, interminglings mild
    Of light with shade in beauty reconciled--
    Such is the prospect far as sight can range,
    The soothing recompense, the welcome change.                      10
    Where now the ships that drove before the blast,
    Threatened by angry breakers as they passed;
    And by a train of flying clouds bemocked;
    Or, in the hollow surge, at anchor rocked
    As on a bed of death? Some lodge in peace,                        15
    Saved by His care who bade the tempest cease;
    And some, too heedless of past danger, court
    Fresh gales to waft them to the far-off port;
    But near, or hanging sea and sky between,
    Not one of all those wingèd powers is seen,                       20
    Seen in her course, nor 'mid this quiet heard;
    Yet oh! how gladly would the air be stirred
    By some acknowledgment of thanks and praise,
    Soft in its temper as those vesper lays
    Sung to the Virgin while accordant oars                           25
    Urge the slow bark along Calabrian shores;
    A sea-born service through the mountains felt
    Till into one loved vision all things melt:
    Or like those hymns that soothe with graver sound
    The gulfy coast of Norway iron-bound;                             30
    And, from the wide and open Baltic, rise
    With punctual care, Lutherian harmonies.
    Hush, not a voice is here! but why repine,
    Now when the star of eve comes forth to shine
    On British waters with that look benign?[788]                     35
    Ye mariners, that plough your onward way,
    Or in the haven rest, or sheltering bay,
    May silent thanks at least to God be given
    With a full heart; "our thoughts are _heard_ in heaven!"[789]


[787] Compare the previous poem.--ED.

[788] Compare Robert Browning's _Home-thoughts from the Sea_--

    While Jove's planet rises yonder, silent over Africa.--ED.

[789] See Young's _Night Thoughts_, book ii. l. 95.--ED.


                     Composed 1834.--Published 1845

[These lines were suggested during my residence under my son's roof at
Moresby, on the coast near Whitehaven, at the time when I was composing
those verses among the "Evening Voluntaries" that have reference to
the sea. It was in that neighbourhood I first became acquainted with
the ocean and its appearances and movements. My infancy and early
childhood were passed at Cockermouth, about eight miles from the coast,
and I well remember that mysterious awe with which I used to listen
to anything said about storms and shipwrecks. Sea-shells of many
descriptions were common in the town; and I was not a little surprised
when I heard that Mr. Landor[790] had denounced me as a plagiarist from
himself for having described a boy applying a sea-shell to his ear and
listening to it for intimations of what was going on in its native
element. This I had done myself scores of times, and it was a belief
among us that we could know from the sound whether the tide was ebbing
or flowing.--I.F.]

One of the "Evening Voluntaries."--ED.

    What mischief cleaves to unsubdued regret,
    How fancy sickens by vague hopes beset;
    How baffled projects on the spirit prey,
    And fruitless wishes eat the heart away,
    The Sailor knows; he best, whose lot is cast                       5
    On the relentless sea that holds him fast
    On chance dependent, and the fickle star
    Of power, through long and melancholy war.
    O sad it is, in sight of foreign shores,
    Daily to think on old familiar doors,                             10
    Hearths loved in childhood, and ancestral floors;
    Or, tossed about along a waste of foam,
    To ruminate on that delightful home,
    Which with the dear Betrothèd _was_ to come;
    Or came and was and is, yet meets the eye                         15
    Never but in the world of memory;
    Or in a dream recalled, whose smoothest range
    Is crossed by knowledge, or by dread, of change,
    And if not so, whose perfect joy makes sleep
    A thing too bright for breathing man to keep.                     20
    Hail to the virtues which that perilous life
    Extracts from Nature's elemental strife;
    And welcome glory won in battles fought
    As bravely as the foe was keenly sought.
    But to each gallant Captain and his crew                          25
    A less imperious sympathy is due,
    Such as my verse now yields, while moonbeams play
    On the mute sea in this unruffled bay;
    Such as will promptly flow from every breast,
    Where good men, disappointed in the quest                         30
    Of wealth and power and honours, long for rest;
    Or, having known the splendours of success,
    Sigh for the obscurities of happiness.


[790] The passage in Landor's _Gebir_, book i., is quoted in a note to
the fourth book of _The Excursion_ (see vol. v. p. 188).--ED.



                     Composed 1833.--Published 1835

Having been prevented by the lateness of the season, in 1831, from
visiting Staffa and Iona, the author made these the principal objects
of a short tour in the summer of 1833, of which the following series
of poems is a Memorial. The course pursued was down the Cumberland
river Derwent, and to Whitehaven; thence (by the Isle of Man, where a
few days were passed) up the Frith of Clyde to Greenock, then to Oban,
Staffa, Iona; and back towards England by Loch Awe, Inverary, Loch
Goilhead, Greenock, and through parts of Renfrewshire, Ayrshire, and
Dumfries-shire to Carlisle, and thence up the river Eden, and homewards
by Ullswater.--W. W.

[My companions were H. C. Robinson and my son John.--I. F.]


[791] 1845.

The Title in the 1835 edition was Sonnets composed or suggested during
a tour in Scotland, in the Summer of 1833.



    Adieu, Rydalian Laurels! that have grown
    And spread as if ye knew that days might come
    When ye would shelter in a happy home,
    On this fair Mount, a Poet of your own,
    One who ne'er ventured for a Delphic crown                         5
    To sue the God; but, haunting your green shade[792]
    All seasons through, is humbly pleased to braid[793]
    Ground-flowers, beneath your guardianship, self-sown.[794]
    Farewell! no Minstrels now with harp new-strung
    For summer wandering quit their household bowers;
    Yet not for this wants Poesy a tongue                             11
    To cheer the Itinerant on whom she pours
    Her spirit, while he crosses lonely moors,
    Or musing sits forsaken halls among.


[792] 1835.

    One who to win your emblematic crown
    Aspires not, but frequenting your green shade


    Who dares not sue the God for your bright crown
    Of deathless leaves, but haunting your green shade


[793] 1835.

    ... delights fresh wreaths to braid.


[794] The yellow flowering poppy and the wild geranium. Compare the
poem _Poor Robin_, March 1840.--ED.



    Why should the Enthusiast, journeying through this Isle,
    Repine as if his hour were come too late?
    Not unprotected in her mouldering state,
    Antiquity salutes him with a smile,
    'Mid fruitful fields that ring with jocund toil,                   5
    And pleasure-grounds where Taste, refined Co-mate
    Of Truth and Beauty, strives to imitate,
    Far as she may, primeval Nature's style.
    Fair Land! by Time's parental love made free,
    By Social Order's watchful arms embraced;                         10
    With unexampled union meet in thee,
    For eye and mind, the present and the past;
    With golden prospect for futurity,
    If that be reverenced which ought to last.[795]


[795] 1845.

    If what is rightly reverenced may last. 1835.



    They called Thee MERRY ENGLAND, in old time;
    A happy people won for thee that name
    With envy heard in many a distant clime;
    And, spite of change, for me thou keep'st the same
    Endearing title, a responsive chime                                5
    To the heart's fond belief; though some there are
    Whose sterner judgments deem that world a snare
    For inattentive Fancy, like the lime
    Which foolish birds are caught with. Can, I ask,
    This face of rural beauty be a mask                               10
    For discontent, and poverty, and crime;
    These spreading towns a cloak for lawless will?
    Forbid it, Heaven!-and[796] MERRY ENGLAND still
    Shall[797] be thy rightful name, in prose and rhyme!


[796] 1837.

    ... that ... 1835.

[797] 1837.

    May.... 1835.



    Greta, what fearful listening! when huge stones
    Rumble along thy bed, block after block:
    Or, whirling with reiterated shock,
    Combat, while darkness aggravates the groans:
    But if thou (like Cocytus from the moans[798]                      5
    Heard on his rueful margin[799]) thence wert named
    The Mourner, thy true nature was defamed,
    And the habitual murmur that atones
    For thy worst rage, forgotten. Oft as Spring
    Decks, on thy sinuous banks, her thousand thrones,                10
    Seats of glad instinct and love's carolling,
    The concert, for the happy, then may vie
    With liveliest peals of birth-day harmony:
    To a grieved heart, the notes are benisons.

Compare _The Prelude_, book i. l. 269 (vol. iii. p. 140):--

                           "Was it for this
    That one, the fairest of all rivers, loved
    To blend his murmurs with my nurse's song,
    And, from his alder shades and rocky falls,
    And from his fords and shallows, sent a voice
    That flowed along my dreams?

           *       *       *       *       *

    Make ceaseless music that composed my thoughts
    To more than infant softness."



[798] Many years ago, when I was at Greta Bridge, in Yorkshire, the
hostess of the inn, proud of her skill in etymology, said, that "the
name of the river was taken from the _bridge_, the form of which, as
every one must notice, exactly resembled a great A." Dr. Whitaker has
derived it from the word of common occurrence in the North of England,
"_to greet_;" signifying to lament aloud, mostly with weeping: a
conjecture rendered more probable from the stony and rocky channel
of both the Cumberland and Yorkshire rivers. The Cumberland Greta,
though it does not, among the country people, take up _that_ name till
within three miles of its disappearance in the River Derwent, may be
considered as having its source in the mountain cove of Wythburn, and
flowing through Thirlmere, the beautiful features of which lake are
known only to those who, travelling between Grasmere and Keswick, have
quitted the main road in the vale of Wythburn, and, crossing over to
the opposite side of the lake, have proceeded with it on the right hand.

The channel of the Greta, immediately above Keswick, has, for the
purposes of building, been in a great measure cleared of the immense
stones which, by their concussion in high floods, produced the loud and
awful noises described in the sonnet.

"The scenery upon this river," says Mr. Southey in his Colloquies,
"where it passes under the woody side of Latrigg, is of the finest and
most rememberable kind:--

    ---- 'ambiguo lapsu refluitque fluitque,
    Occurrensque sibi venturas aspicit undas.'"

                                                             W. W. 1835.

[799] The Cocytus was a tributary of the Acheron, in Epirus, but was
supposed to have some connection with the underworld, doubtless, as
Wordsworth puts it,

                         from the moans
    Heard on his rueful margin.

Compare Homer, _Odyssey_ x. 513, and Virgil, _Aenid_ vi. 295.--ED.



    Among the mountains were we nursed, loved Stream!
    Thou near the eagle's nest[801]--within brief sail,
    I, of his bold wing floating on the gale,
    Where thy deep voice could lull me! Faint the beam
    Of human life when first allowed to gleam                          5
    On mortal notice.--Glory of the vale,
    Such thy meek outset, with a crown, though frail,
    Kept in perpetual verdure by the steam
    Of thy soft breath!--Less vivid wreath entwined
    Nemæan victor's brow;[802] less bright was worn,                  10
    Meed of some Roman chief--in triumph borne
    With captives chained; and shedding from his car
    The sunset splendours of a finished war
    Upon the proud enslavers of mankind!


[800] This sonnet has already appeared in several editions of the
author's poems; but he is tempted to reprint it in this place, as a
natural introduction to the two that follow it.--W. W. 1835.

It was first published in 1819.--ED.

[801] The river Derwent rises in Langstrath valley, Borrowdale, in
which is Eagle Crag, so named from its having been the haunt of a bird
that is now extinct in Cumberland.--ED.

[802] The Nemæan games were celebrated every third or fifth year at
Nemæa in Argolis. The victor was crowned with a wreath of olive.--ED.



    (Where the Author was born, and his Father's remains are laid.)

    A point of life between my Parents' dust,
    And yours, my buried Little-ones![803] am I;
    And to those graves looking habitually
    In kindred quiet I repose my trust.
    Death to the innocent is more than just,                           5
    And, to the sinner, mercifully bent;
    So may I hope, if truly I repent
    And meekly bear the ills which bear I must:
    And You, my Offspring! that do still remain,
    Yet may outstrip me in the appointed race,                        10
    If e'er, through fault of mine, in mutual pain
    We breathed together for a moment's space,
    The wrong, by love provoked, let love arraign,
    And only love keep in your hearts a place.


[803] His children, Catherine and Thomas, who died in infancy at the
Parsonage, Grasmere, and were buried in Grasmere Churchyard.--ED.



    "Thou look'st upon me, and dost fondly think,
    Poet! that, stricken as both are by years,
    We, differing once so much, are now Compeers,
    Prepared, when each has stood his time, to sink
    Into the dust. Erewhile a sterner link                             5
    United us; when thou, in boyish play,
    Entering my dungeon, didst become a prey
    To soul-appalling darkness. Not a blink
    Of light was there;--and thus did I, thy Tutor,
    Make thy young thoughts acquainted with the grave;
    While thou wert chasing the wing'd butterfly                      11
    Through my green courts;[804] or climbing, a bold suitor
    Up to the flowers whose golden progeny
    Still round my shattered brow in beauty wave."[805]


[804] Compare _To a Butterfly_ (1802), vol. ii. p. 284--

    Oh! pleasant, pleasant were the days,
    The time, when, in our childish plays,
    My sister Emmeline and I
    Together chased the butterfly!


[805] Compare _The Prelude_, book i. ll. 283-85--

                The shadow of those towers
    That yet survive, a shattered monument
    Of feudal sway.

Compare also the sonnet _At Furness Abbey_, written in 1844.--ED.



[So named from the religious House that stood close by. I have rather
an odd anecdote to relate of the Nun's Well. One day the landlady of a
public-house, a field's length from the well, on the roadside, said to
me--"You have been to see the Nun's Well, Sir?" "The Nun's Well! what
is that?" said the Postman, who in his royal livery stopt his mail-car
at the door. The landlady and I explained to him what the name meant,
and what sort of people the nuns were. A countryman who was standing
by, rather tipsy, stammered out--"Aye, those nuns were good people;
they are gone; but we shall soon have them back again." The Reform
mania was just then at its height.--I.F.]

    The cattle crowding round this beverage clear
    To slake their thirst, with reckless hoofs have trod
    The encircling turf into a barren clod;
    Through which the waters creep, then disappear,
    Born to be lost in Derwent flowing near;                           5
    Yet, o'er the brink, and round the lime-stone cell
    Of the pure spring (they call it the "Nun's Well,"
    Name that first struck by chance my startled ear)
    A tender Spirit broods--the pensive Shade
    Of ritual honours to this Fountain paid                           10
    By hooded Votaresses[806] with saintly cheer;[807]
    Albeit oft the Virgin-mother mild
    Looked down with pity upon eyes beguiled
    Into the shedding of "too soft a tear."[808]


[806] 1837.

    ... Votaries ... 1835.

[807] Attached to the church of Brigham was formerly a chantry, which
held a moiety of the manor; and in the decayed parsonage some vestiges
of monastic architecture are still to be seen.--W. W. 1835.

[808] See Pope's _Eloïsa to Abelard_, l. 224.--ED.



                     (ON THE BANKS OF THE DERWENT)

[My son John, who was then building a parsonage on his small living at

    Pastor and Patriot!--at whose bidding rise
    These modest walls, amid a flock that need,
    For one who comes to watch them and to feed,
    A fixed Abode--keep down presageful sighs.[810]
    Threats, which the unthinking only can despise,                    5
    Perplex the Church; but be thou firm,--be true
    To thy first hope, and this good work pursue,
    Poor as thou art. A welcome sacrifice
    Dost Thou prepare, whose sign will be the smoke[811]
    Of thy new hearth; and sooner shall its wreaths,                  10
    Mounting while earth her morning incense breathes,
    From wandering fiends of air receive a yoke,
    And straightway cease to aspire, than God disdain
    This humble tribute as ill-timed or vain.


[809] John Wordsworth, the poet's son, the subject of this sonnet, was
incumbent of Moresby, near Whitehaven, before he went to Brigham. See
the Fenwick note to the lines, _Composed by the Sea-shore_, p. 340. In
1833 Wordsworth wrote to Lady Beaumont:--

"Were you ever told that my son is building a parsonage-house upon a
small living, to which he was lately presented by the Earl of Lonsdale.
The situation is beautiful, commanding the windings of the Derwent
both above and below the site of the house; the mountain Skiddaw
terminating the view one way, at a distance of six miles, and the ruins
of Cockermouth Castle appearing nearly in the centre of the same view.
In consequence of some discouraging thoughts expressed by my son when
he had entered upon this undertaking, I addressed to him the following
Sonnet, which you may perhaps read with some interest at the present

[810] 1835.

    ... foreboding sighs.

                                            MS. Letter to Lady Beaumont.

[811] 1835.

    To Him who dwells in Heaven will be the smoke

                                            MS. Letter to Lady Beaumont.




[I will mention for the sake of the friend who is writing down these
notes, that it was among the fine Scotch firs near Ambleside, and
particularly those near Green Bank, that I have over and over again
paused at the sight of this image. Long may they stand to afford a like
gratification to others!--This wish is not uncalled for, several of
their brethren having already disappeared.--I. F.]

    Dear to the Loves, and to the Graces vowed,
    The Queen drew back the wimple that she wore;
    And to the throng, that on the Cumbrian shore
    Her landing hailed, how touchingly she bowed![813]
    And like a Star (that, from a heavy cloud[814]                     5
    Of pine-tree foliage poised in air, forth darts,[815]
    When a soft summer gale at evening parts
    The gloom that did its loveliness enshroud)
    She smiled;[816] but Time, the old Saturnian seer,
    Sighed on the wing as her foot pressed the strand,                10
    With step prelusive to a long array
    Of woes and degradations hand in hand--
    Weeping captivity, and shuddering fear
    Stilled by the ensanguined block of Fotheringay![817]


[812] "The fears and impatience of Mary were so great," says Robertson,
"that she got into a fisher-boat, and with about twenty attendants
landed at Workington, in Cumberland; and thence she was conducted with
many marks of respect to Carlisle." The apartment in which the Queen
had slept at Workington Hall (where she was received by Sir Henry
Curwen as became her rank and misfortunes) was long preserved, out of
respect to her memory, as she had left it; and one cannot but regret
that some necessary alterations in the mansion could not be effected
without its destruction.--W. W. 1835.

[813] 1837.

    And to the throng how touchingly she bowed
    That hailed her landing on the Cumbrian shore; 1835.

[814] 1840.

    Bright as a star (that, from a sombre cloud 1835.

[815] 1835.

    High poised in air of pine-tree foliage, darts, MS.

[816] Compare _The Triad_, ll. 189, 190 (p. 188)--

    So gleams the crescent moon, that loves
    To be descried through shady groves.--ED.

[817] 1835.

    Thenceforth he saw a long and long array
    Of miserable seasons hand in hand--
    Weeping, captivity, and pallid fear,
    And last, the ensanguined block of Fotheringay.




    If Life were slumber on a bed of down,
    Toil unimposed, vicissitude unknown,
    Sad were our lot: no hunter of the hare
    Exults like him whose javelin from the lair
    Has roused the lion; no one plucks the rose,                       5
    Whose proffered beauty in safe shelter blows
    'Mid a trim garden's summer luxuries,
    With joy like his who climbs, on hands and knees,
    For some rare plant, yon Headland of St. Bees.

    This independence upon oar and sail,                              10
    This new indifference to breeze or gale,
    This straight-lined progress, furrowing a flat lea,
    And regular as if locked in certainty--
    Depress the hours. Up, Spirit of the storm!
    That Courage may find something to perform;                       15
    That Fortitude, whose blood disdains to freeze
    At Danger's bidding, may confront the seas,
    Firm as the towering Headlands of St. Bees.

    Dread cliff of Baruth! _that_ wild wish may sleep,
    Bold as if men and creatures of the Deep                          20
    Breathed the same element; too many wrecks
    Have struck thy sides, too many ghastly decks
    Hast thou looked down upon, that such a thought
    Should here be welcome, and in verse enwrought:
    With thy stern aspect better far agrees                           25
    Utterance of thanks that we have past with ease,
    As millions thus shall do, the Headlands of St. Bees.

    Yet, while each useful Art augments her store,
    What boots the gain if Nature should lose more?
    And Wisdom, as she holds[819] a Christian place                   30
    In man's intelligence sublimed by grace?
    When Bega sought of yore the Cumbrian coast,[820]
    Tempestuous winds her holy errand cross'd:
    She[821] knelt in prayer--the waves their wrath appease;
    And, from her vow well weighed in Heaven's decrees,
    Rose, where she touched the strand, the Chantry of St. Bees.      36

    "Cruel of heart were they, bloody of hand,"
    Who in these Wilds then struggled for command;[822]
    The strong were merciless, without hope the weak;
    Till this bright Stranger came, fair as day-break,                40
    And as a cresset true that darts its length
    Of beamy lustre from a tower of strength;
    Guiding the mariner through troubled seas,
    And cheering oft his peaceful reveries,
    Like the fixed Light that crowns yon Headland of St. Bees.        45

    To aid the Votaress, miracles believed
    Wrought in men's minds, like miracles achieved;
    So piety took root; and Song might tell
    What humanising virtues near her cell[823]
    Sprang up, and spread their fragrance wide around;
    How savage bosoms melted at the sound                             51
    Of gospel-truth enchained in harmonies
    Wafted o'er waves, or creeping through close trees,
    From her religious Mansion of St. Bees.

    When her sweet Voice, that instrument of love,                    55
    Was glorified, and took its place, above
    The silent stars, among the angelic quire,
    Her chantry blazed with sacrilegious fire,
    And perished utterly; but her good deeds
    Had sown the spot, that witnessed them, with seeds                60
    Which lay in earth expectant, till a breeze
    With quickening impulse answered their mute pleas,
    And lo! a _statelier_ pile, the Abbey of St. Bees.[824]

    There are[825] the naked clothed, the hungry fed;
    And Charity extendeth[826] to the dead,                           65
    Her intercessions made for the soul's rest
    Of tardy penitents; or for the best
    Among the good (when love might else have slept,
    Sickened, or died) in pious memory kept.
    Thanks to the austere and simple Devotees,                        70
    Who, to that service bound by venial fees,
    Keep watch before the altars of St. Bees.

    Are[827] not, in sooth, their Requiems sacred ties[828]
    Woven out of passion's sharpest agonies,
    Subdued, composed, and formalized by art,                         75
    To fix a wiser sorrow in the heart?
    The prayer for them whose hour is past away
    Says[829] to the Living, profit while ye may!
    A little part, and that the worst, he sees
    Who thinks that priestly cunning holds the keys                   80
    That best unlock the secrets of St. Bees.

    Conscience, the timid being's inmost light,
    Hope of the dawn and solace of the night,
    Cheers these Recluses with a steady ray
    In many an hour when judgment goes astray.                        85
    Ah! scorn not hastily their rule who try
    Earth to despise, and flesh to mortify;
    Consume with zeal, in wingèd ecstasies
    Of prayer and praise forget their rosaries,
    Nor hear the loudest surges of St. Bees.                          90

    Yet none so prompt to succour and protect
    The forlorn traveller, or sailor wrecked
    On the bare coast; nor do they grudge the boon
    Which staff and cockle hat and sandal shoon
    Claim for the pilgrim: and, though chidings sharp                 95
    May sometimes greet the strolling minstrel's harp,
    It is not then when, swept with sportive ease,
    It charms a feast-day throng of all degrees,
    Brightening the archway of revered St. Bees.

    How did the cliffs and echoing hills rejoice                     100
    What time the Benedictine Brethren's voice,
    Imploring, or commanding with meet pride,
    Summoned the Chiefs to lay their feuds aside,
    And under one blest ensign serve the Lord
    In Palestine. Advance, indignant Sword!                          105
    Flaming till thou from Panym hands release
    That Tomb, dread centre of all sanctities
    Nursed in the quiet Abbey of St. Bees.

    But look we now to them whose minds from far[830]
    Follow the fortunes which they may not share.                    110
    While in Judea Fancy loves to roam,
    She helps to make a Holy-land at home:
    The Star of Bethlehem from its sphere invites
    To sound the crystal depth of maiden rights;[831]
    And wedded Life, through scriptural mysteries,                   115
    Heavenward ascends with all her charities,
    Taught by the hooded Celibates of St. Bees.

    Nor be it e'er forgotten how by skill
    Of cloistered Architects, free their souls to fill
    With love of God, throughout the Land were raised                120
    Churches, on whose symbolic beauty gazed
    Peasant and mail-clad Chief with pious awe;
    As at this day men seeing what they saw,
    Or the bare wreck of faith's solemnities,
    Aspire to more than earthly destinies;                           125
    Witness yon Pile that greets us from St. Bees.[832]

    Yet more; around those Churches, gathered Towns[833]
    Safe from the feudal Castle's haughty frowns;
    Peaceful abodes, where Justice might uphold
    Her scales with even hand, and culture mould                     130
    The heart to pity, train the mind in care
    For rules of life, sound as the Time could bear.
    Nor dost thou fail, thro' abject love of ease,
    Or hindrance raised by sordid purposes,
    To bear thy part in this good work, St. Bees.[834]               135

    Who with the ploughshare clove the barren moors,
    And to green meadows changed the swampy shores?
    Thinned the rank woods; and for the cheerful grange
    Made room where wolf and boar were used to range?
    Who taught, and showed by deeds, that gentler chains             140
    Should bind the vassal to his lord's domains?
    The thoughtful Monks, intent their God to please,
    For Christ's dear sake, by human sympathies
    Poured from the bosom of thy Church, St. Bees!

    But all availed not; by a mandate given                          145
    Through lawless will the Brotherhood was driven
    Forth from their cells; their ancient House laid low
    In Reformation's sweeping overthrow.
    But now once more the local Heart revives,
    The inextinguishable Spirit strives.                             150
    Oh may that Power who hushed the stormy seas,
    And cleared a way for the first Votaries,
    Prosper the new-born College of St. Bees![835]

    Alas! the Genius of our age, from Schools
    Less humble, draws her lessons, aims, and rules.                 153
    To Prowess guided by her insight keen
    Matter and Spirit are as one Machine;
    Boastful Idolatress of formal skill
    She in her own would merge the eternal will:[836]
    Better,[837] if Reason's triumphs match with these,              160
    Her flight before the bold credulities
    That furthered the first teaching of St. Bees.[838]


[818] St. Bees' Heads, anciently called the Cliff of Baruth, are a
conspicuous sea-mark for all vessels sailing in the N.E. parts of
the Irish Sea. In a bay, one side of which is formed by the southern
headland, stands the village of St. Bees; a place distinguished, from
very early times, for its religious and scholastic foundations.

"St. Bees," say Nicholson and Burns, "had its name from Bega, an holy
woman from Ireland, who is said to have founded here, about the year of
our Lord 650, a small monastery, where afterwards a church was built in
memory of her.

"The aforesaid religious house, being destroyed by the Danes, was
restored by William de Meschiens, son of Ranulph, and brother of
Ranulph de Meschiens, first Earl of Cumberland after the Conquest; and
made a cell of a prior and six Benedictine monks to the Abbey of St.
Mary at York."

Several traditions of miracles, connected with the foundation of
the first of these religious houses, survive among the people of
the neighbourhood; one of which is alluded to in these Stanzas;
and another, of a somewhat bolder and more peculiar character, has
furnished the subject of a spirited poem by the Rev. R. Parkinson,
M.A., late Divinity Lecturer of St. Bees' College, and now Fellow of
the Collegiate Church of Manchester.

After the dissolution of the monasteries, Archbishop Grindal founded
a free school at St. Bees, from which the counties of Cumberland and
Westmoreland have derived great benefit; and recently, under the
patronage of the Earl of Lonsdale, a college has been established
there for the education of ministers for the English Church. The old
Conventual Church has been repaired under the superintendence of the
Rev. Dr. Ainger, the Head of the College; and is well worthy of being
visited by any strangers who might be led to the neighbourhood of this
celebrated spot.

The form of stanza in this Poem, and something in the style of
versification, are adopted from the _St. Monica_, a poem of much
beauty upon a monastic subject, by Charlotte Smith: a lady to whom
English verse is under greater obligations than are likely to be
either acknowledged or remembered. She wrote little, and that little
unambitiously, but with true feeling for rural nature,[839] at a time
when nature was not much regarded by English Poets; for in point of
time her earlier writings preceded, I believe, those of Cowper and
Burns.[840]--W. W. 1835.

[819] 1845.

    And Wisdom, that once held ... 1835.

[820] See the note, p. 351.--ED.

[821] 1837.

    ... cross'd;
    As high and higher heaved the billows, faith
    Grew with them, mightier than the powers of death.
    She ... 1835.

[822] The Danes, and the Cymric aborigines.--ED.

[823] 1837.

    ... round her Cell 1835.

[824] See the extract from Nicholson and Burn's _History of
Cumberland_, in Wordsworth's note, p. 351.--ED.

[825] 1837.

    There were ... 1835.

[826] 1837.

    ... extended ... 1835.

[827] 1837.

    Were ... 1835.

[828] I am aware that I am here treading upon tender ground; but to
the intelligent reader I feel that[841] no apology is due. The prayers
of survivors, during passionate grief for the recent loss of relatives
and friends, as the object of those prayers could no longer be the
suffering body of the dying, would naturally be ejaculated for the
souls of the departed; the barriers between the two worlds dissolving
before the power of love and faith. The ministers of religion, from
their habitual attendance upon sick-beds, would be daily witnesses of
these benign results; and hence would be strongly tempted to aim at
giving to them permanence, by embodying them in rites and ceremonies,
recurring at stated periods. All this, as it was in course of nature,
so was it blameless, and even praiseworthy; since some of its effects,
in that rude state of society, could not but be salutary. No reflecting
person, however, can view[842] without sorrow the abuses which rose out
of thus formalizing sublime instincts, and disinterested movements of
passion, and perverting them into means of gratifying the ambition and
rapacity of the priesthood. But, while we deplore and are indignant at
these abuses, it would be a great mistake if we imputed the origin of
the offices to prospective selfishness on the part of the monks and
clergy: _they_ were at first sincere in their sympathy, and in their
degree dupes rather of their own creed, than artful and designing
men. Charity is, upon the whole, the safest guide that we can take
in judging our fellow-men, whether of past ages, or of the present
time.--W. W. 1835.

[829] 1837.

    ... was past away
    Said ... 1835.

[830] 1837.

    On, Champions, on!--But mark! the passing Day
    Submits her intercourse to milder sway,
    With high and low whose busy thoughts from far 1835.

[831] Compare _The Virgin_, in the "Ecclesiastical Sonnets," Part II.

[832] 1845.

    As through the land we seeing what they saw,
    Or the bare wreck of faith's solemnities,
    May lift {the} hearts {to} blissful destinies;
             {our} {for}
    {Witness the remnant of thy Church, St. Bees.
    {Witness your works, good coenobites of St. Bees. C.
    As on this day we seeing what they saw,
    Uplift our hearts for heavenly destinies
    In field or town, 'mid mountain fastnesses,
    Or on wave-beaten shores like thine, St. Bees. C.

[833] See "The English Town" in Green's _Short History of the English_
_People_, ch. iv. sec. 4.--ED.

[834] This stanza and the preceding one were added in 1845.--ED.

[835] This College was founded for the education of clerks in holy
orders who did not mean to proceed to Oxford or Cambridge.--ED.

[836] 1835.

    ... our age, her rules
    From schools that scorning faith in things unseen,
    Most confident when most they overween,
    Would merge, idolaters of formal skill
    In their own system God's eternal will. C.

    ... aims and rules
    Would merge, Idolaters of formal skill
    In her own system God's eternal will. C.

[837] 1837.

    ... will:
    Expert to move in paths that Newton trod,
    From Newton's Universe would banish God.
    Better, ... 1835.

[838] See _The Excursion_, seventh part; and "Ecclesiastical Sonnets,"
second part, near the beginning.--W. W. 1850.

The passages referred to are the following: _The Excursion_, book vii.
l. 1008, etc. (vol. v. p. 324), beginning--

    The courteous Knight,

and alluding to Sir Alfred Irthing; and in the "Ecclesiastical
Sonnets," Part II. III., IV., V., _Cistercian Monastery_, and _Monks
and Schoolmen_.--ED.

[839] 1837.

    but with true feeling for nature. 1835.

[840] From "at a time" to "Burns" was added in 1837.

[841] 1845.

    The Author is aware that he is here ... reader he feels that 1835.

[842] 1837.

    praiseworthy; but no reflecting person can view 1835.



    Ranging the heights of Scawfell or Black-Comb,[843]
    In his lone course the Shepherd oft will pause,
    And strive to fathom the mysterious laws
    By which the clouds, arrayed in light or gloom,
    On Mona settle, and the shapes assume                              5
    Of all her peaks and ridges.[844] What he draws
    From sense, faith, reason, fancy, of the cause,
    He will take with him to the silent tomb.
    Or, by his fire, a child upon his knee,
    Haply the untaught Philosopher may speak                          10
    Of the strange sight, nor hide his theory
    That satisfies the simple and the meek,
    Blest in their pious ignorance, though weak
    To cope with Sages undevoutly free.


[843] 1837.

    ... Black-coom, 1835.

[844] Compare the _View from the top of Black Comb_ (vol. iv. p. 279);
also the Inscription, _Written with a Slate Pencil on a Stone, on the
Side of the Mountain of Black Comb_ (vol. iv. p. 281).

The atmospheric phenomena referred to in the sonnet are frequently seen
from the Cumberland hills, overspreading the peaks and ridges of the
Isle of Man; and a similar appearance is often visible on the Cumbrian
hills, as seen from Mona.--ED.



    Bold words affirmed, in days when faith was strong
    And doubts and scruples seldom teazed the brain,
    That[845] no adventurer's bark had power to gain
    These shores if he approached them bent on wrong;
    For, suddenly up-conjured from the Main,                           5
    Mists rose to hide the Land--that search, though long
    And eager, might be still pursued in vain.
    O Fancy, what an age was _that_ for song!
    That age, when not by _laws_ inanimate,
    As men believed, the waters were impelled,                        10
    The air controlled, the stars their courses held;
    But element and orb on _acts_ did wait
    Of _Powers_ endued with visible form, instinct
    With will, and to their work by passion linked.


[845] 1837.

    ... strong,
    That ... 1835.



    Desire we past illusions to recal?
    To reinstate wild Fancy, would we hide
    Truth whose thick veil Science has drawn aside?
    No,--let this Age, high as she may, instal
    In her esteem the thirst that wrought man's fall,                  5
    The universe is infinitely wide;
    And conquering Reason, if self-glorified,
    Can nowhere move uncrossed by some new wall
    Or gulf of mystery, which thou alone,
    Imaginative Faith! canst overleap,                                10
    In progress toward the fount of Love,--the throne
    Of Power whose ministers the[846] records keep
    Of periods fixed, and laws established, less
    Flesh to exalt than prove its nothingness.


[846] 1837.

    Of Power, whose ministering Spirits ... 1835.



"Dignum laude virum Musa vetat mori."[847]

    The feudal Keep, the bastions of Cohorn,[848]
    Even when they rose to check or to repel
    Tides of aggressive war, oft served as well
    Greedy ambition, armed to treat with scorn
    Just limits; but yon Tower, whose smiles adorn                     5
    This perilous bay, stands clear of all offence;
    Blest work it is of love and innocence,
    A Tower of refuge built for the else forlorn.[849]
    Spare it, ye waves, and lift the mariner,
    Struggling for life, into its saving arms!                        10
    Spare, too, the human helpers! Do they stir
    'Mid your fierce shock like men afraid to die?
    No; their dread service nerves the heart it warms,
    And they are led by noble HILLARY.[850]


[847] See Horace, _Odes_, book iv. ode viii. l. 28.--ED.

[848] Baron Menno van Cohorn (or Coehoorn) was a Dutch military
engineer of genius (1641-1704). His fame rests on discoveries
connected with the effect of projectiles on fortifications. His
practical successes against the French, under Vauban, were great;
and the fortifications he designed and constructed, of which that
of Bergen-op-Zoom was the chief, give him a place in the history
of military science, greater than that derived from his writings.
He devised a kind of small mortar or howitzer, for use in siege
operations, which is named after him a Cohorn.--ED.

[849] 1845.

    A Tower of refuge to the else forlorn. 1835.

    A Tower of refuge built for the forlorn. C.

[850] The TOWER OF REFUGE, an ornament to Douglas Bay, was erected
chiefly through the humanity and zeal of Sir William Hillary; and he
also was the founder of the lifeboat establishment, at that place; by
which, under his superintendence, and often by his exertions at the
imminent hazard of his own life, many seamen and passengers have been
saved.--W. W. 1835.

In Dorothy Wordsworth's Journal of a visit to the Isle of Man in 1826,
the following occurs:--"Monday, 3rd July.--Sir William Hillary saved a
boy's life to-day in harbour. He raised a regiment for government, and
chose his own reward, viz., a Baronetcy! and now lives here on £300 per
annum, etc. etc."--ED.



    Why stand we gazing on the sparkling Brine,
    With wonder smit by its transparency,
    And all-enraptured with its purity?--
    Because the unstained, the clear, the crystalline,
    Have ever in them something of benign;                             5
    Whether in gem, in water, or in sky,
    A sleeping infant's brow, or wakeful eye
    Of a young maiden, only not divine.
    Scarcely the hand forbears to dip its palm
    For beverage drawn as from a mountain-well.                       10
    Temptation centres in the liquid Calm;
    Our daily raiment seems no obstacle
    To instantaneous plunging in, deep Sea!
    And revelling[851] in long embrace with thee.[852]


[851] 1835.

    And wantoning ...


[852] The sea-water on the coast of the Isle of Man is singularly pure
and beautiful.--W. W. 1837.



[My son William[853] is here the person alluded to as saving the
life of the youth, and the circumstances were as mentioned in the
Sonnet.--I. F.]

    A youth too certain of his power to wade
    On the smooth bottom of this clear bright sea,[854]
    To sight so shallow, with a bather's glee,
    Leapt from this rock, and but for timely aid
    He, by the alluring element betrayed,                              5
    Had perished. Then might Sea-nymphs (and with sighs
    Of self-reproach) have chanted elegies[855]
    Bewailing his sad fate, when he was laid[856]
    In peaceful earth: for, doubtless, he was frank,
    Utterly in himself devoid of guile;                               10
    Knew not the double-dealing of a smile;
    Nor aught that makes men's promises a blank,
    Or deadly snare: and He survives to bless
    The Power that saved him in his strange distress.


[853] But it was his son John, and not William, who accompanied the
poet in this Tour. See the first Fenwick note (p. 342).--ED.

[854] 1835.

    ... that his feet could wade
    At will the flow of this pellucid sea,


    On the smooth bottom of this clear blue sea,


[855] Compare Ariel's Song in _The Tempest_, act I. scene ii.--

      Nothing of him that doth fade,
    But doth suffer a sea-change
    Into something rich and strange.
    Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell.--ED.

[856] 1837.

    Leapt from this rock, and surely, had not aid
    Been near, must soon have breathed out life, betrayed
    By fondly trusting to an element
    Fair, and to others more than innocent;
    Then had sea-nymphs sung dirges for him laid 1835.

    Here ...




    Did[858] pangs of grief for lenient time too keen,
    Grief that devouring waves had caused--or guilt[859]
    Which they had witnessed, sway[860] the man who built
    This Homestead, placed where nothing could be seen,
    Nought heard, of ocean troubled or serene?                         5
    A tired Ship-soldier[861] on paternal land,
    That o'er the channel holds august command,
    The dwelling raised,--a veteran Marine![862]
    He, in disgust, turned from the neighbouring sea[863]
    To shun the memory of a listless life                             10
    That hung between two callings. May no strife
    More hurtful here beset him, doomed though free,
    Self-doomed, to worse inaction, till his eye
    Shrink from the daily sight of earth and sky!


[857] 1837.

    The Retired Marine Officer, Isle of Man. 1835.

[858] 1837.

    Not ... 1835.

[859] 1837.

    ... nor guilt 1835.

[860] 1837.

    ... swayed ... 1835.

[861] 1835.

    No--a Ship-soldier ... 1837.

[862] Henry Hutchinson. See the Fenwick note to the next sonnet.--ED.

[863] 1835.

    The dwelling raised. Fantastic slave of spleen
    He sought by shunning thus the neighbouring sea,
    Refuge from memory of a listless life C.

    The habitation raised, a slave of spleen, C.

    The weary man turned from the neighbouring sea




                        (A FRIEND OF THE AUTHOR)

[Mrs. Wordsworth's Brother, Henry.[865]--I. F.]

    From early youth I ploughed the restless Main,
    My mind as restless and as apt to change;
    Through every clime and ocean did I range,
    In hope at length a competence to gain;
    For poor to Sea I went, and poor I still remain.                   5
    Year after year I strove, but strove in vain,
    And hardships manifold did I endure,
    For Fortune on me never deign'd to smile;
    Yet I at last a resting-place have found,
    With just enough life's comforts to procure,                      10
    In a snug Cove on this our favoured Isle,
    A peaceful spot where Nature's gifts abound;
    Then sure I have no reason to complain,
    Though poor to Sea I went, and poor I still remain.


[864] This unpretending Sonnet is by a gentleman nearly connected with
me, and I hope, as it falls so easily into its place, that both the
writer and the reader will excuse its appearance here.--W. W. 1835.

[865] Mr. Henry Hutchinson, Mrs. Wordsworth's brother, was--the Bishop
of Lincoln tells us--"a person of great originality and vigour of mind,
a very enterprising sailor, and a writer of verses distinguished by no
ordinary merit."--See the _Memoirs of Wordsworth_, vol. ii. p. 246.--ED.




[Supposed to be written by a friend (Mr. Cookson), who died there a few
years after.[866]--I. F.]

    Broken in fortune, but in mind entire
    And sound in principle, I seek repose
    Where ancient trees this convent-pile enclose,[867]
    In ruin beautiful. When vain desire
    Intrudes on peace, I pray the eternal Sire                         5
    To cast a soul-subduing shade on me,
    A grey-haired, pensive, thankful Refugee;
    A shade--but with some sparks of heavenly fire
    Once to these cells vouchsafed.[868] And when I note
    The old Tower's brow yellowed as with the beams                   10
    Of sunset ever there,[869] albeit streams[870]
    Of stormy weather-stains that semblance wrought,
    I thank the silent Monitor, and say
    "Shine so, my aged brow, at all hours of the day!"


[866] Henry Crabb Robinson--the Wordsworths' companion in the tour,
wrote in his Journal, 14th July: "At Ballasalla called on Mr. and Mrs.
Cookson, esteemed friends of the W.'s, whom adversity had driven to
this asylum."--ED.

[867] Rushen Abbey.--W. W. 1835.

[868] 1835.

    ... with such sparks of holy fire
    As once were cherished here....


[869] The "old Tower" is that of Rushen Abbey, close to Bala-Sala, the
latest dissolved monastery in the British Isles. Little of it survives;
only the tower, refectory, and dormitory. The tower is still yellowed
with lichen stains. The following occurs in one of Mr. H. C. Robinson's
letters on the Italian Tour of 1837:--"This reminds me that I was once
privy to the conception of a Sonnet with a distinctness which did not
once occur on the longer Italian journey. This was when I accompanied
him into the Isle of Man. We had been drinking tea with Mr. and Mrs.
Cookson, and left them when the weather was dull. Very soon after
leaving them we passed the Church Tower of Bala-Sala. The upper part of
the tower had a sort of frieze of yellow lichens. Mr. W. Pointed it out
to me, and said, 'It's a Perpetual sunshine.' I thought no more of it
till I had read the beautiful sonnet,

    'Broken in fortune, but in mind entire.'"--ED.

[870] 1835.

    .... and know that streams




[Mr. Robinson and I walked the greater part of the way from Castle-town
to Piel, and stopped some time at Tynwald Hill. One of my companions
was an elderly man who, in a muddy way (for he was tipsy), explained
and answered, as far as he could, my enquiries about this place and
the ceremonies held here. I found more agreeable company in some
little children; one of them, upon my request, recited the Lord's
Prayer to me, and I helped her to a clearer understanding of it as
well as I could; but I was not at all satisfied with my own part; hers
was much better done, and I am persuaded that, like other children,
she knew more about it than she was able to express, especially to a
stranger.--I. F.]

    Once on the top of Tynwald's formal mound
    (Still marked with green turf circles narrowing[871]
    Stage above stage)[872] would sit this Island's King,
    The laws to promulgate, enrobed and crowned;
    While, compassing the little mount around,[873]                    5
    Degrees and Orders stood, each under each:
    Now, like to things within fate's easiest reach,[874]
    The power is merged, the pomp a grave has found.
    Off with yon cloud,[875] old Snafell![876] that thine eye
    Over three Realms may take its widest range;                      10
    And let, for them, thy fountains utter strange
    Voices, thy winds break forth in prophecy,
    If the whole State must suffer mortal change,
    Like Mona's miniature of sovereignty.


[871] The ground at Tynwald Hill (as it is called) remains unchanged.
Here, on a small plot of ground, the whole Manx people meet annually
on Midsummer Day, July 5th, to appoint officers and enact new laws.
The first historical notice of these meetings is in 1417. The name
Tynwald is derived from the Scandinavian _thing_, "court of justice,"
and _wald_, "fenced." The mound is only 12 feet high, rising by four
circular platforms, each 3 feet higher than the one below it. The
circumference at the base is 240 feet, and at the top 18 feet. It used
once to be walled round, and had two gates. The approach now is by
twenty-one steps cut in the turf.

In his _Diary_, _etc._, Robinson wrote of Tynwald--"It brought
to my mind a similar monument of simple manners at Sarnen in

[872] 1835.

    Once on the top of Tynwald Hill (a Mound


    Time was when on the top of yon small mound
    (Still marked with circles duly narrowing
    Each above each) ...


[873] 1835.

    Would sit by solemn usage robed and crowned,
    While compassing the grassy mount around,


    Sate 'mid the assembled people robed and crowned,


[874] 1835.

    Now like a thing within Fate's easiest reach,


[875] 1835.

    Off with those clouds, ...


[876] The summit of this mountain is well chosen by Cowley as the
scene of the "Vision," in which the spectral angel discourses with
him concerning the government of Oliver Cromwell. "I found myself,"
says he, "on the top of that famous hill in the Island Mona, which
has the prospect of three great, and not long since most happy,
kingdoms. As soon as ever I looked upon them, they called forth the
sad representation of all the sins and all the miseries that had
overwhelmed them these twenty years." It is not to be denied that
the changes now in progress, and the passions, and the way in which
they work, strikingly resemble those which led to the disasters the
philosophic writer so feelingly bewails. God grant that the resemblance
may not become still more striking as months and years advance!--W. W.

The top of Snaefell (which Wordsworth names "Snafell"), the highest
mountain in the Isle of Man, whence England, Scotland, and Ireland are
to be seen, as mentioned in the Sonnet, is not visible from Tynwald



    Despond who will--_I_ heard a voice exclaim,
    "Though fierce the assault, and shatter'd the defence,[877]
    It cannot be that Britain's social frame,
    The glorious work of time and providence,
    Before a flying season's rash pretence,[878]                       5
    Should fall; that She, whose virtue put to shame,
    When Europe prostrate lay, the Conqueror's aim,
    Should perish, self-subverted. Black and dense
    The cloud is; but brings _that_ a day of doom
    To Liberty? Her sun is up the while,[879]                         10
    That orb whose beams round Saxon Alfred shone:
    Then laugh, ye innocent Vales! ye Streams, sweep on,
    Nor let one billow of our heaven-blest Isle[880]
    Toss in the fanning wind a humbler plume."


[877] 1835.

    Clear voices from pure worlds of hope exclaim
    "Tho' fierce the assault, and shattered the defence,"


[878] 1835.

    Before a season's calculating sense,


[879] 1835.

    ... The sun is up ...


[880] 1835.

    ... of this heaven-blest Isle





[The morning of the eclipse was exquisitely beautiful while we passed
the Crag as described in the Sonnet. On the deck of the steam-boat were
several persons of the poor and labouring class, and I could not but be
struck by their cheerful talk with each other, while not one of them
seemed to notice the magnificent objects with which we were surrounded;
and even the phenomenon of the eclipse attracted but little of their
attention. Was it right not to regret this? They appeared to me,
however, so much alive in their own minds to their own concerns that I
could not look upon it as a misfortune that they had little perception
for such pleasures as cannot be cultivated without ease and leisure.
Yet, if one surveys life in all its duties and relations, such ease and
leisure will not be found so enviable a privilege as it may at first
appear. Natural Philosophy, Painting, and Poetry, and refined taste are
no doubt great acquisitions to society; but among those who dedicate
themselves to such pursuits, it is to be feared that few are as happy,
and as consistent in the management of their lives, as the class of
persons who at that time led me into this course of reflection. I
do not mean by this to be understood to derogate from intellectual
pursuits, for that would be monstrous: I say it in deep gratitude for
this compensation to those whose cares are limited to the necessities
of daily life. Among them, self-tormentors, so numerous in the higher
classes of society, are rare.--I. F.]

    Since risen from ocean, ocean to defy,
    Appeared the Crag of Ailsa, ne'er did morn
    With gleaming lights more gracefully adorn
    His sides, or wreathe with mist his forehead high:
    Now, faintly darkening with the sun's eclipse,[882]                5
    Still is he seen, in lone sublimity,
    Towering above the sea and little ships;
    For dwarfs the tallest seem while sailing by,
    Each for her haven; with her freight of Care,
    Pleasure, or Grief, and Toil that seldom looks                    10
    Into the secret of to-morrow's fare;
    Though poor, yet rich, without the wealth of books,
    Or aught that watchful Love to Nature owes
    For her mute Powers, fix'd Forms, or[883] transient Shows.


[881] 1845.

              (July 17, 1833) 1835.

              (July 17) 1837.

[882] Compare _The Eclipse of the Sun_, 1820, in the "Memorials of a
Tour on the Continent, 1820" (vol. vi. p. 345).--ED.

[883] 1837.

    ... and ... 1835.



                           (IN A STEAM-BOAT)

[The mountain outline on the north of this island, as seen from the
Frith of Clyde,[884] is much the finest I have ever noticed in Scotland
or elsewhere--I.F.]

    Arran! a single-crested Teneriffe,
    A St. Helena next--in shape and hue,
    Varying her crowded peaks and ridges blue;
    Who but must covet a cloud-seat, or skiff
    Built for the air, or winged Hippogriff?                           5
    That he might fly, where no one could pursue,
    From this dull Monster and her sooty crew;
    And, as[885] a God, light on thy topmost cliff.
    Impotent wish! which reason would despise
    If the mind knew no union of extremes,                            10
    No natural bond between the boldest schemes
    Ambition frames, and heart-humilities.[886]
    Beneath stern mountains many a soft vale lies,
    And lofty springs give birth to lowly streams.


[884] He doubtless refers to the view of Goatfell and Kaim-na-Calliach,
with Loch Ranza in front.--ED.

[885] 1837.

    And, like ... 1835.

[886] Compare _The Triad_, II. 145-148--

    High is her aim as heaven above,
    And wide as ether her good-will;
    And, like the lowly reed, her love
    Can drink its nurture from the scantiest rill.--ED.



(See former series, "Yarrow Revisited," etc., p. 278.)

    The captive Bird was gone;--to cliff or moor
    Perchance had flown, delivered by the storm;
    Or he had pined, and sunk to feed the worm:
    Him found we not: but, climbing a tall tower,
    There saw, impaved with rude fidelity                              5
    Of art mosaic, in a roofless floor,[887]
    An Eagle with stretched wings, but beamless eye--
    An Eagle that could neither wail nor soar.
    Effigy[888] of the Vanished[889]--(shall I dare
    To call thee so?) or symbol of fierce deeds                       10
    And of the towering courage which past times
    Rejoiced in--take, whate'er thou be, a share,[890]
    Not undeserved, of the memorial rhymes
    That animate my way where'er it leads!

Lieutenant-Colonel M'Dougal of Dunollie wrote to me (October 1883) that
"the mosaic picture of an eagle--if it may be called so--still exists,
though it is rather a rude work of art. I believe it was executed by
a gardener, who was here about the time of Wordsworth's visit. It was
made of small stones, and is now a good deal overgrown with weeds,
moss, etc., as the second story of the old ruin is open to the weather.
An eagle was for many years kept in a cage, made against a wall of
the ruin, and this no doubt was the cause of the rude picture being


[887] 1835.

    Espied an old mosaic effigy
    Set in a roofless chamber's pavement floor,


[888] 1837.

    Shade of the poor Departed ... MS.

    Effigies of the Vanished ... 1835.

[889] This ingenious piece of workmanship, as I afterwards learned, had
been executed for their own amusement by some labourers employed about
the place.--W. W. 1835.

[890] 1837.

    ... or symbol of past times,
    That towering courage, and the savage deeds
    Those times were proud of, take Thou too a share, 1835.

    Their towering courage, and the savage deeds
    Which they were proud of, ...




    Not to the clouds, not to the cliff, he flew;
    But when a storm, on sea or mountain bred,
    Came and delivered him, alone he sped
    Into the castle-dungeon's darkest mew.
    Now, near his master's house in open view                          5
    He dwells, and hears indignant tempests howl,
    Kennelled and chained. Ye tame domestic fowl,[891]
    Beware of him! Thou, saucy cockatoo,
    Look to thy plumage and thy life!--The roe,
    Fleet as the west wind, is for _him_ no quarry;                   10
    Balanced in ether he will never tarry,
    Eyeing the sea's blue depths. Poor Bird! even so
    Doth man of brother man a creature make
    That clings to slavery for its own sad sake.


[891] 1835.

    ... villatic Fowl,




                     Composed 1824.--Published 1827

[The verses,

                       or strayed
    From hope and promise, self-betrayed,

were, I am sorry to say, suggested from apprehensions of the fate of
my friend, H.C.,[893] the subject of the verses addressed to _H.C.
when six years old_. The piece to "Memory" arose out of similar
feelings.[894]--I. F.]

    Oft have I caught, upon a fitful breeze,[895]
    Fragments of far-off melodies,
    With ear not coveting the whole,
    A part so charmed the pensive soul:
    While a dark storm before my sight                                 5
    Was yielding, on a mountain height
    Loose vapours have I watched, that won
    Prismatic colours from the sun;
    Nor felt a wish that heaven would show
    The image of its perfect bow.                                     10
    What need, then, of these finished Strains?
    Away with counterfeit Remains!
    An abbey in its lone recess,
    A temple of the wilderness,
    Wrecks though they be, announce with feeling                      15
    The majesty of honest dealing.
    Spirit of Ossian! if imbound
    In language thou may'st yet be found,
    If aught (intrusted to the pen
    Or floating on the tongues of men,                                20
    Albeit shattered and impaired)
    Subsist thy dignity to guard,
    In concert with memorial claim
    Of old grey stone, and high-born name
    That cleaves to rock or pillared cave                             25
    Where moans the blast, or beats the wave,
    Let Truth, stern arbitress of all,
    Interpret that Original,
    And for presumptuous wrongs atone;--
    Authentic words be given, or none!                                30

    Time is not blind;--yet He, who spares
    Pyramid pointing to the stars,
    Hath preyed with ruthless appetite
    On all that marked the primal flight
    Of the poetic ecstasy                                             35
    Into the land of mystery.
    No tongue is able to rehearse
    One measure, Orpheus! of thy verse;[896]
    Musæus, stationed with his lyre
    Supreme among the Elysian quire,                                  40
    Is, for the dwellers upon earth
    Mute as a lark ere morning's birth,[897]
    Why grieve for these, though past away
    The music, and extinct the lay?
    When thousands, by severer doom,                                  45
    Full early to the silent tomb
    Have sunk, at Nature's call; or strayed
    From hope and promise, self-betrayed;
    The garland withering on their brows;
    Stung with remorse for broken vows;                               50
    Frantic--else how might they rejoice?
    And friendless, by their own sad choice!

    Hail, Bards of mightier grasp! on you
    I chiefly call, the chosen Few,
    Who cast-not off the acknowledged guide,                          55
    Who faltered not, nor turned aside;
    Whose lofty genius could survive
    Privation, under sorrow thrive;
    In whom the fiery Muse revered
    The symbol of a snow-white beard,                                 60
    Bedewed with meditative tears
    Dropped from the lenient cloud of years.

    Brothers in soul! though distant times
    Produced you nursed in various climes,
    Ye, when the orb of life had waned,                               65
    A plenitude of love retained:
    Hence, while in you each sad regret
    By corresponding hope was met,
    Ye lingered among human kind,
    Sweet voices for the passing wind;                                70
    Departing sunbeams, loth to stop,
    Though smiling on the last hill top![898]
    Such to the tender-hearted maid
    Even ere her joys begin to fade;
    Such, haply, to the rugged chief                                  75
    By fortune crushed, or tamed by grief;
    Appears, on Morven's lonely shore,
    Dim-gleaming through imperfect lore,
    The Son of Fingal; such was blind
    Mæonides of ampler mind;[899]                                     80
    Such Milton, to the fountain head
    Of glory by Urania led!


[892] This poem was first published among the _Poems of Sentiment and_
_Reflection_ in the edition of 1827. In the edition of 1836 Wordsworth
gave 1824 as the year of its composition. It is here printed in the
series to which it was finally assigned, although slightly out of its
chronological place.--ED.

[893] Hartley Coleridge.--ED.

[894] See p. 117.--ED.

[895] 1832.

    ... caught from fitful breeze 1827.

[896] The genuine Orphic Literature included some Hymns, a Theogony,
Oracles, Songs, and Sacred Legends, #hieroi logoi#: but none have
come down to modern times. The _Orphica_ which have survived are

[897] None of the fragments attributed to Musæus by the ancients--the
#Chrêsmoi#, #Hypothêkai#, #Theogonia#, etc.--have survived.--ED.

[898] Compare vol. ii. p. 163--

    There is an Eminence,--of these our hills
    The last that parleys with the setting sun.--ED.

[899] Homer; so called from the fact that Mæonia in Lydia was, by some,
claimed as his birth-place.--ED.



    We saw, but surely, in the motley crowd,
    Not one of us has felt the far-famed sight;
    How _could_ we feel it? each the other's blight,
    Hurried and hurrying, volatile and loud.
    O for those motions only that invite                               5
    The Ghost of Fingal to his tuneful Cave
    By the breeze entered, and wave after wave
    Softly embosoming the timid light!
    And by _one_ Votary who at will might stand
    Gazing, and take into his mind and heart,                         10
    With undistracted reverence, the effect
    Of those proportions where the almighty hand
    That made the worlds, the sovereign Architect,
    Has deigned to work as if with human Art![901]


[900] The reader may be tempted to exclaim, "How came this and the two
following sonnets to be written, after the dissatisfaction expressed in
the preceding one?" In fact, at the risk of incurring the reasonable
displeasure of the master of the steam-boat, I returned[902] to the
cave, and explored it under circumstances more favourable to those
imaginative impressions which it is so wonderfully fitted to make upon
the mind.--W. W. 1835.

[901] Staffa, or the island of Staves, as some derive the name.--ED.

[902] 1845.

    the Author returned 1835.




    Thanks for the lessons of this Spot--fit school
    For the presumptuous thoughts that would assign
    Mechanic laws to agency divine;
    And, measuring heaven by earth, would overrule
    Infinite Power. The pillared vestibule,                            5
    Expanding yet precise, the roof embowed,[904]
    Might seem designed to humble man, when proud
    Of his best workmanship by plan and tool.
    Down-bearing with his whole Atlantic weight
    Of tide and tempest on the Structure's base,                      10
    And flashing to that Structure's topmost height,[905]
    Ocean has proved its strength, and of its grace
    In calms is conscious,[906] finding for his freight
    Of softest music some responsive place.


[903] 1845.


[904] Note the topographical accuracy of this description.--ED.

[905] 1837.

    And flashing upwards to its topmost height, 1835.

[906] Compare, _On a high part of the Coast of Cumberland_, p. 338--

    No; 'tis the earth-voice of the mighty sea,
    Whispering how meek and gentle he _can_ be!--ED.



    Ye shadowy Beings, that have rights and claims
    In every cell of Fingal's mystic Grot,
    Where are ye? Driven or venturing to the spot,
    Our fathers glimpses caught of your thin Frames,
    And, by your mien and bearing, knew your names;                    5
    And they could hear _his_ ghostly song who trod
    Earth, till the flesh lay on him like a load,
    While he struck his desolate harp without hopes or aims.
    Vanished ye are, but subject to recal;
    Why keep _we_ else the instincts whose dread law                  10
    Ruled here of yore, till what men felt they saw,
    Not by black arts but magic natural!
    If eyes be still sworn vassals of belief,
    Yon light shapes forth a Bard, that shade a Chief.



    Hope smiled when your nativity was cast,
    Children of Summer![907] Ye fresh Flowers that brave
    What Summer here escapes not, the fierce wave,
    And whole artillery of the western blast,
    Battering the Temple's front, its long-drawn nave                  5
    Smiting, as if each moment were their last.
    But ye, bright Flowers, on frieze and architrave
    Survive,[908] and once again the Pile stands fast;
    Calm as the Universe, from specular towers
    Of heaven contemplated by Spirits pure                            10
    With mute astonishment, it stands sustained
    Through every part in symmetry, to endure,[909]
    Unhurt, the assault of Time with all his hours,
    As the supreme Artificer ordained.[910]


[907] Upon the head of the columns which form the front of the cave,
rests a body of decomposed basaltic matter, which was richly decorated
with that large bright flower, the ox-eyed daisy. I had[911] noticed
the same flower growing with profusion among the bold rocks on the
western coast of the Isle of Man; making a brilliant contrast with
their black and gloomy surfaces.--W. W. 1835.

[908] They still survive, and flourish above the pillars.--ED.

[909] 1840 and C.

    Suns and their systems, diverse yet sustained
    In symmetry, and fashioned to endure, 1835.

[910] 1835.

    As the Supreme Geometer ordained.


[911] 1845.

    The author had 1835.



    On to Iona!--What can she afford
    To _us_ save matter for a thoughtful sigh,
    Heaved over ruin with stability
    In urgent contrast? To diffuse the WORD
    (Thy Paramount, mighty Nature! and Time's Lord)
    Her Temples rose,[912] 'mid pagan gloom; but why,                  6
    Even for a moment, has our verse deplored
    Their wrongs, since they fulfilled their destiny?
    And when, subjected to a common doom
    Of mutability, those far-famed Piles                              10
    Shall disappear from both the sister Isles,
    Iona's Saints, forgetting not past days,
    Garlands shall wear of amaranthine bloom,
    While heaven's vast sea of voices chants their praise.


[912] St. Columba took up his residence at Iona, in 563.--ED.




    How sad a welcome! To each voyager[913]
    Some ragged child holds up for sale a store[914]
    Of wave-worn pebbles, pleading on the shore[915]
    Where once came monk and nun with gentle stir,
    Blessings to give, news ask, or suit prefer.                       5
    Yet is[916] yon neat trim church[917] a grateful speck
    Of novelty amid the sacred wreck
    Strewn far and wide. Think, proud Philosopher![918]
    Fallen though she be, this Glory of the west,[919]
    Still on her sons, the beams of mercy shine;                      10
    And "hopes, perhaps more heavenly bright than thine,
    A grace by thee unsought and unpossest,
    A faith more fixed, a rapture more divine,
    Shall gild their passage to eternal rest."[920]


[913] 1837.

    With earnest look, to every voyager, 1835.

[914] 1837.

    ... his store 1835.

[915] 1835.

    With outstretched hands, round every voyager
    Press ragged children, each to supplicate
    A price for wave-worn pebbles on his plate,


[916] 1837.

    But see ... 1835.

[917] This refers to the modern parish Church on the Island, not to St.
Oran's Chapel, or the Cathedral Church of St. Mary.--ED.

[918] 1837.

    ... this sacred wreck--
    Nay spare thy scorn, haughty Philosopher! 1835.

[919] 1835.

    Fallen as she is, this Glory of the West,


[920] The four last lines of this sonnet are adopted from a well-known
sonnet of Russel, as conveying my feeling[921] better than any words of
my own[922] could do.--W. W. 1835.

These "last four lines" are taken from sonnet No. x. of _Sonnets and_
_Miscellaneous Poems_, by the late Thomas Russel, Fellow of New College
Oxford, printed for D. Price and J. Cooke, 1789. The Rev. Thomas
Russell, author of these _Sonnets_, was born 1762, died 1788. He was
a Wykehamist, and is referred to in a letter by Wordsworth to Dyce in

[921] 1845

    the author's feeling 1835.

[922] 1845

    his own 1835.



[See Martin's Voyage among the Western Isles.[923]]

    Here on their knees men swore; the stones were black,[924]
    Black in the people's minds and words,[925] yet they
    Were at that time, as now, in colour grey.
    But what is colour, if upon the rack
    Of conscience souls are placed by deeds that lack                  5
    Concord with oaths? What differ night and day
    Then, when before the Perjured on his way
    Hell opens, and the heavens in vengeance crack
    Above his head uplifted in vain prayer
    To Saint, or Fiend,[926] or to the Godhead whom                   10
    He had insulted--Peasant, King, or Thane?
    Fly where the culprit may, guilt meets a doom;
    And, from invisible worlds at need laid bare,
    Come links for social order's awful chain.


[923] _Description of the Western Islands of Scotland; including an
account of the Manners, Customs, Religion, Language, Dress, etc., of
the Inhabitants_, by M. Martin, 1703.--ED.

[924] In Johnson's _Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland_ the
following occurs in the section on "Icolmkill:"--"The place is said
to be known where the Black Stones lie concealed, on which the old
Highland chiefs, when they made contracts and alliances, used to take
the oath, which was considered more sacred than any other obligation,
and which could not be violated without the blackest infamy. In these
days of violence and rapine, it was of great importance to impose
upon savage minds the sanctity of an oath, by some particular and
extraordinary circumstances--they would not have recourse to the Black
Stones upon small or common occasions; and when they had established
their faith by this tremendous sanction, inconstancy and treachery were
no longer feared."--ED.

[925] 1835.

    Here on their knees, they swore, the stones were black,
    Black in men's minds and words, ...


[926] 1835.

    To saints, to fiends, ...




    Homeward we turn. Isle of Columba's Cell,
    Where Christian piety's soul-cheering spark
    (Kindled from Heaven between the light and dark
    Of time) shone like the morning-star, farewell!--
    And fare thee well, to Fancy visible,                              5
    Remote St. Kilda, lone and loved sea-mark[927]
    For many a voyage made in her swift bark,[928]
    When with more hues than in the rainbow dwell
    Thou a mysterious intercourse dost hold,
    Extracting from clear skies and air serene,                       10
    And out of sun-bright waves, a lucid veil,
    That thickens, spreads, and, mingling fold with fold,
    Makes known, when thou no longer canst be seen,
    Thy whereabout, to warn the approaching sail.


[927] St. Kilda is sixty miles to the north-west of Harris, in the
Outer Hebrides.--ED.

[928] 1837.

    ... farewell!--
    Remote St. Kilda, art thou visible?
    No--but farewell to thee, beloved sea-mark
    From many a voyage made in Fancy's bark, 1835.



                 Per me si va nella Città dolente.[929]

    _We_ have not passed into a doleful City,
    We who were led to-day down a grim dell,
    By some too boldly named "the Jaws of Hell:"[930]
    Where be the wretched ones, the sights for pity?
    These crowded streets resound no plaintive ditty:--                5
    As from the hive where bees in summer dwell,
    Sorrow seems here excluded; and that knell,
    It neither damps the gay, nor checks the witty.
    Alas! too busy Rival of old Tyre,[931]
    Whose merchants Princes were, whose decks were thrones;
    Soon may the punctual sea in vain respire                         11
    To serve thy need, in union with that Clyde
    Whose nursling current brawls o'er mossy stones,[932]
    The poor, the lonely, herdsman's joy and pride.


[929] See Dante, _Inferno_, iii. I.--ED.

[930] They came down from Inveraray to Loch Goil by Hell's Glen.--ED.

[931] 1837.

    Too busy Mart! thus fared it with old Tyre, 1835.

[932] Above Elvanfoot, near the watershed, at "Summit" on the
Caledonian Railway line, where the Clyde rises.--ED.



[Mosgiel was thus pointed out to me by a young man on the top of the
coach on my way from Glasgow to Kilmarnock. It is remarkable that,
though Burns lived some time here, and during much the most productive
period of his poetical life, he nowhere adverts to the splendid
prospects stretching towards the sea and bounded by the peaks of Arran
on one part, which in clear weather he must have had daily before
his eyes. In one of his poetical effusions he speaks of describing
"fair Nature's face" as a privilege on which he sets a high value;
nevertheless, natural appearances rarely take a lead in his poetry. It
is as a human being, eminently sensitive and intelligent, and not as a
poet, clad in his priestly robes and carrying the ensigns of sacerdotal
office, that he interests and affects us. Whether he speaks of rivers,
hills and woods, it is not so much on account of the properties with
which they are absolutely endowed, as relatively to local patriotic
remembrances and associations, or as they ministered to personal
feelings, especially those of love, whether happy or otherwise;--yet
it is not always so. Soon after we had passed Mosgiel Farm we crossed
the Ayr, murmuring and winding through a narrow woody hollow. His
line--"Auld hermit Ayr strays through his woods"--came at once to my
mind with Irwin, Lugar, Ayr, and Doon,--Ayrshire streams over which he
breathes a sigh as being unnamed in song; and surely his own attempts
to make them known were as successful as his heart could desire.--I. F.]

    "There!" said a Stripling, pointing with meet pride
    Towards a low roof with green trees half concealed,
    "Is Mosgiel Farm; and that's the very field
    Where Burns ploughed up the Daisy."[933] Far and wide
    A plain below stretched seaward, while, descried                   5
    Above sea-clouds, the Peaks of Arran rose;
    And, by that simple notice, the repose
    Of earth, sky, sea, and air, was vivified.
    Beneath "the random _bield_ of clod or stone"
    Myriads of daisies have shone forth in flower                     10
    Near the lark's nest, and in their natural hour
    Have passed away; less happy than the One
    That, by the unwilling ploughshare, died to prove
    The tender charm of poetry and love.


[933] See Burns's poem _To a Mountain Daisy_, or as it was originally
called, _The Gowan_.--ED.



                    ["Nature gives thee flowers
    That have no rivals among British bowers."

This can scarcely be true to the letter; but, without stretching the
point at all, I can say that the soil and air appear more congenial
with many upon the banks of this river than I have observed in any
other parts of Great Britain.--I. F.]

    Eden! till now thy beauty had I viewed
    By glimpses only, and confess with shame
    That verse of mine, whate'er its varying mood,
    Repeats but once the sound of thy sweet name:[934]
    Yet fetched from Paradise[935] that honour came,                   5
    Rightfully borne; for Nature gives thee flowers
    That have no rivals among British bowers;
    And thy bold rocks are worthy of their fame.[936]
    Measuring thy course, fair Stream! at length I pay[937]
    To my life's neighbour dues of neighbourhood;                     10
    But I have traced thee on thy winding way[938]
    With pleasure sometimes by this thought restrained
    For things far off we toil, while many a good[939]
    Not sought, because too near, is never gained.[940]


[934] 1835.

    Full long thy beauty, Eden, had I viewed,
    By glimpses only ...


    Eden! the Muse has wronged thee, be the shame
    Frankly acknowledged, in no careless mood
    Of memory, my verse have I reviewed
    And met but once the sound of thy sweet name:


[935] It is to be feared that there is more of the poet than the sound
etymologist in this derivation of the Eden. On the western coast of
Cumberland is a rivulet which enters the sea at Moresby, known also
in the neighbourhood by the name of Eden. May not the latter syllable
come from the word Dean, _a valley_? Langdale, near Ambleside, is by
the inhabitants called Langden. The former syllable occurs in the name
Emont, a principal feeder of the Eden; and the stream which flows,
when the tide is out, over Cartmel Sands, is called the Ea--French,
eau--Latin, aqua.--W. W. 1835.

[936] Especially on the upper reaches of the river, as seen from the
Midland Railway line beyond Appleby.--ED.

[937] 1835.

    Bright are the hours that prompt me now to pay


[938] 1835.

    Thee have I traced along thy winding way


[939] 1845.

    ... by the thought restrained
    That things far off are toiled for, while a good 1835.

    That for things far off we toil, while many a good 1840.

[940] 1840.

    ... is seldom gained 1835 and




(by Nollekens)


[Before this monument was put up in the Church at Wetheral, I saw it
in the sculptor's studio. Nollekens, who, by-the-bye, was a strange
and grotesque figure that interfered much with one's admiration of his
works, showed me at the same time the various models in clay which
he had made, one after another, of the Mother and her Infant: the
improvement on each was surprising; and how so much grace, beauty, and
tenderness had come out of such a head I was sadly puzzled to conceive.
Upon a window-seat in his parlour lay two casts of faces, one of the
Duchess of Devonshire, so noted in her day; and the other of Mr.
Pitt, taken after his death, a ghastly resemblance, as these things
always are, even when taken from the living subject, and more ghastly
in this instance from the peculiarity of the features. The heedless
and apparently neglectful manner in which the faces of these two
persons were left--the one so distinguished in London society, and the
other upon whose counsels and public conduct, during a most momentous
period, depended the fate of this great Empire and perhaps of all
Europe--afforded a lesson to which the dullest of casual visitors could
scarcely be insensible. It touched me the more because I had so often
seen Mr. Pitt upon his own ground at Cambridge and upon the floor of
the House of Commons.--I. F.]

    Stretched on the dying Mother's lap, lies dead
    Her new-born Babe; dire ending[941] of bright hope!
    But Sculpture here, with the divinest scope
    Of luminous faith, heavenward hath raised that head
    So patiently; and through one hand has spread                      5
    A touch so tender for the insensate Child--
    (Earth's lingering love to parting reconciled,
    Brief parting, for the spirit is all but fled)--
    That we, who contemplate the turns of life
    Through this still medium, are consoled and cheered;
    Feel with the Mother, think the severed Wife                      11
    Is less to be lamented than revered;
    And own that Art, triumphant over strife
    And pain, hath powers to Eternity endeared.


[941] 1845.

    ... issue ... 1835.



    Tranquillity! the sovereign aim wert thou
    In heathen schools of philosophic lore;[943]
    Heart-stricken by stern destiny of yore
    The Tragic Muse thee served with thoughtful vow;
    And what of hope Elysium could allow                               5
    Was fondly seized by Sculpture, to restore
    Peace to the Mourner. But when He who wore[944]
    The crown of thorns around his bleeding brow
    Warmed our sad being with celestial light,[945]
    _Then_ Arts which still had drawn a softening grace               10
    From shadowy fountains of the Infinite,
    Communed with that Idea face to face:
    And move around it now as planets run,
    Each in its orbit round the central Sun.


[942] In the edition of 1835 there is no title to this sonnet.

[943] #Ataraxia#, was the aim of Stoic, Epicurean, and Sceptic

[944] 1840.

    Peace to the Mourner's soul; but He who wore 1835.

[945] 1840.

    ... with his glorious light: 1835.

    Round our sad being shed celestial light, C.



[I became acquainted with the walks of Nunnery when a boy: they are
within easy reach of a day's pleasant excursion from the town of
Penrith, where I used to pass my summer holidays under the roof of my
maternal Grandfather. The place is well worth visiting; though, within
these few years, its privacy, and therefore the pleasure which the
scene is so well fitted to give, has been injuriously affected by walks
cut in the rocks on that side the stream which had been left in its
natural state.--I. F.]

    The floods are roused, and will not soon be weary;
    Down from the Pennine Alps[947] how fiercely sweeps
    Croglin, the stately Eden's tributary![948]
    He raves, or through some moody passage creeps
    Plotting new mischief--out again he leaps                          5
    Into broad light, and sends, through regions airy,[949]
    That voice which soothed the Nuns while on the steeps
    They knelt in prayer, or sang to blissful Mary.[950]
    That union ceased: then, cleaving easy walks
    Through crags, and smoothing paths beset with danger,
    Came studious Taste; and many a pensive stranger                  11
    Dreams on the banks, and to the river talks.
    What change shall happen next to Nunnery Dell?[951]
    Canal, and Viaduct, and Railway, tell![952]


[946] Nunnery; so named from the House for Benedictine Nuns established
by William Rufus.--ED.

[947] The chain of Crossfell[953]--W. W. 1835.

[948] The two streams of the Croglin and the Eden unite in the grounds
of Nunnery.--ED.

[949] 1835.

    Seeking in vain broad light, and regions aery.


[950] 1835.

    But with that voice which once high on his steeps
    Mingled with vespers, sung to blissful Mary--


[951] 1835.

    ... to Croglin Dell?


[952] At Corby, a few miles below Nunnery, the Eden is crossed by a
magnificent viaduct; and another of these works is thrown over a deep
glen or ravine at a very short distance from the main stream.--W. W.

[953] 1845.

    which parts Cumberland and Westmoreland from Northumberland
    and Durham. 1835.



    Motions and Means, on land and sea[954] at war
    With old poetic feeling, not for this,
    Shall ye, by Poets even, be judged amiss!
    Nor shall your presence, howsoe'er it mar
    The loveliness of Nature, prove a bar                              5
    To the Mind's gaining that prophetic sense
    Of future change, that point of vision, whence
    May be discovered what in soul ye are.
    In spite of all that beauty may disown
    In your harsh features, Nature doth embrace                       10
    Her lawful offspring in Man's art; and Time,
    Pleased with your triumphs o'er his brother Space,
    Accepts from your bold hands the proffered crown
    Of hope, and smiles on you with cheer sublime.[955]


[954] 1835.

    ... on sea or land ...

    Version in _The Morning Post_.

[955] Compare the Sonnet _On the Projected Kendal and Windermere
Railway_, written in 1844.--ED.



             Composed, _probably_, in 1821.--Published 1822

    A weight of awe, not easy to be borne,
    Fell suddenly upon my Spirit--cast
    From the dread bosom of the unknown past,
    When first I saw that family forlorn.[957]
    Speak Thou, whose massy strength and stature scorn[958]
    The power of years--pre-eminent, and placed                        6
    Apart, to overlook the circle vast--
    Speak, Giant-mother! tell it to the Morn
    While she dispels the cumbrous shades of Night;
    Let the Moon hear, emerging from a cloud;                         10
    At whose behest uprose on British ground
    That Sisterhood, in hieroglyphic round
    Forth-shadowing, some have deemed, the infinite
    The inviolable God, that tames the proud![959][960]


[956] It first appeared in _A Description of the Scenery of the Lakes
in the North of England_, third edition, 1822.--ED.

[957] 1837.

    ....that Sisterhood forlorn. 1822.

[958] 1837.

    And him, whose strength and stature seems to scorn 1822.

[959] The daughters of Long Meg, placed in a perfect circle eighty
yards in diameter, are seventy-two in number above ground; a little way
out of the circle stands Long Meg herself, a single stone, eighteen
feet high. When I first saw this monument, as I came upon it by
surprise, I might over-rate its importance as an object; but, though it
will not bear a comparison with Stonehenge, I must say, I have not seen
any other relique of those dark ages, which can pretend to rival it in
singularity and dignity of appearance.--W. W. 1837.

The text of this note, in the edition of 1822, is slightly

In a letter to Sir George Beaumont, January 6, 1821, Wordsworth wrote,
"My road brought me suddenly and unexpectedly upon that ancient
monument, called by the country people Long Meg and her Daughters.
Everybody has heard of it, and so had I from very early childhood; but
had never seen it before. Next to Stonehenge it is beyond dispute the
most noble relic of the kind that this or probably any other country
contains. Long Meg is a single block of unhewn stone, eighteen feet
high, at a small distance from a vast circle of other stones, some of
them of huge size, though curtailed of their stature, by their own
incessant pressure upon it." Compare a note in Wordsworth's _Guide to
the Scenery of the Lakes_, section 2.--ED.

[960] 1837.

    When, how, and wherefore, rose on British ground
    That wondrous Monument, whose mystic round
    Forth shadows, some have deemed, to mortal sight
    The inviolable God that tames the proud! 1822.



["Cathedral pomp." It may be questioned whether this union was in the
contemplation of the artist when he planned the edifice. However this
might be, a poet may be excused for taking the view of the subject
presented in this Sonnet.--I. F.]

    Lowther! in thy majestic Pile are seen[962]
    Cathedral pomp and grace, in apt accord[963]
    With the baronial castle's sterner mien;[964]
    Union significant of God adored,
    And charters won and guarded by the sword                          5
    Of ancient honour; whence that goodly state
    Of polity which wise men venerate,[965]
    And will maintain, if God his help afford.
    Hourly the democratic torrent swells;[966]
    For airy promises and hopes suborned                              10
    The strength of backward-looking thoughts is scorned.
    Fall if ye must, ye Towers and Pinnacles,
    With what ye symbolise; authentic Story
    Will say, Ye disappeared with England's Glory!


[961] There was no title in the edition of 1835.

[962] 1835.

    ... in thy magnificence are seen


[963] 1835.

    Shapes of cathedral pomp that well accord


[964] The present Castle was begun in 1808. It is in the style of the
13th and 14th century structures. The arched corridors surrounding the
staircase--which is sixty feet square and ninety feet high--may justify
the description in the sonnet. These stone corridors open on each side,
through the centre of the castle. Compare the reference to Lowther in
Barren's _Travels in China_, p. 134, in the course of his description
of "Gehol's matchless gardens," referred to in _The Prelude_, book
viii. (vol. iii. p. 274.)--ED.

[965] The Lowther family have been, for generations, the
representatives of the Conservative cause in Cumberland.--ED.

[966] 1835.

    But high the democratic torrent swells.




"Magistratus indicat virum."

    Lonsdale! it were unworthy of a Guest,
    Whose heart with gratitude to thee inclines,
    If he should speak, by fancy touched, of signs
    On thy Abode harmoniously imprest,
    Yet be unmoved with wishes to attest                               5
    How in thy mind and moral frame agree
    Fortitude, and that Christian Charity
    Which, filling, consecrates the human breast.
    And if the Motto on thy 'scutcheon teach
    _That_ searching test thy public course has stood;[967]           11
    As will be owned alike by bad and good,
    Soon as the measuring of life's little span
    Shall place thy virtues out of Envy's reach.[968]


[967] 1835.

    Lonsdale! it were unworthy of a Guest,
    One chiefly well aware how much he owes
    To thy regard, to speak in verse or prose
    Of types and signs harmoniously imprest
    On thy Abode, neglecting to attest
    That in thy Mansion's Lord as well agree
    Meekness and strength and Christian charity,
    That filling, consecrates the human breast.
    And if, as thy armorial bearings teach,
    "The Magistracy indicates the Man,"
    That test thy life triumphantly has stood;


[968] This sonnet was written immediately after certain trials, which
took place at the Cumberland Assizes, when the Earl of Lonsdale, in
consequence of repeated and long-continued attacks upon his character,
through the local press, had thought it right to prosecute the
conductors and proprietors of three several journals. A verdict of
libel was given in one case; and, in the others, the prosecutions were
withdrawn, upon the individuals retracting and disavowing the charges,
expressing regret that they had been made, and promising to abstain
from the like in future.--W. W. 1835.



[This poem might be dedicated to my friends, Sir G. Beaumont and Mr.
Rogers jointly. While we were making an excursion together in this
part of the Lake District we heard that Mr. Glover, the artist, while
lodging at Lyulph's Tower, had been disturbed by a loud shriek, and
upon rising he had learnt that it had come from a young woman in the
house who was in the habit of walking in her sleep. In that state she
had gone down stairs, and, while attempting to open the outer door,
either from some difficulty or the effect of the cold stone upon her
feet, had uttered the cry which alarmed him. It seemed to us all that
this might serve as a hint for a poem, and the story here told was
constructed and soon after put into verse by me as it now stands.--I.

    List, ye who pass by Lyulph's Tower[970][971]
      At eve; how softly then
    Doth Aira-force, that torrent hoarse,
      Speak from the woody glen![972]
    Fit music for a solemn vale!                                       5
      And holier seems the ground[973]
    To him who catches[974] on the gale
    The spirit of a mournful tale,
      Embodied in the sound.

    Not far from that fair site whereon                               10
      The Pleasure-house is reared,
    As story says, in antique days
      A stern-brow'd house appeared;
    Foil to a Jewel rich in light
      There set, and guarded well;                                    15
    Cage for a Bird of plumage bright,
    Sweet-voiced, nor wishing for a flight
      Beyond her native dell.

    To win this bright Bird from her cage,
      To make this Gem their own,                                     20
    Came Barons bold, with store of gold,
      And Knights of high renown;
    But one She prized, and only one;
      Sir Eglamore was he;
    Full happy season, when was known,                                25
    Ye Dales and Hills! to you alone
      Their mutual loyalty--[975]

    Known chiefly, Aira! to thy glen,
      Thy brook, and bowers of holly;
    Where Passion caught what Nature taught,                          30
      That all but love is folly;
    Where Fact with Fancy stooped to play;
      Doubt came not, nor regret--
    To trouble hours that winged their way,
    As if through an immortal day                                     35
      Whose sun could never set.

    But in old times[976] Love dwelt not long
      Sequester'd with repose;
    Best throve the fire of chaste desire,
      Fanned by the breath of foes.                                   40
    "A conquering lance is beauty's test,
      And proves the Lover true;"
    So spake Sir Eglamore, and pressed
    The drooping Emma[977] to his breast,
      And looked a blind adieu.                                       45

    They parted.--Well with him it fared
      Through wide-spread regions errant;
    A knight of proof in love's behoof,
      The thirst of fame his warrant:
    And She her happiness[978] can build                              50
      On woman's quiet hours;
    Though faint, compared with spear and shield,
    The solace beads and masses yield,
      And needlework and flowers.

    Yet blest was Emma[979] when she heard                            55
      Her Champion's praise recounted;
    Though brain would swim, and eyes grow dim,
      And high her blushes mounted;
    Or when a bold heroic lay
      She warbled from full heart;                                    60
    Delightful blossoms for the _May_
    Of absence! but they will not stay,
      Born only to depart.

    Hope wanes with her, while lustre fills
      Whatever path he chooses;                                       65
    As if his orb, that owns no curb,
      Received the light hers loses.
    He comes not back; an ampler space
      Requires for nobler deeds;
    He ranges on from place to place,                                 70
    Till of his doings is no trace,
      But what her fancy breeds.

    His fame may spread, but in the past
      Her spirit finds its centre;
    Clear sight She has of what he was,                               75
      And that would now content her.
    "Still is he my devoted Knight?"
      The tear in answer flows;
    Month falls on month with heavier weight;
    Day sickens round her, and the night                              80
      Is empty of repose.

    In sleep She sometimes walked abroad,
      Deep sighs with quick words blending,
    Like that pale Queen whose hands are seen
      With fancied spots contending;[980]                             85
    But _she_ is innocent of blood,--
      The moon is not more pure
    That shines aloft, while through the wood
    She thrids her way, the sounding Flood
      Her melancholy lure!                                            90

    While 'mid the fern-brake sleeps the doe,
      And owls alone are waking,
    In white arrayed, glides on the Maid
      The downward pathway taking,
    That leads her to the torrent's side                              95
      And to a holly bower;
    By whom on this still night descried?
    By whom in that lone place espied?
      By thee, Sir Eglamore![981]

    A wandering Ghost, so thinks the Knight,                         100
      His coming step has thwarted,
    Beneath the boughs that heard their vows,
      Within whose shade they parted.
    Hush, hush, the busy Sleeper see!
      Perplexed her fingers seem,                                    105
    As if they from the holly tree
    Green twigs would pluck, as rapidly
      Flung from her to the stream.

    What means the Spectre? Why intent
      To violate the Tree,                                           110
    Thought Eglamore, by which I swore
      Unfading constancy?
    Here am I, and to-morrow's sun,
      To her I left, shall prove
    That bliss is ne'er so surely won                                115
    As when a circuit has been run
      Of valour, truth, and love.

    So from the spot whereon he stood,
      He moved with stealthy pace;
    And, drawing nigh, with his living eye,[982]                     120
      He recognised the face;
    And whispers caught, and speeches small,
      Some to the green-leaved tree,
    Some muttered to the torrent-fall;--
    "Roar on, and bring him with thy call;                           125
      I heard, and so may He!"

    Soul-shattered was the Knight, nor knew
      If Emma's Ghost[983] it were,
    Or boding Shade, or if the Maid
      Her very self stood there.                                     130
    He touched; what followed who shall tell?
      The soft touch snapped the thread
    Of slumber--shrieking back she fell,
    And the Stream whirled her down the dell
      Along its foaming bed.                                         135

    In plunged the Knight!--when on firm ground
      The rescued Maiden lay,
    Her eyes grew bright with blissful light,
      Confusion passed away;
    She heard, ere to the throne of grace                            140
      Her faithful Spirit flew,
    His voice--beheld his speaking face;
    And, dying, from his own embrace,
      She felt that he was true.

    So was he reconciled to life:                                    145
      Brief words may speak the rest;[984]
    Within the dell he built a cell,
      And there was Sorrow's guest;
    In hermits' weeds repose he found,
      From vain temptations[985] free;[986]                          150
    Beside the torrent dwelling--bound
    By one deep heart-controlling sound,
      And awed to piety.

    Wild stream of Aira, hold thy course,
      Nor fear memorial lays,                                        155
    Where clouds that spread in solemn shade,
      Are edged with golden rays!
    Dear art thou to the light of heaven,
      Though minister of sorrow;
    Sweet is thy voice at pensive even;                              160
    And thou, in lovers' hearts forgiven,
      Shalt take thy place with Yarrow!

This poem was translated into Latin verse by the poet's son, and
published in the second edition of _Yarrow Revisited, and other
Poems_, 1835.--ED.


[969] The original title of the Poem (in MS.) was

                             _Aira Force,_
                       _Sir Eglamore and Elva._

There were no changes of text in the published editions of this poem.
The various readings given are from MS. copies of the poem, in Mrs.
Wordsworth's handwriting.--ED.

[970] 1835.

    'Tis sweet to stand by Lyulph's Tower


[971] A pleasure-house built by the late Duke of Norfolk upon the
banks of Ullswater. FORCE is the word used in the Lake District for
Waterfall.--W. W. 1835.

[972] Compare _Airey-Force Valley_--

                            the brook itself,
    Old as the hills that feed it from afar,
    Doth rather deepen than disturb the calm, etc.--ED.

[973] 1835.

    To rudest shepherd of the vale
      The spot seems holy ground;


[974] 1835.

    For he can catch....


[975] 1835.

    Their true love's sanctity--


[976] 1835.

    But in that age ...


[977] 1835.

    ... Elva ...


[978] 1835.

    She, too, a happiness ...


[979] 1835.

    ... Elva ...


[980] See _Macbeth_, act IV. scene V.--ED.

[981] 1835.

    The knight, Sir Eglamore.


[982] 1835.

    ... with living eye,


[983] 1835.

    If Elva's Ghost ...


[984] 1835.

    In plunged the Knight--he strove in vain.
      Brief words may speak the rest;


[985] 1835.

    ... temptation ...


[986] Compare the _Ode to Duty_, vol. iii. p. 37:--

    From vain temptations dost set free--ED.


TO CORDELIA M----[987]

                         HALLSTEADS, ULLSWATER

    Not in the mines beyond the western main,
    You say, Cordelia,[988] was the metal sought,
    Which a fine skill, of Indian growth, has wrought
    Into this flexible yet faithful Chain;
    Nor is it silver of romantic Spain                                 5
    But from our loved Helvellyn's[989] depths was brought,
    Our own domestic mountain. Thing and thought
    Mix strangely; trifles light, and partly vain,
    Can prop, as you have learnt, our nobler being:
    Yes, Lady, while about your neck is wound                         10
    (Your casual glance oft meeting) this bright cord,
    What witchery, for pure gifts of inward seeing,
    Lurks in it, Memory's Helper, Fancy's Lord,
    For precious tremblings in your bosom found!


[987] Cordelia Marshall.--ED.

[988] 1845.

    You tell me, Delia!... 1835.

[989] 1845.

    You say but from Helvellyn's ... 1835.



    Most sweet it is with unuplifted eyes
    To pace the ground, if path be there or none,
    While a fair region round the traveller lies[991]
    Which he forbears again to look upon;
    Pleased rather with some soft ideal scene,                         5
    The work of Fancy, or some happy tone
    Of meditation, slipping in between
    The beauty coming and the beauty gone.[992]
    If Thought and Love desert us, from that day
    Let us break off all commerce with the Muse:                      10
    With Thought and Love companions of our way,
    Whate'er the senses take or may refuse,
    The Mind's internal heaven shall shed her dews
    Of inspiration on the humblest lay.


[990] The title to this sonnet, in the editions previous to 1845, was

[991] 1835.

    While round the conscious traveller beauty lies


[992] 1835.

    Pleased rather with that soothing after-tone
    Whose seat is in the mind, occasion's Queen!
    Else Nature's noblest objects were I ween
    A yoke endured, a penance undergone.



The Poems of 1834 include four of the _Evening Voluntaries_, _The
Labourer's Noon-day Hymn_, and the stanzas to _The Redbreast_.--ED.


                     Composed 1834.--Published 1835

[The lines following "nor do words" were written with Lord Byron's
character as a poet before me, and that of others his contemporaries
who wrote under like influences.--I. F.]

     One of the "Evening Voluntaries."--ED.

    Not in the lucid intervals of life
    That come but as a curse to party-strife;
    Not in some hour when Pleasure with a sigh
    Of languor puts his rosy garland by;
    Not in the breathing-times of that poor slave                      5
    Who daily piles up wealth in Mammon's cave--
    Is Nature felt, or can be; nor do words,
    Which practised talent[993] readily affords,
    Prove that her hand has touched responsive chords;
    Nor has her gentle beauty power to move                           10
    With genuine rapture and with fervent love
    The soul of Genius, if he dare[994] to take
    Life's rule from passion craved for passion's sake;
    Untaught that meekness is the cherished bent
    Of all the truly great and all the innocent.                      15

      But who _is_ innocent? By grace divine,
    Not otherwise, O Nature! we are thine,
    Through good and evil thine, in just degree
    Of rational and manly sympathy.                                   19
    To all that Earth from pensive hearts is stealing,
    And Heaven is now to gladdened eyes revealing,
    Add every charm the Universe can show
    Through every change its aspects undergo--
    Care may be respited, but not repealed;
    No perfect cure grows on that bounded field.                      25
    Vain is the pleasure, a false calm the peace,
    If He, through whom alone our conflicts cease,
    Our virtuous hopes without relapse advance,
    Come not to speed the Soul's deliverance;
    To the distempered Intellect refuse                               30
    His gracious help, or give what we abuse.


[993] See the Fenwick note.--ED.

[994] 1837.

    ... dares ... 1835.


                     Composed 1834.--Published 1835

One of the "Evening Voluntaries."--ED.

    The linnet's warble, sinking towards a close,
    Hints to the thrush 'tis time for their repose;
    The shrill-voiced thrush is heedless, and again
    The monitor revives his own sweet strain;
    But both will soon be mastered, and the copse                      5
    Be left as silent as the mountain-tops,
    Ere some commanding star[995] dismiss to rest
    The throng of rooks, that now, from twig or nest,
    (After a steady flight on home-bound wings,
    And a last game of mazy hoverings                                 10
    Around their ancient grove) with cawing noise
    Disturb the liquid music's equipoise.

      O Nightingale! Who ever heard thy song
    Might here be moved, till Fancy grows so strong
    That listening sense is pardonably cheated                        15
    Where wood or stream by thee was never greeted.[996]
    Surely, from fairest spots of favoured lands,
    Were not some gifts withheld by jealous hands,
    This hour of deepening darkness here would be
    As a fresh morning for new harmony;                               20
    And lays as prompt would hail the dawn of Night:
    A _dawn_ she has both beautiful and bright,
    When the East kindles with the full moon's light;[997]
    Not like the rising sun's impatient glow
    Dazzling the mountains, but an overflow                           25
    Of solemn splendour, in mutation slow.

      Wanderer by spring with gradual progress led,
    For sway profoundly felt as widely spread;
    To king, to peasant, to rough sailor, dear,
    And to the soldier's trumpet-wearied ear;                         30
    How welcome wouldst thou be to this green Vale
    Fairer than Tempe![998] Yet, sweet Nightingale!
    From the warm breeze that bears thee on, alight
    At will, and stay thy migratory flight;
    Build, at thy choice, or sing, by pool or fount,                  35
    Who shall complain, or call thee to account?
    The wisest, happiest, of our kind are they
    That ever walk content with Nature's way,
    God's goodness--measuring bounty as it may;
    For whom the gravest thought of what they miss,                   40
    Chastening the fulness of a present bliss,
    Is with that wholesome office satisfied,
    While unrepining sadness is allied
    In thankful bosoms to a modest pride.


[995] Compare the _Lines, composed at Grasmere_ in 1806 (vol iv. p.
48), when Mr. Fox's death was hourly expected--

    Yon star upon the mountain-top
    Is listening quietly.--ED.

[996] The nightingale is not usually heard in England farther north
than the valley of the Trent.

Compare _The Excursion_, book iv. l. 1167 (vol. v. p. 188); also the
lines (vol. iv, p. 67) beginning--

    O Nightingale! thou surely art
    A creature of a "fiery heart."--ED.

[997] 1837.

    ... moon's light.
    Wanderer by ... 1835.

[998] The Thessalian valley, five miles long, from Olympus to Ossa,
through which the Peneus makes its way to the Ægean sea.--ED.


                     Composed 1834.--Published 1835

One of the "Evening Voluntaries."--ED.

    Soft as a cloud is yon blue Ridge--the Mere[999]
    Seems firm as solid crystal, breathless, clear,
    And motionless; and, to the gazer's eye,
    Deeper than ocean, in the immensity
    Of its vague mountains and unreal sky!                             5
    But, from the process in that still retreat,
    Turn to minuter changes at our feet;
    Observe how dewy Twilight has withdrawn
    The crowd of daisies from the shaven lawn,
    And has restored to view its tender green,                        10
    That, while the sun rode high, was lost beneath their dazzling sheen.
    --An emblem this of what the sober Hour
    Can do for minds disposed to feel its power!
    Thus oft, when we in vain have wish'd away
    The petty pleasures of the garish day,                            15
    Meek eve shuts up the whole usurping host
    (Unbashful dwarfs each glittering at his post)
    And leaves the disencumbered spirit free
    To reassume a staid simplicity.

      'Tis well--but what are helps of time and place,                20
    When wisdom stands in need of nature's grace;
    Why do good thoughts, invoked or not, descend,
    Like Angels from their bowers, our virtues to befriend;
    If yet To-morrow, unbelied, may say,
    "I come to open out, for fresh display,                           25
    The elastic vanities of yesterday?"


[999] The "mere" was probably Rydal, and the "ridge" that of Silver


                     Composed 1834.--Published 1835

[Composed by the side of Grasmere lake. The mountains that enclose
the vale, especially towards Easdale, are most favorable to the
reverberation of sound. There is a passage in _The Excursion_ towards
the close of the fourth book, where the voice of the raven in flight is
traced through the modifications it undergoes, as I have often heard it
in that vale and others of this district.[1000]

                         "Often, at the hour
    When issue forth the first pale stars, is heard,
    Within the circuit of this fabric huge,
    One voice--the solitary raven."--I. F.]

One of the "Evening Voluntaries."--ED.

    The leaves that rustled on this oak-crowned hill,
    And sky that danced among those leaves, are still;
    Rest smooths the way for sleep; in field and bower
    Soft shades and dews have shed their blended power
    On drooping eyelid and the closing flower;                         5
    Sound is there none at which the faintest heart
    Might leap, the weakest nerve of superstition start;
    Save when the Owlet's unexpected scream
    Pierces the ethereal vault; and ('mid the gleam
    Of unsubstantial imagery, the dream,                              10
    From the hushed vale's realities, transferred
    To the still lake) the imaginative Bird
    Seems, 'mid inverted mountains, not unheard.

      Grave Creature!--whether, while the moon shines bright
    On thy wings opened wide for smoothest flight,                    15
    Thou art discovered in a roofless tower,
    Rising from what may once have been a lady's bower;
    Or spied where thou sitt'st moping in thy mew
    At the dim centre of a churchyard yew;
    Or, from a rifted crag or ivy tod                                 20
    Deep in a forest, thy secure abode,
    Thou giv'st, for pastime's sake, by shriek or shout,
    A puzzling notice of thy whereabout--
    May the night never come, nor[1001] day be seen,
    When I shall scorn thy voice or mock thy mien!                    25

      In classic ages men perceived a soul
    Of sapience in thy aspect, headless Owl!
    Thee Athens reverenced in the studious grove;[1002]
    And, near the golden sceptre grasped by Jove,
    His Eagle's favourite perch, while round him sate                 30
    The Gods revolving the decrees of Fate,
    Thou, too, wert present at Minerva's side:
    Hark to that second larum!--far and wide
    The elements have heard, and rock and cave replied.


[1000] See also the extract from Dorothy Wordsworth's Journal, in the
note to _The Excursion_ (vol. v. p. 189).--ED.

[1001] 1837.

    ... the ... 1835.

[1002] The owl became the emblem of Athens--and was associated with
Minerva--because the birds abounded there.--ED.


                     Composed 1834.--Published 1835

[Bishop Ken's Morning and Evening Hymns are, as they deserve to be,
familiarly known. Many other hymns have also been written on the
same subject; but, not being aware of any designed for noon-day,
I was induced to compose these verses. Often one has occasion to
observe cottage children carrying, in their baskets, dinner to their
Fathers engaged with their daily labours in the fields and woods.
How gratifying would it be to me could I be assured that any portion
of these stanzas had been sung by such a domestic concert under such
circumstances. A friend of mine has told me that she introduced this
Hymn into a village-school which she superintended, and the stanzas
in succession furnished her with texts to comment upon in a way which
without difficulty was made intelligible to the children, and in which
they obviously took delight, and they were taught to sing it to the
tune of the old 100th Psalm.--I.F.]

One of the "Poems of Sentiment and Reflection."--ED.

    Up to the throne of God is borne
    The voice of praise at early morn,
    And he accepts the punctual hymn
    Sung as the light of day grows dim.

    Nor will he turn his ear aside                                     5
    From holy offerings at noontide.
    Then here reposing let us raise
    A song of gratitude and praise.

    What though our burthen be not light,
    We need not toil from morn to night;                              10
    The respite of the mid-day hour
    Is in the thankful Creature's power.

    Blest are the moments, doubly blest,
    That, drawn from this one hour of rest,
    Are with a ready heart bestowed                                   15
    Upon the service of our God!

    Each field is then a hallowed spot,[1003]
    An altar is in each man's cot,
    A church in every grove that spreads
    Its living roof above our heads.                                  20

    Look up to Heaven! the industrious Sun
    Already half his race hath run;
    _He_ cannot halt nor go astray,
    But our immortal Spirits may.

    Lord! since his rising in the East,                               25
    If we have faltered or transgressed,
    Guide, from thy love's abundant source,
    What yet remains of this day's course:

    Help with thy grace, through life's short day,
    Our upward and our downward way;                                  30
    And glorify for us the west,
    When we shall sink to final rest.


[1003] 1845.

    Why should we crave a hallowed spot? 1835.



                     Composed 1834.--Published 1835

[Written at Rydal Mount. All our cats having been banished the house,
it was soon frequented by redbreasts. Two or three of them, when the
window was open, would come in, particularly when Mrs. Wordsworth was
breakfasting alone, and hop about the table picking up the crumbs. My
sister being then confined to her room by sickness, as, dear creature,
she still is, had one that, without being caged, took up its abode with
her, and at night used to perch upon a nail from which a picture had
hung. It used to sing and fan her face with its wings in a manner that
was very touching.--I.F.]

One of the "Poems founded on the Affections."--ED.

    Driven in by Autumn's sharpening air
    From half-stripped woods and pastures bare,
    Brisk Robin seeks a kindlier home:
    Not like a beggar is he come,
    But enters as a looked-for guest,                                  5
    Confiding in his ruddy breast,
    As if it were a natural shield
    Charged with a blazon on the field,
    Due to that good and pious deed
    Of which we in the Ballad read.                                   10
    But pensive fancies putting by,
    And wild-wood sorrows, speedily
    He plays the expert ventriloquist;
    And, caught by glimpses now--now missed,
    Puzzles the listener with a doubt                                 15
    If the soft voice he throws about
    Comes from within doors or without!
    Was ever such a sweet confusion,
    Sustained by delicate illusion?
    He's at your elbow--to your feeling                               20
    The notes are from the floor or ceiling;
    And there's a riddle to be guessed,
    'Till you have marked his heaving chest,
    And busy throat whose sink and swell,[1004]
    Betray the Elf that loves to dwell                                25
    In Robin's bosom, as a chosen cell.

      Heart-pleased we smile upon the Bird
    If seen, and with like pleasure stirred
    Commend him, when he's only heard.
    But small and fugitive our gain                                   30
    Compared with _hers_[1005] who long hath lain,
    With languid limbs and patient head
    Reposing on a lone sick-bed;
    Where now, she[1006] daily hears a strain
    That cheats her[1007] of too busy cares,                          35
    Eases her pain, and helps her prayers.[1008]
    And who but this dear Bird beguiled
    The fever of that pale-faced Child;
    Now cooling, with his passing wing,
    Her forehead, like a breeze of Spring:                            40
    Recalling now, with descant soft
    Shed round her pillow from aloft,
    Sweet thoughts of angels hovering nigh,
    And the invisible sympathy
    Of "Matthew, Mark, and Luke, and John,                            45
    Blessing the bed she lies upon?"[1009]
    And sometimes, just as listening ends
    In slumber, with the cadence blends
    A dream of that low-warbled hymn
    Which old folk, fondly pleased to trim                            50
    Lamps of faith, now burning dim,
    Say that the Cherubs carved in stone,
    When clouds gave way at dead of night
    And the ancient church was filled with light,[1010]
    Used to sing in heavenly tone,                                    55
    Above and round the sacred places
    They guard, with winged baby-faces.

      Thrice happy Creature! in all lands
    Nurtured by hospitable hands:
    Free entrance to this cot has he,                                 60
    Entrance and exit both _yet_ free;
    And, when the keen unruffled weather
    That thus brings man and bird together,
    Shall with its pleasantness be past,
    And casement closed and door made fast,                           65
    To keep at bay the howling blast,
    _He_ needs not fear the season's rage,
    For the whole house is Robin's cage.
    Whether the bird flit here or there,
    O'er table _lilt_, or perch on chair,                             70
    Though some may frown and make a stir,
    To scare him as a trespasser,
    And he belike will flinch or start,
    Good friends he has to take his part;
    One chiefly, who with voice and look                              75
    Pleads for him from the chimney-nook,
    Where sits the Dame, and wears away
    Her long and vacant holiday;
    With images about her heart,
    Reflected from the years gone by,                                 80
    On human nature's second infancy.


[1004] 1836.

    ... breast,
    Where tiny sinking, and faint swell, 1835.

[1005] 1845.

    ... _his_ ... 1835.

[1006] 1845.

    ... he ... 1835.

[1007] 1845.

    ... him ... 1835.

[1008] 1845.

    Eases his pain, and helps his prayers. 1835.

[1009] The words--

    "Matthew, Mark, and Luke, and John,
    Bless the bed that I lie on,"

are part of a child's prayer, still in general use through the northern
counties.--W. W. 1835.

[1010] 1836.

    And the moon filled the church with light, 1835.


(1) p. 35. _How soon--alas! etc._

    The following version is written in the late Lord Coleridge's
      copy of the Poems:--

    Alas! full soon did man created pure,
    By Angels guarded, deviate from the line
    Of innocence, and woeful forfeiture
    Incur by wilful breach of law divine.
    Even so Christ's church, how prone was she to appear
    Obedient to her Lord, how prompt to twine
    'Mid glorious flowers that shall for aye endure,
    Weeds on whose front the world hath fixed her sign.
    So Man, if with thy trials thus it fares,
    And good can smooth the way to evil choice,
    From hasty censure be the mind kept free.
    He only judges right who weighs, compares,
    And in the sternest sentence, which his voice
    May utter, ne'er abandons Charity.


(2) p. 83. _Down a swift stream, etc._, l. 14--

    The manifold aspects of our sacred theme.


(3) p. 86. _Bishops and Priests_, _etc._, l. 1--

    ... how blessed ...


(4) p. 160, footnote [448]--

    The extract is from _The Shepherd and the Calm_, p. 113, in
      _Miscellany Poems on Several Occasions, written by a Lady,
      Anne Finch, Countesse of W._, 1713.

(5) p. 306. _Fancy and Tradition_, l. 4--

    Ere he took flight; the Sage in this alcove


(6) p. 307. _Fancy and Tradition_, l. 12--

    There is an ampler page from which to quote,


(7) p. 342. _Adieu, Rydalian Laurels_, _etc._, l. 2--

    As if not ignorant that days would come


(8) p. 358. _Stanzas suggested in a Steam-boat_, ll. 156-9--

    Would merge, Idolatress of formal skill,
    In her own systems, God's eternal will,
    To her, despising faith in things unseen,
    Matter and spirit are in one machine.


                            END OF VOL. VII

           _Printed by_ R. & R. CLARK, LIMITED, _Edinburgh_.

    Transcriber's Notes:

    Simple spelling, grammar, and typographical errors were

    Punctuation normalized.

    Anachronistic and non-standard spellings retained as printed.

    Italics markup is enclosed in _underscores_.

    Greek text is transliterated and enclosed in #number symbols#.

    Dagger symbol is denoted as [dagger].

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