By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: The Poetical Works of William Wordsworth, Vol. VI (of 8)
Author: Wordsworth, William
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Poetical Works of William Wordsworth, Vol. VI (of 8)" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.




    VOL. VI





    Laodamia                                                           1

    Memorials of a Tour in Scotland--

    The Brownie's Cell                                                16

    Composed at Cora Linn, in sight of Wallace's Tower                26

    Effusion, in the Pleasure-Ground on the Banks of the
    Bran, near Dunkeld                                                28

    "From the dark chambers of dejection freed"                       33

    Yarrow Visited                                                    35

    Lines written on a blank leaf in a copy of the author's poem
    _The Excursion_, upon hearing of the death of the late Vicar of
    Kendal                                                            40


    Dedication to the White Doe of Rylstone                           42

    Artegal and Elidure                                               45

    To B.R. Haydon                                                    61

    November 1                                                        63

    September, 1815                                                   64

    "The fairest, brightest, hues of ether fade"                      65

    "Weak is the will of Man, his judgment blind"                     67

    "Hail, Twilight, sovereign of one peaceful hour!"                 67

    "The Shepherd, looking eastward, softly said"                     68

    "Even as a dragon's eye that feels the stress"                    69

    "Mark the concentred hazels that enclose"                         71

    "Surprised by joy--impatient as the Wind"                         72


    Ode. The Morning of the Day appointed for a General Thanksgiving.
    January 18, 1816                                                  74

    Ode                                                               88

    Invocation to the Earth                                           95

    Ode                                                               96

    Ode                                                              104

    The French Army in Russia, 1812-13                               107

    On the Same Occasion                                             109

    Siege of Vienna raised by John Sobieski                          110

    Occasioned by the Battle of Waterloo                             111

    Occasioned by the Battle of Waterloo                             112

    "Emperors and Kings, how oft have temples rung"                  113

    Feelings of a French Royalist, on the Disinterment of the
     Remains of the Duke D'Enghien                                   114

    Dion                                                             116

    A Fact, and an Imagination; or, Canute and Alfred, on the
     Sea-shore                                                       130

    "A little onward lend thy guiding hand"                          132

    To -----, on her first Ascent to the Summit of Helvellyn         135


    Vernal Ode                                                       138

    Ode to Lycoris                                                   145

    To the Same                                                      149

    The Longest Day                                                  153

    Hint from the Mountains, for certain Political Pretenders        156

    The Pass of Kirkstone                                            158

    Lament of Mary Queen of Scots                                    162


    The Pilgrim's Dream; or, the Star and the Glow-worm              167

    Inscriptions supposed to be found in and near a Hermit's Cell    170

    Composed upon an Evening of Extraordinary Splendour and Beauty   176


    This, and the two following, were suggested by Mr. W. Westall's
     Views of the Caves, etc., in Yorkshire                          183

    Malham Cove                                                      184

    Gordale                                                          185

    Composed during a Storm                                          187

    "Aerial Rock--whose solitary brow"                               187

    The Wild Duck's Nest                                             189

    Written upon a blank leaf in "The Complete Angler"               190

    Captivity--Mary Queen of Scots                                   191

    To a Snow-Drop                                                   191

    "When haughty expectations prostrate lie"                        192

    To the River Derwent                                             193

    Composed in one of the Valleys of Westmoreland, on Easter
     Sunday                                                          194

    "Grief, thou hast lost an ever ready friend"                     195

    "I watch, and long have watched, with calm regret"               197

    "I heard (alas! 'twas only in a dream)"                          198

    The Haunted Tree                                                 199

    September, 1819                                                  201

    Upon the Same Occasion                                           202


    Composed on the Banks of a Rocky Stream                          208

    On the Death of His Majesty (George the Third)                   209

    "The stars are mansions built by Nature's hand"                  210

    To the Lady Mary Lowther                                         211

    On the Detraction which followed the Publication of a certain
     Poem                                                            212

    Oxford, May 30, 1820                                             213

    Oxford, May 30, 1820                                             214

    June, 1820                                                       214

    The Germans on the Heights of Hock Heim                          216

    A Parsonage in Oxfordshire                                       217

    To Enterprise                                                    218

    The River Duddon--

    To the Rev. Dr. Wordsworth                                       227

    "Not envying Latian shades--if yet they throw"                   230

    "Child of the clouds! remote from every taint"                   231

    "How shall I paint thee?--Be this naked stone"                   232

    "Take, cradled Nursling of the mountain, take"                   233

    "Sole listener, Duddon! to the breeze that played"               234

    Flowers                                                          235

    "Change me, some God, into that breathing rose!"                 237

    "What aspect bore the Man who roved or fled"                     237

    The Stepping-Stones                                              239

    The Same Subject                                                 240

    The Faëry Chasm                                                  241

    Hints for the Fancy                                              242

    Open Prospect                                                    243

    "O mountain Stream! the Shepherd and his Cot"                    245

    "From this deep chasm, where quivering sunbeams play"            245

    American Tradition                                               246

    Return                                                           248

    Seathwaite Chapel                                                249

    Tributary Stream                                                 250

    The Plain of Donnerdale                                          251

    "Whence that low voice?--A whisper from the heart"               252

    Tradition                                                        253

    Sheep-Washing                                                    253

    The Resting-Place                                                254

    "Methinks 'twere no unprecedented feat"                          255

    "Return, Content! for fondly I pursued"                          255

    "Fallen, and diffused into a shapeless heap"                     256

    Journey Renewed                                                  257

    "No record tells of lance opposed to lance"                      258

    "Who swerves from innocence, who makes divorce"                  260

    "The Kirk of Ulpha to the pilgrim's eye"                         260

    "Not hurled precipitous from steep to steep"                     261

    Conclusion                                                       262

    After-Thought                                                    263

    Postscript                                                       264

    Note to Sonnets XVII. and XVIII.                                 267

    Memoir of the Rev. Robert Walker                                 270

    Memorials of a Tour on the Continent--

    Dedication                                                       285

    Fish-women--on Landing at Calais                                 286

    Brugès                                                           288

    Brugès                                                           290

    After visiting the Field of Waterloo                             292

    Between Namur and Liege                                          293

    Aix-la-Chapelle                                                  295

    In the Cathedral at Cologne                                      297

    In a Carriage, upon the Banks of the Rhine                       299

    Hymn, for the Boatmen, as they approach the Rapids under the
     Castle of Heidelberg                                            301

    The Source of the Danube                                         303

    On approaching the Staubbach, Lauterbrunnen                      306

    The Fall of the Aar--Handec                                      308

    Memorial, near the Outlet of the Lake of Thun                    310

    Composed in one of the Catholic Cantons                          312

    After-Thought                                                    315

    Scene on the Lake of Brientz                                     315

    Engelberg, the Hill of Angels                                    316

    Our Lady of the Snow                                             318

    Effusion, in Presence of the Painted Tower of Tell, at Altorf    321

    The Town of Schwytz                                              324

    On hearing the "Ranz des Vaches" on the Top of
     the Pass of St. Gothard                                         326

    Fort Fuentes                                                     328

    The Church of San Salvador, seen from the Lake of Lugano         332

    The Italian Itinerant, and the Swiss Goatherd                    338

    The Last Supper, by Leonardo da Vinci, in the Refectory of the
     Convent of Maria della Grazia--Milan                            343

    The Eclipse of the Sun, 1820                                     345

    The Three Cottage Girls                                          351

    The Column intended by Buonaparte for a Triumphal Edifice in
     Milan, now lying by the wayside in the Simplon Pass             356

    Stanzas composed in the Simplon Pass                             357

    Echo, upon the Gemmi                                             360

    Processions. Suggested on a Sabbath Morning in the
     Vale of Chamouny                                                363

    Elegiac Stanzas                                                  371

    Sky-Prospect--From the Plain of France                           377

    On being Stranded near the Harbour of Boulogne                   378

    After Landing--the Valley of Dover, Nov. 1820                    380

    At Dover                                                         381

    Desultory Stanzas, upon receiving the preceding Sheets from the
     Press                                                           382


    Note A                                                           387

    Note B                                                           389

    ADDENDUM                                                         396



_The Excursion_--to which the fifth volume of this edition is
devoted--has been assigned to the year 1814; since it was finished, and
first published, in that year,--although commenced in 1795. During the
earlier stages of its composition, this poem was known, in the
Wordsworth household, as "The Pedlar"; and Dorothy Wordsworth tells us
in one of her letters to the Beaumonts, preserved amongst the Coleorton
MSS., that "The Pedlar" was finished at Christmas 1804. See also the
_Memoirs of Wordsworth_, by his nephew (vol. i. p. 304, etc.), and
Dorothy's Grasmere Journal, _passim_. But _The Excursion_, as we have it
now, was finished for press in 1814. The poems more immediately
belonging to that year are _Laodamia_, the _Memorials of a Tour in
Scotland_, _Dion_, and two Sonnets.--ED.


Composed 1814.--Published 1815.

[Written at Rydal Mount. The incident of the trees growing and withering
put the subject into my thoughts, and I wrote with the hope of giving it
a loftier tone than, so far as I know, has been given to it by any of
the Ancients who have treated of it. It cost me more trouble than almost
anything of equal length I have ever written.--I.F.]

In 1815 and 1820 this poem was one of those "founded on the Affections";
afterwards it was classed among the "Poems of the Imagination."--ED.

    "With sacrifice before the rising morn
    Vows have I made by fruitless hope inspired;
    And from the infernal Gods, 'mid shades forlorn
    Of night, my slaughtered Lord have I required:[1]
    Celestial pity I again implore;--                              5
    Restore him to my sight--great Jove, restore!"

    So speaking, and by fervent love endowed
    With faith, the Suppliant heaven-ward lifts her hands;
    While, like the sun emerging from a cloud,
    Her countenance brightens--and her eye expands;               10
    Her bosom heaves and spreads, her stature grows;
    And she expects the issue in repose.

    O terror! what hath she perceived?--O joy!
    What doth she look on?--whom doth she behold?
    Her Hero slain upon the beach of Troy?                        15
    His vital presence? his corporeal mould?
    It is--if sense deceive her not--'tis He!
    And a God leads him, wingèd Mercury!

    Mild Hermes spake--and touched her with his wand
    That calms all fear; "Such grace hath crowned thy prayer,     20
    Laodamía! that at Jove's command
    Thy Husband walks the paths of upper air:
    He comes to tarry with thee three hours' space;
    Accept the gift, behold him face to face!"

    Forth sprang the impassioned Queen her Lord to clasp;
    Again that consummation she essayed;                          26
    But unsubstantial Form eludes her grasp
    As often as that eager grasp was made.
    The Phantom parts--but parts to re-unite,
    And re-assume his place before her sight.                     30
    "Protesiláus, lo! thy guide is gone!
    Confirm, I pray, the vision with thy voice:
    This is our palace,--yonder is thy throne;
    Speak, and the floor thou tread'st on will rejoice.
    Not to appal me have the gods bestowed                        35
    This precious boon; and blest a sad abode."

    "Great Jove, Laodamía! doth not leave
    His gifts imperfect:--Spectre though I be,
    I am not sent to scare thee or deceive;
    But in reward of thy fidelity.                                40
    And something also did my worth obtain;
    For fearless virtue bringeth boundless gain.

    "Thou knowest, the Delphic oracle foretold
    That the first Greek who touched the Trojan strand
    Should die; but me the threat could[2] not withhold:
    A generous cause a victim did demand;                         46
    And forth I leapt upon the sandy plain;
    A self-devoted chief--by Hector slain."

    "Supreme of Heroes--bravest, noblest, best!
    Thy matchless courage I bewail no more,                       50
    Which[3] then, when tens of thousands were deprest
    By doubt, propelled thee to the fatal shore;
    Thou found'st--and I forgive thee--here thou art--
    A nobler counsellor than my poor heart.

    "But thou, though capable of sternest deed,                   55
    Wert kind as resolute, and good as brave;
    And he, whose power restores thee, hath decreed
    Thou should'st elude[4] the malice of the grave:
    Redundant are thy locks, thy lips as fair
    As when their breath enriched Thessalian air.                 60

    "No Spectre greets me,--no vain Shadow this;
    Come, blooming Hero, place thee by my side!
    Give, on this well known couch, one nuptial kiss
    To me, this day, a second time thy bride!"
    Jove frowned in heaven: the conscious Parcæ threw
    Upon those roseate lips a Stygian hue.                        66

    "This visage tells thee that my doom is past:
    Nor should the change be mourned, even if the joys[5]
    Of sense were able to return as fast
    And surely as they vanish. Earth destroys                     70
    Those raptures duly--Erebus disdains:
    Calm pleasures there abide--majestic pains.

    "Be taught, O faithful Consort, to control
    Rebellious passion: for the Gods approve
    The depth, and not the tumult, of the soul;                   75
    A fervent, not ungovernable, love.[6]
    Thy transports moderate; and meekly mourn
    When I depart, for brief is my sojourn--"

    "Ah, wherefore?--Did not Hercules by force
    Wrest from the guardian Monster of the tomb                   80
    Alcestis, a reanimated corse,
    Given back to dwell on earth in vernal bloom?[7]
    Medea's spells dispersed the weight of years,
    And Æson stood a youth 'mid youthful peers.

    "The Gods to us are merciful--and they                        85
    Yet further may relent: for mightier far
    Than strength of nerve and sinew, or the sway
    Of magic potent over sun and star,
    Is love, though oft to agony distrest,                        89
    And though his favourite seat be feeble woman's breast.

    "But if thou goest, I follow--" "Peace!" he said,--
    She looked upon him and was calmed and cheered;
    The ghastly colour from his lips had fled;
    In his deportment, shape, and mien, appeared
    Elysian beauty, melancholy grace,                             95
    Brought from a pensive though a happy place.

    He spake of love, such love as Spirits feel
    In worlds whose course is equable and pure;
    No fears to beat away--no strife to heal--
    The past unsighed for, and the future sure;                  100
    Spake of heroic arts in graver mood
    Revived, with finer harmony pursued;[8]

    Of all that is most beauteous--imaged there
    In happier beauty; more pellucid streams,
    An ampler ether, a diviner air,                              105
    And fields invested with purpureal gleams;
    Climes which the sun, who sheds the brightest day
    Earth knows, is all unworthy to survey.

    Yet there the Soul shall enter which hath earned
    That privilege by virtue.--"Ill," said he,                   110
    "The end of man's existence I discerned,
    Who from ignoble games and revelry
    Could draw, when we had parted, vain delight,
    While tears were thy best pastime, day and night;

    "And while my youthful peers before my eyes                  115
    (Each hero following his peculiar bent)
    Prepared themselves for glorious enterprise
    By martial sports,--or, seated in the tent,
    Chieftains and kings in council were detained;
    What time the fleet at Aulis lay enchained.[A]               120

    "The wished-for wind was given:--I then revolved
    The oracle, upon the silent sea;[9]
    And, if no worthier led the way, resolved
    That, of a thousand vessels, mine should be
    The foremost prow in pressing to the strand,--               125
    Mine the first blood that tinged the Trojan sand.

    "Yet bitter, oft-times bitter, was the pang
    When of thy loss I thought, belovèd Wife!
    On thee too fondly did my memory hang,
    And on the joys we shared in mortal life,--                  130
    The paths which we had trod--these fountains, flowers;
    My new-planned cities, and unfinished towers.

    "But should suspense permit the Foe to cry,
    'Behold they tremble!--haughty their array,
    Yet of their number no one dares to die?'                    135
    In soul I swept the indignity away:
    Old frailties then recurred:--but lofty thought,
    In act embodied, my deliverance wrought.

    "And Thou, though strong in love, art all too weak
    In reason, in self-government, too slow;                     140
    I counsel thee by fortitude to seek
    Our blest re-union in the shades below.
    The invisible world with thee hath sympathised;
    Be thy affections raised and solemnised.

    "Learn, by a mortal yearning, to ascend                      145
    Seeking[10] a higher object. Love was given,
    Encouraged, sanctioned, chiefly for that[11] end;
    For this the passion to excess was driven--
    That self might be annulled; her bondage prove
    The fetters of a dream, opposed to love."--                  150

    Aloud she shrieked! for Hermes re-appears!
    Round the dear Shade she would have clung--'tis vain:
    The hours are past--too brief had they been years;
    And him no mortal effort can detain:
    Swift, toward the realms that know not earthly day,          155
    He through the portal takes his silent way,
    And on the palace-floor a lifeless corse She lay.

    Thus, all in vain exhorted and reproved,
    She perished; and, as for a wilful crime,
    By the just Gods whom no weak pity moved,                    160
    Was doomed to wear out her appointed time,
    Apart from happy Ghosts, that gather flowers[12]
    Of blissful quiet 'mid unfading bowers.

    --Yet tears to human suffering are due;
    And mortal hopes defeated and o'erthrown                     165
    Are mourned by man, and not by man alone,
    As fondly he believes.--Upon the side
    Of Hellespont (such faith was entertained)
    A knot of spiry trees for ages grew
    From out the tomb of him for whom she died;                  170
    And ever, when such stature they had gained
    That Ilium's walls were subject to their view,
    The trees' tall summits withered at the sight;
    A constant interchange of growth and blight![C]

After meeting the Wordsworths at Charles Lamb's, on the 9th May 1815,
Henry Crabb Robinson wrote in his _Diary_: "It is the mere power which
he is conscious of exerting in which he delights, not the production of
a work in which men rejoice on account of the sympathies and
sensibilities it excites in them. Hence, he does not much esteem his
_Laodamia_, as it belongs to the inferior class of poems founded on the
affections." (See _Diary, Reminiscences, and Correspondence_, vol.
i. p. 482.)

Wordsworth wrote thus to Walter Savage Landor, from Rydal Mount, on the
21st of January 1824:--

     "You have condescended to minute criticism upon the _Laodamia_.[D]
     I concur with you in the first stanza, and had several times
     attempted to alter it upon your grounds. I cannot, however, accede
     to your objection to the 'second birth,' merely because the
     expression has been degraded by Conventiclers.[E] I certainly meant
     nothing more by it than the _eadem cura_, and the _largior æther_,
     etc., of Virgil's Sixth _Æneid_. All religions owe their origin or
     acceptation to the wish of the human heart to supply in another
     state of existence the deficiencies of this, and to carry still
     nearer to perfection what we admire in our present condition, so
     that there must be many modes of expression arising out of this
     coincidence, or rather identity of feeling common to all
     Mythologies; and under this observation I should shelter the phrase
     from your censure--but I may be wrong in the particular case,
     though certainly not in the general principle. This leads to a
     remark in your last--'that you are disgusted with all books that
     treat of religion.' I am afraid it is a bad sign in me, that I have
     little relish for any other. Even in poetry it is the imaginative
     only, viz., that which is conversant with or turns upon Infinity,
     that powerfully affects me. Perhaps I ought to explain: I mean to
     say that except in those passages, where things are lost in each
     other, and limits vanish, and aspirations are raised, I read with
     something too like indifference; but all great Poets are in this
     view powerful Religionists."

In 1815 Charles Lamb wrote to Wordsworth, "_Laodamia_ is a very original
poem; I mean original with reference to your own manner. You have
nothing like it. I should have seen it in a strange place, and greatly
admired it, but not suspected its derivation." (_The Letters of Charles
Lamb_, edited by Alfred Ainger, vol. i. p. 284.)

Mr. Hazlitt wrote of _Laodamia_: "It breathes the pure spirit of the
finest fragments of antiquity--the sweetness, the gravity, the strength,
the beauty, and the languor of Death. Its glossy brilliancy arises from
the perfection of the finishing, like that of careful sculpture, not
from gaudy colouring--the texture of the thoughts has the smoothness and
solidity of marble. It is a poem that might be read aloud in Elysium,
and the spirits of departed heroes and sages would gather round to
listen to it."

I am indebted to the Headmaster of Fettes College, Edinburgh, the Rev.
W. A. Heard, for the following illustrative notes on _Laodamia_:--

     "This poem illustrates more completely than any other the sympathy
     of the poet with the spirit of antiquity in its purest and most
     exalted forms. The idea that underlies the poem is the same
     conception of 'pietas' which Virgil has embodied in the _Æneid_,
     and with which he has associated, especially in the sixth book,
     which Wordsworth in many passages recalls, great ethical and
     religious conceptions, derived in the main from the philosophy of
     Plato. 'Pietas' embraces all the duties of life that are based upon
     the affections--love of home and parents and children, love of the
     Gods of our Fathers, and a reverence for that great order of things
     in which man finds himself a part. The pious man believes in a
     destiny, or order transcending his own will: to exalt any passion,
     however innocent, above this, is a rebellion; to intensify any
     passion, so as to disturb the appropriate calm of resignation, is
     to act irreverently against the gods. Lesser duties must give way
     to greater: love of wife must give way to love of country, and the
     sorrow of bereavement must not obscure the larger issues of life.
     Thus, not only did Laodamia's yearning for the restoration of her
     husband to life show a failure to recognise the fixity of eternal
     laws, but her death was 'ὑπὲρ μόρον' and in reason's
     spite; it was, after all, self-will, and could not win the favour
     of heaven.

     Blending with this notion of 'pietas,' we find the Platonic
     repudiation of sensuous and material life. This life is only a
     discipline under imperfect conditions, and to be set free from the
     passion and fretfulness of existence is the choice and longing of
     the wise.

     The poem is thus notable, not so much for the assimilation of
     details, as for natural affinity to the spirituality of antiquity,
     of which Virgil is the purest exponent. Virgil's seriousness, his
     tenderness, his conception of the inevitable, and yet moral, order
     of the world, his desire for purification, his sadness, and yet
     complete freedom from unmanliness, his love of nature and belief in
     the sympathy of nature with man--all these are points of contact
     between the ancient and modern poet.

    _With sacrifice before the rising morn._

Offerings were made to the infernal deities in the interval between
midnight and sunrise. See Virgil's _Æneid_, vi. 242-258. Sil. Ital.,
xiii. 405.

                      mactare repostis
    Mos umbris, inquit, consueta piacula nigras
    Sub lucem pecudes.

It is men's wont to offer to the buried shades the proper expiations of
black sheep on the verge of dawn.

    _Her bosom heaves and spreads, her stature grows._

                Non voltus, non color unus,
    Non comptae mansere comae; sed pectus anhelum,
    Et rabie fera corda tument; majorque videri,
    Nec mortale sonans.                    _Æneid_ vi. 47.

Neither face nor hue remained unchanged, nor braided the locks of her
hair: but the bosom heaves and the heart swells wild with frenzy, and
she is more majestic to behold, and her voice has no mortal sound.

           .  .  .  .  _wingèd Mercury._

    Ἑρμῆς ψυχαγωγός or ψυχοπομπός, the conductor
      of souls.

           .  .  .  .  _with his wand._

    Tum virgam capit: hac animas ille evocat Orco,
    Pallentes, alias sub Tartara tristia mittit,
    Dat somnos adimitque.                 _Æneid_ iv. 242.

Then he takes the wand: with this he summons pale ghosts from Orcus,
others he sends to gloomy Tartarus below: with this he gives and takes
away sleep.

    _But unsubstantial Form eludes her grasp._

    Ter conatus ibi collo dare bracchia circum,
    Ter frustra comprensa manus effugit imago,
    Par levibus ventis volucrique simillima somno.
                                          _Æneid_ vi. 700.

Thrice thereon he tried to cast his arms around his neck: thrice was the
phantom grasped in vain and escaped the embrace, unsubstantial as the
fleeting winds and shadowy like as winged sleep.

    _But in reward of thy fidelity.
    And something also did my worth obtain._

'Vicit iter durum pietas,' is realised by these lines. 'Fidelity has
prevailed to traverse the awful path.'

    _Thou knowest, the Delphic oracle foretold._

    Sors quoque nescio quem fato designat iniquo,
    Qui primus Danaum Troada tangat humum.
                               Ovid, _Heroides_, xiii. 93.

An oracle, moreover, destines some one or other for a cruel doom, who
first of the Greeks sets foot on Trojan soil.

    _A nobler counsellor than my poor heart._

See Laodamia's words, Ovid, _Heroides_, xiii. 95.

    Infelix quae prima virum lugebit ademptum;
    Di faciant ne tu strenuus esse velis.
    Hoc quoque praemoneo: de nave novissimus exi,
    Non est quo properes terra paterna tibi.

Unhappy wife who shall be the first to lament a husband slain: God grant
_you_ may not choose the forward part: this warning too I give, be last
to disembark: 'tis no fatherland to hasten to, no fatherland for you.

    _Give, on this well known couch, one nuptial kiss._

This is probably an adaptation of Ovid, _Heroides_, xiii. 117.

    Quando erit ut lecto mecum bene junctus in uno
    Militiae referas splendida facta tuae.

When will the time be that you will share the couch, and lovingly at my
side recount the glorious deeds of your warfare?

    _Be taught, O faithful Consort, to control
    Rebellious passion: for the Gods approve
    The depth, and not the tumult, of the soul_, etc.

Cf. Euripides, _Iphigeneia in Aulide_, 547:

    γαλανείᾳ χρησάμενοι
    μαινομένων οἴστρων.

Stilling to calmness the frenzied passions of love.

And again:

    εἴη δέ μοι μετρία μὲν
    χάρις πόθοι δ' ὅσιοι.

Mine be 'moderate transports' and holy yearnings.

    ... _Did not Hercules by force._

This refers to the struggle between Hercules and Θάνατος.

    _Medea's spells dispersed the weight of years._

The story is found in Ovid, _Metamorphoses_, vii. 159-293.

    _Elysian beauty, melancholy grace,
    Brought from a pensive though a happy place._

This is a perfect rendering of the _tone_ of the Sixth _Æneid_.

    _Spake of heroic arts in graver mood
    Revived, with finer harmony pursued._

                      Quae gratia currum
    Armorumque fuit vivis, quae cura nitentes
    Pascere equos, eadem sequitur tellure repostos.
                                          _Æneid_ vi. 653.

The charm of chariot and armour that they had in life, and the same care
to pasture their glossy steeds, follow them deep buried under earth.

    _An ampler ether, a diviner air._

    Largior hic campos aether et lumine vestit
    Purpureo, solemque suum, sua sidera norunt.

Here an 'ampler ether' spreads around the plains, and clothes them in
purple light, and they recognise a sun of their own, their own
constellations.--_Æneid_ vi. 640.

    _Yet bitter, oft-times bitter, was the pang._

Cf. Agamemnon's words, _Iphigeneia in Aulide_, 451-468.

    _My new-planned cities, and unfinished towers._

Cf. Homer, _Iliad_, ii. 700.

    τοῦ δὲ καὶ ἀμφιδρυφὴς ἄλοχος Φυλάκῃ ἐλέλειπτο
    καὶ δόμος ἡμιτελής.

But his wife too had been left at Phylace, her cheeks all marred with
grief, and his palace half-finished.

    _In soul I swept the indignity away._

    καὶ γὰρ οὐδέ τοί τι λίαν ἐμὲ φιλοψυχεῖν χρεών.

For neither of a surety ought I to cling to life too
fondly.--_Iphigeneia in Aulide_, 1385.

It is from the character of Iphigeneia that Wordsworth derives these

    _By the just Gods whom no weak pity moved._

We think of Virgil's tender line in the similar passage about Orpheus
and Eurydice. _Georg._ iv. 488.

    Quum subita incautum dementia cepit amantem,
    _Ignoscenda quidem, scirent si ignoscere Manes._

Pardonable indeed, were pardon known in the world of death.

    _Was doomed to wear out her appointed time._

Virg. _Æn._ vi. 445--

    His Phaedram Procrimque locis maestamque Eriphylen
    Crudelis nati monstrantem volnera cernit,
    Evadnenque et Pasiphaën:
                           _His Laodamia
    It comes._

Those who died of love dwelt in the 'Lugentes Campi,' in the outer
regions of Orcus.

    _A knot of spiry trees ..._

The passage in Pliny is--

Sunt hodie ex adverso Iliensium urbis juxta Hellespontum in Protesilai
sepulcro arbores, quae omnibus aevis cum in tantum accrevere ut Ilium
aspiciant, inarescunt rursusque adolescunt.--_Hist. Nat._ 16, 44 (88).

Opposite to Ilium and close to the Hellespont there are to this day
trees growing on Protesilaus' tomb, which, in every generation, as soon
as they have grown high enough to see Ilium, wither away and again shoot

Cf. _Anthologia Graeca_ Pal. vii. 141.

    σᾶμα δέ τοι πτελέῃσι συηρεφὲς ἀμφικομεῦσι
    Νύμφαι ἀπεχθομένης Ἰλίου ἀντιπέρας,
    δένδρεα δυσμήνιτα, καὶ ἤν ποτε τεῖχος ἴδωσι
      Τρώϊον αὐαλέην φυλλοχοεῦντι κόμην.

But right opposite hated Ilium the nymphs shroud thy tomb with a roof of
elms; trees blighting with a lasting wrath, and if ever they see the
walls of Troy, they shed their withering leaves.

And again, vii. 385--

    καρφοῦται πετάλων κόσμον ἀναινόμενα.

    They wither, disowning the glory of leaves.

For a legend showing a similar sympathy between nature and man, see
_Æneid_, iii. 22."

As Wordsworth tells us in the Fenwick note to _Laodamia_, that "it cost
him more trouble than almost anything of equal length he had ever
written," and as there are many incomplete passages and suppressed
readings among his MSS., the two following stanzas--intended at first to
follow the second stanza in the poem as it now stands--may be given in a
supplementary note.--ED.

    That rapture failing, the distracted Queen
    Knelt, and embraced the Statue of the God:
    "Mighty the boon I ask, but Earth has seen
    Effects as awful from thy gracious nod;
    All-ruling Jove, unbind the mortal chain,
    Nor let the force of prayer be spent in vain!"

    Round the high-seated Temple a soft breeze
    Along the columns sighed--all else was still--
    Mute, vacant as the face of summer seas,
    No sign accorded of a favouring will.
    Dejected she withdraws--her palace-gate
    Enters--and, traversing a room of state,

    O terror! etc. etc.


[Footnote 1: 1827.

                ... before the rising morn
    Performed, my slaughtered Lord have I required;
    And in thick darkness, amid shades forlorn,
    Him of the infernal Gods have I desired:                    1815.

[Footnote 2: 1820.

    ... did ...                                                 1815.

[Footnote 3: 1820.

    That ...                                                    1815.

[Footnote 4: 1845.

    That thou should'st cheat ...                               1815.

[Footnote 5: 1836.

    Know, virtue were not virtue if the joys                    1815.

[Footnote 6: 1820.

    The fervor--not the impotence of love.                      1815.

[Footnote 7: 1827.

    ... in beauty's bloom?                                      1815.

[Footnote 8: 1827.

    Spake, as a witness, of a second birth
    For all that is most perfect upon earth;                    1815.

[Footnote 9: 1820.

    Our future course, upon the silent sea;[B]                  1815.

[Footnote 10: 1836.

    Towards                                                     1815.

[Footnote 11: 1827.

    this                                                        1815.

[Footnote 12: 1845.

    Ah, judge her gently who so deeply loved!
    Her, who, in reason's spite, yet without crime,
    Was in a trance of passion thus removed;
    Delivered from the galling yoke of time
    And these frail elements--to gather flowers                 1815.

    By no weak pity might the Gods be moved;
    She who thus perished not without the crime
    Of Lovers that in Reason's spite have loved,
    Was doomed to wander in a grosser clime,
    Apart from happy Ghosts--that gather flowers                1827.

    Was doomed to wear out her appointed time,
    Apart from happy Ghosts--                                   1832.

    She--who, though warned, exhorted, and reproved,
    Thus died, from passion desperate to a crime--
    By the just Gods, whom no weak pity moved,
    Was doomed to wear out.                                     1840.

    She perished thus, admonished and reproved
    In vain; and even as for a wilful crime
    By the just Gods,                                              C.

    Thus, though forewarned, exhorted, and reproved,
    She perished; and even as for a wilful crime,                  C.


[Footnote A: Wordsworth mentioned in a letter to De Quincey (February 8,
1815) that this stanza was added while the poem was passing through the

[Footnote B: The original MS. of _Laodamia_, however, contained the
finally adopted reading "The oracle." Wordsworth explained to De Quincey
(February 8, 1815) that he substituted the phrase "our future course,"
in case the words should seem to allude to the other answer of the
oracle which commanded the sacrifice of Iphigenia.--ED.]

[Footnote C: For the account of these long-lived trees, see Pliny's
_Natural History_, lib. xvi. cap. 44; and for the features in the
character of Protesilaus see the _Iphigenia in Aulis_ of Euripides.
Virgil places the Shade of Laodamia in a mournful region, among unhappy

                His Laodamia
    It comes.                 W. W. 1827.

To his nephew, John Wordsworth, the poet wrote in 1831, explaining the
alterations he had made in the last stanza of _Laodamia_: "As at first
written, the heroine was dismissed to happiness in Elysium. To what
purpose then the mission of Protesilaus? He exhorts her to moderate her
passions; the exhortation is fruitless, and no punishment follows. So it
stood: at present she is placed among unhappy ghosts for disregard of
the exhortation. Virgil also places her there, but compare the two
passages, and give me _your_ opinion." (_William Wordsworth_, by
Elizabeth Wordsworth, p. 131.)

With the last two lines of the poem, compare _Hart-Leap Well_, part ii.
stanza 4 (vol. ii. p. 133)--

    The trees were grey, with neither arms nor head;
    Half wasted the square mound of tawny green, etc.


[Footnote D: Compare _Imaginary Conversations_, third series: "Southey
and Porson."--ED.]

[Footnote E: He practically admitted its force, however, in the edition
of 1827.--ED.]



On the 18th July 1814, Wordsworth left Rydal, on a second visit to
Scotland, accompanied by his wife, and her sister, Sarah

[In this tour, my wife and her sister Sara were my companions. The
account of the "Brownie's Cell" and the Brownies was given me by a man
we met with on the banks of Loch Lomond, a little above Tarbert, and in
front of a huge mass of rock, by the side of which, we were told,
preachings were often held in the open air. The place is quite a
solitude, and the surrounding scenery very striking. How much is it to
be regretted that, instead of writing such Poems as the _Holy Fair_ and
others, in which the religious observances of his country are treated
with so much levity and too often with indecency, Burns had not employed
his genius in describing religion under the serious and affecting
aspects it must so frequently take.[F]--I.F.]

The poems of this series were collected under their common title in the
edition of 1827.--ED.




Composed 1814.--Published 1820


    To barren heath, bleak moor, and quaking fen,[14]
    Or depth of[15] labyrinthine glen;
    Or into trackless forest set
    With trees, whose lofty umbrage met;
    World-wearied Men withdrew of yore;                            5
    (Penance their trust, and prayer their store;)
    And in the wilderness were bound
    To such apartments as they found;
    Or with a new ambition raised;
    That God might suitably be praised.                           10


    High lodged the _Warrior_,[16] like a bird of prey;
    Or where broad waters round him lay:
    But this wild Ruin is no ghost
    Of his devices--buried, lost!
    Within this little lonely isle                                15
    There stood a consecrated Pile;
    Where tapers burned, and mass was sung,
    For them whose timid Spirits clung
    To mortal succour, though the tomb
    Had fixed, for ever fixed, their doom!                        20


    Upon[17] those servants of another world
    When madding Power[18] her bolts had hurled,
    Their habitation shook;--it fell,
    And perished, save one narrow cell;
    Whither, at length, a Wretch retired                          25
    Who neither grovelled nor aspired:
    He, struggling in the net of pride,
    The future scorned, the past defied;
    Still tempering, from the unguilty forge
    Of vain conceit, an iron scourge!                             30


    Proud Remnant was he of a fearless Race,[19]
    Who stood and flourished face to face
    With their perennial hills;--but Crime,
    Hastening the stern decrees of Time,
    Brought low a Power, which from its home                      35
    Burst, when repose grew wearisome;
    And, taking impulse from the sword,
    And, mocking its own plighted word,
    Had found, in ravage widely dealt,
    Its warfare's bourn, its travel's belt![20]                   40


    All, all were dispossessed, save him whose smile
    Shot lightning through this lonely Isle!
    No right had he but what he made
    To this small[21] spot, his leafy shade;
    But the ground lay within that ring                           45
    To which he only dared to cling;
    Renouncing here,[22] as worse than dead,
    The craven few who bowed the head
    Beneath the change; who heard a claim
    How loud! yet lived in peace with shame.                      50


    From year to year[23] this shaggy Mortal went
    (So seemed it) down a strange descent:
    Till they, who saw his outward frame,
    Fixed on him an unhallowed name;
    Him, free from all malicious taint,                           55
    And guiding, like the Patmos Saint,
    A pen unwearied--to indite,
    In his lone Isle,[24] the dreams of night;
    Impassioned dreams, that strove to span
    The faded glories of his Clan!                                60


    Suns that through blood their western harbour sought,
    And stars that in their courses fought;
    Towers rent, winds combating with woods,
    Lands deluged by unbridled floods;
    And beast and bird that from the spell                        65
    Of sleep took import terrible;--
    These types mysterious (if the show
    Of battle and the routed foe
    Had failed) would furnish an array
    Of matter for the dawning day!                                70


    How disappeared He?--ask the newt and toad,
    Inheritors of his abode;
    The otter crouching undisturbed,
    In her dank cleft;--but be thou curbed,
    O froward Fancy! 'mid a scene                                 75
    Of aspect winning and serene;
    For those offensive creatures shun
    The inquisition of the sun!
    And in this region flowers delight,
    And all is lovely to the sight.                               80


    Spring finds not here a melancholy breast,
    When she applies her annual test
    To dead and living; when her breath
    Quickens, as now, the withered heath;--
    Nor flaunting[25] Summer--when he throws                      85
    His soul into the briar-rose;
    Or calls the lily from her sleep
    Prolonged beneath the bordering deep;
    Nor Autumn, when the viewless wren
    Is warbling near the BROWNIE'S Den.                           90


    Wild Relique! beauteous as the chosen spot
    In Nysa's isle, the embellished grot;[G]
    Whither, by care of Libyan Jove,
    (High Servant of paternal Love)
    Young Bacchus was conveyed--to lie                            95
    Safe from his step-dame Rhea's eye;
    Where bud, and bloom, and fruitage, glowed,
    Close-crowding round the infant-god;
    All colours,--and the liveliest streak
    A foil to his celestial cheek!                               100

The text of this poem was unaltered in the successive editions with a
single exception, occurring in the first line. It was suggested by, and
was a reminiscence of the tour in Scotland of 1814; but in 1803
Wordsworth visited the same spot alluded to in the Fenwick note,
accompanied by his sister, who thus describes it: "The most remarkable
object we saw was a huge single stone, I believe three or four times the
size of Bowder Stone. The top of it, which on one side was sloping like
the roof of a house, was covered with heather.... The ferryman told us
that a preaching was held there once in three months by a certain
minister--I think of Arrochar--who engages, as a part of his office, to
perform the service. The interesting feelings we had connected with the
Highland Sabbath and Highland worship returned here with double force.
The rock, though on one side a high perpendicular wall, in no place
overhung so as to form a shelter, in no place could it be more than a
screen from the elements. Why then had it been selected for such a
purpose? Was it merely from being a central situation and a conspicuous
object? Or did there belong to it some inheritance of superstition from
old times? It is impossible to look at the stone without asking, How
came it hither? Had then that obscurity and unaccountableness, that
mystery of power which is about it, any influence over the first persons
who resorted hither for worship? Or have they now on those who continue
to frequent it? The lake is in front of the perpendicular wall, and
behind, at some distance, and totally detached from it, is the
continuation of the ridge of mountain which forms the Vale of Loch
Lomond--a magnificent temple, of which this spot is a noble Sanctum
Sanctorum." (_Recollections of a Tour made in Scotland, A.D. 1803_, pp.
225-6.) The late Rev. William Macintosh of Buchanan supplied me with the
following information in reference to the Brownie's Cell and the Pulpit
Rock:--"I have little doubt that the Brownie's Cell is the name given by
Wordsworth to a small vault, itself a ruin among the ruins of an old
stronghold of the Macfarlanes in Eilan Vhow, an islet about three miles
from the head of the Loch. The name of the islet is spelt in different
ways; sometimes as I have given it, sometimes Eilan Vow, or Eilan-a
Vhu; no one whom I consulted could tell me the right spelling. In the
early part of this century, the vault was the headquarters of a pedlar
of the name of Macfarlane. He may have been the Hermit; and there is a
story of his having been frightened by the sudden apparition of a negro,
(probably the first he had ever seen), who had been ordered by his
master--an English officer--to swim across for that purpose: and it is
said that he never again visited the cell.

The Pulpit Rock, also called by a Gaelic name meaning the Bull Stone, is
a very large boulder, or detached rock, which is likely to 'stand' as
long as Ben Lomond. In the face of it, there is an artificial doorway
and recess, which at one time the Parish Minister used to occupy as a
Pulpit for occasional services. The audience sat on turf seats ranged
round the foot of the Rock. The pulpit was reached by a few steps cut
out, I suppose, in the Rock: but it has never been used for the last
twenty years. The 'occasional' services are now held in a neighbouring

Mr. Malcolm M'Farlane, a very intelligent sheep farmer in Buchanan
parish, supplies the following additional information about the Cell and
the Rock:--"The 'Pulpit Rock' is a cell in the face of a large stone,
blasted out with gunpowder. The proper appellation is, in Gaelic,
'Clach-nan-Tairbh,' literally translated the 'Stone of the Bulls.' It
was formed about 50 or 60 years ago, the then minister of Arrochar, Mr.
Proudfoot, had promised to preach in that part of his parish, on several
occasions during the year, provided they would get up a place for his
reception.... It was capable of containing three or four persons inside,
was done up with wood work, an outer and inner door, with stone steps
leading to the recess. They were not formed out of the rock, but other
stones got up for the purpose, and turf seats laid out for the hearers,
who were all exposed to the weather, except so far as they might be
sheltered by the rock. The service has been discontinued at the rock for
about twenty-five years, and is now held at a schoolhouse. The doors are
gone, and no portion of the wood work remains. The cell is now used only
as a nightly retreat for mendicants, tinkers," etc. Wordsworth's
reference, in the Fenwick note, to Burns's _Holy Fair_ induces me to
quote what follows in Mr. M'Farlane's letter:--"Open air preaching was
then very general in the Highlands: the people came long distances,
travelled over hills, even in inclement weather, to attend them. An
individual who kept a small inn, on the loch side opposite Inversnaid,
used regularly to attend the meetings with a supply of whisky; but he
remained behind the 'rock' till the services were over, when the people
partook of his refreshments. Also, on the north side of Loch Katrine,
the minister of Callander used to conduct services in the open air, on
several occasions during the year, in that distant part of his parish.
An old man, who lived near the Trossachs, whom I remember very well,
regularly attended with a supply of whisky. Dr. Robertson, who was then
minister, after concluding the sermon, had gone to an adjoining farm
house. The people had indulged too freely, so that a fight commenced
(the same thing had happened on several occasions before). The Doctor
had to leave his dinner in order to get them separated, and to put an
end to the battle, but he never allowed any more whisky to be brought to
the place afterwards.... These may be irrelevant matters, but they might
illustrate a chapter in Lecky's _History of Morals_, as there is more
decorum now observed. Since writing the above, I have thought that if
the pulpit-rock is mentioned in Miss Wordsworth's Tour, Mr. M'Nicol, my
informant, must have made a mistake in stating the time it was made, as
about 50 or 60 years ago; but it cannot have been much more than 80
years, as it is not very long since some of the people who were engaged
in the operation died.

"Regarding the island near the head of Loch Lomond which is termed
'Eilan (Island) Vow' in Black's _Guide_, and somewhat differently spelt
in others, in the original Gaelic it is 'Eilan a Bhūth.' Būth is a
Gaelic name for a shop, so that it is 'the island of the shop.' The
English Vow has no connection whatever with the Gaelic, and is perfectly
unintelligible. It is part of undoubted traditional history that the
chiefs of the Clan M'Farlane, who owned a considerable portion of the
adjoining lands, had their residence here. In these turbulent times
islands were considered more secure, as surrounded with water. They kept
a 'shop' in the island, from which they supplied the little wants of the
surrounding population, so that it is perfectly clear how the Island
derived its name. A good portion of the stronghold is still in good
preservation. A part of the wall is about thirty feet high. It is a very
old building. Mr. M'Nicol states that he had learned from his
grandfather, by the tradition in the family, that it was erected between
the eleventh and the twelfth century. The late Sir James Colquhoun,
about twelve years ago, laid out some money for keeping the walls in
preservation. At the bottom of the Fort, and below the level of the
floor, is the 'Brownie's Cell,' several steps leading down to it, and it
is partly underground. It is about twelve feet wide, and sixteen feet
long, with an arched roof, the mason work being still in good repair.
There is some glimmering light emitted by two small apertures formed in
the walls at each end. I have been unable to obtain any specific
information what purpose it served in connection with the other
building. Some said that it must have been a prison, and others a store
for the shop. It might have been a prison at first, and afterwards, in
more pacific times, used as a store.

"About the beginning of this century, the Island was occupied by a very
eccentric individual, who led the life of a hermit, and took up his
abode in this recess. He made frequent excursions out of it, but always
returned to his Island-home before the end of the week. It was not then
planted with wood, so that he cultivated a part of the ground, raised
some crops, kept some poultry. He trained the poultry to fly on the
approach of any stranger, so that they could not be got hold of, or
taken away in his absence from the Island. He also kept a curious diary,
in which local events, his own doings and opinions, were recorded in
great detail, expressed in very quaint language. It was by the age of
the moon, and not by the days of the month, that events were entered in
the diary. He also cultivated astrology, and believed in the evil
influence of some of the stars. He had a firm belief in ghosts; but he
never was so frightened as when the Black Man (that is the negro), who
he thought belonged to the invisible world, swam to the island. Of that
adventure I have not been able to obtain a more detailed account, but
his landing there very nearly put him out of his wits. The grandfather
of the present Duke of Montrose had, on one occasion, visited the
Island; and, when landing, the Hermit addressed him, 'James Graham, the
Duke of Montrose, you are welcome to come and see my Island.'..."

There is no evidence that the ruin was once "a consecrated Pile," as
stated in the poem. Wordsworth had evidently heard of the Hermit's
writings, as mentioned by Mr. M'Farlane. See stanza vi., "guiding a pen

In the _Diary, Reminiscences, and Correspondence_ of Henry Crabb
Robinson, there is an entry, dated January 2, 1820:--"Went to Lamb's,
where I found Mr. and Mrs. Wordsworth.... Not much was said about his
(W.'s) new volume of Poems. He himself spoke of _The Brownie's Cell_ as
his favourite" (vol. ii. p. 162). In the following year Mr. Crabb
Robinson himself visited Scotland, and wrote thus on the 16th
September:--"Being on the western side of Loch Lomond, opposite the Mill
at Inversnaid, some women kindled a fire, the smoke of which was to be a
signal for a ferryboat. No ferryman came; and a feeble old man offering
himself as a boatman, I intrusted myself to him. I asked the women who
he was. They said, 'That's old Andrew.' According to their account he
lived a hermit's life in a lone island on the lake; the poor peasantry
giving him meal, and what he wanted, and he picking up pence. On my
asking him whether he would take me across the lake, he said, 'I wull,
if you'll gi'e me saxpence.' So I consented. But before I was half over
I repented of my rashness, for I feared the oars would fall out of his
hands. A breath of wind would have rendered half the voyage too much for
him. There was some cunning mixed up with the fellow's seeming
imbecility, for when his strength was failing he rested, and entered
into talk, manifestly to amuse me. He said he could see things before
they happened. He saw the Radicals before they came, etc. He had picked
up a few words of Spanish and German, which he uttered ridiculously, and
laughed. But when I put troublesome questions he affected not to
understand me; and was quite astonished, as well as delighted, when I
gave him two sixpences instead of the one he had bargained for. The
simple-minded women, who affected to look down on him, seemed, however,
to stand in awe of him, and no wonder. On my telling Wordsworth this
history, he exclaimed, 'That's my "Brownie!"' His _Brownie's Cell_ is by
no means one of my favourite poems. My sight of old Andrew showed me the
stuff out of which a poetical mind can weave such a web" (vol. ii. pp.
212, 213).

Compare the sequel to this poem, _The Brownie_, in the "Yarrow Revisited
and other Poems," of the Tour made in Scotland in the autumn of


[Footnote 13: 1820.

    individual, a sketch of whose character is given
    in the Poem,                                                  MS.

[Footnote 14: 1837.

    To barren heath, and quaking fen,                           1820.

    To {swampy} heath, and quaking fen,                           MS.
       {sandy }

[Footnote 15: 1820.

    Dark moor and ...                                             MS.

[Footnote 16: Italics were first used in 1827.]

[Footnote 17: 1820.

    When on ...                                                   MS.

[Footnote 18: 1820.

    Distempered Power ...                                         MS.

[Footnote 19: 1820.

    Last of an else extinguished Highland clan,
    Last glimmering spark, was this rude man;
    Sole remnant of a haughty race,                               MS.

[Footnote 20: 1820.

    With their perennial hills; but Time
    Brought low a power that could not climb,
    Though, from its well-defended Home,
    When, sword in hand, it chose to roam,
    Its warfare's bourne, its travel's belt,
    Was devastation widely dealt.                                 MS.

    With their perennial hills; but Crime,
    That hastens the decrees of time,
    Brought low a Power, which, when it chose
    To spurn confinement and repose,
    Made devastation widely dealt,
    Its warfare's bourne, its travel's belt.                      MS.

[Footnote 21: 1820.

    ... lone ...                                                  MS.

[Footnote 22: 1820.

    For he renounc'd ...                                          MS.

    For less than exiled, ...                                     MS.

[Footnote 23: 1820.

    Here lodged and fed                                           MS.

    In Being's scale                                              MS.

[Footnote 24: 1820.

    Till he--half dreaded, half disdained,
    The title of a BROWNIE gained:
    {He who} to no malicious taint
    {But he}
    Was subject--like the Patmos Saint;
    His ruling case, his chief delight,
    To pen by day                                                 MS.

[Footnote 25: 1820.

    Nor wanton                                                    MS.


[Footnote F: Compare Wordsworth's _Letter to a Friend of Burns_

[Footnote G: Diodorus mentions this tradition (see his History, book
iii. chap. 4), that the infant Bacchus was carried by Ammon, the Libyan
Jupiter, to a cave on an island near Mount Nysa, from fear of Rhea, and
that he was handed over to the care and the tuition of Nysa, the
daughter of Aristæus. From this mountain the young Bacchus was supposed
to have derived his name, Dionysus.--ED.]




    --How Wallace fought for Scotland, left the name
    Of Wallace to be found, like a wild flower,
    All over his dear Country; left the deeds
    Of Wallace, like a family of ghosts,
    To people the steep rocks and river banks,
    Her natural sanctuaries, with a local soul
    Of independence and stern liberty.                       _MS._[H]

Composed 1814.--Published 1820

[I had seen this celebrated Waterfall twice before; but the feelings to
which it had given birth were not expressed till they recurred in
presence of the object on this occasion.--I.F.]

    Lord of the vale! astounding Flood;
    The dullest leaf in this thick wood
    Quakes--conscious of thy power;
    The caves reply with hollow moan;
    And vibrates, to its central stone,                            5
    Yon time-cemented Tower![I]

    And yet how fair the rural scene!
    For thou, O Clyde, hast ever been
    Beneficent as strong;
    Pleased in refreshing dews to steep                           10
    The little trembling flowers that peep
    Thy shelving rocks among.

    Hence all who love their country, love
    To look on thee--delight to rove
    Where they thy voice can hear;                                15
    And, to the patriot-warrior's Shade,
    Lord of the vale! to Heroes laid
    In dust, that voice is dear!

    Along thy banks, at dead of night
    Sweeps visibly the Wallace Wight;                             20
    Or stands, in warlike vest,
    Aloft, beneath the moon's pale beam,
    A Champion worthy of the stream,
    Yon grey tower's living crest!

    But clouds and envious darkness hide                          25
    A Form not doubtfully descried:--
    Their transient mission o'er,
    O say to what blind region flee
    These Shapes of awful phantasy?
    To what untrodden shore?                                      30

    Less than divine command they spurn;
    But this we from the mountains learn,
    And this the valleys show;
    That never will they deign to hold
    Communion where the heart is cold                             35
    To human weal and woe.

    The man of abject soul in vain
    Shall walk the Marathonian plain;
    Or thrid the shadowy gloom,
    That still invests the guardian Pass,                         40
    Where stood, sublime, Leonidas
    Devoted to the tomb.[J]

    And let no Slave his head incline,
    Or kneel, before the votive shrine
    By Uri's lake, where Tell                                     45
    Leapt, from his storm-vext boat, to land,[K]
    Heaven's Instrument, for by his hand
    That day the Tyrant fell.[26]


[Footnote 26: 1845.

    Nor deem that it can aught avail
    For such to glide with oar or sail
    Beneath the piny wood,
    Where Tell once drew, by Uri's lake,
    His vengeful shafts--prepared to slake
    Their thirst in Tyrants' blood!                             1820.


[Footnote H: Compare _The Prelude_ (vol. iii. p. 139), to which may be
added the following Wallace Memorials:--"The barrel, or cave, in
Bothwell parish; caves in Lasswade, Torphichen, and Lesmahagow parishes;
chair at Bonniton, near Lanark; cradle on hill, two miles south by west
of Linlithgow; house at Elderslie, in Renfrewshire; larder at Ardrossan;
leap in Roseneath parish; monument on Abbey Craig, near Stirling; oaks
at Elderslie and at Torwood; seats in Biggar, Kilbarchan, and Dumbarton
parishes; statues at Lanark, and adjacent to the Tweed, near Dryburgh;
stone in Polmont parish; towers in Ayr town, Roxburgh parish,
Auchterhouse parish, and Kirkmichael parish, Dumfriesshire; trench in
Kincardine-in-Monteith parish; and well in Biggar parish."--Wilson's
_Gazetteer of Scotland_, 1882 (article, "Wallace Memorials").--ED.]

[Footnote I: The "time-cemented Tower" of the old castle of Cora still
overlooks the waterfall. Compare the _Address to Kilchurn Castle_ in the
"Memorials of a Tour in Scotland," 1803 (vol. ii. p. 400); and, with

    The dullest leaf in this thick wood
    Quakes--conscious of thy power,

compare the _Lines written in Early Spring_ (vol. i. p. 268).--ED.]

[Footnote J: Leonidas, king of Sparta, killed in the heroic defence of
the pass of Thermopylæ, B.C. 480.--ED.]

[Footnote K: On the western side of the bay of Uri, in the lake of
Lucerne, is Tell's Platte, where on a ledge of rock stands the
chapel--rebuilt in 1880, but said to have been originally built in
1388--on the spot where the Swiss Patriot leapt out of Gessler's boat,
and shot the tyrant.--ED.]




Composed 1814.--Published 1827

[I am not aware that this condemnatory effusion was ever seen by the
owner of the place. He might be disposed to pay little attention to it;
but were it to prove otherwise I should be glad, for the whole
exhibition is distressingly puerile.--I.F.]

"The waterfall, by a loud roaring, warned us when we must expect it. We
were first, however, conducted into a small apartment, where the
Gardener desired us to look at a picture of Ossian, which, while he was
telling the history of the young Artist who executed the work,
disappeared, parting in the middle--flying asunder as by the touch of
magic--and lo! we are at the entrance of a splendid apartment, which was
almost dizzy and alive with waterfalls, that tumbled in all directions;
the great cascade, opposite the window, which faced us, being reflected
in innumerable mirrors upon the ceiling and against the
walls."--_Extract from the Journal of my Fellow-Traveller._[L]

    What He--who, mid the kindred throng
    Of Heroes that inspired his song,
    Doth yet frequent the hill of storms,
    The stars dim-twinkling through their forms!
    What! Ossian here--a painted Thrall,                           5
    Mute fixture on a stuccoed wall;
    To serve--an unsuspected screen
    For show that must not yet be seen;
    And, when the moment comes, to part
    And vanish by mysterious art;                                 10
    Head, harp, and body, split asunder,
    For ingress to a world of wonder;
    A gay saloon, with waters dancing
    Upon the sight wherever glancing;
    One loud cascade in front, and lo!                            15
    A thousand like it, white as snow--
    Streams on the walls, and torrent-foam
    As active round the hollow dome,
    Illusive cataracts! of their terrors
    Not stripped, nor voiceless in the mirrors,                   20
    That catch the pageant from the flood
    Thundering adown a rocky wood.
    What pains to dazzle and confound!
    What strife of colour, shape and sound
    In this quaint medley, that might seem                        25
    Devised out of a sick man's dream![27]
    Strange scene, fantastic and uneasy
    As ever made a maniac dizzy,
    When disenchanted from the mood
    That loves on sullen thoughts to brood!                       30

    O Nature--in thy changeful visions,
    Through all thy most abrupt transitions[28]
    Smooth, graceful, tender, or sublime--
    Ever averse to pantomime,
    Thee neither do they know nor us                              35
    Thy servants, who can trifle thus;
    Else verily[29] the sober powers
    Of rock that frowns, and stream that roars,
    Exalted by congenial sway
    Of Spirits, and the undying Lay,                              40
    And Names that moulder not away,
    Had wakened[30] some redeeming thought
    More worthy of this favoured Spot;
    Recalled some feeling--to set free
    The Bard from such indignity!                                 45

    [M]The Effigies of a valiant Wight
    I once beheld, a Templar Knight;
    Not prostrate, not like those that rest
    On tombs, with palms together prest,
    But sculptured out of living stone,                           50
    And standing upright and alone,
    Both hands with rival energy
    Employed in setting his sword free
    From its dull sheath--stern sentinel
    Intent to guard St. Robert's cell;[N]                         55
    As if with memory of the affray
    Far distant, when, as legends say,
    The Monks of Fountain's[O] thronged to force
    From its dear home the Hermit's corse,
    That in their keeping it might lie,                           60
    To crown their abbey's sanctity.
    So had they rushed into the grot
    Of sense despised, a world forgot,
    And torn him from his loved retreat,
    Where altar-stone and rock-hewn seat                          65
    Still hint that quiet best is found,
    Even by the _Living_, under ground;
    But a bold Knight, the selfish aim
    Defeating, put the Monks to shame,
    There where you see his Image stand                           70
    Bare to the sky, with threatening bran
    Which lingering NID is proud to show
    Reflected in the pool below.

    Thus, like the men of earliest days,
    Our sires set forth their grateful praise:                    75
    Uncouth the workmanship, and rude!
    But, nursed in mountain solitude,
    Might some aspiring artist dare
    To seize whate'er, through misty air,
    A ghost, by glimpses, may present                             80
    Of imitable lineament,
    And give the phantom an array
    That less[31] should scorn the abandoned clay;
    Then let him hew with patient stroke
    An Ossian out of mural rock,                                  85
    And leave the figurative Man--
    Upon thy margin, roaring Bran!--
    Fixed, like the Templar of the steep,
    An everlasting watch to keep;
    With local sanctities in trust,                               90
    More precious than a hermit's dust;
    And virtues through the mass infused,
    Which old idolatry abused.

    What though the Granite would deny
    All fervour to the sightless eye;                             95
    And touch from rising suns in vain
    Solicit a Memnonian strain;[P]
    Yet, in some fit of anger sharp,
    The wind might force the deep-grooved harp
    To utter melancholy moans                                    100
    Not unconnected with the tones
    Of soul-sick flesh and weary bones;
    While grove and river notes would lend,
    Less deeply sad, with these to blend!

    Vain pleasures of luxurious life,                            105
    For ever with yourselves at strife;
    Through town and country both deranged
    By affectations interchanged,
    And all the perishable gauds
    That heaven-deserted man applauds;                           110
    When will your hapless patrons learn
    To watch and ponder--to discern
    The freshness, the everlasting youth,[32]
    Of admiration sprung from truth;
    From beauty infinitely growing                               115
    Upon a mind with love o'erflowing--
    To sound the depths of every Art
    That seeks its wisdom through the heart?

    Thus (where the intrusive Pile, ill-graced
    With baubles of theatric taste,                              120
    O'erlooks the torrent breathing showers
    On motley bands of alien flowers
    In stiff confusion set or sown,
    Till Nature cannot find her own,
    Or keep a remnant of the sod                                 125
    Which Caledonian Heroes trod)
    I mused; and, thirsting for redress,
    Recoiled into the wilderness.


[Footnote 27: The preceding four lines were added in the edition of

[Footnote 28: 1827.

    Through all thy numberless transitions                        C.
    Throughout thy infinite transitions                           C.

[Footnote 29: 1832.

    Else surely had ...                                         1827.

[Footnote 30: 1832.

    Awakened ...                                                1827.

[Footnote 31: 1837.

    ... such array
    As less ...                                                 1827.

    And so inspired in shape display
    That less ...                                                 C.

[Footnote 32: 1837.

    ... the eternal youth,                                      1827.


[Footnote L: See the _Recollections of a Tour made in Scotland_, 1803,
by Dorothy Wordsworth, p. 210.--ED.]

[Footnote M: On the banks of the River Nid, near Knaresborough.--W. W.

[Footnote N: "The cliffs overhanging the Nid have been hollowed out into
numerous cavities, some of which serve as dwellings, walled in front,
and some having chimneys carried out at the tops; sometimes with windows
and doors let into the rock itself. The most remarkable of these is _St.
Robert's Chapel_, scooped out, and inhabited (it is said) by the same
St. Robert, whose cave is farther down the river. An altar has been cut
out of the rock, and one or two rude figures carved within this
so-called chapel. The figure of an armed man with his sword in his hand
is sculptured outside, as if guarding the entrance."--Murray's
_Yorkshire_, p. 240 (edition 1867).--ED.]

[Footnote O: Fountains Abbey, near Studley Royal, in Yorkshire.--ED.]

[Footnote P: The statue of Amenophis in the vicinity of Thebes--called
by the Greeks the statue of Memnon--was fabled to give forth a musical
strain, when touched by the first ray of sunrise.--ED.]


Composed 1814.--Published 1815

[Composed in Edinburgh, during my Scotch tour with Mrs. Wordsworth and
my sister, Miss Hutchinson, in the year 1814. Poor Gillies never rose
above that course of extravagance in which he was at that time living,
and which soon reduced him to poverty and all its degrading shifts,
mendicity being far from the worst. I grieve whenever I think of him,
for he was far from being without genius, and had a generous heart, not
always to be found in men given up to profusion. He was nephew of Lord
Gillies, the Scotch judge, and also of the historian of Greece. He was
cousin to Miss Margaret Gillies, who painted so many portraits with
success in our house.--I.F.]

Classed among the "Miscellaneous Sonnets." In 1815 the sonnet was headed
_To_ ----.--ED.

    From the dark chambers of dejection freed,
    Spurning the unprofitable yoke of care,
    Rise, GILLIES, rise:[33] the gales of youth shall bear
    Thy genius forward like a wingèd steed.
    Though bold Bellerophon (so Jove decreed                       5
    In wrath) fell headlong from the fields of air,
    Yet a rich[34] guerdon waits on minds that dare,
    If aught be in them of immortal seed,
    And reason govern that audacious flight
    Which heaven-ward they direct.--Then droop not thou,
    Erroneously renewing a sad vow                                11
    In the low dell 'mid Roslin's faded grove:[35]
    A cheerful life is what the Muses love,
    A soaring spirit is their prime delight.

I am indebted to Miss Margaret Gillies--the artist referred to in the
Fenwick note--for information in reference to her cousin, the subject of
this sonnet. Robert Pearce Gillies was a man of unquestionable talent,
but eccentric and extravagant. He inherited a considerable fortune, some
£1500 a year, from his father, which he lost. He was editor of the
_Foreign Quarterly Review_, was very intimate with De Quincey, and knew
Sir Walter Scott, Wordsworth, and Quillinan well. He translated several
German poems and novels, of which Scott thought highly. He was the
author of _Memoirs of a Literary Veteran_ (1851), in which (vol. ii. pp.
137-173) there is a sketch of Wordsworth, and several letters from him.
He was also an accomplished musician, playing the violin admirably. He
lived near Hawthornden.

The expression "faded" or "fading grove," which Wordsworth applies to
Roslin, may refer merely to the season of the year, viz. September.--ED.

A sonnet written by Gillies, and addressed to Wordsworth, may be quoted
in this note. It was transcribed by Mrs. Wordsworth into a copy of the
4to edition of _The Excursion_ (1814), which was presented by the Poet
to his grandson.


    Though feebly in my harassed mind the light
    Of fancy burn, yet thy inspiring strain
    WORDSWORTH! has power to lull the sense of pain,
    And bring long lost illusions to my sight.
    Methinks the autumnal fields,--the mist-wreaths white,--
    The woods,--the distant waters of the main
    Their wonted hues of wild enchantment gain,
    And, for a space, my cares are put to flight.
    Then, how much more shall this immortal Lay
    For the "_free Soul_" celestial sweets disclose!--
    But, thine it is, oh Bard! with magic sway
    To charm each meaner passion to repose;--
    To guide the faltering pilgrim on his way,
    And energise the weak, and soothe the mourner's woes.

    R. P. GILLIES.


[Footnote 33: 1820.

    Rise, *** rise: ...                                         1815.

[Footnote 34: 1827.

    ... high ...                                                1815.

[Footnote 35: 1827.

    ... fading grove:                                           1815.




Composed 1814.--Published 1815

[As mentioned in my verses on the death of the Ettrick Shepherd, my
first visit to Yarrow was in his company. We had lodged the night before
at Traquair, where Hogg had joined us, and also Dr. Anderson, the Editor
of the _British Poets_, who was on a visit at the Manse. Dr. A. walked
with us till we came in view of the Vale of Yarrow, and, being advanced
in life, he then turned back. The old man was passionately fond of
poetry, though with not much of a discriminating judgment, as the
Volumes he edited sufficiently shew. But I was much pleased to meet with
him, and to acknowledge my obligation to his collection, which had been
my brother John's companion in more than one voyage to India, and which
he gave me before his departure from Grasmere, never to return. Through
these Volumes I became first familiar with Chaucer, and so little money
had I then to spare for books, that, in all probability, but for this
same work, I should have known little of Drayton, Daniel, and other
distinguished poets of the Elizabethan age, and their immediate
successors, till a much later period of my life. I am glad to record
this, not from any importance of its own, but, as a tribute of gratitude
to this simple-hearted old man, whom I never again had the pleasure of
meeting. I seldom read or think of this poem without regretting that my
dear Sister was not of the party, as she would have had so much delight
in recalling the time, when, travelling together in Scotland, we
declined going in search of this celebrated stream, not altogether, I
will frankly confess, for the reasons assigned in the poem on the

In 1815 and 1820 this was one of the "Poems of the Imagination." In 1827
it became one of the "Memorials of a Tour in Scotland" of 1814.

The MS. readings to this poem are taken from a copy in a letter by
Dorothy Wordsworth to Mrs. Clarkson, dated November 11, 1814.--ED.

    And is this--Yarrow?--_This_ the Stream
    Of which my fancy cherished,
    So faithfully, a waking dream?[36]
    An image that hath perished!
    O that some Minstrel's harp were near,                         5
    To utter notes[37] of gladness,
    And chase this silence from the air,
    That fills my heart with sadness!

    Yet why?--a silvery current flows
    With uncontrolled meanderings;                                10
    Nor have these eyes by greener hills
    Been soothed, in all my wanderings.
    And, through her depths,[38] Saint Mary's Lake
    Is visibly delighted;
    For not a feature of those hills                              15
    Is in the mirror slighted.

    A blue sky bends o'er Yarrow vale,
    Save where that pearly whiteness
    Is round the rising sun diffused,
    A tender hazy brightness;                                     20
    Mild dawn of promise! that excludes
    All profitless dejection;
    Though not unwilling here to admit
    A pensive recollection.

    Where was it that the famous Flower                           25
    Of Yarrow Vale lay bleeding?
    His bed perchance was yon smooth mound
    On which the herd is feeding:
    And haply from this crystal pool,
    Now peaceful as the morning,                                  30
    The Water-wraith ascended thrice--
    And gave his doleful warning.

    Delicious is the Lay that sings
    The haunts of happy Lovers,
    The path that leads them to the grove,                        35
    The leafy grove that covers:
    And Pity sanctifies the Verse
    That paints, by strength of sorrow,
    The unconquerable strength of love;
    Bear witness, rueful Yarrow!                                  40

    But thou, that didst appear so fair
    To fond imagination,
    Dost rival in the light of day
    Her delicate creation:
    Meek loveliness is round thee spread,                         45
    A softness still and holy;
    The grace of forest charms decayed,
    And pastoral melancholy.

    That region left, the vale unfolds
    Rich groves of lofty stature,                                 50
    With Yarrow winding through the pomp
    Of cultivated nature;
    And, rising from those lofty groves,
    Behold a Ruin hoary!
    The shattered front of Newark's Towers,                       55
    Renowned in Border story.[Q]

    Fair scenes for childhood's opening bloom,
    For sportive youth to stray in;
    For manhood to enjoy his strength;
    And age to wear away in!                                      60
    Yon cottage seems a bower of bliss,
    A covert for protection
    Of tender thoughts, that nestle there--
    The brood of chaste affection.[38a]
    How sweet, on this autumnal day,                              65
    The wild-wood[39] fruits to gather,
    And on my True-love's forehead plant
    A crest of blooming heather!
    And what if I enwreathed my own!
    'Twere no offence to reason;                                  70
    The sober Hills thus deck their brows
    To meet the wintry season.

    I see--but not by sight alone,
    Loved Yarrow, have I won thee;
    A ray of fancy still survives--                               75
    Her sunshine plays upon thee!
    Thy ever-youthful waters keep
    A course of lively pleasure;
    And gladsome notes my lips can breathe,
    Accordant to the measure.                                     80

    The vapours linger round the Heights,
    They melt, and soon must vanish;
    One hour is theirs, nor more is mine--
    Sad thought, which I would banish,
    But that I know, where'er I go,                               85
    Thy genuine image, Yarrow!
    Will dwell with me--to heighten joy,
    And cheer my mind in sorrow.

Compare _Yarrow Unvisited_, vol. ii. p. 411; also _Yarrow Revisited_,
composed in 1831; and Principal Shairp's Essay entitled "The Three
Yarrows," in his _Aspects of Poetry_. "I meant to mention _Yarrow
Visited_, with that stanza, 'But thou, that didst appear so fair'; than
which I think no lovelier stanza can be found in the wide world of
poetry;--yet the poem, on the whole, seems condemned to leave behind it
a melancholy of imperfect satisfaction, as if you had wronged the
feeling with which, in what preceded it, you had resolved never to visit
it, and as if the Muse had determined, in the most delicate manner, to
make you, and _scarce make you_, feel it. Else, it is far superior to
the other,[R] which has but one exquisite verse in it, the last but one,
or the last two: this is all fine, except perhaps that _that_ of
'studious ease, and generous cares,' has a little tinge of the _less
romantic_ about it." Charles Lamb to Wordsworth, in 1815. (See _The
Letters of Charles Lamb_, edited by Alfred Ainger, vol. i. p. 286.)--ED.


[Footnote 36: 1815.

    Of which so long I cherished,
    A Fancy dear to waking thought.                         MS. 1814.

[Footnote 37: 1815.

    ... words ...                                           MS. 1814.

[Footnote 38: 1815.

    With her own depths ...                                 MS. 1814.

[Footnote 38a: 1827.

    It promises protection
    To studious ease, and generous cares,
    And every chaste affection.                                 1815.

    To all the nestling brood of thoughts
    Sustained by chaste affection!                              1820.

[Footnote 39: 1827.

    The wild wood's ...                                         1815.


[Footnote Q: Newark Castle, a "large, square, roofless, ancient castle,
scene of Sir Walter Scott's _Lay of the Last Minstrel_, four miles west
by north of Selkirk." (Wilson's _Gazetteer of Scotland_.)--ED.]

[Footnote R: _i.e. Yarrow Unvisited._--ED.]



Composed 1814.--Published 1815

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

    To public notice, with reluctance strong,
    Did I deliver this unfinished Song;
    Yet for one happy issue;--and I look
    With self-congratulation on the Book
    Which pious, learned, MURFITT saw and read;--                  5
    Upon my thoughts his saintly Spirit fed;
    He conned the new-born Lay with grateful heart--
    Foreboding not how soon he must depart;
    Unweeting that to him the joy was given
    Which good men take with them from earth to heaven.           10

_The Annals of Kendal_--an octavo volume containing information on all
subjects of historical or antiquarian interest connected with the
town--contains no reference to Mr. Murfitt, except a copy of the
inscription on his monument. He was instituted vicar of Kendal in 1806,
and died on the 7th November 1814. The following is a copy of the

    To the Memory of
    The Reverend Matthew Murfitt, A.M.
    Vicar of Kendal
    And formerly Fellow of Trinity College
    Who died Nov. 7, 1814, aged 50 years.
    He was a pious, learned, and eloquent Divine,
    A sincere Friend, a kind husband
    And in every relation of Life
    A most worthy man.

The monument is erected against the north wall of the Parish Church of

The phrase in the second line of the sonnet, "this unfinished Song,"
refers to _The Excursion_ being only part of a longer unfinished poem,
_The Recluse_. (See the preface to the edition of 1814.)--ED.


[Footnote 40: 1845.

    Written, November 13, 1814, ...                             1815.


In 1815 few poems were written, with the exception of the _Dedication to
The White Doe of Rylstone_, one or two sonnets, and _Artegal and
Elidure_. If we were to trust entirely to the Fenwick note to _Laodamia_,
_Artegal and Elidure_ would require to be transferred, along with it and
_Dion_, to 1814. When Wordsworth, in 1845, separated the _Ode_,

    Imagination--ne'er before content

from the _Ode, the morning of the Day appointed for a General
Thanksgiving, January 18, 1816_, he gave to the former the date 1815;
and it is possible that it was composed towards the close of that year.
But it was originally published in 1816 as part of the _Thanksgiving
Ode_; and, although (in conformity with the plan of adopting the
Author's latest view of his own text) it is printed by itself,--as
finally approved by him,--it is not placed in the year 1815, but in
1816. The chief reason for this is, that it is kindred in theme,
structure, and tendency with the other Odes belonging to that year; and
it seems better--when there is a doubt as to the date--to bring together
those poems that are kindred in character. It does not follow, however,
that part of the _Thanksgiving Ode_ itself may not have been written in
1815. Wordsworth, writing to Southey in 1816, said:--"It is a poem
composed, _or supposed to be composed_, on the morning of the
thanksgiving." Those belonging to the year 1815 are, therefore, few in


    In trellised shed, with clustering roses gay, etc.

Although this _Dedication_ was only written in April 1815, it has, for
obvious reasons, been already published--along with the poem itself--in
its chronological place (1807) (see vol. iv. p. 100); but as I have seen
a MS. copy of this _Dedication_, which differs considerably from the
final text, and was probably the first draft of the poem, it may be
printed here. In the MS. I refer to, it is called _Epistle


    When years of wedded life were as a day
    Whose current answers to the heart's desire,
    Oft in some bowers, with clustering roses gay,
    Or haply by the blazing winter fire,
    Did we together read in Spenser's Lay                          5
    How Una, sad of soul, in sad attire,
    The gentle Una, born of heavenly birth,
    To seek her knight went wandering o'er the earth.

    Ah, then, Belovèd, pleasing was the smart,
    And the tear precious in compassion shed                      10
    For Her, who, pierced by sorrow's thrilling dart,
    Did meekly bear the pang unmerited;
    Meek as that Emblem of her lowly heart
    The milk-white Lamb, which in a line she led,
    And faithful, loyal in her innocence,                         15
    Like the brave Lion slain in her defence.

    Notes could we hear as of a faery shell
    Attuned to words with sacred wisdom fraught;
    Free fancy prized each specious miracle,
    And all its finer inspiration caught                          20
    Mid the green bower, and in our rustic Cell;
    Till we by lamentable change were taught
    That bliss with mortal man may not abide,
    How nearly joy and sorrow are allied![S]

    For us the stream of fiction ceased to flow,                  25
    For us the voice of melody was mute:
    But as soft gales dissolve the dreary snow,
    And give the timid herbage leave to shoot,
    Heaven's breathing spirit failed not to bestow
    Its timely influence--promising fair fruit                    30
    Of pensive pleasure and serene content,
    From blossoms wild of fancies innocent.

    It soothed us--it beguiled us--then, to hear
    Once more of troubles wrought by magic spell,
    And griefs whose aery motion comes not near                   35
    The pangs that tempt the spirit to rebel;
    Then, with mild Una in her sober cheer,
    High over hill and low adown the dell
    Again we wandered, willing to partake
    All that she suffered for her dear Lord's sake.               40

           *       *       *       *       *

    Then, too, this Song _of mine_ once more could please,
    Where anguish, strange as dreams of restless sleep,
    Is tempered and allayed by sympathies
    Aloft ascending, and descending deep,
    Even to the inferior Kinds; whom forest-trees                 45
    Protect from beating sunbeams, and the sweep
    Of the sharp winds;--fair Creatures!--to whom Heaven
    A calm and sinless life, with love, hath given.

           *       *       *       *       *

    This tragic story cheered us, for it speaks
    Of female patience winning firm repose,                       50
    And of the high reward which conscience seeks
    A bright encouraging example shows;
    Needful when o'er wide realms the tempest breaks,
    Needful amid life's ordinary woes;--
    A tale which now, dear helpmate, I present                    55
    To thee and to the world with pure intent.[T]

    He serves the Muses erringly and ill,
    Whose aim is pleasure light and fugitive:
    O, that my mind were equal to fulfil
    The comprehensive mandate which they give--                   60
    Vain aspiration of an earnest will!
    Yet in this moral Strain a power may live,
    Belovèd Wife! such solace to impart,
    As it hath yielded to thy tender heart.


[Footnote S: Another version of this stanza follows:--

    But like a wreath, composed of bud and bell,
    Spring's flowery garland, in a whirlwind caught,
    Or like the warblings of a sea-nymph's shell
    When the distempered air with storms is fraught;
    Those pleasures vanished from our rustic cell,
    And we by lamentable change were taught
    That bliss with mortal man may not abide,
    How nearly joy and sorrow are allied!


[Footnote T: Two variations of the last couplet follow in the MS.:--

    And therefore not unfitted to impress
    On happier hours a holier happiness.
    Hence, not for those unfitted who would bless
    A happy hour with holier happiness.




Composed 1815.--Published 1820

[This was written at Rydal Mount, as a token of affectionate respect for
the memory of Milton. "I have determined," says he, in his preface to
his _History of England_, "to bestow the telling over even of these
reputed tales, be it for nothing else but in favour of our English Poets
and Rhetoricians, who by their wit will know how to use them

One of the "Poems founded on the Affections."

The extract given in the Fenwick note is not from the "preface," but
from the first book of Milton's _History of England_.--ED.

    Where be the temples which,[41] in Britain's Isle,
    For his paternal Gods, the Trojan raised?[U]
    Gone like a morning dream, or like a pile
    Of clouds that in cerulean ether blazed!
    Ere Julius landed on her white-cliffed shore,[V]               5
        They sank, delivered o'er
    To fatal dissolution; and, I ween,
    No vestige then was left that such had ever been.

    Nathless, a British record (long concealed
    In old Armorica, whose secret springs                         10
    No Gothic conqueror ever drank) revealed
    The marvellous[42] current of forgotten things;[W]
    How Brutus came, by oracles impelled,
        And Albion's giants quelled,[X]
    A brood whom no civility could melt,                          15
    "Who never tasted grace, and goodness ne'er had felt."

    By brave Corineus aided, he subdued,[Y]
    And rooted out the intolerable kind;
    And this too-long-polluted land[43] imbued
    With goodly[44] arts and usages refined;                      20
    Whence golden harvests, cities, warlike towers,
        And pleasure's sumptuous[45] bowers;
    Whence all the fixed[46] delights of house and home,
    Friendships[47] that will not break, and love that cannot

    O, happy Britain! region all too fair                         25
    For self-delighting fancy[48] to endure
    That silence only should inhabit there,
    Wild beasts, or uncouth savages impure!
    But, intermingled with the generous seed,
        Grew[49] many a poisonous weed;                           30
    Thus fares it still with all that takes its birth
    From human care, or grows upon the breast of earth.

    Hence, and how soon! that war of vengeance waged
    By Guendolen against her faithless lord;[AA]
    Till she, in jealous fury unassuaged                          35
    Had slain his paramour with ruthless sword:
    Then, into Severn hideously defiled,
        She flung her[50] blameless child,
    Sabrina,--vowing that the stream should bear                  39
    That name through every age, her hatred to declare.[AB]

    So speaks the Chronicle, and tells of Lear
    By his ungrateful daughters turned adrift.
    Ye lightnings, hear his voice!--they cannot hear,
    Nor can the winds restore his simple gift.
    But One there is, a Child of nature meek,                     45
        Who comes her Sire to seek;
    And he, recovering sense, upon her breast
    Leans smilingly, and sinks into a perfect rest.[AC]

    There too we read of Spenser's fairy themes,
    And those that Milton loved in youthful years;                50
    The sage enchanter Merlin's subtle schemes;
    The feats of Arthur and his knightly peers;[AD]
    Of Arthur,--who, to upper light restored,
        With that terrific sword[AE]
    Which yet he brandishes for future war,[51]                   55
    Shall lift his country's fame above the polar star!

    What wonder, then, if in such[52] ample field
    Of old tradition, one particular flower
    Doth seemingly in vain its fragrance yield,
    And bloom unnoticed even to this late hour?                   60
    Now, gentle Muses, your assistance grant,
        While I this flower transplant
    Into a garden stored with Poesy;[53]
    Where flowers and herbs unite, and haply some weeds be,[54]
    That, wanting not wild grace, are from all mischief free![55]

      A KING more worthy of respect and love                      66
    Than wise Gorbonian ruled not in his day;[AF]
    And grateful Britain prospered far above
    All neighbouring countries through his righteous sway;
    He poured rewards and honours on the good;                    70
        The oppressor he withstood;
    And while he served the Gods with reverence due,
    Fields smiled, and temples rose, and towns and cities grew.

    He died, whom Artegal succeeds--his son;
    But how unworthy of that sire[56] was he!                     75
    A hopeful reign, auspiciously begun,
    Was darkened soon by foul iniquity.
    From crime to crime he mounted, till at length
        The nobles leagued their strength
    With a vexed people, and the tyrant chased;                   80
    And, on the vacant throne, his worthier Brother placed.

    From realm to realm the humbled Exile went,
    Suppliant for aid his kingdom to regain;
    In many a court, and many a warrior's tent,
    He urged his persevering suit in vain.                        85
    Him, in whose wretched heart ambition failed,
        Dire poverty assailed;
    And, tired with slights his pride no more could brook,
    He towards his native country cast a longing look.[57]

    Fair blew the wished-for wind--the voyage sped;               90
    He landed; and, by many dangers scared,
    "Poorly provided, poorly followèd,"
    To Calaterium's forest he repaired.
    How changed from him who, born to highest place,
        Had swayed the royal mace,                                95
    Flattered and feared, despised yet deified,
    In Troynovant, his seat by silver Thames's side![AG]

    From that wild region where the crownless King
    Lay in concealment with his scanty train,
    Supporting life by water from the spring,                    100
    And such chance food as outlaws can obtain,
    Unto the few whom he esteems his friends
        A messenger he sends;
    And from their secret loyalty requires
    Shelter and daily bread,--the sum[58] of his desires.        105

    While he the issue waits, at early morn
    Wandering by stealth abroad, he chanced to hear
    A startling outcry made by hound and horn,
    From which the tusky wild boar flies in fear;[59]
    And, scouring toward[60] him o'er the grassy plain,          110
        Behold the hunter train!
    He bids his little company advance
    With seeming unconcern and steady countenance.

    The royal Elidure, who leads the chase,
    Hath checked his foaming courser:--can it be!                115
    Methinks that I should recognise that face,
    Though much disguised by long adversity!
    He gazed rejoicing, and again he gazed,
        Confounded and amazed--
    "It is the king, my brother!" and, by sound                  120
    Of his own voice confirmed, he leaps upon the ground.

    Long, strict, and tender was the embrace he gave,
    Feebly returned by daunted Artegal;
    Whose natural affection doubts enslave,
    And apprehensions dark and criminal.                         125
    Loth to restrain the moving interview,
        The attendant lords withdrew;
    And, while they stood upon the plain apart,
    Thus Elidure, by words, relieved his struggling heart.

    "By heavenly Powers conducted, we have met;                  130
    --O Brother! to my knowledge lost so long,
    But neither lost to love, nor to regret,
    Nor to my wishes lost;--forgive the wrong,
    (Such it may seem) if I thy crown have borne,
        Thy royal mantle worn:                                   135
    I was their natural guardian; and 'tis just
    That now I should restore what hath been held in trust."

    A while the astonished Artegal stood mute,
    Then thus exclaimed: "To me, of titles shorn,
    And stripped of power! me, feeble, destitute,                140
    To me a kingdom! spare the bitter scorn:
    If justice ruled the breast[61] of foreign kings,
        Then, on the wide-spread wings
    Of war, had I returned to claim my right;
    This will I here avow, not dreading thy despite."            145

    "I do not blame thee," Elidure replied;
    "But, if my looks did with my words agree,
    I should at once be trusted, not defied,
    And thou from all disquietude be free.
    May the unsullied Goddess of the chase,[62][AH]              150
        Who to this blessed place
    At this blest moment led me, if I speak
    With insincere intent, on me her vengeance wreak!

    "Were this same spear, which in my hand I grasp,
    The British sceptre, here would I to thee                    155
    The symbol yield; and would undo this clasp,
    If it confined the robe of sovereignty.
    Odious to me the pomp of regal court,
        And joyless sylvan sport,
    While thou art roving, wretched and forlorn,                 160
    Thy couch the dewy earth, thy roof the forest thorn!"

    Then Artegal thus spake: "I only sought,
    Within this realm a place of safe retreat;
    Beware of rousing an ambitious thought;
    Beware of kindling hopes, for me unmeet!                     165
    Thou art reputed wise, but in my mind
        Art pitiably blind:
    Full soon this generous purpose thou may'st rue,
    When that which has been done[63] no wishes can undo.

    "Who, when a crown is fixed upon his head,                   170
    Would balance claim with claim, and right with right?
    But thou--I know not how inspired, how led--
    Wouldst change the course of things in all men's sight!
    And this for one who cannot imitate
        Thy virtue, who may hate:                                175
    For, if, by such strange sacrifice restored,
    He reign, thou still must be his king, and sovereign lord;

    "Lifted in magnanimity above
    Aught that my feeble nature could perform,
    Or even conceive; surpassing me in love                      180
    Far as in power the eagle doth the worm:
    I, Brother! only should be king in name,
        And govern to my shame;
    A shadow in a hated land, while all
    Of glad or willing service to thy share would fall."         185

    "Believe it not," said Elidure; "respect
    Awaits on virtuous life, and ever most
    Attends on goodness with dominion decked,
    Which stands the universal empire's boast;
    This can thy own experience testify:                         190
        Nor shall thy foes deny
    That, in the gracious opening of thy reign,
    Our father's spirit seemed in thee to breathe again.

    "And what if o'er that bright unbosoming
    Clouds of disgrace and envious fortune past!                 195
    Have we not seen the glories of the spring
    By veil of noontide darkness overcast?
    The frith[64] that glittered like a warrior's shield,
        The sky, the gay green field,
    Are vanished; gladness ceases in the groves,                 200
    And trepidation strikes the blackened mountain-coves.

    "But is that gloom dissolved? how passing clear
    Seems the wide world, far brighter than before!
    Even so thy latent worth will re-appear,
    Gladdening the people's heart[65] from shore to shore;       205
    For youthful faults ripe virtues shall atone;
        Re-seated on thy throne,
    Proof shalt thou furnish that misfortune, pain,
    And sorrow, have confirmed thy native[66] right to reign.

    "But, not to overlook what thou may'st know,                 210
    Thy enemies are neither weak nor few;
    And circumspect must be our course, and slow,
    Or from my purpose ruin may ensue.
    Dismiss thy followers;--let them calmly wait
        Such change in thy estate                                215
    As I already have in thought devised;
    And which, with caution due, may soon be realised."

    The Story tells what courses were pursued,
    Until king Elidure, with full consent
    Of all his peers, before the multitude,                      220
    Rose,--and, to consummate this just intent,
    Did place upon his brother's head the crown,
        Relinquished by his own;
    Then to his[67] people cried, "Receive your lord,
    Gorbonian's first-born son, your rightful king restored!"

    The people answered with a loud acclaim:                     226
    Yet more;--heart-smitten by the heroic deed,
    The reinstated Artegal became
    Earth's noblest penitent;[68] from bondage freed
    Of vice--thenceforth unable[69] to subvert                   230
        Or shake his high desert.
    Long did he reign; and, when he died, the tear
    Of universal grief bedewed his honoured bier.

    Thus was a Brother by a Brother saved;[AI]
    With whom a crown (temptation that hath set                  235
    Discord in hearts of men till they have braved
    Their nearest kin with deadly purpose met)
    'Gainst duty weighed, and faithful love, did seem
        A thing of no esteem;
    And, from this triumph of affection pure,                    240
    He bore the lasting name of "pious Elidure!"[AJ]


[Footnote 41: 1820

    ... that, ...                                                 MS.

[Footnote 42: 1836.

    The wonderous ...                                    1820 and MS.

[Footnote 43: 1820.

    ... soil ...                                                  MS.

[Footnote 44: 1820.

    ... gentle ...                                                MS.

[Footnote 45: 1820.

    ... fragrant ...                                              MS.

[Footnote 46: 1820.

    ... mild ...                                                  MS.

[Footnote 47: 1820.

    Friendship ...                                                MS.

[Footnote 48: 1820.

    For fondly favouring Nature ...                               MS.

[Footnote 49: 1820.

    Lurked ...                                                    MS.

[Footnote 50: 1820.

    She flung their ...                                           MS.

    Cast this, her ...                                            MS.

[Footnote 51: 1836.

    Which yet he wields in subterranean war,                    1820.

    Which yet he wields in subterraneous war,                     MS.

    Which yet he graspeth, meditating war,
    To lift                                                       MS.

[Footnote 52: 1820.

    ... this ...                                                  MS.

[Footnote 53: 1820.

    Into a Garden of pure Poesy;                                  MS.

    ... stocked with Poesy;                                       MS.

[Footnote 54: 1820.

    ... some be weeds,                                            MS.

[Footnote 55: 1820.

    ... Poesy
    Which hath been tended long with all humility.                MS.

[Footnote 56: 1836.

    ... of such sire ...                                 1820 and MS.

[Footnote 57: 1836.

    And, tired with slights which he no more could brook,
    Towards his native soil he cast a longing look.

                                                         1820 and MS.

[Footnote 58: 1836.

    ... the amount ...                                   1820 and MS.

[Footnote 59: 1845.

    ... tusky boar hath fled in fear;                    1820 and MS.

[Footnote 60: 1832.

    ... tow'rds ...                                      1820 and MS.

[Footnote 61: 1820.

    ... in breasts ...                                            MS.

[Footnote 62: 1827.

    May spotless Dian, Goddess of the chace,                    1820.

[Footnote 63: 1820.

    When that which thou hast done ...                            MS.

[Footnote 64: 1820.

    The Lake ...                                                  MS.

[Footnote 65: 1820.

    ... hearts ...                                                MS.

[Footnote 66: 1820.

    ... inborn ...                                                MS.

[Footnote 67: 1820.

    ... the ...                                                   MS.

[Footnote 68: 1820.

    A thorough penitent; ...                                      MS.

[Footnote 69: 1827.

    Of vice,--of vice unable ...                                1820.

    Of vice--henceforth unable ...                                MS.



[Footnote U: Brutus, reputed great-grandson of Æneas the Trojan Prince,
the legendary founder of the British race--according to the story in
Geoffrey of Monmouth's Chronicle--after a somewhat chequered career in
Greece, consulted Diana where he should go and settle. To whom Diana in
a vision replied:--

    Brutus, far to the West, in th' Ocean wide,
    Beyond the realm of Gaul, a land there lies,
    Sea-girt it lies, where Giants dwelt of old,
    Now void, it fits thy people; thither bend
    Thy course, there shalt thou find a lasting seat,
    There to thy sons another Troy shall rise,
    And kings be born of thee....

"Brutus guided now," says Milton (following Monmouth), "by Divine
conduct, speeds him towards the West."... After some adventures in the
Adriatic and in Gaul, "with an easy course, arriving at Totness, in
Devonshire, quickly perceives here to be the promised end of his

"The island, not yet _Britain_ but _Albion_, was in a manner desert, and
inhospitable; kept only by a remnant of _Giants_; whose excessive Force
and Tyrannie had consumed the rest. Them Brutus destroies, and to his
people divides the Land, which with som reference to his own name, he
henceforth calls Britain." (Milton's _History of England_, book

[Footnote V: Julius Caesar landed for the first time in Britain, 55

[Footnote W: Compare _The Solitary Reaper_, II. 18-20 (vol. ii. p.

    Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow
    For old, unhappy, far-off things,
    And battles long ago.


[Footnote X: See note A on the previous page.--ED.]

[Footnote Y: Corineus, according to the old legend, was the chief of a
Trojan race who came with Brutus into Aquitania, and afterwards into
Britain. Cornwall fell to Corineus by lot, in the portioning out of the
new territory, "the rather by him liked," says Milton, "for that the
hugest Giants in Rocks and Caves were said to lurk still there; which
kind of Monsters to deal with was his old exercise." (Milton's _History
of England_, book i.)--ED.]

[Footnote Z: Compare _To a Skylark_ (1825)--

    Type of the wise who soar, but never roam;
    True to the kindred points of Heaven and Home.


[Footnote AA: _Locrine_, Brutus' son, was engaged to marry Corineus'
daughter, _Guendolen_. But, after defeating _Humber_, King of the Huns,
and finding Estrildis, daughter of a German king, amongst the spoil, he
took her captive. He married Guendolen, but loved Estrildis, and on the
death of Corineus, he divorced Guendolen, and married Estrildis. The
rest may be told in Milton's words: "Guendolen all in rage departs into
Cornwal;... And gathering an army of her Father's Friends and Subjects,
gives Battail to her Husband by the River _Sture_; wherein _Locrine_,
shot with an arrow, ends his life. But not so ends the fury of
_Guendolen_; for _Estrildis_, and her daughter _Sabra_, she throws into
a River: and to leave a Monument of Revenge, proclaims that the Stream
be henceforth called after the Damsel's name; which by length of time is
changed now to _Sabrina_ or _Severn_." (_History of England_, book

[Footnote AB: See note [AC] on the previous page.--ED.]

[Footnote AC: "_Leir_ who next Reigned, had only three Daughters, and no
Male Issue: governed laudably, and built _Caer-Leir_, now _Leicester_,
on the bank of _Sora_. But at last, failing through Age, he determines
to bestow his Daughters, and so among them to divide his Kingdom. Yet
first to try which of them loved him best, (a Trial that might have made
him, had he known as wisely how to try, as he seemed to know how much
the trying behooved him) _he resolves a simple resolution, to ask them
solemnly in order; and which of them should profess largest, her to
beleev_. _Gonorill_ the Eldest, apprehending too well her Father's
weakness, makes answer invoking Heaven, _That she loved him above her
Soul_. _Therefore_, quoth the old man, overjoyed, _since thou so
honourst my declined Age, to thee and the Husband whom thou shalt
choose, I give the third part of my Realm_. So fair a speeding for a few
words soon uttered, was to _Regan_ the second, ample instruction what to
say. She on the same demand spares no protesting, and the Gods must
witness that otherwise to express her thoughts she knew not, but that
_she loved him above all Creatures_; and so receavs an equal reward with
her Sister. But _Cordeilla_, the youngest, though hitherto best beloved,
and now before her Eyes the rich and present hire of a little easie
soothing, the danger also, and the loss likely to betide plain dealing,
yet moves not from the solid purpose of a sincere and vertuous answer.
_Father_, saith she, _my love towards you, is as my duty bids; what
should a Father seek, what can a Child promise more? they who pretend
beyond this, flatter_. When the old man, sorry to hear this, and wishing
her to recall those words, persisted asking, with a loiall sadness at
her Father's infirmity, but something on the sudden, harsh, and
glancing, rather at her Sisters, then speaking her own mind, _Two waies
only_, saith she, _I have to answer what you require mee; the former,
Your command is, I should recant; accept then this other which is left
me; look how much you have, so much is your value, and so much I love
you_. _Then hear thou_, quoth _Leir_ now all in passion, _what thy
ingratitude hath gained thee; because thou hast not reverenced thy aged
father equall to thy Sisters, part in my Kingdom, or what else is mine
reck'n to have none_. And without delay gives in marriage his other
Daughters, _Gonorill_ to _Maglannus_ Duke of Albana, _Regan_ to
_Henninus_ Duke of _Cornwal_; with them in present half his Kingdom; the
rest to follow at his Death. In the mean while Fame was not sparing to
divulge the wisdom, and other Graces of _Cordeilla_, insomuch that
_Aganippus a great King in Gaul_ (however he came by his Greek name)
seeks her to Wife, and nothing alter'd at the loss of her Dowry, receavs
her gladly in such manner as she was sent him. After this _King Leir_,
more and more drooping with years, became an easy prey to his Daughters
and thir Husbands; who now by dayly encroachment had seis'd the whole
Kingdom into thir hands: and the old King is put to sojorn with his
Eldest Daughter, attended only by three score Knights. But they in a
short while grudged at, as too numerous and disorderly for continuall
guests, are reduced to thirty. Not brooking that affront, the old King
betakes him to his second Daughter; but there also discord soon arising
between the Servants of differing Masters in one Family, five only are
suffer'd to attend him. Then back again he returns to the other; hoping
that she his Eldest could not but have more pity on his Gray Hairs: but
she now refuses to admitt him, unless he be content with one only of his
followers. At last the remembrance of his youngest _Cordeilla_ comes to
his thoughts; and now acknowledging how true her words had bin, though
with little hope from whom he had so injur'd, be it but to pay her the
last recompence she can have from him, his confession of her wise
forewarning, that so perhaps his misery, the prooff and experiment of
her Wisdom, might somthing soft'n her, he takes his Journey into
_France_. Now might be seen a difference between the silent, or
downright spok'n affection of som Children to thir Parents, and the
talkative obsequiousness of others: while the hope of Inheritance
over-acts them, and on the Tongue's end enlarges thir duty. _Cordeilla_
out of meer love, without the suspicion of expected reward, at the
message only of her Father in distress, pours forth true filial tears.
And not enduring either that her own, or any other Eye should see him in
such forlorn condition as his Messenger declar'd, discreetly appoints
one of her trusted Servants, first to convay him privately toward som
good Sea Town, there to array him, bathe him, cherish him, furnish him
with such Attendance and State, as beseem'd his Dignity. That then, as
from his first Landing, he might send word of his Arrival to her Husband
_Aganippus_. Which don with all mature and requisite contrivance,
_Cordeilla_ with the King her Husband, and all the Barony of his Realm,
who then first had news of his passing the Sea, goe out to meet him; and
after all honourable and joyfull entertainment, _Aganippus_, as to his
Wives Father, and his Royall Guest, surrenders him, during his abode
there, the power, and disposal of his whole Dominion; permitting his
Wife _Cordeilla_ to go with an Army, and set her Father upon his Throne.
Wherein her piety so prospered, as that she vanquished her impious
Sisters with those Dukes, and _Leir_ again, as saith the story, three
years obtained the Crown. To whom dying, _Cordeilla_ with all regal
Solemnities gave Burial in the Town of _Leicester_. And then as right
Heir succeeding, and her Husband dead, rul'd the land five years in
peace." (Milton, _History of England_, book i.)--ED.]

[Footnote AD: See Milton's _History of England_, book iii.--ED.]

[Footnote AE: The sword Excalibur, given to King Arthur by the Lady of
the Lake. Compare Tennyson's _Morte d'Arthur_.--ED.]

[Footnote AF: The following is Milton's account of _Gorbonian_,
_Archigallo_, and _Elidure_:--"_Gorbonian_ the Eldest of his five Sons,
then whom a juster man liv'd not in his Age, was a great builder of
Temples, and gave to all what was thir due; to his Gods devout Worship,
to men of desert honour and preferment; to the Commons encouragement in
thir Labours, and Trades, defence and protection from injuries and
oppressions, so that the Land florish'd above her Neighbours, Violence
and Wrong seldom was heard of; his Death was a general loss; he was
buried in _Trinovant_.

"_Archigallo_ the second Brother followed not his Example; but depress'd
the ancient Nobility, and by peeling the wealthier sort, stuff'd his
Treasury, and took the right way to be depos'd.

"_Elidure_ the next Brother, surnamed the Pious, was set up in his
place; a mind so noble, and so moderat, as almost is incredible to have
bin ever found. For having held the Scepter five years, hunting one day
in the Forest of _Calater_, he chanc'd to meet his deposed Brother,
wandering in mean condition; who had bin long in vain beyond the Seas,
importuning Foren aides to his Restorement: and was now in a poor Habit,
with only ten followers, privatly return'd to find subsistence among his
secret friends. At the unexpected sight of him, _Elidure_ himself also
then but thinly accompanied, runs to him with open Arms; and after many
dear and sincere welcomings, convaies him to the Citty _Alclud_; there
hides him in his own Bed-Chamber. Afterwards faining himself sick,
summons all his Peers as about greatest affairs; where admitting them
one by one, as if his weakness endur'd not the disturbance of more at
once, causes them, willing or unwilling, once more to swear Allegiance
to _Archigallo_. Whom after reconciliation made on all sides, he leads
to _York_: and from his own Head, places the Crown on the Head of his
Brother, who thenceforth, Vice itself dissolving in him, and forgetting
her firmest hold with the admiration of a deed so Heroic, became a true
converted man: rul'd worthily 10 years; dy'd and was Buried in
_Caer-Leir_. Thus was a Brother saved by a Brother, to whom love of a
Crown, the thing that so often dazles, and vitiates mortal man, for
which thousands of neerest blood have destroy'd each other, was in
respect of Brotherly dearness, a contemptible thing." (Milton, _History
of England_, book i.)--ED.]

[Footnote AG: The legendary story tells that Brutus, the founder of the
British race, having come from Troy (see note [A] to p. 45), "in a
chosen place builds _Troia nova_, changed in time to _Trinovantum_, now

[Footnote AH: It may not be too insignificant to note that it was Diana,
the "Goddess of the chase," whom Brutus, according to the legend,
consulted as to where he should settle, and who directed him to the land
"to the West, in th' Ocean wide." (See note U p. 45.)--ED.]

[Footnote AI: See Milton's _History of England_, quoted in footnote,
p. 51.--ED.]

[Footnote AJ: The various (tentative) versions of _Artegal and
Elidure_--especially of some of the stanzas--are more numerous than in
the case of any other poem I have seen in MS., and several of them may
be preserved.

    STANZA 1

    Where be the Temples which in Albion's Isle,
    As stories tell, the Trojan Brutus reared?
    The form and substance of each stately pile
    Were gone, the very dust had disappeared;
    Ere Julius reached the white-cliffed shore,
      They sank, delivered o'er
    To utter dissolution, whence I ween
    A general doubt prevails, if such have ever been.

    Sunk are the Temples which, as stories tell,
    In Britain's Isle the Trojan Brutus reared,
    For his transplanted Gods therein to dwell?
    Ere Julius landed on the white-cliffed shore,
    The sacred structures were delivered o'er
    To utter desolation, whence I ween
    A general doubt prevails if such have ever been.

    Where be the Temples which in Britain's Isle,
    As legends tell, the Trojan Founder reared?
    Gone like a dream of morning, or a pile
    { Of glittering clouds that in the East appeared. }
    { Of gorgeous clouds that in the west appeared.   }
    Ere Julius landed on her white-cliffed shore,
      They sank, delivered o'er
    To fatal dissolution, and I ween
    No vestige there was left that such had ever been.

    STANZA 2

    Yet in unvanquished Cambria lay concealed
    'Mid Snowdon's forests, or by Vaga's springs,
    A Book whose leaves to later times revealed
    The {mighty|wondrous} course of these forgotten things,
    How Brutus sailed, by oracles impelled,
      And hideous giants quelled,
    A Brood whom no civility could melt,
    Who never tasted grace, and goodness ne'er had felt.

    Yet in the wilds of Cambria lay concealed
    By _Snowdon's_ forests or by _Vaga's_ springs,
    A Book whose leaves to later time revealed
    The wondrous course of {those|long} forgotten things;
    How Brutus came, etc.

    A British record that had lain concealed
    In old Armorica (whose sacred springs
    No Gothic conqueror ever drank) revealed
    The wondrous course of those forgotten things;
    How Brutus came, etc.

    STANZA 3

    By brave Corineus aided, he subdued
    And rooted out the intolerable kind,
    And this too long-polluted soil imbued
    With {gentle|goodly} arts, and usages refined;
    Whence golden harvests, cities, warlike towers,
      { And for soft pleasures, bowers,         }
      { And pleasure's {fragrant|leafy} bowers, }
    Whence all the fixed delights of house and home,
    Friendship that will not break, and love that cannot roam.

    STANZA 4

    O happy Britain! region all too fair
    For fondly-favouring Nature to endure

           *       *       *       *       *

        Lurked many a poisonous weed;

    STANZA 6

    Who has not wept the wrongs of aged Lear
    By his ungrateful daughter turned adrift?
    Hear him, ye elements!--they cannot hear,
    Nor can the winds restore his simple gift,
    But One there is, a child of nature meek,
      Who comes her sire to seek;
    And he, recovering sense, upon her breast
    Leans smilingly, and sinks into a {happy   }
                                               } rest.

    STANZA 7

    {Honoured, for ever honoured be the page,  }
    {Prized be the Book, and honoured the Page,}
    When England's Darling found a basis laid
    To those dread scenes which on the tragic stage
    To trembling multitudes his art displayed;
    And to {that chronicle } be praise decreed
          {the same for this}
      That there men first did read
    Of Merlin's insight into future years,
    And all the mighty feats of Arthur and his peers.

    STANZA 8

    What wonder, then, if 'mid the vast domain
    Of that rich Volume, one particular Flower
    Hath breathed its fragrance seemingly in vain
    And bloomed unnoticed even to this late hour,
    Ye gentle Muses, your assistance grant,
      While I this flower transplant
    Into a garden pure of poesy,
    Small garden which I tend in all humility.

The following (suppressed) Stanza followed No. 10

    The winds and waves have aided him to reach
    That coast, the object of his heart's desire,
    But, while the crownless sovereign trod the beach,
    His eyeballs kindle with resentful ire,
    As if incensed with all that he beholds,
      Dark fields, and naked wolds,
    And these few Followers, a helpless band
    That to his fortunes cleave, and wait on his command.

    STANZA 12

    {"Bear with me, Friends," said Artegal ashamed,}
    {"Forgive this passion," Artegal exclaimed,    }
    And, as he spake, they dive into a wood,
    And from its shady boughs protection claimed,
    For light he fears, and open neighbourhood.
    How changed from him who born to highest place

    STANZA 13

    Oft by imaginary terrors scared,
    And sometimes into real dangers brought,
    To Calaterium's forest he repaired,
    And in its depth secure a refuge sought,
    Thence to a few whom he esteems his friends
      A messenger he sends,

    STANZA 14

    With his attendants here at break of morn,
    Wandering by stealth abroad he chanced to hear
    A startling outcry made by hound and horn,
    From which the tusky Boar hath fled in fear,
    And, etc.

    STANZA 16

    Feebly returned by {wandering} Artegal,

    STANZA 17

    {Heir of Gorbonian! Brother gladly met,  }
    {Gorbonian's heir, my brother gladly met,}

    STANZA 25

    And what if o'er this bright unbosoming
    A cloud of time, and envious fortune past!
    Have we not seen the glories of the spring
    By noontide darkness veiled and overcast?
    The lakes that glittered like a sunbright shield,
      The sky, the gay green field,
    All vanish in a moment, as if night
    Were sister to the sun, and darkness born of light.

    STANZA 26

    But should the sun victorious glimmer forth,
    Far brighter seems the wide world than before:
    Such power is latent in thy native worth,
    To spread delight and joy from shore to shore:
    For past misdeeds how grateful to atone,
      Re-seated on thy throne,
    Give proof that long adversity, and pain,
    And sorrow have confirmed thy inborn right to reign.

    From STANZA 28 to end

    The story tells that Artegal away
    Was by his brother privily conveyed
    To a far distant city (at that day
    Alclwyd named), whose fortress undismayed
    By the hostility of mortals stood
      In sight of field and flood,
    Obnoxious only on the lofty Rock
    To the careering storm, and perilous lightning stroke.

    When this impregnable retreat was gained,
    In prudent furtherance of his just intent,
    King Elidure a mortal illness feigned,
    And to his mightiest Lords a summons sent
    Softly, and one by one into the gloom,
      (As suits a sick man's room),
    The attendants introduced each potent peer,
    There, singly and alone, his sovereign will to hear.

    Said Elidure, Behold our rightful King,
    The banished Artegal, before thee stands:
    Kneel, and renew to him the offering
    Of thy allegiance; justice this demands,
    Immortal justice, speaking through my voice,
      Accept him, and rejoice.
                           ... he will prove
    Worthier than I have been of reverence and love.

    If firm command and mild persuasion failed
    To change the temper of an adverse mind,
    With such by other engines he prevailed,
    Threatening to fling their bodies to the wind
    From the dread summit of the lonely block,
      That castle-crested Rock,
    Alclwyd then, but now Dunbarton named,
    A memorable crag through spacious Albion famed.

    Departing thence, to York their way they bent,
    While the glad people flowers before them strewed,
    And then King Elidure with full consent
    Of all his peers, before the multitude
    Upon his brother's head he placed the crown,
      Relinquished by his own;
    Triumph of justice, and affection pure,
    Whence he the title gained of "pious Elidure."

    The people answered with a loud acclaim,
    Through admiration of the heroic deed.
    The reinstated Artegal became
    Earth's noblest penitent; from bondage freed
    Of vice, henceforth unable to control
      The motions of his soul.
    {And when he died, the worthy and the brave        }
    {Shed tears of fond regret upon his honoured grave.}
    {Long did he reign: and, when he died, the tear    }
    {Of fond regret was shed upon his honoured bier.   }

    Thus was a Brother by a Brother saved.
    With whom a crown (temptation that hath set
    Discord in hearts of men till they have braved
    Their nearest kin in deadly battle met),
    With duty weighed, and faithful love did seem
      A thing of no esteem;
    And from this triumph of affection pure,
    He won the lasting name of "pious Elidure."


Composed December 1815.--Published March 31, 1816.

One of the "Miscellaneous Sonnets." The title "Esq." was appended to the
name in the editions of 1820 to 1832.--ED.

    High is our calling, Friend!--Creative Art
    (Whether the instrument of words she use,
    Or pencil pregnant with ethereal hues)
    Demands the service of a mind and heart,
    Though sensitive, yet, in their weakest part,                  5
    Heroically fashioned--to infuse
    Faith in the whispers of the lonely Muse,
    While the whole world seems adverse to desert.
    And, oh! when Nature sinks, as oft she may
    Through long-lived pressure of obscure distress,              10
    Still to be strenuous for the bright reward,
    And in the soul admit of no decay,
    Brook no continuance of weak-mindedness--
    Great is the glory, for the strife is hard!

This sonnet was first published in _The Examiner_ (March 31, 1816). It
was composed in December 1815. On November 27, Haydon wrote to
Wordsworth: "I have benefited, and have been supported in the troubles
of life by your poetry. I will bear want, pain, misery, and blindness,
but I will never yield one step I have gained on the road I am
determined to travel over." (See his _Correspondence and Table Talk_,
vol. ii. pp. 19, 20.) To this Wordsworth replied in the following letter
which is explanatory of the above sonnet, and of the two sonnets that
follow it.

    _December 21st, 1815_.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Now for the poems, which are sonnets: one composed the evening I
received your letter; the other the next day; and the third the day
following. I shall not transcribe them in the order in which they were
written, but inversely.

"The last you will find was occasioned, I might say inspired, by your
last letter, if there be any inspiration in it; the second records a
feeling excited in me by the object it describes in the month of October
last; and the first by a still earlier sensation, which the revolution
of the year impressed me with last autumn."

(Then follow the three sonnets transcribed in the following order--

    "While not a leaf seems faded; while the fields."

    "How clear, how keen, how marvellously bright."

    "High is our calling, Friend!--Creative Art.")

       *       *       *       *       *

"With high respect, I am, my dear sir, most faithfully yours.


(See the _Autobiography of B. R. Haydon_, vol. i. chap. xvi. p. 325.)

Haydon replied to Wordsworth, December 29 (see his _Correspondence_,
vol. ii. pp. 20-23): "I must say that I have felt melancholy ever since
receiving your sonnets, as if I was elevated so exceedingly, with such
a drunken humming in my brain, that my nature took refuge in quiet
humbleness and gratitude to God."

It will be observed that in his letter of December 21, Wordsworth
mentions the order in which these three sonnets were composed in three
consecutive days. In his subsequent arrangement of the sonnets he
altered this order, assigning "While not a leaf seems faded" to
"September," and "How clear, how keen," to "November 1" (another
instance of the inaccuracy of his dates). The detailed statement in this
letter to Haydon must be trusted, however, in preference to the
"afterthought" of the editions of 1820 and 1827. It may not be
superfluous to note the dates of the first publication of this trilogy
of sonnets, all of which Wordsworth sent to _The Examiner_.

    "How clear, how keen," etc.     Jan. 28th.  }
    "While not a leaf," etc.        Feb. 11th.  } 1816.
    "High is our calling," etc.     March 31st. }



Composed October 1815.--Published January 28, 1816

[Suggested on the banks of the Brathay by the sight of Langdale Pikes.
It is delightful to remember these moments of far-distant days, which
probably would have been forgotten if the impression had not been
transferred to verse. The same observation applies to the next.[AK]--I.

One of the "Miscellaneous Sonnets." In the editions of 1816 and 1820 the
title was _November 1, 1815_.--ED.

    How clear, how keen, how marvellously bright
    The effluence from yon distant mountain's head,
    Which, strewn with snow smooth as the sky can shed,[70]
    Shines like another sun--on mortal sight
    Uprisen, as if to check approaching Night,                     5
    And all her twinkling stars. Who now would tread,
    If so he might, yon mountain's glittering head--
    Terrestrial, but a surface, by the flight
    Of sad mortality's earth-sullying wing,
    Unswept, unstained? Nor shall the aërial Powers               10
    Dissolve that beauty, destined to endure,
    White, radiant, spotless, exquisitely pure,
    Through all vicissitudes, till genial Spring
    Has[71] filled the laughing vales with welcome flowers.

This sonnet originally appeared in _The Examiner_, January 28, 1816. It
is rare indeed, if ever, that the Langdale Pikes retain the first snows
of November till spring; although, as described in another poem, the
cove on Helvellyn, in which Red Tarn lies--sheltered from the sun, and
high up on the mountain--may

    Keep till June December's snow.

See _Fidelity_ (vol. iii. p. 44), and the note to the sonnet addressed
to Haydon, p. 62 of this vol.--ED.


[Footnote 70: 1837.

    ... as smooth as Heaven can shed,                           1816.

    ... smooth as the heaven can shed,                          1832.


[Footnote AK: _i.e._ the sonnet entitled _Composed during a Storm_,
which followed _November 1_ in the edition in which the Fenwick notes
first appeared.]


Composed October 1815.--Published February 11, 1816

["For me, who under kindlier laws." This conclusion has more than once,
to my great regret, excited painfully sad feelings in the hearts of
young persons fond of poetry and poetic composition, by contrast of
their feeble and declining health with that state of robust constitution
which prompted me to rejoice in a season of frost and snow as more
favourable to the Muses than summer itself.--I. F.]

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

    While not a leaf seems faded; while the fields,
    With ripening harvest[72] prodigally fair,
    In brightest sunshine bask; this nipping air,
    Sent from some distant clime where Winter wields
    His icy scimitar, a foretaste yields                           5
    Of bitter change, and bids the flowers beware;
    And whispers to the silent birds, "Prepare
    Against the threatening foe your trustiest shields."
    For me, who under kindlier laws belong
    To Nature's tuneful quire, this rustling dry                  10
    Through leaves yet green,[73] and yon crystalline sky,
    Announce a season potent to renew,
    'Mid frost and snow, the instinctive joys of song,
    And nobler cares than listless summer knew.

This sonnet was first published in _The Examiner_, February 11, 1816.
See the note to the sonnet addressed to Haydon, p. 62.--ED.

[Footnote 71: 1838.

    Have ...                                                    1816.


Published 1815

[Suggested at Hackett, which is on the craggy ridge that rises between
the two Langdales, and looks towards Windermere. The Cottage of Hackett
was often visited by us, and at the time when this Sonnet was written,
and long after, was occupied by the husband and wife described in _The
Excursion_, where it is mentioned that she was in the habit of walking
in the front of the dwelling with a light to guide her husband home at
night. The same cottage is alluded to in the _Epistle to Sir George
Beaumont_, as that from which the female peasant hailed us on our
morning journey. The musician mentioned in the sonnet was the Rev.
Samuel Tillbrook of Peter-house, Cambridge, who remodelled the Ivy
Cottage at Rydal after he had purchased it.--I. F.]

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

    The fairest, brightest, hues of ether fade;
    The sweetest notes must terminate and die;
    O Friend! thy flute has breathed a harmony
    Softly resounded through this rocky glade;
    Such strains of rapture as[AL] the Genius played               5
    In his still haunt on Bagdad's summit high;
    He who stood visible to Mirza's eye,
    Never before to human sight betrayed.
    Lo, in the vale, the mists of evening spread!
    The visionary Arches are not there,                           10
    Nor the green Islands, nor the shining Seas;
    Yet sacred is to me this Mountain's head,
    Whence I have risen, uplifted[74] on the breeze
    Of harmony, above all earthly care.

The following reference to Mr. Tillbrook, referred to in the Fenwick
note, is from the _Diary, Correspondence, etc._, of Henry Crabb
Robinson, September 5, 1816:--"An evening was spent at Wordsworth's. Mr.
Tillbrook, of Cambridge, formerly Thomas Clarkson's tutor, was there....
Mr. Walter sang some airs to Mr. Tillbrook's flute."--ED.


[Footnote 72: 1820.

    With ripening harvests ...                                  1816.

[Footnote 73: 1827.

    Through the green leaves, ...                               1816.

[Footnote 74: 1837.

    From which I have been lifted ...                           1815.


[Footnote AL: See the vision of Mirza in the _Spectator_.--W. W. 1815.]


Published 1815

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

    "Weak is the will of Man, his judgment blind;
    Remembrance persecutes, and Hope betrays;
    Heavy is woe;--and joy, for human-kind,
    A mournful thing, so transient is the blaze!"
    Thus might _he_ paint our lot of mortal days                   5
    Who wants the glorious faculty assigned
    To elevate the more-than-reasoning Mind,
    And colour life's dark cloud with orient rays.
    Imagination is that sacred power,[AM]
    Imagination lofty and refined:                                10
    'Tis hers to pluck the amaranthine flower
    Of Faith, and round the Sufferer's temples bind
    Wreaths that endure affliction's heaviest shower,
    And do not shrink from sorrow's keenest wind.


[Footnote AM: Compare the distinction Wordsworth draws between Fancy and
Imagination in his "Preface" to the Poems published in 1815, and his
definition of the function of the Imagination in that essay.--ED.]


Published 1815

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

    Hail, Twilight, sovereign of one peaceful hour!
    Not dull art Thou as undiscerning Night;
    But studious only to remove from sight
    Day's mutable distinctions.--Ancient Power!
    Thus did the waters gleam, the mountains lower,                5
    To the rude Briton, when, in wolf-skin vest
    Here roving wild, he laid him down to rest
    On the bare rock, or through a leafy bower
    Looked ere his eyes were closed. By him was seen
    The self-same Vision which we now behold,                     10
    At thy meek bidding, shadowy Power! brought forth;
    These mighty barriers, and the gulf between;
    The flood,[75] the stars,--a spectacle as old
    As the beginning of the heavens and earth!


[Footnote 75: 1837.

    The floods,-- ...                                           1815.


Published 1815

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

    The Shepherd, looking eastward, softly said,
    "Bright is thy veil, O Moon, as thou art bright!"
    Forthwith, that little cloud, in ether spread
    And penetrated all with tender light,
    She cast away, and showed her fulgent head                     5
    Uncovered; dazzling the Beholder's sight
    As if to vindicate her beauty's right,
    Her beauty thoughtlessly disparagèd.
    Meanwhile that veil, removed or thrown aside,
    Went floating from her, darkening as it went;                 10
    And a huge mass, to bury or to hide,
    Approached this glory of the firmament;
    Who meekly yields, and is obscured--content
    With one calm triumph of a modest pride.


Published 1815

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

    Even as a dragon's eye that feels the stress
    Of a bedimming sleep, or as a lamp
    Suddenly[76] glaring through sepulchral damp,
    So burns yon Taper 'mid a[77] black recess
    Of mountains, silent, dreary, motionless:                      5
    The lake below reflects it not; the sky
    Muffled in clouds, affords no company
    To mitigate and cheer its loneliness.
    Yet, round the body of that joyless Thing
    Which sends so far its melancholy light,                      10
    Perhaps are seated in domestic ring
    A gay society with faces bright,
    Conversing, reading, laughing;--or they sing,
    While hearts and voices in the song unite.

The light of the "Taper" referred to shone from Allan Bank; the "black
recess of mountains" described the heights of Silver Howe, and Easdale,
round to Helm Crag; the "lake below," which "reflected it not" (because
of the distance of Allan Bank from the side of the mere), was, of
course, Grasmere. Wordsworth is looking at this "lamp suddenly glaring
through sepulchral damp," however, from the eastern side of the lake,
perhaps from the neighbourhood of "The Wishing Gate." I am indebted to
the Rev. W. A. Harrison, Vicar of St. Anne's, Lambeth, for the following
note to this sonnet:--

'In the Sonnet No. xxiv., 'Poems of the Imagination,' [_i.e._
'Miscellaneous Sonnets'] these lines occur:--

    Even as a dragon's eye that feels the stress
    Of a bedimming sleep, or as a lamp
    Suddenly glaring through sepulchral damp,
    So burns yon Taper 'mid a black recess
    Of mountains, silent, dreary, motionless:
                    etc. etc. etc.

"In line 3, all the later editions read 'Suddenly glaring.' But why
'suddenly'? There is nothing in the imagery of the poem which is at all
suggestive of suddenness or unexpectedness in the appearance of the
burning taper. The idea is alien from the spirit of the context. The
dragon is drowsy and overborne with sleep. The taper is 'dreary' and
'motionless.' Everything is suggestive of 'sluggish stillness,' not of
rapid, flashing movement.

"Yet I find the reading '_suddenly_' in the one vol. ed. of 1828, which
is said to be a reprint of the edition of 1827 in 5 vols.; in that of
1836-7; in that of 1840; and in all the later editions.

"In the edition of 1815, however, the reading given is one that is in
strict keeping with the rest of the imagery, namely--

    '_Sullenly_ glaring.'

"Is it likely that 'sullenly' was deliberately altered by Wordsworth to
'suddenly,' or is 'suddenly' a misprint that has been perpetuated
through successive editions?

"The sonnet in question is not dated, but it was probably written after
1807 and before 1815.

"Now, in a well-known and often-quoted passage in Wordsworth's letter in
answer to Mathetes (_Friend_, vol. iii. 35, etc.), he speaks of the
'_sullen_ light' which survives the extinguished flame of the candle
that the schoolboy has blown out. 'It continues,' he says, 'to shine
with an endurance which in its apparent weakness is a mystery; it
protracts its existence so long ... that the observer who had lain down
in his bed so easy-minded, becomes sad and melancholy,' etc. etc. etc.

"In the sonnet the same ideas occur, only the 'melancholy' is here
predicated figuratively of the 'light' itself:--

                              the sky,
    Muffled in clouds, affords no company
    To mitigate and cheer its loneliness.
    Yet, round the body of that joyless Thing
    Which sends so far its melancholy light,
    Perhaps are seated, etc. etc.

"This paper in _The Friend_ was written in 1810; and it is possible that
the sonnet was written at about the same time.--W. A. HARRISON."--ED.


[Footnote 76: 1827.

    Sullenly ...                                                1815.

[Footnote 77: 1827.

    ... 'mid its ...                                            1815.


Published 1815

[Suggested in the wild hazel wood at the foot of Helm-crag, where the
stone still lies, with others of like form and character, though much of
the wood that veiled it from the glare of day has been felled. This
beautiful ground was lately purchased by our friend Mrs. Fletcher; the
ancient owners, most respected persons, being obliged to part with it in
consequence of the imprudence of a son. It is gratifying to mention
that, instead of murmuring and repining at this change of fortune, they
offered their services to Mrs. Fletcher, the husband as an outdoor
labourer, and the wife as a domestic servant. I have witnessed the pride
and pleasure with which the man worked at improvements of the ground
round the house. Indeed he expressed those feelings to me himself, and
the countenance and manner of his wife always denoted feelings of the
same character. I believe a similar disposition to contentment under
change of fortune is common among the class to which these good people
belong. Yet, in proof that to part with their patrimony is most painful
to them, I may refer to those stanzas entitled _Repentance_, no
inconsiderable part of which was taken verbatim from the language of the
speaker herself.--I. F.]

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

    Mark the concentred hazels that enclose
    Yon old grey Stone, protected from the ray
    Of noontide suns:--and even the beams that play
    And glance, while wantonly the rough wind blows,
    Are seldom free to touch the moss that grows                   5
    Upon that roof, amid embowering gloom,
    The very image framing of a Tomb,
    In which some ancient Chieftain finds repose
    Among the lonely mountains.--Live, ye trees!
    And thou, grey Stone, the pensive likeness keep               10
    Of a dark chamber where the Mighty sleep:
    For more than Fancy to the influence bends
    When solitary Nature condescends
    To mimic Time's forlorn humanities.

This "old grey Stone" is a prominent feature in the Lancrigg
Terrace-Walk. It is still moss-grown, and embowered by the hazel
underwood. Not far from it, the path opens to the spot where the most of
_The Prelude_ was composed; first hummed aloud--as the poet walked to
and fro along the terrace--and then dictated to his wife or sister. See
Lady Richardson's account of this, in her article in _Sharpe's London
Magazine_, in 1851, and in the _Autobiography of Mrs. Fletcher_ (her
mother), p. 244; also her contributions to the _Memoirs of Wordsworth_,
vol. ii. p. 438, etc.--ED.


Published 1815

[This was in fact suggested by my daughter Catherine long after her
death.[AN]--I. F.]

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

    Surprised by joy--impatient as the Wind
    I turned[78] to share the transport--Oh! with whom
    But Thee, deep buried [79] in the silent tomb,
    That spot which no vicissitude can find?
    Love, faithful love, recalled thee to my mind--                5
    But how could I forget thee? Through what power,
    Even for the least division of an hour,
    Have I been so beguiled as to be blind
    To my most grievous loss?--That thought's return
    Was the worst pang that sorrow ever bore,                     10
    Save one, one only, when I stood forlorn,
    Knowing my heart's best treasure was no more;
    That neither present time, nor years unborn
    Could to my sight that heavenly face restore.

Compare the poem entitled _Characteristics of a Child three years old_
(vol. iv. p. 252), written in 1811, and which referred, like this one,
to the poet's daughter Catherine, who died the year after. Compare also
_The Excursion_, book iii. ll. 636-649, and the sonnet beginning,
"Desponding Father! mark this altered bough," 1835.--ED.


[Footnote 78: 1820.

    I wished ...                                                1815.

[Footnote 79: 1820.

    ... long buried ...                                         1815.


[Footnote AN: Wordsworth's daughter, Catherine, was born on the 6th
September 1808, and died 4th June 1812.--ED.]


Most of the poems belonging to 1816 were suggested by the stirring
political events of that year on the Continent of Europe. Four odes, and
a number of sonnets,--referring to the Fall of Napoleon, the French army
in Russia, the battle of Waterloo, etc.,--a translation of part of
Virgil's _Æneid_, and one or two smaller fragments, make up the series.
Wordsworth had not been so much inspired by the political events of his
time, since the years 1809 and 1810--when he wrote the Tyrolese Sonnets,
and others, "Dedicated to Liberty," etc.--but, both before and during
the year 1816, he spent some time in preparing his eldest son for the
University. He read the Latin poets with him; and very probably it was
this that led him to translate into English verse, the three first books
of the _Æneid_, which he did at this time. Some fragments of his
Translations will be found in the Appendix to vol. viii.--ED.



Composed 1816.--Published 1816.

[The first stanza of this _Ode_ was composed almost extempore, in front
of Rydal Mount, before church-time, and on such a morning and precisely
with such objects before my eyes as are here described. The view taken
of Napoleon's character and proceedings is little in accordance with
that taken by some historians and critical philosophers. I am glad and
proud of the difference, and trust that this series of poems, infinitely
below the subject as they are, will survive to counteract, in
unsophisticated minds, the pernicious and degrading tendency of those
views and doctrines that lead to the idolatry of power, as power, and,
in that false splendour, to lose sight of its real nature and
constitution as it often acts for the gratification of its possessor
without reference to a beneficial end--an infirmity that has
characterised men of all ages, classes, and employments, since Nimrod
became a mighty hunter before the Lord.--I. F.]

"It is not to bespeak favour or indulgence, but to guard against
misapprehension, that the author presumes to state that the present
publication owes its existence to a patriotism, anxious to exert itself
in commemorating that course of action, by which Great Britain has, for
some time past, distinguished herself above all other countries.

"Wholly unworthy of touching upon so momentous a subject would that Poet
be, before whose eyes the present distresses under which this kingdom
labours, could interpose a veil sufficiently thick to hide, or even to
obscure, the splendour of this great moral triumph. If the author has
given way to exultation, unchecked by these distresses, it might be
sufficient to protect him from a charge of insensibility, should he
state his own belief that these sufferings will be transitory. On the
wisdom of a very large majority of the British nation, rested that
generosity which poured out the treasures of this country for the
deliverance of Europe: and in the same national wisdom, presiding in
time of peace over an energy not inferior to that which has been
displayed in war, _they_ confide, who encourage a firm hope, that the
cup of our wealth will be gradually replenished. There will, doubtless,
be no few ready to indulge in regrets and repinings; and to feed a
morbid satisfaction, by aggravating these burthens in imagination, in
order that calamity so confidently prophesied, as it has not taken the
shape which their sagacity allotted to it, may appear as grievous as
possible under another. But the body of the nation will not quarrel with
the gain, because it might have been purchased at a less price: and
acknowledging in these sufferings, which they feel to have been in a
great degree unavoidable, a consecration of their noble efforts, they
will vigorously apply themselves to remedy the evil.

"Nor is it at the expense of rational patriotism, or in disregard of
sound philosophy, that the author hath given vent to feelings tending to
encourage a martial spirit in the bosoms of his countrymen, at a time
when there is a general outcry against the prevalence of these
dispositions. The British army, both by its skill and valour in the
field, and by the discipline which has rendered it much less formidable
than the armies of other powers, to the inhabitants of the several
countries where its operations were carried on, has performed services
for humanity too important and too obvious to allow any one to
recommend, that the language of gratitude and admiration be suppressed,
or restrained (whatever be the temper of the public mind), through a
scrupulous dread, lest the tribute due to the past, should prove an
injurious incentive for the future. Every man, deserving the name of
Briton, adds his voice to the chorus which extols the exploits of his
countrymen, with a consciousness, at times overpowering the effort, that
they transcend all praise. But this particular sentiment, thus
irresistibly excited, is not sufficient. The nation would err
grievously, if she suffered the abuse which other states have made of
military power, to prevent her from perceiving that no people ever was,
or can be, independent, free, or secure, much less great, in any sane
application of the word, without martial propensities, and an assiduous
cultivation of military virtues[AO]. Nor let it be overlooked, that the
benefits derivable from these sources, are placed within the reach of
Great Britain, under conditions peculiarly favourable. The same insular
position which, by rendering territorial incorporation impossible,
utterly precludes the desire of conquest under the most seductive shape
it can assume, enables her to rely, for her defence against foreign
foes, chiefly upon a species of armed force from which her own liberties
have nothing to fear. Such are the blessed privileges of her situation;
and, by permitting, they invite her to give way to the courageous
instincts of human nature, and to strengthen and to refine them by

"But some have more than insinuated, that a design exists to subvert the
civil character of the English people by unconstitutional applications
and unnecessary increase of military power. The advisers and abettors of
such a design, were it possible that it should exist, would be guilty of
the most heinous crime, which, upon this planet, can be committed. The
author, trusting that this apprehension arises from the delusive
influences of an honourable jealousy, hopes that the martial qualities,
which he venerates, will be fostered by adhering to those good old
usages which experience has sanctioned; and by availing ourselves of new
means of indisputable promise; particularly by applying, in its utmost
possible extent, that system of tuition, of which the master-spring is a
habit of gradually enlightened subordination; by imparting knowledge,
civil, moral, and religious, in such measure that the mind, among all
classes of the community, may love, admire, and be prepared and
accomplished to defend that country, under whose protection its
faculties have been unfolded, and its riches acquired; by just dealing
towards all orders of the state, so that no members of it being trampled
upon, courage may everywhere continue to rest immoveably upon its
ancient English foundation, personal self-respect; by adequate rewards,
and permanent honours, conferred upon the deserving; by encouraging
athletic exercises and manly sports among the peasantry of the country;
and by especial care to provide and support sufficient institutions, in
which, during a time of peace, a reasonable proportion of the youth of
the country may be instructed in military science.

"Bent upon instant savings, a member of the House of Commons lately
recommended that the Military College should be suppressed as an
unnecessary expense; for, said he, 'our best officers have been formed
in the field.' More unwise advice has rarely been given! Admirable
officers, indeed, have been formed in the field, but at how deplorable
an expense of the lives of their surrounding brethren in arms, a history
of the military operations in Spain, and particularly of the sieges,
composed with thorough knowledge, and published without reserve, would
irresistibly demonstrate.[AP]

"The author has only to add that he should feel little satisfaction in
giving to the world these limited attempts to celebrate the virtues of
his country, if he did not encourage a hope that a subject, which it has
fallen within his province to treat only in the mass, will by other
poets be illustrated in that detail which its importance calls for, and
which will allow opportunities to give the merited applause to PERSONS
as well as to THINGS."


    "RYDAL MOUNT, _March_ 18, 1816."[AQ]

This _Ode_ was originally published--along with the three that follow
it, and some sonnets--in 1816, under the title, _Thanksgiving Ode,
January 18, 1816, with other short pieces, chiefly referring to recent
public events_, and with the prefatory announcement: "This Publication
may be considered as a sequel to the Author's 'Sonnets dedicated to
Liberty.'" To the whole there was prefixed an "Advertisement," beginning
as at p. 75, "It is not," etc., and continuing to "W. Wordsworth," p.


    Hail, orient Conqueror of gloomy Night![80]
    Thou that canst shed the bliss of gratitude
    On hearts howe'er insensible or rude;
    Whether thy punctual[81] visitations smite
    The haughty towers where monarchs dwell;                       5
    Or thou, impartial Sun, with presence bright
    Cheer'st the low threshold of the peasant's cell!
    Not unrejoiced I see thee climb the sky
    In naked splendour, clear from mist or haze,
    Or cloud approaching to divert the rays,                      10
    Which even in deepest winter testify
        Thy power and majesty,
    Dazzling the vision that presumes to gaze.
    --Well does thine aspect usher in this Day;
    As aptly suits therewith that modest pace                     15
        Submitted to the chains[82]
    That bind thee to the path which God ordains
        That thou shall trace,
    Till, with the heavens and earth, thou pass away!
    Nor less, the stillness of these frosty plains,               20
    Their utter stillness, and the silent grace
    Of yon ethereal summits white with snow,[AR]
    (Whose tranquil pomp and spotless purity
        Report of storms gone by
        To us who tread below)                                    25
    Do with the service of this Day accord.
    --Divinest Object which the uplifted eye
    Of mortal man is suffered to behold;
    Thou, who upon those[83] snow-clad Heights hast poured
    Meek lustre,[84] nor forget'st the humble Vale;               30
    Thou who dost warm Earth's universal mould,
    And for thy bounty wert not unadored
        By pious men of old;
    Once more, heart-cheering Sun, I bid thee hail!
    Bright be thy course to-day, let not this promise fail!


    'Mid the deep quiet of this morning hour,                     36
    All nature seems to hear me while I speak,
    By feelings urged that do not vainly seek
    Apt language, ready as the tuneful notes
    That stream in blithe succession from the throats             40
        Of birds, in leafy bower,
    Warbling a farewell to a vernal shower.
    --There is a radiant though[85] a short-lived flame,
    That burns for Poets in the dawning east;
    And oft my soul hath kindled at the same,                     45
    When the captivity of sleep had ceased;
    But He who fixed immoveably the frame
    Of the round world, and built, by laws as strong,
        A solid refuge for distress--
        The towers of righteousness;                              50
    He knows that from a holier altar came
    The quickening spark of this day's sacrifice;
    Knows that the source is nobler whence doth rise
        The current of this matin song;
          That deeper far it lies                                 55
    Than aught dependent on the fickle skies.


    Have we not conquered?--by the vengeful sword?
    Ah no, by dint of Magnanimity;
    That curbed the baser passions, and left free
    A loyal band to follow their liege Lord,                      60
    Clear-sighted Honour, and his staid Compeers,
    Along a track of most unnatural years;[AS]
    In execution of heroic deeds
    Whose memory, spotless as the crystal beads
    Of morning dew upon the untrodden meads,                      65
    Shall live enrolled above the starry spheres.
    He, who in concert with an earthly string[86]
        Of Britain's acts would sing,
        He with enraptured voice will tell
    Of One whose spirit no reverse could quell;                   70
    Of One that 'mid the failing never failed[AT]--
    Who paints how Britain struggled and prevailed
    Shall represent her labouring with an eye
        Of circumspect humanity;
    Shall show her clothed with strength and skill,               75
        All martial duties to fulfil;
    Firm as a rock in stationary fight;
    In motion rapid as the lightning's gleam;
    Fierce as a flood-gate bursting at mid night[87]
    To rouse the wicked from their giddy dream--                  80
    Woe, woe to all that face her in the field!
    Appalled she may not be, and cannot yield.


        And thus is _missed_[88] the sole true glory
        That can belong to human story!
        At which they[89] only shall arrive                       85
        Who through the abyss of weakness dive.
    The very humblest are too proud of heart;
    And one brief day is rightly set apart
    For Him[90] who lifteth up and layeth low;
    For that Almighty God to whom we owe,                         90
    Say not that we have vanquished--but that we survive.


    How dreadful the dominion of the impure!
    Why should the Song be tardy to proclaim
    That less than power unbounded[91] could not tame
    That soul of Evil--which, from hell let loose,                95
    Had filled the astonished world with such abuse
    As boundless patience only could endure?
    --Wide-wasted regions--cities wrapt in flame--
    Who sees,[92] may lift a streaming eye
    To Heaven;--who never saw, may heave a sigh;
    But the foundation of our nature shakes,                     101
    And with an infinite pain the spirit aches,
    When desolated countries, towns on fire,
        Are but the avowed attire
    Of warfare waged with desperate mind                         105
    Against the life of virtue in mankind;[AU]
        Assaulting without ruth
        The citadels of truth;
    While the fair gardens of civility,
        By ignorance defaced,                                    110
        By violence laid waste,
    Perish without reprieve for flower or tree![93]


    A crouching purpose--a distracted will--
    Opposed to hopes that battened upon scorn,
    And to desires whose ever-waxing horn                        115
    Not all the light of earthly power could fill;
    Opposed to dark, deep plots of patient skill,
    And to[94] celerities of lawless force;
    Which, spurning God, had flung away remorse--
    What could they gain but shadows of redress?                 120
    --So bad proceeded propagating worse;
    And discipline was passion's dire excess.[AV]
    Widens the fatal web, its lines extend,
    And deadlier poisons in the chalice blend.
    When will your trials teach you to be wise?                  125
    --O prostrate Lands, consult your agonies!


    No more--the guilt is banish'd,
    And, with the guilt, the shame is fled;
    And, with the guilt and shame, the Woe hath vanish'd,
    Shaking the dust and ashes from her head!                    130
    --No more--these lingerings of distress
    Sully the limpid stream of thankfulness.
    What robe can Gratitude employ
    So seemly as the radiant vest of Joy?
    What steps so suitable as those that move                    135
    In prompt obedience to spontaneous measures
    Of glory, and felicity, and love,
    Surrendering the whole heart to sacred pleasures?


    O Britain! dearer far than life is dear,[AW]
        If one there be                                          140
        Of all thy progeny[95]
    Who can forget thy prowess, never more
    Be that[96] ungrateful Son allowed to hear
    Thy green leaves rustle or thy torrents roar.
    As springs the lion from his den,                            145
        As from a forest-brake
        Upstarts a glistering snake,
    The bold Arch-despot re-appeared;[97][AX]--again
    Wide Europe heaves, impatient to be cast,
      With all her armèd Powers,                                 150
      On that offensive soil, like waves upon a thousand shores.[98]
    The trumpet blew a universal blast![AY]
    But Thou art foremost in the field:[AZ]--there stand:
    Receive the triumph destined to thy hand!
    All States have glorified themselves;--their claims          155
    Are weighed by Providence, in balance even;
    And now, in preference to the mightiest names,
    To Thee the exterminating sword[99] is given.
    Dread mark of approbation, justly gained!
    Exalted office, worthily sustained!                          160


      Preserve, O Lord! within our hearts
      The memory of thy favour,
      That else insensibly departs,
      And loses its sweet savour!
    Lodge it within us!--as the power of light                   165
    Lives inexhaustibly in precious gems,
    Fixed on the front of Eastern diadems,
    So shine our thankfulness for ever bright!
    What offering, what transcendent monument
    Shall our sincerity to Thee present?                         170
    --Not work of hands; but trophies that may reach
    To highest Heaven--the labour of the Soul;
    That builds, as thy unerring precepts teach,
    Upon the internal conquests made by each,[100]
    Her hope of lasting glory for the whole.                     175
    Yet will not heaven disown nor earth gainsay[101]
    The outward service of this day;
    Whether the worshippers entreat
    Forgiveness from God's mercy-seat;
    Or thanks and praises to His throne ascend                   180
    That He has[102] brought our warfare to an end,
    And that we need no second[103] victory!--[BA]
    Ha! what a ghastly sight for man to see;
    And to the heavenly saints in peace who dwell,
        For a brief moment, terrible;                            185
    But, to thy sovereign penetration, fair,
    Before whom all things are, that were,
    All judgments that have been, or e'er shall be;
    Links in the chain of thy tranquillity!
    Along the bosom of this favoured Nation,                     190
    Breathe Thou, this day, a vital undulation!
        Let all who do this land inherit
        Be conscious of thy moving spirit!
    Oh, 'tis a goodly Ordinance,--the sight,
    Though sprung from bleeding war, is one of pure delight;     195
    Bless Thou the hour, or ere the hour arrive,
    When a whole people shall kneel down in prayer,
    And, at one moment, in one rapture,[104] strive
    With lip and heart to tell their gratitude
        For thy protecting care,                                 200
    Their solemn joy--praising the Eternal Lord
        For tyranny subdued,
    And for the sway of equity renewed,
    For liberty confirmed, and peace restored!                   204


    But hark--the summons!--down the placid lake
    Floats the soft cadence of the church-tower bells;[BB]
    Bright shines the Sun, as if his beams would wake[105]
    The tender insects sleeping in their cells;
    Bright shines the Sun--and not a breeze to shake
    The drops that tip[106] the melting icicles.                 210
        _O, enter now his temple gate!_
    Inviting words--perchance already flung
    (As the crowd press devoutly down the aisle
    Of some old Minster's venerable pile)
    From voices into zealous passion stung,                      215
    While the tubed engine feels the inspiring blast,
    And has begun--its clouds of sound to cast
        Forth towards[107] empyreal Heaven,
        As if the fretted roof were riven.
    _Us_, humbler ceremonies now await;                          220
    But in the bosom, with devout respect
    The banner of our joy we will erect,
    And strength of love our souls shall elevate:
    For to a few collected in his name,
    Their heavenly Father will incline an ear                    225
    Gracious to service hallowed by its aim;--[108]
    Awake! the majesty of God revere!
        Go--and with foreheads meekly bowed
    Present your prayers--go--and rejoice aloud--
                The Holy One will hear!                          230
    And what, 'mid silence deep, with faith sincere,
    Ye, in your low and undisturbed estate,
    Shall simply feel and purely meditate--
    Of warnings--from the unprecedented might,
    Which, in our time, the impious have disclosed;              235
    And of more arduous duties thence imposed
    Upon the future advocates of right;
               Of mysteries revealed,
               And judgments unrepealed,
               Of earthly revolution,                            240
               And final retribution,--
      To his omniscience will appear
    An offering not unworthy to find place,
    On this high DAY OF THANKS, before the Throne of Grace!

Replying to some criticism on this _Ode_ by Southey, Wordsworth wrote to
his friend as follows:--"I am much of your mind in respect to my Ode.
Had it been a hymn, uttering the sentiments of a _multitude_, a _stanza_
would have been indispensable. But though I have called it a
'Thanksgiving Ode,' strictly speaking it is not so, but a poem,
composed, or supposed to be composed, on the morning of the
thanksgiving, uttering the sentiments of an _individual_ upon that
occasion. It is a _dramatised ejaculation_; and this, if anything can,
must excuse the irregular frame of the metre. In respect to a _stanza_
for a grand subject designed to be treated comprehensively, there are
great objections. If the stanza be short, it will scarcely allow of
fervour and importunity, unless so short, as that the sense is run
perpetually from one stanza to another, as in Horace's Alcaics; and if
it be long, it will be as apt to generate diffuseness as to check it. Of
this we have innumerable instances in Spenser and the Italian poets. The
sense required cannot be included in one given stanza, so that another
whole stanza is added, not infrequently, for the sake of matter which
would naturally include itself in a very few lines.

"If Gray's plan be adopted, there is not time to become acquainted with
the arrangement, and to recognise with pleasure the recurrence of the

"Be so good as let me know where you found most difficulty in following
me. The passage which I most suspect of being misunderstood is

    And thus is missed the sole true glory;

and the passage where I doubt most about the reasonableness of expecting
that the reader should follow me in the luxuriance of the imagery and
the language, is the one that describes, under so many metaphors, the
spreading of the news of the Waterloo victory over the globe."

The last reference in this letter is to the lines in that part of the
_Ode_, which follows--

    Joyful annunciation!--it went forth--
    It pierced the caverns of the sluggish North, etc."



[Footnote 80: 1837.

    Hail, universal Source of pure delight!                     1816.

[Footnote 81: 1837.

    Whether thy orient ...                                      1816.

[Footnote 82: 1837.

                          ... that timid pace,
    Framed in subjection to the chains                          1816.

                          ... that timid pace
    Submitted to the chains                                     1827.

[Footnote 83: 1850.

    ... yon ...                                                 1816.

[Footnote 84: 1837.

    ... splendour, ...                                          1816.

[Footnote 85: 1837.

    ... but ...                                                 1816.

[Footnote 86: 1837.

    --Who to the murmurs of an earthly string                   1816.

[Footnote 87: 1837.

    ... in the night                                            1816.

[Footnote 88: "Missed" italicised in 1837 and subsequent editions.]

[Footnote 89: "They" italicised in the editions from 1816 to 1832.]

[Footnote 90: 1837.

    To Him ...                                                  1816.

[Footnote 91: 1816.

    ... power eternal ...                                          C.

[Footnote 92: 1837.

    Who sees, and feels, ...                                    1816.

[Footnote 93: 1837.

    While the old forest of civility
    Is doomed to perish, to the last fair tree.                 1816.

    While the whole forest of civility
    Is doomed to perish, to the last fair tree!                 1827.
    Perish without reprieve for herb, or flower, or tree.          C.

[Footnote 94: 1827.

    And the ...                                                 1816.

[Footnote 95: 1816.

    From shore to shore                                            C.

[Footnote 96: 1845.

      Land of our fathers! precious unto me
    Since the first joys of thinking infancy;
    When of thy gallant chivalry I read,
    And hugged the volume on my sleepless bed!
    O England!--dearer far than life is dear,
    If I forget thy prowess, never more
    Be thy ...                                                  1816.
      Land of our fathers! loved by me
    Since the first joys of thinking infancy;
    Loved with a passion since I caught thy praise
    A Listener, at or on some patient knee,
    With an ear fastened to rude ballad lays--
    Or of thy gallant chivalry I read,
    And hugged the volume on a sleepless bed!
    O England!--dearer far, etc.                                1837.

[Footnote 97: 1816

    ... reappears ...                                              C.

[Footnote 98: 1845.

    ... torrents roar!
    But how can _He_ be faithless to the past,
    Whose soul, intolerant of base decline,
    Saw in thy virtue a celestial sign,
    That bade him hope, and to his hope cleave fast!
    The nations strove with puissance;--at length
    Wide Europe heaved, impatient to be cast,
      With _all_ her living strength,
      With _all_ her armed powers,
      Upon the offensive shores.                                1816.

[Footnote 99: The words "exterminating sword" were italicised in 1816
only. In Lord Coleridge's copy the MS. reading "vindicating sword" is

[Footnote 100: 1845.

    Upon the inward victories of each,                          1816.

[Footnote 101: 1816.

    Yet no one shall gainsay                                       C.

[Footnote 102: 1820.

    That Thou hast ...                                          1816.

[Footnote 103: 1820.

    ... further ...                                             1816.

[Footnote 104: 1827.

    ... spirit, ...                                             1816.

[Footnote 105: 1837.

    ... might wake                                              1816.

[Footnote 106: 1827.

    ... point ...                                               1816.

[Footnote 107: 1837.

    Towards the ...                                             1816.

[Footnote 108: 1827.

    ... incline his ear,
    Hallowing himself the service which they frame;--           1816.


[Footnote AO: "Without a cultivation of military virtues."--W. W. 1845.]

[Footnote AP: In all editions subsequent to that of 1816, this paragraph
was omitted.--ED.]

[Footnote AQ: This "Advertisement" was prefixed to the poem, in all
editions from 1816 to 1843. In 1845, when part of the _Ode_, beginning

    Imagination--ne'er before content

was detached from the rest, and turned into a separate _Ode_, with the
date 1815 appended, the "Advertisement" was thrown into a "note" at the
end of the volume, and it retained this place in subsequent editions. In
Lord Coleridge's copy of the edition of 1836-37--before the stanzas
which were afterwards separated to form the second _Ode_--"Waterloo" is

[Footnote AR: The heights of Wansfell and Loughrigg.--ED.]

[Footnote AS: The whole period of the Peninsular and Continental wars
with Napoleon.--ED.]

[Footnote AT: Wellington.--ED.]

[Footnote AU: The outcome of Napoleonic ambition.--ED.]

[Footnote AV: "A discipline the rule whereof is passion" (LORD
BROOKE).--W. W. 1816.]

[Footnote AW: Compare the lines beginning

    O dearer far than light and life are dear,

addressed to Mrs. Wordsworth in 1824.--ED.]

[Footnote AX: Napoleon escaped from Elba in February 1815.--ED.]

[Footnote AY: The Allied Sovereigns declared against Napoleon, March

[Footnote AZ: Wellington took the command in April 1815.--ED.]

[Footnote BA: Napoleon's power being finally broken at Waterloo.--ED.]

[Footnote BB: From Grasmere Church, over Rydal Mere.--ED.]


Composed 1816.--Published 1816

The first and the fourth stanzas of this _Ode_ formed stanzas ix. and
xii. of the _Thanksgiving Ode_ from 1816 to 1842. In 1845 it was printed
as number XLV. of the "Poems of the Imagination."--ED.


    Imagination--ne'er before content,
    But aye ascending, restless in her pride
    From all that martial feats could yield
    To her desires, or to her hopes present--
    Stooped to the Victory, on that Belgic field                   5
    Achieved, this closing deed magnificent,[109]
      And with the embrace was satisfied.[110]
            --Fly, ministers of Fame,
    With every help that ye from earth and heaven may claim![111]
    Bear through the world these tidings of delight!              10
    --Hours, Days, and Months, have borne them in the sight
    Of mortals, hurrying like a sudden shower[112]
      That land-ward stretches from the sea,
      The morning's splendours to devour;
    But this swift travel scorns the company                      15
    Of irksome change, or threats from saddening power.[113]
      _--The shock is given--the Adversaries bleed--
      Lo, Justice triumphs! Earth is freed!_
    Joyful annunciation!--it went forth--[114]
    It pierced the caverns of the sluggish North--[BC]            20
      It found no barrier on the ridge
    Of Andes--frozen gulphs became its bridge--
    The vast Pacific gladdens with the freight--
    Upon the Lakes of Asia 'tis bestowed--
    The Arabian desert shapes a willing road                      25
        Across her burning breast,
    For this refreshing incense from the West!--[BD]
        --Where snakes and lions breed,
    Where towns and cities thick as stars appear,
    Wherever fruits are gathered, and where'er                    30
    The upturned soil receives the hopeful seed--
    While the Sun rules, and cross the shades of night--
    The unwearied arrow hath pursued its flight!
    The eyes of good men thankfully give heed,
        And in its sparkling progress read                        35
    Of virtue crowned with glory's deathless meed:[115]
    Tyrants exult to hear of kingdoms won,
    And slaves are pleased to learn that mighty feats are done;
    Even the proud Realm, from whose distracted borders
    This messenger of good was launched in air,                   40
    France, humbled[116] France, amid her wild disorders,
    Feels, and hereafter shall the truth declare,
    That she too lacks not reason to rejoice,
    And utter England's name with sadly-plausive voice.


    O genuine glory, pure renown!                                 45
    And well might it beseem that mighty Town[BE]
    Into whose bosom earth's best treasures flow,[117]
    To whom all persecuted men retreat;
    If a new Temple lift her[118] votive brow
    High on[119] the shore of silver Thames--to greet             50
    The peaceful guest advancing from afar.
    Bright be the Fabric,[120] as a star
    Fresh risen, and beautiful within!--there meet
    Dependence infinite, proportion just;
    A Pile that Grace approves, and Time can trust                55
    With his most sacred wealth, heroic dust.[121]


          But if the valiant of this land
    In reverential modesty demand,
    That all observance, due to them, be paid
    Where their serene progenitors are laid;                      60
    Kings, warriors, high-souled poets, saint-like sages,
    England's illustrious sons of long, long ages;
    Be it not unordained that solemn rites,
    Within the circuit of those Gothic walls,[BF]
    Shall be performed at pregnant intervals;                     65
    Commemoration holy that unites
    The living generations with the dead;
          By the deep soul-moving sense
          Of religious eloquence,--
          By visual pomp, and by the tie                          70
          Of sweet and threatening harmony;
          Soft notes, awful as the omen
          Of destructive tempests coming,
          And escaping from that sadness
          Into elevated gladness;                                 75
          While the white-rob'd choir attendant,
          Under mouldering banners pendant,
    Provoke all potent symphonies to raise
          Songs of victory and praise,
    For them who bravely stood unhurt, or bled                    80
    With medicable wounds, or found their graves
    Upon the battle field, or under ocean's waves;
    Or were conducted home in single state,
    And long procession--there to lie,
    Where their sons' sons, and all posterity,                    85
    Unheard by them, their deeds shall celebrate!


          Nor will the God of peace and love
          Such martial service disapprove.
          He guides the Pestilence--the cloud
          Of locusts travels on his breath;                       90
          The region that in hope was ploughed
    His drought consumes, his mildew taints with death;
          He springs the hushed Volcano's mine,
    He puts the Earthquake on her still design,[BG]
    Darkens the sun, hath bade the forest sink,                   95
    And, drinking towns and cities, still can drink
    Cities and towns--'tis Thou--the work is Thine!--
    The fierce Tornado sleeps within thy courts--
          He hears the word--he flies--
          And navies perish in their ports;                      100
    For Thou art angry with thine enemies!
          For these, and mourning for our errors,[122]
          And sins, that point their terrors,
    We bow our heads before Thee, and we laud
    And magnify thy name, Almighty God!                          105
         But Man is thy most awful instrument,
         In working out a pure intent;[123]
    Thou cloth'st the wicked in their dazzling mail,
    And for thy righteous purpose[124] they prevail;
         Thine arm from peril guards the coasts                  110
         Of them who in thy laws delight:
    Thy presence turns the scale of doubtful fight,
    Tremendous God of battles, Lord of Hosts![BH]


         Forbear:--to Thee--
    Father and Judge of all, with fervent tongue                 115
         But in a gentler strain[125]
    Of contemplation, by no sense of wrong
    (Too quick and keen) incited to disdain
    Of pity pleading from the heart in vain--[126]
         TO THEE--TO THEE                                         120
    Just God of christianised Humanity
    Shall praises be poured forth, and thanks ascend,[127]
    That thou hast brought our warfare to an end,
    And that we need no second[128] victory!
    Blest, above measure blest,                                  125
    If on thy love our Land her hopes shall rest,
    And all the Nations labour to fulfil
    Thy law, and live henceforth in peace, in pure good will.[129]

In an early MS. copy of this _Ode_, it concludes thus, after the line
"And that we need no further victory!"

    Ha! what a ghastly sight for man to see;
    And to the heavenly saints in peace who dwell,
            For a brief moment, terrible;
    But to thy sovereign penetration fair,
    Before whom all things are that were,
    All judgments that have been, or e'er shall be,
    Links in the chain of thy tranquillity!
    Along the bosom of this favoured nation,
    Breathe thou, this day, a vital undulation!
            Let all who do this land inherit
            Be conscious of Thy moving spirit!
    Oh, 'tis a goodly Ordinance,--the sight,
    Though sprung from bleeding war, is one of pure delight;
    Bless thou the hour, or ere the hour arrive,
    When a whole people shall kneel down in prayer,
    And, at one moment, in one spirit, strive
    With lip and heart to tell their gratitude
            For thy protecting care,
    Their solemn joy--praising the Eternal Lord
            For tyranny subdued,
    And for the sway of equity renewed,
    For liberty confirmed, and peace restored!


[Footnote 109: 1845.

    From all that man's performance could present,
    Stoops to that closing deed magnificent,                    1816.

[Footnote 110: 1845.

    ... is satisfied.                                           1816.

[Footnote 111: 1845.

    Whate'er your means, whatever help ye claim,                1816.

[Footnote 112: 1837.

    ... travelling faster than the shower,                      1816.

[Footnote 113: 1845.

    ... to devour;
    But this appearance scattered extacy,--
    And heart-sick Europe blessed the healing power.            1816.

    ... to devour,
            In summer's loveliest hour;
    But this assurance travelled fraught with glee,
    And heart-sick Europe blessed its healing power.            1837.

    ... to devour,
    But this assurance travelled fraught with glee,
    And heart-sick Europe blessed its healing power.            1841.

[Footnote 114: 1837.

    Such glad assurance suddenly went forth--                   1816.

[Footnote 115: 1837.

    How virtue triumphs, from her bondage freed!                1816.

[Footnote 116: 1845.

    ... conquered ...                                           1816.

[Footnote 117: 1845.

    --Yet might it well become that City now,
    Into whose breast the tides of grandeur flow,               1816.

[Footnote 118: 1820.

    ... its ...                                                 1816.

[Footnote 119: 1837.

    Upon ...                                                    1819.

[Footnote 120: 1850.

    Bright be the distant fabric, ...                           1816.

    Bright be the peaceful Fabric, ...                          1845.

[Footnote 121: 1827.

    ... and time can trust.                                     1816.

    The next line was omitted in 1816.

[Footnote 122: 1845.

    ... and for our errors,                                     1816.

[Footnote 123: 1845.

    But thy most dreaded instrument,
    In working out a pure intent,
    Is Man--arrayed for mutual slaughter,--
    Yea, Carnage is thy daughter!                               1816.

    But thy most awful instrument                               1837.

[Footnote 124: 1837.

    And by thy just permission ...                              1816.

[Footnote 125: 1845.

    ... to Thee--
    With fervent thoughts, but in a gentler strain              1837.

[Footnote 126: The above six lines were added in 1837.]

[Footnote 127: 1845.

    ... to THEE--
    On this appointed Day shall thanks ascend,                  1816.

    ... Humanity,
    On this appointed day shall thanks ascend,                  1837.


[Footnote BC: Compare this description of the news of Waterloo spreading
over the nations with the effect of the lady's laugh in _To Joanna_. See
"Poems on the Naming of Places" (vol. ii. p. 159).--ED.]

[Footnote BD: See note A on preceding page.--ED.]

[Footnote BE: London.--ED.]

[Footnote BF: In Westminster Abbey.--ED.]

[Footnote BG: Compare the Psalter, civ. 32.--ED.]

[Footnote BH: Compare the Psalter, _passim_, _e.g._ xlvi., lxvi., cvi.,
and Shakespeare, _Henry V._ act IV. scene i.: "If these men have
defeated the law and outrun native punishment, though they can outstrip
men, they have no wings to fly from God: war is his beadle, war is his

[Footnote 128: 1845.

    ... further ...                                             1816.

[Footnote 129: The last four lines were added in 1845, but another
version of the last two lines was written by Wordsworth in MS. on his
edition of 1837--

    And all the nations labouring to fulfil
    Thy law shall live henceforth in peace and brotherly goodwill.



Composed 1816.--Published 1816

[Composed immediately after the _Thanksgiving Ode_, to which it may be
considered as a second part.--I. F.]

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


            "Rest, rest, perturbèd Earth![BJ]
        O rest, thou doleful Mother of Mankind!"
    A Spirit sang in tones more plaintive than the wind:
    "From regions where no evil thing has birth
    I come--thy stains to wash away,                               5
    Thy cherished fetters to unbind,
    And open[130] thy sad eyes upon a milder day.
    The Heavens are thronged with martyrs that have risen
            From out thy noisome prison;
            The penal caverns groan                               10
    With tens of thousands rent from off the tree
    Of hopeful life,[BK]--by battle's whirlwind blown
    Into the deserts of Eternity.
    Unpitied havoc! Victims unlamented!
    But not on high, where madness is resented,                   15
    And murder causes some sad tears to flow,
    Though, from the widely-sweeping blow,
    The choirs of Angels spread, triumphantly augmented.


            "False Parent of Mankind!
            Obdurate, proud, and blind,                           20
    I sprinkle thee with soft celestial dews,
    Thy lost, maternal heart to re-infuse!
    Scattering this far-fetched moisture from my wings,
    Upon the act a blessing I implore,
    Of which the rivers in their secret springs,                  25
    The rivers stained so oft with human gore,
    Are conscious;--may the like return no more!
    May Discord--for a Seraph's care
    Shall be attended with a bolder prayer--
    May she, who once disturbed the seats of bliss                30
            These mortal spheres above,
    Be chained for ever to the black abyss!
    And thou, O rescued Earth, by peace and love,
    And merciful desires, thy sanctity approve!"

      The Spirit ended his mysterious rite,                       35
    And the pure vision closed in darkness infinite."


[Footnote 130: 1837.

    To open ...                                                 1816.


[Footnote BI: The title which this _Invocation to the Earth_ bore when
first published in the _Thanksgiving Ode, with other short pieces
chiefly referring to recent public events_, in 1816, was "_Elegiac
Verses, February 1816_."--ED.]

[Footnote BJ: Compare _Hamlet_, act I. scene V., l. 183--

    Rest, rest, perturbed spirit!


[Footnote BK: "The loss of human life, on the French side alone, in the
wars consequent on the Revolution, was estimated (in 1815) to have been
4,556,000." (Blair's _Chronological Tables_, p. 724.)--ED.]


Composed January 1816.--Published 1816

          Carmina possumus
    Donare, et pretium dicere muneri.
    Non incisa notis marmora publicis,
    Per quæ spiritus et vita redit bonis
    Post mortem ducibus
                clarius indicant
    Laudes, quam----Pierides; neque,
    Si chartæ sileant quod bene feceris,
    Mercedem tuleris.      HOR. _Car._ 8, lib. 4.[BM]

This was one of the "Poems of the Imagination," in 1820. In 1827 it was
placed among the "Sonnets dedicated to Liberty."--ED.


    When the soft hand of sleep had closed the latch
    On the tired household of corporeal sense,
    And Fancy, keeping unreluctant watch,
    Was free her choicest favours to dispense;[131]
    I saw, in wondrous pérspective displayed,                      5
    A landscape more august than happiest skill[132]
    Of pencil ever clothed with light and shade;
    An intermingled pomp of vale and hill,
    City, and naval stream, suburban grove,[133]
    And stately forest where the wild deer rove;                  10
    Nor wanted lurking hamlet, dusky towns,
    And scattered rural farms of aspect bright;
    And, here and there, between the pastoral downs,
    The azure sea upswelled upon the sight.
    Fair prospect, such as Britain only shows!                    15
    But not a living creature could be seen
    Through its wide circuit, that, in deep repose,
    And, even to sadness, lonely and serene,
    Lay hushed; till--through a portal in the sky
    Brighter than brightest loop-hole, in a storm,                20
    Opening before the sun's triumphant eye--
    Issued, to sudden view, a glorious Form![134]
    Earthward it glided with a swift descent:
    Saint George himself this Visitant must be;[135]
    And, ere a thought could ask on what intent                   25
    He sought the regions of humanity,
    A thrilling voice was heard, that vivified
    City and field and flood;--aloud it cried--

        "Though from my celestial home,
        Like a Champion, armed I come;                            30
        On my helm the dragon crest,
        And the red cross on my breast;
        I, the Guardian of this Land,[136]
        Speak not now of toilsome duty;
        Well obeyed was that command--                            35
      Whence bright days of festive beauty;[137]
    Haste, Virgins, haste!--the flowers which summer gave
      Have perished in the field;
    But the green thickets plenteously shall yield[138]
      Fit garlands for the brave,                                 40
    That will be welcome, if by you entwined;
    Haste, Virgins, haste; and you, ye Matrons grave,
    Go forth with rival youthfulness of mind,
      And gather what ye find
    Of hardy laurel and wild holly boughs--                       45
    To deck your stern Defenders' modest brows!
      Such simple gifts prepare,
    Though they have gained a worthier meed;
      And in due time shall share
    Those palms and amaranthine wreaths                           50
    Unto their martyred Countrymen decreed,
    In realms where everlasting freshness breathes!"


    And lo! with crimson banners proudly streaming,
    And upright weapons innocently gleaming,
    Along the surface of a spacious plain                         55
    Advance in order the redoubted Bands,
    And there receive green chaplets from the hands
      Of a fair female train--
      Maids and Matrons, dight
      In robes of dazzling white;[139]                            60
    While from the crowd bursts[140] forth a rapturous noise
      By the cloud-capt hills retorted;
      And a throng of rosy boys
      In loose fashion tell their joys;[141]
    And grey-haired sires, on staffs supported,                   65
    Look[142] round, and by their smiling seem[143] to say,
    Thus strives a grateful Country to display
    The mighty debt which nothing can repay!


    Anon before my sight a palace rose
    Built of all precious substances,--so pure                    70
    And exquisite, that sleep alone bestows
    Ability like splendour to endure:
    Entered, with streaming thousands, through the gate,
    I saw the banquet spread beneath a Dome of state,
    A lofty Dome, that dared to emulate                           75
    The heaven of sable night
    With starry lustre; yet had power to throw
    Solemn effulgence, clear as solar light,
    Upon a princely company below,
    While the vault rang with choral harmony,                     80
    Like some Nymph-haunted grot beneath the roaring sea,
    --No sooner ceased that peal, than on the verge
    Of exultation hung a dirge[144]
    Breathed from a soft and lonely instrument,
      That kindled recollections                                  85
      Of agonised affections;[BN]
    And, though some tears the strain attended,
      The mournful passion ended
    In peace of spirit, and sublime content!


    But garlands wither; festal shows depart,                     90
    Like dreams themselves; and sweetest sound--
      (Albeit of effect profound)
      It was--and it is gone!
    Victorious England! bid the silent Art
    Reflect, in glowing hues that shall not fade,                 95
    Those[145] high achievements;[BO] even as she arrayed
    With second life the deed of Marathon
      Upon Athenian walls;[BP]
    So may she labour for thy civic halls:
      And be the guardian spaces                                 100
      Of consecrated places,
    As nobly graced by Sculpture's patient toil;
    And let imperishable Columns rise[146]
    Fixed in the depths of this courageous soil;[BQ]
    Expressive signals[147] of a glorious strife,                105
    And competent to shed a spark divine
    Into the torpid breast of daily life;--
    Records on which, for pleasure of all eyes,
      The morning sun may shine[148]
    With gratulation thoroughly benign![BR]                      110


    And ye, Pierian Sisters,[BS] sprung from Jove
    And sage Mnemosyne,--full long debarred[149]
    From your first mansions, exiled all too long[150]
    From many a hallowed stream and grove,[151]
    Dear native regions[BT] where ye wont to rove,               115
    Chanting for patriot heroes the reward
        Of never-dying song!
    Now (for, though Truth descending from above
    The Olympian summit hath destroyed for aye
    Your kindred Deities, _Ye_ live and move,[BU]                120
    Spared for obeisance from perpetual love
    For privilege redeemed of god-like sway)
    Now,[152] on the margin of some spotless fountain,
    Or top serene of unmolested mountain,
    Strike audibly the noblest of your lyres,                    125
    And for a moment meet the soul's desires![153]
    That I, or some more favoured Bard, may hear
    What ye, celestial Maids! have often sung
    Of Britain's acts,--may catch it with rapt ear,
    And give the treasure to our British tongue!                 130
    So shall the characters of that proud page
    Support their mighty theme from age to age;
    And, in the desert places of the earth,
    When they to future empires have given birth,
    So shall the people gather and believe                       135
    The bold report, transferred to every clime;
    And the whole world, not envious but admiring,
      And to the like aspiring,
    Own--that the progeny of this fair Isle
    Had power as lofty actions to achieve                        140
    As were performed in man's heroic prime;
    Nor wanted, when their fortitude had held
    Its even tenor, and the foe was quelled,
    A corresponding virtue to beguile
    The hostile purpose of wide-wasting Time--                   145
    That not in vain they laboured to secure,
    For their great deeds, perpetual memory,
    And fame as largely spread as land and sea,
    By Works of spirit high and passion pure!


[Footnote 131: 1827.

    And Fancy in her airy bower kept watch,
    Free to exert some kindly influence;
    I saw--but little boots it that my verse
    A shadowy visitation should rehearse,
    For to our Shores such glory hath been brought,
    That dreams no brighter are than waking thought--           1816.

    Free to exert her kindliest influence;                      1820.

[Footnote 132: 1827.

    A landscape richer than the happiest skill                  1816.

[Footnote 133: 1827.

    Tower, town, and city--and suburban grove,                  1816.

[Footnote 134: 1832.

    ... wild deer rove;
    And, in a clouded quarter of the sky,
    Through such a portal as with chearful eye
    The traveller greets in time of threatened storm,
    Issued, to sudden view, a radiant Form!                     1816.

    Nor wanted lurking hamlet, dusky towns,
    And scattered rural farms of aspect bright,
    And, here and there, between the pastoral downs,
    The azure sea upswelled upon the sight.
    Fair prospect, such as Britain only shows!
    But not a living creature could be seen
    Through its wide circuit, hushed in deep repose,
    Yea, even to sadness, quiet and serene!
    Amid this solitude of earth and sky,
    Through portal clear as loop-hole in a storm
    Opening before the sun's triumphant eye,
    Issued, to sudden view, a radiant form!                     1827.

[Footnote 135: 1845

    ... may be;                                                 1816.

[Footnote 136: 1827.

    A thrilling voice was heard, that vivified
    My patriotic heart;--aloud it cried,
    "I, the Guardian of this Land,                              1816.

[Footnote 137: 1837.

    "Days are come of festive beauty;                           1816.

    Hence bright days of festive beauty;                        1827.

[Footnote 138: 1820.

    ... will yield                                              1816.

[Footnote 139: 1827.

    ... of purest white,--                                      1816.

[Footnote 140: 1827.

    ... burst ...                                               1816.

[Footnote 141: 1827.

    ... told their joys,--                                      1816.

[Footnote 142: 1827.

    Looked ...                                                  1816.

[Footnote 143: 1827.

    ... seemed ...                                              1816.

[Footnote 144: 1837.

    Anon, I saw, beneath a dome of state,
    The feast dealt forth with bounty unconfined;
    And while the vaulted roof did emulate
    The starry heavens through splendour of the show,
    It rang with music,--and methought the wind
    Scattered the tuneful largess far and near,
    That they who asked not might partake the cheer,
      Who listened not could hear,
    Where'er the wild winds were allowed to blow!
    --That work reposing, on the verge
    Of busiest exultation hung a dirge,                         1816.

    ... and had power to throw                                  1827.

The edition of 1827 is otherwise identical with that of 1837.]

[Footnote 145: 1837.

    These ...                                                   1816.

[Footnote 146: 1845.

    Graced with such gifts as Sculpture can bestow,
    When inspiration guides her patient toil;
    And let imperishable trophies grow                          1816.

    As nobly graced by Sculpture's patient toil;
    And let imperishable structures grow                        1827.

[Footnote 147: 1827.

    ... records ...                                             1816.

[Footnote 148: 1845.

    Trophies on which the morning sun may shine,
      As changeful ages flow,                                   1816.

    Records on which the morning sun may shine,
      As changeful ages flow,                                   1827.

[Footnote 149: 1816.

    ... Ye muses long debarred                                     C.

[Footnote 150: 1816.

    ... As mythic lore
    For not unwise belief proclaimed of yore                       C.

[Footnote 151: 1827.

    ... consecrated stream and grove,                           1816.

[Footnote 152: 1845.

    ... and move,
    And exercise unblamed a generous sway,)
    Now, ...                                                    1816.

    And exercise unblamed a god-like sway)                      1837.

[Footnote 153: 1837.

    ... my soul's desires!                                      1816.


[Footnote BL: The title of this Ode, when first published along with the
_Thanksgiving Ode_, was _Ode, composed in January 1816_. In 1845 the
date 1814 was given; but there seems no reason to distrust the earlier

[Footnote BM: These lines were first inserted in the edition of

[Footnote BN: Compare _Ode, Intimations of Immortality_, etc., stanza

    But for those first affections,
    Those shadowy recollections.


[Footnote BO: Haydon painted Wellington on the field of Waterloo.
Compare the sonnet which Wordsworth wrote on that picture, in 1840,

    By Art's hold privilege Warrior and War-horse stand.


[Footnote BP: The allusion is to the picture of the battle of Marathon,
on the walls of the Stoa Poecile, in Athens. Compare the _Effusion, in
presence of Tell's Tower_, in the "Memorials of a Tour on the Continent"
(1820), st. i. and note.--ED.]

[Footnote BQ: In many places throughout Britain this was carried out.
Statues to the memory of Wellington were erected in many towns, and
buildings were named after him.--ED.]

[Footnote BR: In many places throughout Britain this was carried out.
Statues to the memory of Wellington were erected in many towns, and
buildings were named after him.--ED.]

[Footnote BS: The nine Muses, called the Pierides, from Pieria, near
Olympus, where they were said to have been born, or first worshipped by
the Thracians.--ED.]

[Footnote BT: Compare the first line of the _Extract from the conclusion
of a poem, composed in anticipation of leaving school_ (vol. i. p. 2)--

    Dear native regions, I foretell.


[Footnote BU: Compare Schiller's _Piccolomini_, in S. T. Coleridge's
version (act II. scene 4)--

    The intelligible forms of ancient poets,
    The fair humanities of old religion,
    The power, the beauty, and the majesty,
    That had their haunts in dale, or piny mountain,
    Or forest by slow stream, or pebbly spring,
    Or chasms and wat'ry depths; all these have vanished.
    They live no longer in the faith of reason!
    But still the heart doth need a language, still
    Doth the old instinct bring back the old names,
    And to yon starry world they now are gone,
    Spirits or gods, that used to share this earth
    With man as with their friend; and to the lover
    Yonder they move, from yonder visible sky
    Shoot influence down: and even at this day
    'Tis Jupiter who brings whate'er is great,
    And Venus who brings everything that's fair!



Composed 1816.--Published 1816

Included in 1820 among the "Poems of the Imagination," afterwards placed
among the "Sonnets dedicated to Liberty."--ED.


     Who rises on the banks of Seine,
    And binds her temples with the civic wreath?
    What joy to read the promise of her mien!
    How sweet to rest her wide-spread wings beneath!
          But they are ever playing,                               5
          And twinkling in the light,
          And, if a breeze be straying,
          That breeze she will invite;
    And stands on tiptoe, conscious she is fair,
    And calls a look of love into her face,                       10
    And spreads her arms, as if the general air
    Alone could satisfy her wide embrace.
    --Melt, Principalities, before her melt!
    Her love ye hailed--her wrath have felt!
    But She through many a change of form hath gone,              15
    And stands amidst you now an armèd creature,
    Whose panoply is not a thing put on,
    But the live scales of a portentous nature;
    That, having forced[154] its way from birth to birth,         19
    Stalks round-abhorred by Heaven, a terror to the Earth!


     I marked the breathings of her dragon crest;
    My Soul, a sorrowful interpreter,
    In many a midnight vision bowed
    Before the ominous aspect of her spear;[155]
    Whether the mighty beam, in scorn upheld,                     25
    Threatened her foes,--or, pompously at rest,
    Seemed to bisect her orbèd shield,
    As stretches a blue bar of solid cloud[156]
    Across the setting sun and all the fiery west.[157]


     So did she daunt the Earth, and God defy!                    30
    And, wheresoe'er she spread her sovereignty,
    Pollution tainted all that was most pure.
    --Have we not known--and live we not to tell--
    That Justice seemed to hear her final knell?
    Faith buried deeper in her own deep breast                    35
    Her stores, and sighed to find them insecure!
    And Hope was maddened by the drops that fell
    From shades, her chosen place of short-lived rest.[158]
    Shame followed shame, and woe supplanted woe--
    Is this the only change that time can show?                   40
    How long shall vengeance sleep? Ye patient Heavens, how long?
    --Infirm ejaculation! from the tongue
    Of Nations wanting virtue to be strong
    Up to the measure of accorded might,
    And daring not to feel the majesty of right!                  45


     Weak Spirits are there--who would ask,
    Upon the pressure of a painful thing,
    The lion's sinews, or the eagle's wing;
    Or let their wishes loose, in forest-glade,
          Among the lurking powers                                50
          Of herbs and lowly flowers,
    Or seek, from saints above, miraculous aid--
    That Man may be accomplished for a task
    Which his own nature hath enjoined;--and why?
    If, when that interference hath relieved him,                 55
          He must sink down to languish
    In worse than former helplessness--and lie
          Till the caves roar,--and, imbecility
          Again engendering anguish,
    The same weak wish returns, that had before deceived him.     60


     But Thou, supreme Disposer! may'st[159] not speed
    The course of things, and change the creed
    Which hath been held aloft before men's sight
    Since the first framing of societies,
    Whether, as bards have told in ancient song,                  65
    Built up by soft seducing harmonies;
    Or prest together by the appetite,
          And by the power, of wrong.

The date of the composition of this Ode is uncertain. Wordsworth himself
gives no clue: but it seems to refer to the rise of the French Republic,
with its illusive promises of Liberty: the freedom of the many being
sacrificed to the despotism of one. The Republic passed "through many a
change of form." It became both tyrannous and aggressive. The
"Principalities" of Europe "melted" before it. It stood forth "an armèd
creature," and "a terror to the Earth." It in turn put down "Justice,"
"Faith," and "Hope" throughout Europe; and the writer of the Ode says,

    How long shall vengeance sleep? Ye patient Heavens, how long?

The allusions in stanza iv. suggest that this Ode was written before
Waterloo, and the final overthrow of the power of Napoleon, but it is
difficult, if not impossible, to determine the point with exactness from
internal evidence.

The reference in the last stanza may be to the legend of Amphion moving
stones, and building up the walls of Thebes, by the sound of his lyre;
the stones advancing to their places, and being fitted together, as he
played his instrument. Compare Tennyson's _Amphion_.--ED.


[Footnote 154: 1845.

    That, having wrought ...                                    1816.

[Footnote 155: 1827.

    My soul in many a midnight vision bowed
    Before the meanings which her spear expressed;              1816.

[Footnote 156: 1827.

    Seemed to bisect the orbit of her shield,
    Like to a long blue bar of solid cloud                      1816.

[Footnote 157: 1845.

    At evening stretched across the fiery West.                 1816.
    Across the setting sun, and through the fiery west.         1827.
    Across the setting sun--and through all the fiery west.     1837.

[Footnote 158: 1827.

    ... short-lived rest,
    Which, when they first received her, she had blest:         1816.

[Footnote 159: 1827.

    ... might'st ...                                            1816.


Composed 1816.--Published 1816

This was first published in 1816 in the "Miscellaneous Pieces, referring
chiefly to recent public Events," in the volume entitled _Thanksgiving
Ode, January 18, 1816, with other short pieces_, etc. In 1820 it was
placed among the "Sonnets dedicated to Liberty, Part II."--ED.

    Humanity, delighting to behold
    A fond reflection of her own decay,
    Hath painted Winter like a traveller old,
    Propped on a staff, and, through the sullen day,
    In hooded mantle, limping o'er the plain,[161]                 5
    As though his weakness were disturbed by pain:
    Or, if a juster fancy should allow
    An undisputed symbol of command,
    The chosen sceptre is a withered bough,
    Infirmly grasped within a palsied hand.                       10
    These emblems suit the helpless and forlorn;
    But mighty Winter the device shall scorn.

    For he it was--dread Winter! who beset,
    Flinging round van and rear his ghastly net,
    That host, when from the regions of the Pole                  15
    They shrunk, insane ambition's barren goal--
    That host, as huge and strong as e'er defied
    Their God, and placed their trust in human pride!
    As fathers persecute rebellious sons,
    He smote the blossoms of their warrior youth;                 20
    He called on Frost's inexorable tooth
    Life to consume in Manhood's firmest hold;
    Nor spared the reverend blood that feebly runs;
    For why--unless for liberty enrolled
    And sacred home--ah! why should hoary Age be bold?            25

    Fleet the Tartar's reinless steed,
    But fleeter far the pinions of the Wind,
    Which from Siberian caves the Monarch freed,
    And sent him forth, with squadrons of his kind,
    And bade the Snow their ample backs bestride,                 30
        And to the battle ride.
    No pitying voice commands a halt,
    No courage can repel the dire assault;
    Distracted, spiritless, benumbed, and blind,
    Whole legions sink--and, in one instant, find                 35
    Burial and death: look for them--and descry,
    When morn returns, beneath the clear blue sky,
    A soundless waste, a trackless vacancy!

The French "retreat from Moscow was perhaps the most disastrous on
record since the days of Xerxes.... On the night of 6th November, the
temperature suddenly fell to that of the most rigorous winter. In that
dreadful night thousands of men perished, and nearly all the horses,
which compelled the abandonment of the greater part of the convoys. From
this point the road began to be strewn with corpses, presenting the
aspect of one continuous battlefield.... At Smolensk the cold was at 20
degrees of Réaumur." (Dyer's _History of Modern Europe_, vol. iv. pp.
518, 519.)--ED.


[Footnote 160: 1827.

    The original title was _Composed in Recollection of
    the Expedition of the French into Russia.
    February 1816._                                             1816.

[Footnote 161: 1820.

    Hath painted Winter like a shrunken, old,
    And close-wrapt Traveller--through the weary day--
    Propped on a staff, and limping o'er the Plain,             1816.


Composed 1816.--Published 1816

One of the "Sonnets dedicated to Liberty."--ED.

    Ye Storms, resound the praises of your King!
    And ye mild Seasons--in a sunny clime,
    Midway on some high hill, while father Time
    Looks on delighted--meet in festal ring,
    And loud and long of Winter's triumph sing!                    5
    Sing ye, with blossoms crowned, and fruits, and flowers,
    Of Winter's breath surcharged with sleety showers,
    And the dire flapping of his hoary wing!
    Knit the blithe dance upon the soft green grass;
    With feet, hands, eyes, looks, lips, report your gain;        10
    Whisper it to the billows of the main,
    And to the aërial zephyrs as they pass,
    That old decrepit Winter--_He_ hath slain
    That Host, which rendered all your bounties vain!

[Footnote 162: 1820.

    The title in 1816 was

    _Sonnet on the same occasion.      February 1816._



Composed February 4, 1816.--Published 1816

One of the "Sonnets dedicated to Liberty."--ED.

    O, for a kindling touch from that pure flame
    Which ministered, erewhile, to a sacrifice
    Of gratitude, beneath Italian skies,
    In words like these: "Up, Voice of Song! proclaim
    Thy saintly rapture with celestial aim:                        5
    For lo! the Imperial City stands released[163]
    From bondage threatened by the embattled East,
    And Christendom respires;[164] from guilt and shame
    Redeemed, from miserable fear set free
    By one day's feat, one mighty victory.                        10
    --Chant the Deliverer's praise in every tongue!
    The cross shall spread, the crescent hath waxed dim;
    He conquering, as in joyful Heaven is sung,[165]


[Footnote BV: 1816.

The title at first was _February 1816_.--ED.]

[Footnote 163: 1837.

    ... touch of that pure flame
    Which taught the offering of song to rise
    From thy lone bower, beneath Italian skies,
    Great Filicaia!--With celestial aim
    It rose,--thy saintly rapture to proclaim,
    Then, when the imperial city stood released                 1816.

[Footnote 164: 1837.

    ... respired; ...                                           1816.

[Footnote 165: 1837.

    ... --as in Earth and Heaven was sung--                     1816.


[Footnote BW:

    Ond' è ch' Io grido e griderò: giugnesti,
    Guerregiasti, e vincesti;
    Si, si, vincesti, o Campion forte e pio,
    _Per Dio vincesti, e per te vinse Iddio_.

See Filicaia's Canzone, addressed to (Sir) John Sobieski, king of
Poland, upon his raising the siege of Vienna. This, and his other poems
on the same occasion, are superior perhaps to any lyrical pieces that
contemporary events have ever given birth to, those of the Hebrew
Scriptures only excepted.--W. W. (1816 and 1820.)

Vienna, besieged in 1683 by Mahomet IV., was relieved by John Sobieski.
The following is Dyer's account of it in his _Modern Europe_ (vol. iii.
p. 109):--"At one time Vienna seemed beyond the reach of human aid. The
Turks sat down before it on 14th July, and such were their numbers that
their encampment is said to have contained more than 100,000 tents. It
was the middle of August before John Sobieski could leave Cracow with
25,000 men, and by the end of that month the situation of Vienna had
become extremely critical. Provisions and ammunition began to fail; the
garrison had lost 6000 men, and numbers died every day by pestilence, or
at the hands of the enemy. It was not till 9th September that Sobieski
and his Poles formed a junction on the plain of Tuln with the Austrian
forces under the Duke of Lorraine, and the other German contingents. On
11th September, the allies reached the heights of Kahlenberg, within
sight of Vienna, and announced their arrival to the beleaguered citizens
by means of rockets. On the following day the Turks were attacked, and,
after a few hours' resistance, completely routed.... The Turkish camp,
with vast treasures in money, jewels, horses, arms, and ammunition,
became the spoil of the victors."

The Italian poet Filicaia referred to by Wordsworth (Filicaja,
Vincenzo), wrote six odes on the deliverance of Vienna by Sobieski. They
were published in Florence in the following year, 1684, and established
the writer's fame. Queen Christina of Sweden was much struck by them;
and, being a generous patroness and admirer of letters, she enabled
Filicaja to devote himself to poetry exclusively as his life-work. He
wrote numerous patriotic sonnets and heroic odes, in Italian and in


(The last six lines intended for an Inscription.)


Composed February 4, 1816.--Published 1816

One of the "Sonnets dedicated to Liberty."--ED.

    Intrepid sons of Albion! not by you
    Is life despised; ah no, the spacious earth
    Ne'er saw a race who held, by right of birth,
    So many objects to which love is due:
    Ye slight not life--to God and Nature true;                    5
    But death, becoming death, is dearer far,
    When duty bids you bleed in open war:
    Hence hath your prowess quelled that impious crew.
    Heroes!--for instant sacrifice prepared;
    Yet filled with ardour and on triumph bent                    10
    'Mid direst shocks of mortal accident--
    To you who fell, and you whom slaughter spared
    To guard the fallen, and consummate the event,
    Your Country rears this sacred Monument!

It need hardly be said that the intention of using the six last lines as
an "Inscription" was never carried into effect. The infelicity of the
second last line is fatal to its use on any "monument." The punctuation
of the Sonnet as it appeared in _The Champion_, January 2, 1814, differs
slightly from the above.--ED.

[Footnote 166: 1820.

    The full title in 1816 was _Inscription for a
    national monument in commemoration of the Battle
    of Waterloo_.                                               1816.



Composed February 4, 1816.--Published 1816

One of the "Sonnets dedicated to Liberty."--ED.

    The Bard--whose soul is meek as dawning day,
    Yet trained to judgments righteously severe,
    Fervid, yet conversànt with holy fear,
    As recognising one Almighty sway:
    He--whose experienced eye can pierce the array                 5
    Of past events; to whom, in vision clear,
    The aspiring heads of future things appear,
    Like mountain-tops whose[168] mists have rolled away--
    Assoiled from all encumbrance of our time,[BX]
    He only, if such breathe, in strains devout                   10
    Shall comprehend this victory sublime;
    Shall[169] worthily rehearse the hideous rout,
    The triumph hail, which from their peaceful clime
    Angels might welcome with a choral shout![170]


[Footnote 167: 1837.

    The title in 1816 was _Occasioned by the same
    battle, February 1816_                                      1816.

[Footnote 168: 1820.

    Like mountain-tops whence ...                               1816.

[Footnote 169: 1837.

    And ...                                                     1816.

[Footnote 170: 1837.

    Which the blest Angels, from their peaceful clime
    Beholding, welcomed with a choral shout.                    1816.


[Footnote BX: "From all this world's encumbrance did himself
assoil."--SPENSER. W. W. 1816.

In a MS. copy of the sonnet, Wordsworth wrote it thus: "In the above is
a line taken from Spenser--

    And hanging up his arms and warlike spoil,
    From all this world's encumbrance did himself assoil."



Composed 1816.--Published 1827

One of the "Sonnets dedicated to Liberty."--ED.

    Emperors and Kings, how oft have temples rung
    With impious thanksgiving, the Almighty's scorn!
    How oft above their altars have been hung
    Trophies that led the good and wise to mourn
    Triumphant wrong, battle of battle born,                       5
    And sorrow that to fruitless sorrow clung!
    Now, from Heaven-sanctioned victory, Peace is sprung;[BY]
    In this firm hour Salvation lifts her horn.
    Glory to arms! But, conscious that the nerve
    Of popular reason, long mistrusted, freed                     10
    Your thrones, ye Powers, from duty fear to swerve![171]
    Be just, be grateful; nor, the oppressor's creed
    Reviving, heavier chastisement deserve
    Than ever forced unpitied hearts to bleed.


[Footnote 171: 1832.

    Your Thrones, from duty, Princes! fear to swerve;           1827.


[Footnote BY: From the position of this sonnet in the edition of 1827,
as well as from manifest internal evidence, it refers, like the two
previous ones, to the battle of Waterloo. Illustrations of the first six
lines of the sonnet are too numerous in mediæval history to require
detailed allusion.--ED.]



Composed 1816.--Published 1816.

One of the "Sonnets dedicated to Liberty."--ED.

    Dear Reliques! from a pit of vilest mould
    Uprisen--to lodge among ancestral kings;
    And to inflict shame's salutary stings
    On the remorseless hearts of men grown old
    In a blind worship; men perversely bold                        5
    Even to this hour,--yet, some shall now forsake
    Their monstrous Idol if the dead e'er spake,
    To warn the living; if truth were ever told
    By aught redeemed out of the hollow grave:[173]
    O murdered Prince! meek, loyal, pious, brave!                 10
    The power of retribution once was given:
    But 'tis a rueful thought that willow bands
    So often tie the thunder-wielding hands
    Of Justice sent to earth from highest Heaven!

The Duc d'Enghien, grandson of the Prince de Condé, and only son of the
Duc de Bourbon, born at Chantilly in 1772, commanded the corps of
_Emigrés_ gathered on the Rhine by his grandfather. After the peace of
Luneville, he retired to Ettenheim, near Strasburg, in German territory.
There he married the Princess Charlotte of Rohan-Rochefort, and lived
peacefully as a private citizen. He was, though wholly innocent,
suspected by Napoleon of complicity in the plot of Pichegru, Cadoudal
(one of the Chouans), Moreau, and others, to overthrow him as first
Consul, and to restore the Bourbon dynasty. "The Duke was residing at
Ettenheim, in the neutral territory of Baden, when Bonaparte, in
violation of international law and the rights of the German Empire,
caused him to be seized on the night of 15th March by a party of French
_gens d'armes_, and to be carried to the castle of Vincennes, where,
after a sort of mock trial, he was shot in the fosse of the fortress,
March 21st" (1804).--Dyer's _Modern Europe_ (vol. iv. p. 378). The whole
of the proceedings against the Duc d'Enghien were illegal (as was
confessed by the presiding judge), and his execution was one of the
blackest stains on the character of Napoleon. After the Restoration, in
1814, his remains were disinterred by order of Louis XVIII., and buried
in the chapel of the castle at Vincennes, where the restored king
erected a monument to his memory. The "pit of vilest mould" mentioned in
the sonnet, is, of course, the moat of the castle, and the phrase "to
lodge among ancestral kings," refers to Vincennes having been a royal
residence, where many princes died and were buried, _e.g._ Queen Jeanne
(wife of Philippe le Bel), Louis le Hutin, and Charles le Bel. Vincennes
is close to Paris, the fortress being only about five miles south-east
of the Louvre. The chapel, which has a fine Gothic front, was begun in
1248, and was finished in 1552. The monument to the Duc d'Enghien is in
the old Sacristy. It consists of four figures in marble, representing
the _Duke_, supported by _Religion_ and bewailed by _France_, while
_Vengeance_ waits behind. It was executed by Deseine.--ED.


[Footnote 172: The first line of the title was added in the edition of
1836, and continued afterwards.]

[Footnote 173: 1840.

    Even to this hour; yet at this hour they quake;
    And some their monstrous Idol shall forsake,
    If to the living truth was ever told
    By aught surrendered from the hollow grave:                 1816.

    To warn the living, truth were ever told                    1837.



Composed 1816.--Published 1820

[This poem was first introduced by a stanza that I have since
transferred to the Notes, for reasons there given,[BZ] and I cannot
comply with the request expressed by some of my friends that the
rejected stanza should be restored. I hope they will be content if it
be, hereafter, immediately attached to the poem, instead of its being
degraded to a place in the Notes.--I. F.]

From 1820 to 1843 _Dion_ was classed among the "Poems of Sentiment and
Reflection." In the edition of 1845 it was placed next to _Laodamia_
among the "Poems of the Imagination."--ED.


[Footnote BZ: To the edition of 1837, and subsequent ones, Wordsworth
appended the following note:--

This poem began with the following stanza, which has been displaced on
account of its detaining the reader too long from the subject, and as
rather precluding, than preparing for, the due effect of the allusion to
the genius of Plato:--

    Fair is the Swan, whose majesty, prevailing
    O'er breezeless water, on Locarno's lake,
    Bears him on while proudly sailing
    He leaves behind a moon-illumined wake:
    Behold! the mantling spirit of reserve
    Fashions his neck into a goodly curve;
    An arch thrown back between luxuriant wings
    Of whitest garniture, like fir-tree boughs
    To which, on some unruffled morning, clings
    A flaky weight of winter's purest snows!
    --Behold!--as with a gushing impulse heaves
    That downy prow, and softly cleaves
    The mirror of the crystal flood,
    Vanish inverted hill,[174] and shadowy wood,
    And pendent rocks, where'er, in gliding state,
    Winds the mute Creature without visible Mate
    Or Rival, save the Queen of night
    Showering down a silver light,
    From heaven, upon her chosen favourite!

In the Fenwick note to _An Evening Walk_, vol. i. p. 5, after describing
the two pairs of swans that frequented the lake of Esthwaite, Wordsworth
says: "It was from the remembrance of those noble creatures, I took,
thirty years after, the picture of the swan which I have discarded from
the poem of _Dion_." After quoting the note, which explains the
discarding of the above stanza, Professor Henry Reed remarks, "It is a
remarkable instance of the comparative sacrifice of a passage of great
beauty to the poet's dutiful regard for the principles of his Art"
(American edition of 1851, p. 415). Wordsworth's reasons for withdrawing
the stanza are obvious; but it is perhaps not unworthy of mention that
when I was editing a volume of _Selections from Wordsworth_, to which
many members of "The Wordsworth Society" contributed, Robert Browning
besought me, in the strongest terms, to restore that discarded


    Serene, and fitted to embrace,
    Where'er he turned, a swan-like grace[175]
    Of haughtiness without pretence,
    And to unfold a still magnificence,
    Was princely Dion, in the power                                5
    And beauty of his happier hour.
    And what pure homage _then_ did wait
    On Dion's virtues, while the lunar beam[176]
    Of Plato's genius, from its lofty sphere,
    Fell round him in the grove of Academe,                       10
    Softening their inbred dignity austere--
    That he, not too elate
    With self-sufficing solitude,
    But with majestic lowliness endued,
    Might in the universal bosom reign,                           15
    And from affectionate observance gain
    Help, under every change of adverse fate.[177]


    Five thousand warriors--O the rapturous day![178]
    Each crowned with flowers, and armed with spear and shield,
    Or ruder weapon which their course might yield,[179]          20
    To Syracuse advance[180] in bright array.
    Who leads them on?--The anxious people see
    Long-exiled Dion marching at their head,
    He also crowned with flowers of Sicily,
    And in a white, far-beaming, corselet clad!                   25
    Pure transport undisturbed by doubt or fear
    The gazers feel; and, rushing to the plain,
    Salute those strangers as a holy train
    Or blest procession (to the Immortals dear)
    That brought their precious liberty again.                    30
    Lo! when the gates are entered, on each hand,
    Down the long street, rich goblets filled with wine
          In seemly order stand,
    On tables set, as if for rites divine;--
    And, as the great Deliverer marches by,                       35
    He looks on festal ground with fruits bestrown;
    And flowers are on his person thrown[181]
    In boundless prodigality;
    Nor doth[182] the general voice abstain from prayer,
    Invoking Dion's tutelary care,                                40
    As if a very Deity he were!


    Mourn, hills and groves of Attica! and mourn
    Ilissus, bending o'er thy classic urn!
    Mourn, and lament for him whose spirit dreads                 44
    Your once sweet memory, studious walks and shades!
    For him who to divinity aspired,
    Not on the breath[183] of popular applause,
    But through dependence on the sacred laws
    Framed in the schools where Wisdom dwelt retired,
    Intent to trace the ideal path of right                       50
    (More fair than heaven's broad causeway paved with stars)
    Which Dion learned to measure with sublime delight;--[184]
    But He hath overleaped[185] the eternal bars;
    And, following guides whose craft holds no consent
    With aught that breathes the ethereal element,                55
    Hath stained the robes of civil power with blood,
    Unjustly shed, though for the public good.
    Whence doubts that came too late, and wishes vain,
    Hollow excuses, and triumphant pain;
    And oft his cogitations sink as low                           60
    As, through the abysses of a joyless heart,
    The heaviest plummet of despair can go--
    But whence that sudden check? that fearful start!
      He hears an uncouth sound--
      Anon his lifted eyes                                        65
    Saw, at a long-drawn gallery's dusky bound,
    A Shape[186] of more than mortal size
    And hideous aspect, stalking round and round!
      A woman's garb the Phantom wore,
      And fiercely swept the marble floor,--                      70
      Like Auster whirling to and fro,[187]
      His force on Caspian foam to try;
    Or Boreas when he scours the snow
    That skins the plains of Thessaly,
    Or when aloft on Mænalus he stops                             75
    His flight, 'mid eddying pine-tree tops!


    So, but from toil less sign of profit reaping,
    The sullen Spectre to her purpose bowed,
      Sweeping--vehemently sweeping--
    No pause admitted, no design avowed!                          80
    "Avaunt, inexplicable Guest!--avaunt,"
    Exclaimed the Chieftain[188]--"let me rather see
    The coronal that coiling vipers make;
    The torch that flames with many a lurid flake,
    And the long train of doleful pageantry                       85
    Which they behold,[189] whom vengeful Furies haunt;
    Who, while they struggle from the scourge to flee,
    Move where the blasted[190] soil is not unworn,
    And, in their anguish, bear what other minds have borne!"


    But Shapes that come not at an earthly call,                  90
    Will not depart when mortal voices bid;
    Lords of the visionary eye whose lid,
    Once raised, remains aghast, and will not fall!
    Ye Gods, thought He, that servile Implement
      Obeys a mystical intent!                                    95
    Your Minister would brush away
    The spots that to my soul adhere;
    But should she labour night and day,
    They will not, cannot disappear;
    Whence angry perturbations,--and that look                   100
    Which no philosophy can brook!


    Ill-fated Chief! there are[191] whose hopes are built
    Upon the ruins of thy glorious name;[192]
    Who, through the portal of one moment's guilt,
    Pursue thee with their deadly aim![193]                      105
    O matchless perfidy![194] portentous lust
    Of monstrous crime!--that horror-striking blade,
    Drawn in defiance of the Gods, hath laid
    The noble Syracusan low in dust!
    Shudder'd[195] the walls--the marble city wept--             110
    And sylvan places heaved a pensive sigh;
    But[196] in calm peace the appointed Victim slept,
    As he had fallen in magnanimity;
    Of spirit too capacious to require
    That Destiny her course should change; too just              115
    To his own native greatness[197] to desire
    That wretched boon, days lengthened by mistrust.
    So[198] were the hopeless troubles, that involved
    The soul of Dion, instantly dissolved.
    Released from life and cares of princely state,              120
    He left this moral grafted on his Fate;
    "Him only pleasure leads, and peace attends,
    Him, only him, the shield of Jove defends,
    Whose means are fair and spotless as his ends."

       *       *       *       *       *

The following suggested variations of text also exist in MS.--ED.

    Mourn, olive bowers of Attica! and Thou,
    Partake the sadness of the groves,
    Famed hill Hymettus, round whose fragrant brow,
    Industrious bees, each seeking what she loves,
    Or fraught with treasure which she best approves,
    Their murmurs blend { in choral elevation   }
                        { with choral animation }
    Not wholly lost upon the abstracted ear
    Of unambitious men who wander near
    Immersed in lonely contemplation.
    Mourn, sunny Hill, and shady Grove! and mourn
    Ilyssus, bending o'er thy classic urn!
    Lament the fall of him whose spirit dreads
    Your once sweet memory, studious walks and shades!
    For He, who to divinity aspired,
    Not on the wings of popular applause,
    But through dependence on the sacred laws
    Framed in the schools where Wisdom dwelt retired,
    Meek Wisdom tracing with a steady hand
    The path which she alone hath scann'd--
    The ideal path of right--
    More fair than heaven's broad causeway paved with stars,
    Which Dion learned to gaze on with delight;--
    But he hath overleap'd the eternal bars,
    And following guides whose craft holds no consent
    With aught that breathes the ethereal element,
    Hath stained the robes of civil power with blood,
    Unjustly shed, though for the public good.
    Blind choice--for since that day, the chief, the sage,
    Prime boast and envy of a glorious age,
    Droops, the slave of fear and sorrow;

    For since that hour the studious walks and shades,
    Whose once sweet memory her Spirit dreads,
    Depress'd to-day, and unrelieved to-morrow,
    Hath Dion pined with sharp regret and sorrow.

    Lament, ye studious walks and shades,
    The fall of Him whose spirit dreads
    Your once sweet memory--and mourn
    Ilyssus, bending o'er thy classic urn,
    For him who ...

    Mourn, { sunny hills and groves } of Attica! and mourn
           { olive bowers           }
    Ilyssus, bending o'er thy classic urn!
    Mourn, and lament for him whose spirit dreads
    Your once sweet memory, studious walks and shades,
    For him who ...

              ... where Wisdom dwelt retired
    { Tracing with steady hand the path of right }
    { Intent to trace the ideal path of right    }
              ... where Wisdom dwelt retired
    Tracing assiduously the path of right.
    That path which Dion travelled { in } delight.
    Which Dion learned to travel with delight.

    Ever since that hour, ye studious walks and shades,
    Whose once sweet Memory now his spirit dreads,
    Hath Dion pined with sharp regret and sorrow.

    Blind choice--for since that word was given, the Sage,
    Prime boast and envy of a glorious age,
    {Hath droop'd and pined with sharp regret and sorrow,}
    {Droops with a burthen of repentant sorrow,          }
    Depress'd to-day, and unrelieved to-morrow.

    Hath stained the robes of civil power with blood,
    Unjustly shed--albeit to prevent
    Manifold tumults and incessant strife,
    That seemed to hang upon a single life
    To whom the calm of general content,
    The stedfastness of public good,
    Was tiresome as the weight
    That presses down the minds of mariners,
    When not a billow stirs
    On the wide surface of the ocean flood.
    {Untractable disturber of the State,            }
    {Strong is he--and concessions have proved vain,}
    {And pardon {only makes   } him more elate,     }
    {           {doth but make}                     }
    {And bolder to transgress again.                }
    {Untractable disturber of the State, }
    {Of popularity the giddy thrall,     }
    {Ever aspiring to the topmost height,}
    {His ears he shuts against the call  }
    {Of reason--therefore let him fall.  }
    Infirm decision, slowly won
    From Dion's mind--to authorize a deed
    Which when the word was uttered--with the speed
    Of lightning hurrying through the heav'ns--is done.
    {But} since that fatal hour--the chief, the sage,

    That hung upon a single life
    {Bold,        } fickle, envious, turbulent,
    {Ambitious,   }
    Ever aspiring to the topmost height;
    To whom the calm of general content,
    Diffused when order reigned for public good,
    Was tiresome ...

    Repeated pardons make him more elate,
    And bolder to offend again.
    He hath provoked his fate;
    Deliberative sadness ratifies
    The offender's doom, and solemn be his obsequies!
    _Yes, let him fall_, decision slowly won
    From Dion's mind, to authorize a deed
    Which when the word was uttered--with the speed
    Of lightning hurrying through the heav'ns--is done.
    But since that fated word the {princely  } sage,
    Prime boast and envy of a glorious age,
    Droops, under burthen of repentant sorrow,
    Depress'd to-day, and unrelieved to-morrow.

    He hath provoked his fate:
    Ever aspiring to the topmost height,
    He shuts his ear against the call
    Of Reason, therefore let him fall.                            MS.

Some years ago I was inclined to assign this poem to the year 1814,
because Wordsworth himself gave it that date in one of the notes which
he dictated to Miss Fenwick in 1843. I now assign it to the year 1816.
Wordsworth gave it that date in the year 1837, and if written in 1814,
I think it would have been included in the edition of 1815.

_Dion_, the _Ode to Lycoris_, and the translation of part of Virgil's
_Æneid_, belong to a time when Wordsworth had reverted to the subjects
of ancient classical literature while preparing his eldest son for the

Charles Lamb wrote thus to Dorothy Wordsworth in 1820:--"The story of
Dion is divine--the genius of Plato falling on him like moonlight--the
finest thing ever expressed." (_The Letters of Charles Lamb_, edited by
Alfred Ainger, vol. ii. p. 56.)

I am indebted to the Headmaster of Fettes College, the Rev. W. A. Heard,
for the following notes on the poem, with special reference to Plutarch.
They reveal, as Mr. Heard remarks, "Wordsworth's method of work upon the
authors he had read and studied, and show upon what a solid structure of
fact he always wrote." It will be observed that he invariably appended
to the title of this poem "(See Plutarch)."

"When Dion, the pupil of Plato, became the autocrat of Syracuse, it
seemed as if the moment had come for the rule of a philosopher. But the
gardens of the Academy knew nothing of the methods by which alone
intrigue could be met and unscrupulousness baffled. The murder of
Heracleides became a political necessity; but when this was conceded,
the charm was once and for ever broken--the career was done. Plutarch's
biography deals mainly with the external conditions, and is overlaid
with so much historical detail that the personality of Dion stands out
in insufficient relief. Wordsworth gives us a study of the internal
struggle, showing us the failure of an ideal, not in its external
aspect, but as closing the aspirations, and desolating the conscience,
of a truly noble mind. He accepts Plutarch's general conception of the
life, incorporating much of the details and adopting some of the
language, but over and above the fresh emphasis he gives to critical
moments, the imaginative insight with which all the detail is treated
makes the poem an original presentation.

                        _... a swan-like grace
    Of haughtiness without pretence._

ὑψηλὸς τῷ ἤθει καὶ μεγαλόφρων.--'He was lofty in his
disposition and large-minded.' Again, Plutarch speaks of
the "σεμνότης"--the 'still magnificence' of his nature,
coupled with "τὸ γενναῖον καὶ ἁπλότης,"
nobility and simplicity.

    _Softening their inbred dignity austere._

βουλομένου τοῦ Πλάτωνος ὁμιλίᾳ χάριν ἐχούσῃ καὶ
παιδιᾶς ἐμμελοῦς κατὰ καιρὸν ἁπτομένῃ κεραννύμενον
ἀφηδύνεσθαι τοῦ Δίωνος τὸ ἦθος. Plato tried to soften
the harshness of his disposition by the delights of intercourse,
and the grace of seasonable wit.

    _That he, not too elate
    With self-sufficing solitude._

This refers to a warning of Plato, ἡ αὐθάδεια ἐρημίᾳ
σύνοικος--Arrogance is the house-mate of solitude.

    _Each crowned with flowers ..._

καὶ θεασάμενοι τὸν Δίωνα διὰ τὴν θυσίαν ἐστεφανωμένον
οἱ παρόντες ἀπὸ μιᾶς ὁρμῆς ἐστεφανοῦντο πάντες.--And
seeing Dion wearing a garland on account of the sacrifice, those
that were present with one impulse put on garlands one and all.

    _Or ruder weapon which their course might yield._

ὡπλισμένοι δὲ φαύλως ἐκ τοῦ προστυχόντος.--Poorly armed, as chance
enabled them.

    _Who leads them on? ..._

Δίων προσερχόμενος ἤδη καταφανὴς ἦν πρῶτος
αὐτὸς ὡπλισμένος λαμπρῶς ... ἐστεφανωμένος.--Dion himself
was already in sight, advancing at their head, clad in
gleaming armour and wearing a garland.

    _Salute those strangers as a holy train
    Or blest procession (to the Immortals dear)
    That brought their precious liberty again._

τῶν Συρακουσίων δεχομένων ὥσπερ ἱεράν τινα
καὶ θεοπρεπῆ πομπὴν ἐλευθερίας καὶ δημοκρατίας δι'
ἐτῶν ὀκτὼ καὶ τεσσαράκοντα κατιούσης εἰς τὴν πόλιν.--The
Syracusans receiving them as a holy procession beseeming the Gods ('to
the Immortals dear'), escorting freedom and democracy back to the city
after an exile of forty-seven years.

    _Down the long street, rich goblets filled with wine
                In seemly order stand._

ἑκατέρωθεν παρὰ τὴν ὁδὸν τῶν Συρακουσίων
ἱερεῖά τινα καὶ τραπέζας καὶ κρατῆρας ἱστάντων
καὶ καθ' οὓς γένοιτο προχύταις τε βαλλόντων καὶ
προστρεπομένων ὥσπερ θεὸν κατευχαῖς.--The people
setting, on either side the way, victims and tables and bowls of
wine, and as he came opposite, casting flowers upon him, and
supplicating him with prayers as though he were a God.

    _Mourn, hills and groves of Attica! and mourn
    Ilissus, bending o'er thy classic urn!_

Cf. Milton, _Paradise Regained_, iv. 244:--

    See there the olive-grove of Academe,
    Plato's retirement, where the Attic bird
    Trills her thick-warbled notes the summer long.

Perhaps the idea of Ilissus bending over the urn is taken from the
western pediment of the Parthenon. At one angle there is a recumbent
figure of the Kephissus, at the other of the llissus; originally there
seems to have been a ὑδρία attached to one of them. See _Guide to
Sculptures of the Parthenon_, published at the British Museum.[CB]

    _And, following guides whose craft holds no consent
    With aught that breathes the ethereal element,
    Hath stained the robes of civil power with blood,
    Unjustly shed, though for the public good._

Dion was anxious to give Syracuse a constitution, but he found
Heracleides an incessant opponent in spite of the long forbearance he
had shown him. Feeling that the one obstacle to a settlement must at all
costs be removed, he yielded to advisers whom he had long withstood, and
allowed them to put Heracleides to death. He gave him, however, a public
funeral, and persuaded the people that it was impossible for the State
to have peace on any other conditions.

    _But whence that sudden check?..._

ἐτύγχανε μὲν γὰρ ὀψὲ τῆς ἡμέρας καθεζόμενος ἐν
παστάδι τῆς οἰκίας μόνος ὢν πρὸς ἑαυτῷ τὴν
διάνοιαν· ἐξαίφνης δὲ ψόφου γενομένου πρὸς
θατέρῳ πέρατι τῆς στοᾶς, ἀποβλέψας ἔτι φωτὸς
ὄντος εἶδε γυναῖκα μεγάλην στολῇ μὲν καὶ
προσώπῳ μηδὲν Ἐριννύος τραγικῆς παραλλάττουσαν,
σαίρουσαν δὲ καλλύντρῳ τινὶ τὴν οἰκίαν.--He
happened to be sitting late in the evening in a corridor of the house
in solitary meditation: suddenly a sound was heard in the further end
of the portico, and looking up, he saw in the lingering light the form
of a majestic woman, in dress and face like the Fury as she appears in
tragedy--sweeping the house with a brush.

In Plutarch, the apparition is simply ominous of coming evil, his son, a
few days afterwards, throwing himself in a fit of petulance from the
roof of the palace, and his own death shortly following: the moral
significance assigned to it in the poem is Wordsworth's own

    _And, in their anguish, bear what other minds have borne!_

In Plutarch, Dion calls his attendants, dreading to be left alone for
fear the spectre should return (παντάπασιν ἐκστατικῶς
ἔχων καὶ δεδοικὼς μὴ πάλιν εἰς ὄψιν αὐτῷ μονωθέν τὸ
τέρας ἀφίκηται). Wordsworth seems to have taken a hint
from this passage, and to have added a tragic intensity by representing
the horror as one which he could share with no one, a supernatural doom
in which he must be absolutely solitary.

    _Ill-fated Chief! there are whose hopes are built
    Upon the ruins of thy glorious name._

Callippus, an early friend of Dion's in Athens, and bound to him by a
sacred association as he had initiated him into the mysteries, was now
in Syracuse, and for selfish ends was plotting his friend's ruin,
ἐλπίσας Σικελίαν ἆθλον ἕξειν τῆς ξενοκτονίας,
'hoping to get Sicily as the prize of his treachery.'

    _O matchless perfidy! portentous lust
    Of monstrous crime!..._

Not only was this Callippus his friend, not only had he initiated him
into the mysteries at Athens, a bond of peculiar sanctity, but there was
even a worse perfidy: to allay the suspicions of Dion's household he had
taken '_the awful oath_'. Descending into the sacred enclosure of
Demeter, he had put on the purple robe of the goddess, and taking a
burning torch in his hand, had disowned upon oath any thought of
treachery. Yet in spite of this awful oath, he chose the very festival
of the goddess as the moment for perpetrating the crime.

    _... The marble city wept._

Syracuse was one of the most magnificent cities of the ancient world,
and contained a large number of splendid buildings built from the
quarries adjacent to the city. Perhaps the most famous was the great
theatre, the seats of which were formed with slabs of white marble.

                        _... too just
    To his own native greatness to desire
    That wretched boon, days lengthened by mistrust._

ὁ μὲν Δίων, ὡς ἔοικεν, ἐπὶ τοῖς κατὰ τὸν Ἡρακλείδην
ἀχθόμενος καὶ τὸν φόνον ἐκεῖνον ὥς τινα τοῦ βίου
καὶ τῶν πράξεων αὐτῷ κηλῖδα περικειμένην,
δυσχεραίνων ἀεὶ καὶ βαρυνόμενος εἶπεν ὅτι πολλάκις
ἤδη θνήσκειν ἕτοιμός ἐστι καὶ παρέχειν τῷ
βουλομένῳ σφάττειν αὑτόν, εἰ ζῆν δεήσει μὴ μόνον
τοὺς ἐχθρούς, ἀλλὰ καὶ τοὺς φίλους φυλαττόμενον.
His relations had been cautioning him against Callippus; but 'Dion,
grieved at heart, it would seem, at the fate of Heracleides, and ever
chafing at and brooding over the murder as a stain upon his life and
conduct, was willing, he said, to die a thousand deaths and yield his
neck to any who would strike the blow, if life was only to be had by
guarding against friends as well as foes.'"--ED.


[Footnote 174: 1820.

    Vanish the dusky hill, ...                                    MS.

[Footnote 175: 1837.

    So pure, so bright, so fitted to embrace,
    Where'er he turn'd, a natural grace                 MS. and 1820.

[Footnote 176: 1837.

    Nor less the homage that was seen to wait
    On Dion's virtues, when the lunar beam              MS. and 1820.

[Footnote 177: 1820.

    Softening his inbred dignity austere.
      If on thy path the world delight to gaze,
    Pride of the world--beware! for thou may'st live,
    Like Dion, to behold the torch of Praise
    Inverted in thy presence, and to give
    Proof, for the historian's page and poet's lays,
    That Peace, even Peace herself, is fugitive.                  MS.

[Footnote 178: 1820.

    ... joyful day!                                               MS.

[Footnote 179: 1820.

    ... such as chance might yield,                               MS.

[Footnote 180: 1820.

    ... advanc'd ...                                              MS.

[Footnote 181: 1827.

    And, wheresoe'er the great Deliverer passed,
    Fruits were strewn before his eye,
    And flowers upon his person cast                    MS. and 1820.

[Footnote 182: 1827.

    ... did ...                                                 1820.

[Footnote 183: 1820.

    ... wings ...                                                 MS.

[Footnote 184: 1837.

    ... to measure with delight;                                1820.

    ... to gaze on with delight;                                  MS.

[Footnote 185: 1820.

    Now hath he overleaped ...                                  1837.

    The edition of 1840 returns to the text of 1820.

[Footnote 186: 1820.

    ... gallery's farthest bound,
    A formidable shape ...                                        MS.

[Footnote 187: 1820.

    Like winged Auster stooping low,                              MS.

[Footnote 188: 1827.

    Intrusive Presence!-- ...                                   1820.

[Footnote 189: 1820.

    Sweeping--vehemently sweeping--
    Long gazed the chieftain--ere he spake--aloud--
    With even voice and stern composure wrought
    Into his brow by self-supporting thought:
    "Avaunt, inexplicable Guest--avaunt,
    Intrusive Phantom! let me rather see
    What they behold ...                                          MS.

    Sweeping--vehemently sweeping--
    No pause admitted--no design avowed!
    Breathless the chieftain gazed--at length,
    Endeavouring to collect his strength,
    With pallid cheek and rueful brow,
    And a half-pleading, a half-threatening eye,
    Such as the Fates exclusively allow
    For the behoof of suffering majesty,
    He rose and spake aloud--
    "Intrusive Presence! let me rather see
    What they behold, ...                                         MS.

[Footnote 190: 1820.

    ... wretched ...                                              MS.

[Footnote 191: 1820.

    Ill-fated Lord! O, there are ...                              MS.

    Afflicted chief! ...                                          MS.

[Footnote 192: 1820.

    Upon the basis of thy ruined name;                            MS.

[Footnote 193: 1820.

    ... name;
    Away--for hark a rushing sound,
    A conflict--and a groan profound!                             MS.

[Footnote 194: 1820.

    O monstrous perfidy! ...                                      MS.

[Footnote 195: 1832.

    Shudder ...                                                 1820.

[Footnote 196: 1820.

    While ...                                                     MS.

[Footnote 197: 1820.

    To his inborn greatness ...                                   MS.

[Footnote 198: 1820.

    Thus ...                                                      MS.


[Footnote CA: See, at the close of the poem (p. 122), several
experimental renderings of this stanza, printed from MS.--ED.]

[Footnote CB: That Wordsworth knew the Elgin marbles--where the
half-recumbent Ilissus, a torso, is one of the finest pieces of the
pediment--is certain. There is a reproduction of it in his nephew's (the
late Bishop of Lincoln's) book on _Greece_. In Henry Crabb Robinson's
_Diary_ (vol. ii. p. 195) there is an interesting account of the poet's
visit to the British Museum, to see the Elgin marbles, etc. See also the
_Autobiography of B. R. Haydon_, where, in a letter to the artist,
Wordsworth says, "I am not surprised to hear that Canova expressed
himself highly pleased with the Elgin marbles: a man must be senseless
as a clod, or as perverse as a fiend, not to be enraptured with them"
(vol. i. p. 325).--ED.]



Composed 1816.--Published 1820

[The first and last fourteen lines of this poem each make a sonnet, and
were composed as such; but I thought that by intermediate lines they
might be connected so as to make a whole. One or two expressions are
taken from Milton's _History of England_.--I. F.]

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

    The Danish Conqueror, on his royal chair,
    Mustering a face of haughty[200] sovereignty,
    To aid a covert purpose, cried--"O ye
    Approaching Waters of the deep, that share
    With this green isle my fortunes, come not where               5
    Your Master's throne is set."--Deaf was the Sea;
    Her waves rolled on, respecting his decree
    Less than they heed a breath of wanton air.[201]
    --Then Canute, rising from the invaded throne,
    Said to his servile Courtiers,--"Poor the reach,[202]         10
    The undisguised extent, of mortal sway!
    He only is a King, and he alone
    Deserves the name (this truth the billows preach)
    Whose everlasting laws, sea, earth, and heaven, obey."
    This just reproof the prosperous Dane                         15
    Drew from the influx of the main,
    For some whose rugged northern mouths would strain
    At oriental flattery;
    And Canute (fact more worthy to be known)[203]
    From that time forth did for his brows disown                 20
    The ostentatious symbol of a crown;
    Esteeming earthly royalty
    Contemptible as vain.[204]

    Now hear what one of elder days,
    Rich theme of England's fondest praise,                       25
    Her darling Alfred, _might_ have spoken;[205]
    To cheer the remnant of his host
    When he was driven from coast to coast,
    Distressed and harassed, but with mind unbroken:[206]

    "My faithful followers, lo! the tide is spent                 30
    That rose, and steadily advanced to fill
    The shores and channels, working Nature's will
    Among the mazy streams that backward went,
    And in the sluggish pools where ships are pent:               34
    And now, his[207] task performed, the flood stands still,
    At the green base of many an inland hill,[CC]
    In placid beauty and sublime content![208]
    Such the repose that sage and hero find;
    Such measured rest the sedulous and good
    Of humbler name; whose souls do, like the flood               40
    Of Ocean, press right on; or gently wind,
    Neither to be diverted nor withstood,
    Until they reach the bounds by Heaven assigned."

The passage from Milton's _History of England_ (book vi.), referred to
in the Fenwick note, relates an incident, "which" (as Milton justly
says), "unless to Court-Parasites, needed no such laborious
demonstration." There is only one expression borrowed by Wordsworth:
"The Sea, as before, came rolling on, ... whereat the King, quickly
rising, wished all about him to behold and consider the weak and
frivolous form of a King, and that none indeed deserved the name of a
King, but he whose Eternal Laws both Heaven, Earth, and Sea obey."--ED.


[Footnote 199: 1820.

    ... by the sea-side.                                          MS.

[Footnote 200: 1820.

    ... haughtiest ...                                            MS.

[Footnote 201: 1840.

    Your Master's throne is set!"--Absurd decree!
    A mandate uttered to the foaming sea,
    Is to its motions less than wanton air.             MS. and 1820.

[Footnote 202: 1820.

    Said to his Courtiers, Scanty is the reach,                   MS.

[Footnote 203: 1845.

    And Canute (truth ...                               MS. and 1820.

    And Canute, which is worthiest to be known,                   MS.

    ... what ...                                                  MS.

    And in the self same Page is told that he                     MS.

[Footnote 204: 1857.

    Contemptible and vain.                              MS. and 1820.

[Footnote 205: 1820.

                  ... have taught
    The Sea, the prompter of his thought,
    Such words as these methinks he might have spoken             MS.

[Footnote 206: 1820.

    Distressed but not down broken:                               MS.

[Footnote 207: 1837.

    ... its ...                                         MS. and 1820.

[Footnote 208: 1820.

    ... entire content.                                           MS.


Composed 1816.--Published 1820

[The complaint in my eyes, which gave occasion to this address to my
daughter, first showed itself as a consequence of inflammation, caught
at the top of Kirkstone, when I was over-heated by having carried up the
ascent my eldest son, a lusty infant. Frequently has the disease
recurred since, leaving my eyes in a state which has often prevented my
reading for months, and makes me at this day incapable of bearing
without injury any strong light by day or night. My acquaintance with
books has therefore been far short of my wishes; and on this account, to
acknowledge the services daily and hourly done me by my family and
friends, this note is written.--I. F.]

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

    "_A little onward lend thy guiding hand
    To these dark steps, a little further on!_"[CD]
    --What trick of memory to _my_ voice hath brought
    This mournful iteration? For though Time,                      4
    The Conqueror, crowns the Conquered, on this brow
    Planting his favourite silver diadem,
    Nor he, nor minister of his--intent
    To run before him, hath enrolled me yet,
    Though not unmenaced, among those who lean
    Upon a living staff, with borrowed sight.                     10
    --O my own Dora, my belovèd child![209][CE]
    Should that day come--but hark! the birds salute
    The cheerful dawn, brightening for me the east;
    For me, thy natural leader, once again
    Impatient to conduct thee, not as erst                        15
    A tottering infant, with compliant stoop
    From flower to flower supported; but to curb
    Thy nymph-like step swift bounding o'er the lawn,[CF]
    Along the loose rocks, or the slippery verge
    Of foaming torrents.[210]--From thy orisons                   20
    Come forth; and, while the morning air is yet
    Transparent as the soul of innocent youth,
    Let me, thy happy guide, now point thy way,
    And now precede thee, winding to and fro,
    Till we by perseverance gain the top                          25
    Of some smooth ridge, whose brink precipitous
    Kindles intense desire for powers withheld
    From this corporeal frame; whereon who stands,
    Is seized with strong incitement to push forth
    His arms, as swimmers use, and plunge--dread thought,
    For pastime plunge--into the "abrupt abyss,"[CG]              31
    Where ravens spread their plumy vans, at ease!

    And yet more gladly thee would I conduct
    Through woods and spacious forests,--to behold
    There, how the Original of human art,                         35
    Heaven-prompted Nature, measures and erects
    Her temples, fearless for the stately work,
    Though waves, to every breeze,[211] its high-arched roof,
    And storms the pillars rock. But we such schools
    Of reverential awe will chiefly seek                          40
    In the still summer noon, while beams of light,
    Reposing here, and in the aisles beyond
    Traceably gliding through the dusk, recal
    To mind the living presences of nuns;
    A gentle, pensive, white-robed sisterhood,                    45
    Whose saintly radiance mitigates the gloom
    Of those terrestrial fabrics, where they serve,
    To Christ, the Sun of righteousness, espoused.
     Now also shall the page of classic lore,
    To these glad eyes from bondage freed, again                  50
    Lie open; and the book of Holy Writ,
    Again unfolded, passage clear shall yield
    To heights more glorious still, and into shades
    More awful, where, advancing hand in hand,
    We may be taught, O Darling of my care!                       55
    To calm the affections, elevate the soul,
    And consecrate our lives to truth and love.[212]


[Footnote 209: 1850.

    --O my Antigone, beloved child!                             1820.

[Footnote 210: 1837.

    ... torrent ...                                             1827.

[Footnote 211: 1837.

    Though waves in every breeze ...                            1820.


[Footnote CC: Compare Tennyson, _In Memoriam_, stanza xix.--

    There twice a day the Severn fills;
    The salt sea-water passes by,
    And hushes half the babbling Wye,
    And makes a silence in the hills.


[Footnote CD: The opening lines of Milton's _Samson Agonistes_. Compare
also _The Wanderings of Cain_ (canto ii. l. 1), by S. T. Coleridge: "A
little farther, O my father, yet a little farther, and we shall come
into the open moonlight." ... "Lead on, my child!" said Cain; "guide me,
little child!"--ED.]

[Footnote CE: Dora Wordsworth died in 1847, a loss which cast a gloom
over her father's remaining years; and it is not without interest that
in the last revision of the text of his poems, in the year of his own
death, he substituted

    O my own Dora, my belovèd child!

for the earlier reading,

    O my Antigone, beloved child!


[Footnote CF: Compare in the lines on Lucy, beginning, "Three years she
grew in sun and shower" (vol. ii. p. 81)--

    She shall be sportive as the fawn
    That wild with glee across the lawn
    Or up the mountain springs.


[Footnote CG: Compare _Paradise Lost_, book ii. l. 409.--ED.]

TO ----,


Composed 1816.--Published 1820.

[Written at Rydal Mount. The lady was Miss Blackett, then residing with
Mr. Montagu Burgoyne at Fox-Ghyll. We were tempted to remain too long
upon the mountain; and I, imprudently, with the hope of shortening the
way led her among the crags and down a steep slope which entangled us in
difficulties that were met by her with much spirit and courage.--I. F.]

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

    Inmate of a mountain-dwelling,
    Thou hast clomb aloft, and gazed
    From the watch-towers of Helvellyn;
    Awed, delighted, and amazed!
    Potent was the spell that bound thee                           5
    Not unwilling to obey:[213]
    For[214] blue Ether's arms, flung round thee,
    Stilled the pantings of dismay.

    Lo! the dwindled woods and meadows;
    What a vast abyss is there!                                   10
    Lo! the clouds, the solemn shadows,
    And the glistenings--heavenly fair!

    And a record of commotion
    Which a thousand ridges yield;
    Ridge, and gulf, and distant ocean                            15
    Gleaming like a silver shield!

    Maiden! now take flight;--inherit[215]
    Alps or Andes--they are thine!
    With the morning's roseate Spirit,
    Sweep their length of snowy line;                             20

    Or survey their[216] bright dominions
    In the gorgeous colours drest
    Flung from off the purple pinions,
    Evening spreads throughout the west![217]

    Thine are all the coral[218] fountains                        25
    Warbling in each sparry vault[219]
    Of the untrodden lunar mountains;
    Listen to their songs!--or halt,

    To Niphates' top invited,[CH]
    Whither spiteful Satan steered;                               30
    Or descend where the ark alighted,
    When the green earth re-appeared;

    For the power of hills is on thee,
    As was witnessed through thine eye
    Then, when old Helvellyn won thee                             35
    To confess their majesty!

With these stanzas to Miss Blackett, compare those addressed by
Wordsworth to his sister, published in 1807, under the title _To a Young
Lady, who had been reproached for taking Long Walks in the Country_; and
the poem entitled _Louisa, after accompanying her on a Mountain
Excursion_, also referring to his sister (vol. ii. pp. 362, 365).--ED.


[Footnote 212: 1827.

    Re-open now thy everlasting gates,
    Thou Fane of Holy Writ! ye classic Domes,
    To these glad orbs from darksome bondage freed,
    Unfold again your portals! Passage lies
    Through you to heights more glorious still, and shades
    More awful, where this Darling of my care,
    Advancing with me hand in hand, may learn,
    Without forsaking a too earnest world,
    To calm the affections, elevate the soul,
    And consecrate her life to truth and love.                  1820.

[Footnote 213: 1827.

    In the moment of dismay,                            MS. and 1820.

[Footnote 214: 1832.

    While ...                                                   1820.

[Footnote 215: 1845.

    --Take thy flight;--possess, inherit                MS. and 1820.

    Now--take flight;--possess, inherit                         1836.

[Footnote 216: 1836.

    ... the ...                                                 1820.
    ... thy ...                                                   MS.

[Footnote 217: 1820.

    Or adopt the purple pinions
    Evening spreads throughout the west,
    And survey thy new dominions
    In that bright reflection drest.                              MS.

[Footnote 218: 1832.

    ... choral ...                                              1820.

[Footnote 219: 1820.

    ... sparkling vault                                           MS.


[Footnote CH: A mountain in Asia, dividing Armenia from Assyria, whence
the river Tigris has its source.

                         Satan, bowing low,

           *       *       *       *       *

    Throws his steep flight in many an aery wheel,
    Nor staid till on _Niphates'_ top he lights.

    _Paradise Lost_, book iii. ll. 736-742.



The year 1817 was not specially productive of new poems. They may be
arranged thus, _The Vernal Ode_, _The Ode to Lycoris_, its _Sequel_,
_The Longest Day_, _The Pass of Kirkstone_, _Hints from the Mountains_,
and the _Lament of Mary Queen of Scots_.


Composed 1817.--Published 1820

[Composed at Rydal Mount, to place in view the immortality of succession
where immortality is denied, as far as we know, to the individual
creature.--I. F.][CI]

    Rerum Natura tota est nusquam magis quam in minimis.

    PLIN. _Nat. Hist._[CJ]

This _Vernal Ode_ was first published in the volume entitled "The River
Duddon, a series of Sonnets: Vaudracour and Julia: and other poems. To
which is annexed, a Topographical Description of the Country of the
Lakes, in the north of England." In that volume its title was
_Ode.--1817_. In 1820 it was placed among the "Poems of the
Imagination." Its title was merely _Ode_, and in the table of contents
it was called "Beneath the Concave"; the page heading "Vernal Ode" being
given to it on the last three of its six pages. In 1827, and 1832, it
was transferred to the "Poems of Sentiment and Reflection." In 1836 it
was returned to the class of "Poems of the Imagination."--ED.


    Beneath the concave of an April sky,
    When all the fields with freshest green were dight,
    Appeared, in presence of the[221] spiritual eye
    That aids or supersedes our grosser sight,
    The form and rich habiliments of One                           5
    Whose countenance bore resemblance to the sun,
    When it reveals, in evening majesty,
    Features half lost amid their own pure light.
    Poised like a weary cloud, in middle air[222]
    He hung,--then floated with angelic ease                      10
    (Softening that bright effulgence by degrees)
    Till he had reached a summit sharp and bare,[223]
    Where oft the venturous heifer drinks the noontide[224] breeze.
    Upon the apex of that lofty cone
    Alighted, there the Stranger stood alone;                     15
    Fair as a gorgeous Fabric of the east
    Suddenly raised by some enchanter's power,
    Where nothing was; and firm as some old Tower
    Of Britain's realm, whose leafy crest
    Waves high, embellished by a gleaming shower!                 20


    Beneath the shadow of his purple wings
    Rested a golden harp;--he touched the strings;
    And, after prelude of unearthly sound
    Poured through the echoing hills around,
    He sang--
             "No wintry desolations,                              25
    Scorching blight or noxious dew,
    Affect my native habitations;
    Buried in glory, far beyond the scope
    Of man's inquiring gaze, but to his hope
    Imaged, though faintly, in the hue[225]                       30
    Profound of night's ethereal blue;
    And in the aspect of each radiant orb:--
    Some fixed, some wandering with no timid curb:
    But wandering star[226] and fixed, to mortal eye,
    Blended in absolute serenity,                                 35
    And free from semblance of decline;--
    Fresh as if Evening brought their natal hour,
    Her darkness splendour gave, her silence power,
    To testify of Love and Grace divine.[227]


    What if those bright fires                                    40
    Shine subject to decay,
    Sons haply of extinguished sires,
    Themselves to lose their light, or pass away
    Like clouds before the wind,                                  44
    Be thanks poured out to Him whose hand bestows,
    Nightly, on human kind
    That vision[228] of endurance and repose.
    --And though to every draught of vital breath
    Renewed throughout the bounds of earth or ocean,
    The melancholy gates of Death                                 50
    Respond with sympathetic motion;[229]
    Though all that feeds on nether air,
    Howe'er magnificent or fair,
    Grows but to perish, and entrust
    Its ruins to their kindred dust:                              55
    Yet, by the Almighty's[230] ever-during care,
    Her procreant vigils[231] Nature keeps
    Amid the unfathomable deeps;
    And saves the peopled[232] fields of earth
    From dread[233] of emptiness or dearth.                       60
    Thus, in their stations, lifting tow'rd[234] the sky
    The foliaged head in cloud-like majesty,
    The shadow-casting race of trees survive:
    Thus, in the train of Spring, arrive
    Sweet flowers;--what living eye hath viewed                   65
    Their myriads?[235]--endlessly renewed,
    Wherever strikes the sun's glad ray;
    Where'er the subtle[236] waters stray;
    Wherever sportive breezes[237] bend
    Their course, or genial showers descend![238]                 70
    Mortals, rejoice![239] the very Angels quit
    Their mansions unsusceptible of change,
    Amid your pleasant bowers to sit,
    And through your sweet vicissitudes to range!"


    O, nursed at happy distance from the cares                    75
    Of a too-anxious world, mild pastoral Muse!
    That, to the sparkling crown Urania wears,
    And to her sister Clio's laurel wreath,[CL]
    Prefer'st a garland culled from purple heath,
    Or blooming thicket moist with morning dews;                  80
    Was such bright Spectacle vouchsafed to me?
    And was it granted to the simple ear
    Of thy contented Votary
    Such melody to hear!
    _Him_ rather suits it, side by side with thee,                85
    Wrapped in a fit of[240] pleasing indolence,
    While thy tired lute hangs on the hawthorn-tree,
    To lie and listen--till o'er-drowsèd sense
    Sinks,[241] hardly conscious of the influence--
    To the soft murmur of the vagrant Bee.                        90
    --A slender sound! yet hoary Time
    Doth to the _Soul_ exalt it with the chime
    Of all his years;--a company
    Of ages coming, ages gone;
    (Nations from before them sweeping,                           95
    Regions in destruction steeping,)
    But every awful note in unison[242]
    With that faint utterance, which tells
    Of treasure sucked from buds and bells,
    For the pure keeping of those waxen cells;[243]              100
    Where She--a statist prudent to confer
    Upon the common[244] weal; a warrior bold,
    Radiant all over with unburnished gold,
    And armed with living spear for mortal fight;[245]
       A cunning forager                                         105
    That spreads no waste; a social builder; one
    In whom all busy offices unite
    With all fine functions that afford delight--
    Safe through the winter[246] storm in quiet dwells!


    And is She brought within the power                          110
    Of vision?--o'er this tempting flower
    Hovering until the petals stay
    Her flight, and take its voice away!--
    Observe[247] each wing!--a tiny van!
    The structure of her laden thigh,                            115
    How fragile! yet of ancestry
    Mysteriously remote and high;
    High as the imperial front of man;
    The roseate bloom on woman's cheek;
    The soaring eagle's curvèd beak;                             120
    The white plumes of the floating swan;
    Old as the tiger's paw, the lion's mane
    Ere shaken by that mood of stern disdain
    At which the desert trembles.--Humming Bee!                  124
    Thy sting was needless then, perchance unknown,
    The seeds of malice were not sown;
    All creatures met in peace, from fierceness free,
    And no pride blended with their dignity.[248]
    --Tears had not broken from their source;
    Nor Anguish strayed from her Tartarean den;                  130
    The golden years maintained a course
    Not undiversified though smooth and even;
    We were not mocked with glimpse and shadow then,
    Bright Seraphs mixed familiarly with men;                    134
    And earth and stars composed a universal heaven!

A MS. copy of this Ode commences with the following stanza, and goes on
to "And what if his presiding breath," stanza iii. text of 1820.--ED.

    Forsake me not, Urania, but when Ev'n
    Fades into night, resume the enraptur'd song
    That shadowed forth the immensity of Heav'n
    In music--uttered surely without wrong
    (For 'twas thy work) though here the Listener lay
    Couch'd on green herbage 'mid the warmth of May
    --A parting promise makes a bright farewell:
    Empow'r'd to wait for thy return
    Voice of the Heav'ns I will not mourn;
    Content that holy peace and mute remembrance dwell
    Within the bosom of the chorded shell
    Tuned 'mid those seats of love and joy, concealed
    By day, by night imperfectly revealed;
    Thy native mansions that endure
    Beyond their present seeming--pure
    From taint of dissolution or decay.
    --No blights, no wintry desolations,
    Affect those blissful habitations,
    Built such as hope might gather from the hue
    Profound of the celestial blue,
    And from the aspect of each radiant orb,
    Some fix'd, some wandering, with no timid curb,
    Yet both permitted to proclaim
    Their Maker's glory with unaltered frame.



[Footnote 220: 1827.

    ODE.--1817.                                                 1820.
                                                         1st Edition.

    ODE.                                                        1820.
                                                         2nd Edition.

[Footnote 221: 1836.

    ... that ...                                                1820.

[Footnote 222: 1827.

    Poised in the middle region of the air                      1820.

[Footnote 223: 1827.

    Until he reached a rock, of summit bare,                    1820.

[Footnote 224: 1827.

    ... summer ...                                              1820.

[Footnote 225: 1836.

    Of man's enquiring gaze, and imaged to his hope
    (Alas, how faintly!) in the hue                             1820.

    ... but ...                                                 1827.

[Footnote 226: 1827.

    ... orb ...                                                 1820.

[Footnote 227: 1827.

    ... of decline;--
    So wills eternal Love, with Power divine.                   1820.

[Footnote 228: 1840.

    --That image ...                                            1836.

[Footnote 229: 1827.

                           ... divine.
    And what if his presiding breath
    Impart a sympathetic motion
    Unto the gates of life and death,
    Throughout the bounds of earth and ocean;

                                                        MS. and 1820.

[Footnote 230: 1820.

    Yet by this ...                                               MS.

[Footnote 231: 1820.

    ... cradle ...                                                MS.

[Footnote 232: 1820.

    ... changeful ...                                             MS.

[Footnote 233: 1820.

    ... fear ...                                                  MS.

[Footnote 234: 1820.

    ... tow'rds ...                                               MS.

[Footnote 235: 1820.

    ... numbers? ...                                              MS.

[Footnote 236: 1827.

    ... joyous ...                                      MS. and 1820.

[Footnote 237: 1836.

    ... zephyrs ...                                     MS. and 1820.

[Footnote 238: The stanza ends here. MS.]

[Footnote 239: 1827.

    Rejoice, O men! ...                                         1820.

[Footnote 240: 1820.

                           ... morning dews;
    Oft side by side with some lov'd Votary
    Wrapp'd like thyself in ...                                   MS.

[Footnote 241: 1820.

                      ... hung on the hawthorn tree
    Hast thou sate listening till o'er-drowsèd sense
    Sank ...                                                      MS.

[Footnote 242: 1820.

    ... ages gone,
    {But} each and all in unison                                  MS.

[Footnote 243: 1820.

                          ... buds and bells
    And stored with frugal care in waxen cells.

    (end of stanza)                                               MS.

[Footnote 244: 1832.

    ... public ...                                              1820.

[Footnote 245: 1820.

                       ... buds and bells,
    To travel through the pathless air,
    Or who consigned with frugal care
    To the pure keeping of those waxen cells,
    Where, She--a valiant soldier if need were--                  MS.

[Footnote 246: 1820.

    ... wintry ...                                                MS.

[Footnote 247: 1820.

           ... by this tempting flower
    Observe ...                                                   MS.

[Footnote 248: 1820.

    ... majesty.                                                  MS.


[Footnote CI: Compare George Eliot's "O may I join the choir invisible"
(_Poems_, p. 240).--ED.]

[Footnote CJ: See Pliny's _Historia Naturalis_, book xi. chap. 1.--ED.]

[Footnote CK: The first eight lines of stanza iii. were added in the
edition of 1836; and in that of 1832 stanzas ii. and iii. were included
in a single one. They were again separated in 1836.--ED.]

[Footnote CL: Urania (the heavenly muse) was usually represented as
crowned with stars, and holding a globe in her hand; while Clio was
crowned with laurel.--ED.]


MAY, 1817

Composed 1817.--Published 1820

[The discerning reader--who is aware that in the poem of _Ellen Irwin_ I
was desirous of throwing the reader at once out of the old ballad, so as
if possible, to preclude a comparison between that mode of dealing with
the subject and the mode I meant to adopt--may here perhaps perceive
that this poem originated in the four last lines of the first stanza.
Those specks of snow, reflected in the lake and so transferred, as it
were, to the subaqueous sky, reminded me of the swans which the fancy of
the ancient classic poets yoked to the car of Venus. Hence the tenor of
the whole first stanza, and the name of Lycoris, which--with some
readers who think my theology and classical allusion too far fetched and
therefore more or less unnatural and affected--will tend to unrealise
the sentiment that pervades these verses. But surely one who has written
so much in verse as I have done may be allowed to retrace his steps in
the regions of fancy which delighted him in his boyhood, when he first
became acquainted with the Greek and Roman poets. Before I read Virgil I
was so strongly attached to Ovid, whose _Metamorphoses_ I read at
school, that I was quite in a passion whenever I found him, in books of
criticism, placed below Virgil. As to Homer, I was never weary of
travelling over the scenes through which he led me. Classical literature
affected me by its own beauty. But the truths of Scripture having been
entrusted to the dead languages, and these fountains having recently
been laid open at the Reformation, an importance and a sanctity were at
that period attached to classical literature that extended, as is
obvious in Milton's _Lycidas_ for example, both to its spirit and form
in a degree that can never be revived. No doubt the hacknied and
lifeless use into which mythology fell towards the close of the 17th
century, and which continued through the 18th, disgusted the general
reader with all allusion to it in modern verse; and though, in deference
to this disgust, and also in a measure participating in it, I abstained
in my earlier writings from all introduction of pagan fable, surely,
even in its humble form, it may ally itself with real sentiment, as I
can truly affirm it did in the present case.--I. F.]

One of the "Poems of Sentiment and Reflection." In 1847 Wordsworth wrote
to Mr. Fletcher that this poem was "suggested to him one day at
Ullswater, in the year 1817, by seeing two white, snowy clouds reflected
in the lake. 'They looked' (he said), 'like two swans.'"--ED.


    An age hath been when Earth was proud
    Of lustre too intense
    To be sustained; and Mortals bowed
    The front in self-defence.
    Who _then_, if Dian's crescent gleamed,                        5
    Or Cupid's sparkling arrow streamed
    While on the wing the Urchin played,
    Could fearlessly approach the shade?
    --Enough for one soft vernal day,
    If I, a bard of ebbing time,                                  10
    And nurtured in a fickle clime,
    May haunt this hornèd bay;[CM]
    Whose amorous water multiplies
    The flitting halcyon's vivid dyes;[CN]
    And smooths her[249] liquid breast--to show                   15
    These swan-like specks of mountain snow,[CO]
    White as the pair that slid along the plains
    Of heaven, when Venus held the reins!


    In youth we love the darksome lawn
    Brushed by the owlet's wing;                                  20
    Then, Twilight is preferred to Dawn,
    And Autumn to the Spring.[CP]
    Sad fancies do we then affect,
    In luxury of disrespect
    To our own prodigal excess                                    25
    Of too familiar happiness.
    Lycoris (if such name befit
    Thee, thee my life's celestial sign!)[CQ]
    When Nature marks the year's decline,
    Be ours to welcome it;                                        30
    Pleased with the harvest hope that runs
    Before the path of milder suns;[250]
    Pleased while the sylvan world displays
    Its ripeness to the feeding gaze;
    Pleased when the sullen winds resound the knell
    Of the resplendent miracle.                                   36


    But something whispers to my heart
    That, as we downward tend,
    Lycoris! life requires an _art_
    To which our souls must bend;                                 40
    A skill--to balance and supply;
    And, ere the flowing fount be dry,
    As soon it must, a sense to sip,
    Or drink, with no fastidious lip.
    Then welcome, above all, the Guest                            45
    Whose smiles, diffused o'er land and sea,
    Seem to recal the Deity
    Of youth into the breast:[251]
    May pensive Autumn ne'er present
    A claim to her disparagement!                                 50
    While blossoms and the budding spray
    Inspire us in our own decay;
    Still, as we nearer draw to life's dark goal,
    Be hopeful Spring the favourite of the Soul!


[Footnote 249: 1827.

    And smoothes its ...                                        1820.

[Footnote 250: 1827.

    Pleased with the soil's requited cares;
    Pleased with the blue that ether wears;                     1820.

[Footnote 251: 1837.

    Frank greeting, then, to that blithe Guest
    Diffusing smiles o'er land and sea
    To aid the vernal Deity
    Whose home is in the breast!                                1820.


[Footnote CM: Probably one of the bays in Rydal Mere.--ED.]

[Footnote CN: The kingfisher.--ED.]

[Footnote CO: Probably on Nab Scar reflected in Rydal water.--ED.]

[Footnote CP: Compare _The Prelude_, book vi. l. 173--

    Moods melancholy, ... that loved
    The twilight more than dawn, autumn than spring.


[Footnote CQ: Lycoris was the name under which the poet Gallus wrote of
his Cytheris, a freed woman of the senator Volumnius, celebrated for her
beauty and intrigues. See Virgil's reference to her in _Eclogue_ x. 42,
in which he condoles with his friend Gallus for the loss of Lycoris--

    Hic gelidi fontes, hic mollia prata, Lycori,
    Hic nemus; hic ipso tecum consumerer aevo.

Ovid also refers to her, A. A. iii. 537--"The western and the eastern
lands know of Lycoris." From the tone of the Fenwick note, it would seem
that Wordsworth was doubtful of the fitness of associating the name of
Lycoris with the dominant thought of these stanzas; but there is no
unfitness in the use he makes of it. This poem, with its reference to
the "one soft vernal day," and its prevailing thought of spring, and

                             the Guest
    Whose smiles, diffused o'er land and sea,
    Seem to recal the Deity
    Of youth into the breast,

appropriately follow the _Vernal Ode_.--ED.]


Composed 1817.--Published 1820

[This, as well as the preceding and the two that follow,[CR] were
composed in front of Rydal Mount, and during my walks in the
neighbourhood. Nine-tenths of my verses have been murmured out in the
open air: and here let me repeat what I believe has already appeared in
print. One day a stranger having walked round the garden and grounds of
Rydal Mount asked one of the female servants, who happened to be at the
door, permission to see her master's study. "This," said she, leading
him forward, "is my master's library where he keeps his books, but his
study is out of doors." After a long absence from home it has more than
once happened that some one of my cottage neighbours has said--"Well,
there he is; we are glad to hear him _booing_ about again." Once more in
excuse for so much egotism let me say, these notes are written for my
familiar friends, and at their earnest request. Another time a gentleman
whom James had conducted through the grounds asked him what kind of
plants throve best there: after a little consideration he
answered--"Laurels." "That is," said the stranger, "as it should be;
don't you know that the laurel is the emblem of poetry, and that poets
used on public occasions to be crowned with it?" James stared when the
question was first put, but was doubtless much pleased with the

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

    Enough of climbing toil!--Ambition treads
    Here, as 'mid[252] busier scenes, ground steep and rough,
    Or slippery even to peril![253] and each step,
    As we for most uncertain recompence
    Mount toward the empire of the fickle clouds,                  5
    Each weary step, dwarfing the world below,[254]
    Induces, for its old familiar sights,
    Unacceptable feelings of contempt,
    With wonder mixed--that Man could e'er be tied,
    In anxious bondage, to such nice array                        10
    And formal fellowship of pretty things!
    --Oh! 'tis the _heart_ that magnifies this life,
    Making a truth and beauty of her own;
    And moss-grown alleys, circumscribing shades,
    And gurgling rills, assist her in the work                    15
    More efficaciously than realms outspread,
    As in a map, before the adventurer's gaze--
    Ocean and Earth contending for regard.

     The umbrageous woods are left--how far beneath!
    But lo! where darkness seems to guard the mouth               20
    Of yon wild cave, whose jaggèd brows are fringed
    With flaccid threads of ivy, in the still
    And sultry air, depending motionless.
    Yet cool the space within, and not uncheered
    (As whoso enters shall ere long perceive)                     25
    By stealthy influx of the timid day
    Mingling with night, such twilight to compose
    As Numa loved; when, in the Egerian grot,
    From the sage Nymph appearing at his wish,
    He gained whate'er a regal mind might ask,                    30
    Or need, of counsel breathed through lips divine.[CS]

     Long as the heat shall rage, let that dim cave
    Protect us, there deciphering as we may
    Diluvian records; or the sighs of Earth
    Interpreting; or counting for old Time                        35
    His minutes, by reiterated drops,
    Audible tears,[CT] from some invisible source
    That deepens upon fancy--more and more
    Drawn toward the centre whence those sighs creep forth
    To awe the lightness of humanity.                             40
    Or, shutting up thyself within thyself,
    There[255] let me see thee sink into a mood
    Of gentler thought,[256] protracted till thine eye
    Be calm as water when the winds are gone,
    And no one can tell whither. Dearest Friend![CU]              45
    We too have known such happy hours together
    That, were power granted to replace them (fetched
    From out the pensive shadows where they lie)
    In the first warmth of their original sunshine,
    Loth should I be to use it: passing sweet                     50
    Are the domains of tender memory!

The spot described in this sequel to _Lycoris_ is, I think, the bower in
the rock on Nab Scar, alluded to in Dorothy Wordsworth's Grasmere
Journal (see note to _The Waterfall and the Eglantine_, vol. ii. p.
172). The description in that Journal, taken in connection with the text
of this poem, warrants the suggestion that the "Friend" with whom he had
"known such happy hours together" was his own sister Dorothy. The
extreme probability that it was on Nab Scar that the snow patches lay,
which were reflected in Rydal mere, and which his imagination
transformed into the swans that carried Venus' car through heaven, adds
to the likelihood of this conjecture. The following extracts from the
Sister's journal may be compared with passages in the poem:--"We pushed
on to the foot of the Scar. It was very grand when we looked up, very
stony.... Coleridge went to search for something new. We saw him
climbing up towards a rock. He called us, and we found him in a
bower,--the sweetest that was ever seen. The rock on one side is very
high, and all covered with ivy, which hung loosely about, and bore
bunches of brown berries." With this compare--

    Yon wild cave, whose jaggèd brows are fringed
    With flaccid threads of ivy, in the still
    And sultry air, depending motionless.

And with the following, "We looked down on the Ambleside vale, that
seemed to wind away from us, the village lying under the hill,"

    Mount toward the empire of the fickle clouds,
    Each weary step, dwarfing the world below.

With the following, "It is scarce a bower, a little parlour only, not
enclosed by walls, but shaped out for a resting-place by the rocks, and
the ground rising about it. It had a sweet moss carpet," compare l. 14--

    Moss-grown alleys, circumscribing shades.

Doubtless Wordsworth drew on his imagination, "making a truth and beauty
of his own," in this, as in every other description of place, which has
a local colouring in it; but to connect "the dim cave" of the _Ode to
Lycoris_ with these conversations between Coleridge and the
Wordsworths--mentioned in the Grasmere Journal of the latter, and hinted
at in the closing passage of the Ode--is certainly permissible.--ED.


[Footnote 252: 1827.

    Here, as in ...                                             1820.

[Footnote 253: 1827.

    Oft perilous, always tiresome; ...                          1820.

[Footnote 254: 1827.

    As we for most uncertain gain ascend
    Toward the clouds, dwarfing the world below,                1820.

[Footnote 255: 1827.

    ... contending for regard!
    Lo! there a dim Egerian grotto fringed
    With ivy-twine, profusely from its brows
    Dependant,--enter without further aim;
    And ...                                                     1820.

[Footnote 256: 1827.

    Of quiet thought-- ...                                      1820.


[Footnote CR: As the Fenwick notes have no regard to chronological
order, but refer to the poems as arranged by Wordsworth himself, it may
be noted that the "preceding" is the _Ode to Lycoris_; "the two that
follow" are _September 1819_, and its sequel entitled _Upon the same

[Footnote CS: Numa Pompilius, the second king of Rome. "He was
renowned," says Niebuhr (_History of Rome_, I. 237), "as the author of
the Roman ceremonial law. Instructed by the Camena Egeria, who led him
into the assemblies of her sisters in the sacred grove, he regulated the
whole hierarchy, the pontiffs, the augurs, the flamens," etc.--ED.]

[Footnote CT: Compare Walter Savage Landor's _Count Julian_, v. 3--

    The very tear ... drops audible.


[Footnote CU: Possibly this refers to his sister Dorothy. Among the
poems on the Tour of 1833 is one _To a Friend_. This friend was the
poet's son, pastor at Brigham, Cockermouth. See the note appended to the
present poem.--ED.]



Composed 1817.--Published 1820

[Suggested by the sight of my daughter (Dora) playing in front of Rydal
Mount; and composed in a great measure the same afternoon. I have often
wished to pair this poem upon the _longest_, with one upon the
_shortest_, day, and regret even now that it has not been done.--I. F.]

One of the "Poems referring to the Period of Childhood."--ED.

    Let us quit the leafy arbour,
    And the torrent murmuring by;
    For the sun is in his harbour,[258]
    Weary of the open sky.

    Evening now unbinds the fetters                                5
    Fashioned by the glowing light;
    All that breathe are thankful debtors
    To the harbinger of night.

    Yet by some grave thoughts attended
    Eve renews her calm career;                                   10
    For the day that now is ended,
    Is the longest of the year.

    Dora![259] sport, as now thou sportest,
    On this platform, light and free;
    Take thy bliss, while longest, shortest,                      15
    Are indifferent to thee!
    Who would check the happy feeling
    That inspires the linnet's song?
    Who would stop the swallow, wheeling
    On her pinions swift and strong?                              20

    Yet at this impressive season,
    Words which tenderness can speak
    From the truths of homely reason,
    Might exalt the loveliest cheek;

    And, while shades to shades succeeding                        25
    Steal the landscape from the sight,
    I would urge this moral pleading,
    Last forerunner of "Good-night!"

    Summer ebbs;--each day that follows
    Is a reflux from on high,                                     30
    Tending to the darksome hollows
    Where the frosts of winter lie.

    He who governs the creation,
    In his providence, assigned
    Such a gradual declination                                    35
    To the life of human kind.

    Yet we mark it not;--fruits redden,
    Fresh flowers blow, as flowers have blown,
    And the heart is loth to deaden
    Hopes that she so long hath known.                            40

    Be thou wiser, youthful Maiden!
    And when thy decline shall come,
    Let not flowers, or boughs fruit-laden,
    Hide the knowledge of thy doom.

    Now, even now, ere wrapped in slumber,                        45
    Fix thine eyes[260] upon the sea
    That absorbs time, space, and number;
    Look thou to Eternity![261]

    Follow thou the flowing river
    On whose breast are thither borne                             50
    All deceived, and each deceiver,
    Through the gates of night and morn;

    Through the year's successive portals;
    Through the bounds which many a star
    Marks, not mindless of frail mortals,                         55
    When his[262] light returns from far.

    Thus when thou with Time hast travelled
    Toward[263] the mighty gulf of things,
    And the mazy stream unravelled[264]
    With thy best imaginings;[265]                                60

    Think, if thou on beauty leanest,
    Think how pitiful that stay,
    Did not virtue give the meanest
    Charms superior to decay.

    Duty, like a strict[266] preceptor,                           65
    Sometimes frowns, or seems to frown;
    Choose her thistle for thy sceptre,
    While youth's roses are thy crown.[267]

    Grasp it,--if thou shrink and tremble,
    Fairest damsel of the green,                                  70
    Thou wilt lack the only symbol
    That proclaims a genuine queen;

    And ensure those palms of honour
    Which selected spirits wear,
    Bending low before the Donor,                                 75
    Lord of heaven's unchanging year!


[Footnote 257: 1849.

    Addressed to ----, On the longest day.                      1820.

[Footnote 258: 1845.

    Sol has dropped into his harbour,                   MS. and 1820.

[Footnote 259: 1845.

    Laura! ...                                          MS. and 1820.

[Footnote 260: 1820.

    Fix thy thoughts ...                                          MS.

[Footnote 261: 1836.

    Look towards Eternity! ...                          MS. and 1820.

[Footnote 262: 1820.

    ... her ...                                                   MS.

[Footnote 263: 1832.

    Tow'rds ...                                                 1820.

[Footnote 264: 1820.

    From mysterious springs ...
    And his mazes has unravelled                                  MS.

[Footnote 265: This stanza is an interpolation by the poet in the MS.]

[Footnote 266: 1820.

    ... true ...                                                  MS.



Composed 1817.--Published 1820

[Bunches of fern may often be seen wheeling about in the wind as here
described. The particular bunch that suggested these verses was noticed
in the Pass of Dunmail Raise. The verses were composed in 1817, but the
application is for all times and places.--I. F.]

Included among the "Poems of the Fancy."--ED.

    "Who but hails the sight with pleasure[269]
    When the wings of genius rise,
    Their ability to measure
       With great enterprise;
    But in man was ne'er such daring                               5
    As yon Hawk exhibits, pairing
    His brave spirit with the war in
       The stormy skies!

    "Mark him, how his power he uses,
    Lays it by, at will resumes!                                  10
    Mark, ere for his haunt he chooses
       Clouds and utter glooms!
    There, he wheels in downward mazes;
    Sunward now his flight he raises,
    Catches fire, as seems, and blazes                            15
       With uninjured plumes!"--


    "Stranger,[270] 'tis no act of courage
    Which aloft thou dost discern;
    No bold _bird_ gone forth to forage
       'Mid the tempest stern;                                    20
    But such mockery as the nations
    See, when public perturbations[271]
    Lift men from their native stations,
       Like yon TUFT OF FERN;

    "Such it is; the aspiring creature[272]                       25
    Soaring on undaunted wing,
    (So you fancied) is by nature
       A dull helpless thing,[273]
    Dry and withered, light and yellow;--
    _That_ to be the tempest's fellow!                            30
    Wait--and you shall see how hollow
       Its endeavouring!"


[Footnote 267: 1845.

    While thy brow youth's roses crown.                 MS. and 1820.

[Footnote 268: 1827.

    ... political aspirants.                                    1820.

[Footnote 269: 1827.

    Stranger, 'tis a sight of pleasure                          1820.

[Footnote 270: 1827.

    Traveller, ...                                              1820.

[Footnote 271: 1827.

    See, when Commonwealth-vexations                            1820.

[Footnote 272: 1827.

    Such it is, and not a Haggard                               1820.

[Footnote 273: 1827.

    'Tis by nature dull and laggard,
       A poor helpless Thing,                                   1820.


Composed June 27, 1817.--Published 1820

[Written at Rydal Mount. Thoughts and feelings of many walks in all
weathers, by day and night, over this Pass, alone and with beloved
friends.--I. F.]

Included among the "Poems of the Imagination."--ED.


    Within the mind strong fancies work,
    A deep delight the bosom thrills,
    Oft as I pass along the fork
    Of these fraternal hills:
    Where, save the rugged road, we find                           5
    No appanage of human kind,
    Nor hint of man; if stone or rock
    Seem not his handy-work to mock
    By something cognizably shaped;
    Mockery[274]--or model roughly hewn,                          10
    And left as if by earthquake strewn,
    Or from the Flood escaped:
    Altars for Druid service fit;
    (But where no fire was ever lit,
    Unless the glow-worm to the skies                             15
    Thence offer nightly sacrifice)
    Wrinkled Egyptian monument;
    Green moss-grown tower; or hoary tent;
    Tents of a camp that never shall be razed--[275]
    On which four thousand years have gazed!                      20


    Ye plough-shares sparkling on the slopes!
    Ye snow-white lambs that trip
    Imprisoned 'mid the formal props
    Of restless ownership!
    Ye trees, that may[276] to-morrow fall                        25
    To feed the insatiate Prodigal![277]
    Lawns, houses, chattels, groves, and fields,
    All that the fertile valley shields;[278]
    Wages of folly--baits of crime,
    Of life's uneasy game the stake,                              30
    Playthings that keep the eyes awake
    Of drowsy, dotard Time;--
    O care! O guilt!--O vales and plains,
    Here, 'mid[279] his own unvexed domains,
    A Genius dwells, that can subdue                              35
    At once all memory of You,--
    Most potent when mists veil the sky,
    Mists that distort and magnify;
    While the coarse rushes, to the sweeping breeze,
    Sigh forth their ancient melodies!                            40


    List to those shriller notes!--_that_ march
    Perchance was on the blast,
    When, through this Height's inverted arch,
    Rome's earliest legion passed![CW]
    --They saw, adventurously impelled,                           45
    And older[280] eyes than theirs beheld,
    This[281] block--and yon, whose church-like frame
    Gives to this[282] savage Pass its name.[CX]
    Aspiring Road! that lov'st to hide
    Thy daring in a vapoury bourn,                                50
    Not seldom may the hour return
    When thou shalt be my guide:
    And I (as all men may find cause,[283]
    When life is at a weary pause,
    And they[284] have panted up the hill                         55
    Of duty with reluctant will)
    Be thankful, even though tired and faint,
    For the rich bounties of constraint;
    Whence oft invigorating transports flow
    That choice lacked courage to bestow!                         60


    My[285] Soul was grateful for delight
    That wore a threatening brow;
    A veil is lifted--can she slight
    The scene that opens now?
    Though habitation none appear,[CY]                            65
    The greenness tells, man must be there;[286]
    The shelter--that the pérspective
    Is of the clime[287] in which we live;
    Where Toil pursues his daily round;
    Where Pity sheds sweet tears[288]--and Love,                  70
    In woodbine bower or birchen grove,
    Inflicts his tender wound.
    --Who comes not hither ne'er shall know
    How beautiful the world below;
    Nor can he guess how lightly leaps                            75
    The brook adown the rocky steeps,[CZ]
    Farewell, thou desolate Domain!
    Hope, pointing to the cultured plain,
    Carols like a shepherd-boy;
    And who is she?--Can that be Joy![DA]                         80
    Who, with a sunbeam for her guide,
    Smoothly skims the meadows wide;
    While Faith, from yonder opening cloud,
    To hill and vale proclaims aloud,
    "Whate'er the weak may dread, the wicked dare,                85
    Thy lot, O Man, is good, thy portion fair!"[289]

A copy of this poem, sent in MS. to the Beaumonts at Coleorton, contains
the following preface--"Composed chiefly in a walk from the top of
Kirkstone to Patterdale, by W. Wordsworth, 1817"; and on the back of
this MS. (in which those variations from the earliest published version
occur, which are printed as "MS." readings in the previous footnotes,
and which ends with stanza iii.), the date is given, "Mr. Wordsworth's
verses, June 27, 1817."--ED.


[Footnote 274: 1820.

    Rockery ...                          MS. copy, sent to Coleorton.

[Footnote 275: 1857.

    ... raised;                                                 1820.

[Footnote 276: 1820.

    ... shall ...                                                 MS.

[Footnote 277: 1820.

    To feed the careless Prodigal,                                MS.

    So bids the careless Prodigal,                                MS.

[Footnote 278: 1820.

    All that the beauteous valley shields.                        MS.

[Footnote 279: 1820.

    Here in ...                                                   MS.

[Footnote 280: 1820.

    ... other ...                                                 MS.

[Footnote 281: 1820.

    That ...                                                      MS.

[Footnote 282: 1836.

    ... the ...                                         MS. and 1820.

[Footnote 283: 1836.

    And I (as often we find cause,                      MS. and 1820.

[Footnote 284: 1836.

    ... we ...                                          MS. and 1820.

[Footnote 285: 1820.

    The ...                                                       MS.

[Footnote 286: 1820.

    ... tells us Man is near                                      MS.

[Footnote 287: 1820.

    ... world ...                                                 MS.

[Footnote 288: 1820.

    Where Pity's tears are shed ...                               MS.


[Footnote CV: The title in the edition of 1820 was _Ode, The Pass of

[Footnote CW: The top of Kirkstone Pass is aptly described as an
"inverted arch." There are numerous signs of the Roman occupation of
Britain still surviving in the district; the old Roman road to Penrith
running along the top of High Street, a little to the east of

[Footnote CX: The block, which from its shape was called the Kirkstone,
lies to the west of the road, and a little way from the summit of the
Pass, on the right as one ascends from Patterdale.--ED.]

[Footnote CY: Towards Brothers Water.--ED.]

[Footnote CZ: "The walk up Kirkstone was very interesting. The becks
among the rocks were all alive. William showed me the little mossy
streamlet which he had before loved when he saw its bright green track
in the snow. The view above Ambleside very beautiful. There we sat and
looked down on the green vale. We watched the crows at a little distance
from us become white as silver as they flew in the sunshine, and when
they went still further, they looked like shapes of water passing over
the green fields." (Dorothy Wordsworth's Grasmere Journal, 16th April

[Footnote DA: Compare _Ode, Intimations of Immortality_, stanza iii.--

                     Thou Child of Joy,
    Shout round me, let me hear thy shouts, thou happy




Composed 1817.--Published 1820

[This arose out of a flash of moonlight that struck the ground when I
was approaching the steps that lead from the garden at Rydal Mount to
the front of the house. "From her sunk eyes a stagnant tear stole forth"
is taken, with some loss, from a discarded poem, _The Convict_, in which
occurred, when he was discovered lying in the cell, these lines:--

    But now he upraises the deep-sunken eye,
     The motion unsettles a tear;
    The silence of sorrow it seems to supply,
     And asks of me--why I am here.--I. F.]

This was first published in "The River Duddon," etc., in 1820, but was
omitted from the four-volume edition of the "Poems" of 1820. In 1827 it
was placed among the "Poems founded on the Affections."--ED.


    Smile of the Moon!--for so I name
    That silent greeting from above;
    A gentle flash of light that came
    From her whom drooping captives love;
    Or art thou of still higher birth?                             5
    Thou that didst part the clouds of earth,
    My torpor to reprove!


    Bright boon of pitying Heaven!--alas,
    I may not trust thy placid cheer!
    Pondering that Time to-night will pass                        10
    The threshold of another year;
    For years to me are sad and dull;
    My very moments are too full
    Of hopelessness and fear.


    And yet, the soul-awakening gleam,                            15
    That struck perchance the farthest cone
    Of Scotland's rocky wilds, did seem
    To visit me, and me alone;
    Me, unapproached by any friend,
    Save[290] those who to my sorrows lend                        20
    Tears due unto their own.


    To-night the church-tower bells will ring
    Through these wide[292] realms a festive peal;
    To the new year a welcoming;
    A tuneful offering[293] for the weal                          25
    Of happy millions lulled in sleep;
    While I am forced to watch and weep,[294]
    By wounds that may not heal.


    Born all too high, by wedlock raised
    Still higher--to be cast thus low!                            30
    Would that mine eyes had never gazed
    On aught of more ambitious show
    Than the sweet flowerets of the fields!
    --It is my royal state that yields
    This bitterness of woe.                                       35


    Yet how?--for I, if there be truth
    In the world's voice, was passing fair;
    And beauty, for confiding youth,
    Those shocks of passion can prepare
    That kill the bloom before its time;                          40
    And blanch, without the owner's crime,
    The most resplendent hair.[295]


    Unblest distinction! showered on me
    To bind a lingering life in chains:
    All that could quit my grasp, or flee,[296]                   45
    Is gone;--but not the subtle stains
    Fixed in the spirit; for even here
    Can I be proud that jealous fear
    Of what I was remains.[297]


    A woman rules my prison's key;                                50
    A sister Queen,[298] against the bent
    Of law and holiest sympathy,
    Detains me, doubtful of the event;
    Great God, who feel'st for my distress,[299]
    My thoughts are all that I possess,                           55
    O keep them innocent!


    Farewell desire of[300] human aid,
    Which abject mortals vainly[301] court!
    By friends deceived, by foes betrayed,
    Of fears the prey, of hopes the sport;                        60
    Nought but the world-redeeming Cross
    Is able to supply my loss,
    My burthen to support.


    Hark! the death-note of the year
    Sounded by the castle-clock!                                  65
    From her sunk eyes a stagnant tear
    Stole forth, unsettled by the shock;
    But oft the woods renewed their green,
    Ere the tired head of Scotland's Queen
    Reposed upon the block!                                       70

Compare the sonnet entitled _Captivity, Mary Queen of Scots_, composed
and published in 1819 (p. 191); also the sonnet, composed in 1833,
entitled _Mary Queen of Scots (Landing at the mouth of the Derwent,


[Footnote 289: 1820.

    Who comes not hither can he know
    How beautiful the Vale below?
    Companion of the Brook that leaps
    And twines adown the rocky steeps,
    As if impatient for the plain.
    I utter a repentant strain,
    And this the burden--cares enthral
    And troubles crush--but spite of all
    The weak are tempted to, the wicked dare,
    Our lot is good, our portion fair.                            MS.

[Footnote 290: 1820.

    But ...                                                       MS.

[Footnote 291: 1820.

    Meek effluence--that, while I trod
    With downcast eye in narrow space,
    Did'st vivify the wintry sod,
    As if an Angel filled the place
    With softened light--thou wert a touch
    Even to my heart of hearts--and such
    Is every gift of grace.
    {Oh }
    {Yet} wherefore did it leave the sky,
    And wherefore did it seem to speak
    Of something bordering all too nigh
    {On what I seldom dare   }
    {Of what full oft I deign} to seek,
    A happier order for my doom,
    A favoured era when the gloom
    At length will cleave and break.                              MS.

[Footnote 292: 1820.

    ... wild ...                                                  MS.

[Footnote 293: 1820.

    ... opening ...                                               MS.

[Footnote 294: 1820.

    ... forced lone watch to keep,                                MS.

[Footnote 295: 1820.

    Yet how--for I--if there be truth
    In the world's voice was passing fair,
    And beauty might have led my youth
    To sorrow, such as can impair
    The loveliest cheek before its time,
    And blanch in any state or clime
    The most resplendent hair.

    Man's foolish envy is a stream
    Where wisdom's eye reflected sees
    The fuel of a painful dream,
    The incitements of a dire disease.
    {A pageantry}
    {  Ah what  } is life but Powers let loose
    And revelling in their own abuse.                             MS.

[Footnote 296: 1820.

    All that could crumble into dust or flee                      MS.

[Footnote 297: 1820.

    Unblest distinctions--that were mine
    Early to lock in hapless chains
    A lingering life that may consign
    My memory to opprobrious stains
    {Yet doth it make me proud--even here}
    {Chained as I am that jealous fear   }
    {Yet faded, fallen, and crushed--even here}
    {I can be proud that jealous fear         }
    With lurking pride that jealous fear
    Of what I was, remains--                                      MS.

[Footnote 298: 1820.

    A sister Sovereign ...                                        MS.

[Footnote 299: 1820.

    ... pities my distress,                                       MS.

[Footnote 300: 1827.

    Farewell for ever ...                               MS. and 1820.

[Footnote 301: 1820.

    ... blindly ...                                               MS.


Still fewer than those of 1817 are the poems composed in 1818. They
comprise _The Pilgrim's Dream_, The five _Inscriptions, supposed to be
found in and near a Hermit's Cell_, and the stanzas _Composed upon an
Evening of extraordinary Splendour and Beauty, etc._ They were all
written at or near Rydal Mount; and their local allusions are all



Composed 1818.--Published 1820

[I distinctly recollect the evening when these verses were suggested in
1818. It was on the road between Rydal and Grasmere, where Glow-worms
abound.[DB] A Star was shining above the ridge of Loughrigg Fell, just
opposite. I remember a critic, in some review or other, crying out
against this piece. "What so monstrous," said he, "as to make a star
talk to a glow-worm!" Poor fellow! we know from this sage observation
what the "primrose on the river's brim" was to him.--I. F.]

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

    A pilgrim, when the summer day
    Had closed upon his weary way,
    A lodging begged beneath a castle's roof;
    But him the haughty Warder spurned;
    And from the gate the Pilgrim turned,[302]                     5
    To seek such covert as the field
    Or heath-besprinkled copse might yield,
    Or lofty[303] wood, shower-proof.

    He paced along; and, pensively,
    Halting beneath a shady tree,                                 10
    Whose moss-grown root might serve for couch or seat,
    Fixed on a Star his upward eye;
    Then, from the tenant of the sky
    He turned, and watched with kindred look,
    A Glow-worm, in a dusky nook,                                 15
    Apparent at his feet.

    The murmur of a neighbouring stream
    Induced a soft and slumbrous dream,
    A pregnant dream, within whose shadowy bounds
    He recognised the earth-born Star,                            20
    And _That_ which glittered from afar;[304]
    And (strange to witness!) from the frame
    Of the ethereal Orb, there came
    Intelligible sounds.

    Much did it taunt the humble Light[305]                       25
    That now, when day was fled, and night
    Hushed the dark earth, fast closing weary eyes,[306]
    A very reptile could presume
    To show her taper in the gloom,
    As if in rivalship with One                                   30
    Who sate a ruler on his throne
    Erected in the skies.

    "Exalted Star!" the Worm replied,
    "Abate this unbecoming pride,
    Or with a less uneasy lustre shine;                           35
    Thou shrink'st as momently thy rays
    Are mastered by the breathing haze;
    While neither mist, nor thickest cloud
    That shapes in heaven its murky shroud,
    Hath power to injure mine.                                    40

    But[307] not for this do I aspire
    To match the spark of local fire,
    That at my will burns on the dewy lawn,
    With thy acknowledged glories;--No!
    Yet, thus upbraided, I may show[308]                          45
    What favours do attend me here,
    Till, like thyself, I disappear
    Before the purple dawn."

    When this in modest guise was said,
    Across the welkin seemed to spread                            50
    A boding sound--for aught but sleep unfit!
    Hills quaked, the rivers backward ran;
    That Star, so proud of late, looked wan;
    And reeled with visionary stir
    In the blue depth, like Lucifer                               55
    Cast headlong to the pit!

    Fire raged: and, when the spangled floor
    Of ancient ether was no more,
    New heavens succeeded, by the dream brought forth:
    And all the happy Souls that rode                             60
    Transfigured through that fresh[309] abode
    Had heretofore, in humble trust,
    Shone meekly 'mid their native dust,
    The Glow-worms of the earth!

    This knowledge, from an Angel's voice                         65
    Proceeding, made the heart rejoice
    Of Him who slept upon the open lea:
    Waking at morn he murmured not;
    And, till life's journey closed, the spot
    Was to the Pilgrim's soul endeared,                           70
    Where by that[310] dream he had been cheered
    Beneath the shady tree.


[Footnote 302: 1820.

                        ... Convent's roof;
    But him the haughty Abbot spurned,
    And from the sumptuous gate he turned                         MS.


[Footnote 303: 1820.

    The heath or rocky holt might yield,
    Or leafy ...                                                  MS.

[Footnote 304: 1827.

    And _That_ whose radiance gleamed from far;                 1820.
        ... streamed ...                                          MS.

[Footnote 305: 1845.

    ... the humbler Light                                       1820.

[Footnote 306: 1820.

    That now, while sleep to solemn Night
    Was offering gifts of duteous sacrifice,                      MS.

[Footnote 307: 1827.

    Yet ...                                             MS. and 1820.

[Footnote 308: 1827.

    But it behoves that thou shouldst know              MS. and 1820.


[Footnote DB: Compare _The Primrose of the Rock_ composed in 1831. The
rock which the Wordsworth family were in the habit of calling "Glow-worm
Rock" is on the right hand side of the road, as you ascend from Rydal,
by the middle path, over White Moss Common to Grasmere.--ED.]



Composed 1818.--Published 1820

The five poems which follow were placed among the "Inscriptions," from
1820 onwards.--ED.



    Hopes, what are they?--Beads of morning
    Strung on slender[311] blades of grass;
    Or a spider's web adorning
    In a strait and treacherous pass.[312]

    What are fears but voices airy?                                5
    Whispering harm[313] where harm is not;
    And deluding the unwary[314]
    Till the fatal bolt is shot!

    What is glory?--in the socket
    See how dying tapers fare!                                    10
    What is pride?--a whizzing rocket
    That would emulate a star.

    What is friendship?--do not trust her,
    Nor the vows which she has made;
    Diamonds dart their brightest lustre                          15
    From a palsy-shaken head.

    What is truth?--a staff rejected;[315]
    Duty?--an unwelcome clog;
    Joy?--a moon by fits reflected[316]
    In a swamp or watery bog;[317]                                20

    Bright, as if through ether steering,[318]
    To the Traveller's eye it shone:
    He hath hailed it re-appearing--
    And as quickly it is gone;

    Such is Joy--as quickly hidden,[319]                          25
    Or mis-shapen to the sight,
    And by sullen weeds forbidden
    To resume its native light.[320]

    What is youth?--a dancing billow,
    (Winds behind, and rocks before!)[321]                        30
    Age?--a drooping, tottering willow
    On a flat and lazy shore.[322]

    What is peace?--when pain is over,
    And love ceases to rebel,
    Let the last faint sigh discover                              35
    That precedes the passing knell!

Compare Carlyle's _Cui Bono_--

    What is Hope? A smiling rainbow
     Children follow through the wet;
    'Tis not here, still yonder, yonder:
     Never urchin found it yet.

    What is Life? A thawing iceboard
     On a sea with sunny shore;--
    Gay we sail; it melts beneath us;
     We are sunk, and seen no more.

    What is Man? A foolish baby,
     Vainly strives, and fights, and frets;
    Demanding all, deserving nothing;--
     One small grave is what he gets.

See his _Miscellaneous Essays_, vol. i. p. 352 (edition 1857).--ED.



[The monument of ice here spoken of I observed while ascending the
middle road of the three ways that lead from Rydal to Grasmere.[DC] It
was on my right hand, and my eyes were upon it when it fell, as told in
these lines.--I. F.]

    Pause, Traveller! whosoe'er thou be
    Whom chance may lead to this retreat,
    Where silence yields reluctantly
    Even to the fleecy straggler's bleat;

    Give voice to what my hand shall trace,                        5
    And fear not lest an idle sound
    Of words unsuited to the place
    Disturb its solitude profound.

    I saw this Rock, while vernal air
    Blew softly o'er the russet heath,                            10
    Uphold a Monument as fair
    As church or abbey furnisheth.

    Unsullied did it meet the day,
    Like marble, white, like ether, pure;
    As if, beneath, some hero lay,                                15
    Honoured with costliest sepulture.

    My fancy kindled as I gazed;
    And, ever as the sun shone forth,
    The flattered structure glistened, blazed,
    And seemed the proudest thing on earth.                       20

    But frost had reared the gorgeous Pile
    Unsound as those which Fortune builds--
    To undermine with secret guile,
    Sapped by the very beam that gilds.

    And, while I gazed, with sudden shock                         25
    Fell the whole Fabric to the ground;
    And naked left this dripping Rock,
    With shapeless ruin spread around!



[Where the second quarry now is, as you pass from Rydal to Grasmere,
there was formerly a length of smooth rock that sloped towards the road
on the right hand. I used to call it Tadpole Slope, from having
frequently observed there the water-bubbles gliding under the ice,
exactly in the shape of that creature.--I. F.]

    Hast thou seen, with flash incessant,[323]
    Bubbles gliding under ice,
    Bodied forth and evanescent,
    No one knows by what device?

    Such are thoughts!--a wind-swept meadow[324]                   5
    Mimicking a troubled sea,
    Such is life; and death a shadow
    From the rock eternity![325]



    Troubled long with warring notions
    Long impatient of thy rod,
    I resign my soul's emotions
    Unto Thee, mysterious God!

    What avails the kindly shelter                                 5
    Yielded by this craggy rent,
    If my spirit toss and welter
    On the waves of discontent?

    Parching Summer hath no warrant
    To consume this crystal Well;                                 10
    Rains, that make each rill a torrent,
    Neither sully it nor swell.

    Thus, dishonouring not her station,
    Would my Life present to Thee,
    Gracious God, the pure oblation                               15
    Of divine tranquillity!

It is impossible to say where the "spring of the Hermitage" was, or was
supposed by Wordsworth to be. It may refer to some Rydalian retreat.
There is no spring or "crystal well" on St. Herbert's Island,
Derwentwater; but Inscription XIII. in the edition of 1820 is entitled
"For the Spot where the Hermitage stood on St. Herbert's Island,



    Not seldom, clad in radiant vest,
    Deceitfully goes forth the Morn;
    Not seldom Evening in the west
    Sinks smilingly forsworn.

    The smoothest seas will sometimes prove,                       5
    To the confiding Bark, untrue;
    And, if she trust the stars above,
    They can be treacherous too.

    The umbrageous Oak, in pomp outspread,
    Full oft, when storms the welkin rend,                        10
    Draws lightning down upon the head
    It promised to defend.

    But Thou art true, incarnate Lord,
    Who didst vouchsafe for man to die;
    Thy smile is sure, thy plighted word                          15
    No change can falsify!

    I bent before thy gracious throne,
    And asked for peace on suppliant knee;[326]
    And peace was given,--nor peace alone,
    But faith sublimed to ecstasy![327]                           20


[Footnote 309: 1820.

    ... fair abode                                                MS.

[Footnote 310: 1820.

    ... this ...                                                  MS.

[Footnote 311: 1820.

    ... tender ...                                                MS.

[Footnote 312: 1820.

    In some strait and dangerous pass.                            MS.

[Footnote 313: 1820.

    Haunting Man ...                                              MS.

[Footnote 314: 1820.

    But when danger meets the unwary                              MS.

[Footnote 315: 1820.

    ... a pearl rejected;                                         MS.

[Footnote 316: 1827.

    Joy?--a dazzling moon reflected                             1820.

[Footnote 317: 1820.

    ... plashing bog;                                             MS.

[Footnote 318: 1820.

    Bright, and in a moment hidden,                                C.

[Footnote 319: 1837.

    Gone, as if for ever hidden,                                1820.

[Footnote 320: 1820.

    Bright, as if through ether steering,
    Not a moment past it shone;
    Can we trust its re-appearing?
    No, 'tis dim, mis-shapen, gone.                               MS.

    ... its dazzling light.                                        C.

[Footnote 321: 1820.

    ... a sparkling billow
    Shaped and instantly no more;                                 MS.

[Footnote 322: 1820.

    On a melancholy shore.                                        MS.

[Footnote 323: 1820.

    4 vol. edition.

    ... with train incessant,                                   1820.

    1 vol. edition.

[Footnote 324: 1820.

    See yon undulating meadow                                     MS.

[Footnote 325: In a MS. this stanza follows the second last one in the
Inscription beginning, "Hopes, what are they?"]


[Footnote DC: And therefore not far from the _Glow-worm Rock_, if not
upon it. See the note to _The Pilgrim's Dream_, p. 167.--ED.]


Composed 1818.--Published 1820

[Felt, and in a great measure composed, upon the little mount in front
of our abode at Rydal. In concluding my notices of this class of poems,
it may be as well to observe that among the "Miscellaneous Sonnets" are
a few alluding to morning impressions, which might be read with mutual
benefit, in connection with these "Evening Voluntaries." See, for
example, that one on Westminster Bridge, that composed on a May Morning,
the one on the Song of the Thrush, and that beginning--"While beams of
orient light shoot wide and high."--I. F.]

In 1820 this was one of the "Poems of the Imagination." In 1837 it was
transferred to the "Evening Voluntaries."--ED.


    Had this effulgence disappeared
    With flying haste, I might have sent,
    Among the speechless clouds, a look
    Of blank astonishment;
    But 'tis endued with power to stay,                            5
    And sanctify[328] one closing day,
    That frail Mortality may see--
    What is?--ah no, but what _can_ be!
    Time was when field and watery cove
    With modulated echoes rang,                                   10
    While choirs of fervent Angels sang
    Their vespers in the grove;[329]
    Or, crowning, star-like, each some sovereign height,[330]
    Warbled, for heaven above and earth below,
    Strains, suitable to both.--Such holy rite,                   15
    Methinks, if audibly repeated now
    From hill or valley, could not move[331]
    Sublimer transport, purer[332] love,
    Than doth this silent spectacle--the gleam--
    The shadow--and the peace supreme!                            20


    No sound is uttered,--but a deep[333]
    And solemn harmony pervades
    The hollow vale from steep to steep,
    And penetrates the glades.
    Far-distant images draw nigh,                                 25
    Called forth by wondrous potency
    Of beamy radiance, that imbues
    Whate'er it strikes, with gem-like hues!
    In vision exquisitely clear,
    Herds range[334] along the mountain side;                     30
    And glistening antlers are descried;[DE]
    And gilded flocks appear.
    Thine is the tranquil hour, purpureal Eve!
    But long as god-like wish, or hope divine,
    Informs my spirit, ne'er can I believe                        35
    That this magnificence is wholly thine!
    --From worlds not quickened[335] by the sun[DF]
    A portion of the gift is won;
    An intermingling of Heaven's pomp is spread
    On ground which British shepherds tread!                      40


    And, if there be whom broken ties[336]
    Afflict, or injuries assail,
    Yon hazy ridges to their eyes
    Present a glorious scale,[DG]
    Climbing suffused with sunny air,                             45
    To stop--no record hath told where!
    And tempting Fancy to ascend,
    And with immortal Spirits blend![337]
    --Wings at my shoulders[338] seem to play;[DH]
    But, rooted here, I stand and gaze                            50
    On those bright steps that heaven-ward raise[339]
    Their practicable way.
    Come forth, ye drooping[340] old men, look abroad,
    And see to what fair countries ye are bound!
    And if some traveller, weary of his road,                     55
    Hath slept since noontide on the grassy ground,
    Ye Genii! to his covert speed;[341]
    And wake him with such gentle heed[342]
    As may attune his soul to meet the dower
    Bestowed on this transcendent hour!                           60


    Such hues from their celestial Urn
    Were wont to stream before mine eye,[343]
    Where'er it[344] wandered in the morn
    Of blissful infancy.[DI]
    This glimpse of glory, why renewed?                           65
    Nay, rather speak with[345] gratitude;
    For, if a vestige of those gleams
    Survived, 'twas only in my dreams.
    Dread Power! whom peace and calmness serve
    No less than Nature's threatening voice,[346]                 70
    If aught unworthy be my choice,
    From THEE if I would swerve;
    Oh, let thy grace remind me of the light
    Full early lost, and fruitlessly deplored;
    Which, at this moment, on my waking sight                     75
    Appears to shine, by miracle restored;
    My soul, though yet confined to earth,
    Rejoices in a second birth!
    --'Tis past, the visionary splendour fades;
    And night approaches with her shades.                         80


[Footnote 326: 1827.

    ... with suppliant knee;                                    1820.

[Footnote 327: 1827.

    But faith, and hope, and extacy!                            1820.

[Footnote 328: 1820.

    And solemnize ...                                             MS.

[Footnote 329: 1820.

    ... rang
    Of harp and voice while angels sang
    Amid the umbrageous grove,                                    MS.

[Footnote 330: 1832.

    Or, ranged like stars along some sovereign height, MS. and 1820.

[Footnote 331: 1820.

    ... both.--Ye sons of Light
    If such communion were repeated now
    Nor harp nor seraph's voice could move                        MS.

[Footnote 332: 1820.

    ... holier ...                                                MS.

[Footnote 333: 1820.

    What though no sound be heard--a deep                         MS.

[Footnote 334: 1820.

    Herds graze ...                                               MS.

[Footnote 335: 1820.

    From worlds unquicken'd ...                                   MS.

[Footnote 336: 1820.

    And if they wish for smooth escape, etc.                      MS.

[Footnote 337: 1820.

    Yon hazy ridges take the shape
    Of stars, a glorious scale
    {Climbing  }
    {That climb} suffused with sunny air
    To stop, no record hath told where,
    Tempting my fancy to ascend
    And with immortal spirits blend.                              MS.

    And if they wish for smooth escape
    From grief and this terrestrial vale,
    Yon rocks and clouds present the shape
    Of stairs, a gradual scale
    By which the fancy might ascend,
    And with those happy spirits blend,
    Whose motions ...
    By night the dreaming Patriarch saw.                          MS.

    And if those whom broken ties
    Afflict, or injuries assail,
    Yon hazy ridges to their eyes
    Present a {climbing} scale,
    Suffused in misty sunny air.
    It climbs no records have told where.
    It {sailed} on ether's glowing waves,
      {stole }
    And occupied heaven's shining caves,
    Tempting the fancy to ascend
    And with immortal spirits blend.                              MS.

[Footnote 338: 1837.

    --Wings at my shoulder ...                                  1820.

[Footnote 339: 1820.

    ... upward raise                                              MS.

[Footnote 340: 1820.

    Come from your Doors, ye ...                                  MS.

[Footnote 341: 1820.

    ... couch repair                                              MS.

[Footnote 342: 1820.

    ... care                                                      MS.

[Footnote 343: 1837.

    ... my eye,                                                 1820.

[Footnote 344: 1820.

    Whence but from some celestial urn
                  {spread before}
    These colours--{wont to meet } my eye                         MS.
    Where'er I ...

[Footnote 345: 1820.

    ... in ...                                                    MS.

[Footnote 346: 1820.

    Dread Power! whom clouds and darkness serve,
    The thunder, or the still small voice,                        MS.


[Footnote DD: The title, in the first edition of 1820, was "Ode,
composed upon an evening of extraordinary splendor and beauty." In the
four-volume edition of that year it was "Evening Ode, composed upon an
evening of extraordinary Splendor and Beauty." In a MS. copy I have
found the following, "Composed during a sunset of transcendent Beauty,
in the summer of 1817."--ED.]

[Footnote DE: There used to be fallow deer in the park at Rydal Hall.
Compare _The Triad_ (where the local allusions all refer to the Rydal

    Pass onward (even the glancing deer
    Till we depart intrude not here;)

and _The Excursion_, book ix. l. 563 (vol. v. p. 373).--ED.]

[Footnote DF: Compare Gray's _Progress of Poesy_, ll. 119, 120--

    Such forms, as glitter in the Muse's ray,
     With orient hues, unborrow'd of the Sun.


[Footnote DG: The multiplication of mountain-ridges, described at the
commencement of the third Stanza of this Ode, as a kind of Jacob's
Ladder, leading to Heaven, is produced either by watery vapours, or
sunny haze;--in the present instance by the latter cause. Allusions to
the Ode, entitled _Intimations of Immortality_, pervade the last Stanza
of the foregoing Poem.--W. W. 1820.

The "hazy ridges" referred to in the text are probably those to the
west, behind Silver How.--ED.]

[Footnote DH: In the lines "Wings at my shoulders seem to play," etc., I
am under obligation to the exquisite picture by Mr. Alstone, now in
America. It is pleasant to make this public acknowledgment to men of
genius, whom I have the honour to rank among my friends.--W. W. 1820.

The phrase "men of genius" includes Haydon. The first part of this note
of 1820, being one on _Peter Bell_, referring to Haydon's Bible picture
of Christ's Entry into Jerusalem. (See note to _Peter Bell_, l. 979.)

The American painter was Mr. Washington Allston. Wordsworth sent him a
MS. copy of the poem, transcribed "in gratitude for the pleasure he had
received from the sight of Mr. Allston's pictures, in particular
'Jacob's Dream,'" and at the end of the MS. of his poem, Wordsworth
wrote, "The Author does not know how far he was indebted to Mr. Allston
for part of the 3rd stanza. The multiplication of ridges in a
mountainous country, as Mr. A. has probably observed, arises from two
causes, sunny or watery vapour--the former is here meant. When does Mr.
A. return to England?" In a letter on "Wordsworth and Allston," in _The
Athenæum_, Mr. J. Dykes Campbell refers to "something in the picture
having given definite form to observations of natural phenomena the
significance of which the poet had not immediately noted." "Wordsworth,"
he adds, "was a close and untiring rather than a quick or keen observer,
and his mind was at all times stored with a wealth of notes which
sometimes had to wait long before they could either be worked out or
worked in. Sometimes--as in this instance, perhaps--they were revivified
by the suggestions of some kindred observer who happened to anticipate
the poet in giving them form."--See _The Athenæum_, August 7,

[Footnote DI: Compare the reference in the _Ode, Intimations of
Immortality_, ll. 178, 179, to--

       Though nothing can bring back the hour
    Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower.



With the exception of _The Haunted Tree_, and the lines entitled
_September 1819_, all the poems composed during the year 1819 were
sonnets. Four of the latter were published along with _Peter Bell_, in
the first edition of that poem; and other twelve, along with _The
Waggoner_, which was first published in the same year. One of the twelve
refers to the Old Hall of Donnerdale, and belongs to the series of
_Sonnets on the River Duddon_, where it will be found (No. XXVII.) It
was first published, along with those referring to Rydal, in the volume
of 1819, and probably detached from the rest of the series, because
originally it had no particular reference to the Old Hall in the Duddon
Valley; but was (as Wordsworth indicates in the third of the Fenwick
notes to the Duddon) "taken from a tradition belonging to Rydal Hall,
which once stood, as is believed, upon a rocky and woody hill on the
right hand as you go from Rydal to Ambleside, and was deserted from the
superstitious fear here described, and the present site fortunately
chosen instead."--ED.


This, and the two following sonnets, were first published in
_Blackwood's Magazine_, vol. iv., January 1819, p. 471. They were
reprinted in _The Poetical Album_, edited by Alaric Watts, in 1829
(Second Series, vol. i. pp. 332, 333) under the title,

"The Caves of Yorkshire." The same volume of the _Album_ contains (p.
43) the sonnet beginning--

    Not Love, not War, nor the tumultuous swell.

In the 1819 edition of _Peter Bell_, p. 84, a note, prefatory to the
four following sonnets, occurs to this effect: "The following Sonnets
having lately appeared in Periodical Publications are here

Composed 1819.--Published 1819

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

    Pure element of waters! wheresoe'er
    Thou dost forsake thy subterranean haunts,
    Green herbs, bright flowers, and berry-bearing plants,
    Rise[348] into life and in thy train appear:
    And, through the sunny portion of the year,                    5
    Swift insects shine, thy hovering pursuivants:
    And, if thy bounty fail, the forest pants;
    And hart and hind and hunter with his spear,
    Languish and droop together. Nor unfelt
    In man's perturbèd soul thy sway benign;                      10
    And, haply, far within the marble belt
    Of central earth, where tortured Spirits pine
    For grace and goodness lost, thy murmurs melt
    Their anguish,--and they blend sweet songs with thine.[DK]


[Footnote 347: 1820.

    Sonnets, suggested ...                                      1819.


[Footnote DJ: Wordsworth visited these caves with Edward Quillinan in


Composed 1819.--Published 1819

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

    Was the aim frustrated by force or guile,
    When giants scooped from out the rocky ground,
    Tier under tier, this semicirque profound?
    (Giants--the same who built in Erin's isle
    That Causeway with incomparable toil!)--                       5
    O, had this vast theatric structure wound[349][DL]
    With finished sweep into a perfect round,
    No mightier work had gained the plausive smile
    Of all-beholding Phoebus! But, alas,
    Vain earth! false world! Foundations must be laid             10
    In Heaven; for, 'mid the wreck of IS and WAS,
    Things incomplete and purposes betrayed
    Make sadder transits o'er thought's optic glass[350]
    Than noblest objects utterly decayed.[DM]

Malham Cove is a noble amphitheatre of perpendicular limestone rock,
lying in regular strata, the height being 300 feet in the centre. The
Aire issues from the rock at the base of the cliff, a considerable
stream. Possibly Westall's picture of Malham Cove suggested to
Wordsworth the Giant's Causeway in Ireland, and its legend. They have
the same columnar appearance; although the former is limestone, and the
latter basalt.--ED.


[Footnote 348: 1820.

    Start ...

   _Blackwood's Magazine_,                              January 1819.


[Footnote DK: Waters (as Mr. Westall informs us in the letterpress
prefixed to his admirable views) are invariably found to flow through
these caverns.--W. W. 1819.]


Composed 1819.--Published 1819

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

    At early dawn, or rather when the air[351]
    Glimmers with fading light, and shadowy Eve
    Is busiest to confer and to bereave;
    Then, pensive Votary! let thy feet repair[352]
    To Gordale-chasm, terrific as the lair                         5
    Where the young lions couch; for so,[353] by leave
    Of the propitious hour, thou may'st perceive
    The local Deity, with oozy hair
    And mineral crown, beside his jagged urn,                      9
    Recumbent: Him thou may'st behold, who hides
    His lineaments by day,[354] yet[355] there presides,
    Teaching the docile waters how to turn,
    Or (if need be) impediment to spurn,
    And force their passage to[356] the salt-sea tides!

There are many legendary stories connected with the Yorkshire caves,
particularly in the Giggleswick district; but I have been unable to
trace any legend about the "local Deity" of Gordale. There is nothing in
the letterpress of Westall's views, or in the "addenda" to West's _Guide
to the Lakes in Cumberland_, about these legends. The chasm is a very
remarkable cleft in the limestone rock, near Malham. Gray's description
of Gordale, in his _Journal_ (1796), may be referred to.--ED.


[Footnote 349: 1820.

    Oh! had the Crescent stretched its horns, and wound

    _Blackwood's Magazine_, January 1819.

[Footnote 350: 1837.

    ... o'er truth's mystic glass,                              1819.

[Footnote 351: 1819.

    ... or when the warmer air,

    _Blackwood's Magazine_,                             January 1819.

[Footnote 352: 1819.

    At either moment let thy feet repair

    _Blackwood's Magazine_,                             January 1819.

[Footnote 353: 1819.

    ... for then ...

    _Blackwood's Magazine_,                             January 1819.

[Footnote 354: 1819.

    ... from day, ...

    _Blackwood's Magazine_,                             January 1819.

[Footnote 355: 1827.

    ... and ...                                                 1819.

[Footnote 356: 1819.

    ... toward ...

    _Blackwood's Magazine_,                             January 1819.


[Footnote DL: Compare the Fenwick note to _The Excursion_.--ED.]

[Footnote DM: Compare the Fenwick note to _The Excursion_.--ED.]


Composed 1819.--Published 1819

[Written in Rydal Woods, by the side of a torrent.--I. F.]

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

    One who was suffering tumult in his soul
    Yet failed to seek the sure relief of prayer,
    Went forth--his course surrendering to the care
    Of the fierce wind, while mid-day lightnings prowl
    Insidiously, untimely thunders growl;                          5
    While trees, dim-seen, in frenzied numbers, tear
    The lingering remnant of their yellow hair,
    And shivering wolves, surprised with darkness, howl
    As if the sun were not. He raised his eye
    Soul-smitten; for, that instant, did appear[358]              10
    Large space ('mid dreadful clouds) of purest sky,
    An azure disc[359]--shield of Tranquillity;
    Invisible, unlooked-for, minister
    Of providential goodness ever nigh!


[Footnote 357: 1827.

    Composed during one of the most awful of
       the late storms, February 1819.                          1819.

    Composed during a severe storm.                             1820.


Composed 1819.--Published 1819

[A projecting point of Loughrigg, nearly in front of Rydal Mount. Thence
looking at it, you are struck with the boldness of its aspect; but
walking under it, you admire the beauty of its details. It is vulgarly
called Holme-scar, probably from the insulated pasture by the waterside
below it.--I. F.]

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

    Aerial Rock--whose solitary brow
    From this low threshold daily meets my sight;
    When I step[360] forth to hail the morning light;
    Or quit the stars with a lingering farewell--how[361]
    Shall Fancy pay to thee a grateful vow?                        5
    How, with the Muse's aid, her love attest?
    --By planting on thy naked head the crest[362]
    Of an imperial Castle, which the plough
    Of ruin shall not touch. Innocent scheme!
    That doth presume no more than to supply                      10
    A grace the sinuous vale and roaring stream
    Want, through neglect of hoar Antiquity.
    Rise, then, ye votive Towers! and catch a gleam
    Of golden sunset, ere it fade and die.

Compare the sonnet No. XXVII. of the Duddon Series, beginning "Fallen,
and diffused into a shapeless heap," as it was evidently written with
reference to the old (traditional) Hall of Rydal. If an

    ... embattled House, whose massy Keep
    Flung from yon cliff a shadow large and cold,

stood in "the sinuous vale" of Rydal, there was no "neglect of hoar


[Footnote 358: 1827.

    As if the sun were not;--he lifted high
    His head--and in a moment did appear                        1819.

[Footnote 359: 1840.

    ... orb ...                                                 1819.

[Footnote 360: 1827.

    ... look ...                                                1819.

[Footnote 361: 1837.

    ... with lingering farewell--how                            1819.

[Footnote 362: 1827.

    Shall I discharge to thee a grateful vow?--
    By planting on thy head (in verse, at least,
    As I have often done in thought) the crest                  1819.


Composed 1819.--Published 1819

[I observed this beautiful nest on the largest island of Rydal
Water.--I. F.]

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

    The imperial[363] Consort of the Fairy-king
    Owns not a sylvan bower; or gorgeous cell[364]
    With emerald floored, and with purpureal shell
    Ceilinged and roofed; that is so fair a thing[365]
    As this low structure, for the tasks of Spring,                5
    Prepared by one who loves the buoyant swell
    Of the brisk waves, yet here consents to dwell;
    And spreads[366] in steadfast peace her brooding wing.
    Words cannot paint the o'ershadowing yew-tree bough,
    And dimly-gleaming Nest,--a hollow crown                      10
    Of golden leaves inlaid with silver down,
    Fine as the mother's softest plumes allow:[367]
    I gazed--and, self-accused while gazing, sighed
    For human-kind, weak slaves of cumbrous pride![368]


[Footnote 363: 1819.

    Imperial ...                                                  MS.

[Footnote 364: 1819.

    Thy favourite home (albeit a bright cell                      MS.

[Footnote 365: 1819.

    ... is not so fair a thing                                    MS.

[Footnote 366: 1819.

    And spread ...                                                MS.

[Footnote 367: 1819.

    The Nest a hollow diadem composed
    Of russet leaves and down where lie enclosed
    The tenderest cares that earthly laws allow:                  MS.

[Footnote 368: 1837.

    I gaze--and almost wish to lay aside
    Humanity, weak slave of cumbrous pride!             MS. and 1819.


Composed 1819.--Published 1819

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

    While flowing rivers yield a blameless sport,
    Shall live the name of Walton: Sage benign!
    Whose pen, the mysteries of the rod and line
    Unfolding, did not fruitlessly exhort
    To reverend watching of each still report                      5
    That Nature utters from her rural shrine.
    Meek, nobly versed in simple discipline--
    He found the longest summer day too short,
    To his[369] loved pastime given by sedgy Lee,
    Or down the tempting maze of Shawford brook--                 10
    Fairer than life itself, in this[370] sweet Book,
    The cowslip-bank[371] and shady willow-tree;
    And the fresh meads--where flowed, from every nook
    Of his[372] full bosom, gladsome Piety!


[Footnote 369: 1827.

    O nobly versed in simple discipline,
    Meek, thankful soul, the vernal day how short
    To thy ...                                                  1819.

    O, nobly versed in simple discipline--
    Who found'st the longest summer day too short,
    To thy ...                                                  1837.

    1845 returns to 1827.

[Footnote 370: 1827.

    ... thy ...                                                 1819.

[Footnote 371: 1819.

    Are cowslip-bank ...                                        1837.

    1845 returns to 1819.

[Footnote 372: 1827.

    Of thy ...                                                  1819.

    1837 returns to 1819.

    1845 returns to 1827.


Composed 1819.--Published 1819

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

    "As the cold aspect of a sunless way
    Strikes through the Traveller's frame with deadlier chill,
    Oft as appears a grove, or obvious hill,
    Glistening with unparticipated ray,
    Or shining slope where he must never stray;                    5
    So joys, remembered without wish or will,
    Sharpen the keenest edge of present ill,--
    On the crushed heart a heavier burthen lay.
    Just Heaven, contract the compass of my mind
    To fit proportion with my altered state!                      10
    Quench those felicities whose light I find
    Reflected in[374] my bosom all too late!--
    O be my spirit, like my thraldom, strait;
    And, like mine eyes that stream with sorrow, blind!"

Compare the _Lament of Mary Queen of Scots_, p. 162.

Why this sonnet was printed, from 1819 (in which year it appeared in
_The Waggoner, a Poem, to which are added Sonnets_,) to the last edition
of 1849, within inverted commas, I have never been able to


Composed 1819.--Published 1819

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

    Lone Flower, hemmed in with snows and white as they
    But hardier far, once more I see thee bend
    Thy forehead, as if fearful to offend,
    Like an unbidden guest. Though day by day,[376]
    Storms, sallying from the mountain-tops, way-lay               5
    The rising sun, and on the plains descend;
    Yet art thou welcome, welcome as a friend[377]
    Whose zeal outruns his promise! Blue-eyed May
    Shall soon behold this border thickly set
    With bright jonquils, their odours lavishing                  10
    On the soft west-wind and his frolic peers;
    Nor will I then thy modest grace forget,[378]
    Chaste Snow-drop, venturous harbinger of Spring,
    And pensive monitor of fleeting years!


[Footnote 373: 1837.

    CAPTIVITY.                                                 1819.

[Footnote 374: 1827.

    Burning within ...                                         1819.

[Footnote 375: 1827.

    To a snow-drop, appearing very early in the season.        1819.


Composed 1819.--Published 1820

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

    When haughty expectations prostrate lie,[DN]
    And grandeur crouches like a guilty thing,
    Oft shall the lowly weak, till nature bring
    Mature release, in fair society
    Survive, and Fortune's utmost anger try;                       5
    Like these frail snow-drops that together cling,
    And nod their helmets, smitten by the wing
    Of many a furious whirl-blast sweeping by.
    Observe the faithful flowers![DO] if small to great
    May lead the thoughts, thus struggling used to stand
    The Emathian phalanx,[DP] nobly obstinate;                    11
    And so the bright immortal Theban band,[DQ]
    Whom onset, fiercely urged at Jove's command,
    Might overwhelm, but could not separate!


[Footnote 376: 1827.

    But hardier far, though modestly thou bend
    Thy front--as if _such_ presence could offend!
    Who guards thy slender stalk while, day by day,             1819.

[Footnote 377: 1827.

    Accept the greeting that befits a friend                    1819.

[Footnote 378: 1827.

    Yet will I not thy gentle grace forget,                     1819.


[Footnote DN: In the edition of 1820 this sonnet was entitled,

    _On seeing a tuft of Snow-drops in a Storm;_

and, in the edition of 1827, the title was,

    _Composed a few days after the foregoing;_

the "foregoing" sonnet being that addressed _To a Snow-drop_.--ED.]


Composed 1819.--Published 1819

This sonnet was first published along with _The Waggoner_. In the
editions from 1820 to 1832 it was placed among the "Miscellaneous
Sonnets." In 1835 it was included in the series of "Poems, composed or
suggested during a tour, in the summer of 1833."--ED.

    Among the mountains were we nursed, loved Stream!
    Thou near the eagle's nest--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[379] entwined
    Nemæan victor's brow; 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!

The Derwent has its source on the slopes of Glaramara; and an _Eagle
Crag_ rises above one of its affluents (the Langstrath beck, separating
the Langstrath from the Greenup Valley). Doubtless there were eagles
there in the last century when Wordsworth was born, and they would soar
over Skiddaw and the Grasmere group of mountains towards Cockermouth,
his birth-place.--ED.


[Footnote 379: 1827.

    ... wreaths ...                                             1819.


[Footnote DO: Compare in _The Primrose of the Rock_--

    The flowers, still faithful to the stems,
     Their fellowship renew;
    The stems are faithful to the root,
     That worketh out of view;
    And to the rock the root adheres
     In every fibre true.


[Footnote DP: Macedonian; the district of Emathia being the original
seat of the Macedonian monarchy.--ED.]

[Footnote DQ: An allusion to the so-called Sacred Band, whose successes
under Pelopidas had so large a share in sustaining the Theban ascendency
after the Battle of Leuctra (B.C. 371-366).--ED.]


Composed 1819.--Published 1819

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

    With each recurrence of this glorious morn
    That saw the Saviour in his human frame
    Rise from the dead, erewhile the Cottage-dame
    Put on fresh raiment--till that hour unworn:
    Domestic[381] hands the home-bred wool had shorn,              5
    And she who span it culled[382] the daintiest fleece,
    In thoughtful reverence to the Prince of Peace,
    Whose temples bled beneath the platted thorn.
    A blest estate when piety sublime
    These humble props disdained not! O green dales!
    Sad may _I_ be who heard your sabbath chime                   11
    When Art's abused inventions were unknown;
    Kind Nature's various wealth was all your own;
    And benefits were weighed in Reason's scales!


[Footnote 380: 1819.

    Written on Easter Sunday.                                     MS.

[Footnote 381: 1819.

    Her Husband's ...                                             MS.

[Footnote 382: 1819.

    Which she had spun--culling ...                               MS.

The following (incomplete) version of this Easter Sunday sonnet exists
in MS.:--


    Erewhile to celebrate this glorious morn
    That saw the unvanquished Saviour of mankind
    Rise from the grave, the Ruler and the Hind
    Put on fresh raiment, till that hour unworn,
    Fair cloth of home-bred wool which he had shorn,
    Her hands had spun, culling her daintiest fleece,
    Such reverence paid they to the Prince of Peace.
    O blest estate, when Piety sublime
    These humble props disdained not! Are thy flowers
    Banished for aye, from Britain's hills and vales
    Extinct, or lingering in a happier clime,
    Where our abused inventions are unknown
    And benefits are weighed in Reason's scales?



Composed 1819.--Published 1819

[I could write a treatise of lamentation upon the changes brought about
among the cottages of Westmoreland by the silence of the
spinning-wheel.[DR] During long winter nights and wet days, the wheel
upon which wool was spun gave employment to a great part of a family.
The old man, however infirm, was able to card the wool, as he sate in a
corner by the fire-side; and often, when a boy, have I admired the
cylinders of carded wool which were softly laid upon each other by his
side. Two wheels were often at work on the same floor; and others of the
family, chiefly little children, were occupied in teasing and cleaning
the wool to fit it for the hand of the carder. So that all, except the
smallest infants, were contributing to mutual support. Such was the
employment that prevailed in the pastoral vales. Where wool was not at
hand, in the small rural towns, the wheel for spinning flax was almost
in as constant use, if knitting was not preferred; which latter
occupation has the advantage (in some cases disadvantage) that, not
being of necessity stationary, it allowed of gossiping about from house
to house, which good housewives reckoned an idle thing.--I. F.]

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

    Grief, thou hast lost an ever ready friend
    Now that the cottage Spinning-wheel is mute;
    And Care--a comforter that best could suit
    Her froward mood, and softliest reprehend;
    And Love--a charmer's voice, that used to lend,                5
    More efficaciously than aught that flows
    From harp or lute, kind influence to compose
    The throbbing pulse--else troubled without end:
    Even Joy could tell,[383] Joy craving truce and rest
    From her own overflow, what power sedate                      10
    On those revolving motions did await
    Assiduously--to soothe her aching breast;
    And, to a point of just relief, abate
    The mantling triumphs of a day too blest.

The following version of the last seven lines of this sonnet is from a
MS. copy of it:--

    The panting breast else troubled without end:
    And fancy prized the murmuring spinning-wheel
    In sympathies inexplicably fine,
    Instilled a confidence how sweet to feel!
    That ever, in the night calm, when the sheep
    Upon their grassy beds lay couched in sleep,
    The quickening spindle drew a trustier line.



[Footnote 383: 1819.

    And Joy can tell, ...                                         MS.


[Footnote DR: Compare similar regrets in _The Excursion_.--ED.]


Composed 1819.--Published 1819[DS]

[Suggested in front of Rydal Mount, the rocky parapet being the summit
of Loughrigg Fell opposite. Not once only, but a hundred times, have the
feelings of this sonnet been awakened by the same objects seen from the
same place.--I. F.]

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

    I watch, and long have watched, with calm regret
    Yon slowly-sinking star--immortal Sire
    (So might he seem) of all the glittering quire!
    Blue ether still surrounds him--yet--and yet;
    But now the horizon's rocky parapet                            5
    Is reached, where, forfeiting his bright attire,
    He burns--transmuted to a dusky fire--
    Then pays submissively the appointed debt
    To the flying moments, and is seen no more.[384]
    Angels and gods! We struggle with our fate,                   10
    While health, power, glory, from their height decline,[385]
    Depressed; and then extinguished: and our state,
    In this, how different, lost Star, from thine,
    That no to-morrow shall our beams restore![DT]


[Footnote 384: 1837.

    ... to a sullen fire,
    That droops and dwindles; and, the appointed debt
    To the flying moments paid, is seen no more.                1819.

[Footnote 385: 1837.

    ... glory, pitiably decline,                                1819.


[Footnote DS: This sonnet was omitted in the edition of 1827.--ED.]

[Footnote DT: Compare Beattie's _Hermit_ (stanza iii. l. 5)--

    Roll on then, fair orb, and with gladness pursue
    The path that conducts thee to splendour again;
    But man's faded glory no change shall renew;
    Ah, fool! to exult in a glory so vain.



Composed 1819.--Published 1819

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

    I heard (alas! 'twas only in a dream)
    Strains--which, as sage Antiquity believed,
    By waking[386] ears have sometimes been received
    Wafted adown the wind from lake or stream;
    A most melodious requiem, a supreme                            5
    And perfect harmony of notes, achieved
    By a fair Swan on drowsy billows heaved,
    O'er which her pinions shed a silver gleam.
    For is she not the votary of Apollo?
    And knows she not, singing as he inspires,[387]               10
    That bliss awaits her which the ungenial Hollow[DU]
    Of the dull earth partakes not, nor desires?
    Mount, tuneful Bird, and join the immortal quires!
    She soared--and I awoke, struggling in vain to follow.

Socrates to Simmias.--"Will you not allow that I have as much of the
spirit of prophecy in me as the swans? For they, when they perceive that
they must die, having sung all their life long, do then sing more than
ever, rejoicing in the thought that they are about to go away to the
God, whose ministers they are. But men, because they are themselves
afraid of death, slanderously affirm of the swans, that they sing a
lament at the last, not considering that no bird sings when cold, or
hungry, or in pain, not even the nightingale, nor the swallow, nor yet
the hoopoe, which are said indeed to tune a lay of sorrow, although I do
not believe this to be true of them any more than of the swans. But
because they are sacred to Apollo, they have the gift of prophecy, and
anticipate the good things of another world; wherefore they sing and
rejoice in that day more than ever they did before. And I too, believing
myself to be the consecrated servant of the same God, and the
fellow-servant of the swans, and thinking that I have received from my
master gifts of prophecy which are not inferior to theirs, would not go
out of life less merrily than the swans." _Phædo_, 85 (Jowett's
translation, vol. i. p. 462).--ED.


[Footnote 386: 1819.

    By living ...                                                 MS.

[Footnote 387: 1819.

    ... inspired,                                                 MS.


[Footnote DU: See the _Phædon_ of Plato, by which this Sonnet was
suggested.--W. W. 1819.]


To ----

Composed 1819.--Published 1820

[This tree grew in the park of Rydal, and I have often listened to its
creaking as described.--I. F.]

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

    Those silver clouds collected round the sun
    His mid-day warmth abate not, seeming less
    To overshade than multiply his beams
    By soft reflection--grateful to the sky,                       4
    To rocks, fields, woods. Nor doth our human sense
    Ask, for its pleasure, screen or canopy
    More ample than the[388] time-dismantled Oak
    Spreads o'er this tuft of heath, which now, attired
    In the whole fulness of its bloom, affords
    Couch beautiful as e'er for earthly use[389]                  10
    Was fashioned; whether by the hand of Art,
    That eastern Sultan, amid flowers enwrought
    On silken tissue, might diffuse his limbs
    In languor; or, by Nature, for repose
    Of panting Wood-nymph, wearied with the chase.[390]           15
    O Lady! fairer in thy Poet's sight
    Than fairest spiritual creature of the groves,
    Approach;--and, thus invited, crown with rest
    The noontide hour: though truly some there are
    Whose footsteps superstitiously avoid                         20
    This venerable Tree; for, when the wind
    Blows keenly, it sends forth a creaking sound
    (Above the general roar of woods and crags)
    Distinctly heard from far--a doleful note!
    As if (so Grecian shepherds would have deemed)                25
    The Hamadryad, pent within, bewailed
    Some bitter wrong.[DW] Nor is it unbelieved,
    By ruder fancy, that a troubled ghost
    Haunts the old trunk;[391] lamenting deeds of which
    The flowery ground is conscious. But no wind                  30
    Sweeps now along this elevated ridge;
    Not even a zephyr stirs;--the obnoxious Tree
    Is mute: and, in his silence, would look down,
    O lovely Wanderer of the trackless hills,
    On thy[392] reclining form with more delight                  35
    Than his coevals in the sheltered vale
    Seem to participate, the while they view[393]
    Their own far-stretching arms and leafy heads
    Vividly pictured in some glassy pool,
    That, for a brief space, checks the hurrying stream!          40

Where this _Haunted Tree_ stood in Rydal Park, or whether it is still
standing, cannot be determined. There are several "time-dismantled oaks"
in the Park, but none with a heather couch beneath them, so far as I
know. I have, however, heard stories of this tree from old residenters.
The "Lady," the "lovely wanderer of the trackless hills," may have been
the poet's daughter, Dora, to whom (probably) this poem was


[Footnote 388: 1827.

    ... that ...                                                1820.

[Footnote 389: 1827.

    As beautiful a couch as e'er on earth                       1820.

[Footnote 390: 1836.

    ... weary of the chace.                                     1820.
    ... wearied by the chase.                                   1827.

[Footnote 391: 1836.

    Haunts this old Trunk; ...                                  1820.

[Footnote 392: 1827.

    ... would look down
    On thy ...                                                  1820.

[Footnote 393: 1849.

    ... whilst they view                                        1820.


[Footnote DV: The title in the first edition of 1820 was "To

[Footnote DW: The Hamadryads were supposed not only to haunt the trees,
but to live in them, and to die with them.--ED.]


Composed 1819.--Published 1820

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

    The sylvan slopes with corn-clad fields
    Are hung, as if with golden shields,
    Bright trophies of the sun!
    Like a fair sister of the sky,
    Unruffled doth the blue lake lie,                              5
    The mountains looking on.[DX]

    And, sooth to say, yon vocal grove,
    Albeit uninspired by love,
    By love untaught to ring,
    May well afford to mortal ear                                 10
    An impulse more profoundly dear
    Than music of the Spring.

    For _that_ from turbulence and heat
    Proceeds, from some uneasy seat
    In nature's struggling frame,                                 15
    Some region of impatient life:
    And jealousy, and quivering strife,
    Therein a portion claim.

    This, this is holy;--while I hear
    These vespers of another year,                                20
    This hymn of thanks and praise,
    My spirit seems to mount above
    The anxieties of human love,
    And earth's precarious days.

    But list!--though winter storms be nigh,                      25
    Unchecked is that soft harmony;
    There lives Who can provide
    For all His creatures; and in Him,
    Even like the radiant Seraphim,
    These choristers confide.                                     30

See the Fenwick note to the second of the two _Odes to Lycoris_. This
poem and the next in order are "the two that follow," referred to in
that note as "composed in front of Rydal Mount, and during my walks in
the neighbourhood." Note the eulogy of Spring, and (comparative)
disparagement of Autumn, in _Lycoris_; and the complimentary truth, in
reference to Autumn, brought out in this fragment.--ED.


[Footnote DX: Rydal Mere. Compare the _Ode to Lycoris_ (pp.


Composed 1819.--Published 1820

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

    Departing summer hath assumed
    An aspect tenderly illumed,
    The gentlest look of spring;
    That calls from yonder leafy shade
    Unfaded, yet prepared to fade,                                 5
    A timely carolling.

    No faint and hesitating trill,
    Such tribute as to winter chill
    The lonely redbreast pays!
    Clear, loud, and lively is the din,                           10
    From social warblers gathering in
    Their harvest of sweet lays.

    Nor doth the example fail to cheer
    Me, conscious that my leaf is sere,[DY]
    And yellow on the bough:--                                    15
    Fall, rosy garlands, from my head!
    Ye myrtle wreaths, your fragrance shed
    Around a younger brow!

    Yet will I temperately rejoice;
    Wide is the range, and free the choice                        20
    Of undiscordant themes;
    Which, haply, kindred souls may prize
    Not less than vernal ecstasies,
    And passion's feverish dreams.

    For deathless powers to verse belong,                         25
    And they like Demi-gods are strong
    On whom the Muses smile;
    But some their function have disclaimed,
    Best pleased with what is aptliest framed
    To enervate and defile.[DZ]                                   30

    Not such the initiatory strains
    Committed to the silent plains
    In Britain's earliest dawn:
    Trembled the groves, the stars grew pale,
    While all-too-daringly the veil                               35
    Of nature was withdrawn![EA]

    Nor such the spirit-stirring note
    When the live chords Alcæus smote,[EB]
    Inflamed by sense of wrong;
    Woe! woe to Tyrants! from the lyre                            40
    Broke threateningly, in sparkles dire
    Of fierce vindictive song.[EC]

    And not unhallowed was the page
    By wingèd Love inscribed, to assuage
    The pangs of vain pursuit;                                    45
    Love listening while the Lesbian Maid[ED]
    With finest touch of passion swayed[394]
    Her own Æolian lute.

    O ye, who patiently explore
    The wreck of Herculanean lore,[EE]                            50
    What rapture! could ye seize
    Some Theban fragment, or unroll
    One precious, tender-hearted, scroll
    Of pure Simonides.[EF]

    That were, indeed, a genuine birth                            55
    Of poesy; a bursting forth
    Of genius from the dust:
    What Horace gloried to behold,[395][EG]
    What Maro loved[EH] shall we enfold?
    Can haughty Time be just!                                     60


[Footnote 394: 1827.

    With passion's finest finger swayed                         1820.

[Footnote 395: 1820.

(4 vol. edition.)

    ... boasted to behold,                                    1820.

    (1 vol. edition.)


[Footnote DY: Compare _Macbeth_, act V. scene iii. l. 23--

                             my way of life
    Is fall'n into the sear, the yellow leaf.


[Footnote DZ: The reference may be to some of the poets of the

[Footnote EA: Here the reference may be to Cædmon's _Paraphrase_.--ED.]

[Footnote EB: Alcæus of Mytilene, in Lesbos, the first of the Æolian
lyric poets, flourished in the 42nd Olympiad, about 600 B.C. He wrote
odes, songs, and epigrams, and was the inventor of the Alcaic metre,
called after his name. "During the civil war Alcæus engaged actively on
the side of the nobles, whose spirits he endeavoured to cheer by a
number of most animated odes, full of invectives against the tyrant; and
after the defeat of his party, he, with his brother Antimenidas, led
them again in an attempt to regain their country." (Mr. Philip Smith in
the _Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography_.)--ED.]

[Footnote EC: I am indebted to Mr. H. T. Rhoades, Rugby, for the
following note on Alcæus:--"There is nothing exactly corresponding to
'Woe, woe, to Tyrants' in the fragments of Alcæus which have come down
to us--which are chiefly drinking songs--the nearest is an exultation
over a dead tyrant, νῦν χρὴ μεθύσθην ... ἐπειδὴ
κάτθανε Μύρσιλος--but he wrote verses which Pittacus thought
dangerous, and for which he was banished. Horace, _Od._ IV. ix. 7, has
'Alcæi minaces camenæ,' and Wordsworth has perhaps had this in his

[Footnote ED: Sappho. Her ode to Aphrodite--of which Longinus said it
was "not one passion, but a congress of passions"--is the most perfect
in Greek literature. It is to it that Wordsworth refers; and as there
has been much controversy as to the character of this magnificent erotic
ode--compare the discussion by Welcher (_Rheinisches Museum_, 1857); by
Mure (_Critical History of the Language and Literature of Ancient
Greece_, vol. iii. chap. V. 11); by Müller (_Literature of Ancient
Greece_, pp. 175, 178); and by J. A. Symonds (_Studies of the Greek
Poets_, 1st Series, p. 129), Wordsworth's verdict--

    Not unhallowed was the page
    With finest touch of passion swayed,

is noteworthy.--ED.]

[Footnote EE: In 1752, during the excavations at Herculaneum, the villa
of an Epicurean philosopher was discovered, in which were 1800 rolls of
papyri, containing fragments of Epicurus' work _On Nature_. Only about
350 of these charred MSS. have as yet been unwound. When the discovery
was first made that a library of ancient literature had been unearthed,
European scholars everywhere anticipated

           a bursting forth
    Of genius from the dust.

Hence Wordsworth's allusion to the possible discovery of the long buried
fragments of classical antiquity, such as the poems of Simonides, or the
lost books of Livy and Tacitus, for which others longed.--ED.]

[Footnote EF: Simonides, of Ceos, perfected Greek elegy and epigram, a
"brilliant representative not only of Greek choral poetry in its prime,
but of the whole literary life of Hellas during the period which
immediately preceded and followed the Persian war." We find in him "a
Dorian solemnity of thought and feeling, which qualified him for
commemorating in elegy and epigram and funereal ode the achievements of
Hellas against Persia.... The genius of Simonides is unique in this
branch of monumental poetry (epigram). His couplets--calm, simple,
terse, strong as the deeds they celebrate, enduring as the brass or
stone which they adorned--animated succeeding generations of Greek
patriots." (Symonds, _Studies of the Greek Poets_, 1st Series, pp.
146-149.) The phrase "pure Simonides" probably refers to his
reputation--which was proverbial--for σωφροσύνη, that temperance
and restraint, that moderation and self-control which are seen both in
his poems and in his reputed sayings as a philosopher.--ED.]

[Footnote EG: Horace refers to Simonides, _Carmina_ IV. ix. 5-8--

    Non, si priores Mæonius tenet
    Sedes Homerus, Pindaricæ latent
     Ceæque et Alcæi minaces
     Stesichorique graves camenæ;

and again, _Carmina_ II. i. 37-40--

    Sed ne relictis, Musa, procax iocis
    Ceæ retractes munera neniæ:
     Mecum Dionæo sub antro
       Quære modos leviore plectro.


[Footnote EH: I have been unable to find any allusion to Simonides in
Virgil. But probably Wordsworth merely refers to the numerous lost books
of Greek and Latin literature; and wonders if these treasures (of all
kinds), which Horace and Virgil knew and prized, would ever be recovered
by us. Some of Horace's most significant references to the literature of
Greece, and of the past, occur in _Odes_ III. 3; iv. 2 and 3.

Since the above was written, the late Professor William Sellar wrote to
me:--"I do not find any special reference to Simonides in Virgil.
Besides the passages you refer to in Horace, there are two or three
lines in the _Odes_, which he has translated from Simonides, _e.g._

    Est et fideli tuta silentio
    Merces:                     (_Carmina_ III. ii. 25)

but I think Wordsworth's reference is quite vague. It is quite
appropriate so far, that it was only in the Augustan age that the Romans
got back to the great sources of Greek poetry, and one cause of the
superiority of Virgil and Horace to all their contemporaries was that
they did this much more thoroughly than the others, and appreciated the
purest and oldest of these sources. Horace's special study was of course
the whole range of Greek lyric poetry. He no doubt acknowledges his
relation to Sappho and Alcæus more than to Simonides, but he recognises
him as well as Pindar among the Masters of lyrical poetry. So far as one
can judge by the fragments of Simonides' lyrical poetry, I should say
that his characteristics were tenderness, piety, and purity; and, in
these respects, he has a strong affinity with Virgil, which may explain
their association together by Wordsworth. The passage quoted by you is
very interesting, as showing how Wordsworth--the most essentially modern
and least conventional of poets--regarded Virgil and Horace, who have
often been disparaged as types of conventionalism.... It would be very
interesting to bring together the various passages in which Wordsworth
draws from the sources of classical poetry. His reminiscences of Latin
poetry seem to me to have a peculiar freshness, different from the more
direct reproduction of Milton, Gray, etc."--ED.]


The following poems may be assigned to the year 1820. _The River Duddon,
a series of Sonnets_, the Ode _To Enterprise_, some of the _Memorials of
a Tour on the Continent_, and a number of _Miscellaneous Sonnets_.
Several of the Duddon Sonnets were composed in previous years, and one
of them was published as early as 1807; but, as the volume containing
the entire series was published in 1820--and the dedication was written
on Christmas Eve of that year--the whole has been assigned to 1820. In
localising the allusions in these sonnets, I have been greatly indebted
to Mr. Herbert Rix, whose paper contributed to the "Transactions of the
Wordsworth Society" was only the first of a Series of admirable studies
of the Duddon. I have also been greatly indebted to Canon Rawnsley. Most
of the "Memorials" of the Continental Tour were written during the
journey; and, although they were not finished till 1822--the year of
publication--I think their chronological place should be in the year
1820. In connection with these poems, I have had the advantage of
perusing the two singularly interesting Journals of the Tour, written by
Mrs. Wordsworth, and by the poet's sister Dorothy. Both of these were
written, in the form of notes or "memoranda," during the journey. Miss
Wordsworth's was expanded from these earlier jottings, two months after
her return to Rydal Mount; and added to, as late as December 1821. In
the case of each poem, illustrative extracts are given from these two
Journals; and it will be seen that they cast much light on the incidents
which gave rise to the Memorial Verses, and the circumstances under
which they were composed. The poet's wish that these journals should be
published, at least in part, is expressed in the Fenwick note, which
precedes the sonnet beginning, "What lovelier home could gentle Fancy
choose?" p. 294; and Mrs. Wordsworth, in a letter to Mr. John
Kenyon--dated 28th December 1821--after referring to her husband's being
"busily engaged upon subjects connected with our Continental Journey,"
says, "Miss W. is going on with her Journal, which will be ready to go
to press interspersed with her brother's Poems I hope before your
return." She adds, however, "I do not say this seriously, but we
sometimes jestingly talk of raising a fund by such means, for a second
and a farther trip into Italy." The diary and correspondence of Henry
Crabb Robinson is also of use in determining some points connected with
this Continental Journey, in which he accompanied the Wordsworths.--ED.


Composed 1820.--Published 1820

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

    Dogmatic Teachers, of the snow-white fur!
    Ye wrangling Schoolmen, of the scarlet hood!
    Who, with a keenness not to be withstood,
    Press the point home, or falter and demur,
    Checked in your course by many a teasing burr;                 5
    These natural council-seats your acrid blood
    Might cool;--and, as the Genius of the flood
    Stoops willingly to animate and spur
    Each lighter function slumbering in the brain,
    Yon eddying balls of foam, these arrowy gleams                10
    That o'er the pavement of the surging streams
    Welter and flash, a synod might detain
    With subtle speculations, haply vain,
    But surely less so than your far-fetched themes!


Composed 1820.--Published 1820

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

    Ward of the LAW!--dread Shadow of a King!
    Whose realm had dwindled to one stately room;
    Whose universe was gloom immersed in gloom,
    Darkness as thick as life o'er life could fling,
    Save haply for some feeble glimmering[397]                     5
    Of Faith and Hope--if thou, by nature's doom,
    Gently hast sunk into the quiet tomb,
    Why should we bend in grief, to sorrow cling,
    When thankfulness were best?--Fresh-flowing tears,
    Or, where tears flow not, sigh succeeding sigh,               10
    Yield to such after-thought the sole reply
    Which justly it can claim. The Nation hears
    In this deep knell, silent for threescore years,[EI]
    An unexampled voice of awful memory!

His Majesty, George III., died on the 29th January 1820, in the 82nd
year of his age, and the 60th of his reign. His mental powers had given
way completely since 1810. See the sonnet, _November, 1813_ (vol. iv. p.
282) beginning,

    Now that all hearts are glad, all faces bright.

On the 2nd of February 1820 Wordsworth wrote to the Earl of Lonsdale: "I
sincerely condole with you on the lamented death of our most gracious
and venerable Sovereign.... The best consolation for us all lies in the
reflection that George the Third will be ranked by posterity among the
best and wisest kings that ever sat upon the throne of England."--ED.


[Footnote 396: 1832.

    ON THE DEATH OF HIS LATE MAJESTY.                           1820.

[Footnote 397: 1827.

    Yet haply cheered with some faint glimmering                1820.


[Footnote EI: His predecessor, George II., died in 1760.--ED.]


Composed 1820.--Published 1820

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

    The stars are mansions built by Nature's hand,
    And, haply, there the spirits of the blest
    Dwell, clothed in radiance, their immortal vest;[398]
    Huge Ocean shows, within his yellow strand,[399]
    A habitation marvellously planned,                             5
    For life to occupy in love and rest;
    All that we see--is dome, or vault, or nest,
    Or fortress, reared at Nature's sage command.[400]
    Glad thought for every season! but the Spring[401]
    Gave it while cares were weighing on my heart,                10
    'Mid song of birds, and insects murmuring;
    And while the youthful year's prolific art--
    Of bud, leaf, blade, and flower--was fashioning
    Abodes where self-disturbance hath no part.


[Footnote 398: 1845 and C.

    And, haply, there the spirits of the blest
    Live, clothed in radiance, their immortal vest;             1820.

    The Sun is peopled; and with Spirits blest,
    Say, can the gentle Moon be unpossest?                      1827.

    The Sun, perchance, a Palace where the blest
    Live clothed in radiance, their immortal vest;   MS. 1817.

    The text of 1840 returns to that of 1820.

[Footnote 399: 1827.

    Huge Ocean frames, ...                                      1820.

[Footnote 400: 1837.

    Or fort, erected at her sage command.          1820 and MS. 1817.

[Footnote 401: 1832.

    Is this a vernal thought? Even so, the Spring
                                                   1820 and MS. 1817.


With a selection from the Poems of Anne, Countess of Winchelsea; and
extracts of similar character from other Writers; transcribed[402] by a
female friend.

Composed 1820.--Published 1820

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

    Lady! I rifled a Parnassian cave
    (But seldom trod) of mildly-gleaming ore;
    And culled, from sundry beds, a lucid store
    Of genuine crystals, pure as those that pave
    The azure brooks, where Dian joys to lave                      5
    Her spotless limbs; and ventured to explore
    Dim shades--for reliques, upon Lethe's shore,
    Cast up at random by the sullen wave.
    To female hands the treasures were resigned;
    And lo this Work!--a grotto bright and clear                  10
    From stain or taint; in which thy blameless mind
    May feed on thoughts though pensive not austere;
    Or, if thy deeper spirit be inclined
    To holy musing, it may enter here.

In the "Essay Supplementary to the Preface" of the Second Edition of
_Lyrical Ballads_ (see "Prose Works," vol. ii. p. 240), Wordsworth
wrote, "it is remarkable that, excepting _The Nocturnal Reverie_ of Lady
Winchelsea, and a passage or two in the _Windsor Forest_ of Pope, the
Poetry of the period intervening between the publication of _Paradise
Lost_ and _The Seasons_ does not contain a single new image of external
nature." _The Nocturnal Reverie_ was written by Anne, Countess of
Winchelsea, daughter of Sir William Kingsmill, Southampton.--ED.


[Footnote 402: 1827.

    the whole transcribed ...                                   1820.


[Footnote EJ: In 1820 (first edition) the title was "To ----."--ED.]


Composed 1820.--Published 1820

See Milton's Sonnet, beginning, "A book was writ of late called

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

    A book came forth of late, called PETER BELL;
    Not negligent the style;--the matter?--good
    As aught that song records of Robin Hood;
    Or Roy, renowned through many a Scottish dell;
    But some (who brook those hackneyed themes full well,
    Nor heat,[403] at Tam o' Shanter's name, their blood)          6
    Waxed wroth, and with foul claws, a harpy brood,
    On Bard and Hero clamorously fell.
    Heed not, wild Rover once through heath and glen,
    Who mad'st at length the better life thy choice,              10
    Heed not such onset! nay, if praise of men
    To thee appear not an unmeaning voice,
    Lift up that grey-haired forehead, and rejoice
    In the just tribute of thy Poet's pen!

It may be useful, for comparison, to quote Milton's sonnet in full.

_On the Detraction which followed upon my writing certain Treatises_

    A book was writ of late called _Tetrachordon_,
    And woven close, both matter, form, and style;
    The subject new: it walked the town a while,
    Numbering good intellects; now seldom pored on.
    Cries the stall-reader, "Bless us! what a word on
    A title-page is this!"; and some in file
    Stand spelling false, while one might walk to Mile-End
    Green. Why, is it harder, sirs, than _Gordon_,
    _Colkitto_, or _Macdonnel_, or _Galasp_?
    Those rugged names to our like mouths grow sleek,
    That would have made Quintilian stare and gasp.
    Thy age, like ours, O soul of Sir John Cheek,
    Hated not learning worse than toad or asp,
    When thou taught'st Cambridge and King Edward Greek.



[Footnote 403: 1820.

    1 vol. edition.

    ... (who brook these hacknied themes full well,
    Nor chafe, ...                                              1820.

    4 vol. edition.

    Edition 1827 returns to text of 1820, 1 vol. edition.

OXFORD, MAY 30, 1820

Composed 1820.--Published 1820

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

    Ye sacred Nurseries of blooming Youth!
    In whose collegiate shelter England's Flowers
    Expand, enjoying through their vernal hours
    The air of liberty, the light of truth;
    Much have ye suffered from Time's gnawing tooth:               5
    Yet, O ye spires of Oxford! domes and towers!
    Gardens and groves! your presence overpowers
    The soberness of reason; till, in sooth,
    Transformed, and rushing on a bold exchange,
    I slight my own beloved Cam, to range                         10
    Where silver Isis leads my stripling feet;
    Pace the long avenue, or glide adown
    The stream-like windings of that glorious street--
    An eager Novice robed in fluttering gown!

Wordsworth's love for his own university of Cambridge was strong; and he
has commemorated St. John's College, as well as King's, and Trinity, in
_The Prelude_ (book iii. ll. 4, 46, 53, etc.): but the enthusiasm,
expressed in this Sonnet, for "the spires of Oxford," and

    The stream-like windings of that glorious street,

(High Street), and "the long avenue" (Broad Walk) was both natural and

OXFORD, MAY 30, 1820

Composed 1820.--Published 1820

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

    Shame on this faithless heart! that could allow
    Such transport, though but for a moment's space;
    Not while--to aid the spirit of the place--
    The crescent moon clove[404] with its glittering prow
    The clouds, or night-bird sang[405] from shady bough;          5
    But in plain daylight:--She, too, at my side,
    Who, with her heart's experience satisfied,
    Maintains inviolate its slightest vow!
    Sweet Fancy! other gifts must I receive;
    Proofs of a higher sovereignty I claim;                       10
    Take from _her_ brow the withering flowers of eve,
    And to that brow life's morning wreath restore;
    Let _her_ be comprehended in the frame
    Of these illusions, or they please no more.

The reference (in lines 6-8) is probably to his sister Dorothy.
Wordsworth, his wife, and sister were at Oxford on the 30th of May 1820;
and they went on immediately afterwards to London: for H. C. Robinson
tells us that, on the 2nd of June, he met the Wordsworths at Charles

JUNE, 1820

Composed 1820.--Published 1820

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

    Fame tells of groves--from England far away--
    [EK]Groves that inspire the Nightingale to trill
    And modulate, with subtle reach of skill
    Elsewhere unmatched, her ever-varying lay;
    Such bold report I venture to gainsay:                         5
    For I have heard the quire of Richmond hill
    Chanting, with indefatigable bill,
    Strains that recalled to mind a distant day;[406]
    When, haply under shade of that same wood,
    And scarcely conscious of the dashing oars                    10
    Plied steadily between those willowy shores,
    The sweet-souled Poet of the Seasons stood--
    Listening, and listening long, in rapturous mood,
    Ye heavenly Birds! to your Progenitors.[EL]


[Footnote 404: 1827.

    ... cleaves ...                                             1820.

[Footnote 405: 1827.

    ... sings ...                                               1820.

[Footnote 406: 1827.

    While I bethought me of a distant day;                      1820.


[Footnote EK: Wallachia is the country alluded to.--W. W. 1820.]

[Footnote EL: The Wordsworths remained some time in London in 1820,
before they started for the Continent, on the 1st of August. They came
up to be present at the marriage of Mr. Monkhouse. It is probable that
they visited Richmond during this visit, and that the above Sonnet was
suggested, both by the nightingale's song at Richmond, and by the
prospect of their own Continental Tour. In connection with the six last
lines of the Sonnet, it may be remembered that, when sailing between Kew
and Richmond, Thomson,

    The sweet-souled Poet of the Seasons,

caught the cold which ended his days. He lies buried in Richmond Church.
In the first Book of _The Seasons_, on "Spring," he thus alludes to the

    Lend me your song, ye nightingales! Oh pour
    The mazy running soul of melody
    Into my varied verse.


                               She sings
    Her sorrows through the night; and, on the bough
    Sole sitting, still at every dying fall
    Takes up again her lamentable strain
    Of winding woe.

Also in his _Hymn_,

    Sweetest of birds! sweet Philomela, charm
    The listening shades.

To Richmond he alludes frequently, _e.g._

    While radiant Summer opens all its pride
    Thy hill, delightful Shene.

Shene was the old name for Richmond.--ED.]


Published 1822

This sonnet was first published in the "Memorials of a Tour on the
Continent, 1820"; the title being _Local Recollections on the Heights
near Hockheim_. In 1827 it became one of the "Sonnets dedicated to

    Abruptly paused the strife;--the field throughout
    Resting upon his arms each warrior stood,
    Checked in the very act and deed of blood,
    With breath suspended, like a listening scout.
    O Silence! thou wert mother of a shout                         5
    That through the texture of yon azure dome
    Cleaves its glad way, a cry of harvest home
    Uttered to Heaven in ecstasy devout!
    The barrier Rhine hath flashed, through battle-smoke,
    On men who gaze[408] heart-smitten by the view,               10
    As if all Germany had felt the shock!
    --Fly, wretched Gauls! ere they the charge renew
    Who have seen--themselves now casting off the yoke--[409]
    The unconquerable Stream his course pursue.[EM]


[Footnote 407: 1827.

The title in 1822 was _Sonnet_. _Local Recollections on the Heights near

[Footnote 408: 1827.

    ... gazed ...                                               1822.

[Footnote 409: 1837.

    ... (themselves delivered from the yoke)                    1822.


[Footnote EM: The event is thus recorded in the journals of the
day:--"When the Austrians took Hockheim, in one part of the engagement
they got to the brow of the hill, whence they had their first view of
the Rhine. They instantly halted--not a gun was fired--not a voice
heard: but they stood gazing on the river with those feelings which the
events of the last 15 years at once called up. Prince Schwartzenberg
rode up to know the cause of this sudden stop, they then gave three
cheers, rushed after the enemy, and drove them into the water."--W. W.

The only reference which Dorothy Wordsworth makes to Hockheim in her
Journal of the Tour on the Continent (1820) is as follows:--July
25th.--"We had a magnificent prospect down the Rhine into the Reingaw,
stretching towards Bingen. Hockheim is on the right bank, nearly
opposite to Mayence. The broad hills are enlivened by hamlets, villas,
villages, and churches."

Prince Schwartzenberg, referred to in Wordsworth's own note, was
Generalissimo of the allied armies of Austria, Prussia, Bavaria, and
Russia, who were victors in the battle of Leipsic in 1813. The retreat
of the French towards the Rhine after that battle was almost as
disastrous to them as the retreat from Moscow in the previous winter.
The incident described in the sonnet doubtless occurred during this
retreat, when the French were driven across the Rhine in November


Composed 1820.--Published 1822

[This Parsonage was the residence of my friend Jones, and is
particularly described in another note.[EN]--I. F.]

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

    Where holy ground begins, unhallowed ends,
    Is marked by no distinguishable line;
    The turf unites, the pathways intertwine;
    And, wheresoe'er the stealing footstep tends,
    Garden, and that Domain where kindred, friends,                5
    And, neighbours rest together, here confound
    Their several features, mingled like the sound
    Of many waters, or as evening blends
    With shady night. Soft airs, from shrub and flower,
    Waft fragrant greetings to each silent grave;                 10
    And while those lofty poplars gently wave
    Their tops, between them[410] comes and goes a sky
    Bright as the glimpses of eternity,
    To saints accorded in their mortal hour.

This sonnet was written at Brugès, during the Continental Tour of 1820
(see note p. 291). It was originally published in a note to one of the
"Ecclesiastical Sonnets," beginning

    A genial hearth, a hospitable board.--ED.


[Footnote 410: 1827.

    Meanwhile between those Poplars, as they wave
    Their lofty summits, ...                                    1822.


[Footnote EN: See the note to _Pastoral Character_, in the
"Ecclesiastical Sonnets," Part III. xviii.--ED.]


Composed 1820.--Published 1822.

_The Italian Itinerant_, etc. [see p. 338], led to the train of thought
which produced the annexed piece.--W. W. 1822.

This poem having risen out of the _Italian Itinerant_, etc. [page 338],
it is here annexed.--W. W. 1827.

From 1822 this poem was included in the "Memorials of a Tour on the
Continent." In 1845 it was placed among the "Poems of the

    Keep for the Young the impassioned smile
    Shed from thy countenance, as I see thee stand
    High on that[411] chalky cliff of Britain's[412] Isle,
    A slender volume grasping in thy hand--
    (Perchance the pages that relate                               5
    The various turns of Crusoe's fate)--
    Ah, spare the exulting smile,
    And drop thy pointing finger bright
    As the first flash of beacon light,
    But neither veil thy head in shadows dim,                     10
    Nor turn thy face away
    From One who, in the evening of his day,
    To thee would offer no presumptuous hymn!


    Bold Spirit! who art free to rove
    Among the starry courts of Jove,                              15
    And oft in splendour dost appear
    Embodied to poetic eyes,
    While traversing this nether sphere,
    Where Mortals call thee ENTERPRISE.
    Daughter of Hope! her favourite Child,                        20
    Whom she to young Ambition[413] bore,
    When hunter's arrow first defiled
    The grove, and stained the turf with gore;
    Thee wingèd Fancy took, and nursed
    On broad Euphrates' palmy shore,                              25
    And[414] where the mightier Waters burst
    From caves of Indian mountains hoar!
    She wrapped thee in a panther's skin;
    And Thou, thy favourite food to win,
    The flame-eyed eagle oft would scare                          30
    From her rock-fortress in mid air,
    With infant shout; and often sweep,[415]
    Paired with the ostrich, o'er the plain;
    Or,[416] tired with sport, wouldst sink asleep
    Upon the couchant lion's mane!                                35
    With rolling years thy strength increased;
    And, far beyond thy native East,
    To thee, by varying titles known
    As variously thy power was shown,
    Did incense-bearing altars rise,                              40
    Which caught the blaze of sacrifice,
    From suppliants panting for the skies!


    What though this ancient Earth be trod
    No more by step of Demi-god
    Mounting from glorious deed to deed                           45
    As thou from clime to clime didst lead;
    Yet still, the bosom beating high,
    And the hushed farewell of an eye
    Where no procrastinating gaze
    A last infirmity betrays,                                     50
    Prove that thy heaven-descended sway
    Shall ne'er submit to cold decay.
    By thy divinity impelled,
    The Stripling seeks the tented field;
    The aspiring Virgin kneels; and, pale                         55
    With awe, receives the hallowed veil,
    A soft and tender Heroine
    Vowed to severer discipline;
    Inflamed by thee, the blooming Boy
    Makes of the whistling shrouds a toy,                         60
    And of the ocean's dismal breast
    A play-ground,--or a couch of rest;
    'Mid the blank world of snow and ice,
    Thou to his dangers dost enchain
    The[417] Chamois-chaser awed in vain                          65
    By chasm or dizzy precipice;
    And hast Thou not with triumph seen
    How soaring Mortals glide between
    Or through the clouds,[418] and brave the light
    With bolder than Icarian flight?                              70
    How they, in bells[419] of crystal, dive--
    Where winds and waters cease to strive--
    For no unholy visitings,
    Among the monsters of the Deep;
    And all the sad and precious things                           75
    Which there in ghastly silence sleep?
    Or, adverse tides and currents headed,
    And breathless calms no longer dreaded,
    In never-slackening voyage go
    Straight as an arrow from the bow;                            80
    And, slighting sails and scorning oars,
    Keep faith with Time on distant shores?
    --Within[420] our fearless reach are placed
    The secrets of the burning Waste;
    Egyptian tombs unlock their dead,                             85
    Nile trembles at his fountain head;
    Thou speak'st--and lo! the polar Seas
    Unbosom their last mysteries.
    --But oh! what transports, what sublime reward,
    Won from the world of mind, dost thou prepare                 90
    For philosophic Sage; or high-souled Bard
    Who, for thy service trained in lonely woods,
    Hath fed on pageants floating through the air,
    Or calentured in depth of limpid floods;                      94
    Nor grieves--tho' doomed thro' silent night to bear
    The domination of his glorious themes,
    Or struggle in the net-work of thy dreams!


    If there be movements in the Patriot's soul,
    From source still deeper, and of higher worth,
    'Tis thine the quickening impulse to control,                100
    And in due season send the mandate forth;
    Thy call a prostrate[421] Nation can restore,
    When but a single Mind resolves to crouch no more.[422]


    Dread Minister of wrath!
    Who to their destined punishment dost urge                   105
    The Pharaohs of the earth, the men of hardened heart!
    Not unassisted by the flattering stars,
    Thou strew'st temptation o'er the path
    When they in pomp depart
    With trampling horses and refulgent cars--                   110
    Soon to be swallowed by the briny surge;
    Or cast, for lingering death, on unknown strands;
    Or caught amid a whirl[423] of desert sands--
    An Army now, and now a living hill                           114
    That a brief while heaves with convulsive throes--
    Then all is still;[424][EO]
    Or, to forget their madness and their woes,
    Wrapt in a winding-sheet of spotless snows!


    Back flows the willing current of my Song:
    If to provoke such doom the Impious dare,                    120
    Why should it daunt a blameless prayer?
    --Bold Goddess! range our Youth among;
    Nor let thy genuine impulse fail to beat
    In hearts no longer young;
    Still may a veteran Few have pride                           125
    In thoughts whose sternness makes them sweet;
    In fixed resolves by Reason justified;
    That to their object cleave like sleet
    Whitening a pine tree's northern side,
    When fields are naked far and wide,                          130
    And withered leaves, from earth's cold breast
    Up-caught in whirlwinds, nowhere can find rest.[425]


    But, if such homage thou disdain
    As doth with mellowing years agree,
    One rarely absent from thy train                             135
    More humble favours may obtain
    For thy contented Votary.
    She, who incites the frolic lambs
    In presence of their heedless dams,
    And to the solitary fawn                                     140
    Vouchsafes her lessons, bounteous Nymph
    That wakes the breeze, the sparkling lymph
    Doth hurry to the lawn;
    She, who inspires that strain of joyance holy                144
    Which the sweet Bird, misnamed the melancholy,[EP]
    Pours forth in shady groves, shall plead for me;
    And vernal mornings opening bright
    With views of undefined delight,
    And cheerful songs, and suns that shine
    On busy days, with thankful nights, be mine.                 150


    But thou, O Goddess! in thy favourite Isle
    (Freedom's impregnable redoubt,
    The wide earth's store-house fenced about
    With breakers roaring to the gales
    That stretch a thousand thousand sails)                      155
    Quicken the slothful, and exalt the vile!--
    Thy impulse is the life of Fame;
    Glad Hope would almost cease to be
    If torn from thy society;
    And Love, when worthiest of his name,[426]                   160
    Is proud to walk the earth with Thee!


[Footnote 411: 1837.

    ... a ...                                                   1822.

[Footnote 412: The edition of 1849 has "Briton's," evidently a

[Footnote 413: 1822.

    ... to youthful Courage ...                                    C.

[Footnote 414: 1845.

    Or ...                                                      1822.

[Footnote 415: 1837.

    And thou (if rightly I rehearse
    What wondering Shepherds told in verse)
    From rocky fortress in mid air
    (The food which pleased thee best to win)
    Did'st oft the flame-eyed Eagle scare
    With infant shout,--as often sweep,                         1822.

    And thou, whose earliest thoughts held dear
    Allurements that were edged with fear,
    (The food that pleased thee best, to win)
    From rocky fortress in mid air
    The flame-eyed Eagle oft would scare
    With infant shout,--as often sweep,                         1827.

    And thou, whose earliest thoughts held dear
    Allurements that were edged with fear,
    (The food that pleased thee best, to win)
    With infant shout wouldst often scare
    From her rock-fortress in mid air
    The flame-eyed Eagle--often sweep,                          1832.

[Footnote 416: 1837.

    And, ...                                                    1822.

[Footnote 417: 1837.

    ... and a couch of rest;
    Thou to his dangers dost enchain,
    'Mid the blank world of snow and ice,
    The ...                                                     1822.

    ... and a couch of rest;
    'Mid the blank world of snow and ice,
    Thou to his dangers dost enchain
    The ...                                                     1832.

[Footnote 418: 1837.

    ... glide serene
    From cloud to cloud, ...                                    1822.

[Footnote 419: 1832.

    Or, in their bells ...                                      1822.

[Footnote 420: 1832.

    ... in ghastly silence sleep?
    --Within ...                                                1822.

[Footnote 421: 1832.

    ... an abject ...                                          1827.

[Footnote 422: This stanza was first added in the edition of 1827.]

[Footnote 423: 1837.

    Or stifled under weight ...                                 1822.

[Footnote 424: 1845.

    Heaving with convulsive throes,--
    It quivers--and is still;                                   1822.

    Raised in a moment; with convulsive throes
    It heaved--and all is still;                                1837.

[Footnote 425: 1840.

    While ...                                                   1822.

    And withered leaves, from Earth's cold breast
    Up-caught in whirlwinds, nowhere can find rest.              1832.

    ... like sleet
    Clothing a tall pine's northern side,
    In rough November days when winds have tried
    Their force on all things else--left naked far and wide.    1837.

[Footnote 426: 1837.

    ... of the name,                                            1822.


[Footnote EO:

                           Awhile the living hill
    Heaved with convulsive throes, and all was still.

--Dr. Darwin describing the destruction of the army of Cambyses.--W. W.

Compare _Memoirs of Wordsworth_, vol. ii. p. 225.--ED.]

[Footnote EP: The nightingale. Compare _Il Penseroso_, l. 62.--ED.]



Composed 1820.--Published 1820

[It is with the little river Duddon as it is with most other rivers,
Ganges and Nile not excepted,--many springs might claim the honour of
being its head. In my own fancy I have fixed its rise near the noted
Shire-stones placed at the meeting-point of the counties, Westmoreland,
Cumberland, and Lancashire. They stand by the way side on the top of the
Wrynose Pass, and it used to be reckoned a proud thing to say that, by
touching them at the same time with feet and hands, one had been in the
three counties at once. At what point of its course the stream takes the
name of Duddon I do not know. I first became acquainted with the Duddon,
as I have good reason to remember, in early boyhood. Upon the banks of
the Derwent I had learnt to be very fond of angling. Fish abound in that
large river; not so in the small streams in the neighbourhood of
Hawkshead; and I fell into the common delusion that the farther from
home the better sport would be had. Accordingly, one day I attached
myself to a person living in the neighbourhood of Hawkshead, who was
going to try his fortune as an angler near the source of the Duddon. We
fished a great part of the day with very sorry success, the rain pouring
torrents, and long before we got home I was worn out with fatigue; and,
if the good man had not carried me on his back, I must have lain down
under the best shelter I could find. Little did I think then it would be
my lot to celebrate, in a strain of love and admiration, the stream
which for many years I never thought of without recollections of
disappointment and distress.

During my college vacation, and two or three years afterwards, before
taking my Bachelor's degree, I was several times resident in the house
of a near relative who lived in the small town of Broughton. I passed
many delightful hours upon the banks of this river, which becomes an
estuary about a mile from that place. The remembrances of that period
are the subject of the 21st sonnet. The subject of the 27th is in fact
taken from a tradition belonging to Rydal Hall, which once stood, as is
believed, upon a rocky and woody hill on the right hand as you go from
Rydal to Ambleside, and was deserted from the superstitious fear here
described, and the present site fortunately chosen instead. The present
hall was erected by Sir Michael le Fleming, and it may be hoped that at
some future time there will be an edifice more worthy of so beautiful a
position. With regard to the 30th sonnet it is odd enough that this
imagination was realised in the year 1840 when I made a tour through
that district with my wife and daughter, Miss Fenwick and her niece, and
Mr. and Mrs. Quillinan. Before our return from Seathwaite Chapel the
party separated. Mrs. Wordsworth, while most of us went further up the
stream, chose an opposite direction, having told us that we should
overtake her on our way to Ulpha. But she was tempted out of the main
road to ascend a rocky eminence near it, thinking it impossible we
should pass without seeing her. This, however, unfortunately happened,
and then ensued vexation and distress, especially to me, which I should
be ashamed to have recorded, for I lost my temper entirely. Neither I
nor those that were with me saw her again till we reached the Inn at
Broughton, seven miles. This may perhaps in some degree excuse my
irritability on the occasion, for I could not but think she had been
much to blame. It appeared, however, on explanation that she had
remained on the rock, calling out and waving her handkerchief as we were
passing, in order that we also might ascend and enjoy a prospect which
had much charmed her. "But on we went, her signals proving vain." How
then could she reach Broughton before us? When we found she had not gone
on before to Ulpha Kirk, Mr. Quillinan went back in one of the carriages
in search of her. He met her on the road, took her up, and by a shorter
way conveyed her to Broughton, where we were all re-united and spent a
happy evening.

I have many affecting remembrances connected with this stream. Those I
forbear to mention; especially things that occurred on its banks during
the later part of that visit to the sea-side, of which the former part
is detailed in my Epistle to Sir George Beaumont.--I. F.]

       *       *       *       *       *

The River Duddon rises upon Wrynose Fell, on the confines of
Westmoreland, Cumberland, and Lancashire; and, having served[427] as a
boundary to the two last[428] counties for the space of about
twenty-five miles, enters the Irish Sea, between the Isle of Walney and
the Lordship of Millum.--W. W. 1820.[EQ]


COLLECTION, 1820[430])

    The Minstrels played their Christmas tune
    To-night beneath my cottage-eaves;
    While, smitten by a lofty moon,
    The encircling laurels, thick with leaves,
    Gave back a rich and dazzling sheen,                           5
    That overpowered their natural green.

    Through hill and valley every breeze
    Had sunk to rest with folded wings:
    Keen was the air, but could not freeze,
    Nor check, the music of the strings;                          10
    So stout and hardy were the band
    That scraped the chords with strenuous hand!

    And who but listened?--till was paid
    Respect to every Inmate's claim:
    The greeting given, the music played,                         15
    In honour of each household name,
    Duly pronounced with lusty call,
    And "merry Christmas" wished to all!

    O Brother! I revere the choice
    That took thee from thy native hills;                         20
    And it is given thee to rejoice:
    Though public care full often tills
    (Heaven only witness of the toil)
    A barren and ungrateful soil.

    Yet, would that Thou, with me and mine,                       25
    Hadst heard this never-failing rite;
    And seen on other faces shine
    A true revival of the light
    Which Nature and these rustic Powers,
    In simple childhood, spread through ours!                     30

    For pleasure hath not ceased to wait
    On these expected annual rounds;
    Whether the rich man's sumptuous gate
    Call forth the unelaborate sounds,
    Or they are offered at the door                               35
    That guards the lowliest of the poor.

    How touching, when, at midnight, sweep
    Snow-muffled winds, and all is dark,
    To hear--and sink again to sleep!
    Or, at an earlier call, to mark,                              40
    By blazing fire, the still suspense
    Of self-complacent innocence;

    The mutual nod,--the grave disguise
    Of hearts with gladness brimming o'er;
    And some unbidden tears that rise                             45
    For names once heard, and heard no more;
    Tears brightened by the serenade
    For infant in the cradle laid.

    Ah! not for emerald fields alone,
    With ambient streams more pure and bright                     50
    Than fabled Cytherea's zone[ES]
    Glittering before the Thunderer's sight,
    Is to my heart of hearts endeared
    The ground where we were born and reared!

    Hail, ancient Manners! sure defence,                          55
    Where they survive, of wholesome laws;
    Remnants of love whose modest sense
    Thus into narrow room withdraws;
    Hail, Usages of pristine mould,
    And ye that guard them, Mountains old!                        60

    Bear with me, Brother! quench the thought
    That slights this passion, or condemns;
    If thee fond Fancy ever brought
    From the proud margin of the Thames,
    And Lambeth's venerable towers,[ET]                           65
    To humbler streams, and greener bowers.

    Yes, they can make, who fail to find,
    Short leisure even in busiest days;
    Moments, to cast a look behind,
    And profit by those kindly rays                               70
    That through the clouds do sometimes steal,
    And all the far-off past reveal.

    Hence, while the imperial City's din
    Beats frequent on thy satiate ear,
    A pleased attention I may win                                 75
    To agitations less severe,
    That neither overwhelm nor cloy,
    But fill the hollow vale with joy![EU]


[Footnote 427: 1837.

    ... and, serving                                            1820.

[Footnote 428: 1827.

    ... latter                                                  1820.

[Footnote 429: 1827.

    To the Rev. Dr. W----.                                      1820.

[Footnote 430: The date, 1820, was first inserted in the edition of


[Footnote EQ: Wordsworth delighted in tracing the course of rivers all
the way from their source to the sea. On November 12, 1808, Southey
wrote to his son, "If I go" (it was to Workington) "it will be with
Wordsworth, for the sake of tracing the Derwent the whole way." (See
_Selections from the Letters of Robert Southey_, vol. ii. p. 108.)--ED.]

[Footnote ER: In the first edition of 1820, this dedicatory poem is not
placed at the beginning of the series, but between the lines _Composed
at Cora Linn_, and _Repentance_. The whole volume, however,--including
many other poems besides those on the Duddon, and the _Topographical
Description of the Country of the Lakes in the North of England_--is
dedicated thus, "To the Rev. Christopher Wordsworth, D.D., etc. etc.,
these sonnets called forth by one of the most beautiful streams of his
native county, are respectfully inscribed, by his affectionate brother,
William Wordsworth."--ED.]

[Footnote ES: The fields and streams were those around Cockermouth and
Hawkshead. It was near the island Cythera that Aphrodite was said,
according to some legends, to have risen from the sea-foam. Hence the
term "Cytherea's zone." The "Thunderer" is, of course, Jupiter

[Footnote ET: Dr. Christopher Wordsworth, afterwards Master of Trinity
College, Cambridge, was then Rector of Lambeth parish.--ED.]



    Not envying Latian shades--if yet they throw
    A grateful coolness round that crystal Spring,
    Blandusia, prattling--as when long ago
    The Sabine Bard was moved her praise to sing;[431][EV]
    Careless of flowers that in perennial blow                     5
    Round the moist marge of Persian fountains cling;
    Heedless of Alpine torrents thundering
    Through ice-built arches[432] radiant as heaven's bow;
    I seek the birth-place of a native Stream.--[EW]
    All hail, ye mountains! hail, thou morning light!             10
    Better to breathe at large on this clear height
    Than toil[433] in needless sleep from dream to dream:
    Pure flow the verse, pure, vigorous, free, and bright,
    For Duddon, long-loved Duddon, is my theme!


[Footnote 431: 1837.

    Not envying shades which haply yet may throw
    A grateful coolness round that rocky spring,
    Blandusia, once responsive to the string
    Of the Horatian lyre with babbling flow;                    1820.


[Footnote EU: With this last stanza compare what Charles Lamb wrote to
Dorothy Wordsworth on May 25, 1820, after reading the poem: "I have
traced the Duddon in thought and with repetition along the banks (alas!)
of the Lea--(unpoetical name): it is always flowing and murmuring in my
ears." (_Letters of Charles Lamb_, edited by Alfred Ainger, vol. ii. p.

[Footnote EV: See Horace, _Carmina_ III. 13, _Ad fontem Blandusiæ_:

    ... unde loquaces
    Lymphæ desiliunt tuæ,

and compare _Epistolae_ I. 16, 9.--ED.]

[Footnote 432: 1837.

    Through icy portals ...                                     1820.

[Footnote EW: Mr. Herbert Rix--late Assistant Secretary to the Royal
Society--has made a very minute and careful study of the Duddon
Valley--repeated during many seasons--with the object of localising the
allusions in the sonnets. I am indebted to him for the following notes,
which bear his name.

The Rev. Canon Rawnsley has also studied the Duddon Valley with great
care, and I place his comments beside those of Mr. Rix, both when they
are supplementary, and when they differ from the conclusions come to by
Mr. Rix.--ED.

"The Duddon rises on Wrynose Fell, near to the 'Three-Shire Stone,'
where Westmoreland, Cumberland, and Lancashire meet, though which of the
rills descending from the heights above Wrynose Gap and uniting to form
the streamlet which flows along the pass, is to be regarded as the
ultimate source, or which of them the poet may have followed, it would
perhaps be difficult to say. More than one takes its rise in just such a
spot as we find described in the second and third sonnets, where the
'lofty waste' is haunted by the Spirit of 'Desolation,' where the
'whistling blast' sweeps bleakly by, and where 'naked stones,' such as
the poet chose for his seat, are scattered all around. James Thorne, in
his _Rambles by Rivers_ (London, 1844, p. 10), has given a rough woodcut
of the source of the Duddon." (Herbert Rix.)

"I was fortunate in seeking the 'birth-place of a native stream' after a
very heavy fall of rain, and I followed the left hand branch to a basin,
from which in winter time a full stream must pass with force, to judge
by the deep channel-bed of white and bleached stones which the water has
carved out of the peat-moss for itself. There was the clear height, and
from it was seen quite distinctly Brathay Vale, and a glimpse of Duddon
Vale at Cockley Beck, and of Windermere Lake below Lowwood, and the bare
Yorkshire hills far away to the east-south-east." (H. D. Rawnsley.)



    Child of the clouds! remote from every taint
    Of sordid industry thy lot is cast;
    Thine are the honours of the lofty waste;[A]
    Not seldom, when with heat the valleys faint,
    Thy handmaid Frost with spangled tissue quaint                 5
    Thy cradle decks;--to chant thy birth, thou hast
    No meaner Poet than the whistling Blast,
    And Desolation is thy Patron-saint![EX]
    She guards thee, ruthless Power! who would not spare
    Those mighty forests, once the bison's screen,                10
    Where stalked the huge deer to his shaggy lair[EY]
    Through paths and alleys roofed with darkest[434] green
    Thousands of years before the silent air
    Was pierced by whizzing shaft of hunter keen!


[Footnote 433: 1837.

    Better to breathe upon this aëry height
    Than pass ...                                               1820.


[Footnote EX: See note [EV] to the previous sonnet.--ED.]



    How shall I paint thee?--Be this naked stone
    My seat, while I give way to such intent;
    Pleased could my verse, a speaking monument,
    Make to the eyes of men thy features known.
    But as of all those tripping lambs not one                     5
    Outruns his fellows, so hath Nature lent
    To thy beginning nought that doth present
    Peculiar ground[435] for hope to build upon.
    To dignify the spot that gives thee birth,
    No sign of hoar Antiquity's esteem                            10
    Appears, and none of modern Fortune's care;
    Yet thou thyself hast round thee shed a gleam
    Of brilliant moss, instinct with freshness rare;[EZ]
    Prompt offering to thy Foster-mother, Earth!


[Footnote 434: 1845.

    ... sombre ...                                              1820.

[Footnote 435: 1837.

    ... grounds ...                                             1820.


[Footnote EY: The deer alluded to is the Leigh, a gigantic species long
since extinct.--W. W. 1820.

"As one looks upon the peat-moss, with its fragments of birch trees laid
bare by the stream, one could easily imagine that the poet had been led,
as he gazed, to think of

    Those mighty forests, once the bison's screen,
    Where stalked the huge deer to his shaggy lair."

    (H. D. Rawnsley.)

[Footnote EZ: "'A gleam of brilliant moss' refers, no doubt, to the
_Sphagnum_, or Bog-moss, which grows here in large patches, very
noticeable among the sombre heather, and which shines like gold when the
sunlight is upon it." (Herbert Rix.)

"On the edge of the saucer-like hollow, into which the rillets that make
the stream descend, are glacier-banded rock outcrops, and on one of
these is a rock perché, to which instinctively I turned for a seat. The
lines in Sonnet III.--

    How shall I paint thee?--Be this naked stone
    My seat,

at once suggested themselves to me; and below me, as I sat, gleamed the
'brilliant moss, instinct with freshness rare,' which the poet's eyes
had rejoiced in, so many years ago." (H. D. Rawnsley.)]



    Take, cradled Nursling of the mountain, take
    This parting glance, no negligent adieu![FA]
    A Protean change seems wrought while I pursue
    The curves, a loosely-scattered chain doth make;
    Or rather thou appear'st[436] a glittering snake,                5
    Silent, and to the gazer's eye untrue,
    Thridding with sinuous lapse the rushes, through
    Dwarf willows gliding, and by ferny brake.
    Starts from a dizzy steep the undaunted Rill
    Robed instantly in garb of[437] snow-white foam;                10
    And laughing dares the Adventurer, who hath clomb
    So high, a rival purpose to fulfil;
    Else let the dastard backward wend, and roam,
    Seeking less bold achievement, where he will![FB]


[Footnote 436: 1820.

    ... I behold ...                                               C.

[Footnote 437: 1820.

    Leaps instantly enrobed in ...                                 C.


[Footnote FA: "The 'parting glance' of this sonnet would naturally be
taken just before rounding the brow of the hill. The path drops somewhat
suddenly, so that two or three steps bring the traveller from a level
whence looking backward the 'sinuous lapse' of the stream may be seen
for some distance, to a stage where it is entirely hidden from view. Or,
more likely, the 'sinuous lapse' is that which lies below the spectator,
as he stands at this point of vantage, and looks down into Wrynose
Bottom. The 'Protean change' is then the contrast between the 'cradled
Nursling' as the poet looks back into Wrynose Gap, and the
'loosely-scattered chain' or 'glittering snake' which he sees below him,
as he turns and looks down into Wrynose Bottom. These similes are
accurately descriptive of the river so seen, especially towards evening
when the western light is on the water. From this point the Duddon
descends to the valley by a quick series of falls. The first of these
falls--a very pretty cascade just at the edge of the hill--is probably
the 'dizzy steep' mentioned in the sonnet." (Herbert Rix.)]



    Sole listener, Duddon! to the breeze that played
    With thy clear voice, I caught the fitful sound
    Wafted o'er sullen moss and craggy mound--
    Unfruitful solitudes, that seemed to upbraid
    The sun in heaven!--but now, to form a shade                   5
    For Thee, green alders have together wound
    Their foliage; ashes flung their arms around;
    And birch-trees risen in silver colonnade.
    And thou hast also tempted here to rise,
    'Mid sheltering pines, this Cottage rude and grey;            10
    Whose ruddy children, by the mother's eyes
    Carelessly watched, sport through the summer day,
    Thy pleased associates:--light as endless May
    On infant bosoms lonely Nature lies.[FC]


[Footnote FB: "As I went towards the road which leads down from the
Three Shire Stones to Cockley Beck, I constantly found myself repeating
Sonnet number IV.

The stream seemed now 'a loosely-scattered chain to make,' now to
'appear a glittering snake,' silently 'thridding with sinuous lapse the
rushes, through' (if we might call the bog-myrtle bushes dwarf willows)
'dwarf willows gliding, and by ferny brake.'

I regained the main road, and took a parting, 'no negligent adieu' at
the 'cradled nursling'; and saw the cascade at the grotto--wherefrom I
first began to track the 'nursling' to its upland cradle--as white as
snow in May. There, thought I, is the sight that suggested the line--

    Starts from a dizzy steep the undaunted Rill.

But, if the poet had needed suggestion of such a picture, and he had
been at my side, he would have seen in three other directions, from the
place where I was standing, three 'cataracts blowing their trumpets from
the steep.' And I could have been induced to follow three other streams
up into the Fells towards the north for the birth-place of the 'cradled

As I descended towards Cockley Beck I constantly looked for the
'rushes,' the 'dwarf willows,' and the 'ferny brake,' spoken of in
Sonnet IV., constantly looked for some other spot where I might take a
'parting glance' of the stream, which would satisfy the requirements of
the description in Sonnet IV.; but I found none.

One thing is worth mentioning. Wordsworth is describing the Duddon as a
Cumberland stream, _his native stream_, and he is accurate as ever. For
one is struck, in descending from the Three Shire Stones to Cockley
Beck, at the way in which all the feeders of the Duddon rise to the
north on the Cumbrian Fells, and how comparatively waterless are the
slopes of Grey Friars, on the southern or Lancashire side of the pass."
(H. D. Rawnsley.)]



    Ere yet our course was graced with social trees
    It lacked not old remains of hawthorn bowers,
    Where small birds warbled to their paramours;
    And, earlier still, was heard the hum of bees;
    I saw them ply their harmless robberies,                       5
    And caught the fragrance which the sundry flowers,
    Fed by the stream with soft perpetual showers,
    Plenteously yielded to the vagrant breeze.
    There bloomed the strawberry of the wilderness;
    The trembling eyebright showed her sapphire blue,[FD]
    The thyme her purple, like the blush of Even;                 11
    And if the breath of some to no caress
    Invited, forth they peeped so fair to view,
    All kinds alike seemed favourites of Heaven.[FE]


[Footnote FC: "Sonnet V. is generally taken to be descriptive of Cockley
Beck. Here, as we emerge from Wrynose Bottom, the first _trees_ meet the
eye after a full two miles of monotony and stones, and here, too, is the
first _cottage_ where the 'ruddy children' of another generation 'sport
through the summer day.' The cottage itself is not indeed surrounded at
the present time by 'sheltering pines'--that is a feature which applies
better to another cottage half a mile lower down the stream--but they
may, of course, have disappeared since Wordsworth's day; indeed, I was
informed in 1885, by a woman then living in the cottage, that many which
formerly stood behind the cottage had been felled within her own memory.
A very accurate picture of the cottage and neighbouring bridge is given
in Harry Goodwin's _Through the Wordsworth Country_. There is also a
sketch at page 15 of Thorne's _Rambles by Rivers_." (Herbert Rix.)

       *       *       *       *       *

"Wordsworth would probably have in his mind most of the few cots and
farms in the upper reaches of the Duddon Vale as he wrote his Sonnet v.
Half-a-mile south, the 'craggy mound' of the castle-like rock would rear
out of mid-valley impressively enough. The larches that now sway and
whisper about Cockley Beck, or on the little mound to the east of it,
would then only be tiny trees. The birches may have risen in 'silver
colonnade,' but now a few ashes, a few poplars, a few alders are the
only trees near. Still, for the most part, the term 'unfruitful
solitudes' characterises the spot; and as the traveller at Cockley Beck
looks north and east, these solitudes become impressively solemn from
the dark desolation of craggy fell-side and utter treelessness." (H. D.

[Footnote FD:

    There bloomed the strawberry of the wilderness;
    The trembling eyebright showed her sapphire blue.

These two lines are in a great measure taken from _The Beauties of
Spring, a Juvenile Poem_, by the Rev. Joseph Sympson, author of _The
Vision of Alfred_, etc. He was a native of Cumberland, and was educated
in the vale of Grasmere, and at Hawkshead school: his poems are little
known, but they contain passages of splendid description; and the
versification of his _Vision of Alfred_ is harmonious and animated. The
present severe season,[438] with its amusements, reminds me of some
lines which I will transcribe as a favourable specimen. In describing
the motions of the Sylphs, that constitute the strange machinery of his
_Vision of Alfred_, he uses the following illustrative simile:--

               Glancing from their plumes
    A changeful light the azure vault illumes.
    Less varying hues beneath the Pole adorn
    The streamy glories of the Boreal morn,
    That wavering to and fro their radiance shed
    On Bothnia's gulf with glassy ice o'erspread,
    Where the lone native, as he homeward glides,
    On polish'd sandals o'er the imprisoned tides,
    And still the balance of his frame preserves,
    Wheel'd on alternate foot in lengthening curves,
    Sees at a glance, above him and below,
    Two rival heav'ns with equal splendour glow.
    Sphered in the centre of the world he seems,
    For all around with soft effulgence gleams;
    Stars, moons, and meteors, ray opposed to ray,
    And solemn midnight pours the blaze of day.

He was a man of ardent feeling, and his faculties of mind, particularly
his memory, were extraordinary. Brief notices of his life ought to find
a place in the History of Westmoreland.--W. W. 1820.]

[Footnote FE: "Even in the 'unfruitful solitudes' of Wrynose, one may
find--sheltered in the little gullies which the rills have worn down the
fell-side--not only the strawberry, speedwell, and thyme, mentioned in
the sonnet, but sundry other flowers, such as the Spearwort, Milkwort,
Small Bedstraw, _Euphrasia officinalis_, and _Potentilla tormentilla_,
but this and the following Sonnet were perhaps inspired by the beauty of
the flowery meadows just below Cockley Beck." (Herbert Rix.)

       *       *       *       *       *

"Wordsworth, from his Sonnet VI., would seem to have been describing the
Duddon in April; and though by some misnomer 'the little speedwell's
darling blue' has by him been called the 'trembling eyebright,' to-day
in July 1884--though the time of the singing of birds who 'warble to
their paramours' is over and gone--one can see by Duddon-side these 'old
remains of hawthorn bowers.'

But I shall never forget the beauty or the size of the golden feathery
spikes of sweet-scented Gallium (lady's bed straw), or the wonderful
odour of the self-heal, and the glory of the harebells, as I saw them
carpeting the meadows near Cockley Beck, this July day, 1884; and, as I
plucked the very faintly scented euphrasia (or eyebright), I wondered
much which were the spring-flowers Wordsworth had in his mind that by
their breath invited no caress. Would it be the buttercup, the daisy, or
which? He must have had some definite flower--scentless, but not less
beautiful--in his eye as he wrote Sonnet VI." (H. D. Rawnsley.)]

[Footnote 438: This refers to the year 1820, and the sentence only
occurs in the edition of 1820.--ED.]



    "Change me, some God, into that breathing rose!"
    The love-sick Stripling fancifully sighs,
    The envied flower beholding, as it lies
    On Laura's breast, in exquisite repose;
    Or he would pass into her bird, that throws                    5
    The darts of song from out its wiry cage;
    Enraptured,--could he for himself engage
    The thousandth part of what the Nymph bestows;
    And what the little careless innocent
    Ungraciously receives. Too daring choice!                     10
    There are whose calmer mind it would content
    To be an unculled floweret of the glen,
    Fearless of plough and scythe; or darkling wren[FF]
    That tunes on Duddon's banks her slender voice.



    What aspect bore the Man who roved or fled,
    First of his tribe, to this dark dell[FG]--who first
    In this pellucid Current slaked his thirst?
    What hopes came with him? what designs were spread
    Along his path? His unprotected bed                            5
    What dreams encompassed? Was the intruder nursed
    In hideous usages, and rites accursed,
    That thinned the living and disturbed the dead?
    No voice replies;--both air and earth are mute;[439]
    And Thou, blue Streamlet, murmuring yield'st no more          10
    Than a soft record, that, whatever fruit
    Of ignorance thou might'st witness heretofore,
    Thy function was to heal and to restore,
    To soothe and cleanse, not madden and pollute!


[Footnote 439: 1837.

    ... the earth, the air is mute;                             1820.


[Footnote FF: "The 'darkling wren' was flitting from bush to bush,
tuneless but happy, as I walked towards the stepping-stones spoken of in
Sonnets IX., X.; and the timid little sandpiper, with its plaintive
note, shot back and forward from shallow to shallow." (H. D. Rawnsley.)]

[Footnote FG: "The 'dark dell' is perhaps Hardknot Ghyll. It is the only
spot in this part of the valley which could be so described. A footpath
which passes through the farmyard of Black Hall runs alongside this
ghyll and joins the Duddon Valley with the Whitehaven Road. The 'blue
streamlet' would then perhaps be the little tributary which flows down
the length of the ghyll over a slaty bed to join the Duddon below; or
perhaps Wordsworth was mentally addressing the Duddon itself, though
from the interior of the ghyll he would not be able to see it.

The alternative view is that by the 'dark dell' no particular spot is
indicated but the whole of the upper valley of the Duddon, which is of a
savage and forbidding aspect, and quite of a character to have inspired
the sonnet. It is almost treeless, and the ground on either side of the
stream is covered with bracken and loose blocks of slate, while the
fells rise steeply on either hand, and are capped by naked crags.

As to the epithet '_blue_' (line 10), the cerulean colour of the Duddon
is one of its most exquisite characteristics, and is due, as Wordsworth
has himself[FH] explained, to the hue of the rocks and gravel seen
through the 'perfectly pellucid' water." (Herbert Rix.)

       *       *       *       *       *

"This sonnet puzzles me from the use of the words _dark dell_. I could
find nothing at all hereabout that could possibly be described so, until
I looked back at the rain-black solitudes north of Cockley Beck, and
imagined the poet using the word dark in the sense of mysterious, when I
can imagine he would have been helped to this thought of hideous usages,
and rites accursed, by the large Druid-like-looking boulders, and the
mounds of burial, suggested by the moraine-heaps in the neighbourhood.
But I think the '_blue Streamlet_' must have been suggested by the light
blue grey colour of the slate pebbles over which Duddon slides so easily
here." (H. D. Rawnsley.)

[Footnote FH: See his _Guide to the Lakes_. Fifth edition. Kendal, 1835,
p. 27.--ED.]



    The struggling Rill insensibly is grown
    Into a Brook of loud and stately march,
    Crossed ever and anon by plank or[440] arch;
    And, for like use, lo! what might seem a zone
    Chosen for ornament--stone matched with stone                  5
    In studied symmetry, with interspace
    For the clear waters to pursue their race
    Without restraint. How swiftly have they flown,
    Succeeding--still succeeding! Here the Child
    Puts, when the high-swoln Flood runs fierce and wild,
    His budding courage to the proof; and here                    11
    Declining Manhood learns to note the sly
    And sure encroachments of infirmity,
    Thinking how fast time runs, life's end how near![FI]


[Footnote FI: "There are four sets of stepping-stones across the Duddon.
The first set is between Cockley Beck and Birks Brig, opposite to a
farmhouse called Dale Head; the second set, called by the natives of the
district the 'Fiddle Steps,' is in a deep hollow between Birks Brig and
Seathwaite, at a point where the footpath to Eskdale crosses the Duddon;
the third is opposite Seathwaite, and the fourth just above Ulpha.

Of these, the second and fourth may, I think, be disregarded. The
question lies between the first and third, which we will call
respectively the _upper_ and the _lower_ stones.

James Thorne has fixed upon the upper stones as those of Wordsworth's
two sonnets, and has given a picture of them. His woodcut is very rude,
but is sufficiently defined by the number of the stones, the gate on the
right, and the distant cottage on the left. Mrs. Lynn Linton, too, in
her _Lake Country_ (London, 1864, p. 251), claims the honour for the
same set, and has given (p. 252), a very pretty picture of them. Miss
Martineau, on the contrary, in her _Survey of the Lake District_,[441]
appears to regard the stones opposite Seathwaite as _the_ stones; and
the Rev. F. A. Malleson, in his article on 'Wordsworth and the
Duddon,'[442] takes the same view. This is the view which local
tradition favours, for any inhabitant of Seathwaite or Ulpha, if asked
for 'Wordsworth's Stones,' would at once direct the stranger to the
_lower_ stones.

There is something to be said for each of these opinions. The upper
stones fit in with the order of the sonnets, coming after the sonnet
about Cockley Beck, and before the sonnets about the Faëry Chasm,
Seathwaite Chapel, and Ulpha Kirk. Moreover, the emphasis of the earlier
sonnets in general, and of the opening lines of Sonnet IX. in
particular, is on the growth of the 'struggling rill'--a thought which
would be rather out of place if it came later in the series.

On the other hand the 'zone chosen for ornament,' and the 'studied
symmetry' are more applicable to the lower than to the upper stones;
they are of a bluish tint, are set at equal distances, and form a slight
curve down stream, looking to a fanciful eye as though they were bending
with the current. They are now (1894) disused, having been abandoned, on
account of the frequent floods, in favour of a foot-bridge recently
erected a little higher up the stream; and already the path to the
stepping-stones is overgrown and nearly obliterated.

If the sonnets are taken to refer to the lower stones 'yon high rock'
would probably mean Wallabarrow; if to the upper stones, they would
doubtless mean Castle How, a solitary and noticeable rock." (Herbert

       *       *       *       *       *

"One cannot but believe that Wordsworth, as he wrote Sonnets IX., X.,
had in his mind the third series of stepping-stones opposite Seathwaite,
and under Wallabarrow Crag.

None of the others are fitly described as

    a zone chosen for ornament.

Is it not possible that the word 'struggling,' as applied to rill,--when
viewed in connection with the words 'without restraint,' in line 8 of
Sonnet IX.--points with great definiteness to the localising of the
Sonnet at these Seathwaite stones?

Certainly the stream as it has descended through the 'deep chasm' of
Sonnet XV. between the Pen and Wallabarrow, is well described as having
grown after a struggle into a brook of loud and stately march at this
point. There are no likelier spots for the children to have put

    Their budding courage to the proof

than here, for there are several houses and farms on the wayside, whose
younger inmates would have come down to these stepping-stones, in order
to get to the village school, that 'Wonderful Walker' kept with so much
honour at Seathwaite in olden time." (H. D. Rawnsley.)]


[Footnote 440: 1837.

    ... and ...                                                 1820.

[Footnote 441: Whellan's _History and Topography of Westmoreland and
Cumberland_, 4to, Pontefract, 1860, p. 56.]

[Footnote 442: _Good Words_, vol. xxiv. p. 579.]



    Not so that Pair whose youthful spirits dance
    With prompt emotion, urging them to pass;
    A sweet confusion checks the Shepherd-lass;
    Blushing she eyes the dizzy flood askance;
    To stop ashamed--too timid to advance;                         5
    She ventures once again--another pause!
    His outstretched hand He tauntingly withdraws--
    She sues for help with piteous utterance!
    Chidden she chides again; the thrilling touch
    Both feel, when he renews the wished-for aid:                 10
    Ah! if their fluttering hearts should stir too much,
    Should beat too strongly, both may be betrayed.
    The frolic Loves, who, from yon high rock, see
    The struggle, clap their wings for victory!



    No fiction was it of the antique age:
    A sky-blue stone, within this sunless cleft,
    Is of the very foot-marks unbereft
    Which tiny Elves impressed;--on that smooth stage
    Dancing with all their brilliant equipage                      5
    In secret revels--haply after theft
    Of some sweet Babe--Flower stolen, and coarse Weed left
    For the distracted Mother to assuage
    Her grief with, as she might!--But, where, oh! where
    Is traceable a vestige of the notes                           10
    That ruled those dances wild in character?--
    Deep underground? Or in the upper air,
    On the shrill wind of midnight? or where floats
    O'er twilight fields the autumnal gossamer?


[Footnote FJ: "Adopting the view that Sonnets IX. and X. refer to the
stepping-stones at Dale Head, the position of the 'Faëry Chasm,' which
has often caused perplexity, becomes clear. It must be looked for not
below but considerably above Seathwaite, and is, in fact, the very next
striking feature that occurs after the stepping-stones at Dale Head are
passed. It is, I believe, the rocky gorge which is crossed by Birks

The stream is here precipitated down a series of falls, and at the same
time is forced into a much narrower channel than it has hitherto
occupied. In its downward course it is thrust from side to side in a
series of rebounds, the effect being that the flood is churned into a
mass of foam, while the rocks between which it is driven are scooped and
chiselled into the most fantastic shapes--basins and niches, caverns and
arches, and pillars with an odd spiral twist. Anything of a more elfin
character could hardly be conceived.

The turbulence of the water as it descends towards the bridge is very
well expressed in the charming little sketch given at page 245 of Mrs.
Lynn Linton's _Lake Country_, but the cleft itself is not there
represented. Of that, or a part of it, an illustration has been given by
Mr. Chattock in his etchings of the River Duddon published in 1884 by
the Fine Art Society.

Neither Mr. Chattock nor Mrs. Lynn Linton has, however, identified the
spot with the 'Faëry Chasm.' Mr. Chattock associates it with Sonnet XX.,
though the imagery of that sonnet must, as he himself confesses, have
been 'inspired by some scene farther down the river,' while Mrs. Lynn
Linton (p. 251) finds the 'Faëry Chasm' at Gowdrel Crag. This latter
view, which is, apparently, that adopted also by Canon Rawnsley, is a
very possible alternative, and is favoured by the fact that the bed of
the stream is at that point strewn with blocks of sky-blue stone. In
that case Sonnets XI. and XII. refer to the same chasm. Mr. Goodwin in
_Through the Wordsworth Country_, illustrates a note on the Faëry Chasm
by a picture of the chasm at Wallabarrow, and of all the 'clefts' this
best fits with the epithet 'sunless'; but is it not too vast for fairy

I could not learn that any faëry tradition was associated with either
place." (Herbert Rix.)

       *       *       *       *       *

"I cannot rest satisfied that the Faëry Chasm of Sonnet XI. is to be
looked for at Birks Brig. No sky-blue stone, above water or below, can
be pointed out--

    As a smooth stage on which the tiny elves
    Could leave their foot-prints as they danced in secret revels.

But if the wanderer by Duddon Vale rejoins the road till it passes these
same farm buildings further down the valley, will strike into the field,
and, attracted by the roar of the stream, search for the locality set
forth in Sonnet XII., he will find in mid-stream a huge blue-grey
boulder that may have suggested Sonnet XI. to the poet." (H. D.



    On, loitering Muse--the swift Stream chides us--on!
    Albeit his deep-worn channel doth immure
    Objects immense portrayed in miniature,
    Wild shapes for many a strange comparison!
    Niagaras, Alpine passes, and anon                              5
    Abodes of Naiads, calm abysses pure,
    Bright liquid mansions, fashioned to endure
    When the broad oak drops, a leafless skeleton,
    And the solidities of mortal pride,
    Palace and tower, are crumbled into dust!--                   10
    The Bard who walks with Duddon for his guide,
    Shall find such toys of fancy thickly set:
    Turn from the sight, enamoured Muse--we must;
    And, if thou canst, leave them without regret![443]


[Footnote FK: "Almost immediately after leaving Birks Brig the stream
plunges into a gorge--the 'deep-worn channel' of this sonnet. By dint of
a little clambering, all the picturesque features described in the
sonnet may be seen, but the traveller is forced at last to resume the
road. The channel is so deep and confined that the stream cannot be seen
from the road, and this is the first time since leaving the source that
the Duddon is lost to sight. It is this fact which gives rise to the
concluding lines of the sonnet:--

    Turn from the sight, enamoured Muse--we must;
    And, if thou canst, leave them without regret!"

    (Herbert Rix.)



    Hail to the fields--with Dwellings sprinkled o'er,
    And one small hamlet, under a green hill
    Clustering,[444] with barn and byre, and spouting mill!
    A glance suffices;--should we wish for more,
    Gay June would scorn us. But when bleak winds roar             5
    Through the stiff lance-like shoots of pollard ash,[FM]
    Dread swell of sound! loud as the gusts that lash
    The matted forests of Ontario's shore
    By wasteful steel unsmitten--then would I
    Turn into port; and, reckless of the gale,                    10
    Reckless of angry Duddon sweeping by,
    While the warm hearth exalts the mantling ale,
    Laugh with the generous household heartily
    At all the merry pranks of Donnerdale!


[Footnote 443: 1827.

    Leave them--and, if thou canst, without regret!             1820.

[Footnote 444: 1837.

    Cluster'd, ...                                              1820.


[Footnote FL: "In determining the spot to which this sonnet belongs two
conditions have to be satisfied. In the first place, Seathwaite must be
seen from it; and, in the second, there must be an open prospect of
fields. Now, from Cockley Beck to Ulpha there is no single spot upon the
road satisfying these two conditions. Unless the line of the river is
entirely abandoned, and some point of view high up on the fells is
taken, there is, I believe, only one station in all the valley which
supplies them, and that is the summit of a rock called in maps and
guide-books 'Pen Crag,' but which the dalesmen always call simply '_The
Pen_' (not to be confounded with the mountain of that name lower down
the valley on the west). There is an additional reason for regarding the
Pen as the station whence Wordsworth viewed his 'open prospect,' namely,
that the point from which the ascent of the crag is most conveniently
made is identical with the point where the Duddon makes his second
plunge into a rocky abyss, which plunge is signalised in the very next
sonnet (XIV.). Thus, at the very spot where the poet is enabled to gain
a view of 'the haunts of men,' 'some awful Spirit' impels the torrent
'utterly to desert' those haunts, and to make a second plunge into the
wilderness. An increased significance is thus given to each of the
sonnets (XIII. and XIV.) by the juxtaposition of the localities which
they describe.

I should explain, in connection with this, that the Pen stands in the
centre of the valley, a prominent and inviting look-out, and that the
easy slope, by which it is on one side ascended, rises from the
high-road, so that anybody who cares for views at all--and Wordsworth
above all people--would not think of passing by without climbing to such
an obvious point of vantage.

The 'one small hamlet' (line 2) is Seathwaite, which lies just below the

The 'barn and byre' (line 3) must have belonged to Newfield, the only
farmhouse in the foreground.

The 'spouting mill' (line 3) is now a ruin. In Wordsworth's time it was
in full work. Later (in the autumn of 1842), when it was visited by
James Thorne, the wheel was broken, the machinery decaying, and the roof
partly fallen in. At the present time, wheel, machinery, and roof have
totally disappeared, and there is nothing to indicate that it ever was a
mill. It was only by inquiring of the older inhabitants that I learnt
these ruined walls standing by the Beck represent that 'mill for
spinning yarn,' of which Wordsworth says that it calls to mind 'the
momentous changes wrought by such inventions in the frame of society.'
The ruin stands on the Tarn Beck, a few yards below Seathwaite Chapel,
and on the other side of the stream.

The last three lines of the sonnet,

    While the warm hearth exalts the mantling ale, etc.,

are probably an allusion to the Inn which, in Wordsworth's time, was to
be found here. This is now a farmstead. It is called Newfield, and is
just below Seathwaite Chapel. In Wordsworth's day it was inn and farm

Mr. Malleson, in the article quoted above, appears (p. 576) to regard
the green slope ascending towards Seathwaite Tarn, which opens on the
left about a mile before the traveller reaches Seathwaite Chapel, as the
'Open Prospect'; but, though the fields here are certainly 'sprinkled
o'er with dwellings,' the juxtaposition of the 'hamlet,' the 'barn and
byre,' and the 'spouting mill' is wanting, and the allusion to the inn
loses its point." (Herbert Rix.)

       *       *       *       *       *

"It may be of interest to know that still the Newfield farm (in
Wordsworth's time farm and inn combined) keeps up the well-deserved
description of the poet. It is still 'a generous household.' When the
yeoman, who was the last innkeeper and farmer combined, was on his
death-bed, he enjoined those to whom Newfield passed to remember that
'though the license was to drop, and it was to become a private house,
yet no stranger in the valley who requested a night's lodging was ever
to be refused,' and the generous household are proud to keep up the
tradition of hospitality." (H. D. Rawnsley.)]

[Footnote FM: Compare Virgil, _Æneid_ iii. 23--

    Densis hastilibus horrida myrtus.

    (W. G. Rushbrooke.)



    O mountain Stream! the Shepherd and his Cot
    Are privileged Inmates of deep solitude;
    Nor would the nicest Anchorite exclude
    A field or two of brighter green, or plot
    Of tillage-ground, that seemeth like a spot                    5
    Of stationary sunshine:--thou hast viewed
    These only, Duddon! with their paths renewed
    By fits and starts, yet this contents thee not.
    Thee hath some awful Spirit impelled to leave,
    Utterly to desert, the haunts of men,[FN]                     10
    Though simple thy companions were and few;
    And through this wilderness a passage cleave
    Attended but by thy own voice, save when
    The clouds and fowls of the air thy way pursue!

This sonnet was first published in the small two-volume edition of the
_Poems_ in 1807, and was therefore written during or before 1807. In the
present edition, however, it was not printed amongst the poems belonging
to that year, since its appropriate place is manifestly in the series of
sonnets relating to the River Duddon.--ED.



    From this deep chasm, where quivering sunbeams play
    Upon its loftiest crags, mine eyes behold
    A gloomy NICHE, capacious, blank, and cold;[FO]
    A concave free from shrubs and mosses grey;
    In semblance fresh, as if, with dire affray,                   5
    Some Statue, placed amid these regions old
    For tutelary service, thence had rolled,
    Startling the flight of timid Yesterday!
    Was it by mortals sculptured?--weary slaves
    Of slow endeavour! or abruptly cast                           10
    Into rude shape by fire, with roaring blast
    Tempestuously let loose from central caves?
    Or fashioned by the turbulence of waves,
    Then, when o'er highest hills the Deluge pass'd?


[Footnote FN: See note [A] p. 243.--ED.]



    Such fruitless questions may not long beguile
    Or plague the fancy 'mid the sculptured shows
    Conspicuous yet where Oroonoko flows;
    _There_ would the Indian answer with a smile
    Aimed at the White Man's ignorance the while,                  5
    Of the GREAT WATERS telling how they rose,
    Covered the plains, and, wandering where they chose,
    Mounted through every intricate defile,
    Triumphant.--Inundation wide and deep,
    O'er which his Fathers urged, to ridge and steep              10
    Else unapproachable, their buoyant way;
    And carved, on mural cliff's undreaded side,
    Sun, moon, and stars, and beast of chase or prey;
    Whate'er they sought, shunned, loved, or deified![FP]


[Footnote FO: "The 'deep chasm' of this sonnet is identical with the
'passage cleft through the wilderness' of Sonnet XIV. It lies between
the Pen on the left hand, and Wallabarrow Crag on the right. As to the
_niche_, which forms the subject of the sonnet, it cannot now be
identified. There are, of course, plenty of such niches in the crags
which tower above the Duddon just here, but none more striking than the
rest. From the fact that it was 'free from shrubs and mosses grey,' one
may perhaps infer that it was a place in the cliff from which a mass of
rock had recently fallen. The bed of the stream just here is a chaos of
such masses of rock, some of them being of enormous size.

Mr. Chattock identifies the 'chasm' with that at Gowdrel, higher up the
river--a view which, besides breaking the order of the sonnets, would
seem to be excluded by Wordsworth's note on Sonnets XVII. and XVIII.,
wherein he expressly states that the scenery 'which gave occasion to the
sonnets _from the 14th to the 20th inclusive_,' lies about Seathwaite.
Mr. Chattock's remark that 'the rocks are columnar in character,' so
that the fall of a fragment readily gives rise to the appearance of an
elongated 'niche,' is worthy of note. It would probably apply to either
chasm." (Herbert Rix.)

    "I searched most carefully for some
                 Gloomy NICHE, capacious, blank, and cold,

on Wallabarrow, but found none there sufficiently striking to suggest
Sonnet XV. Standing at Newfield Farm and looking north to the Pen, where
it rises beyond the ruined mill, there certainly is upon its southern
face just such a niche, but the green ivy has displaced the 'gloom.'"
(H. D. Rawnsley.)]

[Footnote FP: See Humboldt's Personal Narrative.--W. W. 1820.

"I cannot quit this first link (the finding of a piece of gold) of the
mountains of Encaramada without recalling to mind a fact that was not
unknown to Father Gili, and which was often mentioned to me during our
abode in the Missions of the Orinoco. The natives of those countries
have retained the belief that, 'at the time of the great waters, when
their fathers were forced to have recourse to boats to escape the
general inundation, the waves of the sea beat against the rocks of
Encaramada.' This belief is not confined to one nation singly, the
Tamanacs; it makes part of a system of historical tradition, of which we
find scattered notions among the Maypures of the great cataracts, among
the Indians of the Rio Erevato, which runs into the Caura, and among
almost all the tribes of the Upper Orinoco. When the Tamanacs are asked
how the human race survived this great Deluge, the 'age of water' of the
Mexicans, they say, 'a man and a woman saved themselves on a high
mountain, called Tamanacu, situated on the banks of the Asiveru, and
casting behind them, over their heads, the fruits of the Mauritia
palm-tree, they saw the seeds contained in those fruits produce men and
women, who re-peopled the earth.' Thus we find in all its simplicity,
among nations now in a savage state, a tradition which the Greeks
embellished with all the charms of imagination! A few leagues from
Encaramada, a rock, called _Tepu-mereme_, or 'the painted rock,' rises
in the midst of the Savannah. Upon it are traced representations of
animals, and symbolic figures resembling those we saw in going down the
Orinoco, at a small distance below Encaramada, near the town Caycara.
Similar rocks in Africa are called by travellers _fetish-stones_. I
shall not make use of this term, because fetishism does not prevail
among the natives of the Orinoco; and the figures of stars, of the sun,
of tigers, and of crocodiles, which we found traced upon the rocks in
spots now uninhabited, appeared to me in no way to denote the objects of
worship of those nations. Between the banks of the Cassiquiare and the
Orinoco, between Encaramada, the Capuchino, and Caycara, these
hieroglyphic figures are often seen at great heights, on rocky cliffs
which could be accessible only by constructing very lofty scaffolds.
When the natives are asked how those figures could have been sculptured,
they answer with a smile, as if relating a fact of which only a white
man could be ignorant, that 'at the period of the great waters, their
fathers went to that height in boats.'" Extract from _Humboldt's
Travels_, vol. ii. chap. iv. pp. 182-3 (Bohn's Edition.)--ED.

"The weathering of the volcanic ash of the Pen and the cliff of
Wallabarrow opposite would naturally have suggested this sonnet.
Evidence of ice-marking and glacier-action are not wanting in the
neighbourhood." (H. D. Rawnsley.)]



    A dark plume fetch me from yon blasted yew,
    Perched on whose top the Danish Raven croaks;
    Aloft, the imperial Bird[445] of Rome invokes
    Departed ages, shedding where he flew[446]
    Loose fragments of wild wailing, that bestrew                  5
    The clouds and thrill the chambers of the rocks;
    And into silence hush the timorous flocks,
    That, calmly couching[447] while the nightly dew
    Moistened each fleece, beneath the twinkling stars
    Slept amid[448] that lone Camp on Hardknot's height,          10
    Whose Guardians bent the knee to Jove and Mars:
    Or, near[449] that mystic Round of Druid frame
    Tardily sinking by its proper weight
    Deep into patient Earth, from whose smooth breast it came!


[Footnote 445: 1820.

    Wheeling aloft the Bird ...                                 1838.

    The text of 1840 returns to that of 1820.

[Footnote 446: 1820.

    ... and still sheds anew                                    1838.

    The text of 1840 returns to that of 1820.

[Footnote 447: 1827.

    That slept so calmly ...                                    1820.

[Footnote 448: 1827.

    These couch'd mid ...                                       1820.

[Footnote 449: 1827.

    These near ...                                              1820.



    Sacred Religion! "mother of form and fear,"[FR]
    Dread arbitress of mutable respect,
    New rites ordaining when the old are wrecked,
    Or cease to please the fickle worshipper,
    Mother of Love! (that name best suits thee here)[450]          5
    Mother of Love! for this deep vale, protect
    Truth's holy lamp, pure source of bright effect,
    Gifted to purge the vapoury atmosphere
    That seeks to stifle it;--as in those days
    When this low Pile a Gospel Teacher knew,                     10
    Whose good works formed an endless retinue:
    A Pastor such as Chaucer's verse portrays;[451][FS]
    Such as the heaven-taught skill of Herbert drew;[FT]
    And tender Goldsmith crowned with deathless praise![FU]


[Footnote 450: 1837.

    ... the fickle worshipper;
    If one strong wish may be embosomed here,                   1820.

[Footnote 451: 1845.

    Such Priest as Chaucer sang in fervent lays;                1820.


[Footnote FQ: "Seathwaite Chapel has been rebuilt. It may be worth
mentioning that there is a woodcut of the original structure at p. 23 of
Thorne's _Rambles by Rivers_ (12mo, London, 1844), and a good engraving
in the Rev. Canon Parkinson's _Old Church Clock_ (5th edition, 1880, p.
99). The Parsonage, too, has been enlarged. It was formerly a mere
cottage, with a peat-house at one end and an out-house of some kind at
the other. These have been removed, and additions made to the dwelling
at both ends. The brass in the church to the memory of 'Wonderful
Walker' was taken from the tombstone. The stone has been turned over,
and a new inscription cut." (Herbert Rix.)]

[Footnote FR: See Daniel's _Musophilus_, l. 47.--ED.]

[Footnote FS: The allusion is to the description of the "poure persoun
of a toun" in the _Prologue_ to the _Canterbury Tales_, ll.

[Footnote FT: See George Herbert's _Priest to the Temple_.--ED.]

[Footnote FU: The reference is to the lines in _The Deserted Village_--

    A man he was to all the country dear,
    And passing rich on forty pounds a year.




    My frame hath often trembled with delight
    When hope presented some far-distant good,
    That seemed from heaven descending, like the flood
    Of yon pure waters, from their aëry height
    Hurrying, with lordly Duddon to unite;                         5
    Who, 'mid a world of images imprest
    On the calm depth of his transparent breast,
    Appears to cherish most that Torrent white,
    The fairest, softest, liveliest of them all!
    And seldom hath ear listened to a tune                        10
    More lulling than the busy hum of Noon,
    Sworn by that voice--whose murmur musical
    Announces to the thirsty fields a boon
    Dewy and fresh, till showers again shall fall.


[Footnote FV: "The 'tributary stream,' which forms the subject of this
sonnet, is the Tarn Beck, which rises in Seathwaite Tarn, and joins the
Duddon just opposite Newfield. Seathwaite Chapel itself is not on the
Duddon, but on the Tarn Beck. The sonnet gives a perfect description of
its leading characteristics.

Mr. Chattock has given an etching of the Tarn." (Herbert Rix.)

"If one stands upon the Pen and looks up the Duddon Vale, the

    Field or two of brighter green, or plot
    Of tillage-ground, that seemeth like a spot
    Of stationary sunshine:

will be seen, exactly described, upon the shoulder of the Fell that
drops down from Heath Fell to the north-west. Is it possible that
Wordsworth, as he gazed, was moved by

                                 the flood
    Of yon pure waters, from their aëry height
    ... that Torrent white,

just beneath the little upland farm with its emerald plot of tillage,
shining like jewels in the July sun,

    Hurrying, with lordly Duddon to unite,

--is it possible, I suggest, that Wordsworth was moved by this scene to
write Sonnet XIX.?" (H. D. Rawnsley.)]



    The old inventive Poets, had they seen,
    Or rather felt, the entrancement that detains
    Thy waters, Duddon! 'mid these flowery plains;
    The still repose, the liquid lapse serene,
    Transferred to bowers imperishably green,                      5
    Had beautified Elysium! But these chains
    Will soon be broken;--a rough course remains,[452]
    Rough as the past; where Thou, of placid mien,
    Innocuous as a firstling of the flock,
    And countenanced like a soft cerulean sky,                    10
    Shalt change thy temper; and, with many a shock
    Given and received in mutual jeopardy,
    Dance, like a Bacchanal, from rock to rock,
    Tossing her frantic thyrsus wide and high!


[Footnote FW: "The term _Donnerdale_ (now usually spelt _Dunnerdale_) is
strictly applied to the district on the east bank of the Duddon from
Broughton up to Ulpha Bridge, and extending thence parallel to
Seathwaite, from which it is divided by fells. Guide-books sometimes
apply the term to the whole valley of the Duddon, but this is entirely
wrong; the term is never applied by the inhabitants to the upper or
confined part of the valley, and is correctly used by Wordsworth to
indicate the open plain of the lower stream.

_Hall Dunnerdale_, sometimes shortened into _Dunnerdale_, is a hamlet on
the high-road between Seathwaite and Ulpha. From a bridge just below
this hamlet the characteristics of the stream at this part of its course
as described in Sonnet XX. may best be noted. The banks are thickly
wooded with oak, ash, beech, alder, sycamore, and larch; the hills are
lower and greener than the fells farther up the valley, and for the
moment we might almost think we had been transported to the banks of the
Wey, and were looking upon a Surrey landscape. The water above and below
the bridge is comparatively still. But this, as the sonnet says, is not
to last long,--'a rough course remains, rough as the past.' Before we
reach Ulpha Bridge 'suspended animation is again succeeded by the
clamorous war of stones and waters, which assail the ear of the
traveller all the way to Duddon Bridge.'"[453] (Herbert Rix.)]


[Footnote 452: 1820.

    ... and a course remains                                      MS.

    ... For a course remains,                                     MS.

[Footnote 453: Green's _Comprehensive Guide to the Lakes_, quoted in
Whellan's _History and Topography_, p. 59.

[Concerning the limits of Dunnerdale, the Rev. S. R. M. Walker, Vicar of
Seathwaite, in answer to a question on the subject, wrote to Mr. Rix as

    "SEATHWAITE VICARAGE, _June 21, 1883._

DEAR SIR--I am not surprised at our topographical divisions giving a
stranger difficulty. They belong to the cross kind. Thus, Dunnerdale (as
it is now here usually spelled) forms an integral part of the civil
division, or township, of Dunnerdale and Seathwaite, whilst
ecclesiastically it is attached, not to Seathwaite, but to the
ecclesiastical parish or district of Broughton-in-Furness; Seathwaite,
Broughton-in-Furness, and Woodland (now all separate benefices), being
so many outlying parts of the ancient ecclesiastical and civil parish of
Kirkby-Ireleth. Dunnerdale itself is the name given to the district
which lies on the east or Lancashire bank of the Duddon, from a point a
few yards south of Ulpha bridge till it meets the boundary of Broughton
proper, or the right bank of the Lickle, a small tributary of the
Duddon, the main portion of it being enclosed in a little valley
parallel to that of the Duddon. The fells bounding it do, on the more
northern part, form a line of division from Seathwaite....

    S. R. M. WALKER."]



    Whence that low voice?--A whisper from the heart,
    That told of days long past, when here I roved
    With friends and kindred tenderly beloved;[FX]
    Some who had early mandates to depart,
    Yet are allowed to steal my path athwart                       5
    By Duddon's side; once more do we unite,
    Once more beneath the kind Earth's tranquil light;
    And smothered joys into new being start.
    From her unworthy seat, the cloudy stall
    Of Time, breaks forth triumphant Memory;                      10
    Her glistening tresses bound, yet light and free
    As golden locks of birch, that rise and fall
    On gales that breathe too gently to recal
    Aught of the fading year's inclemency![FY]


[Footnote FX: See the Fenwick note prefixed to the Duddon Sonnets.--ED.]

[Footnote FY: "If, in Sonnet VI., Wordsworth was describing the Duddon
in April, the lines

    Golden locks of birch, that rise and fall
    On gales that breathe too gently to recal
    Aught of the fading year's inclemency,

tell us that he was a wanderer here in October also." (H. D.



    A love-lorn Maid, at some far-distant time,
    Came to this hidden pool, whose depths surpass
    In crystal clearness Dian's looking-glass;
    And, gazing, saw that Rose, which from the prime
    Derives its name, reflected as the chime                       5
    Of echo doth reverberate some sweet sound:
    The starry treasure from the blue profound
    She longed to ravish;--shall she plunge, or climb
    The humid precipice, and seize the guest
    Of April, smiling high in upper air?                          10
    Desperate alternative! what fiend could dare
    To prompt the thought?--Upon the steep rock's breast
    The lonely Primrose yet renews its bloom,
    Untouched memento of her hapless doom!



    Sad thoughts, avaunt!--partake we their blithe cheer
    Who gathered in betimes the unshorn flock
    To wash the fleece, where haply bands of rock,
    Checking the stream, make a pool smooth and clear
    As this we look on. Distant Mountains hear,[454]               5
    Hear and repeat, the turmoil that unites
    Clamour of boys with innocent despites
    Of barking dogs, and bleatings from strange fear.
    And what if Duddon's spotless flood receive[455]
    Unwelcome mixtures as the uncouth noise                       10
    Thickens, the pastoral River will forgive
    Such wrong; nor need _we_ blame the licensed joys,
    Though false to Nature's quiet equipoise:
    Frank are the sports, the stains are fugitive.


[Footnote FZ: "This tradition appears to have completely died out. I
asked many old inhabitants of the place if they had ever heard such a
story, but it was quite new to them.

The scene of the tragedy is not, however, very difficult to identify.
There are very few 'hidden pools' in this part of the stream; it is
mostly a shallow, brawling brook. I have carefully tracked the stream
from Donnerdale Bridge to Ulpha Bridge, and can only find two places
which at all answer to the description given in the sonnet. One of these
is opposite the 'Traveller's Rest' inn, the other, is a little higher
up. This latter is a deep and placid pool, situated half way down a
curious corridor, known as 'Long Dub,' where the stream flows for some
distance in a straight line between walls of rough mountain slate, the
strata having been tilted almost at right angles to their natural
position. Here a little rill tumbles into the Duddon by a miniature
cascade, and the pool is sheltered and darkened by oak and beech--a not
unlikely spot to have inspired the sonnet." (Herbert Rix.)]

[Footnote GA: "The pool under Ulpha Bridge has for many generations been
used for sheep-washing. The sheep from Birks Farm are now (1894) washed
there every year. If we suppose the poet, in one of his frequent
journeys down the valley, to have paused upon the bridge to witness this
pastoral sight, the local order of the Sonnets is maintained." (Herbert



    Mid-noon is past;--upon the sultry mead
    No zephyr breathes, no cloud its shadow throws:
    If we advance unstrengthened by repose,
    Farewell the solace of the vagrant reed!
    This Nook[GB]--with woodbine hung and straggling weed,         5
    Tempting recess as ever pilgrim chose,
    Half grot, half arbour--proffers to enclose
    Body and mind, from molestation freed,
    In narrow compass--narrow as itself:
    Or if the Fancy, too industrious Elf,                         10
    Be loth that we should breathe awhile exempt
    From new incitements friendly to our task,
    Here[456] wants not stealthy prospect, that may tempt
    Loose Idless to forego her wily mask.


[Footnote 454: 1845.

    Sad thoughts, avaunt!--the fervour of the year,
    Poured on the fleece-encumbered flock, invites
    To laving currents, for prelusive rites
    Duly performed before the Dales-men shear
    Their panting charge. The distant Mountains hear,           1820.


[Footnote 455: 1845.

    Meanwhile, if Duddon's spotless breast receive              1820.


[Footnote GB: See note to Sonnet xxvii.--ED.]



    Methinks 'twere no unprecedented feat
    Should some benignant Minister of air
    Lift, and encircle with a cloudy chair,
    The One for whom my heart shall ever beat
    With tenderest love;--or, if a safer seat                      5
    Atween his downy wings be furnished, there
    Would lodge her, and the cherished burden bear
    O'er hill and valley to this dim retreat!
    Rough ways my steps have trod; too rough and long
    For her companionship; here dwells soft ease:                 10
    With sweets that[457] she partakes not some distaste
    Mingles, and lurking consciousness of wrong;
    Languish the flowers; the waters seem to waste
    Their vocal charm; their sparklings cease to please.



    Return, Content! for fondly I pursued,
    Even when a child, the Streams[GC]--unheard, unseen;
    Through tangled woods, impending rocks between;
    Or, free as air, with flying inquest viewed
    The sullen reservoirs whence their bold brood--                5
    Pure as the morning, fretful, boisterous, keen,
    Green as the[458] salt-sea billows, white and green--
    Poured down the hills, a choral multitude!
    Nor have I tracked their course for scanty gains;
    They taught me random cares and truant joys,                  10
    That shield from mischief and preserve from stains
    Vague minds, while men are growing out of boys;
    Maturer Fancy owes to their rough noise
    Impetuous thoughts that brook not servile reins.


[Footnote 456: 1837.

    There ...                                                   1820.

[Footnote 457: 1837.

    ... which ...                                               1820.

[Footnote 458: 1820.

    Sparkling like ...                                             C.


[Footnote GC: See note to Sonnet XXVII.--ED.]



    Fallen, and diffused into a shapeless heap,
    Or quietly self-buried in earth's mould,
    Is that embattled House, whose massy Keep
    Flung from yon cliff[459] a shadow large and cold.
    There dwelt the gay, the bountiful, the bold;                  5
    Till nightly lamentations, like the sweep
    Of winds--though[460] winds were silent--struck a deep
    And lasting terror through that ancient Hold.
    Its line of Warriors fled;--they shrunk when tried[461]
    By ghostly power:--but Time's unsparing hand                  10
    Hath plucked such foes, like weeds, from out the land;
    And now, if men with men in peace abide,
    All other strength the weakest may withstand,
    All worse assaults may safely be defied.[GD]


[Footnote 459: 1819.

    ... height ...                                                MS.

[Footnote 460: 1827.

    ... when ...                                        MS. and 1819.

[Footnote 461: 1819.

    There dwelt the rash, the bountiful, the bold,
    The fair, the gay; undaunted, unabased;
    Till supernatural visitation chased
    That line of warriors from their ancient hold.
    --Stranger they fled--their courage shrunk when tried         MS.


[Footnote GD: Sonnet No. XXVII. having been first published in _The
Waggoner_ and other poems (1819), was not reprinted in either of the
editions of 1820. It was "taken from a tradition belonging to Rydal
Hall," as is explained in the Fenwick note, p. 226.--ED.

"Sonnets XXIV. to XXVII. appear to have been written in one spot,--some
'Nook--with woodbine hung and straggling weed.' If the poet has strictly
retained in the sonnets the order in which the places lie upon the
river-bank, this nook must be within a stone's throw of the pool
mentioned in the preceding note, for the scenes of Sonnets XXIX. and
XXXI. are close at hand. But, though there are plenty of such 'grottos'
or 'arbours' here, some difficulty arises from the fact that the Old
Hall and ruined keep cannot be seen from this part of the stream, nor,
indeed, can they be seen from Ulpha itself, nor from any part of the
high road. The height upon which the ruin stands is certainly a
prominent feature in the landscape, but the ruin itself is completely
hidden by a shoulder of the hill, neither can the hill by any stretch of
the imagination be called a 'cliff.'

The only point of view from which the castle appears to stand upon a
'cliff' is reached by a footpath near some copper works, about half way
up Holehouse Ghyll. Here you see the ruin at the end (or rather _bend_)
of the Ghyll high above your head, the sides of the ravine rising
steeply to its walls. Holehouse Ghyll is thickly wooded, so that this
may very possibly be the poet's 'dim retreat,' the chief objection being
that the Ghyll lies below Ulpha Kirk, and that the order of the sonnets
would thus be broken.

But wherever the poet's 'nook' may have been, there can be little doubt
that the fragment of masonry near the farmhouse called 'The Old Hall,'
represents the 'embattled house' of Sonnet XXVII., for Broughton Tower,
the only other fortified house in the valley, is still some miles away,
and the rising ground upon which it stands is no cliff, but a mere
undulation in the centre of the nether valley. Of the Castle at the head
of Holehouse Ghyll there is little enough remaining--less, even, than in
Wordsworth's day, for a woman living in a cottage close by it assured me
that she could remember when there was much more of it standing than at
the present time. The cause to which she assigned its rapid
disappearance was not, however, the same as that assigned in the first
two lines of the sonnet. According to her, natural decay had less to do
with it than the destructive hands of the dalesmen, who pulled the
stones down to mend the fell-walls with. A native of Ulpha added that a
new barn was built for the adjoining farmhouse some little time since,
and that a great part of the materials doubtless came from the old ruin.

A ragged piece of wall three to four feet in thickness, with three small
square windows splayed inwards, and a fireplace about 6 feet long by 12
feet high, with a wide chimney, is all that now remains _in situ_, of
this seat of the Lords of Ulpha.

As to the ghostly tradition embodied in Sonnet XXVII. Wordsworth himself
has explained (see the Fenwick note) that it was borrowed from Rydal
Hall. But the 'Old Hall' has a weird tradition of its own, for in the
bottom of the Ghyll beneath the Castle walls, there is a pool, called
'The Lady's Dub,' where in old times a lady was killed by one of the
numerous wolves which formerly infested the region. This is, in fact,
the origin, according to some of the inhabitants, of the name 'Ulpha'
('Wolfa'). But a more likely derivation seems to be from Ulf, the father
of Ketell, the father of Bennett, the father of Allan. Ketell lived in
Henry III.'s reign, and Bennett in King John's, and to their ancestor
Ulf the lordship of 'Ulphay' was granted.[462]

Mr. Chattock has given an excellent etching of the ruin.

If the 'Nook' of Sonnet XXIV. be in Holehouse Ghyll, and the 'embattled
House' of Sonnet XXVII. be The Old Hall seen from that spot, then Sonnet
XXVI. should specially refer to the stream which rushes down that Ghyll.
'Through tangled woods' well suits this stream; and even the 'sullen
reservoirs' are not wanting if the two 'dubs' at the upper end of the
Ghyll are taken into account." (Herbert Rix.)]



    I rose while yet the cattle, heat-opprest,
    Crowded together under rustling trees
    Brushed by the current of the water-breeze;
    And for _their_ sakes, and love of all that rest,
    On Duddon's margin, in the sheltering nest;                    5
    For all the startled scaly tribes that slink
    Into his coverts, and each fearless link
    Of dancing insects forged upon his breast;
    For these, and hopes and recollections worn
    Close to the vital seat of human clay;                        10
    Glad meetings, tender partings, that upstay
    The drooping mind of absence, by vows sworn
    In his pure presence near the trysting thorn--
    I thanked the Leader of my onward way.



    No record tells of lance opposed to lance,
    Horse charging horse, 'mid these retired domains;
    Tells that[463] their turf drank purple from the veins
    Of heroes, fallen, or struggling to advance,
    Till doubtful combat issued in a trance                        5
    Of victory, that struck through heart and reins
    Even to the inmost seat of mortal pains,
    And lightened o'er the pallid countenance.
    Yet, to the loyal and the brave, who lie
    In the blank earth, neglected and forlorn,                    10
    The passing Winds memorial tribute pay;
    The Torrents chant their praise, inspiring scorn
    Of power usurped; with proclamation high,
    And glad acknowledgment, of lawful sway.[GE]


[Footnote 462: Mr. J. Denton, quoted in Whellan's _History and
Topography_, p. 410.]

[Footnote 463: 1827.

    Nor that ...                                                1820.


[Footnote GE: "On the left or east bank of the Duddon, a little higher
than Ulpha Bridge, near a farmhouse called New Close is a small
enclosure, 44 feet square, with two old fir-trees and a quantity of
laurels, which there can be little doubt is the scene of Sonnet XXIX.

The enclosure, known to the country people as the Sepulchre, is an old
burial-place of the Society of Friends, none having been interred there
since 1755, when a Friend from Birker, a small hamlet about four miles
distant, was buried.[464]

The following two lines literally describe the condition of the little

    Yet, to the loyal and the brave, who lie
    In the blank earth, neglected and forlorn;--

the earth is 'blank,' because there is not a single tombstone, and the
graves are (at any rate at the present time) most literally 'neglected
and forlorn,' for the place is a tangle of rank grass and untrimmed

About the year 1842 it was planted with fruit-trees, but when Wordsworth
saw it, it probably presented much the same appearance as at present.

The opening lines--

    No record tells of lance opposed to lance, etc.,

and indeed the whole sonnet obtains a new significance from the
association of the spot which it describes with the _men of peace_."
(Herbert Rix.)

"There are few more touching scenes in the Duddon Valley than the little
lonely hillside burial-place of the early Friends, spoken of in Sonnet
XXIX. All round the inside of the rude wall enclosure are still to be
seen the stone seats used by the followers of Fox, who were forbidden to
hold their meetings under any lower roof than the canopy of Heaven. The
Scotch firs have grown into stately shade since the Quakers sat in
silent meditation high up, lifted above the life of the valley and the
noise of Duddon and the tributary stream just opposite. But though the
Friends lie here in unvisited graves, the earth is neither blank nor
forlorn. Laurels glisten above their rest, and the _Spiræa salicifolia_
waves its light wands of flower above their sleep, all evidences of care
for the heroes of a cause that is not dead yet." (H. D. Rawnsley.)]

[Footnote 464: See _Furness and Furness Abbey_, by Francis Evans (8vo,
Ulverston, 1842), p. 180.]



    Who swerves from innocence, who makes divorce
    Of that serene companion--a good name,
    Recovers not his loss; but walks with shame,
    With doubt, with fear, and haply with remorse:
    And oft-times he--who, yielding to the force                   5
    Of chance-temptation, ere his journey end,
    From chosen comrade turns, or faithful friend--
    In vain shall rue the broken intercourse.
    Not so with such as loosely wear the chain
    That binds them, pleasant River! to thy side:--               10
    Through the rough copse[GF] wheel thou with hasty stride;
    I choose to saunter o'er the grassy plain,
    Sure, when the separation has been tried,
    That we, who part in love, shall meet again.[GG]


[Footnote GF: "To get from the Sepulchre (Sonnet XXIX.) to Ulpha Kirk
(Sonnet XXXI.) it is necessary to pass through Birks Wood, or else to
skirt the wood by going up the Fell and round it." (Herbert Rix.)]

[Footnote GG: Compare the Fenwick note prefixed to these sonnets.--ED.]



    The Kirk of Ulpha to the pilgrim's eye
    Is welcome as a star, that doth present
    Its shining forehead through the peaceful rent
    Of a black cloud diffused o'er half the sky:[GH]
    Or as a fruitful palm-tree towering high                       5
    O'er the parched waste beside an Arab's tent;
    Or the Indian tree whose branches, downward bent,
    Take root again, a boundless canopy.
    How sweet were leisure! could it yield no more
    Than 'mid that wave-washed Church-yard to recline,            10
    From pastoral graves extracting thoughts divine;
    Or there to pace, and mark the summits hoar
    Of distant moon-lit mountains faintly shine,
    Soothed by the unseen River's gentle roar.


[Footnote GH: "Ulpha Kirk is situated on a rock, the base of which is
washed by the Duddon. From time immemorial its walls have been
whitewashed, so that on a sunny day it _literally_ 'shines' from its
exalted position. It is best seen from the hay-fields on the left bank
just above Ulpha Bridge. These fields lie low, and the church perched on
its rock seems lifted higher than from any other point of view.

When I visited Ulpha in the summer of 1882 I found the carpenters at
work restoring it, and since then a new belfry has been erected, and the
tiny white porch has been replaced by a larger one of wood. But I saw it
in 1881, when the interior, as well as the exterior, still kept the
appearance which it wore in Wordsworth's day. The pulpit (with
sounding-board) was in the middle of one side, and to the right hand
thereof were a magnificent lion-and-unicorn, and 'G. III. R.' The font
was up against the wall, with a ladder hung above it. There was no
vestry; the surplice was kept in a cupboard near the door, and the
clergyman donned and doffed it behind a screen which only partially hid
him. The pews were square and high, and the people sat all round them,
with their backs to all four points of the compass; but when the hymn
was sung they all turned with their backs to the altar and their faces
to the choir." (Herbert Rix.)

       *       *       *       *       *

"The last line of this sonnet is a good instance of Wordsworth's very
close observation. The little churchyard has lately had an addition made
to it. Any one going into the new part of the churchyard will be less
able to understand the accuracy of the last line." (H. D. Rawnsley.)]



    Not hurled precipitous from steep to steep;
    Lingering no more 'mid flower-enamelled lands
    And blooming thickets; nor by rocky bands
    Held; but in radiant progress toward the Deep
    Where mightiest rivers into powerless sleep                    5
    Sink, and forget their nature--_now_ expands
    Majestic Duddon, over smooth flat sands[GI]
    Gliding in silence with unfettered sweep!
    Beneath an ampler sky a region wide
    Is opened round him:--hamlets, towers, and towns,
    And blue-topped hills, behold him from afar;                  11
    In stately mien to sovereign Thames allied
    Spreading his bosom under Kentish downs,
    With commerce freighted, or triumphant war.[GJ]


[Footnote GI: Compare Michael Drayton--

    But southward sallying hence, to those sea-bordering Lands,
    Where _Duddon_ driving down to the _Lancastrian_ Sands,
    This _Cumberland_ cuts out, etc.

    _Poly-olbion_. The thirtieth song.--ED.

[Footnote GJ: "This sonnet was probably written from some rare vantage
ground or view as is obtained of the last reaches of the Duddon

    In radiant progress toward the Deep,

from the crest of a hill immediately above Broughton.

I am led to think thus from the fact that standing there the poet could
speak as he does in Sonnet XXXIV.--

    For, backward, Duddon! as I cast my eyes,
    I see what was, and is, and will abide;

while the little Broughton Church with its dark yews close around it
seen at his feet would naturally give birth to the thought that 'the
elements must vanish,' and that as Duddon hurried to its pauseless
sleep, so man to 'the silent tomb must go.'" (H. D. Rawnsley.)]



    But here no cannon thunders to the gale;
    Upon the wave no haughty pendants cast
    A crimson splendour: lowly is the mast
    That rises here, and humbly spread, the sail;
    While, less disturbed than in the narrow Vale                  5
    Through which with strange vicissitudes he passed,
    The Wanderer seeks that receptacle vast
    Where all his unambitious functions fail.
    And may thy Poet, cloud-born Stream! be free--
    The sweets of earth contentedly resigned,                     10
    And each tumultuous working left behind
    At seemly distance--to advance like Thee;
    Prepared, in peace of heart, in calm of mind
    And soul, to mingle with Eternity![GK]


[Footnote GK: "This series of sonnets follows with some accuracy the
order of the scenes. It is far from exact to speak of them, as Mr.
Chattock in his preliminary note has so emphatically done, as '_massed
together_.' With the doubtful exceptions of the sonnets on the
'Stepping-Stones' and the 'Resting-Place,' each one falls naturally into
its order. The Birth-place on Wrynose, the 'sinuous lapse' along the
pass, the Descent into the Valley, the Cottage at Cockley Beck, Gowdrel
Crag, Wallabarrow and the Pen, Seathwaite Chapel, the Tributary Stream,
Long Dub, the Sepulchre at New Close, Ulpha Kirk, Duddon Sands--to all
these places there are clear allusions; the sonnets which contain those
allusions occur in the order indicated, and this order is the strict
topographical succession proceeding from the source of the Duddon to the
mouth." (Herbert Rix.)]



    _I thought of Thee, my partner and my guide,
    As being past away.--Vain sympathies!
    For, backward, Duddon! as I cast my eyes,
    I see what was, and is, and will abide;
    Still glides the Stream, and shall for ever glide;_[465][GL]    5
    _The Form remains, the Function never dies;
    While we, the brave, the mighty, and the wise,
    We Men, who in our morn of youth defied
    The elements, must vanish;--be it so!
    Enough, if something from our hands have power_               10
    _To live, and act, and serve the future hour;
    And if, as toward the silent tomb we go,
    Through love, through hope, and faith's transcendent dower,
    We feel that we are greater than we know._[GM]


[Footnote 465: 1820 (1st edition).

    ... and shall not cease to glide;                           1820.
                        (2nd edition.)

The text of 1840 returns to that of the 2nd edition of 1820.]


[Footnote GL: Compare _The Fountain_ (vol. ii. p. 92)--

    'Twill murmur on a thousand years,
    And flow as now it flows.

And Tennyson's _Brook_,

    Men may come and men may go,
     But I go on for ever.


[Footnote GM:

    And feel that I am happier than I know.--MILTON.[466]

The allusion to the Greek poet will be obvious to the classical
reader.--W. W. 1820.

I was indebted to Professor Jebb, in 1883, for the following note:--

    "While we, the brave, the mighty, and the wise,
    ... must vanish, ...

has been suggested by the well-known lines in the
Ἐπιτάφιον Βίωνος, by the pastoral poet Moschus of Syracuse
(circ. 200 B.C.):--

    αἴ, αἴ, ταὶ μαλάχαι μὲν ἐπὰν κατὰ κᾶπον ὄλωνται,
    ἢ τὰ χλωρὰ σέλινα, τό τ' εὐθαλὲς οὖλον ἄνηθον,
    ὕστερον αὖ ζώοντι καὶ εἰς ἔτος ἄλλο φύοντι·
    _ἄμμες δ', οἱ μεγάλοι καὶ καρτεροὶ ἢ σοφοὶ ἄνδρες_,
    ὁππότε πρᾶτα θάνωμες, ἀνάκοοι ἐν χθονὶ κοίλᾳ
    εὕδομες εὖ μάλα μακρὸν ἀτέρμονα νήγρετον ὕπνον.]

    (Vv. 103-108.)

You will see that Wordsworth has _translated_ the Greek verse which I
underline ('brave' representing μεγάλοι). The 'mallows,' 'parsley,'
'anise' of the Greek poet's garden--which are to live again--are
represented by Wordsworth's stream which 'shall for ever glide.'

One might _contrast_ the lines in the _Christian Year_ about the autumn

    How like decaying life they seem to glide!
     And yet no second spring have they in store,
    But where they fall, forgotten to abide
     Is all their portion, and they ask no more."

With this _Afterthought_ compare Virgil, _Georgics_ II. 458, 459--

    O fortunatos nimium sua si bona norint
    Agricolas, etc.



A poet, whose works are not yet known as they deserve to be,[GN] thus
enters upon his description of the "Ruins of Rome":

                 The rising Sun
    Flames on the ruins in the purer air
    Towering aloft;

and ends thus--

                       The setting Sun displays
    His visible great round, between yon towers,
    As through two shady cliffs.

Mr. Crowe, in his excellent loco-descriptive Poem, _Lewesdon Hill_, is
still more expeditious, finishing the whole on a May-morning before

    To-morrow for severer thought, but now
    To breakfast, and keep festival to-day.

No one believes, or is desired to believe, that these Poems were
actually composed within such limits of time; nor was there any reason
why a prose statement should acquaint the Reader with the plain fact, to
the disturbance of poetic credibility. But, in the present case, I am
compelled to mention, that the above series of Sonnets was the growth of
many years;--the one which stands the 14th was the first produced; and
others were added upon occasional visits to the Stream, or as
recollections of the scenes upon its banks awakened a wish to describe
them. In this manner I had proceeded insensibly, without perceiving that
I was trespassing upon ground preoccupied, at least as far as intention
went, by Mr. Coleridge; who, more than twenty years ago, used to speak
of writing a rural Poem, to be entitled "The Brook," of which he has
given a sketch in a recent publication. But a particular subject,
cannot, I think, much interfere with a general one; and I have been
further kept from encroaching upon any right Mr. C. may still wish to
exercise, by the restriction which the frame of the Sonnet imposed upon
me, narrowing unavoidably the range of thought, and precluding, though
not without its advantages, many graces to which a freer movement of
verse would naturally have led.

May I not venture, then, to hope, that instead of being a hindrance, by
anticipation of any part of the subject, these Sonnets may remind Mr.
Coleridge of his own more comprehensive design, and induce him to fulfil
it?[GO]----There is a sympathy in streams,--"one calleth to another";
and, I would gladly believe, that "The Brook" will, ere long, murmur in
concert with "The Duddon." But, asking pardon for this fancy, I need not
scruple to say, that those verses must indeed be ill-fated which can
enter upon such pleasant walks of nature, without receiving and giving
inspiration. The power of waters over the minds of Poets has been
acknowledged from the earliest ages;--through the "Flumina amem
sylvasque inglorius" of Virgil,[GP] down to the sublime apostrophe to
the great rivers of the earth, by Armstrong,[GQ] and the simple
ejaculation of Burns,[GR] (chosen, if I recollect right, by Mr.
Coleridge, as a motto for his embryo "Brook"),

    The Muse, nae poet ever fand her,
    Till by himsel' he learned to wander,
    Adown some trotting burn's meander,
           AND NO THINK LANG.

    W. W. 1820.

As an illustration of the extraordinary freaks of contemporary
criticism--freaks which still tarnish much that issues from the
press--an estimate of those Duddon Sonnets, which appeared in _The
Monthly Review_ in 1820, may be referred to. All that posterity now
admires in this exquisite series of descriptive poems is decried; and
those passages which posterity regards as blemishes, are held up to
admiration; _e.g._ the lines with which the tenth sonnet, in "The
Stepping-Stones," concludes, which are so frigid and affected, were
hailed as "a complete return into the regions of antiquity," and as a
sign that "Mr. Wordsworth is certainly improving"! They are the very
feeble lines:--

    The frolic Loves, who, from yon high rock, see
    The struggle, clap their wings for victory!

while the

             ... unculled floweret of the glen,
    Fearless of plough and scythe; or darkling wren
    That tunes on Duddon's banks her slender voice,

is held up to ridicule!--ED.


[Footnote 466: _Paradise Lost_, book viii. l. 282.--ED.]


[Footnote GN: John Dyer. _The Ruins of Rome_, 4to, London, 1740. Compare
Wordsworth's lines _To the Poet, John Dyer_, vol. iv. p. 273.--ED.]

[Footnote GO: Compare p. 302, "Why is the Harp of Quantock

[Footnote GP: See _Georgics_ II. 486.--ED.]

[Footnote GQ: Armstrong's "apostrophe to the great rivers of the earth"
is in his _Art of Preserving Health_ (book ii. ll. 355-364)--

                           ... I hear the din
    Of waters thund'ring o'er the ruined cliffs.
    With holy reverence I approach the rocks
    Whence glide the streams renowned in ancient song.
    Here from the desert down the rumbling steep
    First springs the Nile; here vents the sounding Po
    In angry waves; Euphrates hence devolves
    A mighty flood to water half the East;
    And there, in Gothic solitude reclined,
    The cheerless Tanais pours his hoary urn.


[Footnote GR: From his _Epistle to William Simpson, Ochiltree_; stanza


The EAGLE requires a large domain for its support; but several pairs,
not many years ago, were constantly resident in this country, building
their nests in the steeps of Borrowdale, Wastdale, Ennerdale, and on the
eastern side of Helvellyn. Often have I heard anglers speak of the
grandeur of their appearance, as they hovered over Red Tarn, in one of
the coves of this mountain. The bird frequently returns, but is always
destroyed. Not long since one visited Rydal Lake, and remained some
hours near its banks; the consternation which it occasioned among the
different species of fowl, particularly the herons, was expressed by
loud screams. The horse also is naturally afraid of the eagle.--There
were several Roman stations among these mountains; the most considerable
seems to have been in a meadow at the head of Windermere, established,
undoubtedly, as a check over the passes of Kirkstone, Dunmail-raise, and
of Hardknot and Wrynose. On the margin of Rydal Lake, a coin of Trajan
was discovered very lately.--The ROMAN FORT here alluded to, called by
the country people "_Hardknot Castle_," is most impressively situated
half-way down the hill on the right of the road that descends from
Hardknot into Eskdale. It has escaped the notice of most antiquarians,
and is but slightly mentioned by Lysons.--The DRUIDICAL CIRCLE is about
half a mile to the left of the road ascending Stone-side from the vale
of Duddon: the country people call it "_Sunken Church_."

The reader who may have been interested in the foregoing Sonnets (which
together may be considered as a Poem) will not be displeased to find in
this place a prose account of the Duddon, extracted from Green's
comprehensive _Guide to the Lakes_, lately published. "The road leading
from Coniston to Broughton is over high ground, and commands a view of
the river Duddon; which at high water is a grand sight, having the
beautiful and fertile lands of Lancashire and Cumberland stretching each
way from its margin. In this extensive view, the face of nature is
displayed in a wonderful variety of hill and dale; wooded grounds and
buildings; amongst the latter, Broughton Tower, seated on the crown of a
hill, rising elegantly from the valley, is an object of extraordinary
interest. Fertility on each side is gradually diminished, and lost in
the superior heights of Blackcomb, in Cumberland, and the high lands
between Kirkby and Ulverstone.

"The road from Broughton to Seathwaite is on the banks of the Duddon,
and on its Lancashire side it is of various elevations. The river is an
amusing companion, one while brawling and tumbling over rocky
precipices, until the agitated water becomes again calm by arriving at a
smoother and less precipitous bed, but its course is soon again ruffled,
and the current thrown into every variety of form which the rocky
channel of a river can give to water." (_Vide_ Green's _Guide to the
Lakes_, vol. i. pp. 98-100.)

After all, the traveller would be most gratified who should approach
this beautiful Stream, neither at its source, as is done in the Sonnets,
nor from its termination; but from Coniston over Walna Scar; first
descending into a little circular valley, a collateral compartment of
the long winding vale through which flows the Duddon. This recess,
towards the close of September, when the after-grass of the meadows is
still of a fresh green, with the leaves of many of the trees faded, but
perhaps none fallen, is truly enchanting. At a point elevated enough to
show the various objects in the valley, and not so high as to diminish
their importance, the stranger will instinctively halt. On the
foreground, a little below the most favourable station, a rude
foot-bridge is thrown over the bed of the noisy brook, foaming by the
wayside. Russet and craggy hills, of bold and varied outline, surround
the level valley which is besprinkled with grey rocks plumed with birch
trees. A few homesteads are interspersed in some places, peeping out
from among the rocks like hermitages, whose site has been chosen for the
benefit of sunshine as well as shelter; in other instances, the
dwelling-house, barn, and byre, compose together a cruciform structure,
which, with its embowering trees and the ivy clothing part of the walls
and roof, like a fleece, call to mind the remains of an ancient abbey.
Time, in most cases, and nature every where, have given a sanctity to
the humble works of man, that are scattered over this peaceful
retirement. Hence a harmony of tone and colour, a consummation and
perfection of beauty, which would have been marred had aim or purpose
interfered with the course of convenience, utility, or necessity. This
unvitiated region stands in no need of the veil of twilight to soften or
disguise its features. As it glistens in the morning sunshine, it would
fill the spectator's heart with gladsomeness. Looking from our chosen
station, he would feel an impatience to rove among its pathways, to be
greeted by the milkmaid, to wander from house to house, exchanging
"good-morrows" as he passed the open doors; but, at evening, when the
sun is set, and a pearly light gleams from the western quarter of the
sky, with an answering light from the smooth surface of the meadows;
when the trees are dusky, but each kind still distinguishable; when the
cool air has condensed the blue smoke rising from the cottage-chimneys;
when the dark mossy stones seem to sleep in the bed of the foaming
Brook; _then_, he would be unwilling to move forward, not less from a
reluctance to relinquish what he beholds, than from an apprehension of
disturbing, by his approach, the quietness beneath him. Issuing from the
plain of this valley, the Brook descends in a rapid torrent, passing by
the churchyard of Seathwaite. The traveller is thus conducted at once
into the midst of the wild and beautiful scenery which gave occasion to
the Sonnets from the 14th to the 20th inclusive. From the point where
the Seathwaite Brook joins the Duddon, is a view upwards, into the pass
through which the River makes its way into the Plain of Donnerdale. The
perpendicular rock on the right bears the ancient British name of THE
PEN; the one opposite is called WALLA-BARROW CRAG, a name that occurs in
several places to designate rocks of the same character. The _chaotic_
aspect of the scene is well marked by the expression of a stranger, who
strolled out while dinner was preparing, and, at his return, being asked
by his host, "What way he had been wandering?" replied, "As far as it is

The bed of the Duddon is here strewn with large fragments of rock fallen
from aloft; which, as Mr. Green truly says, "are happily adapted to the
many-shaped waterfalls," (or rather water-breaks, for none of them are
high,) "displayed in the short space of half a mile." That there is some
hazard in frequenting these desolate places, I myself have had proof;
for one night an immense mass of rock fell upon the very spot where,
with a friend, I had lingered the day before. "The concussion," says Mr.
Green, speaking of the event, (for he also, in the practice of his art,
on that day sat exposed for a still longer time to the same peril,) "was
heard, not without alarm, by the neighbouring shepherds." But to return
to Seathwaite Churchyard: it contains the following inscription:--

"In memory of the Reverend Robert Walker, who died the 25th of June,
1802, in the 93d year of his age, and 67th of his curacy at Seathwaite.

"Also, of Anne his wife, who died the 28th of January, in the 93d year
of her age."

In the parish-register of Seathwaite Chapel, is this notice:

"Buried, June 28th, the Rev. Robert Walker. He was curate of Seathwaite
sixty-six years. He was a man singular for his temperance, industry, and

This individual is the Pastor alluded to, in the eighteenth Sonnet, as a
worthy compeer of the Country Parson of Chaucer, etc. In the seventh
book of _The Excursion_, an abstract of his character is given,

    A Priest abides before whose life such doubts
    Fall to the ground;--

and some account of his life,[GS] for it is worthy of being recorded,
will not be out of place here.


[Footnote GS: 1827. An abstract of his character is given in the
author's poem of _The Excursion_; and some account of his life.--W. W.


In the year 1709, Robert Walker was born at Under-crag, in Seathwaite;
he was the youngest of twelve children. His eldest brother, who
inherited the small family estate, died at Under-crag, aged ninety-four,
being twenty-four years older than the subject of this Memoir, who was
born of the same mother. Robert was a sickly infant; and, through his
boyhood and youth continuing to be of delicate frame and tender health,
it was deemed best, according to the country phrase, to _breed him a
scholar_; for it was not likely that he would be able to earn a
livelihood by bodily labour. At that period few of these dales were
furnished with school-houses; the children being taught to read and
write in the chapel; and in the same consecrated building, where he
officiated for so many years both as preacher and schoolmaster, he
himself received the rudiments of his education. In his youth he became
schoolmaster at Loweswater; not being called upon, probably, in that
situation, to teach more than reading, writing, and arithmetic. But, by
the assistance of a "Gentleman" in the neighbourhood, he acquired, at
leisure hours, a knowledge of the classics, and became qualified for
taking holy orders. Upon his ordination, he had the offer of two
curacies: the one, Torver, in the vale of Coniston,--the other,
Seathwaite, in his native vale. The value of each was the same, _viz._
five pounds _per annum_: but the cure of Seathwaite having a cottage
attached to it, as he wished to marry, he chose it in preference. The
young person on whom his affections were fixed, though in the condition
of a domestic servant, had given promise, by her serious and modest
deportment, and by her virtuous dispositions, that she was worthy to
become the helpmate of a man entering upon a plan of life such as he had
marked out for himself. By her frugality she had stored up a small sum
of money, with which they began housekeeping. In 1735 or 1736, he
entered upon his curacy; and nineteen years afterwards, his situation is
thus described, in some letters to be found in the Annual Register for
1760, from which the following is extracted:

    To Mr. ----.

    "CONISTON, _July_ 26, 1754.


     "I was the other day upon a party of pleasure, about five or six
     miles from this place, where I met with a very striking object, and
     of a nature not very common. Going into a clergyman's house (of
     whom I had frequently heard), I found him sitting at the head of a
     long square table, such as is commonly used in this country by the
     lower class of people, dressed in a coarse blue frock, trimmed with
     black horn buttons; a checked shirt, a leathern strap about his
     neck for a stock, a coarse apron, and a pair of great wooden-soled
     shoes plated with iron to preserve them (what we call clogs in
     these parts), with a child upon his knee, eating his breakfast; his
     wife, and the remainder of his children, were some of them employed
     in waiting upon each other, the rest in teazing and spinning wool,
     at which trade he is a great proficient; and moreover, when it is
     made ready for sale, will lay it, by sixteen or thirty-two pounds'
     weight, upon his back, and on foot, seven or eight miles, will
     carry it to the market, even in the depth of winter. I was not much
     surprised at all this, as you may possibly be, having heard a great
     deal of it related before. But I must confess myself astonished
     with the alacrity and the good humour that appeared both in the
     clergyman and his wife, and more so at the sense and ingenuity of
     the clergyman himself." ...

Then follows a letter from another person, dated 1755, from which an
extract shall be given.

     "By his frugality and good management, he keeps the wolf from the
     door, as we say; and if he advances a little in the world, it is
     owing more to his own care, than to anything else he has to rely
     upon. I don't find his inclination is running after further
     preferment. He is settled among the people, that are happy among
     themselves; and lives in the greatest unanimity and friendship with
     them; and, I believe, the minister and people are exceedingly
     satisfied with each other; and indeed how should they be
     dissatisfied when they have a person of so much worth and probity
     for their pastor? A man who, for his candour and meekness, his
     sober, chaste, and virtuous conversation, his soundness in
     principle and practice, is an ornament to his profession, and an
     honour to the country he is in; and bear with me if I say, the
     plainness of his dress, the sanctity of his manners, the simplicity
     of his doctrine, and the vehemence of his expression, have a sort
     of resemblance to the pure practice of primitive Christianity."

We will now give his own account of himself, to be found in the same

     From the Rev. ROBERT WALKER.

     "SIR,--Yours of the 26th instant was communicated to me by Mr.
     C----, and I should have returned an immediate answer, but the hand
     of Providence, then laying[GT] heavy upon an amiable pledge of
     conjugal endearment, hath since taken from me a promising girl,
     which the disconsolate mother too pensively laments the loss of;
     though we have yet eight living, all healthful, hopeful children,
     whose names and ages are as follows:--Zaccheus, aged almost
     eighteen years; Elizabeth, sixteen years and ten months; Mary,
     fifteen; Moses, thirteen years and three months; Sarah, ten years
     and three months; Mabel, eight years and three months; William
     Tyson, three years and eight months; and Anne Esther, one year and
     three months; besides Anne, who died two years and six months ago,
     and was then aged between nine and ten; and Eleanor, who died the
     23d inst., January, aged six years and ten months. Zaccheus, the
     eldest child, is now learning the trade of a tanner, and has two
     years and a half of his apprenticeship to serve. The annual income
     of my chapel at present, as near as I can compute it, may amount to
     about £17, of which is paid in cash, viz., £5 from the bounty
     of Queen Anne, and £5 from W. P., Esq., of P----, out of the
     annual rents, he being lord of the manor, and £3 from the several
     inhabitants of L----, settled upon the tenements as a rent-charge;
     the house and gardens I value at £4 yearly, and not worth more;
     and I believe the surplice fees and voluntary contributions, one
     year with another, may be worth £3; but as the inhabitants are
     few in number, and the fees very low, this last-mentioned sum
     consists merely in freewill offerings.

     "I am situated greatly to my satisfaction with regard to the
     conduct and behaviour of my auditory, who not only live in the
     happy ignorance of the follies and vices of the age, but in mutual
     peace and goodwill with one another, and are seemingly (I hope
     really too) sincere Christians, and sound members of the
     Established Church, not one dissenter of any denomination being
     amongst them all. I got to the value of £40 for my wife's
     fortune, but had no real estate of my own, being the youngest son
     of twelve children, born of obscure parents; and, though my income
     has been but small, and my family large, yet, by a providential
     blessing upon my own diligent endeavours, the kindness of friends,
     and a cheap country to live in, we have always had the necessaries
     of life. By what I have written (which is a true and exact account
     to the best of my knowledge,) I hope you will not think your favour
     to me, out of the late worthy Dr. Stratford's effects, quite
     misbestowed, for which I must ever gratefully own myself, Sir, your
     much obliged and most obedient humble Servant,

    "R. W., Curate of S----,

    "To Mr. C., of Lancaster."

About the time when this letter was written, the Bishop of Chester
recommended the scheme of joining the curacy of Ulpha to the contiguous
one of Seathwaite, and the nomination was offered to Mr. Walker; but an
unexpected difficulty arising, Mr. W., in a letter to the Bishop, (a
copy of which, in his own beautiful handwriting, now lies before me,)
thus expresses himself. "If he," meaning the person in whom the
difficulty originated, "had suggested any such objection before, I
should utterly have declined any attempt to the curacy of Ulpha: indeed,
I was always apprehensive it might be disagreeable to my auditory at
Seathwaite, as they have been always accustomed to double duty, and the
inhabitants of Ulpha despair of being able to support a schoolmaster who
is not curate there also; which suppressed all thoughts in me of serving
them both." And in a second letter to the Bishop he writes:--

     "MY LORD,--I have the favour of yours of the 1st instant, and am
     exceedingly obliged on account of the Ulpha affair: if that curacy
     should lapse into your Lordship's hands, I would beg leave rather
     to decline than embrace it; for the chapels of Seathwaite and
     Ulpha, annexed together, would be apt to cause a general discontent
     among the inhabitants of both places; by either thinking
     themselves slighted, being only served alternately, or neglected in
     the duty, or attributing it to covetousness in me; all which
     occasions of murmuring I would willingly avoid." And in concluding
     his former letter, he expresses a similar sentiment upon the same
     occasion, "desiring, if it be possible, however, as much as in me
     lieth, to live peaceably with all men."

The year following, the curacy of Seathwaite was again augmented; and,
to effect this augmentation, fifty pounds had been advanced by himself;
and, in 1760, lands were purchased with eight hundred pounds. Scanty as
was his income, the frequent offer of much better benefices could not
tempt Mr. W. to quit a situation where he had been so long happy, with a
consciousness of being useful. Among his papers I find the following
copy of a letter, dated 1775, twenty years after his refusal of the
curacy of Ulpha, which will show what exertions had been made for one of
his sons.

     "MAY IT PLEASE YOUR GRACE,--Our remote situation here makes it
     difficult to get the necessary information for transacting business
     regularly; such is the reason of my giving your Grace the present

     "The bearer (my son) is desirous of offering himself candidate for
     deacon's orders at your Grace's ensuing ordination; the first, on
     the 25th instant, so that his papers could not be transmitted in
     due time. As he is now fully at age, and I have afforded him
     education to the utmost of my ability, it would give me great
     satisfaction (if your Grace would take him, and find him qualified)
     to have him ordained. His constitution has been tender for some
     years; he entered the college of Dublin, but his health would not
     permit him to continue there, or I would have supported him much
     longer. He has been with me at home above a year, in which time he
     has gained great strength of body, sufficient, I hope, to enable
     him for performing the function. Divine Providence, assisted by
     liberal benefactors, has blest my endeavours, from a small income,
     to rear a numerous family; and as my time of life renders me now
     unfit for much future expectancy from this world, I should be glad
     to see my son settled in a promising way to acquire an honest
     livelihood for himself. His behaviour, so far in life, has been
     irreproachable; and I hope he will not degenerate, in principles or
     practice, from the precepts and pattern of an indulgent parent.
     Your Grace's favourable reception of this, from a distant corner
     of the diocese, and an obscure hand, will excite filial gratitude,
     and a due use shall be made of the obligation vouchsafed thereby to
     Your Grace's very dutiful and most obedient Son and Servant,


     The same man, who was thus liberal in the education of his numerous
     family, was even munificent in his hospitality as a parish priest.
     Every Sunday, were served, upon the long table, at which he has
     been described sitting with a child upon his knee, messes of broth,
     for the refreshment of those of his congregation who came from a
     distance, and usually took their seats as parts of his own
     household. It seems scarcely possible that this custom could have
     commenced before the augmentation of his cure; and what would to
     many have been a high price of self-denial, was paid, by the pastor
     and his family, for this gratification; as the treat could only be
     provided by dressing at one time the whole, perhaps, of their
     weekly allowance of fresh animal food; consequently, for a
     succession of days, the table was covered with cold victuals only.
     His generosity in old age may be still further illustrated by a
     little circumstance relating to an orphan grandson, then ten years
     of age, which I find in a copy of a letter to one of his sons; he
     requests that half-a-guinea may be left for "little Robert's
     pocket-money," who was then at school: intrusting it to the care of
     a lady, who, as he says, "may sometimes frustrate his squandering
     it away foolishly," and promising to send him an equal allowance
     annually for the same purpose. The conclusion of the same letter is
     so characteristic, that I cannot forbear to transcribe it. "We,"
     meaning his wife and himself, "are in our wonted state of health,
     allowing for the hasty strides of old age knocking daily at our
     door, and threateningly telling us, we are not only mortal, but
     must expect ere long to take our leave of our ancient cottage, and
     lie down in our last dormitory. Pray pardon my neglect to answer
     yours; let us hear sooner from you, to augment the mirth of the
     Christmas holidays. Wishing you all the pleasures of the
     approaching season, I am, dear Son, with lasting sincerity, yours


He loved old customs and usages, and in some instances stuck to them to
his own loss; for, having had a sum of money lodged in the hands of a
neighbouring tradesman, when long course of time had raised the rate of
interest, and more was offered, he refused to accept it; an act not
difficult to one, who, while he was drawing seventeen pounds a year from
his curacy, declined, as we have seen, to add the profits of another
small benefice to his own, lest he should be suspected of cupidity. From
this vice he was utterly free; he made no charge for teaching school;
such as could afford to pay, gave him what they pleased. When very
young, having kept a diary of his expenses, however trifling, the large
amount, at the end of the year, surprised him; and from that time the
rule of his life was to be economical, not avaricious. At his decease he
left behind him no less a sum than _£_2000; and such a sense of his
various excellencies was prevalent in the country, that the epithet of
WONDERFUL is to this day attached to his name.

There is in the above sketch something so extraordinary as to require
further _explanatory_ details.--And to begin with his industry; eight
hours in each day, during five days in the week, and half of Saturday,
except when the labours of husbandry were urgent, he was occupied in
teaching. His seat was within the rails of the altar; the
communion-table was his desk; and, like Shenstone's schoolmistress, the
master employed himself at the spinning-wheel, while the children were
repeating their lessons by his side. Every evening, after school hours,
if not more profitably engaged, he continued the same kind of labour,
exchanging, for the benefit of exercise, the small wheel, at which he
had sate, for the large one on which wool is spun, the spinner stepping
to and fro. Thus, was the wheel constantly in readiness to prevent the
waste of a moment's time. Nor was his industry with the pen, when
occasion called for it, less eager. Intrusted with extensive management
of public and private affairs, he acted, in his rustic neighbourhood, as
scrivener, writing out petitions, deeds of conveyance, wills, covenants,
etc., with pecuniary gain to himself, and to the great benefit of his
employers. These labours (at all times considerable) at one period of
the year, viz., between Christmas and Candlemas, when money transactions
are settled in this country, were often so intense, that he passed great
part of the night, and sometimes whole nights, at his desk. His garden
also was tilled by his own hand; he had a right of pasturage upon the
mountains for a few sheep and a couple of cows, which required his
attendance; with this pastoral occupation, he joined the labours of
husbandry upon a small scale, renting two or three acres in addition to
his own less than one acre of glebe; and the humblest drudgery which the
cultivation of these fields required was performed by himself.

He also assisted his neighbours in haymaking and shearing their flocks,
and in the performance of this latter service he was eminently
dexterous. They, in their turn, complimented him with the present of a
haycock, or a fleece; less as a recompense for this particular service
than as a general acknowledgment. The Sabbath was in a strict sense kept
holy; the Sunday evenings being devoted to reading the Scripture and
family prayer. The principal festivals appointed by the Church were also
duly observed; but through every other day in the week, through every
week in the year he was incessantly occupied in work of hand or mind;
not allowing a moment for recreation, except upon a Saturday afternoon,
when he indulged himself with a Newspaper, or sometimes with a Magazine.
The frugality and temperance established in his house, were as admirable
as the industry. Nothing to which the name of luxury could be given was
there known; in the latter part of his life, indeed, when tea had been
brought into almost general use, it was provided for visitors, and for
such of his own family as returned occasionally to his roof, and had
been accustomed to this refreshment elsewhere; but neither he nor his
wife ever partook of it. The raiment worn by his family was comely and
decent, but as simple as their diet; the home-spun materials were made
up into apparel by their own hands. At the time of the decease of this
thrifty pair, their cottage contained a large store of webs of woollen
and linen cloth, woven from thread of their own spinning. And it is
remarkable that the pew in the chapel in which the family used to sit,
remains neatly lined with woollen cloth spun by the pastor's own hands.
It is the only pew in the chapel so distinguished; and I know of no
other instance of his conformity to the delicate accommodations of
modern times. The fuel of the house, like that of their neighbours,
consisted of peat, procured from the mosses by their own labour. The
lights by which, in the winter evenings, their work was performed, were
of their own manufacture, such as still continue to be used in these
cottages; they are made of the pith of rushes dipped in any unctuous
substance that the house affords. _White_ candles, as tallow candles are
here called, were reserved to honour the Christmas festivals, and were
perhaps produced upon no other occasions. Once a month, during the
proper season, a sheep was drawn from their small mountain flock, and
killed for the use of the family; and a cow, towards the close of the
year, was salted and dried for winter provision: the hide was tanned to
furnish them with shoes.--By these various resources, this venerable
clergyman reared a numerous family, not only preserving them, as he
affectingly says, "from wanting the necessaries of life"; but affording
them an unstinted education, and the means of raising themselves in
society. In this they were eminently assisted by the effects of their
father's example, his precepts, and injunctions: he was aware that
truth-speaking, as a moral virtue, is best secured by inculcating
attention to accuracy of report even on trivial occasions; and so rigid
were the rules of honesty by which he endeavoured to bring up his
family, that if one of them had chanced to find in the lanes or fields
anything of the least use or value without being able to ascertain to
whom it belonged, he always insisted upon the child's carrying it back
to the place from which it had been brought.[GU]

No one it might be thought could, as has been described, convert his
body into a machine, as it were, of industry for the humblest uses, and
keep his thoughts so frequently bent upon secular concerns, without
grievous injury to the more precious parts of his nature. How could the
powers of intellect thrive, or its graces be displayed, in the midst of
circumstances apparently so unfavourable, and where, to the direct
cultivation of the mind, so small a portion of time was allotted? But,
in this extraordinary man, things in their nature adverse were
reconciled. His conversation was remarkable, not only for being chaste
and pure, but for the degree in which it was fervent and eloquent; his
written style was correct, simple, and animated. Nor did his
_affections_ suffer more than his intellect; he was tenderly alive to
all the duties of his pastoral office: the poor and needy "he never sent
empty away," the stranger was fed and refreshed in passing that
unfrequented vale,--the sick were visited; and the feelings of humanity
found further exercise among the distresses and embarrassments in the
worldly estate of his neighbours, with which his talents for business
made him acquainted; and the disinterestedness, impartiality, and
uprightness which he maintained in the management of all affairs
confided to him, were virtues seldom separated in his own conscience
from religious obligation. Nor could such conduct fail to remind those
who witnessed it of a spirit nobler than law or custom: they felt
convictions which, but for such intercourse, could not have been
afforded, that, as in the practice of their pastor, there was no guile,
so in his faith there was nothing hollow; and we are warranted in
believing, that upon these occasions, selfishness, obstinacy, and
discord would often give way before the breathings of his goodwill and
saintly integrity. It may be presumed also--while his humble
congregation were listening to the moral precepts which he delivered
from the pulpit, and to the Christian exhortations that they should love
their neighbours as themselves, and do as they would be done unto--that
peculiar efficacy was given to the preacher's labours by recollections
in the minds of his congregation, that they were called upon to do no
more than his own actions were daily setting before their eyes.

The afternoon service in the chapel was less numerously attended than
that of the morning, but by a more serious auditory; the lesson from the
New Testament, on those occasions, was accompanied by Burkitt's
Commentaries. These lessons he read with impassioned emphasis,
frequently drawing tears from his hearers, and leaving a lasting
impression upon their minds. His devotional feelings and the powers of
his own mind were further exercised, along with those of his family, in
perusing the Scriptures: not only on the Sunday evenings, but on every
other evening, while the rest of the household were at work, some one of
the children, and in her turn the servant, for the sake of practice in
reading, or for instruction, read the Bible aloud; and in this manner
the whole was repeatedly gone through. That no common importance was
attached to the observance of religious ordinances by his family,
appears from the following memorandum by one of his descendants, which I
am tempted to insert at length, as it is characteristic, and somewhat
curious. "There is a small chapel in the county palatine of Lancaster,
where a certain clergyman has regularly officiated above sixty years,
and a few months ago administered the sacrament of the Lord's Supper in
the same, to a decent number of devout communicants. After the clergyman
had received himself, the first company out of the assembly who
approached the altar, and kneeled down to be partakers of the sacred
elements, consisted of the parson's wife, to whom he had been married
upwards of sixty years; one son and his wife; four daughters, each with
her husband; whose ages, all added together, amount to above 714 years.
The several and respective distances from the place of each of their
abodes, to the chapel where they all communicated, will measure more
than 1000 English miles. Though the narration will appear surprising, it
is without doubt a fact that the same persons, exactly four years
before, met at the same place, and all joined in performance of the same
venerable duty."

He was indeed most zealously attached to the doctrine and frame of the
Established Church. We have seen him congratulating himself that he had
no dissenters in his cure of any denomination. Some allowance must be
made for the state of opinion when his first religious impressions were
received, before the reader will acquit him of bigotry, when I mention,
that at the time of the augmentation of the cure, he refused to invest
part of the money in the purchase of an estate offered to him upon
advantageous terms, because the proprietor was a Quaker;--whether from
scrupulous apprehension that a blessing would not attend a contract
framed for the benefit of the church between persons not in religious
sympathy with each other; or, as a seeker of peace, he was afraid of the
uncomplying disposition which at one time was too frequently conspicuous
in that sect. Of this an instance had fallen under his own notice; for,
while he taught school at Loweswater, certain persons of that
denomination had refused to pay annual interest due[GV] under the title
of Church-stock;[GW] a great hardship upon the incumbent, for the curacy
of Loweswater was then scarcely less poor than that of Seathwaite. To
what degree this prejudice of his was blameable need not be
determined;--certain it is, that he was not only desirous, as he himself
says, to live in peace, but in love, with all men. He was placable, and
charitable in his judgments; and, however correct in conduct and
rigorous to himself, he was ever ready to forgive the trespasses of
others, and to soften the censure that was cast upon their
frailties.--It would be unpardonable to omit that, in the maintenance of
his virtues, he received due support from the partner of his long life.
She was equally strict, in attending to her share of their joint cares,
nor less diligent in her appropriate occupations. A person who had been
some time their servant in the latter part of their lives, concluded the
panegyric of her mistress by saying to me, "She was no less excellent
than her husband; she was good to the poor, she was good to every
thing!" He survived for a short time this virtuous companion. When she
died, he ordered that her body should be borne to the grave by three of
her daughters and one grand-daughter; and, when the corpse was lifted
from the threshold, he insisted upon lending his aid, and feeling
about, for he was then almost blind, took hold of a napkin fixed to the
coffin; and, as a bearer of the body, entered the chapel, a few steps
from the lowly parsonage.

What a contrast does the life of this obscurely-seated, and, in point of
worldly wealth, poorly-repaid Churchman, present to that of a Cardinal

    O, 'tis a burthen, Cromwell, 'tis a burthen
    Too heavy for a man that hopes for heaven![GX]

We have been dwelling upon images of peace in the moral world, that have
brought us again to the quiet enclosure of consecrated ground, in which
this venerable pair lie interred. The sounding brook, that rolls close
by the churchyard, without disturbing feeling or meditation, is now
unfortunately laid bare; but not long ago it participated, with the
chapel, the shade of some stately ash-trees, which will not spring
again. While the spectator from this spot is looking round upon the
girdle of stony mountains that encompasses the vale,--masses of rock,
out of which monuments for all men that ever existed might have been
hewn--it would surprise him to be told, as with truth he might be, that
the plain blue slab dedicated to the memory of this aged pair is a
production of a quarry in North Wales. It was sent as a mark of respect
by one of their descendants from the vale of Festiniog, a region almost
as beautiful as that in which it now lies!

Upon the Seathwaite Brook, at a small distance from the parsonage, has
been erected a mill for spinning yarn; it is a mean and disagreeable
object, though not unimportant to the spectator, as calling to mind the
momentous changes wrought by such inventions in the frame of
society--changes which have proved especially unfavourable to these
mountain solitudes. So much had been effected by those new powers,
before the subject of the preceding biographical sketch closed his life,
that their operation could not escape his notice, and doubtless excited
touching reflections upon the comparatively insignificant results of his
own manual industry. But Robert Walker was not a man of times and
circumstances: had he lived at a later period, the principle of duty
would have produced application as unremitting; the same energy of
character would have been displayed, though in many instances with
widely different effects.

With pleasure I annex, as illustrative and confirmatory of the above
account, extracts from a paper in the _Christian Remembrancer_, October
1819: it bears an assumed signature, but is known to be the work of the
Rev. Robert Bamford, vicar of Bishopton, in the county of Durham; a
great-grandson of Mr. Walker, whose worth it commemorates, by a record
not the less valuable for being written in very early youth.

"His house was a nursery of virtue. All the inmates were industrious,
and cleanly, and happy. Sobriety, neatness, quietness, characterised the
whole family. No railings, no idleness, no indulgence of passion were
permitted. Every child, however young, had its appointed engagements;
every hand was busy. Knitting, spinning, reading, writing, mending
clothes, making shoes, were by the different children constantly
performing. The father himself sitting amongst them, and guiding their
thoughts, was engaged in the same occupations....

"He sate up late, and rose early; when the family were at rest, he
retired to a little room which he had built on the roof of his house. He
had slated it, and fitted it up with shelves for his books, his stock of
cloth, wearing apparel, and his utensils. There many a cold winter's
night, without fire, while the roof was glazed with ice, did he remain
reading or writing, till the day dawned. He taught the children in the
chapel, for there was no schoolhouse. Yet in that cold, damp place he
never had a fire. He used to send the children in parties either to his
own fire at home, or make them run up the mountain side.

       *       *       *       *       *

"It may be further mentioned, that he was a passionate admirer of
Nature; she was his mother, and he was a dutiful child. While engaged on
the mountains, it was his greatest pleasure to view the rising sun; and
in tranquil evenings, as it slided behind the hills, he blessed its
departure. He was skilled in fossils and plants; a constant observer of
the stars and winds: the atmosphere was his delight. He made many
experiments on its nature and properties. In summer he used to gather a
multitude of flies and insects, and, by his entertaining description,
amuse and instruct his children. They shared all his daily employments,
and derived many sentiments of love and benevolence from his
observations on the works and productions of nature. Whether they were
following him in the field, or surrounding him in school, he took every
opportunity of storing their minds with useful information.--Nor was
the circle of his influence confined to Seathwaite. Many a distant
mother has told her child of Mr. Walker, and begged him to be as good a

       *       *       *       *       *

"Once, when I was very young, I had the pleasure of seeing and hearing
that venerable old man in his 90th year, and even then, the calmness,
the force, the perspicuity of his sermon, sanctified and adorned by the
wisdom of grey hairs, and the authority of virtue, had such an effect
upon my mind, that I never see a hoary-headed clergyman, without
thinking of Mr. Walker.... He allowed no dissenter or methodist to
interfere in the instruction of the souls committed to his cure: and so
successful were his exertions, that he had not one dissenter of any
denomination whatever in the whole parish. Though he avoided all
religious controversies, yet when age had silvered his head, and
virtuous piety had secured to his appearance reverence and silent
honour, no one, however determined in his hatred of apostolic descent,
could have listened to his discourse on ecclesiastical history and
ancient times, without thinking, that one of the beloved apostles had
returned to mortality, and in that vale of peace had come to exemplify
the beauty of holiness in the life and character of Mr. Walker.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Until the sickness of his wife, a few months previous to her death, his
health and spirits and faculties were unimpaired. But this misfortune
gave him such a shock, that his constitution gradually decayed. His
senses, except sight, still preserved their powers. He never preached
with steadiness after his wife's death. His voice faltered: he always
looked at the seat she had used. He could not pass her tomb without
tears. He became, when alone, sad and melancholy, though still among his
friends kind and good-humoured. He went to bed about twelve o'clock the
night before his death. As his custom was, he went, tottering and
leaning upon his daughter's arm, to examine the heavens, and meditate a
few moments in the open air. 'How clear the moon shines to-night!' He
said these words, sighed, and laid down. At six next morning he was
found a corpse. Many a tear, and many a heavy heart, and many a grateful
blessing followed him to the grave."[GY]

Having mentioned in this narrative the vale of Loweswater as a place
where Mr. Walker taught school, I will add a few memoranda from its
parish register, respecting a person apparently of desires as moderate,
with whom he must have been intimate during his residence there.

    "Let him that would, ascend the tottering seat
    Of courtly grandeur, and become as great
    As are his mounting wishes; but for me,
    Let sweet repose and rest my portion be.

    HENRY FOREST, Curate."

    "Honour, the idol which the most adore,
    Receives no homage from my knee;
    Content in privacy I value more
    Than all uneasy dignity."

"Henry Forest came to Loweswater, 1708, being twenty-five years of age."

"This curacy was twice augmented by Queen Anne's Bounty. The first
payment, with great difficulty, was paid to Mr. John Curwen of London,
on the 9th of May, 1724, deposited by me, Henry Forest, curate of
Loweswater. Yᵉ said 9th of May, yᵉ said Mr. Curwen went to the office,
and saw my name registered there, etc. This, by the Providence of God,
came by lot to this poor place.

    "Hæc testor H. FOREST."

In another place he records, that the sycamore trees were planted in the
churchyard in 1710.

He died in 1741, having been curate thirty-four years. It is not
improbable that H. Forest was the gentleman who assisted Robert Walker
in his classical studies at Loweswater.

To this parish register is prefixed a motto, of which the following
verses are a part:--

    Invigilate viri, tacito nam tempora gressu
    Diffugiunt, nulloque sono convertitur annus;
    Utendum est ætate, cito pede præterit ætas.

    W. W. 1820.


[Footnote GT: Many archaic spellings, in this and other papers, are

[Footnote GU: The last sentence first appeared in the edition of

[Footnote GV: To pay, or be distrained upon, for the accustomed annual
interest due from them, among others.--W. W. 1820.]

[Footnote GW: Mr. Walker's charity being of that kind which "seeketh not
her own," he would rather forego his rights than distrain for dues which
the parties liable refused to pay as a point of conscience.--W. W.

[Footnote GX: See _King Henry VIII._, act III. scene 2, ll. 384,

[Footnote GY: The paragraphs from "With pleasure" (p. 282) to "to the
grave" (p. 283) were first printed in the edition of 1832.--ED.]



Composed 1821-2.--Published 1822

[I set out in company with my wife and sister, and Mr. and Mrs.
Monkhouse, then just married, and Miss Horrocks. These two ladies,
sisters, we left at Berne, while Mr. Monkhouse took the opportunity of
making an excursion with us among the Alps as far as Milan. Mr. H. C.
Robinson joined us at Lucerne, and when this ramble was completed we
rejoined at Geneva the two ladies we had left at Berne and proceeded to
Paris, where Mr. Monkhouse and H. C. R. left us, and where we spent five
weeks, of which there is not a record in these poems.--I. F.]

See Dorothy Wordsworth's itinerary (Note A) of this tour, and Henry
Crabb Robinson's account of it in his _Diary and Correspondence_, vol.
ii. pp. 166-192 (Note B to this volume).--ED.



    Dear Fellow-travellers![GZ] think not that the Muse,
    To You presenting these memorial Lays,
    Can hope the general eye thereon would gaze,[468]
    As on a mirror that gives back the hues
    Of living Nature; no--though free to choose                    5
    The greenest bowers, the most inviting ways,
    The fairest landscapes and the brightest days--
    Her skill she tried with less ambitious views.[469]
    For You she wrought: Ye only can supply
    The life, the truth, the beauty: she confides                 10
    In that enjoyment which with You abides,
    Trusts to your love and vivid memory;
    Thus far contented, that for You her verse
    Shall lack not power the "meeting soul to pierce!"[HA]


    RYDAL MOUNT, _Nov._ 1821[470]


[Footnote 467: Not in the editions of 1822-1832.]

[Footnote 468: 1837.

    Presents to notice these memorial Lays,
    Hoping the general eye thereon will gaze,                   1822.


[Footnote GZ: The Fellow-travellers were Mrs. Wordsworth, Dorothy
Wordsworth, Mr. and Mrs. Monkhouse, Miss Horrocks, and Henry Crabb



    'Tis said, fantastic ocean doth enfold
    The likeness of whate'er on land is seen;
    But, if the Nereid Sisters and their Queen,[HB]
    Above whose heads the tide so long hath rolled,
    The Dames resemble whom we here behold,                        5
    How fearful were it down through opening waves[471]
    To sink, and meet them in their fretted caves,
    Withered, grotesque, immeasurably old,
    And shrill and fierce in accent!--Fear it not:
    For they Earth's fairest daughters do excel;[472]             10
    Pure undecaying[473] beauty is their lot;
    Their voices into liquid music swell,
    Thrilling each pearly cleft and sparry grot,
    The undisturbed abodes where Sea-nymphs dwell!

"If in this Sonnet I should seem to have borne a little too hard upon
the personal appearance of the worthy Poissardes of Calais, let me take
shelter under the authority of my lamented friend, the late Sir George
Beaumont. He, a most accurate observer, used to say of them, that their
features and countenances seemed to have conformed to those of the
creatures they dealt in; at all events the resemblance was
striking."--W. W. 1822.

In Mrs. Wordsworth's Journal of this Tour on the Continent,--which, in
a letter to her daughter Dorothy (dated 20th February 1821), she calls
"hasty notes made by snatches during our journey,"--the following
occurs:--"Passing through the gates of the city, we had before us a
line of white-capped Fish-women, with thin brown faces. The fish very
foul, yet at dinner the same sort proved excellent."

In Dorothy Wordsworth's Journal of the same Tour, the following
occurs:--"Tuesday, 11th July. Calais.--With one consent we stopped to
gaze at a group--rather a _line_ of women and girls, seated beside
dirty fish baskets under the old gate-way and ramparts--their white
night caps, brown and puckered faces, bright eyes, etc. etc., very
striking. The arrangements--how unlike those of a fish-market in the
South of England!...

"Every one is struck with the excessive ugliness (if I may apply the
word to any _human_ creatures) of the fish-women of Calais, and _that_
no one can forget."--ED.

Henry Crabb Robinson wrote of this sonnet:--"Of the sonnets there is
one remarkable and _unique_; the humour and naïveté, and the
exquisitely refined sentiment of the Calais fish-women, are a
combination of excellencies quite novel." (_Diary, etc._, vol. ii. p.


[Footnote 469: 1827.

    She felt too deeply what her skill must lose.               1822.

[Footnote 470: 1837.

    Rydal Mount, January 1822.                                  1822.

[Footnote 471: 1837.

    How terrible beneath the opening waves                      1822.

[Footnote 472: 1822.

    In grace Earth's fairest Daughters they excel;              1837.

                    The text of 1840 returns to that of 1822.

[Footnote 473: 1827.

    Pure unmolested ...                                         1822.


[Footnote HA: Compare _L'Allegro_, l. 138.--ED.]

[Footnote HB: Amphitrite, herself a daughter of Nereus, was married to
Posidon, and was therefore Queen of the Sea. The name Amphitrite is
probably derived from the noise of waters pouring through the rifts of
rocks, and there may be an allusion to this in the concluding lines of
the sonnet.--ED.]



    Brugès I saw attired with golden light
    (Streamed from the west) as with a robe of power:
    The splendour fled; and now the sunless hour,
    That, slowly making way for peaceful night,[474]
    Best suits with fallen grandeur, to my sight                   5
    Offers the beauty, the magnificence,[475]
    And sober graces,[476] left her for defence
    Against the injuries of time, the spite
    Of fortune, and the desolating storms
    Of future war. Advance not--spare to hide,                    10
    O gentle Power of darkness! these mild hues;
    Obscure not yet these silent avenues
    Of stateliest architecture, where the Forms
    Of nun-like females, with soft motion, glide!

This is not the first poetical tribute which in our times has been paid
to this beautiful City. Mr. Southey, in the _Poet's Pilgrimage_, speaks
of it in lines which I cannot deny myself the pleasure of connecting
with my own.

    "Time hath not wronged her, nor hath Ruin sought
     Rudely her splendid Structures to destroy,
    Save in those recent days, with evil fraught,
     When Mutability, in drunken joy
    Triumphant, and from all restraint released,
    Let loose her fierce and many-headed beast.

    "But for the scars in that unhappy rage
     Inflicted, firm she stands and undecayed;
    Like our first Sires, a beautiful old age
     Is hers in venerable years arrayed;
    And yet, to her, benignant stars may bring,
    What fate denies to man,--a second spring.

    "When I may read of tilts in days of old,
     And tourneys graced by Chieftains of renown,
    Fair dames, grave citizens, and warriors bold,
     If fancy would pourtray some stately town,
    Which for such pomp fit theatre should be,
    Fair Bruges, I shall then remember thee."

    W. W. 1822.

"In this city are many vestiges of the splendour of the Burgundian
Dukedom, and the long black mantle universally worn by the females is
probably a remnant of the old Spanish connection, which, if I do not
much deceive myself, is traceable in the grave deportment of its
inhabitants. Bruges is comparatively little disturbed by that curious
contest, or rather conflict, of Flemish with French propensities in
matters of taste, so conspicuous through other parts of Flanders. The
hotel to which we drove at Ghent furnished an odd instance. In the
passages were paintings and statues, after the antique, of Hebe and
Apollo; and in the garden, a little pond, about a yard and a half in
diameter, with a weeping willow bending over it, and under the shade of
that tree, in the centre of the pond a wooden painted statue of a Dutch
or Flemish boor, looking ineffably tender upon his mistress, and
embracing her. A living duck, tethered at the feet of the sculptured
lovers, alternately tormented a miserable eel and itself with endeavours
to escape from its bonds and prison. Had we chanced to espy the hostess
of the hotel in this quaint rural retreat, the exhibition would have
been complete. She was a true Flemish figure, in the dress of the days
of Holbein; her symbol of office, a weighty bunch of keys, pendent from
her portly waist. In Brussels, the modern taste in costume,
architecture, etc., has got the mastery; in Ghent there is a struggle:
but in Bruges old images are still paramount, and an air of monastic
life among the quiet goings-on of a thinly-peopled city is inexpressibly
soothing; a pensive grace seems to be cast over all, even the very
children." (Extract from Journal.)--W. W. 1822.

From Mrs. Wordsworth's Journal:--"Thursday, 13th July....--Bruges. What
a place. D. and I walked out as soon as we could after our arrival....
Went into the old church. The nuns, the different worshippers, the
pictures, the place, the quiet stately streets, grand buildings,
graceful nun-like women in their long cloaks, treading with swan-like
motions those silent avenues of majestic architecture, I must leave to
D. to describe. My own mind was uplifted by a sort of devotional
elevation as if striving to fit itself to become worthy of what these
temples would lead to."

"... Friday, 14th.--At Bruges all is silence, grace, and unmixed
dignity.... You felt a sort of veneration for everything you looked
upon. Nothing of this here" [_i.e._ at Ghent]; "yet what a splendid
place! The evening too suited its character, for the sun went down in
brightness. Yesterday was not a sunny day, and Bruges wanted no
sunshine, its own outline in the gloom of evening needed no golden
lustre. Yet _this_ William witnessed, when D. and I were not with him,
the great Tower of the Market House bathed in gold!"

The following is from Dorothy Wordsworth's Journal:--"Thursday, 13th
July. Dunkirk.--We entered Bruges by a long gently-winding street, and
were so animated with pleasure in our hasty course that it seemed we too
soon reached the inn. W. and Mr. M. walked out immediately, eager to
view the city in the warm light of the setting sun....

"Continued to walk through the silent town till ten o'clock--no
carts--no chaises--a cloistral silence felt in every corner and every
open space, yet the large square was scattered over with groups of
people; or passengers walking to and fro, no lights in the houses!"--ED.


[Footnote 474: 1837.

    'Tis passed away;--and now the sunless hour,
    That slowly introducing peaceful night                      1822.

    'Tis past; and now the grave and sunless hour,
    That, slowly making way for peaceful night,                 1832.

[Footnote 475: 1827.

    Offers her beauty, her magnificence,                        1822.

[Footnote 476: 1827.

    And all the graces ...                                      1822.



    The Spirit of Antiquity--enshrined
    In sumptuous buildings, vocal in sweet song,
    In picture, speaking with heroic tongue,[477]
    And with devout solemnities entwined--
    Mounts to[478] the seat of grace within the mind:              5
    Hence Forms that glide[479] with swan-like ease along,
    Hence motions, even amid the vulgar throng,
    To an harmonious decency confined:
    As if the streets were consecrated ground,
    The city one vast temple, dedicate                            10
    To mutual respect in thought and deed;
    To leisure, to forbearances sedate;
    To social cares from jarring passions freed;
    A deeper[480] peace than that in deserts found!

See the note to the last sonnet. The following is from Mrs. Wordsworth's
Journal:--"Friday, 14th. Bruges.--Rose at five o'clock, paced the town
again, and visited, but with disturbed mind (for I had left William in
bed hurting himself with a sonnet), the churches of St. Salvador and
Notre Dame.... I joined W. in our carriage, and have here written down
the sonnet, Jones' Parsonage, so I hope he will be at rest."

The following is from Dorothy Wordsworth's Journal:--"Friday, 14th July.
Bruges.--The morning was bright, sunshine and shade falling upon the
lines of houses, and the out-juttings of the more noble buildings. In
the bright light of morning the same tender melancholy was over the city
as in the sober time of twilight, yet with intervening images of rural
life. A few peasants were now entering the town, and the rattling of a
rustic cart, prettily laden with vegetables fresh from the soil, gave a
gentle stirring to the fancy. Early as it was, people of all ages were
abroad chiefly on their way to the churches: the figure, gait, and
motions of the women in harmony with the collegiate air of the streets,
and the processions and solemnities of Catholic worship. Such figures
might have walked through these streets, two hundred years ago; streets
bearing no stamp of progress or of decay. One might fancy that as the
city had been built so it had remained. We first went to the Church of
St. Salvador, a venerable Gothic edifice. Within the Church, our walk
between the lofty pillars was very solemn. We saw in perspective the
marble floor scattered over, at irregular distances, with people of all
ages--standing, or upon their knees, silent, yet making such motions as
the order of their devotions prescribed, crossing themselves, beating
their breasts, or telling their beads. Such the general appearance of
the worshippers: but the gestures of some were more impassioned....

"We spent some time in admiring the beauty of the choir, and every other
part of this noble building, adorned as it is with statues; and pictures
not in the paltry style of the Churches at Calais and Fernes; but works
of art that would be interesting _anywhere_, and are much more so in
these sacred places, where the wretched and the happy, the poor and the
rich are alike invited to cast away worldly feelings, and may be
elevated by the representations of Scripture history, or of the
sufferings and glory of martyrs and saints."

In the final arrangement of his poems, Wordsworth placed the one
entitled _Incident at Brugès_--which belonged to the year 1828--after
the two sonnets on Brugès in these "Memorials of a Tour on the Continent
in 1820." In the present edition the former poem is restored to its
chronological place (see vol. vii.), where it is associated with _A
Jewish Family_. As a consequence the numbering of the poems differs
slightly from that which Wordsworth finally adopted.--ED.


[Footnote 477: 1827.

    And Tales transmitted through the popular tongue,           1822.

[Footnote 478: 1837.

    Strikes at ...                                              1822.

    Strikes to ...                                              1827.

[Footnote 479: 1827.

    ... slide ...                                               1822.

[Footnote 480: 1837.

    A nobler ...                                                1822.



    A wingèd Goddess--clothed in vesture wrought
    Of rainbow colours; One whose port was bold,
    Whose overburthened hand could scarcely hold
    The glittering crowns and garlands which it brought--
    Hovered in air above the far-famed Spot.                       5
    She vanished; leaving prospect blank and cold
    Of wind-swept corn that wide around us rolled
    In dreary billows, wood, and meagre cot,
    And monuments that soon must disappear:
    Yet a dread local recompense we found;                        10
    While glory seemed betrayed, while patriot-zeal
    Sank in our hearts, we felt as men _should_ feel[481]
    With such vast hoards of hidden carnage near,
    And horror breathing from the silent ground!

"Namur, Tuesday 18th.--Our ride yesterday, except for the intervention
of Waterloo, and its interests, which were so melancholy that I do not
like to touch upon them, was a dull one, though the road was pleasant
through the forest of Soignies. Waterloo, its pretty chapel, the walls
within covered with monuments, recording the fall of many of our brave
countrymen, and some few others as brave, La Haye Sainte, La Belle
Alliance, Quatre Bras. Dined at Genappe; two bullet shots in the
wainscot of the room, which, during the battle, had been heaped with
dead and dying." (From Mrs. Wordsworth's Journal.)

"Monday, 17th July, Brussels.--I could understand little till we got to
the field of battle, where we stood upon an elevation; and thence,
looking round upon every memorable spot, by help of gesture and action,
and the sounds 'les Anglois, les Francois,' etc. etc., I gathered up a
small portion of the story, helped out by a few monuments erected to the
memory of the slain; but all round, there was no other visible record of
slaughter: the wide fields were covered with luxuriant crops, just as
they had been before the battles, except that now the corn was nearly
ripe, and _then_ it was green. We stood upon grass, and corn fields
where _heaps_ of our countrymen lay buried beneath our feet. There was
little to be seen, but much to be felt; sorrow and sadness, and even
something like horror breathed out of the ground as we stood upon it!"
(From Dorothy Wordsworth's Journal, vol. i.) Compare the two sonnets
_Occasioned by the Battle of Waterloo, February, 1816_, also the
_Thanksgiving Ode_.--ED.


[Footnote 481: 1827.

    She vanished--All was joyless, blank, and cold;
    But if from wind-swept fields of corn that roll'd
    In dreary billows, from the meagre cot,
    And monuments that soon may disappear,
    Meanings we craved which could not there be found;
    If the wide prospect seemed an envious seal
    Of great exploits; we felt as Men _should_ feel,            1822.



[The scenery on the Meuse pleases me more, upon the whole, than that of
the Rhine, though the river itself is much inferior in grandeur. The
rocks, both in form and colour, especially between Namur and Liege,
surpass any upon the Rhine, though they are in several places
disfigured by quarries, whence stones were taken for the new
fortifications. This is much to be regretted, for they are useless, and
the scars will remain perhaps for thousands of years. A like injury to a
still greater degree has been inflicted, in my memory, upon the
beautiful rocks of Clifton, on the banks of the Avon. There is probably
in existence a very long letter of mine to Sir Uvedale Price, in which
was given a description of the landscapes on the Meuse as compared with
those on the Rhine.

Details in the spirit of these sonnets are given both in Mrs.
Wordsworth's Journals and my Sister's, and the reperusal of them has
strengthened a wish long entertained that somebody would put together,
as in one work, the notices contained in them, omitting particulars that
were written down merely to aid our memory, and bringing the whole into
as small a compass as is consistent with the general interests belonging
to the scenes, circumstances, and objects touched on by each writer.--I.

    What lovelier home could gentle Fancy choose?
    Is this the stream, whose cities, heights, and plains,
    War's favourite play-ground, are with crimson stains
    Familiar, as the Morn with pearly dews?
    The Morn, that now, along the silver MEUSE,                    5
    Spreading her peaceful ensigns, calls the swains
    To tend their silent boats and ringing wains,
    Or strip the bough whose mellow fruit bestrews
    The ripening corn beneath it. As mine eyes
    Turn from the fortified and threatening hill,                 10
    How sweet the prospect of yon watery glade,
    With its grey rocks clustering in pensive shade--
    That, shaped like old monastic turrets, rise
    From the smooth meadow-ground, serene and still!

The following extract from Mrs. Wordsworth's Journal illustrates this
sonnet, and explains the Fenwick note. The "long entertained" "wish" of
the poet, expressed in that note, has never yet been accomplished. It
may be realised in one of the volumes which follow, in this edition.

"July 18. Departure from _Namur_, road out of the town beautiful, wide,
disk-like valley, gardens, groves, town standing upon its two rivers.
Ramparts towering above, very impressive to cast the eyes back upon.
Market people flocking in in groups, variety of dresses, of all gay
colours. Flowers seem to be the delight of the peasantry. They are worn
in their hats, upon their breasts, carried in the mouth when their hands
are at work sometimes, or stuck behind the ear. Road excellent all the
way down the Meuse. Villages in all situations,--among the rocks, now
one peeps out of a recess, again another upon a knoll with its spire
rising from among trees. More and more beautiful as you proceed down the
river--rocks on the banks of the most fantastic forms, something like
those on the Wye. Sometimes the valley reminded us of the trough of the
Clyde. _Huy._ Church handsome, the high tower struck by lightning
fourteen years ago; new fortifications, most picturesque and romantic
situation. Crossed the Meuse here, charming view from the bridge....
Road very delightful, rocks, woods, chateau, convent, vineyards, hanging
gardens, orchards with profusion of fruit, shrubs, and flowers, and corn
lands, all in the most luxuriant state. So beautiful a day's journey I
never before travelled."

The following is from Dorothy Wordsworth's Journal, vol. i.:--"Tuesday,
July 18. Namur.--Having traversed the Vale, we travel downwards, with
the stately, though muddy, river to our left--pass under limestone
rocks resembling abbeys or castles--the opening prospect still
presenting something new. Backwards, a noble view of the vale,
terminated by the city and fortifications of Namur at the distance of,
perhaps, two miles or more--our last farewell view! Still, as we go on,
the rocks change their shapes, in prospect far off; or as we roll
swiftly away beneath them. Villages not to be numbered by the hasty
traveller, rise up, with spires and towers; cottages embowered in
gardens and orchards, and sometimes an old chateau or modern villa. All
these (in succession or together) vary the scene, while, the abundance
of flowers, fruit, vegetables, and corn, interbedded and intermingled,
give an image of plenty and happy industry."--ED.


[Footnote 482: 1837.

    SCENERY BETWEEN ...                                         1822.



    Was it to disenchant, and to undo,
    That we approached the Seat of Charlemaine?
    To sweep from many an old romantic strain
    That faith which no devotion may renew!
    Why does this puny Church present to view                      5
    Her[483] feeble columns? and that scanty chair!
    This sword that one of our weak times might wear!
    Objects of false pretence, or meanly true!
    If from a traveller's fortune I might claim
    A palpable memorial of that day,                              10
    Then would I seek the Pyrenean Breach
    That[484] ROLAND clove with huge two-handed sway,[HC]
    And to the enormous labour left his name,
    Where unremitting frosts the rocky crescent bleach.

    _Where unremitting frosts the rocky crescent bleach._

"Let a wall of rocks be imagined from three to six hundred feet in
height, and rising between France and Spain, so as physically to
separate the two kingdoms--let us fancy this wall curved like a crescent
with its convexity towards France. Lastly, let us suppose, that in the
very middle of the wall a breach of 300 feet wide has been beaten down
by the famous _Roland_, and we may have a good idea of what the
mountaineers call the 'BRECHE DE ROLEND.'" (_Raymond's Pyrenees._)--W.
W. 1822.

"Thursday, 20th July.--... Descend towards the town of Aix-la-Chapelle,
a chapel on the opposite side of the vale upon a high knoll, overlooking
the spires and towers.... Wm., T. M., and myself walked to the chapel we
had seen on the heights, said to be built by Charlemagne: a very
interesting view of the town, and over a large space of the country
beyond, and _into_ the country looking the other way. Wm. went higher to
a monument recording that Buonaparte visited the spot with one
attendant. We were too late to be satisfied here, the darkness only
allowing us to form a notion of the outline, and to catch here and there
a spire or a tower in the distance. The chapel here alluded to was not
larger in appearance than the tiny rocky edifice at Buttermere. A Christ
under the branches of a spreading oak, brought to my mind by contrast, a
gay image of a brightly painted fox, on a sign board, among the branches
of a flowing chestnut tree, which William and I saw gleaming in the
setting sun, when walking through the village of Souldren." (From Mrs.
Wordsworth's Journal.)

"Thursday, 20th July. Aix-la-Chapelle.--I went to the Cathedral, a
curious Building where are to be seen the chair of Charlemagne, on which
the Emperors were formerly crowned, some marble pillars much older than
_his_ time; and many pictures; but I could not stay to examine any of
these curiosities, and gladly made my way alone back to the inn to rest
there. The market-place is a fine old square; but at Aix-la-Chapelle
there is always a mighty preponderance of poverty and dulness, except in
a few of the showiest of the streets, and even there, a flashy meanness,
a slight patchery of things falling to pieces is everywhere visible."
(From Dorothy Wordsworth's Journal, vol. i.)--ED.


[Footnote 483: 1837.

    Its ...                                                     1822.

[Footnote 484: 1837.

    Which ...                                                   1822.

[Footnote HC: Compare _Paradise Lost_, book vi. l. 251--

    With huge two-handed sway.




    O for the help of Angels to complete
    This Temple[HD]--Angels governed by a plan
    Thus far pursued (how gloriously!) by Man,[485]
    Studious that _He_ might not disdain the seat
    Who dwells in heaven! But that aspiring heat                   5
    Hath failed; and now, ye Powers! whose gorgeous wings
    And splendid aspect yon emblazonings
    But faintly picture, 'twere an office meet
    For you, on these unfinished shafts to try
    The midnight virtues of your harmony:--                       10
    This vast design might tempt you to repeat
    Strains[486] that call forth upon empyreal ground
    Immortal Fabrics, rising to the sound
    Of penetrating harps and voices sweet!

"Friday, July 21. Cologne.--... The Cathedral, a most magnificent
edifice. Tower unfinished (this I perceived, but took it for a ruin at
ten miles distance), built 700 years ago. The outside reminds you of
Westminster Abbey in parts; and, had the Projector's wish been
fulfilled, within and without, this would have been a much more
sumptuous pile. It affectingly called to my mind William's lines--

    Things incomplete and purposes betrayed
    Make sadder transits o'er truth's mystic glass,
    Than noblest objects utterly decayed.[HE]

Within the fluted Pillars are very grand; the dimensions, 180 German
feet high, 700 long, and 500 broad. A curious old picture, 450 years
old. Subject, the 3 Kings of Cologne in the centre (for it was divided
into three parts, and kept shut up to protect it), and on the sides
Ursula and the 11,000 virgins, by Ralfe; mounted 250 steps to the top of
the unfinished Tower, and had a fine prospect of the river winding its
way towards Dusseldorf.... The cathedral--that august and solemnly
_impressive_ Temple.... William in his musing way...." (From Mrs.
Wordsworth's Journal.)

"Friday, 21st July. Cologne.--I cannot attempt to describe the
Cathedral; nor indeed could any skill of mine do justice to that august
pile, even if I might have lingered half a day among its walls. At our
entrance, the evening sunshine rested upon portions of some of the
hundred massy columns; while the shade and gloom, spread through the
edifice, were deepened by those brilliant touches of golden light. Some
of the painted windows were beautified by the melting together and the
intermingling of colours, reflected upon the stone-work, colours and
shapes, to the eye as unsubstantial as light itself, and visionary as
the rainbow. The choir is hung with tapestry, designed by Rubens. It
does, I think, to an unlearned eye somewhat resemble Henry the Seventh's
chapel at Westminster, but is much loftier and larger. The long
lancet-shaped painted windows are beautiful. The pillars and arches
through the aisles of this Cathedral are of grey stone, sober, solemn,
of great size, yet exquisitely proportioned; and no paltry images or
tinselled altars disturb the one impression of awful magnificence, an
impression received at once, and not to be overcome by regrets, that
_only_ the _Choir_ and side aisles are finished. The nave, at half its
destined height, is covered with a ceiling of boards. The exterior of
this stupendous edifice is of massy, though most _beautiful_,
architecture. Some of the lighter wreaths of stone-work (if great things
may be compared with small) made me think of the Chapel of Roslin in its
sequestered dell, where the adder's tongue and fern are mingled with
green-grown flowers, and leaves of stone that neither fall nor fade.
Flowers and bushes here grow out of the gigantic ruins--yet _ruins_ they
are not; for as the Builder's hand left the unfinished work, so it
appears to have remained in firmness and strength unshakable, while
Nature has made her own of ornaments framed in imitation of her works,
having overspread them with her colouring, and blended them with the
treasures of her lonely places." (From Dorothy Wordsworth's Journal,
vol. i.)--ED.


[Footnote 485: 1837.

    How gloriously pursued by daring Man,                       1822.


[Footnote 486: 1827.

    Charms ...                                                  1822.


[Footnote HD: The cathedral of Cologne was completed on October 15,

[Footnote HE: The reference is to the sonnet on _Malham Cove_ (see p.
185), and the Fenwick note to _The Excursion_.--ED.]



    Amid this dance of objects sadness steals
    O'er the defrauded heart--while sweeping by,
    As in a fit of Thespian jollity,[HF]
    Beneath her vine-leaf crown the green Earth reels:
    Backward, in rapid evanescence, wheels                         5
    The venerable pageantry of Time,
    Each beetling rampart, and each tower sublime,
    And what the Dell unwillingly reveals
    Of lurking cloistral arch, through trees espied
    Near the bright River's edge. Yet why repine?                 10
    To muse, to creep, to halt at will, to gaze--
    Such sweet way-faring--of life's spring the pride,
    Her summer's faithful joy--_that_ still is mine,
    And in fit measure cheers autumnal days.[487]

"Saturday 22nd.--We were anxious, at least Wm. was, to be in
Switzerland, and we must follow our destiny. Leaving the rich plain,
came to the fine range of mountains we saw yesterday, and to the side of
the glorious river, by which we have since travelled. Magnificent
heights on its banks. The most abrupt and fantastic outlines; Convents
(what an exquisite one that first which pushed itself forward on the
green shore, where the river bends in its course); Ruined Castles,
looking at each other from aloft, or down upon the convents, lurk in the
woody clefts; picturesque Villages with their spires, at every turn of
this stately winding river; beautiful road following its windings; every
variety of form given to the rocks; and affecting intimations brought to
mind, by the frequent oratories and crosses, here neither tawdry nor
obtrusive. After changing horses at _Remengen_, lost sight for a while
of our noble companion, which soon reappeared stretching along a more
widely-spread vale; the green hills softly retiring, vineyards climbing
up their sides, and into every crevice; corn yellow-green, the different
crops richly filling the centre of the vale; the fine road, bordered now
by apple-trees laden with fruit, now open to the undivided plain. Again
the hills approached, and never was beheld a grander display of Nature's
works and of human Art, than continued in succession to feast our eyes
and imaginations. D. noted the objects _individually_, in one of the
most beautiful passages" (of her journal). (Mrs. Wordsworth.)

"Saturday, 22nd July. Cologne.--For some miles, the traveller goes
through the magnificent plain, which from its great width appears almost
circular. Though _unseen_ the river Rhine, we never can forget that it
is there! When the vale becomes narrower, one of the most interesting
and beautiful of prospects opens on the view from a gentle rising in the
road. On an island stands a large grey convent, sadly pensive among its
garden walls and embowering wood. The musket and cannon have spared that
sanctuary, and we were told that, though the establishment is dissolved,
a few of the nuns still remain there, attached to the spot; or probably
having neither friends or other home to repair to. On the right bank of
the river, opposite to us, is a bold precipice, bearing on its summit a
ruined fortress which looks down upon the convent; and the warlike and
religious Edifices are connected together by a chivalrous story of
slighted or luckless love, which caused the withdrawing of a fair Damsel
to the Island, where she founded the monastery. Another bold ruin stands
upon an eminence adjoining, and all these monuments of former times
combine with villages and churches, and dells (between the steeps) green
or corn-clad, and with the majestic River (here spread out like a lake)
to compose a most affectingly beautiful scene, whether viewed in
prospect or in retrospect. Still we rolled along (ah! far too swiftly!
and often did I wish that I were a youthful traveller on foot), still we
rolled along, meeting the flowing River, smooth as glass, yet so rapid
that the stream of motion is always perceptible, even from a great
distance. The riches of this region are not easily fancied,--the pretty
paths, the gardens among plots of vineyard and corn, cottages peeping
from the shade, villages and spires, in never-ending variety." (From
Dorothy Wordsworth's Journal, vol. i.)--ED.


[Footnote 487: 1837.

    ... Yet why repine?
    Pedestrian liberty shall yet be mine
    To muse, to creep, to halt at will, to gaze:
    Freedom which youth with copious hand supplied,
    May in fit measure bless my later days.                     1822.


[Footnote HF: Thespis was the reputed inventor of tragedy, and he is
said to have carried his rude stage and apparatus from village to
village on waggons. Horace, _Ars Poetica_, 275.

    Ignotum tragicae genus invenisse Camenae
    Dicitur et plaustris vexisse poëmata Thespis
    Quae canerent agerentque peruncti faecibus ora.

    Thespis began the drama: rumour says
    In travelling carts he carried round his plays,
    When actors, smeared with lees, before the throng,
    Performed their parts with gesture and with song!


These celebrations became identified with the nine Dionysiac festivals.
See Virgil, _Georgics_ ii. 380.

There is a reference to the dignity of tragedy throughout the sonnet,
and yet to the fact that it is a passing show.--ED.]




    Jesu! bless our slender Boat,
     By the current swept along;
    Loud its threatenings--let them not
     Drown the music of a song
    Breathed thy mercy to implore,                                 5
    Where these troubled waters roar!

    Saviour, for our warning, seen[488]
     Bleeding on that precious Rood;
    If, while through the meadows green
     Gently wound the peaceful flood,                             10
    We forgot Thee, do not Thou
    Disregard thy Suppliants now!

    Hither, like yon ancient Tower
     Watching o'er the River's bed,
    Fling the shadow of thy power,                                15
     Else we sleep among the dead;
    Thou who trod'st[489] the billowy sea,
    Shield us in our jeopardy!

    Guide our Bark among the waves;
     Through the rocks our passage smooth;                        20
    Where the whirlpool frets and raves
     Let thy love its anger soothe:
    All our hope is placed in Thee;
    _Miserere Domine!_[HG]


[Footnote 488: 1837.

    Lord and Saviour! who art seen                              1822.

    Saviour, in thy image, seen                                 1827.

[Footnote 489: 1827.

    Traveller on ...                                            1822.


[Footnote HG: _Miserere Domine._

See the beautiful Song in Mr. Coleridge's Tragedy, "THE REMORSE." Why is
the Harp of Quantock silent?--W. W. 1822.

The following is the song, _Miserere Domine_, from Coleridge's
_Remorse_, act III. scene i.:--

    Hear, sweet spirit, hear the spell,
    Lest a blacker charm compel!
    So shall the midnight breezes swell
    With thy deep long-lingering knell.

    And at evening evermore,
    In a Chapel on the shore,
    Shall the Chaunters sad and saintly,
    Yellow tapers burning faintly,
    Doleful Masses chaunt for thee,
    _Miserere Domine!_

    Hark! the cadence dies away
     On the quiet moonlight sea:
    The boatmen rest their oars and say,
     _Miserere Domine!_

This song was set to music by Mr. Carnaby in 1802.--ED.

"26th July.--Reached Heidelberg.... We walked a while about the garden
and ruins of the Castle. Looked down upon the grey-roofed Town, with its
Cathedral running parallel with the river Neckar, over which, by a fine
bridge, we had crossed on entering; boats shooting curiously over the
rapids; vines, hanging gardens climbing up the hill, clothing the rocks,
and creeping into their crevices, on every side of us, and up to the
very point where we stood. The Town, with its squares and fountains, its
narrow long streets, with arched gateways, towers, and spires, courts,
and quaint flower gardens, fill the deep valley. The river disappears,
winding away among the hills to the right. Before us it holds a direct
course--through a widening tract of the same prolific country--to the
Rhine, seen in the distance.... 27th... The passage through the bridge
being somewhat dangerous, those who accompany the rafts, as they
approach, fall down upon their knees to pray, then raise their voices
and sing an appropriate anthem till the peril is past." (Mrs.
Wordsworth's Journal.)

"Friday, 28th July. Heidelberg.--The River flows beside it calmly
(though with strong motion as all these large rivers do), but after that
point, to the Bridge, the channel is rocky, and therefore the stream
turbulent. While passing under the garden-wall, the peasant sailor,
before he trusts his boat or timber-raft to the rocks and rapids, kneels
down and prays for protection from danger, and a safe passage through
the arches of the Bridge. An Image of Jesus on the cross is the visible
object of his worship, which Mr. Pickford, when he rebuilt his
garden-wall, replaced in its station, out of respect to the piety or
superstition of past and present times. During the passage an
appropriate hymn is chaunted--the thought touched our poet's fancy, and
he has since composed the following verses for the Heidelberg boatmen."
(From Dorothy Wordsworth's Journal, vol. i.)

In the edition of 1822 a sonnet followed this Hymn, entitled _The
Jung-Frau--and the Rhine at Shauffhausen_. In the edition of 1827 it was
transferred to the series of "Ecclesiastical Sonnets," under the title
of its first line, "Down a swift Stream, thus far, a bold design," which
place it retained in all subsequent editions (see Part III. No. xii.)
The following note accompanied the sonnet in the edition of 1822:--"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.--ED.]



    Not, like his great Compeers, indignantly
    Doth DANUBE spring to life![490] The wandering Stream
    (Who loves the Cross, yet to the Crescent's gleam
    Unfolds a willing breast)[HH] with infant glee
    Slips from his prison walls: and Fancy, free                   5
    To follow in his track of silver light,
    Mounts on rapt wing, and with a moment's flight
    Hath reached the encincture of that gloomy sea[491][HI]
    Whose waves the Orphean lyre[HJ] forbad to meet
    In conflict; whose rough winds forgot their jars[492]         10
    To waft the heroic progeny of Greece;
    When the first Ship sailed for the Golden Fleece--
    ARGO--exalted for that daring feat
    To fix in heaven her shape distinct with stars.[493][HK]

    _Not (like his great Compeers) indignantly
    Doth Danube spring to light!_

Before this quarter of the Black Forest was inhabited, the source of the
Danube might have suggested some of those sublime images which Armstrong
has so finely described; at present the contrast is most striking. The
Spring appears in a capacious Stone Basin upon the front of a Ducal
palace, with a pleasure-ground opposite; then, passing under the
pavement, takes the form of a little, clear, bright, black, vigorous
rill, barely wide enough to tempt the agility of a child five years old
to leap over it,--and, entering the Garden, it joins, after a course of
a few hundred yards, a Stream much more considerable than itself. The
_copiousness_ of the Spring at _Doneschingen_ must have procured for it
the honour of being named the Source of the Danube.--W. W. 1822.

"Monday, 31st July.--... We drew towards the town of Villingen, a
foreign-looking place standing in the descent, and lifting up its
metallic dome-like spires, without the accompaniment of a single
tree.... The Church with its two-fold spire glittered in the hot
sunshine, like pewter in a melting state. Our guide had told us that
near this place the Danube took its rise; but not so.... At
_Doneschingen_ changed horses again. _Here_ we laved in the water which
flowed from the source of the majestic Danube, a little, clear, bright,
black rill, that issuing from a capacious stone fountain, into which it
springs, crosses the road, and glides rapidly along the side of a
beautiful pleasure-ground.... We washed, drank, and luxuriated in the
cool and pure waters of this rill, unwilling to quit what we were not
again to see--a reality very different from the stately Danube, so long
an image to the imagination." (Mrs. Wordsworth's Journal.)

"Tuesday, 1st August. Villingen.--The landlord seemed to entertain high
ideas of this his native place--its modern improvements in gardens and
its former grandeur--and told us that one of his servants should conduct
us to the palace, the gardens, the baths, and last of all, though most
the object of our curiosity, to the source of the DANUBE....

"But I seem to have forgotten the source of the Danube, which truly _was
'another'_[HL] Danube after we had seen it; or, more properly speaking,
after we had seen the moor-land country surrounding the Town of
Doneschingen, where we knew we should meet with the source of that
famous river; and it is not only _there_ (in that Hollow wild without
grandeur), but actually within the walls of the Duke's courts adjoining
the trim flower garden. The bountiful spring is received by a large
square stone basin, and thence flows through the gardens in a narrow
stream like a vigorous mill-race. Had an active boy been by our side he
would have over-leapt it. That streamlet, after the course of a few
hundred yards, falls into the bed of the united rivers the P---- and the
P---- which take their rise in the _moorish_ hills seen on the right in
the road from Villingen, and which we looked upon from the gardens at
the same time that we saw the new-born streamlet (called the source of
the Danube) gush into their channel. I suppose it must be the remarkable
strength of the spring which has caused it to be dignified with its
title; for certainly those other two streams (united a little above the
gardens) are the primary sources (of this branch at least) of the
Danube." (From Dorothy Wordsworth's Journal, vol. i.)

What Dorothy Wordsworth mentions in reference to the Danube occurs in
many other rivers; _e.g._ the source of the Clyde, in Scotland, is a
tiny burn in Lanarkshire, which, after a short moorland course, falls
(near Elvanfoot) into the large stream of the Daur--the latter having
come down for many miles from the Lead Hills district. The P---- and
P---- is probably a mistake for B---- and B----. The mountain torrent of
the Bregé in the Schwartzwald is joined by the Bregach, and when the
stream receives the waters from the spring in the Castle Garden of
Doneschingen it becomes the Danube.--ED.


[Footnote 490: 1822.

    But in the note to the poem the reading is "light."

[Footnote 491: 1840.

    Reaches, with one brief moment's rapid flight,
    The vast Encincture of that gloomy sea                      1822.


[Footnote 492: 1827.

    Whose rough winds Orpheus soothed; whose waves did greet
    So skilfully that they forgot their jars--                  1822.


[Footnote 493: 1837.

    Argo exalted by that daring feat
    To a conspicuous height among the stars!                    1822.

    Argo, exalted for that daring feat
    To bear in heaven a shape distinct with stars.              1827.


[Footnote HH: Referring to the circumstance that the Danube rises in a
country where the Catholic religion prevails, and flows eastwards
through lands where the faith of Islam is professed.--ED.]

[Footnote HI: The Black Sea. Orpheus accompanied the Argonauts in their
expedition to Colchis. In the earlier form of the legend, this lyre
subdued the winds and waves, and fixed the Symplegades firm in the sea,
so that the Argo passed through unharmed. (See the legends in Ovid and
Virgil, and in the _Argonautica_ of Apollonius Rhodius, 1. 23.)--ED.]

[Footnote HJ: See _Paradise Lost_, book iii. l. 17.--ED.]

[Footnote HK: According to the Greek astronomers, the lyre of Orpheus
was placed by Zeus amongst the stars.--ED.]

[Footnote HL:

    For when we're there, although 'tis fair,
    'Twill be another Yarrow.

(See vol. ii. p. 413).--ED.]



    Uttered by whom, or how inspired--designed
    For what strange service, does this concert reach
    Our ears, and near the dwellings of mankind!
    'Mid fields familiarized to human speech?--
    No Mermaids warble--to allay the wind                          5
    Driving some vessel toward a dangerous beach--
    More thrilling melodies; Witch answering Witch,
    To chaunt a love-spell, never intertwined[494]
    Notes shrill and wild with art more musical:
    Alas! that from the lips of abject Want                       10
    Or[495] Idleness in tatters mendicant
    The strain should flow-free Fancy to enthral,[496]
    And with regret and useless pity haunt
    This bold, this bright,[497] this sky-born, WATERFALL!

The Staubbach is a narrow Stream, which, after a long course on the
heights, comes to the sharp edge of a somewhat overhanging precipice,
overleaps it with a bound, and, after a fall of 930 feet, forms again a
rivulet. The vocal powers of these musical Beggars may seem to be
exaggerated; but this wild and savage air was utterly unlike any sounds
I had ever heard; the notes reached me from a distance, and on what
occasion they were sung I could not guess, only they seemed to belong,
in some way or other, to the Waterfall--and reminded me of religious
services chaunted to Streams and Fountains in Pagan times.--W. W. 1822.
Mr. Southey has thus accurately characterised the peculiarity of this
music: "While we were at the Waterfall, some half-score peasants,
chiefly women and girls, assembled just out of reach of the Spring, and
set up--surely, the wildest chorus that ever was heard by human ears,--a
song not of articulate sounds, but in which the voice was used as a mere
instrument of music, more flexible than any which art could
produce,--sweet, powerful, and thrilling beyond description." (See Notes
to _A Tale of Paraguay_.)--W. W. 1837.

"Thursday, 10th Aug....--Walked to the Staubbach, the thin veil-like
mist-besprinkled waterfall, that slips over the edge of an immensely
high perpendicular rock--which, when we saw it by the morning light, was
accompanied by a beautiful rainbow; spanning, like the arch of a bridge,
the vapour at the base of the rock. Singing Girls. But I must not
neglect to speak of the beauty of the _early_ morning, in the
magnificent pass between Interlachen and Lauterbrunnen. The river from
Jungfrau bounding down with great force, bringing a very cold air from
the snowy regions. Cottages with their green summer plots climbing up in
all directions, to the very skirts of these icy regions. Two that
looked so beautiful in the sunshine. Women and children busy with their
little lot of hay. Men mowing." (Mrs. Wordsworth's Journal.)

"Thursday, 10th August. Interlachen.--The Staubbach is a narrow stream,
which, after a long course on the heights, comes to the sharp edge of a
somewhat overhanging precipice, overleaps it with a bound, and, after a
fall of 930 feet, forms again a rivulet, that passing through a green
sloping pasture crosses the road, and thence through the heaving
grounds, takes its clear waters to the grey torrent of the Leutshen.
When tracking with my young guide the rivulet to its momentary
resting-place, a small basin at the foot of the cataract, two women
appeared before me singing a shrill and savage air; the tones were
startling, and in connection with their wild yet quiet figures strangely
combined with the sounds of dashing water and the silent aspect of the
huge crag that seemed to reach the sky! The morning sun falling on this
side of the valley, a circular rainbow was seen when we were there,
between the Fall and the Rock, the space being several yards, and you
stand within that space in a bath of dew. I was close to the women when
they began to sing, and hence, probably, it was that I perceived nothing
of _sweetness_ in their tones. I cannot answer for the impression on the
rest of the party except my brother, who being behind, heard the carol
from a distance; and the description he gives of it is similar to Mr.
Southey's in his Journal." (From Dorothy Wordsworth's Journal, vol.


[Footnote 494: 1837.

    Tracks let me follow far from human-kind
    Which these illusive greetings may not reach;
    Where only Nature tunes her voice to teach
    Careless pursuits, and raptures unconfined.
    No Mermaid warbles (to allay the wind
    That drives some vessel tow'rds a dangerous beach)
    More thrilling melodies! no caverned Witch
    Chaunting a love-spell, ever intertwined                    1822.

    ... tow'rd a dangerous beach)                               1827.

[Footnote 495: 1837.

    And ...                                                     1822.

[Footnote 496: 1832.

    They should proceed--enjoyment to enthral,                  1822.

    The strain should flow--enjoyment to enthral,               1827.

[Footnote 497: 1837.

    ... this pure, ...                                          1822.



    From the fierce aspect of this River, throwing
    His giant body o'er the steep rock's brink,
    Back in astonishment and fear we shrink:
    But, gradually a calmer look bestowing,
    Flowers we espy beside the torrent growing;                    5
    Flowers that peep forth from many a cleft and chink,
    And, from the whirlwind of his anger, drink
    Hues ever fresh, in rocky fortress blowing:
    They suck--from breath that, threatening to destroy,
    Is more benignant than the dewy eve--                         10
    Beauty, and life, and motions as of joy:
    Nor doubt but HE to whom yon Pine-trees nod
    Their heads in sign of worship,[HM] Nature's God,
    These humbler adorations will receive.

"Saturday, Aug. 12.--It is now half-past twelve o'clock, and I am
sitting upon a sort of myrtle bed under a pine grove among the rocks,
down which the headlong Aar cleaves its way, having dined in the cabin
at Handeck, in close neighbourhood with our steeds. All that we have
hitherto seen seemed at the moment but a faint preparation for the
delights of this day. The beautiful valley we left behind us, the
groves, the forest of oak and pine, the glades, the one particularly in
which we met that 'Hoifer,' as we called him, with his heron's crest
proudly reared upon his head, a little page carrying his accoutrements.
He with many others, but none like this Hero, there was repairing to
shoot for a prize at Meyringen. Then, those lovely vales, that circular
one, the pride of them all, which led us to the savage Pass and giant
Pines, where lurks this King of Waterfalls. What delicious couches to
rest upon. Here to linger out a long summer's day would be a luxury. A
more sober passage home--our spirits a little, but very little, damped
by the stretch of enjoyment." (Mrs. Wordsworth's Journal.)

"Saturday, 12th August. Meyringen.--Crossed the stream, and _re_-crossed
it, and from a stony hollow, uninhabited, came into the gloom of a pine
forest, which led us, by a steep ascent, to the rocks surrounding the
Fall of the Aar. Long before our approach, we heard the roaring, while
that sound was deadened by the intermediate rocks and trees; but when
standing on a bank, in front of the cataract, I could have believed at
the first moment, that it was louder even than that of the Rhine at
Schaffhausen. This impression, no doubt, was owing chiefly to its being
confined within a narrow space. The pine-clad precipices, especially on
the opposite side, are very lofty, rising from the rocks of the Pass,
kept bare by continual wetting. The gloom of the forest-mountains, in
harmony with the sombrous hue of the water, would, of itself, make this
first view of this cataract much more impressive than that of the
Reichenbach; but again we looked in vain--not for delicate passages in
the stream;--those could not be thought of;--but for some of those
minute graces, and those overgrowings that detain us in admiration
beside our own pellucid waterfalls.[HN] There is a grey furnace-like
smoke of water, and a desperate motion and ferment, that make the head
dizzy and stun the ears." ... "We clambered upon other rocks; and, at
leisure, noticed the variety of shrubby plants and flowers, which here
(being higher than the stream) grew securely, nursed by perpetual dews.
Luxuriant tufts of a very large sedum were lodged on the ledges, or hung
from dark crevices; those tufts, in form and motion, as they waved and
fluttered in the breeze of the cataract, resembling the plumes of a
hearse, were an ornament well suited to the pine-clad steeps, and the
heavenly beauty of the rainbow." (From Dorothy Wordsworth's Journal,
vol. i.)--ED.


[Footnote HM: Compare Coleridge's _Hymn before Sunrise, in the Vale of





Aloys Reding, it will be remembered, was Captain-General of the Swiss
forces, which, with a courage and perseverance worthy of the cause,
opposed the flagitious and too successful attempt of Buonaparte to
subjugate their country.--W. W. 1822.

    Around a wild and woody hill
    A gravelled pathway treading,
    We reached a votive Stone that bears
    The name of Aloys Reding.

    Well judged the Friend who placed it there                     5
    For silence and protection;
    And haply with a finer care
    Of dutiful affection.

    The Sun regards it from the West;
    And, while in summer glory                                    10
    He sets, his sinking yields a type[498]
    Of that pathetic story:

    And oft he tempts the patriot Swiss
    Amid the grove to linger;
    Till all is dim, save this bright Stone                       15
    Touched by his golden finger.

"Aug. 7th. We reached this place, Thun. Walked or sate in the groves at
the foot of the Lake, then crossed the river by a boat, and wandered in
delightful pleasure groves on the other side. Then, passing a gravelled
path, which is carried round the woody hill, we found among many
interesting objects, one that was very impressive, a plain oval slab,
raised upon a stone seat, directly fronting the setting sun, which at
that moment was shedding his latest rays upon it. It was this
inscription which spoke more than an elaborate panegyric:--


(Mrs. Wordsworth's Journal.)

"Monday, 7th August. Berne.--One of the inscriptions (which I did not
see) was to the memory of Aloys Reding, a Friend of the possessor of
these grounds. A happy chance led my Companions to the spot; and here is
the inscription copied by one of them:--


The other bore away a store of interesting recollections which gave
birth to the following little Poem:--


    Around a wild and woody hill, etc."

(From Dorothy Wordsworth's Journal, 1820, vol. i.)

It will be observed from the dates given in the Journals, that the poet
did not keep to the chronological order of the Journey, in arranging
these "Memorials" of their Continental Tour. In the strict order of
time, this memorial to Aloys Reding should have preceded the sonnet _On
approaching the Staubbach_.--ED.


[Footnote 498: 1837.

    Sinking in summer glory;
    And, while he sinks, affords a type                         1822.


[Footnote HN: Compare Wordsworth's remarks on Waterfalls, in his
_Description of the Scenery of the Lakes_.--ED.]



    Doomed as we are our native dust[500]
    To wet with many a bitter shower,[501]
    It ill befits us to disdain[502]
    The altar, to deride the fane,
    Where simple[503] Sufferers bend, in trust                     5
    To win a happier hour.

    I love, where spreads the village lawn,
    Upon some knee-worn cell to gaze:
    Hail to the firm unmoving cross,
    Aloft, where pines their branches toss!                       10
    And to the chapel far withdrawn,
    That lurks by lonely ways!

    Where'er we roam--along the brink
    Of Rhine--or by the sweeping Po,
    Through Alpine vale, or champain[HO] wide,                    15
    Whate'er we look on, at our side
    Be Charity!--to bid us think,
    And feel, if we would know.

The second stanza of this poem, entitled _Composed in one of the
Catholic Cantons_, was in the original edition of 1822, a part of the
poem entitled _The Church of San Salvador, seen from the Lake of
Lugano_. The other stanzas were first published in 1827.

Numerous references to "the firm unmoving cross," and to

       the chapel far withdrawn,
    That lurks by lonely ways,

occur both in Mrs. Wordsworth's and in Dorothy's Journal. _E.g._
(Crossing the St. Gotthard Pass) "Aug. 24.--... Gained the top by a
steep pull; snow before and behind; a crucifix, and oratories thicken
upon our course as we draw near to the Hospice. 'Gales from Italy' blow
fresh around. Snow on the roadside. Farther on a little cross under a
rock.... We yesterday noticed five of these crosses, two placed under
one rock, and three under another." "Aug. 15. (Engelberg.)--... Counted
the wayside upright oratories; found no less than sixteen before we
reached the house, where we resumed our _char-à-bancs_." "Aug. 8. (At
Interlachen.)--... The view that takes in the length of the Vale,
following the snaky river with its islands, through those croft-like,
woody, orchard meadows to Unterseen, with its weir, church, bridges,
cottages, and that spiral edifice in the midst: Lake of Thun beyond,
girt by mountains: Neissen, a pyramidal giant, predominant. Turning to
the left towards Brientz, Ringenberg old Church tower rising from a high
woody knoll. William and I came to it. (I write on the spot. Wm.
asleep.) No entrance into the ruin, good view of Brientz Lake, and a
little Loughrigg Tarn above, close under where we are seated among
groves of limes, hazels, beeches, etc.; clanking hammers, singing girl.
'Will no one tell me what she sings?'[HP] A little further on, among
those sylvan crofts, a scattered group of day or summer-deserted
cabins; plots of hemp spread in the sunshine tell us dwellers sometimes
come here. Hence steps of rock led us to a temple of Nature's own
framing, roofed with ancient beech trees. Under one was firmly fixed in
the ground a little upright stone, about a span in width, and three
times that length. Upon it was roughly chisled a cross, not exactly a
Christ-cross, but something like this.... I could not but feel that it
might have been placed there by the Peasants, as a point to meet from
their scattered sheds for worship. Natural seats, mossy or bare, like
those in our own sylvan parlour (upon Rydal Lake), all around in the
rocks, kept up the idea; and a more lovely and silent spot could not
have been selected for a holy purpose: the little Tarn too in sight, in
time of drought, ready to supply their rocky font with fresh water."

"Friday, 14th September. Martigny.--Passing the turn of the ascent, we
come to another Cross, (placed there to face the Traveller ascending
from the other side), and, from the brow of the eminence, behold! to our
left, the huge Form of Mont Blanc--pikes, towers, needles, and wide
wastes of everlasting snow in dazzling brightness. Below is the river
Arve, a grey-white line, winding to the village of Chamouny, dimly seen
in the distance. Our station, though on a height so commanding, was on
the lowest point of the eminence; and such as I have sketched (but how
imperfectly!) was the scene uplifted and outspread before us. The higher
parts of the mountain in our neighbourhood are sprinkled with brown
Chalets. So they were thirty years ago, as my Brother well remembered;
and he pointed out to us the very quarter from which a Boy greeted him
and his companion with an Alpine cry--

       The stranger seen below, the boy
    Shouts from the echoing hills with savage joy."[HQ]

(From Dorothy Wordsworth's Journal, vol. ii.) See also note to
_Engelberg, the Hill of Angels_, p. 317, and to _Our Lady of the Snow_,
p. 320.--ED.


[Footnote 499: 1837.

    ... Cantons of Switzerland.                                 1822.

[Footnote 500: 1827.

    O Life! without thy chequered scene
    Of right and wrong, of weal and woe,
    Success and failure, could a ground
    For magnanimity be found?
    For faith, 'mid ruined hopes, serene?
    Or whence could virtue flow?

    Yet are we doomed our native dust                           1832.

The edition of 1837 returns to the text of 1827.]

[Footnote 501: 1827.

    ... fruitless shower,                                       1832.

The edition of 1837 returns to the text of 1827.]

[Footnote 502: 1827.

    And ill it suits us to disdain                              1832.

The edition of 1837 returns to the text of 1827.]

[Footnote 503: 1832.

    Where patient ...                                           1827.


[Footnote HO: Wordsworth's spelling is retained.--ED.]

[Footnote HP: See _The Solitary Reaper_ (vol. ii. p. 398).--ED.]

[Footnote HQ: See _Descriptive Sketches_ (vol. i. p. 59).--ED.]



    Oh Life! without thy chequered scene
    Of right and wrong, of weal and woe,
    Success and failure, could a ground
    For magnanimity be found;
    For faith, 'mid ruin'd hopes, serene?                          5
    Or whence could virtue flow?

    Pain entered through a ghastly breach--
    Nor while sin lasts must effort cease;
    Heaven upon earth's an empty boast;
    But, for the bowers of Eden lost,                             10
    Mercy has placed within our reach
    A portion of God's peace.

The first stanza of this _After-Thought_ was first published in the
edition of 1832, as the beginning of the poem _Composed in one of the
Catholic Cantons_, and the second stanza in the edition of 1837 when the
_After-Thought_ first appeared.--ED.



    "What know we of the Blest above
    But that they sing and that they love?"[HR]
    Yet, if they ever did inspire
    A mortal hymn, or shaped the choir,
    Now, where those harvest Damsels float                         5
    Home-ward in their rugged Boat,
    (While all the ruffling winds are fled--
    Each slumbering on some mountain's head)
    Now, surely, hath that gracious aid
    Been felt, that influence is displayed.                       10
    Pupils of Heaven, in order stand
    The rustic Maidens, every hand
    Upon a Sister's shoulder laid,--
    To chant, as glides the boat along,
    A simple, but a touching, song;                               15
    To chant, as Angels do above,
    The melodies of Peace in love!

The only reference to a "scene on the lake of Brientz" in Mrs.
Wordsworth's Journal which could have given rise to the preceding poem
is the following:--"William's desires extended to a promontory, whence
he hoped to see the termination of the lake, and thither he is gone to
look out for the Boat, our friends being upon the water. I am left to
rest under the shade of some beeches. A fine walk we have had; bold
immensely high limestone rocks above my head, grey hoary steeps,
magnificent walnut trees, the favourite of the country; Swiss figures
gliding among the trees, with their deep bright baskets on their backs;
pines climbing up to the sky, fringing the rocks; scarlet barberries
glittering, and tipping the pendent boughs of the beech or walnut trees
below," etc. etc.

"Wednesday, 9th August. Interlachen.--Our minstrel peasants passed us on
the water, no longer singing _plaintive_ ditties such as inspired the
little poem, which I shall transcribe in the following page; but with
bursts of merriment they rowed lustily away. The poet has, however,
transported the minstrels in their gentle mood from the Cottage door to
the calm Lake." (From Dorothy Wordsworth's Journal, vol. i.)--ED.


[Footnote HR: Compare Edmund Waller, _Upon the Death of my Lady Rich_,
ll. 75, 76--

    So all we know of what they do above
    Is that they happy are, and that they love.

Also, ll. 10-12 of his song, beginning, "While I listen to thy voice"--

                   For all we know
    Of what the Blessed do above
    Is, that they sing, and that they love.




    For gentlest uses, oft-times Nature takes
    The work of Fancy from her willing hands;
    And such a[505] beautiful creation makes
    As renders needless spells and magic wands,
    And for the boldest tale belief commands.                      5
    When first mine eyes beheld that famous Hill
    The sacred ENGELBERG, celestial Bands,
    With intermingling motions soft and still,
    Hung round its top, on wings that changed their hues at will.

    Clouds do not name those Visitants; they were                 10
    The very Angels whose authentic lays,
    Sung from that heavenly ground in middle air,
    Made known the spot where piety should raise
    A holy Structure to the Almighty's praise.
    Resplendent Apparition! if in vain                            15
    My ears did listen, 'twas enough to gaze;
    And watch the slow departure of the train,
    Whose skirts the glowing Mountain thirsted to detain.

Engelberg, the Hill of Angels, as the name implies. The Convent whose
site was pointed out, according to tradition, in this manner, is seated
at its base. The Architecture of the Building is unimpressive, but the
situation is worthy of the honour which the imagination of the
Mountaineers has conferred upon it.--W. W. 1822.

"Monday, August 14.--At sunset we reached the edge of the flat green
area, sublimely guarded; from its head rose Engelberg (whence the angels
sang), Tittlesberg,[HS] the highest of these Alps. But between these two
stood another more fantastically shaped rocky hill with a broken jagged
crest, and without snow.... All around the Vale is completely enclosed
by lofty barriers, piercing or supporting the clouds. From the eminence
whence we first had a sight of the mists curling in the glowing sun upon
the heights of Engelberg, the white convent with its own, and its lesser
attendant chapels; the pensive moving figures, in their gay attire, that
as we approached saluted us; and before we gained our harbour for the
night, the convent bell calling to vespers, seemed to summon my ears to
listen for the angels' voices from that celestial mount. All these
impressions could not but excite in us thankfulness that we had been led
to this Abyssinian Vale (as D. appropriately termed it)." (Mrs.
Wordsworth's Journal.)

"Monday, 14th August. Sarnen.--It was a little past seven o'clock when
(having passed round the neck of the hill, or promontory, as I may call
it) we perceived that the object of our delightful day's journey could
not be far distant. A stately mass of crag, a mountain composed of stone
of a soft yellow hue irregularly piled up, and between pyramid and
tower-shaped, appeared before us. It could be no other than the Hill of
_Engelberg_, the Angel's Hill, where, it is believed, the angels sang
songs of approval, while holy men laid the foundation of the abbey.
Others say that the Founders were led to _choose_ that spot because the
Rock of Engelberg was the place those happy spirits were accustomed to
haunt, and that their melodies were heard while the work was going on.
It is no wonder that such traditions are believed by some of the good
Catholics even at this day; for never was there on earth a more
beautiful pinnacle for happy spirits than the Rock of Engelberg, as we
first beheld it, gilded with the beams of the declining sun. Light
clouds, as white as snow, yet melting into the thinnest substance, and
tinged with heavenly light, were floating around and below its summit.
We exclaimed, 'There you see the wings of the Angels!'----. Our
recollections of that moment cannot be effaced; and some time afterwards
my Brother expressed his feelings in the following little Poem." (From
Dorothy Wordsworth's Journal, vol. i.)--ED.


[Footnote 504: 1827.

    ENGELBERG.                                                  1822.

[Footnote 505: 1827.

    And even such ...                                           1822.


[Footnote HS: The Titlis.--ED.]



    Meek Virgin Mother, more benign
    Than fairest Star, upon the height
    Of thy own mountain,[HT] set to keep
    Lone vigils through the hours of sleep,
    What eye can look upon thy shrine                              5
    Untroubled at the sight?

    These crowded offerings as they hang
    In sign of misery relieved,
    Even these, without intent of theirs,
    Report of comfortless despairs,                               10
    Of many a deep and cureless pang
    And confidence deceived.

    To Thee, in this aërial cleft,
    As to a common centre, tend
    All sufferers that no more rely[506]                          15
    On mortal succour--all who sigh[507]
    And pine,[508] of human hope bereft,
    Nor wish for earthly friend.

    And hence, O Virgin Mother mild!
    Though plenteous flowers around thee blow,[HU]                20
    Not only from the dreary strife
    Of Winter, but the storms of life,
    Thee have thy Votaries aptly styled,

    Even for the Man who stops not here,                          25
    But down the irriguous valley hies,
    Thy very name, O Lady! flings,
    O'er blooming fields and gushing springs
    A tender sense of shadowy fear,
    And chastening sympathies![509]                               30

    Nor falls that intermingling shade
    To summer-gladsomeness unkind:
    It chastens only to requite
    With gleams of fresher, purer, light;
    While, o'er the flower-enamelled glade,                       35
    More sweetly breathes the wind.

    But on!--a tempting downward way,
    A verdant path before us lies;
    Clear shines the glorious sun above;
    Then give free course to joy and love,                        40
    Deeming the evil of the day
    Sufficient for the wise.

"August, Saturday 19th. Top of the Rigi.--... Eastern sky rich with
golden streaks, clouds floating around in all directions _below us_:
then driving eastwards, we expecting momently to be enveloped in the
condensing mist, but the breezes again and again took it away, through
the channel between the Rigi and the opposite mountains. At length the
bright sun just showed itself, lighted up the tips of the Alps with a
rosy splendour, silvered the edges of, and gave angels' wings to the
neighbouring clouds for a moment, then shrouded himself up, and the
glory faded away.... A tall cross is finely placed upon the top of this
hill.... Set forward on our descent from this remarkable place. Pleasant
green mountain track led us soon to the Parish Church of Rigiberg,
dedicated to 'Our Lady of the Snow.' It was crammed with pictures of the
Virgin and Child, in various situations, setting forth her miraculous
powers, and how they had been exercised: small convent of Capuchins
close by: easy and beautiful road down for some time; high Crosses with
pictures all the way; Chapels with frightful figures, enough to terrify
the Religious on their way to 'Our Lady of the Snow': met several
peasants before we reached the foot of the hill; Houses for them to rest
on their way: beautiful _steep thin_ waterfalls; lofty wooded and
pine-clad crags accompanied us all the way on our descent...." (From
Mrs. Wordsworth's Journal.)

"Saturday, 19th August. Top of Rigi.--With hearts not less joyous than
those of the young men with whom we had just parted, we began our
journey. How delicious was the descent over the velvet turf, towards the
Chapel of Our Lady of the Snow! seen below within a narrow steep glen.
The air still fresh and cool, we gradually find ourselves enclosed by
the declivities of the glen, those rugged steeps are hung with pine
trees, narrow cataracts come down the clefts in unbroken white lines--or
over the facings of rock, in drops and stages. Side by side with the
central rivulet, we go on still descending, though with far slower pace,
and come to the Village of Rigi, and our Lady's Chapel cradled in the
slip of the dell, and, at this tranquil time, _lulled_ by the voices of
the streams. The interior of the Chapel is hung with hundreds of
offerings--staffs, crutches, etc. etc., and pictures representing
marvellous escapes, with written records of vows performed--and dangers
averted through the gracious protection of Our Lady of the Snow. Near
the Chapel is a small religious House, where a few Monks reside,
probably in attendance upon the chapel, which continues to draw together
numerous worshippers from the distant Vales on days of penitence or of
festival." (From Dorothy Wordsworth's Journal, vol. i.)--ED.


[Footnote 506: 1837.

    All sufferings that no longer rest                          1822.

[Footnote 507: 1837.

    ... succour, all distrest                                   1822.

[Footnote 508: 1837.

    That pine ...                                               1822.

[Footnote HU: Compare Coleridge's _Hymn before Sunrise, in the Vale of

    Ye living flowers that skirt the eternal frost!


[Footnote 509: 1832.

    A holy Shadow soft and dear
    Of chastening sympathies!                                   1822.


[Footnote HT: Mount Righi.--W. W. 1822.]




This Tower stands upon the spot where grew the Linden Tree against which
his Son is said to have been placed, when the Father's archery was put
to proof under circumstances so famous in Swiss Story.

    What though the Italian pencil wrought not here,
    Nor such fine skill as did the meed bestow[510]
    On Marathonian valour,[HV] yet the tear
    Springs forth in presence of this gaudy show,
    While narrow cares their limits overflow.                      5
    Thrice happy, burghers, peasants, warriors old,
    Infants in arms, and ye, that as ye go
    Home-ward or school-ward, ape what ye behold
    Heroes before your time, in frolic fancy bold!

    And[511] when that calm Spectatress from on high              10
    Looks down--the bright and solitary Moon,
    Who never gazes but to beautify;
    And snow-fed torrents, which the blaze of noon
    Roused into fury, murmur a soft tune
    That fosters peace, and gentleness recals;                    15
    _Then_ might the passing Monk receive a boon
    Of saintly pleasure from these pictured walls,
    While, on the warlike groups, the mellowing lustre falls.

    How blest the souls who when their trials come
    Yield not to terror or despondency,                           20
    But face like that sweet Boy their mortal doom,
    Whose head the ruddy apple tops, while he
    Expectant stands beneath the linden tree:
    He quakes not[512] like the timid forest game,
    But smiles[513]--the hesitating shaft to free;                25
    Assured that Heaven its justice will proclaim,
    And to his Father give its own unerring aim.[HW]

In Mrs. Wordsworth's Journal the following occurs, under date August
21.--"Altorf.... Visited a Painter, who follows his Art, and instructs
pupils in 'Tell's Tower': fine prospect from the Tower, and from the
Church beautiful almost beyond description. The towers of Altorf, the
Vale beyond, and Fluellin on the margin of the lake; the pine-clad
barriers, with here and there a fantastic marked rock, or a snowy
forehead reared above all.... I have called this place a village, but I
insult the capital of the canton of Uri by so doing: neither _is it like
a village_. A small Town, with stately houses, Fountains--Tell's
Fountain, Church, a large Painted Tower, that gives Tell's story, is
built upon the very spot where the famous Tree grew. The tree is there
represented, and under it the pretty little boy with the apple upon his

       *       *       *       *       *

"Monday, 20th August. Altorf.--We found our own comfortable Inn, THE OX,
near the fountain of William Tell. The buildings here are fortunately
disposed with a pleasing irregularity. Opposite to our Inn stands the
Tower of the Arsenal, built upon the spot where grew the Linden-tree to
which Tell's son is reported to have been bound when the arrow was shot.
This Tower was spared by the fire which consumed an adjoining building,
_happily_ spared, if only for the sake of the rude paintings on its
walls. I studied them with infinite satisfaction, especially the face of
the innocent little Boy with the apple on his head. After dinner we
walked up the valley to the reputed birthplace of Tell: it is a small
village at the foot of a glen, rich, yet very wild. A rude unroofed
modern bridge crosses the boisterous river, and, beside the bridge is a
fantastic mill-race, constructed in the same rustic style--uncramped by
apprehensions of committing waste upon the woods. At the top of a steep
rising directly from the river, stands a square tower of grey stone,
partly covered with ivy, in itself rather a striking object from the
bridge, even if not pointed out for notice as being built on the site of
the dwelling where William Tell was born. Near it, upon the same
eminence, stands the white church, and a small chapel called by Tell's
name, where we again found rough paintings of his exploits, mixed with
symbols of the Roman Catholic faith. Our walk from Altorf to this
romantic spot had been stifling; along a narrow road between old stone
walls--nothing to be seen above them but the tops of fruit trees, and
the imprisoning hills. No doubt when those walls were built, the lands
belonged to the churches and monasteries. Happy were we when we came to
the glen and rushing river, and still happier when, having clomb the
eminence, we sate beside the churchyard, where kindly breezes visited
us--the warm breezes of Italy! We had here a Volunteer guide, a ragged
child, voluble with his story, trimmed up for the stranger. He could
tell the history of the Hero of Uri, and declare the import of each
memorial;--while (not neglecting the saints) he proudly pointed out to
our notice (what indeed could not have escaped it) a gigantic daubing of
the figure of St. Christopher on the wall of the church steeple. But our
smart young maiden was to introduce us to the interior of the ivied
Tower, so romantic in its situation above the roaring stream, at the
mouth of the glen, which, behind, is buried beneath overhanging woods.
We ascended to the upper rooms by a blind staircase, that might have
belonged to a turret of one of our ancient castles, which conducted us
into a gothic room, where we found neither the ghost nor the armour of
William Tell; but an artist at work with the pencil; with two or three
young men, his pupils, from Altorf--no better introduction to the favour
of one of those young men was required than that of our sprightly female
attendant. From this little academy of the arts, drawings are dispersed,
probably, to every country of the continent of Europe." (From Dorothy
Wordsworth's Journal, vol. ii.)--ED.


[Footnote 510: 1827.

    Nor such as did the public meed bestow                      1822.

[Footnote 511: 1837.

    But . . . . . . .                                           1822.

[Footnote 512: 1832.

    Not quaking . . . . . .                                     1822.

[Footnote 513: 1832.

    He smiles . . . . . . . .                                   1822.


[Footnote HV: This probably refers to the painting in the Poecile at
Athens of the battle of Marathon, referred to in Pausanius, i. 15. The
painting was perhaps by Polygnotus. Compare the _Ode_, January 1816 (p.

                            ... arrayed
    With second life the deed of Marathon
         Upon Athenian walls.


[Footnote HW: In the edition of 1822, this _Effusion_ is printed in a
note to the second of the DESULTORY STANZAS, which conclude the series
of "Memorials of a Tour on the Continent," and with this sentence
prefixed to it: "The following stanzas were suggested by the 'TOWER of
TELL' at ALTORF, on the outside walls of which the chief exploits of the
hero are painted; it is said to stand upon the very ground where grew
the Lime Tree against which his Son was placed when the Father's archery
was put to proof under the circumstances so famous in Swiss



    By antique Fancy trimmed--though lowly, bred
    To dignity--in thee, O SCHWYTZ! are seen
    The genuine features of the golden mean;
    Equality by Prudence governèd,
    Or jealous Nature ruling in her stead;                         5
    And, therefore, art thou blest with peace, serene
    As that of the sweet fields and meadows green
    In unambitious compass round thee spread.
    Majestic BERNE, high on her guardian steep,
    Holding a central station of command,                         10
    Might well be styled this noble body's HEAD,
    Thou, lodged 'mid mountainous entrenchments deep,
    Its HEART;[HX] and ever may the heroic Land,
    Thy name, O SCHWYTZ, in happy freedom keep!

"Seewen, Sunday, 20th August.--... Wm. and I walked the direct way to
Brunnen; the rest, viz. Mr. R., T. M., and Dorothy, by way of Schwytz.
Our course lay along the brook that runs through, and I believe gives
its name to the village of Seewen; that by Schwytz forms two sides of
the triangle, and carried them considerably above us on our left. We had
a fine view all the way of the town of Schwytz, which is beautifully
situated, and looked stately under its protecting screen of mountains,
green and woody to the very top. They bend around and tower above it;
one rising higher than the rest, in the very centre of the crescent, and
directly above the church spire, has a fine effect. I was sorry to pass
without going into this important tower, which gives its name to the
delightful country of which it is the capital, and its _station_ is well
worthy of that honour. The _pastoral sylvan_ character of Switzerland is
happily exemplified here, and the mountains and lakes lead you gently
into the more solemn and awful scenes. _Our_ path led us through soft
verdant meadows, where we met and were overtaken by the peasants with
their books and nosegays in their hands...." (From Mrs. Wordsworth's

       *       *       *       *       *

"Sunday, 20th August. Sieven.--... If Berne, with its spacious survey of
Alps, and widely-spreading Vales, and magnificent River, may be called
the _head_, this Town [Schwytz], intrenched among mountains, may be
called the _heart_ of Switzerland; to which the Canton is worthy of
giving its name. Of records or curiosities that may be shut up from
view, I know nothing; but in our half hour's sauntering through the
town, we were in a state of perpetual excitement--not that there is
anything beautiful, or even picturesque, in the Buildings, but
altogether something romantic--with gaiety....

"Our way was down the Vale, toward the Lake Waldstädte,[HY] nearly at
right angles to that by which we had come to Schwytz. We asked who were
the owners of a handsome large house, on our right hand, and were told
a Family of the name of Reding. There was no one to tell us whether it
was the Birth-place, or had been the residence of Aloys Reding; but have
since had the satisfaction of learning from my Friend, Mr. Rogers, that
it _was_, and that he had seen him there: but I will copy Mr. R.'s own
words from a letter written by him to me some years ago.[HZ]

"'When at Schwytz in 1802, we paid him a visit, and at the gate were
surprised by a little girl coming from school, who first took my hand,
and then my sister's--leading her upstairs, and supporting her by the
elbow, into a large old-fashioned room, where we found him drinking
coffee with his Family, after dinner, the clock striking two. There was
a noble simplicity in his manners, and a courtesy, a cordiality in the
reception they all gave us that sent us away enchanted.'

"Leaving the high-road, we turned along one of those pretty paths that
look as if they were only made for going to Church, and for Fetes and
Festivals. Numerous were the companies who passed, or followed us on
this path, through spacious, level, and mostly _verdant_
fields--mountains on all sides, with craggy summits. Behind us was the
Town of Schwytz at the foot of the forest steep, overtopped by the two
naked Pikes; and to our left what sublime dark clefts!" (From Dorothy
Wordsworth's Journal, vol. i.)--ED.


[Footnote HX: "Nearly 500 years (says Ebel, speaking of the French
Invasion) had elapsed, when, for the first time, foreign Soldiers were
seen upon the frontiers of this small Canton, to impose upon it the laws
of their Governors."--W. W. 1822.

Compare the phraseology of Wordsworth's line with a sentence in
Dorothy's Journal, given below.--ED.]

[Footnote HY: The Lake of the Four Cantons.--D. W. The Vierwald-stätter



    I listen--but no faculty of mine
    Avails those modulations to detect,
    Which, heard in foreign lands, the Swiss affect
    With tenderest passion; leaving him to pine
    (So fame reports) and die,--his sweet-breath'd kine
    Remembering, and green Alpine pastures decked                  6
    With vernal flowers. Yet may we not reject
    The tale as fabulous.--Here while I recline,
    Mindful how others by this simple Strain
    Are moved, for me--upon this Mountain named[514]              10
    Of God himself from dread pre-eminence--
    Aspiring thoughts, by memory reclaimed,
    Yield to the Music's touching influence;
    And joys[515] of distant home my heart enchain.

"Thursday, Aug. 24.--... On the banks of the infant Ticino, which has
its source in the pools above, within a few hundred yards of that which
gives birth to the Reuss, D. and I resolved to reject all political
boundaries, and thenceforth consider ourselves in _Italy_. With the pure
stream we descended; but first were joined by Mr. R., J. M., and Wm.,
with a young German, whom Mr. R. had picked up in the morning; a
Heidelberg student, travelling on foot to Rome. He sang and played to us
upon the flute, airs from Rossini, the Swiss Cow Song, etc. Then on we
went, wending our way over the grass between the paved road and the
brook wherever we could. The Brook dashing down its stony channel, now
over rocks, now under shelving snow, and its banks seen clothed with
underwood and pines. Passed by its first wooden bridge, leading to the
cottages, not unmindful of _our own Duddon_; and presently did it grace
such an assemblage of rocks, dells, and woods, forming waterfalls,
pools, and all the various charms that a mountain stream can show."
(Mrs. Wordsworth's Journal.)

"Thursday, 23rd August. Hopital.--I found Mary sitting on the lowest of
a long flight of steps. She had lost her companions (my Brother and a
young Swiss who had joined us on the road). We mounted the steps, and,
from within, their voices answered our call. Went along a dark, stone,
_banditti_ passage, into a small chamber little less gloomy, where we
found them seated with food before them, bread and cheese, with sour red
wine--no milk. Hunger satisfied, Mary and I hastened to warm ourselves
in the sunshine; for the house was as cold as a dungeon. We straightway
greeted with joy the infant TICINO which has its sources in the pools
above. The gentlemen joined us, and we placed ourselves on a sunny bank,
looking towards Italy; and the Swiss took out his flute, and played, and
afterwards sang, the _Ranz des Vaches_, and other airs of his country.
We, and especially our sociable friend R. (with his inexhaustible stock
of kindness, and his German tongue) found him a pleasant companion. He
was from the University of Heidelberg, and bound for Rome, on a visit to
a Brother, in the holidays; and, our mode of travelling, for a short
way, being the same, it was agreed we should go on together: but before
we reached Airola he left us, and we saw no more of him." (From Dorothy
Wordsworth's Journal, vol. ii.)--ED.


[Footnote 514: 1837.

    ... how others love this simple Strain,
    Even here, upon this glorious Mountain (named               1822.

[Footnote 515: 1827.

    ... by memory are reclaimed;
    And, thro' the Music's touching influence,
    The joys ...                                                1822.


[Footnote HZ: This Journal copied (and the extract added) in 1828.--D.



The Ruins of Fort Fuentes form the crest of a rocky eminence that rises
from the plain at the head of the Lake of Como, commanding views up the
Valteline, and toward the town of Chiavenna. The prospect in the latter
direction is characterised by melancholy sublimity. We rejoiced at being
favoured with a distinct view of those Alpine heights; not, as we had
expected from the breaking up of the storm, steeped in celestial glory,
yet in communion with clouds floating or stationary--scatterings from
heaven. The Ruin is interesting both in mass and in detail. An
Inscription, upon elaborately-sculptured marble lying on the ground,
records that the Fort had been erected by Count Fuentes in the year
1600, during the reign of Philip the Third; and the Chapel, about twenty
years after, by one of his Descendants. Marble pillars of gateways are
yet standing, and a considerable part of the Chapel walls: a smooth
green turf has taken place of the pavement, and we could see no trace of
altar or image; but every where something to remind one of former
splendour, and of devastation and tumult. In our ascent we had passed
abundance of wild vines intermingled with bushes: near the ruins were
some ill tended, but growing willingly; and rock, turf, and fragments of
the pile, are alike covered or adorned with a variety of flowers, among
which the rose-coloured pink was growing in great beauty. While
descending, we discovered on the ground, apart from the path, and at a
considerable distance from the ruined Chapel, a statue of a Child in
pure white marble, uninjured by the explosion that had driven it so far
down the hill. "How little," we exclaimed, "are these things valued
here! Could we but transport this pretty Image to our own garden!"--Yet
it seemed it would have been a pity any one should remove it from its
couch in the wilderness, which may be its own for hundreds of years.
(Extract from Journal.)--W. W. 1827.

    Dread hour! when, upheaved by war's sulphurous blast,
     This sweet-visaged Cherub of Parian stone
    So far from the holy enclosure was cast,
     To couch in this thicket of brambles alone,

    To rest where the lizard may bask in the palm                  5
     Of his half-open hand pure from blemish or speck;
    And the green, gilded snake, without troubling the calm
     Of the beautiful countenance, twine round his neck;

    Where haply (kind service to Piety due!)
     When winter the grove of its mantle bereaves,                10
    Some bird (like our own honoured redbreast) may strew
     The desolate Slumberer with moss and with leaves.

    FUENTES once harboured the good and the brave,
     Nor to her was the dance of soft pleasure unknown;
    Her banners for festal enjoyment did wave                     15
     While the thrill of her fifes thro' the mountains was blown:

    Now gads the wild vine o'er the pathless ascent;--
     O silence of Nature, how deep is thy sway,
    When the whirlwind of human destruction is spent,             19
     Our tumults appeased, and our strifes passed away!

"Wed., Sept. 6.--... Crossed the plain of Colico to FUENTES, a ruined
Fort on the summit of a group of Rocks, abruptly rising from the plain,
and overlooking the head of the Lake towards Chiavenna; up the nearer
and larger valley, whence comes the Adda, a river bearing the same name
as that which flows out of the Lake at Lecco; and into the clefts and
recesses among the savage Rocks; over the plain; upon the Lake. Wm. had
gone on before D. and myself, and had gained the top of this picturesque
eminence, by a rough and difficult way. _We_ had determined to be
satisfied with what we had seen below, when two civil peasants joined
us, and kindly led us by an easy path to Wm. on the summit. He pointed
out to us where he had been lost, and separated from Jones; we were
enchanted by the mountain scenery. The whole spot excited the deepest
interest; and, from the very point where we were, this rocky station,
with its ruined fort, church, dwellings, all desolated by those
barbarians the French, it was very affecting to see vines--which no
doubt had heretofore been carefully supported by trellises upon these
terraces--now running wild, and gadding about among the underwood that
clothed the banks. Lumps and masses of marble--architectural
ravages--strewn about. Apart from the path, and at a considerable
distance from the grassy glade where the church had stood, lay the
beautiful statue of a Child, in pure white marble. It seemed strange
that this had not been removed; yet scarcely less strange than that,
among the grass should be left an inscription upon marble, together with
richly carved ornaments, expressing that the Fort had been erected by a
Spanish Count Fuentes, in the time of Philip the third...." (Mrs.
Wordsworth's Journal.)

"Wednesday, 5th September. Cadenabbia.--Bent our course toward
Fuentes--and after a wearisome walk through damp and breathless heat (a
full league or more) over a perfect level, we reached the foot of the
eminence, which from the lake had appeared to be at a small distance,
but it seemed to have retreated as we advanced. We had left the high
road, and trudged over the swampy plain, through which the road must
have been made with great expense and labour, as it is raised
considerably all the way. The picturesque ruins of the Castle of Fuentes
are at the top of the eminence--wild vines, the bramble and the clematis
cling to the bushes; and beautiful flowers grow in the chinks of the
rocks, and on every bed of grass. A _tempting_ though rugged ascent--yet
(with the towers in sight above our heads, and two-thirds of the labour
accomplished) Mary and I (Wm. having gone before to discover the nearest
and least difficult way for us) sate down determined not to go a step
further. We had a grand prospect; and, being exhausted by the damp
heat, were willing for once to leave our final object unattained.
However, while seated on the ground, two stout hard-laboured peasants
chancing to come close to us on the path, invited us forward, and we
could not resist--they led the way--two rough creatures.

"I said to Mary when we were climbing up among the rocks and bushes in
that wild and lonely place, 'What, you have no fear of trusting yourself
to a pair of Italian Banditti?' I knew not their occupation, but an
accurate description of their persons would have fitted a novel-writer
with ready-made attendants for a tribe of robbers--good-natured and
kind, however they were, nay, even polite in their rustic way as others
tutored to city civility. _Cultivated_ vines grew upon the top of the
hill; and they took pains to pluck for us the ripest grapes. We now had
a complete view up the great vale of the Adda, to which, the road that
we had left conducts the Traveller. Below us, on the other side, lay a
wide green marshy plain, between the hill of Fuentes and the shores of
the lake; which plain, spreading upwards, divides the lake; the upper
small reach being called Chiavenna. The path which my Brother had
travelled, when bewildered in the night thirty years ago, was traceable
through some parts of the forest on the opposite side:--and the very
passage through which he had gone down to the shore of the lake--then
most dismal with thunder, lightning, and rain. I hardly can conceive a
place of more solitary aspect than the lake of Chiavenna: and the whole
of the prospect on that direction is characterized by melancholy
sublimity. We rejoiced, after our toil, at being favoured with a
distinct view of those sublime heights, not, it is true, steeped in
celestial hues of _sunny glory_, yet in communion with clouds, floating
or stationary:--scatterings from heaven. The Ruin itself is very
interesting, both in the mass and in detail--an inscription is lying on
the ground which records that the Castle was built by the Count of
Fuentes in the year 1600, and the Chapel about twenty years after by one
of his descendants. Some of the gateways are yet standing with their
marble pillars, and a considerable part of the walls of the Chapel. A
smooth green turf has taken the place of the pavement; and we could see
no trace of altar or sacred image, but everywhere something to remind
one of former grandeur and of destruction and tumult, while there was,
in contrast with the imaginations so excited, a melancholy pleasure in
contemplating the wild quietness of the present day. The vines, near the
ruin, though ill tended, grow willingly, and rock, turf, and fragments
of the stately pile are alike covered or adorned with a variety of
flowers, among which the rose-coloured pink was in great beauty. In our
descent we found a fair white cherub, uninjured by the explosion which
had driven it a great way down the hill. It lay bedded like an infant in
its cradle among low green bushes.--W. said to us, 'Could we but carry
this pretty Image to our moss summer-house at Rydal Mount!' yet it
seemed as if it would have been a pity that any one should remove it
from its couch in the wilderness, which may be its own for hundreds of
years." (From Dorothy Wordsworth's Journal, vol. ii.)

The "Extract from Journal," which Wordsworth prefixed to this poem in
the edition of 1827 and subsequent ones, is, it will be observed, not an
exact transcription from either of the two Journals written by his wife
and his sister. It is a compilation from both of them; and, as it was
doubtless written by himself, it may illustrate the wish, expressed in
the Fenwick note to the poem _Between Namur and Liege_, that "some one
would put together the notices contained in these Journals,... bringing
the whole into a small compass," etc. Most readers will be of opinion,
however, that something has been lost by the condensation, and that the
poet's note of 1827 does not render the publication of the longer
extracts from the two Journals superfluous. Another instance of
Wordsworth's use of the materials of these Journals, while rewriting the
extract, will be found in the note to the poem _Brugès_.--ED.


[Footnote 516: 1827.




This Church was almost destroyed by lightning a few years ago, but the
Altar and the Image of the Patron Saint were untouched. The Mount, upon
the summit of which the Church is built, stands in the midst of the
intricacies of the Lake of Lugano; and is, from a hundred points of
view, its principal ornament, rising to the height of 2000 feet, and, on
one side, nearly perpendicular. The ascent is toilsome; but the
Traveller who performs it will be amply rewarded. Splendid fertility,
rich woods and dazzling waters, seclusion and confinement of view
contrasted with sea-like extent of plain fading into the sky; and this
again, in an opposite quarter, with an horizon of the loftiest and
boldest Alps--unite in composing a prospect more diversified by
magnificence, beauty, and sublimity, than perhaps any other point in
Europe, of so inconsiderable an elevation, commands.--W.W. 1822.

    Thou sacred Pile! whose turrets rise
    From yon steep mountain's loftiest stage,
    Guarded by lone San Salvador;
    Sink (if thou must) as heretofore,
    To sulphurous bolts a sacrifice,                               5
    But ne'er to human rage!

    On Horeb's top, on Sinai, deigned
    To rest the universal Lord:
    Why leap the fountains from their cells
    Where everlasting Bounty dwells?--                            10
    That, while the Creature is sustained,
    His God may be adored.

    Cliffs, fountains, rivers, seasons, times--
    Let all remind the soul of heaven;
    Our slack devotion needs them all;                            15
    And Faith--so oft of sense the thrall,
    While she, by aid of Nature, climbs--
    May hope to be forgiven.[517]

    Glory, and patriotic Love,
    And all the Pomps of this frail "spot                         20
    Which men call Earth,"[IA] have yearned to seek,
    Associate with the simply meek,
    Religion in the sainted grove,
    And in the hallowed grot.

    Thither, in time of adverse shocks,                           25
    Of fainting hopes and backward wills,
    Did mighty Tell repair of old--
    A Hero cast in Nature's mould,
    Deliverer of the steadfast rocks
    And of the ancient hills!                                     30

    _He_, too, of battle-martyrs chief!
    Who, to recal his daunted peers,
    For victory shaped an open space,
    By gathering with a wide embrace,
    Into his single breast,[518] a sheaf                          35
    Of fatal Austrian spears,[IB][519]

"Monday, 28th Aug. Lugano.--At half-past four o'clock, wishing it had
been earlier, we started to see the sun rise from the top of San
Salvador; found, at that dewy hour, the Peasants busy in their
vineyards, as we passed in our ascent. Wm. and T.M. reached the top in
an hour and twenty minutes. Mr. R. kindly lingered with us. _We_
ascended in about two hours, and much were we delighted. The Alps how
glorious! The Rosa! the Simplon! and (as the guide told us) Mont Blanc!
and I believe he was right. However, Mont Blanc, nor no other mount,
could surpass the exquisite appearance of what belonged to earth,
gleaming high up in the skies. This was the glory of our view--the
_majesty_ lay to the left of these. There, by the naked eye, we saw the
River Po, drawn out in silver line, along the horizon; and, with the
telescope, towns and villages gleaming on its banks. Mountains, glens,
and plains, the lake spreading at our feet this way and that, cutting
off the portion of land upon which this favoured and favouring hill
rises. A church and house upon the summit. Three years ago the sacred
edifice was struck by lightning, and every part of it destroyed or
greatly injured, except the altar. The holy place, containing the image
of San Salvador, was left untouched. In that lofty chapel, now under
repair, service is performed four times a year; and at these festivals
the same merriment goes forward upon the mountain as in the villages and
towns upon like occasions. Offerings are then brought to the patron
saint.... We returned highly delighted with this adventure, for which we
are indebted to Mr. R.'s Book, that determined us to climb San Salvador,
one of the grandest feats we have accomplished." (Mrs. Wordsworth's

"Sunday, 26th August. Locarno.--We had resolved to ascend St. Salvador
before sunrise; and, a contrary wind having sprung up, the Boatmen
wished to persuade us to stay all night at a town upon a low point of
land pushed far into the Lake, which conceals from our view that portion
of it, where, at the head of a large basin or bay, stands the town of
Lugano. They told us we might thence ascend the mountain with more ease
than from Lugano, a wile to induce us to stay; but we called upon them
to push on. Having weathered this point, and left it some way behind,
the place of our destination appears in view--(like Locarno and Luvino)
within the semicircle of a bay--a wide basin of waters spread before it;
and the reach of the lake towards Porlezza winding away to our right.
That reach appeared to be of more grave and solemn character than any we
had passed through--grey steeps enclosing it on each side. We now
coasted beneath bare precipices at the foot of St. Salvador--shouted to
the echoes--and were answered by travellers from the Road far above our
heads. Thence tended towards the middle of the basin; and the town of
Lugano appeared in front of us, low green woody hills rising above it.
Mild lightning fluttered like the northern lights over the steeps of St.
Salvador, yet without threatening clouds; the wind had fallen; and no
apprehensions of a storm disturbed our pleasures. It was eight o'clock
when we reached the inn, where all things were on a large scale-splendid
yet shabby."

"Monday, 27th August. Lugano.--Roused from sleep at a quarter before
four o'clock, the moon brightly shining. At a quarter _past_ four set
off on foot to ascend Mount St. Salvador. Though so early, people were
stirring in the streets; our walk was by the shore, round the fine
bay--solemn yet cheerful in the morning twilight. At the beginning of
the ascent, passed through gateways and sheds among picturesque old
buildings with overhanging flat roofs--vines hanging from the walls,
with the wildness of brambles or the untrained woodbine. The ascent from
the beginning is exceedingly steep and without intermission to the very
summit. Vines spreading from tree to tree, resting upon walls, or
clinging to wooden poles, they creep up the steep sides of the hill, no
boundary line between _them_ and the wild growth of the mountain, with
which, at last, they are blended till no trace of cultivation appears.
The road is narrow; but a path to the shrine of St. Salvador has been
made with great pains, still trodden once in the year by crowds
(probably, at this day, chiefly of peasantry) to keep the Festival of
that Saint on the summit of the mount. It winds along the declivities of
the rocks--and, all the way, the views are beautiful. To begin with,
looking backward to the town of Lugano, surrounded by villas among
trees--a rich vale beyond the Town, an ample tract bright with
cultivation and fertility, scattered over with villages and spires--who
could help pausing to look back on these enchanting scenes? Yet a still
more interesting spectacle travels _with us_, at our side (but how far
beneath us!) the Lake, winding at the base of the mountain, into which
we looked from craggy forest precipices, apparently almost as steep as
the walls of a castle, and a thousand times higher. We were bent on
getting start of the rising sun, therefore none of the party rested
longer than was sufficient to recover breath. I did so frequently, for a
few minutes; it being my plan at all times to climb up with my best
speed for the sake of those rests, whereas Mary, I believe, never once
sate down this morning, perseveringly mounting upward. Meanwhile, many a
beautiful flower was plucked among the mossy stones. One,[IC] in
particular, there was (since found wherever we have been in Italy). I
helped Miss Barker to plant that same flower in her garden brought from
Mr. Clarke's hot-house. In spite of all our efforts the sun was
beforehand with us. _We_ were two hours in ascending. W. and Mr. R. who
had pushed on before, were one hour and forty minutes. When we stood on
the crown of that glorious Mount, we seemed to have attained a spot
which commanded pleasures equal to all that sight could give on this
terrestrial world. We beheld the mountains of Simplon--two brilliant
shapes on a throne of clouds--_Mont Blanc_ (as the guide told us[ID])
lifting his resplendent forehead above a vapoury sea--and the Monte
Rosa, a bright pyramid, how high up in the sky! The vision did not
_burst_ upon us suddenly; but was revealed by slow degrees, while we
felt so satisfied and delighted with what lay distinctly outspread
around us, that we had hardly begun to look for objects less defined, in
the far-distant horizon. I cannot describe the green hollows, hills,
slopes, and woody plains--the towns, villages, and towers--the crowds of
secondary mountains, substantial in form and outline, bounding the
prospect in other quarters--nor the bewitching loveliness of the lake of
Lugano lying at the base of Mount Salvador, and thence stretching out
its arms between the bold steeps. My brother said he had never in his
life seen so extensive a prospect at the expense only of two hours'
climbing: but it must be remembered that the whole of the ascent is
almost a precipice. Beyond the town of Lugano, the hills and wide vale
are thickly sprinkled with towns and houses. Small lakes (to us their
names unknown) were glittering among the woody steeps, and beneath lay
the broad neck of the Peninsula of St. Salvador--a tract of hill and
valley, woods and waters. Far in the distance on the other side, the
towers of Milan might be descried. The river Po, a ghostly serpent-line,
rested on the brown plains of Lombardy; and there again we traced the
Ticino, departed from his mountain solitudes, where we had been his
happy companions.

"But I have yet only looked _beyond_ the mount. There is a house beside
the Chapel, probably in former times inhabited by persons devoted to
religious services--or it might be only destined for the same use for
which it serves at present, a shelter for them who flock from the
vallies to the yearly Festival. Repairs are going on in the Chapel,
which was struck by lightning a few years ago, and all but the altar and
its holy things, with the image of the patron saint, destroyed. Their
preservation is an established miracle, and the surrounding peasantry
consider the memorials as sanctified anew by that visitation from
heaven." (From Dorothy Wordsworth's Journal, vol. ii.) See note to
stanzas _Composed in one of the Catholic Cantons_, p. 313.--ED.


[Footnote 517: In 1822 only.

    I love, where spreads the village lawn,
    Upon some knee-worn cell to gaze;
    Hail to the firm unmoving cross,
    Aloft, where pines their branches toss!
    And to the Chapel far withdrawn,
    That lurks by lonely ways!
    Short-sighted children of the dust,
    We live and move in sorrow's power;
    Extinguish that unblest disdain
    That scorns the altar, mocks the fane,
    Where patient Sufferers bend--in trust
    To win a happier hour.

[Footnote 518: 1837.

    ... heart, ...                                              1827.

[Footnote 519: In 1822 only.

Ye Alps, in many a rugged link
Far-stretched, and Thou, majestic Po,
Dimly from yon tall Mount descried,
Where'er I wander be my Guide,
Sweet Charity!--that bids us think,
And feel, if we would know!


[Footnote IA: See _Comus_, l. 5.--ED.]

[Footnote IB: Arnold Winkelried, at the battle of Sempach, broke an
Austrian phalanx in this manner. The event is one of the most famous in
the annals of Swiss heroism; and pictures and prints of it are frequent
throughout the country.--W.W. 1822.]

[Footnote IC: Cyclamen.--D. W.]

[Footnote ID: It was _not_ Mont Blanc. He was mistaken, or wanted to
deceive us to give pleasure; but however we might have wished to believe
that what he asserted was true, we could not think it possible.--D. W.]





    Now that the farewell tear is dried,
    Heaven prosper thee, be hope thy guide!
    Hope be thy guide, adventurous Boy;
    The wages of thy travel, joy!
    Whether for London bound--to trill                             5
    Thy mountain notes with simple skill;
    Or on thy head to poise a show
    Of Images[520] in seemly row;
    The graceful form of milk-white Steed,
    Or Bird that soared with Ganymede;[IE]                        10
    Or through our hamlets thou wilt bear
    The sightless Milton, with his hair
    Around his placid temples curled;
    And Shakspeare at his side--a freight,
    If clay could think and mind were weight,                     15
    For him who bore the world!
    Hope be thy guide, adventurous Boy;
    The wages of thy travel, joy!


    But thou, perhaps, (alert as free[521]
    Though serving sage philosophy)                               20
    Wilt ramble over hill and dale,
    A Vender of the well-wrought Scale,
    Whose sentient tube instructs to time
    A purpose to a fickle clime:
    Whether thou choose this useful part,                         25
    Or minister to finer art,
    Though robbed of many a cherished dream,
    And crossed by many a shattered scheme,
    What stirring wonders wilt thou see
    In the proud Isle of liberty!                                 30
    Yet will the Wanderer sometimes pine
    With thoughts which no delights can chase,
    Recal a Sister's last embrace,
    His Mother's neck entwine;
    Nor shall forget the Maiden coy                               35
    That _would_ have loved the bright-haired Boy!


    My Song, encouraged by the grace
    That beams from his ingenuous face,
    For this Adventurer scruples not
    To prophesy a golden lot;                                     40
    Due recompense, and safe return
    To COMO'S steeps--his happy bourne!
    Where he, aloft in garden glade,
    Shall tend, with his own dark-eyed Maid,
    The towering maize, and prop the twig                         45
    That ill supports the luscious fig;
    Or feed his eye in paths sun-proof
    With purple of the trellis-roof,
    That through the jealous leaves escapes
    From Cadenabbia's pendent grapes.                             50
    --Oh might he tempt that Goatherd-child
    To share his wanderings! him whose look[522]
    Even yet my heart can scarcely brook,
    So touchingly he smiled--
    As with a rapture caught from heaven--                        55
    For unasked alms in pity given.[523]



    With nodding plumes, and lightly drest
    Like foresters in leaf-green vest,
    The Helvetian Mountaineers, on ground
    For Tell's dread archery renowned,                            60
    Before the target stood--to claim
    The guerdon of the steadiest aim.
    Loud was the rifle-gun's report--
    A startling thunder quick and short!
    But, flying through the heights around,                       65
    Echo prolonged a tell-tale sound
    Of hearts and hands alike "prepared
    The treasures they enjoy to guard!"
    And, if there be a favoured hour
    When Heroes are allowed to quit                               70
    The tomb, and on the clouds to sit
    With tutelary power,
    On their Descendants shedding grace--
    This was the hour, and that the place.


    But Truth inspired the Bards of old                           75
    When of an iron age they told,
    Which to unequal laws gave birth,
    And[524] drove Astræa from the earth.[IF]
    --A gentle Boy (perchance with blood
    As noble as the best endued,                                  80
    But seemingly a Thing despised;
    Even by the sun and air unprized;
    For not a tinge or flowery streak
    Appeared upon his tender cheek)
    Heart-deaf to those rebounding notes,                         85
    Apart, beside his silent goats,
    Sate watching in a forest shed,
    Pale, ragged, with bare feet and head;[525]
    Mute as the snow upon the hill,
    And, as the saint he prays to, still.                         90
    Ah, what avails heroic deed?
    What liberty? if no defence
    Be won for feeble Innocence.
    Father of all! though wilful Manhood read[526]
    His punishment in soul-distress,                              95
    Grant to the morn of life its natural blessedness![IG]


[Footnote 520: 1827.

    Of plaster-craft ...                                        1822.

[Footnote 521: 1837.

    ... and free                                                1822.

[Footnote 522: 1827.

    ... _he_ whose look                                         1822.

[Footnote 523: 1827.

    When Pity's unasked alms were given.                        1822.

[Footnote 524: 1837.

    That ...                                                    1822.

[Footnote 525: 1840.

    Heart-deaf to those rebounding notes
    Of pleasure, by his silent Goats--
    Sate far apart in forest shed,
    Pale, ragged, bare his feet and head,                       1822.

    Heart-deaf to those rebounding notes
    Sate watching by his silent Goats,
    Apart within a forest shed,
    Pale, ragged, with bare feet and head;                      1832.

    He to those oft-rebounding notes
    Heart-deaf, beside his silent goats
    Sate watching in a forest shed,
    Pale, ragged, with bare feet and head;                      1837.

[Footnote 526: 1827.

    ... if wilful Man must read                                 1822.


[Footnote IE: In the favourite representations of the carrying off of
Ganymede, the eagle of Zeus bore him in its talons to the skies. There
was a famous statue representing this by Leochares (B.C. 372), which is
described in Pliny, _Nat. Hist._ xxxiv. 19, and of which there is a copy
at the Vatican. See Perry's _Greek and Roman Sculpture_, p. 463.--ED.]

[Footnote IF: The gods in the golden age were wishing to abide on earth,
but as degeneracy ensued, one by one they left. Astræa or Justice was
the last to depart--

           ... Virgo caede madentes,
    Ultima coelestum, terras Astraea reliquit.

    Ovid, _Metamorphoses_, i. 149.

See also Virgil, _Georgics_, ii. 473.--ED.]

[Footnote IG: "Thursday, Sept. 7. Cadenabbia.--A glorious morning. Mists
belting the mountains, and casting silvery garments of all shapes over
and around them, now veiling and now unveiling the rocks, the Lake
dancing below. All that this Paradise had lost yesterday, restored and
more than restored. At about 7 o'clock, D. and I set forward to walk
toward Menaggio. Wm. soon overtook us, and we were joined by an
interesting man, an inhabitant of the neighbourhood, who walked by our
side, and spoke in commendation of our countrymen in opposition to his
own, whom he did not scruple to say had no honesty about them in their
dealings with Foreigners; nor, indeed, in bargaining with each other....
He spoke English very well; had passed twenty years at different times
in England, in the course of twenty-five years; his journeys there cost
him about three guineas each time; had there realized _£_2000, by
selling telescopes and weather glasses, etc.... Our travelling merchant
joined us again, he pointed out his farm with much glee." This extract
does not seem very relevant, but it is the only passage in Mrs.
Wordsworth's Journal recording an incident which _might_ have given rise
to _The Italian Itinerant_.

Dorothy Wordsworth gives the following fuller account of the same
person. "Thursday, 6th September. Cadenabbia.--After a night of heavy
rain, a bright morning. W., M., and I set off toward Menaggio along the
terrace bordering the water, which led us to the bay at the foot of the
rocky green hill of the Church of our Lady; and there we came upon the
track of the old road, the very _same_ which my Brother had paced! for
there was no other, nor the possibility of one. That track, continued
from the foot of the mountain, leads behind the town of Cadenabbia,
cutting off the bending of the shore by which we had come to this point.
From the bare precipice, we pass through shade and sunshine, among
spreading vines, slips of green turf, or gardens of melons, gourds,
maize, and fig-trees among the rocks; it was but for a little space, yet
enough to make our regret even more lively than before that it had not
been in our power to coast one reach at least of the lake on foot. We
had been overtaken by a fine tall man, who somewhat proudly addressed us
in English. After twenty years' traffic in our country he had been
settled near his native place on the Banks of Como, having purchased an
estate near Cadenabbia with the large sum of two thousand pounds,
acquired by selling barometers, looking-glasses, etc. He had been used
to return to his wife every third year in the month of October. He made
preparations during the winter for fresh travels in the spring, at the
same time working with her on the small portion of land which they then
possessed. Portsmouth and Plymouth were the grand marts for his wares.
He amused us with recitals of adventures among the sailors who used to
bully him with, 'Come, you rogue, you get your money easily enough;
spend it freely!' and he did not care if he got rid of a guinea or two;
for he was sure to have it back again after one of the frolics--and much
more. They would often clear away his whole stock of nick-nacks. This
industrious trader used to travel on foot at the rate of from thirty to
forty miles a day, and his expenses from London to Como were but three
guineas, though it cost him one third of that sum to get to Calais. He
said he liked England because the people were _honest_, and told us some
stories illustrative of English honesty and Italian over-reaching in
bargains. This amusing and, I must say, interesting companion, turned
from us by a side-path before we reached Menaggio, saying he would meet
us again, as our road would lead us near his cottage on the heights, and
he should see us from the fields. He had another dwelling on his estate
beside Cadenabbia, where the land produced excellent wine. The produce
of his farm on the _hills_ was chiefly hay, which they were then
gathering in."

The _Swiss Goatherd_ was a boy met by the travellers at Brunnen. Mrs.
Wordsworth thus wrote of him in her Journal:--"20th Aug.--... Mountains
rising through vapour into the sky in front, and looking back, the two
Mythen towering in great majesty. The Peasants, inhabitants of these
paradisaical retreats, very civil, and seemed gratified by our eagerness
in quest of the interests they live among. Young men, seated in one of
these spacious sheds, making merry after having ended their diversions.
The target seen everywhere. In one of the sheds as we ascended, found
four goats chewing the cud, a little boy attending, all on the bench. He
looked so pensive that we became much interested about him, but D. could
not make him understand a single word. William gave him 1/2 a ----; for
which unexpected and unsolicited gift the boy thanked him 'a hundred
thousand times.' I afterwards gave him a second piece, and the same
expression of thanks was repeated. The longer we looked at the subdued
countenance of this little Boy, the more we felt for his solitary
condition. Here, with those four mute companions, he had passed his day.
The beauty of the scenery he was among was nothing to him; and no doubt
he knew of and had heard the sound of the merriment in the vales below.
When we repassed the shed, it was empty." (Journal, vol. ii.)

In Dorothy Wordsworth's briefer record of the same incident, the
following occurs:--"In one of these [sheds] we found four goats (how
bright in the cool shade) beside their keeper, then sitting on the
bench, an elegant-featured Boy--dark like an Italian, ragged, silent,
pensive, and timid. We gave him a few rapps, still he was silent; then a
few more, and he pronounced in German four words intelligible to English
ears, 'a hundred thousand thanks'; but his pale cheek wanted the ready
smile of the beggar's. It seemed as if none of his pleasures were
social, except what he might have with his dumb companions." (Journal,
vol. ii.)

With this poem compare Smollett's _Ode to Leven Water_, and see note to
l. 448 of _Descriptive Sketches_.--ED.]



    Tho' searching damps and many an envious flaw
    Have marred this Work; the calm ethereal grace,
    The love deep-seated in the Saviour's face,
    The mercy, goodness, have not failed to awe
    The Elements; as they do melt and thaw                         5
    The heart of the Beholder--and erase
    (At least for one rapt moment) every trace
    Of disobedience to the primal law.
    The annunciation of the dreadful truth
    Made to the Twelve, survives: lip, forehead, cheek,[527]      10
    And hand reposing on the board in ruth
    Of what it utters,[IH] while the unguilty seek
    Unquestionable meanings--still bespeak
    A labour worthy of eternal youth!

       _Though searching damps and many an envious flaw
       Have marred this Work_;

This picture of the Last Supper has not only been grievously injured by
time, but the greatest part of it, if not the whole, is said to have
been retouched, or painted over again. These niceties may be left to
connoisseurs,--I speak of it as I felt. The copy exhibited in London
some years ago, and the engraving by Merghen, are both admirable; but in
the original is a power which neither of those works has attained, or
even approached.--W. W. 1837.

"Sunday, Sept. 3. Milan.--... Thence we went again to the Cathedral, and
to I know not how many different churches: St. Ambrose, very old and
interesting, fine frescoes. St. Maria della Grazia, where, in the
Refectory, is the exquisite picture of Leonardo da Vinci; but how
grievous that it should have been so injured by the brutality of the
French soldiers; yet, in its state of decay, what a Treasure! and how
little everything that we have seen of Pictures is to be compared to the
truth, the chasteness, and the composure that you see, and not only see,
but _feel_, when seated before that sublime work of human art. The
countenance of our Saviour sinks into your soul. Happily this is
uninjured, as are also the heads of several of the Apostles, but some
are quite extinguished." (From Mrs. Wordsworth's Journal.)

"Sunday, 2nd September. Milan.--Went also to the convent of Maria della
Grazia to view that most famous picture of the Last Supper by Leonardo
da Vinci, painted on the wall at one end of the refectory, a very large
hall, hung along the sides with smaller pictures, and, at the other end,
that painting of the crucifixion of which we had seen a copy at Lugano.
This Refectory was used, in the days of Buonaparte, as a military
store-house, and the mark of a musket ball, fired in wantonness by a
French Soldier, is to be seen in one part of the painting of Leonardo da
Vinci. Fortunately the ball hit where the injury was as small as it
could have been; and it is only marvellous that this fine work was not
wholly defaced during those times of military misrule and utter
disregard of all sacred things.[II] Little conversant in pictures, I
cannot take upon me to describe this, which impressed my feelings and
imagination more than any picture I ever saw, though some of the figures
are so injured by damp that they are only just traceable. The most
important are, however, happily the least injured; and that of our
Saviour has only suffered from a general fading in the colours, yet,
alas! the fading and vanishing must go on year after year till, at
length, the whole group must pass away. Through the cloisters of the
monastery, which are shattered and defaced, pictures are found in all
parts, and there are some curious monuments." (From Dorothy Wordsworth's
Journal, vol. ii.)--ED.


[Footnote 527: 1827.

    ... survives; the brow, the cheek,                          1822.


[Footnote IH:

                               "The hand
    _Sang_ with the voice, and this the argument."


    W. W. 1822.



    High on her speculative tower
    Stood Science waiting for the hour
    When Sol was destined to endure
    _That_ darkening of his radiant face
    Which Superstition strove to chase,                            5
    Erewhile, with rites impure.

    Afloat beneath Italian skies,
    Through regions fair as Paradise
    We gaily passed,--till Nature wrought
    A silent and unlooked-for change,                             10
    That checked the desultory range
    Of joy and sprightly thought.

    Where'er was dipped the toiling oar,
    The waves danced round us as before,
    As lightly, though of altered hue,                            15
    'Mid recent coolness, such as falls
    At noontide from umbrageous walls
    That screen the morning dew.

    No vapour stretched its wings; no cloud
    Cast far or near a murky shroud;                              20
    The sky an azure field displayed;
    'Twas sunlight sheathed and gently charmed,
    Of all its sparkling rays disarmed,
    And as in slumber laid,--

    Or something night and day between,                           25
    Like moonshine--but the hue was green;
    Still moonshine, without shadow, spread
    On jutting rock, and curvèd shore,
    Where gazed the peasant from his door
    And on the mountain's head.                                   30

    It tinged the Julian steeps[IJ]--it lay,
    Lugano! on thy ample bay,[529]
    The solemnizing veil was drawn
    O'er villas, terraces, and towers;
    To Albogasio's[IK] olive bowers,                              35
    Porlezza's verdant lawn.

    But Fancy with the speed of fire
    Hath past[530] to Milan's loftiest spire,
    And there alights 'mid that aërial host
    Of Figures human and divine,                                  40
    White as the snows of Apennine
    Indúrated by frost.

    Awe-stricken she beholds the array
    That guards the Temple night and day;
    Angels she sees--that might from heaven have flown,
    And Virgin-saints, who not in vain                            46
    Have striven by purity to gain
    The beatific crown--

    Sees long-drawn files,[531] concentric rings
    Each narrowing above each;--the wings,                        50
    The uplifted palms, the silent marble lips
    The starry zone of sovereign height--
    All steeped in this portentous light!
    All suffering dim eclipse!

    Thus after Man had fallen (if aught                           55
    These perishable spheres have wrought
    May with that issue be compared)
    Throngs of celestial visages,
    Darkening like water in the breeze,
    A holy sadness shared.                                        60

    Lo![532] while I speak, the labouring Sun
    His glad deliverance has begun:
    The cypress waves her[533] sombre plume
    More cheerily; and town and tower,
    The vineyard and the olive-bower,                             65
    Their lustre re-assume!

    O Ye, who guard and grace my home
    While in far-distant lands we roam,
    What countenance hath this Day put on for you?
    While we looked round with favoured eyes,                     70
    Did sullen mists hide lake and skies
    And mountains from your view?[534]

    Or was it given you to behold
    Like vision, pensive though not cold,
    From the smooth breast of gay Winandermere?[535]
    Saw ye the soft yet awful veil                                76
    Spread over Grasmere's lovely dale,
    Helvellyn's brow severe?[IL]

    I ask in vain--and know far less
    If sickness, sorrow, or distress                              80
    Have spared my Dwelling to this hour;
    Sad blindness! but ordained to prove
    Our faith in Heaven's unfailing love
    And all-controlling power.

    _Of Figures human and Divine._

The Statues ranged round the Spire and along the roof of the Cathedral
of Milan, have been found fault with by Persons whose exclusive taste is
unfortunate for themselves. It is true that the same expense and labour
judiciously directed to purposes more strictly architectural, might have
much heightened the general effect of the building; for, seen from the
ground, the Statues appear diminutive. But the _coup-d'œil_, from the
best point of view, which is half way up the Spire, must strike an
unprejudiced Person with admiration; and surely the selection and
arrangement of the Figures is exquisitely fitted to support the religion
of the Country in the imaginations and feelings of the Spectator. It was
with great pleasure that I saw, during the two ascents which we made,
several Children, of different ages, tripping up and down the slender
spire, and pausing to look around them, with feelings much more animated
than could have been derived from these, or the finest works of art, if
placed within easy reach.--Remember also that you have the Alps on one
side, and on the other the Apennines, with the Plain of Lombardy
between!--W. W. 1822.

    _The starry zone of sovereign height._

Above the highest circle of figures is a zone of metallic stars.--W. W.

"Thursday, Sept. 7. Cadenabbia.--... Nothing could be more lovely than
the milder scenes this morning: the little lake Piano: the sunny glades,
enlivened by groups of Peasants, gathering in their various harvests, or
seated under the shade of some tree taking refreshment, their simple
breakfast, a piece of bread and a little fruit; then, the shadows of
these trees upon green emerald lawns, between the little lake and that
of Lugano, lay more softly than ever shadows rested before, cradled
under those stupendous perpendicular barriers. Took boat at Porlezza.
Eclipse of the Sun: could bear to look at the orb shorn of his beams,
with the naked eye: the effect produced upon the scenery very fine, such
a sombre greenness, like the effect of bright moonlight: only under a
bright moon that very green colour generally diffused (as if you had on
a pair of green spectacles) cannot be. On the right bank of the lake
the woods were of a rich golden green, gloomy on the left shore, and
looking back among the towering rocks, and black coves, the region was
very solemn. The water, unillumined by sunshine, was of what I should
call a _sad_ green: the air cooler, indeed a _coolish_ air gently
agitated the lake, while the eclipse lasted. We congratulated ourselves
in being undesignedly, and indeed unexpectedly, in so grand a situation
to witness this phenomenon." (Mrs. Wordsworth's Journal.)

As reference is made in the poem to "Milan's loftiest spire," and its
"Figures human and divine," the following extracts from the two Journals
may be given in illustration:--"Sept. 2. Milan."--"The cathedral we have
thoroughly seen this morning. It is a grand and imposing Edifice--we
have been delighted both with the building, and with the material
_especially_, all marble of the finest kind. 3000 statues of beautiful
polished white marble are stationed upon this elegant Pile. We were upon
the very top; the pinnacle so light, yet notwithstanding the height, and
its slender appearance, feeling yourself perfectly secure.... The view
of the Cathedral itself from this station is extraordinary; the pure
graceful figures, streaming far before you, have a most interesting and
curious effect; and, from the lower roofs also, you have many fine
combinations." (Mrs. Wordsworth's Journal.)

"Saturday, 1st September. Milan.--Our object this morning was to ascend
to the roof, where I remained alone, not venturing to follow the rest of
the party to the top of the giddy, central spire, which is ascended by a
narrow staircase twisted round the outside. Even W. was obliged to trust
to a hand governed by a steadier head than his own. I wandered about,
with space spread around me (on the roof on which I trod), for streets
and even squares of no very diminutive Town. The floor on which I trod
was all of polished marble, intensely hot, and as dazzling as snow; and
instead of moving figures I was surrounded by groups and stationary
processions of silent statues--saints, sages, and angels. It is
impossible for me to describe the beautiful spectacle, or to give a
notion of the delight I felt; therefore I will copy a sketch in verse
composed from my Brother's recollections of the view from the central
Spire." (From Dorothy Wordsworth's Journal, vol. ii.)

Henry Crabb Robinson wrote thus of these memorial stanzas:--"Of the
stanzas, I love most--loving all--'The Eclipse of the Sun.'" (_Diary_,
etc., vol. ii. p. 224.)--ED.


[Footnote 528: 1827.

    1821.                                                       1822.

[Footnote 529: 1827.

    Upon Lugano's ample bay;                                    1822.

[Footnote 530: 1837.

    Hath fled ...                                               1822.

[Footnote 531: 1827.

    Far-stretching files ...                                    1822.

[Footnote 532: 1827.

    See! ...                                                    1822.

[Footnote 533: 1832.

    ... its ...                                                 1822.

[Footnote 534: 1837.

    Enquiring thoughts are turned to you;
    Does a clear ether meet your eyes?
    Or have black vapours hid the skies
    And mountains from your view?                               1822.

    Was such a vision given to you?
    Or, while we looked with favoured eyes,
    Did sullen mist hide lake and skies
    And mountains from your view?                               1827.

    What countenance hath this day put on for you?
    Do clouds surcharged with irksome rain,
    Blackening the Eclipse, take hill and plain
    From your benighted view?                                   1832.

[Footnote 535: 1837.

    Of gay Winandermere?                                        1832.


[Footnote II: The following note was added, by Henry Crabb Robinson, to
Dorothy Wordsworth's Journal:--"It is perfectly notorious that this
picture suffered more from the negligence of the monks than from the
scorn of the French. A hole was broken thro' the lower part of the
centre of the picture to admit hot dishes from the Kitchen into the
Refectory.--H. C. R."--ED.]

[Footnote IJ: The Julian Alps, also known as the Carnic Alps, bound the
plains of Venetia, and curve round from Mount Terglu to the Dalmatian
range, and the neighbourhood of Trieste.--ED.]

[Footnote IK: Six miles from Menaggio, on Lake Lugano.--ED.]

[Footnote IL: Compare _Musings near Aquapendente_ (April 1837), l. 62.
This stanza was first included in the 1832 edition of the poems.--ED.]




    How blest the Maid whose heart--yet free
    From Love's uneasy sovereignty--
    Beats with a fancy running high,
    Her simple cares to magnify;
    Whom Labour, never urged to toil,                              5
    Hath cherished on a healthful soil;
    Who knows not pomp, who heeds not pelf;
    Whose heaviest sin it is to look
    Askance upon her pretty Self
    Reflected in some crystal brook;                              10
    Whom grief hath spared--who sheds no tear
    But in sweet pity; and can hear
    Another's praise from envy clear.


    Such (but O lavish Nature! why
    That dark unfathomable eye,                                   15
    Where lurks a Spirit that replies
    To stillest mood of softest skies,
    Yet hints at peace to be o'erthrown,
    Another's first, and then her own?)
    Such, haply, yon ITALIAN Maid,                                20
    Our Lady's laggard Votaress,
    Halting beneath the chestnut shade
    To accomplish there her loveliness:
    Nice aid maternal fingers lend;
    A Sister serves with slacker hand;                            25
    Then, glittering like a star, she joins the festal band.


    How blest (if truth may entertain
    Coy fancy with a bolder strain)
    The HELVETIAN Girl--who daily braves,
    In her light skiff, the tossing waves,                        30
    And quits the bosom of the deep
    Only to climb the rugged steep!
    --Say whence that modulated shout!
    From Wood-nymph of Diana's throng?
    Or does the greeting to a rout                                35
    Of giddy Bacchanals belong?
    Jubilant outcry! rock and glade
    Resounded--but the voice obeyed
    The breath of an Helvetian Maid.


    Her beauty dazzles the thick wood;                            40
    Her courage animates the flood;
    Her steps[536] the elastic green-sward meets
    Returning unreluctant sweets;
    The mountains (as ye heard) rejoice
    Aloud, saluted by her voice!                                  45
    Blithe Paragon of Alpine grace,
    Be as thou art--for through thy veins
    The blood of Heroes runs its race!
    And nobly wilt thou brook the chains
    That, for the virtuous, Life prepares;                        50
    The fetters which the Matron wears;
    The patriot Mother's weight of anxious cares!


    [IM]"Sweet HIGHLAND Girl! a very shower
    Of beauty was thy earthly dower,"
    When thou didst flit before mine eyes,[537]                   55
    Gay Vision under sullen skies,
    While Hope and Love around thee played,
    Near the rough falls of Inversneyd![IN]
    Have they, who nursed the blossom, seen
    No breach of promise in the fruit?                            60
    Was joy, in following joy, as keen
    As grief can be in grief's pursuit?
    When youth had flown did hope still bless
    Thy goings[538]--or the cheerfulness
    Of innocence survive to mitigate distress?                    65


    But from our course why turn--to tread
    A way with shadows overspread;
    Where what we gladliest would believe
    Is feared as what may most deceive?
    Bright Spirit, not with amaranth crowned                      70
    But heath-bells from thy native ground.
    Time[539] cannot thin thy flowing hair,
    Nor take one ray of light from Thee;
    For in my Fancy thou dost share
    The gift of immortality;                                      75
    And there shall bloom, with Thee allied,
    The Votaress by Lugano's side;
    And that intrepid Nymph, on Uri's steep, descried!

The following passage from Mrs. Wordsworth's Journal describes

    The Votaress by Lugano's side.

"Lugano, Sept. 8, Friday.--... The evening was uncommonly fine; the road
shady; bells ringing from the neighbouring chapels, that crested many a
steep rock; birds too here, fitfully warbling from the groves; waters
gushing through some rocky cleft among the thickets; and I, at my own
pace and will, enjoyed a quiet and most refreshing walk. At every step
up and down the well-made road, meeting something new, a different
shaped mountain, or the same trees under different combinations, a
tempting path winding to a village in a dell below, or to a nest of
cottages gathered round a spire above, a tinkling stream, or a green
glade without one; and all the way through a region of stately trees....
Here an elegant-looking peasant Girl was putting on her gay ornaments
before she entered the Town, where also was a festival. Her dress was so
pretty I could not help noticing it, a scarlet chintz frock with a deep
figured border, a wide muslin apron, nearly wrapping her round, also
with a deep richly wrought border, and slung by white straps over the
shoulders, a gold chain round the neck, earrings, etc.; her hair,
something like Dora's, nicely braided. Her companions were assisting to
put a very beautiful silk handkerchief upon her neck. One of them, from
the interest she seemed to take in the arrangements, might be the mother
of the Maiden; the other, a younger Sister perhaps, who lent her aid
more slackly, and would, I daresay, rather have been in the wild fields
gathering flowers to deck a Mayday garland, or to wreath a coronal for
_Our Lady's_ head, on this her day of Festival."

    The intrepid Nymph, on Uri's steep, descried!

is thus referred to by Mrs. Wordsworth:--

"Sunday, 20th Aug. Seewen.--... William and I returned later than the
rest, having gone further. On reaching a knoll, before we descended into
Brunnen, a pretty short-faced, bright-eyed Girl of eighteen or nineteen
met us. We enquired the way. She answered; and we bid her good night,
and turned from her. Presently she whistled very softly, then sent forth
an uncouth sound, more as from the voice of a man than a maiden. It was
not a deep sound, but one that might be heard in the Vale and across the
Lake, and made the hills about us ring. This was followed by a series of
Swiss airs, which she warbled without pause, one after the other, in an
impassioned manner, hurrying through as if she wished to reach the
utmost limits of her powers, before we were out of hearing; yet I cannot
but think these modulated notes meant more than we could understand.
They were probably addressed to some one at a distance. There she stood
upon the naked rock; and, as a waterfall, the sound grew as we listened,
so that I even fancied she was following us, in sight of the villages
below and around, and her voice must have been known to those nearer
dwellings, in one of which she probably found her home."

The "Sweet Highland Girl!" is thus described in Dorothy Wordsworth's
_Recollections of a Tour made in Scotland_ in 1803:--

"Sunday, Aug. 28, 1803.--After long waiting, the girls, who had been on
the look-out, informed us that the boat was coming. I went to the
waterside, and saw a cluster of people on the opposite shore; but being
yet at a distance, they looked more like soldiers surrounding a carriage
than a group of men and women; red and green were the distinguishable
colours. We hastened to get ourselves ready as soon as we saw the party
approach, but had longer to wait than we expected, the lake being wider
than it appears to be. As they drew near we could distinguish men in
tartan plaids, women in scarlet cloaks, and green umbrellas by the
half-dozen. The landing was as pretty a sight as ever I saw. The bay,
which had been so quiet two days before, was all in motion with small
waves, while the swollen waterfall roared in our ears. The boat came
steadily up, being pressed almost to the water's edge by the weight of
its cargo; perhaps twenty people landed, one after another. It did not
rain much, but the women held up their umbrellas; they were dressed in
all the colours of the rainbow, and, with their scarlet cardinals, the
tartan plaids of the men, and Scotch bonnets, made a gay appearance.
There was a joyous bustle surrounding the boat, which even imparted
something of the same character to the waterfall in its tumult, and the
restless grey waves; the young men laughed and shouted, the lasses
laughed, and the elder folks seemed to be in a bustle to be away. I
remember well with what haste the mistress of the house where we were
ran up to seek after her child, and seeing us, how anxiously and kindly
she inquired how we had fared, if we had had a good fire, had been well
waited upon, etc. etc. All this in three minutes--for the boatman had
another party to bring from the other side, and hurried us off.

"The hospitality we had met with at the two cottages and Mr.
Macfarlane's gave us very favourable impressions on this our first
entrance into the Highlands, and at this day the innocent merriment of
the girls, with their kindness to us, and the beautiful figure and face
of the elder, come to my mind whenever I think of the ferry-house and
waterfall of Loch Lomond, and I never think of the two girls but the
whole image of that romantic spot is before me, a living image, as it
will be to my dying day."

See The Poetical Works, vol. ii. pp. 389, 390, and the Fenwick


[Footnote 536: 1832.

    Her step ...                                                1822.

[Footnote 537: 1837.

    ... pass before my eyes,                                    1822.

    ... flit before my eyes,                                    1832.

[Footnote 538: 1840.

    Her goings ...                                              1837.

[Footnote 539: 1837.

    ... of Inversneyd!
    Time ...                                                    1822.

In editions of 1822 to 1832, the first six lines of stanza v. were
joined to the last seven of stanza vi., making up a single stanza (No.
v.), and concluding the poem.]


[Footnote IM: See the Author's Miscellaneous Poems, vol. ii.--W. W.

[Footnote IN: I retain Wordworth's spelling of the name of this



    Ambition--following down this far-famed slope
    Her Pioneer, the snow-dissolving Sun,
    While clarions prate of kingdoms to be won--
    Perchance, in future ages, here may stop;
    Taught to mistrust her flattering horoscope                    5
    By admonition from this prostrate Stone!
    Memento uninscribed of Pride o'erthrown;
    Vanity's hieroglyphic; a choice trope
    In Fortune's rhetoric. Daughter of the Rock,
    Rest where thy course was stayed by Power divine!
    The Soul transported sees, from hint of thine,                11
    Crimes which the great Avenger's hand provoke,
    Hears combats whistling o'er the ensanguined heath:
    What groans! what shrieks! what quietness in death!

Mrs. Wordsworth's Journal contains the following reference to this
"column":--"Sat., 9th Sept. (From Bavana to Domo d'Ossola.)--... The
fine column--Buonaparte's--seen to-day, arrested here by the news of his
overthrow, on its way to form a part of the triumphal arch at Milan!"

"Sunday, 9th September. Domo d'Ossola.--At a considerable height from
the river's bed an immense column of granite lies by the wayside, as if
its course had been stopped there by tidings of Napoleon's overthrow. It
was intended by him for his unfinished triumphal arch at Milan; and I
wish it may remain prostrate on the mountain for ages to come. His
bitterest foe could scarcely contrive a more impressive record of
disappointed vanity and ambition. The sledge upon which it has been
dragged from the quarry is rotted beneath it, while the pillar remains
as fresh and sparkling as if hewn but yesterday. W., who came after us,
said he had named it the 'weary stone,' in memory of that immense stone
in the wilds of Peru, so called by the Indians because after 20,000 of
them had dragged it over heights and hollows, it tumbled down a
precipice, and rested immovable at the bottom, where it must forever
remain. Ere long we come to the first passage _through_ the rocks, near
the River's bed, and 'Road and River'[IO] for some time fill the bottom
of the valley. We miss the bright torrents that stream down the hills
bordering the Tesino; but here is no want of variety. We are in closer
neighbourhood with the crags; hence their shapes are continually
changing, and their appearance is the more commanding; and, wherever an
old building is seen, it is overspread with the hues of the natural
crags, and is in form of accordant irregularity. The very road itself,
however boldly it may bestride the hills or pierce the rocks, is yet the
slave of nature, its windings often being governed as imperiously as
those of the Vedra within the chasm of the glen." (Dorothy Wordsworth's

Another extract from Mrs. Wordsworth's Journal will farther illustrate
this sonnet:--

Milan, Sept. 20.--... "Been to see the Bibliotheca Ambrosia....
Petrarch's Virgil delighted us more than all. It had been clawed by
Buonaparte; and he had had the audacity to new-bind this book, and place
four odious N's upon its back. When he revisited this library, as the
animated old librarian related to us, he had this volume under his arm,
saying, 'This is mine,' and walked off with it himself. It is well it
did not remain in possession of so unworthy a master."--ED.


[Footnote 540: 1827.

    ... SEMPLON PASS.--W. W.                                    1822.




    Vallombrosa! I longed in thy shadiest wood
    To slumber, reclined on the moss-covered floor,
    To listen to ANIO'S precipitous flood,
    When the stillness of evening hath deepened[542] its roar;
    To range through the Temples of PÆSTUM, to muse       5
    In POMPEII preserved by her burial in earth;
    On pictures to gaze where they drank in their hues;
    And murmur sweet songs on the ground of their birth!

    The beauty of Florence, the grandeur of Rome,
    Could I leave them unseen, and not yield to regret?[IP]       10
    With a hope (and no more) for a season to come,
    Which ne'er may discharge the magnificent debt?
    Thou fortunate Region! whose Greatness inurned
    Awoke to new life from its ashes and dust;
    Twice-glorified fields! if in sadness I turned                15
    From your infinite marvels, the sadness was just.

    Now, risen ere the light-footed Chamois retires
    From dew-sprinkled grass to heights guarded with snow,
    Toward the mists that hang over the land of my Sires,
    From the climate of myrtles contented I go.                   20
    My thoughts become bright like yon edging of Pines
    On the steep's lofty verge: how it blacken'd the air!
    But, touched from behind by the Sun, it now shines[543]
    With threads that seem part of his own silver hair.

    Though the toil of the way[544] with dear Friends we divide,  25
    Though by the same zephyr our temples be fanned[545]
    As we rest in the cool orange-bower side by side,
    A yearning survives which few hearts shall withstand:
    Each step hath its value while homeward we move;--
    O joy when the girdle of England appears!                     30
    What moment in life is so conscious of love,
    Of love in the heart made more happy by tears?[546]

Wordsworth and his friends did not visit any of the places mentioned in
the first two stanzas, but recrossed the Alps by the Simplon route after
their brief visit to the Italian Lakes. Mrs. Wordsworth writes thus of
their walk from Domo d'Ossola to the Simplon Hospice:--"Sunday, Sept.
20.--... We had great pleasure in discovering traces of a more difficult
ascent (in one instance, with the remains of an oratory), down which
William and Jones came thirty years ago. William pointed out to us an
ancient, high, many windowed edifice, by the roadside, as the Hospital
where they had lodged; a wild and solemn harbour! On the opposite side
of the road, a neat little church, as clean as any English chapel,
standing in its tiny enclosure of burial ground; below, the Tusa; but
its murmur, or rather raving, could not be heard for the riotous din of
a torrent, tumbling from the stupendous mountain above, a tumultuous
sound, distinctly remembered by William, an unchangeable object!
Bonaparte's words, 'Be thou fettered,' would have been of no avail
here.... As we advance, Pines climbing up to the skies, in some places
clothing the very pinnacles of the highest rocks. The road cut and
carried through masses of the solid rock.... Symptoms of desolation as
we advance. Mountains crumbling gradually, or brought down by force of
waters. Blasted pines standing or torn up, and lying in a decaying
state, in the torrent's bed. In the midst of such scenes to come in view
of one of those lovely green Prairies is an enlivening sight, with its
little cottage.... Watching as we did all the way snatches of the old
road, we traced it as we thought across the river and up the ascent on
the other side; and afterwards Wm. told us that there was the very point
where he and Jones had committed the same mistake, had taken that road
(as recorded in his poem) and had to retrace their steps--and bend
downwards with the stream, under a sort of depression from the feeling
that 'he had crossed the Alps.'..."

Compare _The Prelude_, book vi. 1. 562, etc.--ED.


[Footnote 541: 1827.

    ... SEMPLON PASS.                                           1822.

[Footnote 542: 1827.

    ... had softened ...                                        1822.

[Footnote 543: 1837.

                                       ... Pine,
    Black fringe to a precipice lofty and bare,
    Which, as from behind the Sun strikes it, doth shine        1822.

                                      ... pines,
    How black was its hue in the region of air!
    But, touched from behind by the sun, it now shines          1827.

[Footnote 544: 1837.

    Tho' the burthen of toil ...                                1822.

[Footnote 545: 1837.

    ... are fann'd,                                             1822.

[Footnote 546: 1837.

    So rich in the tenderest sweetness of tears?                1822.


[Footnote IO: Compare _The Simplon Pass_ (vol. ii. p. 69)--

                       Brook and road
    Were fellow-travellers in this gloomy Pass.


[Footnote IP: Compare _Yarrow Unvisited_ (vol. ii. p. 411).--ED.]



    What beast of chase hath broken from the cover?
    Stern GEMMI listens to as full a cry,
    As multitudinous a harmony
    Of sounds as rang[547] the heights of Latmos over,
    When, from the soft couch of her sleeping Lover,               5
    Up-starting, Cynthia skimmed the mountain-dew
    In keen pursuit--and gave, where'er she flew,[IQ]
    Impetuous motion to the Stars above her.[IR]
    A solitary Wolf-dog, ranging on
    Through the bleak concave, wakes this wondrous chime
    Of aëry voices locked in unison,--                            11
    Faint--far-off--near--deep--solemn and sublime!--
    So, from the body of one guilty deed,[548]
    A thousand ghostly fears, and haunting thoughts, proceed!

They went up the Gemmi Pass from Leukerbad, passed the Dauben See and
the Schwarenbach Inn, looked into the valley of Kandersteg, and returned
to the baths of Leuk. Mrs. Wordsworth writes:--"Wed., 13th Sept. Baths
of Leuk.--... On our right we looked down from an immense height into
Gastern Thal, a huge cleft, between the snowy Giants, Altels and Blumlis
Alp. The Kandor rises out of this rocky recess, makes a bend at the foot
of our high station, and takes a direct course down the valley before
us.... We were very loath to return, without measuring the tempting vale
through which this river flows. Returned by the same path. On drawing
towards the little mountain Inn, the mastiff, hearing our footsteps
before we could see him, or hear his voice, raised such a tumult in the
mountains as produced the effect of a large pack of well-toned hounds in
full cry. It was a grand sound. And this reminds me of the fine echoes
called forth by a traveller or his guide in the morning. They were
before us, as we clomb the Gemmi. The voice was a universal one; and the
prolonged and re-echoed notes could not have been more harmonious had
they proceeded from the sweetest instrument."

"Wednesday, 12th September. Baths of Leuk.--The total absence of all
_sound_ of living _creature_ was very striking: silent moths in
abundance flew about in the sunshine, and the muddy Lake weltered below
us; the only sound when we checked our voices to listen. Hence we
continued to journey over rocky and barren ground till we suddenly
looked down into a warm, green nook, into which we must descend. Twelve
cattle were there enclosed by the crags, as in a field of their own
choosing. We passed among them, giving no disturbance, and again came
upon a tract as barren as before. After about two leagues from the top
of the Gemmi crags, the summer Chalet, our promised resting-place, was
seen facing us, reared against the stony mountain, and overlooking a
desolate round hollow. Winding along the side of the hill (that deep
hollow beneath us to the right) a long half-mile brought us to the
platform before the door of the hut. It was a scene of wild gaiety.
Half-a-score of youthful travellers (military students from the College
of Thun) were there regaling themselves. Mr. Robinson became sociable;
and we, while the party stood round us talking with him, had our repast
spread upon the same table where they had finished theirs. They
departed; and we saw them winding away towards the Gemmi on the side of
the precipice above the dreary hollow--a long procession, not less
interesting than the group at our approach. But every object connected
with animated nature (and human life especially) is interesting on such
a road as this; we meet no one with a stranger's heart! I cannot forget
with what pleasure, soon after leaving the hut, we greeted two young
matrons, one with a child in her arms, the other with hers, a lusty
babe, ruddy with mountain air, asleep in its wicker cradle on her back.
Thus laden they were to descend the Gemmi Rocks, and seemed to think it
no hardship, returning us chearful looks while we noticed the happy
burthens which they carried. Those peasant travellers out of sight, we
go on over the same rocky ground, snowy pikes and craggy eminences still
bounding the prospect. But ere long we approach the neighbourhood of
trees, and overlooking a long smooth level covered with poor yellowish
grass, saw at a distance, in the centre of the level, a group of
Travellers of a different kind--a party of gentry, male and female, on
mules. On meeting I spoke to the two Ladies in English, by way of trying
their nation, and was pleased at being answered in the same tongue. The
lawn here was prettily embayed, like a lake, among little eminences
covered with dwarf trees, aged or blighted; thence, onward to another
open space, where was an encampment of cattle sheds, the large plain
spotted with heaps of stones at irregular distances.... The turf was
very poor, yet so lavishly overspread with close-growing flowers it
reminded us of a Persian Carpet. The _silver_ thistle, as we then named
it, had a singularly beautiful effect; a glistering star lying on the
ground, as if enwrought upon it. An avalanche had covered the surface
with stones many years ago, and many more will it require for nature,
aided by the mountaineers' industry, to restore the soil to its former
fertility. On approaching the destined termination of our descent, we
were led among thickets of Alpine Shrubs, a rich covering of
berry-bearing plants over-spreading the ground. We followed the ridge of
this wildly beautiful tract, and it brought us to the brink of a
precipice. On our right, when we looked into the savage valley of
Gastron--upwards toward its head, and downwards to the point where the
Gastron joins the Kandor, their united streams thence continuing a
tumultuous course to the Lake of Thun. The head of the _Kandor Thal_ was
concealed from us, to our left, by the ridge of the hill on which we
stood. By going about a mile further along the ridge to the brow of its
northern extremity, we might have seen the junction of the two rivers,
but were fearful of being overtaken by darkness in descending the Gemmi,
and were, indeed, satisfied with the prospect already gained. The river
Gastron winds in tumult over a stony channel, through the apparently
level area of a grassless Vale, buried beneath stupendous mountains--not
a house or hut to be seen. A roaring sound ascended to us on the
eminence so high above the Vale. How _awful_ the tumult when the River
carries along with it the spring tide of melted snow! We had long viewed
in our journey a snow-covered pike, in stateliness and height surpassing
all the other eminences. The whole mass of the mountain now appeared
before us, on the same side of the Gastron vale on which we were. It
seemed very near to us, and as if a part of its base rose from that
vale. We could hardly believe our Guide when he told us that pike was
one of the summits of the Jungfrau, took out maps and books, and found
it could be no other mountain. I never before had a conception of the
space covered by the bases of these enormous piles. After lingering as
long as time would allow, we began to remeasure our steps, thankful for
the privilege of again feeling ourselves in the neighbourhood of the
Jungfrau, and of looking upon those heights that border the Lake of
Thun, at the feet of which we had first entered among the inner windings
of Switzerland. Our journey back to the Chalet was not less pleasant
than in the earlier part of the day. The Guide, hurrying on before us,
roused the large house-dog to give us a welcoming bark, which echoed
round the mountains like the tunable voices of a full pack of hounds--a
heart-stirring concert in that silent place where no waters were heard
at that time--no tinkling of cattle-bells; indeed, the barren soil
offers small temptation for wandering cattle to linger there. In a few
weeks our rugged path would be closed up with snow, the hut untenanted
for the winter, and not a living creature left to rouse the
echoes--echoes which our Bard would not suffer to die with us." (From
Dorothy Wordsworth's Journal, vol. ii.)--ED.


[Footnote 547: 1837.

    As e'er did ring ...                                        1822.

[Footnote 548: 1827.

    ... of a single deed,                                       1822.


[Footnote IQ: Professor Lewis Campbell sent me the following note on the
Gemmi sonnet:--"Cynthia is here (1) the moon, who "sleeps with
Endymion," (2) the huntress Artemis (or Diana), roaming the forest
glades in pursuit of game. In imagining her as giving motion to the
stars, it is _possible_ that the poet may have had in his mind a false
echo of Ovid's lines addressed to Aurora, _Amores_, i. l. 27--

    Optavi quoties, ne nox tibi cedere vellet,
    Neu fugerent vultus _sidera mota_ tuos."


[Footnote IR: Compare the _Ode to Duty_, stanza 6 (vol. iii. p.




    To appease the Gods; or public thanks to yield;
    Or to solicit knowledge of events,
    Which in her breast Futurity concealed;
    And that the past might have its true intents
    Feelingly told by living monuments--                           5
    Mankind of yore were prompted to devise
    Rites such as yet Persepolis presents
    Graven on her cankered walls, solemnities
    That moved in long array before admiring eyes.[IS]

    The Hebrews thus, carrying in joyful state                    10
    Thick boughs of palm, and willows from the brook,[IT]
    Marched round the altar--to commemorate
    How, when their course they through the desert took,
    Guided by signs which ne'er the sky forsook,
    They lodged in leafy tents and cabins low;                    15
    Green boughs were borne, while, for the blast that shook
    Down to the earth the walls of Jericho,
    Shouts rise, and storms of sound from lifted trumpets blow![549]

    And thus, in order, 'mid the sacred grove
    Fed in the Libyan waste by gushing wells,                     20
    The priests and damsels of Ammonian Jove
    Provoked responses with shrill canticles;[IU]
    While, in a ship begirt with silver bells,
    They round his altar bore the hornèd God,
    Old Cham, the solar Deity,[IV] who dwells                      25
    Aloft, yet in a tilting vessel rode,[IW]
    When universal sea the mountains overflowed.

    Why speak of Roman Pomps?[IX] the haughty claims
    Of Chiefs triumphant after ruthless wars;
    The feast of Neptune[IY]--and the Cereal Games,[IZ]           30
    With images, and crowns, and empty cars;
    The dancing Salii--on the shields of Mars
    Smiting with fury;[JA] and a[551] deeper dread
    Scattered on all sides[JB] by the hideous jars
    Of Corybantian cymbals, while the head                        35
    Of Cybelè was seen, sublimely turreted![JC]

    At length a Spirit more subdued and soft
    Appeared--to govern Christian pageantries:
    The Cross, in calm procession, borne aloft
    Moved to the chant of sober litanies.                         40
    Even such, this day, came wafted on the breeze
    From a long train--in hooded vestments fair
    Enwrapt--and winding, between Alpine trees
    Spiry and dark, around their House of prayer,
    Below the icy bed of bright ARGENTIERE.                       45

    Still in the vivid freshness of a dream,
    The pageant haunts me as it met our eyes!
    Still, with those white-robed Shapes--a living Stream,
    The glacier Pillars join in solemn guise[552]
    For the same service, by mysterious ties;                     50
    Numbers exceeding credible account
    Of number, pure and silent Votaries
    Issuing or issued[553] from a wintry fount;
    The impenetrable heart of that exalted Mount!

    They, too, who send[554] so far a holy gleam                  55
    While they the Church engird[555] with motion slow,
    A product of that awful Mountain seem,[556]
    Poured from his vaults of everlasting snow;
    Not virgin lilies marshalled in bright row,
    Not swans descending with the stealthy tide,                  60
    A livelier sisterly resemblance show
    Than the fair Forms, that in long order glide,
    Bear to the glacier band--those[557] Shapes aloft descried.

    Trembling, I look upon the secret springs
    Of that licentious craving in the mind                        65
    To act the God among external things,
    To bind, on apt suggestion, or unbind;[558]
    And marvel not that antique Faith inclined
    To crowd the world with metamorphosis,
    Vouchsafed in pity or in wrath assigned;                      70
    Such insolent temptations wouldst thou miss,
    Avoid these sights; nor brood o'er Fable's dark abyss!

    _Still, with those white-robed Shapes--a living Stream,
    The glacier Pillars join in solemn guise._

This Procession is a part of the sacramental service performed once a
month. In the valley of Engelberg we had the good fortune to be present
at the _Grand Festival_ of the Virgin--but the Procession on that day,
though consisting of upwards of 1000 persons, assembled from all
branches of the sequestered valley, was much less striking
(notwithstanding the sublimity of the surrounding scenery): it wanted
both the simplicity of the other and the accompaniment of the
Glacier-columns, whose sisterly resemblance to the _moving_ Figures gave
it a most beautiful and solemn peculiarity.--W. W. 1837.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Sunday, Sept. 17. Chamouny.--... As we passed one of the little
clustering villages in the Vale of Chamouny, standing at the foot
of one of the five glaciers (the Argentière I believe), its pretty
white Church at that moment was encircled by a most interesting
procession--bare-headed men first carried the symbols or banners, who
were followed by a train of females: two and two winding round the
building; white garments thrown over their heads and covering their
shoulders, like so many nuns; but in that romantic place, the situation
of the Church, and the costume so peculiar, it was quite impossible
not to connect the moving belt of white pyramids with the snowy ones
immediately above them. We were afterwards told by a young priest, as
we passed along the green meadows of Orsina, whither he was going to do
duty, and with whom D. fell into conversation, that it was sacrament
day, and that the ceremony we had seen occurs once a month in all the
valleys, and that those pure vestments do not belong to the Church, but
to the Individuals who wear them. Our genial companion told D. that he
lived upon the Trient, in a village high above its banks, and where,
had he been at home, he would have been glad to have received us as his
guests...." (Mrs. Wordsworth's Journal.)

       *       *       *       *       *

"Sunday, 16th September. Chamouny.--There is no carriage-road further
than to Argentière. When, having parted with our car and Guide, we were
slowly pursuing our way to the footpath, between the mountains, which
was to lead us to the VALORSINE, and thence, by the Tête-Noire, to
Trientz, we heard from the churchyard of Argentière, on the opposite
side of the river, a sound of voices chanting a hymn, or prayer, and
turning round, saw in the green enclosure a lengthening Procession,--the
priest in his robes, the host, and banners uplifted, and men following
two and two--and, last of all, a great number of females, in like order;
the head and body of each covered with a white garment. The stream
continued to flow on for a long time, till all had paced slowly round
the church, the men gathering close together, to leave unencumbered
space for the women, the chanting continuing, while the voice of the
Arve joined in accordant solemnity. The procession was grave and simple,
agreeing with the simple decorations of a village church:--the banners
made no glittering show; the Females composed a moving girdle round the
Church; their figures, from head to foot, covered with one piece of
white cloth, resembled the small pyramids of the Glacier, which were
before our eyes, and it was impossible to look at one and the other
without fancifully connecting them together. Imagine the _moving_
figures, like a stream of pyramids, the white Church, the half-concealed
Village, and the Glacier close behind among pine-trees, a pure sun
shining over all! and remember that these objects were seen at the base
of those enormous mountains, and you may have some faint notion of the
effect produced on us by that beautiful spectacle. It was a farewell to
the Vale of Chamouny that can scarcely be less vividly remembered twenty
years hence than when (that wondrous Vale[JD] being just out of sight)
after ascending a little way between the mountains, through a grassy
hollow, we came to a small hamlet under shade of trees in summer
foliage. A very narrow clear rivulet, beside the cottages, was hastening
with its tribute to the Arve. This simple scene transported us instantly
to our valleys of Westmoreland. A few quiet children were near the
doors, and we discovered a young woman in the darkest coolest nook of
shade between two of the houses, seated on the ground, intent upon her
prayer-book. The rest of the inhabitants were gone to join in the
devotions at Argentière. The top of the ascent (not a long one) being
gained, we had a second cheering companion in our downward way, another
Westmoreland brook of larger size, as clear as crystal, open to the sun,
and (bustling but not angry) it coursed by our side through a tract of
craggy pastoral ground. I do not speak of the needles of Montanvert,
behind; nor of other pikes up-rising before us. Such sights belong not
to Westmoreland, and I could fancy that I then paid them little regard,
it being for the sake of Westmoreland alone that I like to dwell on this
short passage of our journey, which brought us in view of one of the
most interesting of the valleys of the Alps. We descended with our
little stream, and saw its brief life in a moment cut off, when it
reached the _Berard_, the river of Black Water, which is seen falling,
not in _black_ but _grey_ cataracts within the cove of a mountain that
well deserves the former epithet, though a bed of _snow_ and glacier ice
is seen among its piky and jagged ridges. Below those bare summits, pine
forests and crags are piled together, with lawns and cottages between.

"We enter at the side of the valley, crossing a wooden bridge; then,
turning our backs on the scene just described, we bend our course
downward with the River, that is hurrying away, fresh from its glacier
fountains; how different a fellow-traveller from that little rivulet we
had just parted from, which we had seen, still bright as silver, drop
into the grey stream! The descending Vale before us beautiful, the high
enclosing hills interspersed with woods, green pasturage, and cottages.
The delight we had in journeying through the Valorsine is not to be
imagined, sunshine and shade were alike cheering; while the very
numerousness of the brown wood cottages (descried among trees, or
outspread on the steep lawns), and the people enjoying their Sabbath
leisure out of doors, seemed to make a quiet spot more quiet." (From
Dorothy Wordsworth's Journal, vol. ii.)

       *       *       *       *       *

The following account of the festival of the Virgin, which occurred
during the Wordsworths' visit to Engelberg, may further illustrate this
poem:--"Knots of peasants going to and returning from church, all in
holiday trim. We had learned the day to be a grand Festival--the Feast
of the Virgin. After breakfast, the procession streamed out of church, a
beautiful spectacle, as they begirt that and the monastery. Men, women,
and children, Abbot, Monks, Priests, and Choristers, a thousand persons
or upwards; the women as gay as glitter and colours could make them.
Flat white hats, with ribbons and flowers, embroidered stomachers, red
girdles, and their short black petticoats, embroidered with red ribbon,
large shining pins in their hair, and lockets suspended from their
necks. The men too, mostly, had some ornament upon their hats: the young
generally a coloured ribbon, the elders black ones, tied with a bow: all
well and _curiously_ dressed; it was a festive scene, and the most
important fête in the year. Seventeen monks belong to the convent of
Engelberg, and the whole valley contains about 1700 inhabitants," etc.
(Mrs. Wordsworth's Journal.)--ED.


[Footnote 549: 1837.

    They uttered loud hosannas,--let the trumpets blow!         1822.

    These shout hosannas,--these the startling trumpets blow!   1827.

    ... those ...                                               1832.

[Footnote 551: 1837.

    Striking with fury; and the ...                             1822.

    Smiting with fury; and the ...                              1827.

[Footnote 552: 1827.

    But O the fairest pageant of a dream
    Did never equal that which met our eyes!
    The glacier Pillars with the living Stream
    Of white-robed Shapes, seemed linked in solemn guise,       1822.

[Footnote 553: 1827.

    Of number, stood like spotless Votaries
    Prepared to issue ...                                       1822.

[Footnote 554: 1827.

    ... sent ...                                                1822.

[Footnote 555: 1827.

    ... engirt ...                                              1822.

[Footnote 556: 1827.

    ... Mount did seem,                                         1822.

[Footnote 557: 1827.

    ... that on the turf did glide,
    To that unmoving band--the ...                              1822.

[Footnote 558: 1827.

    ... and unbind;                                             1822.


[Footnote IS: Persepolis, the capital city of Persia, "the glory of the
East," was destroyed by Alexander the Great (see Quintus Curtius, book
v. chaps. 6, 7), and is now, for the most part, a mass of ruins. In the
staircase leading up to the Great Hall of Xerxes, the mural decorations
include "colossal warriors, combats with wild beasts, processions, and
the like." Compare Fergusson's _Palaces of Nineveh and Persepolis

[Footnote IT: Compare Leviticus xxiii. 34, 40-43; also Nehemiah viii.
14, 15.--ED.]

[Footnote IU: The Temple of Jupiter Ammon (or Hammon)--the ruins of
which still exist--was, in the centre of an oasis of the Libyan Desert,
twelve days' journey from Memphis, according to Pliny. In Diodorus
Siculus (book xvii. c. 5), in Strabo (book xvii. cc. 37 and 43), and in
Herodotus (book iv. 181), the Temple is described; but a fuller
account--and the one which probably suggested to Wordsworth some part of
his description in the text--will be found in Quintus Curtius, which
records the visit of Alexander the Great to consult the oracle:--"Tandem
ad sedem consecratam deo ventum est. Incredibile dictu, inter vastas
solitudines sita, undique ambientibus ramis, vix in densam umbram
cadente sole, contecta est, multique fontes, dulcibus aquis passim
manantibus, alunt silvas. Coelique quoque mira temperies, verno tepori
maxime similis, omnes anni partes pari salubritate percurrit....

"Est et aliud Hammonis nemus: in medio habet fontem (Solis aquam
vocant): sub lucis ortum tepida manat, medio die, cujus vehementissimus
est calor, frigida eadem fluit, inclinato in vesperam calescit, media
nocte fervida exaestuat, quoque nox propius vergit ad lucem, multum ex
nocturno calore decrescit, donec sub ipsum diei ortum assueto tepore
languescat.... _Hunc, cum responsum petitur, navigio aurato gestant
sacerdotes, multis argenteis pateris ab utroque navigii latere
pendentibus: sequuntur matronae virginesque, patrio more inconditum
quoddam carmen canentes, quo propitiari Jovem credunt, ut certum edat
oraculum._"[550]--Q. Curtius Rufus, _De Gestis Alex._, iv. 31 (ed.
Zumpt). The sentence italicised and translated makes it clear that
Wordsworth was dealing in this instance with the text of Quintus
Curtius, as he dealt with that of Herodotus, for example, in _The
Excursion_, when he described the

    Tower eight times planted on the top of tower,
    That Belus, nightly to his splendid couch
    Descending, there might rest.

    (Book iv. ll. 685-687.)

For discussions on the oases and Temple of Jupiter Ammon, see _Travels
in Africa, Egypt_, etc., by W. G. Browne (1792 to 1798), _The Journal of
Frederick Horneman's Travels from Cairo to Mourzouk_ (1797-8),
_Narrative of Operations and Discoveries in Egypt_, etc., by G. Balzoni,
and note M in Pratt's _Quintus Curtius_, vol. i.--ED.]

[Footnote IV: "Old Cham, the solar Deity," was the same as "the Ammonian
Jove." The statue of the god in the Temple was ram-headed and horned,
hence the Egyptian veneration for the ram.--ED.]

[Footnote IW: Compare _Paradise Lost_, book xi. ll. 745-747.--ED.]

[Footnote IX: "This refers to the triumphal processions along the Via
Sacra, in which the fortunate general was decorated with all the
insignia of Jupiter. (See Livy, book x. c. 7.) The captive princes, who
were conducted in the procession, were put to death in the prison at the
ascent of the Capitoline, before the triumphal offerings were made to
the gods." (W. A. Heard.)]

[Footnote IY: "This refers to the Ludi Circenses (Livy, book i. 9), when
the gods were conducted to the circus in a magnificent procession, their
images carried on a kind of frame, or placed in sacred chariots called
'tensae,' which are alluded to in the next line." (W. A. Heard.)]

[Footnote IZ: "Ludi Cerealia (Livy, book xxx. 39; Ovid, _Fasti_, iv.

    Circus erit pompa celeber numeroque deorum,
    Primaque ventosis palma petetur equis.
    Hinc Cereris ludi."

    (W. A. Heard.)

[Footnote JA: "The salii, or priests of Mars, on his festival, marched
through the streets, stamping in a kind of dance and striking the sacred
shields (ancilia.)

    A saltu nomina dicta.

    Ovid, _Fasti_, iii. 387." (W. A. Heard.)

[Footnote JB: "This is an allusion to 'Megalesia,' a festival of Cybele
the Great Mother. In this festival there was a solemn commemoration,
with processions and games, of the first entry of the goddess into Rome.
The Corybantes were her Phrygian priests. See, for the whole worship,
Ovid, _Fasti_, iv. 181." (W. A. Heard.)]

[Footnote JC: "Compare Virgil, _Æneid_ vi. 785--

                   Qualis Berecyntia mater
    Invehitur curru Phrygias turrita per urbes.

The Great Mother is represented in works of art as wearing a crown of
towers. An explanation is given in Ovid's _Fasti_ (iv. 219), a work
which Wordsworth seems to have had in his thoughts throughout this

    At cur turrifera caput est onerata corona?
       An primis turres urbibus illa dedit?"

    (W. A. Heard.)

[Footnote JD: Compare _The Prelude_, book vi. 1. 528--

                 The wondrous Vale
    Of Chamouny stretched far below.


[Footnote 550: "When a response was sought, it was the custom for the
priests to carry the image of the god in a golden ship with many silver
paterae hanging from both its sides; while matrons and virgins followed,
singing, according to the custom of their country, a certain uncouth
hymn, by which they believed they could propitiate the god, and induce
him to return an unambiguous answer."]



The lamented Youth whose untimely death gave occasion to these elegiac
verses, was Frederick William Goddard, from Boston in North America. He
was in his twentieth year, and had resided for some time with a
clergyman in the neighbourhood of Geneva for the completion of his
education. Accompanied by a fellow-pupil, a native of Scotland, he had
just set out on a Swiss tour when it was his misfortune to fall in with
a friend of mine who was hastening to join our party. The travellers,
after spending a day together on the road from Berne and at Soleure,
took leave of each other at night, the young men having intended to
proceed directly to Zurich. But early in the morning my friend found his
new acquaintances, who were informed of the object of his journey, and
the friends he was in pursuit of, equipped to accompany him. We met at
Lucerne the succeeding evening, and Mr. G. and his fellow-student became
in consequence our travelling companions for a couple of days. We
ascended the Righi together; and, after contemplating the sunrise from
that noble mountain, we separated at an hour and on a spot well suited
to the parting of those who were to meet no more. Our party descended
through the valley of our Lady of the Snow, and our late companions, to
Arth. We had hoped to meet in a few weeks at Geneva; but on the third
succeeding day (on the 21st of August) Mr. Goddard perished, being
overset in a boat while crossing the lake of Zurich. His companion
saved himself by swimming, and was hospitably received in the mansion of
a Swiss gentleman (M. Keller) situated on the eastern coast of the lake.
The corpse of poor Goddard was cast ashore on the estate of the same
gentleman, who generously performed all the rites of hospitality which
could be rendered to the dead as well as to the living. He caused a
handsome mural monument to be erected in the church of Küsnacht, which
records the premature fate of the young American, and on the shores too
of the lake the traveller may read an inscription pointing out the spot
where the body was deposited by the waves.[559]

    LULLED by the sound of pastoral bells,
    Rude Nature's Pilgrims did we go,
    From the dread summit of the Queen[JE]
    Of mountains, through a deep ravine,
    Where, in her holy chapel, dwells                              5
    "Our Lady of the Snow."

    The sky was blue, the air was mild;
    Free were the streams and green the bowers;
    As if, to rough assaults unknown,
    The genial spot had _ever_ shown                              10
    A countenance that as sweetly smiled--[560]
    The face of summer-hours.

    And we were gay, our hearts at ease;
    With pleasure dancing through the frame
    We journeyed; all we knew of care--[561]                      15
    Our path that straggled here and there;
    Of trouble--but the fluttering breeze;
    Of Winter--but a name.

    If foresight could have rent the veil
    Of three short days--but hush--no more!                       20
    Calm is the grave, and calmer none
    Than that to which thy cares are gone,
    Thou Victim of the stormy gale;
    Asleep on ZURICH'S shore!

    Oh GODDARD! what art thou?--a name--                          25
    A sunbeam followed by a shade!
    Nor more, for aught that time supplies,
    The great, the experienced, and the wise:
    Too much from this frail earth we claim,
    And therefore are betrayed.                                   30

    We met, while festive mirth ran wild,
    Where, from a deep lake's mighty urn,
    Forth slips, like an enfranchised slave,
    A sea-green river, proud to lave,
    With current swift and undefiled,                             35
    The towers of old LUCERNE.

    We parted upon solemn ground
    Far-lifted towards the unfading sky;
    But all our thoughts were _then_ of Earth,
    That gives to common pleasures birth;                         40
    And nothing in our hearts we found
    That prompted even a sigh.

    Fetch, sympathising Powers of air,
    Fetch, ye that post o'er seas and lands,
    Herbs moistened by Virginian dew,                             45
    A most untimely grave to strew,
    Whose turf may never know the care[562]
    Of _kindred_ human hands!

    Beloved by every gentle Muse
    He left his Transatlantic home:                               50
    Europe, a realised romance,
    Had opened on his eager glance;
    What present bliss!--what golden views!
    What stores for years to come!

    Though lodged within no vigorous frame,                       55
    His soul her daily tasks renewed,
    Blithe as the lark on sun-gilt wings
    High poised--or as the wren that sings
    In shady places, to proclaim
    Her modest gratitude.                                         60

    Not vain is sadly-uttered praise;
    The words of truth's memorial vow
    Are sweet as morning fragrance shed
    From flowers 'mid GOLDAU'S ruins bred;
    As evening's fondly-lingering rays,[563]                      65
    On RIGHI'S silent brow.

    Lamented youth! to thy cold clay
    Fit obsequies the Stranger paid;
    And piety shall guard the Stone[564]
    Which hath not left the spot unknown                          70
    Where the wild waves resigned their prey--
    And _that_ which marks thy bed.[565]

    And, when thy Mother weeps for Thee,
    Lost Youth! a solitary Mother;
    This tribute from a casual Friend                             75
    A not unwelcome aid may lend,
    To feed the tender luxury,
    The rising pang to smother.

The persuasion here expressed was not groundless. The first human
consolation that the afflicted Mother felt, was derived from this
tribute to her son's memory, a fact which the author learned, at his own
residence, from her Daughter, who visited Europe some years
afterwards.--Goldau is one of the villages desolated by the fall of part
of the Mountain Rossberg.--W. W. 1837.

References to Young Goddard occur in Mrs. Wordsworth's Journal, as
follows:--"Lucerne, Aug. 16.--... In bounded Henry Robinson, ... with
two young men he has picked up on the road...." "Aug. 17.--The two young
Gentlemen, Mr. R.'s companions, called upon us to walk at 7 o'clock; and
very pleasing youths we found them, one an American, the other a
Scotsman, by birth, students from Geneva, come out on foot for a month's
excursion." "Top of Righi, Sat. 19th.--Our pleasant ingenuous companions
gone. We parted immediately after breakfast." "Lausanne, Sept. 20.--Our
joy was damped by hearing from Mr. Mulloch, of the melancholy fate of
that very interesting youth, Mr. Goddard, with whom we parted on the top
of the Righi. He, with Mr. Trotter, descended to pursue their way to
Zurich, in which lake he was unfortunately drowned two days afterwards;
we towards Lauritz, but all in the hope of meeting again at Altorf....
Mr. G.'s mother is in America.... Seldom have I seen so promising a
youth." "Sat. 23rd. Geneva.--Met Mr. Trotter. The loss of poor Goddard
was occasioned by a sudden squall, which upset one of the worthless
boats, made of thin planks, flat bottomed. Mr. T. being a good swimmer,
and on the side nearest the shore, reached land, when looking for his
companion, he had disappeared, had been sucked under the boat, and was
never seen from the first moment. Great humanity was shown by the people
in the neighbourhood on this melancholy occasion. The body was found,
and afterwards buried in the churchyard at Küsnacht, a village on the
east shore of the lake of Zurich. A discourse in German was delivered by
an old Priest, after the interment, a copy of which Mr. T. showed us;
and which Mr. R. and W. were much pleased with, for the pathetic
simplicity of the expression. It was intended to be sent to the poor
mother of the deceased."

The reference towards the close of the poem to the

    Flowers 'mid Goldau's ruins bred;

and the concluding passage of the prefatory note to the edition of 1822,
suggest another passage in Mrs. Wordsworth's Journal. "Aug. 19.--Dined
at Goldau. This cottage-inn is built, as several other houses are, on
the side of the road surrounded by masses of fallen rock: chapel close
by: all walked to the ruins: sate for a long time upon an immense mass
of the fallen mountain. It is an awful and an affecting place. We were
surprised at the extent of the desolation, especially when we looked up
to the mountain whence it had proceeded. The rent, high above us,
appeared so trifling that we could not but wonder how all those mighty
blocks had ever been piled upon so narrow a space. Huge masses of rock
on every side of us. It is aptly called "the valley of Stones." A river
had thridded this once lovely and still interesting valley; but this,
with the green meadows which it fertilized, is buried; and the lake of
Lawerz below driven into narrower compass.... Three villages, with their
inhabitants, had been completely destroyed."

"Wednesday, 19th September. Lausanne.--We met with some pleasant
Englishmen, from whom we heard particulars concerning the melancholy
fate of our young Friend, the American, seen by us for the last time on
the top of the Righi. The tidings of his death had been first
communicated, but a few hours before, by Mr. Mulloch. We had the comfort
of hearing that his friend had saved himself by swimming, and had paid
the last duties to the stranger, so far from home and kindred, who lies
quietly in the churchyard of Küsnacht on the shores of Zurich." (From
Dorothy Wordsworth's Journal, vol. ii.)

On the 24th Nov. 1821, Dorothy Wordsworth wrote to Henry Crabb
Robinson:--"... Amongst the Poems (the _Tour on the Continent_) is one
to the memory of poor Goddard, which probably never would have been
written but for your suggestion. How often do I think of that night when
you first introduced that interesting youth to us! At this moment I see
in my mind's eye the lighted Salon, you in your great-coat, and the two
slender tall figures following you!"--ED.


[Footnote 559: 1827.

On arriving at Lausanne, we heard of the fate of the Young American,
whose death is here lamented. He had been our companion for three days;
and we separated upon Mount Righi with mutual hope of meeting again in
the course of our Tour. GOLDAU, mentioned towards the conclusion of this
Piece, is a Village at the foot of Mount Righi, one of those overwhelmed
by a mass which fell from the side of the mountain ROSSBERG, a few years
ago.--W.W. 1822.]

[Footnote 560: 1837

... that sweetly smiled,                                        1822.

[Footnote 561: 1827.

    All that we knew of lively care,                            1822.

[Footnote 562: 1832.

                     ... sod to strew,
    That lacks the ornamental care                              1822.

[Footnote 563: 1827.

    Sweet as Eve's fondly-lingering rays,                       1822.

[Footnote 564: 1832.

    ... that stone                                              1827.

[Footnote 565: This stanza was first added in 1827.]


[Footnote JE: Mount Righi--Regina Montium.--W. W.]



    Lo! in the burning west, the craggy nape
    Of a proud Ararat! and, thereupon,
    The Ark, her melancholy voyage done!
    Yon rampant cloud mimics a lion's shape;
    There, combats a huge crocodile--agape                         5
    A golden spear to swallow! and that brown
    And massy grove, so near yon blazing town,
    Stirs and recedes--destruction to escape!
    Yet all is harmless--as the Elysian shades
    Where Spirits dwell in undisturbed repose--                   10
    Silently disappears, or quickly fades:
    Meek Nature's evening comment on the shows
    That for oblivion take their daily birth
    From all the fuming vanities of Earth!

The only allusion in Mrs. Wordsworth's Journal to any noteworthy
"sky-prospect from the plain of France," occurs when they rested at
Fontainbleau. "Sept. 30.--... Seeing the forest rise at the end of a
long vista of trees, our guide said that from that point we should have
a fine view. Passed through the old-fashioned French flower garden, with
its large sheet of water.... Surprised by the view from the hill, first
towards the palace, and the expanse beyond, and immediately opposite
this (what we so little expected to see) a rocky dell in that sandy
region; most curious, the bank before us scattered thickly with rocks,
by that dim light appearing like a large village. Glorious crimson light
in the west, all the rest of the sky a clear cloudless blue. The evening
star very large, and alone. An impressive silence in the air, so that we
heard the sounds from the distant town distinctly."

"Saturday, 29th September. Fontainbleau.--In the very heart of the Alps,
I never saw a more wild and lonely spot, yet _curious_ in the extreme,
and even _beautiful_. Thousands of white bleached rocks, mostly in
appearance not much larger than sheep, lay on the steep declivities of
the dell among bushes and low trees, heather, bilberries, and other
forest plants. The effect of loneliness and desert wildness was
indescribably increased by the remembrance of the Palace we had left not
an hour before. The spot on which we stood is said to have been
frequented by Henry the IVth. when he wished to retire from his court
and attendants. A few steps more brought us in view of fresh ranges of
the forest, hills, plains, and distant lonely dells. The sunset was
brilliant--light clouds in the west, and overhead a spotless blue dome.
As we wind along the top of the Steep, the views are still changing--the
plain expands eastward, and again appear the white buildings of
Fontainbleau, with something of romantic brightness in the _fading_
light; for we had tarried till a star or two reminded us it was time to
move away. In descending, we followed one of the long straight tracks
that intersect the forest in all directions. Bewildered among those
tracks, we were set right by a party of wood-cutters, going home from
their labour." (From Dorothy Wordsworth's Journal, vol. ii.)--ED.



    Why cast ye back upon the Gallic shore,
    Ye furious waves! a patriotic Son
    Of England--who in hope her coast had won,
    His project crowned, his pleasant travel o'er?
    Well--let him pace this noted beach once more,                 5
    That gave the Roman his triumphal shells;[JF]
    That saw the Corsican his cap and bells
    Haughtily shake, a dreaming Conqueror!--
    Enough: my Country's cliffs I can behold,
    And proudly think, beside the chafing sea,[566]               10
    Of checked ambition, tyranny controlled,
    And folly cursed with endless memory:
    These local recollections ne'er can cloy;
    Such ground I from my very heart enjoy!

Near the Town of Boulogne, and overhanging the Beach, are the remains of
a Tower which bears the name of Caligula, who here terminated his
western Expedition, of which these sea-shells were the boasted spoils.
And, at no great distance from these Ruins, Buonaparte, standing upon a
mound of earth, harangued his "Army of England," reminding them of the
exploits of Cæsar, and, pointing towards the white cliffs upon which
their standards _were to float_. He recommended also a subscription to
be raised among the Soldiery to erect on that Ground, in memory of the
Foundation of the "Legion of Honour," a Column,--which was not completed
at the time we were there.--W. W. 1822.

"Embarked in a small vessel; wind contrary. The vessel struck upon a
sandbank. Then was driven with violence upon a rocky road in the
harbour. Tide was ebbing very fast." (Mrs. Wordsworth's Journal.)

"Monday, 29th October. Boulogne.--We walked to Buonaparte's Pillar,
which, on the day when he harangued his soldiers (pointing to the shores
of England whither he should lead them to conquest), he decreed should
be erected in commemoration of the Legion of Honour then established.
The pillar is seen far and wide, _unfinished_, as the intricate casing
of a _scaffolding loftier than itself, shows at whatever distance_ it is
seen. It is said the Bourbons intend to complete the work, and give it a
new name; but I think it more probable that the scaffolding may be left
to fall away, and the Pile of marble remain strewn round, as it is, with
unfinished blocks, an undisputed Monument of the Founder's vanity and
arrogance; and _so_ it may stand as long as the brick towers of Caligula
have done, a remnant of which yet appears on the cliffs. We walked on
the ground which had been covered by the army that dreamt of conquering
England, and were shown the very spot where their Leader made his
boastful speech.

"On the day fixed for our departure from Boulogne, the weather being
boisterous and wind contrary, the _Packet_ could not sail, and we
trusted ourselves to a small vessel, with only one effective sailor on
board. Even _Mary_ was daunted by the Breakers outside the Harbour, and
_I_ descended into the vessel as unwillingly as a criminal might go to
execution, and hid myself in bed. Presently our little ship moved; and
before ten minutes were gone she struck upon the sands. I felt that
something disastrous had happened; but knew not what till poor Mary
appeared in the cabin, having been thrown down from the top of the
steps. There was again a frightful beating and grating of the bottom of
the vessel, water rushing in very fast. A young man, an Italian, who had
risen from a bed beside mine, as pale as ashes, groaned in agony,
kneeling at his prayers. My condition was not much better than his; but
I was more quiet. Never shall I forget the kindness of a little Irish
woman who, though she herself, as she afterwards said, was much
frightened, assured me even chearfully that there was no danger. I
cannot say that her words, as assurances of safety, had much effect upon
me; but the example of her courage made me become more collected; and I
felt her human kindness even at the moment when I believed that we might
be all going to the bottom of the sea together; and the agonizing
thoughts of the distress at home were rushing on my mind." (From Dorothy
Wordsworth's Journal, vol. ii.)--ED.


[Footnote 566: 1837.

    ... murmuring sea,                                          1822.



NOV. 1820

    Where be the noisy followers of the game
    Which faction breeds; the turmoil where? that passed
    Through Europe, echoing from the newsman's blast,
    And filled our hearts with grief for England's shame.
    Peace greets us;--rambling on without an aim                   5
    We mark majestic herds of cattle, free
    To ruminate, couched on the grassy lea;
    And hear far-off the mellow horn proclaim
    The Season's harmless pastime. Ruder sound
    Stirs not; enrapt I gaze with strange delight,                10
    While consciousnesses, not to be disowned,
    Here only serve a feeling to invite
    That lifts the spirit to a calmer height,
    And makes this[567] rural stillness more profound.

    _We mark majestic herds of cattle free
    To ruminate._

This is a most grateful sight for an Englishman returning to his native
land. Every where one misses, in the cultivated scenery abroad, the
animating and soothing accompaniment of animals ranging and selecting
their own food at will.--W. W. 1822.

"Dover, Wed., 8th Nov.--At 11 o'clock we took coach and thoroughly
enjoyed our journey between the green pastures of Kent, besprinkled with
groups of trees, and bounded by hedgerows. The scattered cattle quietly
selecting their own food was a cheering, and a home-feeling sight."
(Mrs. Wordsworth's Journal.)

"It was, I think, 10 o'clock when we left Dover. The day was pleasant,
and every English sight delightful, the fields sprinkled with cattle,
the hedgerows, the snug small cottages, the pretty country-houses. Many
a time we said to each other, 'What a pleasant country this must appear
to the eyes of a Frenchman!'" (From Dorothy Wordsworth's Journal, vol.


[Footnote 567: 1837.

    ... the ...                                                 1822.



     [For the impressions on which this sonnet turns, I am indebted to
     the experience of my daughter, during her residence at Dover with
     our dear friend, Miss Fenwick.--I. F.]

    From the Pier's head, musing, and with increase
    Of wonder, I have watched[568] this sea-side Town,
    Under the white cliff's battlemented crown,
    Hushed to a depth of more than Sabbath peace:
    The streets and quays are thronged, but why disown             5
    Their natural utterance:[569] whence this strange release
    From social noise--silence elsewhere unknown?--
    A Spirit whispered, "Let all wonder cease;
    Ocean's o'erpowering murmurs have set free
    Thy sense from pressure of life's common din;                 10
    As the[570] dread Voice that speaks from out the sea
    Of God's eternal Word, the Voice of Time
    Doth deaden, shocks of tumult,[571] shrieks of crime,
    The shouts of folly, and the groans of sin."


[Footnote 568: 1850.

    Of wonder, long I watched ...                                 MS.

[Footnote 569: 1850.

    ... were thronged, but why disown
    Their natural voices ...                                       C.

[Footnote 570: 1850.

                                         ... peace;
    How strange thought I this orderly release
    From social noise. What law elsewhere unknown
    That stillness guards? Then ocean cried, "I drown
    In solemn sounds; let wonder cease!
    So through his spiritual ear is man set free
    From conscious pressure of life's heaviest din,
    When the....                                                  MS.

                                     ... release
    From social noise, quiet elsewhere unknown:
    { A spirit whispered  }
    { Then cried a spirit } "Doth not ocean drown
    In solemn sounds; let wonder cease!
    So through his overpowering murmurs....                       MS.

[Footnote 571: 1850.

    Deadens--the shocks of { tumult  }                            MS.
                           { passion }


[Footnote JF: See Wordsworth's note appended to the poem.--ED.]

[Footnote JG: This sonnet was first published in the edition of




    Is then the final page before me spread,
    Nor further outlet left to mind or heart?
    Presumptuous Book! too forward to be read,
    How can I give thee licence to depart?
    One tribute more: unbidden feelings start                      5
    Forth from their coverts; slighted objects rise;
    My spirit is the scene of such wild art
    As on Parnassus rules, when lightning flies,
    Visibly leading on the thunder's harmonies.

    All that I saw returns upon my view,                          10
    All that I heard comes back upon my ear,
    All that I felt this moment doth renew;
    And where the foot with no unmanly fear
    Recoiled--and wings alone could travel--there
    I move at ease; and meet contending themes                    15
    That press upon me, crossing the career
    Of recollections vivid as the dreams
    Of midnight,--cities, plains, forests, and mighty streams.

    Where Mortal never breathed I dare to sit
    Among the interior Alps, gigantic crew,                       20
    Who triumphed o'er diluvian power!--and yet
    What are they but a wreck and residue,
    Whose only business is to perish!--true
    To which sad course, these wrinkled Sons of Time
    Labour their proper greatness to subdue;                      25
    Speaking of death alone, beneath a clime
    Where life and rapture flow in plenitude sublime.[JH]

    Fancy hath flung for me an airy bridge
    Across thy long deep Valley, furious Rhone!
    Arch that _here_ rests upon the granite ridge                 30
    Of Monte Rosa--_there_ on frailer stone
    Of secondary birth, the Jung-frau's cone;
    And, from that arch, down-looking on the Vale
    The aspect I behold of every zone;
    A sea of foliage, tossing with the gale,                      35
    Blithe Autumn's purple crown, and Winter's icy mail!

    Far as ST. MAURICE, from yon eastern FORKS,[JI]
    Down the main avenue my sight can range:
    And all its branchy vales, and all that lurks
    Within them, church, and town, and hut, and grange,           40
    For my enjoyment meet in vision strange;
    Snows, torrents;--to the region's utmost bound,
    Life, Death, in amicable interchange;--
    But list! the avalanche--the hush profound
    That follows--yet more awful than that awful sound![572]      45

    Is not the chamois suited to his place?
    The eagle worthy of her ancestry?
    --Let Empires fall; but ne'er shall Ye disgrace
    Your noble birthright, ye that occupy
    Your council-seats beneath the open sky,[JJ]                  50
    On Sarnen's Mount,[JK] there judge of fit and right,
    In simple democratic majesty;
    Soft breezes fanning your rough brows--the might
    And purity of nature spread before your sight!

    From this appropriate Court, renowned LUCERNE                 55
    Calls[573] me to pace her honoured Bridge[JL]--that cheers
    The Patriot's heart with pictures rude and stern,
    An uncouth Chronicle of glorious years.
    Like portraiture, from loftier source, endears
    That work of kindred frame, which spans the lake              60
    Just at the point of issue, where it fears
    The form and motion of a stream to take;
    Where it begins to stir, _yet_ voiceless as a snake.[JM]

    Volumes of sound, from the Cathedral rolled,
    This long-roofed Vista penetrate--but see,                    65
    One after one, its tablets, that unfold
    The whole design of Scripture history;
    From the first tasting of the fatal Tree,
    Till the bright Star appeared in eastern skies,
    Announcing, ONE was born mankind to free;                     70
    His acts, his wrongs, his final sacrifice;
    Lessons for every heart, a Bible for all eyes.

    _Our_ pride misleads, our timid likings kill.
    --Long may these homely Works devised of old,
    These simple efforts of Helvetian skill,                      75
    Aid, with congenial influence, to uphold
    The State,--the Country's destiny to mould;
    Turning, for them who pass, the common dust
    Of servile opportunity to gold;
    Filling the soul with sentiments august--                     80
    The beautiful, the brave, the holy, and the just!

    No more; Time halts not in his noiseless march--
    Nor turns, nor winds, as doth the liquid flood;
    Life slips from underneath us, like that arch
    Of airy workmanship whereon we stood,[574]                    85
    Earth stretched below, heaven in our neighbourhood.
    Go forth, my little Book! pursue thy way;
    Go forth, and please the gentle and the good;
    Nor be a whisper stifled, if it say
    That treasures, yet untouched, may grace some future Lay.     90

Mrs. Wordsworth's Journal of this Continental Tour contains the modest
entry, made at "Paris, Monday, Oct. 2nd.--... I shall here close these
very imperfect notices, commenced at D.'s request; and with a notion, on
my part, that they might be useful when she wrote her Journal: but soon
finding that, with such a view, mine was a superfluous labour, I should
not have had the resolution to go on, except at Wm.'s desire, and from
the feeling that my Daughter, and perhaps her brothers, might one day
find pleasure, should they ever have the good fortune to trace our
steps, in recognising objects their Mother had seen."

See Dorothy Wordsworth's Itinerary of the Tour (Note A), in the Appendix
to this volume.--ED.


[Footnote 572: 1827.

                       ... heart-striking sound!
    Tumult by prompt repose and awful silence crown'd!          1822.

[Footnote 573: 1827.

    Leads ...                                                   1822.

[Footnote 574: 1827.

    And those surrounding Mountains--but no more;
    Time creepeth softly as the liquid flood;
    Life slips from underneath us, like the floor
    Of that wide rainbow-arch whereon we stood,                 1822.


[Footnote JH: In the third of the Desultory Stanzas I am indebted to Mr.
Raymond, who has written with genuine feeling on these subjects.--W. W.

[Footnote JI: Les Fourches, the point at which the two chains of
mountains part, that enclose the Valais, which terminates at St.
Maurice.--W. W. 1822.

At the head of the Vallais.--W. W. 1827.]

[Footnote JJ: Compare the sonnet _Tynwald Hill_, in the "Poems composed
or suggested during a Tour in the Summer of 1833."--ED.]

[Footnote JK: In the edition of 1822 there is the following note, the
reference being to "Ye who convoked in Sarnen occupy," a reading which
does not occur in that or in any other edition.--ED.

Sarnen, one of the two Capitals of the Canton of Underwalden; the spot
here alluded to is close to the town, and is called the Landenberg, from
the Tyrant of that name, whose chateau formerly stood there. On the 1st
of Jan. 1308, the great day which the confederated Heroes had chosen for
the deliverance of their Country, all the Castles of the Governors were
taken by force or stratagem; and the Tyrants themselves conducted, with
their Creatures, to the frontiers, after having witnessed the
destruction of their Strong-holds. From that time the Landenberg has
been the place where the Legislators of this division of the Canton
assemble. The site, which is well described by Ebel, is one of the most
beautiful in Switzerland.--W. W. 1822.

"Sarnen, Aug. 14.--... The buildings we have been to visit are
Government Houses. There all business relating to the canton is
transacted. The meetings are sometimes held in the open air: a green
area is set apart, with steps around for this purpose. Marks to shoot
at, bowls, etc., are here ready, for the days of festival," etc. (Mrs.
Wordsworth's Journal.)]

[Footnote JL: The Bridges of Lucerne are roofed, and open at the sides,
so that the Passenger has, at the same time, the benefit of shade, and a
view of the magnificent Country. The Pictures are attached to the
rafters; those from Scripture History on the Cathedral-bridge, amount,
according to my notes, to 240. Subjects from the Old Testament face the
Passenger as he goes towards the Cathedral, and those from the New as he
returns. The pictures on these Bridges, as well as those in most other
parts of Switzerland, are not to be spoken of as works of art; but they
are instruments admirably answering the purpose for which they were
designed.--W. W. 1822.

"Lucerne, 16th Aug.--... Crossed, at the outlet of the Lake, the _long
covered Bridge_, along the roof of which are 240 Paintings from the
Scriptures: Subjects from the Old Testament face you, as you walk one
way, and from the New as you return. Two other bridges of the same kind,
the Chapel-bridge, with paintings from Swiss history. Fine views from
the Bridge of the Lake, and mountains," etc. (Mrs. Wordsworth's

[Footnote JM: Compare _The Idiot Boy_, ll. 405-6--

    The little birds began to stir,
    Though yet their tongues were still.




The following Itinerary of the Continental Tour of 1820 was appended by
Dorothy Wordsworth to the first volume of her Journal of that Tour. I
retain her spelling of the names of places.--ED.

    Dover, slept.
    Gravelines, 3 postes.
    Dunkerque, 2 1/2.
    Furnes, 3 1/4.
    Guistelles, 3 1/2.
    Bruges, 2 3/4, one night.
    Ghent, by canal, one night.
    Quadrecht, 1 1/2.
    Alost, 2.
    Brussels, 3 1/2, late arrival, stayed two nights.
    Genappe, 2 1/2.
    Sanbreffe, 2 1/2.
    Namur, 2 3/4, late arrival.
    Huy, 3 1/2.
    Liege, 5 1/4, two stages.
    Batiste, 2 3/4.
    Aix la Chapelle, 3.
    Juliers, 3 1/2.
    Bergheim, 2 3/4.
    Cologne, 3, after sunset. Two nights at Cologne.
    Bonne, 3 1/2.
    Remagan, 2 1/2.
    Andernach, 3.
    Coblentz, 2, late arrival, two nights.
    Boppart, 2 1/2.
    St. Goar, 1 3/4.
    Bingen, 2.
    Nieder-Ingelheim, 1 1/2.
    Mayence, 1 1/2.
    Wisbaden, 1 1/2.
    Frankfort, 3 1/2, late arrival.
    Darmstadt, 1 1/2.
    Heppenheim, 3/4.
    Weinheim, 1.
    Heidelberg, 1 3/4.
    Bruchsal, 2 1/2.
    Carlsruhe, 1 1/2, late arrival.
    Etlingen, 3/4.
    Rastadt, 1.
    Baden-Baden, 3/4.
    Offenberg, 2 1/4.
    Gegenbach, 1 1/2.
    Haslach, 1.
    Hornberg, about sunset arrived, and departed next day.
    Schiltach, 1.
    Villenghen, 1 1/4, after sunset.
    Donneschingen, 3/4, source of the Danube.
    Blomberg, 1.
    Schaffhausen, 1 1/2.
    Zurich, one night.
    Leuzberg, slept.
    Herzogenboschee, slept in carriages.
    Berne, two nights.
    Interlachen, by water.
    Lauterbrunnen, in _char-a-banc_.
    Grindelwald, travelled with three mules.
    Meiringhen, Do.
    Handek, and back to M., Do.
    Engelberg, in _char-a-banc_, but walked two leagues.
    Santz, in _char-a-banc_.
    Lucerne, by lake, three nights.
    Rigi Berg, the top, on foot, one night.
    Goldau, on foot.
    Fluelan, head of Uri.
    Hospice on St. Gotthard.
    Ponte Tresa.
    Menaggio, one night.
    Cadenabbia, two nights.
    Como, one night.
    Milan, four nights.
    Fort Fuentes.
    Porlezza (Lake Lugano, by Menaggio).
    Luvino (by Ponte Tresa).
    Bavena (Lago Maggiore).
    Domo d'Ossola.
    Tourtemagne (Tourtman).
    Baths of Leuk.
    Baths of Leuk.
    Chamony, by Col de Baume.
    St. Maurice.
    Vevay, on foot.
    La Vattay.
    Les Rousses.
    St. Laurent.
    Villeneuve les Couvres.
    Sainte Florentin.

_N.B._--At Paris we left our carriage, which was sold some months
afterwards for half its cost. Proceeded in the Diligence, after
twenty-six days spent at Paris, by Chantilly and Amiens to Boulogne. Set
off from Paris at 8 o'clock on Saturday morning, and arrived at Boulogne
at about 9 on Sunday night.


The following are extracts from Henry Crabb Robinson's account of his
"Swiss Tour with the Wordsworths." (See _Diary, Correspondence_, etc.,
vol. ii. pp. 167-191.)--ED.

I left London on the 1st of August, and reached Lyons on the 9th.

       *       *       *       *       *

On the 15th I went to Solothurn, and an acquaintance began out of which
a catastrophe sprang. In the stage between Berne and Solothurn, which
takes a circuit through an unpicturesque, flat country, were two very
interesting young men, who I soon learned were residing with a
Protestant clergyman at Geneva, and completing their education. The
elder was an American, aged twenty-one, named Goddard. He had a sickly
air, but was intelligent, and not ill-read in English poetry. The other
was a fine handsome lad, aged sixteen, of the name of Trotter, son of
the then, or late, Secretary to the Admiralty. He was of Scotch descent.
They were both genteel and well-behaved young men, with the grace
communicated by living in good company. We became at once
acquainted,--I being then, as now, _young_ in the facility of forming
acquaintance. We spent a very agreeable day and evening together, partly
in a walk to a hermitage in the neighbourhood, and took leave of each
other at night,--I being bound for Lucerne, they for Zürich. But in the
morning I saw, to my surprise, my young friends with their knapsacks in
their hands ready to accompany me. Goddard said, with a very amiable
modesty, "If you will permit us, we wish to go with you. I am an admirer
of Wordsworth's poems, and I should be delighted merely to see him. Of
course I expect no more." I was gratified by this proposal, and we had a
second day of enjoyment, and this through a very beautiful country. My
expectations were not disappointed. I had heard of the Wordsworth party
from travellers with whom we met. I found my friends at the Cheval
Blanc. From them I had a most cordial reception, and I was in high
spirits. Mrs. Wordsworth wrote in her journal: "H. C. R. was drunk with
pleasure, and made us drunk too." My companions also were kindly

       *       *       *       *       *

Wordsworth and I returned to dinner, and found my young friends already
in great favour with the ladies. After dinner we walked through the
town, which has no other remarkable feature than the body of water
flowing through it, and the several covered wooden bridges. In the
angles of the roof of these bridges there are paintings on historical
and allegorical subjects. One series from the Bible, another from the
Swiss war against Austria, a third called the Dance of Death. The last
is improperly called, for Death does not force his partner to an
involuntary waltz, as in the famous designs which go by Holbein's name,
but appears in all the pictures an unwelcome visitor. There are feeling
and truth in many of the conceptions, but the expression is too often
ludicrous, and too often coarsely didactic.

       *       *       *       *       *

_August 18th._--We sailed on the lake as far as Küsnacht, the two young
men being still our companions; and between two and three we began to
ascend the Righi, an indispensable achievement in a Swiss tour. We
engaged beds at the Staffel, and went on to see the sun set, but we were
not fortunate in the weather. Once or twice there were gleams of light
on some of the lakes, but there was little charm of colouring. After an
early and comfortable supper we enjoyed the distant lightning; but it
soon became very severe, and some of the rooms of the hotel were flooded
with rain. Our rest was disturbed by a noisy party, who, unable to
obtain beds for themselves, resolved that no one else should enjoy his.
The whole night was spent by them in an incessant din of laughing,
singing, and shouting. We were called up between three and four A.M.,
but had a very imperfect view from this "dread summit of the Queen of
Mountains"--Regina montium. The most beautiful part of the scene was
that which arose from the clouds below us. They rose in succession
sometimes concealing the country, and then opening to our view dark
lakes, and gleams of very brilliant green. They sometimes descended as
if into an abyss beneath us. We saw a few of the snow-mountains
illuminated by the first rays of the sun.

My journal simply says: "After breakfast our young gentlemen left us." I
afterwards wrote, "We separated at a spot well suited to the parting of
those who were to meet no more. Our party descended through the valley
of our 'Lady of the Snow,' and our late companions went to Arth. We
hoped to meet in a few weeks at Geneva."

I will leave the order of time, and relate now all that appertains to
this sad history. The young men gave us their address, and we promised
to inform them when we should be at Geneva, on our return. But on that
return we found that poor Goddard had perished in the lake of Zürich, on
the third day after our leave-taking on the Righi.

I heard the story from Trotter on the 23rd of September. They had put
themselves in a crazy boat; and a storm arising, the boat overset. It
righted itself, but to no purpose. Trotter swam to the shore, but
Goddard was not seen again. Trotter was most hospitably received by a
Mr. Keller, near whose house the catastrophe took place. The body was
cast ashore next day, and afterwards interred in the neighbouring
churchyard of Küsnacht. An inscription was placed near the spot where
the body was found, and a mural monument erected in the church. At the
funeral a pathetic address was delivered by the Protestant clergyman,
which I read in the Zürich paper. We were all deeply impressed by the
event. Wordsworth, I knew, was not fond of drawing the subjects of his
poems from occurrences in themselves interesting, and therefore, though
I urged him to write on this tragic incident, I little expected he
would. There is, however, a beautiful elegiac poem by him on this
subject. [To the later editions there is prefixed a prose introduction.
This I wrote. Mr. Wordsworth wrote to me for information, and I drew up
the account in the first person.]

       *       *       *       *       *

To go back to the 19th of August, after parting from our young
companions we proceeded down the valley in which is the chapel dedicated
to our Lady of the Snow, the subject of Wordsworth's nineteenth Poem.
The preceding eighteen have to do with objects which had been seen
before I joined the party. The elegiac stanzas are placed near the end
of the collection, I know not for what reason. The stanzas on the chapel
express poetically the thoughts which a prosaic mind like mine might
receive from the numerous votive offerings hung on the walls. There are
pictures representing accidents,--such as drowning, falling from a
horse, and the Mother and the Child are in the clouds,--it being
understood that the escape proceeded from her aid. Some crutches with
painted inscriptions bear witness to the miracles wrought on the lame.

       *       *       *       *       *

We passed the same day through Goldau, a desolate spot, once a populous
village, overwhelmed by the slip from the Rossberg.

On the 20th at Schwytz, which Wordsworth calls the "heart" of
Switzerland, as Berne is the "head." Passing through Brunnen, we reached
Altorf on the 21st, the spot which suggested Wordsworth's twentieth
effusion. My prose remark on the people shows the sad difference between
observation and fancy. I wrote: "These patriotic recollections are
delightful when genuine, but the physiognomy of the people does not
speak in favour of their ancestors. The natives of the district have a
feeble and melancholy character. The women are afflicted by goitre. The
children beg, as in other Catholic cantons. The little children, with
cross-bows in their hands, sing unintelligible songs. Probably Wilhelm
Tell serves, like Henri Quatre, as a name to beg by."

       *       *       *       *       *

We next crossed the St. Gotthard. Wordsworth thinks this pass more
beautiful than the more celebrated [a blank here]. We slept successively
at Amsteg on the 22nd, Hospenthal on the 23rd, and Airolo on the 24th.
On the way we were overtaken by a pedestrian, a young Swiss, who had
studied at Heidelberg, and was going to Rome. He had his flute, and
played the Ranz des Vaches. Wordsworth begged me to ask him to do this,
which I did on condition that he wrote a sonnet on it. It is XXII. of
the collection. The young man was intelligent, and expressed pleasure in
our company. We were sorry when he took French leave. We were English,
and I have no doubt he feared the expense of having such costly
companions. He gave a sad account of the German Universities, and said
that Sand, the murderer of Kotzebue, had many apologists among the

We then proceeded on our half-walk and half-drive, and slept on the 25th
at Bellinzona, the first decidedly Italian town.

       *       *       *       *       *

On the 27th we had a row to Luino, on the Lago Maggiore, a walk to Ponte
Tresa, and then a row to Lugano, where we went to an excellent hotel,
kept by a man of the name of Rossi.

       *       *       *       *       *

On the 28th we took an early walk up the mountain San Salvador, which
produced No. XXIV. of Wordsworth's Memorial Poems. Though the weather
was by no means favourable, we enjoyed a much finer view than from the
Righi. The mountains in the neighbourhood are beautiful, but the charm
of the prospect lies in a glimpse of distant mountains. We saw a most
elegant pyramid, literally in the sky, partly black, and partly shining
like silver. It was the Simplon, Mont Blanc and Monte Rosa were seen in
parts. Clouds concealed the bases, and too soon also the summits. This
splendid vision lasted but a few minutes. The plains of Piedmont were
hardly visible, owing to the black clouds which covered this part of the
horizon. We could, however, see in the midst of a dark surface a narrow
ribbon of white, which we were told was the Po. We were told the
direction in which Milan lay, but could not see the cathedral.

The same day we went on to Menaggio, on the Lake Como. This, in
Wordsworth's estimation, is the most beautiful of the lakes. On the 29th
and 30th we slept at Cadenabbia.

       *       *       *       *       *

I wrote in my journal: "This day has been spent on the lake, and so much
exquisite pleasure I never had on water. The tour, or rather excursion,
we have been making surpasses in scenery all that I have ever made; and
Wordsworth asserts the same. I write now from an inn where we have been
served with all the promptitude of an English hotel, and with a neatness
equal to that of Holland. But the pleasure can hardly be recorded. It
consists in the contemplation of scenes absolutely indescribable by
words, and in sensations for which no words have been even invented. We
were lucky in meeting two honest fellows of watermen, who have been
attentive and not extortionate. I will not enumerate the points of view
and villas we visited. We saw nothing the guide-books do not speak of."

On the 31st we slept at Como, and next day went to Milan.

       *       *       *       *       *

At the Ambrosian Library we inspected the famous copy of Virgil which
belonged to Petrarch. It has in the poet's own handwriting a note,
stating when and where he first saw Laura. Wordsworth was deeply
interested in this entry, and would certainly have requested a copy, if
he had not been satisfied that he should find it in print. The _custos_
told us that when Buonaparte came here first, and the book was shown
him, he seized it, exclaiming, "This is mine." He had it bound, and his
own _N._ marked on it. It came back when the other plunder was restored.
Another curiosity was a large book by Leonardo da Vinci, full of
mechanical studies. Wordsworth was much struck with the fact that a man
who had produced works of so great beauty and sublimity, had prepared
himself by intense and laborious study of scientific and mathematical
details. It was not till late that he ventured on beauty as exhibited in
the human form.

       *       *       *       *       *

But the great attraction of this neighbourhood is the celebrated picture
of Leonardo da Vinci in the refectory of the Convent of Maria della
Grazia. After sustaining every injury from Italian monks, French
soldiers, wet, and the appropriation of the building to secular
purposes, this picture is now protected by the public sense of its
excellence from further injury. And more remains of the original than
from Goethe's dissertation I expected to see. The face of our Saviour
appears to have suffered less than any other part. And the countenance
has in it exquisite feeling; it is all sweetness and dignity.

       *       *       *       *       *

Some of the Apostles have a somewhat caricature expression, which has
been far better preserved in the several copies existing, as well as in
the engraving of Raphael Morgen. There is a sort of mawkish
sentimentality in the copies of St. John, which always offended me.
There is less of it in the original. That and St. Andrew are the best
preserved next to the face of Christ.

On the 5th of September the Wordsworths went back to the lake of
Como, in order to gratify Miss Wordsworth, who wished to see every
spot which her brother saw in his first journey,--a journey made when
he was young.

       *       *       *       *       *

We rejoined the Wordsworths at Baveno on the 8th. Then we crossed the
Simplon, resting successively on the 9th at Domo d'Ossola, 10th Simplon,
11th Turtman, and the 12th and 13th at the baths of Leuk. From this
place we walked up the Gemmi, by far the most wonderful of all the
passes of Switzerland I had ever, or have now ever, crossed. The most
striking part is a mountain wall 1600 feet in perpendicular height, and
having up it a zigzag path broad enough to enable a horse to ascend. The
road is hardly visible from below. A parapet in the more dangerous parts
renders it safe. Here my journal mentions our seeing men employed in
picking up bees in a torpid state from the cold. The bees had swarmed
four days before. It does not mention what I well recollect, and
Wordsworth has made the subject of a sonnet, the continued barking of a
dog _irritated by the echo of his own voice_. In human life this is
perpetually occurring. It is said that a dog has been known to contract
an illness by the continued labour of barking at his own echo. In the
present instance the barking lasted while we were on the spot.

I say nothing of Chamouni, where we slept two nights, the 15th and 16th;
nor of the roads to it, but that the Tête Noire, by which we returned,
is still more interesting than the Col de Balme, by which we went. Again
at Martigny on the 17th. I should not have omitted to mention that, to
add to the sadness produced by the Valais, Wordsworth remarked that
there the Alps themselves were in a state of decay--crumbling to pieces.
His is the line:--

    The human soul craves something that endures.

On the 18th we were at Villeneuve, and on the 19th and 20th at Lausanne.

At Paris I renewed my old acquaintances, and saw the old sights.

On the 8th I left the Wordsworths, who were intending to prolong their
stay. On the 9th I slept at Amiens; on the 10th was on the road; on the
11th reached Dover; and on the 12th of October slept in my own chambers.

"And so," my journal says, "I concluded my tour in excellent health and
spirits, having travelled farther, and seen a greater number and a
greater variety of sublime and beautiful objects, and in company better
calculated to make me feel the worth of these objects, than any it has
been my good fortune to enjoy."


See p. 8, note[A], line 6. In this note, of which the date is 1827,
Wordsworth combined two separate ones, in the editions of 1815 and


_Printed by_ R. & R. CLARK, LIMITED, _Edinburgh_

       *       *       *       *       *

    |                  Transcriber's notes:                        |
    |                                                              |
    | P.128. typo 'μονωθέν' changed to                             |
    |  'μονωθέντι'.                                                |
    | P.134. 'recal', leave as is, this word is in another volume. |
    | P.171. Variant [318] numbering corrected.                    |
    | P.211. 'Winchilsea' should be 'Winchelsea', changed.         |
    | P.230. 'Bandusia' should be 'Blandusia', changed.            |
    | Fixed various punctuation.                                   |
    | Note: The equals sign is used to surround =bold text=;       |
    | underscores to surround _italic text_.                       |

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Poetical Works of William Wordsworth, Vol. VI (of 8)" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.