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The Author's Preface to 'The Sonnets of William Wordsworth'


-3 Some of my friends having expressed a wish to

see all the Sonnets that are scattered through several volumes of my Poems, brought under the eye at once ; this is done in the present publica

tion, with the hope that the collection, made to o please a few, may not be unacceptable to many

others. Twelve new ones are added which were composed while the sheets were going through the press.

My admiration of some of the sonnets of 45 Milton first tempted me to write in that form.

The fact is not mentioned from a notion that it

will be deemed of any importance by the reader, ig but merely as a public acknowledgment of one

of the innumerable obligations which, as a poet

and a man, I am under to our great fellow70 countryman. 11 RYDAL Mount,

May 21st, 1838





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

18277 “Below Those Remem Will pr

Will be

The Sonnet- Nuns fret not at their convent's narrow room;
Prison And hermits are contented with their cells ;

And students with their pensive citadels ;
Maids at the wheel, the weaver at his loom,
Sit blithe and happy ; bees that soar for bloom, But, wh
High as the highest Peak of Furness-fells,
Will murmur by the hour in foxglove bells :
In truth the prison, unto which we doom
Ourselves, no prison is : and hence for me,
In sundry moods, 'twas pastime to be bound
Within the Sonnet's scanty plot of ground;
Pleased if some Souls (for such there needs must be looked
Who have felt the weight of too much liberty, the wei
Should find brief solace there, as I have found.

Distress Deepth

By dout I stood,

So narro A Jugel

Admonition Well may’st thou halt--and gaze with brightening BEAUMO


A seem!


The lovely Cottage in the guardian nook
Hath stirred thee deeply ; with its own dear brook, la neigh
Its own small pasture, almost its own sky!
But covet not the Abode ;– forbear to sigh, I Might
As many do, repining while they look ;
Intruders—who would tear from Nature's book |
This precious leaf, with harsh impiety.
Think what the Home must be if it were thine, stil
Even thine, though few thy wants ! — Roof, Even the

window, door,
The very flowers are sacred to the Poor,
The roses to the porch which they entwine: Old Ska
Yea, all, that now enchants thee, from the day With or
On which it should be touched, would melt away.

And she

Leave o Whethe

“ Beloved Vale ! ” I said, “when I shall con Old Haunts n: Those many records of my childish years,

revisited m; • Remembrance of myself and of my peers ' Will press me down : to think of what is gone

Will be an awful thought, if life have one." m. But, when into the Vale I came, no fears

Distressed me ; from mine eyes escaped no tears ;
Deep thought, or dread remembrance, had I none.
By doubts and thousand petty fancies crost
I stood, of simple shame the blushing Thrall;
So narrow seemed the brooks, the fields so small !

A Juggler's balls old Time about him tossed ;
the I looked, I stared, I smiled, I laughed; and all
fu. The weight of sadness was in wonder lost.


nin BEAUMONT ! it was thy wish that I should rear At AppleA seemly Cottage in this sunny Dell,

thwaite, near On favoured ground, thy gift, where I might dwell ook In neighbourhood with One to me most dear,

That undivided we from year to year
Might work in our high Calling--a bright hope

To which our fancies, mingling, gave free scope
Dok Till checked by some necessities severe.

And should these slacken, honoured Beaumont ! min still 200 Even then we may perhaps in vain implore

Leave of our fate thy wishes to fulfil.

Whether this boon be granted us or not, - Old Skiddaw will look down upon the Spot, das With pride, the Muses love it evermore.


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