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Set the sign-board in a blaze,
Under this he carried a bundle, and had an apron on and a night-cap. His face was interesting. He had dark eyes and a long nose. John, who afterwards met him at Wytheburn, took him for a Jew. He was of Scotch parents, but had been born in the army.
He had had a wife, and she was a good woman, and it pleased God to bless us with ten children. All these were dead but one, of whom he had not heard for many years, a sailor. His trade was to gather leeches, but now leeches were scarce, and he had not strength for it. He lived og begging, and was making his way to Carlisle, where he should buy a few godly books to sell. He said leeches were very scarce, partly owing to this dry season, but many years they have been scarce. He supposed it owing to their being much sought after, that they did not breed fast, and were of slow growth. Leeches were forinerly 2s. 6d. per 100; they are now 30s. He had been hurt in driving a cart, his leg broken, his body driven over, his skull fractured. He felt no pain till he recovered from his first insensibility. . . . It was then late in the evening, when the light was just going away.
." (Dorothy Wordsworth's Journal, October 3, 1800.)
Often have I sighed to measure
THERE was a roaring in the wind all
night; The rain came heavily and fell in floods ; But now the sun is rising calm and
bright; The birds are singing in the distant
woods ; Over his own sweet voice the Stock-dove
broods ; The Jay makes answer as the Magpie
chatters; And all the air is filled with pleasant
noise of waters.
All things that love the sun are out of
doors ; The sky rejoices in the morning's birth ; The grass is bright with rain-drops ;-on
the moors The hare is running races in her mirth; And with her feet she from the plashy
earth Raises a mist, that, glittering in the sun, Runs with her all the way, wherever she
RESOLUTION AND INDEPENDENCE
I was a Traveller then upon the moor,
joy : I heard the woods and distant waters
roar; Or heard them not, as happy as a boy: The pleasant season did my heart em
ploy : My old remembrances went from me
wholly ; And all the ways of men, so vain and
This poem was originally known as The Leech Gatherer, and is still often called by that title. ('ompare the account of its origin, in Dorothy Wordsworth's Journal :
• When William and I returned, we met an old man almost double. He had ou a coat, thrown over his shoulders, above his waistcoat and coat.
But, as it sometimes chanceth, from the
might Of joy in minds that can no further go, As high as we have mounted in delight In our dejection do we sink as low; To me that morning did it happen so; And fears and fancies thick upon me
came; Dim sadness--and blind thoughts, I
knew not, nor could name.
As a huge stone is sometimes seen to lie
and whence ; So that it seems a thing endued with Like a sea-beast crawled forth, that on a
shelf Of rock or sand reposeth, there to sun
I heard the skylark warbling in the sky; And I bethought me of the playful hare: Even such a kappy Child of earth am I; Even as these blissful creatures do I fare ; Far from the world I walk, and from all
care ; But there may come another day to me-Solitude, pain of heart, distress, and
My whole life I have lived in pleasant
thought, As if life's business were a summer
mood; As if all needful things would come un.
sought To genial faith, still rich in genial good; But how can he expect that others
should Build for him, sow for him, and at his
call Love him, who for himself will take no
heed at all?
Such seemed this Man, not all alive nor
dead, Nor all asleep, in his extreme old age : His body was bent double, feet and head Coming together in life's pilgrimage ; As if some dire constraint of pain, or rage Of sickness felt by him in times long
past, A more than human weight upon his
frame had cast. Himself he propped, limbs, body, and
pale face, Upon a long gray staff of shaven wood : And, still as I drew near with gentle
pace, Upon the margin of that moorish flood Motionless as a cloud the old Man stood, That heareth not the loud winds when
they call And moveth all together, if it move at
all. At length, himself unsettling, he the
pond Stirred with his staff, and fixedly did look Upon the muddy water, which he
conned, As if he had been reading in a book : And now a stranger's privilege I took ; And, drawing to his side, to him did say, “This morning gives us promise of a
glorious day.” A gentle answer did the old Man make. In courteous speech which forth he
slowly drew : And him with further words I thus be
spake, “What occupation do you there pursue ? This is a lonesome place for one like you." Ere he replied, a flash of mild surprise Broke from the sable orbs of his yet.
I thought of Chatterton, the marvellous
Boy, The sleepless Soul that perished in his
pride; Of him who walked in glory and in joy Following his plough, along the moun
tain-side: By our own spirits are we deified : We Poets in our youth begin in glad
ness ; But thereof come in the end desponden
cy and madness, Now, whether it were by peculiar grace, A leading from above, a something
given, Yet it befell, that, in this lonely place, When I with these untoward thoughts
had striven, Beside a pool bare to the eye of heaven I saw a Man before me unawares : The oldest man he seemed that ever wore
His words came feebly, from a feeble
chest, But each in solemn order followed each,
My former thoughts returned: the fear
that kills; And hope that is unwilling to be fed ; Cold, pain, and labor, and all fleshly ills; And mighty Poets in their misery dead. -Perplexed, and longing to be com
forted, My question eagerly did I renew, “How is it that you live, and what is
He with a smije did then his words
repeat; And said, that, gathering leeches, far
and wide He travelled ; stirring thus about his
feet The waters of the pools where they
abide. "Once I could meet with them on every
side ; But they have dwindled long by slow
decay; Yet still I persevere, and find them
where I may."
I GRIEVED for Buonaparté, with a vain And an unthinking grief! The tenderest
mood Of that Man's mind-what can it be?
what food Fed his first hopes ? what knowledge
could he gain ? 'Tis not in battles that from youth we
train The Governor who must be wise and
good, And temper with the sternness of the
brain Thoughts motherly, and meek as woman
hood. Wisdom doth live with children round
her knees : Books, leisuro, perfect freedom, and the
talk Man holds with week-day man in the
hourly walk Of the mind's business: these are the
By which true Sway doth mount; this
is the stalk Truc Power doth grow on; and her rights are these.
Thou hangest, stooping, as might seem,
to sink On England's bosom; yet well pleased
to rest, Meanwhile, and be to her a glorious crest Conspicuous to the Nations. Thou, I
think, Should'st be my Country's emblem ; and
should'st wink, Bright Star! with laughter on her ban.
ners, drest In thy fresh beauty. There! that dusky
spot Beneath thee, that is England ; there she
lies. Blessings be on you both ! one hope, one
lot, One life, one glory!-I, with many a fear For my dear Country, many heartfelt
sighs, Among men who do not love her, linger here.
COMPOSED UPON WESTMINSTER
BRIDGE, SEPTEMBER 3, 1802 “We left London on Saturday morning at half-past five or six, the 30th of July. We mounted the Dover coach at Charing Cross. It was a beautiful morning. The city, St. Paul's, with the river, and a multitude of little boats, made a most beautiful sight as we crossed Westminster Bridge. The houses were not overhung by their cloud of smoke, and they were spread out endlessly; yet the sun shone so brightly, with such a fierce light, that there was even something like the purity of one of nature's own grand spectacles." (Dorothy Wordsworth's Journal, July, 1802.) EARTH has not anything to show more
fair : Dull would he be of soul who could pass
by A sight so touching in its majesty: This City now doth, like a garment,
wear The beauty of the morning ; silent, bare, Ships, towers, domes, theatres and tem.
ples lie Open unto the fields, and to the sky; All bright and glittering in the smoke.
less air. Never did sun more beautifully steep In his first splendor, valley, rock, or
hill; Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep! The river glideth at his own sweet will: Dear God I the very houses seem asleep ; And all that mighty heart is lying stiili
IT IS A BEAUTEOUS EVENING,
CALM AND FREE
This was composed on the beach near Calais, in the autumn of 1802. (Wordsworth.)
The last six lines are addressed to Words worth's sister Dorothy. See note to the preced ing Sonnet.
It is a beauteous evening, calm and free,
with me here, If thou appear untouched by solemn
thought, Thy nature is not therefore less divine: Thou liest in Abraham's bosom all the
year ; And worship'st at the Temple's inner
shrine, God being with thee when we know it not.
COMPOSED BY THE SEA-SIDE,
NEAR CALAIS, AUGUST, 1802 We had delightful walks after the heat of the day was passed -seeing far off in the west the coast of England like a cloud crested with Dover Castle, which was but like the summit of the cloud--the evening star and the glory of the sky, the reflections in the water were more beautiful than the sky itsell, purple waves brighter than precious stones, for ever melting away upon the sands. . . . . Nothing in romance was ever half so beautiful. Now came in view, as the evening star sunk down, and the colors of the west faded away, the two lights of England." (Doro. thy Wordsworth's Journal, August, 1802.) FAIR Star of evening, Splendor of the
west, Star of my Country k-on the horizon's
ON THE EXTINCTION OF THE
VENETIAN REPUBLIC ONCE did She hold the gorgeous east in
fee ; And was the safeguard of the west: the
Of Venice did not fall below her birth,
fade, Those titles vanish, and that strength
decay ; Yet shall some tribute of regret be paid When her long life hath reached its final
day : Men are we, and must grieve when even
the Shade or that which once was great, is passed away.
A span of waters; yet wbat power is
there ! What mightiness for evil and for good ! Even so doth God protect us if we be Virtuous and wise. Winds blow, and
waters roll, Strength to the brave, and Power, and
Deity ; Yet in themselves are nothing! One
decree Spake laws to them, and said that by the
soul Only, the Nations shall be great and free.
WRITTEN IN LONDON, SEPTEMBER,
TO TOUSSAINT L'OUVERTURE
TOUSSAINT, the most unhappy man of
men ! Whether the whistling Rustic tend liis
plough Within tlıy hearing, or thy head be now Pillowed in some deep dungeon's earless
den ;O miserable Chieftain ! where and when Wilt thou find patience ? Yet die not;
do thou Wear rather in thy bonds a cheerful
brow : Though fallen thyself, never to rise
again, Live, and take comfort. Thou bast
left behind Powers that will work for thee; air,
earth, and skies; There's not a breathing of the common
wind That will forget thee; thou hast great
allies : Thy friends a:e, exultations, agonies, And love, and man's unconquerable minc.
This was written immediately after my returu from France to London, when I could not but be struck, as here, described, with the vanity and parade of our own country, especially in great towns and cities, as contrasted with the quiet, and I may say the desolation, that the revolution had produced in France. This must be borne in mind, or else the reader may think that in this and the succeeding Sonnets I have exaggerated the mischief engendered and fostered among us by undisturbed wealth. It would not be easy to conceive with what a depth of feel. ing I entered into the struggle carried on by the Spaniards for their deliverance from the usurped power of the French. Many times have I gone from Allan Bank in Grasmere vale, where we were then residing, to the top of the Raise-gap as it is called, so late as two o'clock in the morning, to meet the carrier bringing the newspaper from Keswick. Imperfect traces of the state of mind in which I then was may be found in my Tract on the Convention of Cintra, as well as in these Sonnets. (Wordsworth.) O FRIEND! I know not which way I must
look For comfort, being, as I am, opprest, To think that now our life is only drest For show; mean handy-work of crafts
man, cook, Or groom!- We must run glittering like
a brook In the open sunshine, or we are unblest: The wealthiest man among us is the
best: No grandeur now in nature or in book Delights us. Rapine, avarice, expense, This is idolatry; and these we adore · Plain living and lighi thinking are no
more : The homely beauty of the good old
cause Is gone; our peace, our fearful inno
cence, And pure religion breathing household laws.
NEAR POVER, SEPTEMBER, 1802
INLAND, within a inullow vale, I stood ; And saw, while sea was calm and air
was clear, The coast of France--the coast of France
how near! Drawn almost into frightful neighbor
hood. I shrunk ; for verily the barrier flood Was like a lake, or river bright and