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In such a jocund company :
THE AFFLICTION OF MARGARET
A lovely Apparition sent
CLOUD Written at Town-end, Grasmere. The Daf. fodils grew and still grow on the margin of Ulls. water, and probably may be seen to this day as beautiful in the month of March, nodding their golden heads beside the dancing and foaming waves. (Wordsworth.) I WANDERED lonely as a cloud That floats on high o'er vales and hills, When all at once I saw a crowd, A host, of golden daffodils ; Beside the lake, beneath the trees, Fluttering and dancing in the breeze. Continuous as the stars that shine And twinkle on the milky way, They stretched in never-ending line Along the margin of a bay : Ten thousand saw I at a glance, Tossing their heads in sprightly dance. The waves beside them danced; but
they Out-did the sparkling waves in glee: A poet could not but be gay,
Written at Town-end, Grasmere. This was taken from the case of a poor widow who lived in the town of Penrith. Her sorrow was well known to Mrs. Wordsworth, to my Sister, and, I believe, to the whole town. She kept a shop, and when she saw a stranger passing by, she was in the habit of going out into the street to 9n. quire of him after her son. (Wordsworth.) WHERE art thou, my beloved Son, Where art thou, worse to me than dead ? Oh find me, prosperous or undone! Or, if the grave be now thy bed, Why am I ignorant of the same, That I may rest, and neither blame Nor sorrow may attend thy name? Seven years, alas ! to have received No tidings of an only child; To have despaired, bave hoped, believed, And been for evermore beguiled; Sometimes with thoughts of very bliss ! I catch at them, and then I miss ; Was ever darkness like to this ? He was among the prime in worth, An object beauteous to behold ; Well born, well bred; I sent him forth Ingenuous, innocent, and bold : If things ensued that wanted grace, As hath been said, they were not base; And never blush was on my face. AL! little doth the young one dream, When full of play and childish cares, What power is in his wildest scream, Heard by his mother unawares ! He knows it not, he cannot guess: Years to a mother bring distress ; But do nct make her love the less. Neglect me! no, I suffered long From that ill thought; and, being blind, Said, “ Pride shall help me in my wrong; Kind mother have I been, as kind As ever breathed :” and that is true ; I've wet my path with tears like dew, Weeping for him when no one knew.
My Son, if thou be humbled, poor,
There are who ask not if thine eye
Power! around then cast.
their need. I, loving freedom, and untried, No sport of every random gust, Yet being to myself a guide, Too blindly have reposed my trust : And oft, when in my heart was heard Thy timely mandate, I deferred The task, in smoother walks to stray ; But thee I now would serve more
strictly, if I may. Through no disturbance of my soul, Or strong compunction in me wrought, I supplicate for thy control; But in the quietness of thought: Me this unchartered freedom tires; I feel the weight of chance-desires : My hopes no more must change their
name, I long for a repose that ever is the
ODE TO DUTY
Stern Lawgiver! yet thou dost wear
Thee, are fresh and strong.
call thee: I myself commend
STERN Daughter of the Voice of God!
Not for a moment could I now behold
Which at no season fade,
18017 February 11, 1802. FRENCH REVOLUTION
AS IT APPEARED TO ENTHUSIASTS AT ITS
An extract from the long poem of my own poetical education. It was first published by Coleridge in his " Friend," which is the reason of its having had a place in every edition of my poems since. (Wordsworth.) From The Prelude, Bk. XI.
Then, Beaumont, Friend!, who would
have been the Friend, If he had lived, of Him whom I deplore, This work of thine I blame not, but
commend; This sea in anger, and that dismal shore. O'tis a passionate Work 1-yet wise and
well, Well chosen in the spirit that is here ; That Hulk which labors in the deadly
swell, This rueful sky, this pageantry of fear! And this huge Castle, standing here sub
lime, I love to see the look with which it
braves, Cased in the unfeeling armor of old
time, The lightning, the fierce wind, and
trampling waves. Farewell, farewell the heart that lives
alone, Housed in a dream, at distance from the
Kind: Such happiness, wherever it be known, Is to be pitied; for 't is surely blind. But welcome fortitude, and patient
cheer, And frequent sights of what is to be
borne! Such sights, or worse, as are before me
here. --Not without hope we suffer and we mourn.
Oh! pleasant exercise of hope and joy! For mighty were the auxiliars which
then stood Upon our side, we who were strong in
love ! Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive, But to be young was very heaven!
Oh! times, In which the meagre, stale, forbidding
ways Of custom, law, and statute, took at once The attraction of a country in romance ! When Reason seemed the most to assert
her rights, When most intent on making of herself A prime Enchantress-to assist ihe work, Which then was going forward in her
name! Not favored spots alone, but the whole
earth, The beauty wore of promise, that which
sets (As at some moment might not be unfelt Among the bowers of paradise itself) The budding rose above the rose ful).
blown. What temper at the prospect did pot
wake To happiness unthought of? The inert Were roused, and lively natures rapt
away! They who had fed their childhood upou
dreams, The playfellows of fancy, who had made All powers of swiftness, subtilty, and
Their ministers ---who in lordly wise had
stirred Among the grandest objects of the sense, And dealt with whatsoever they found
there As if they had within some lurking right To wield it ;--they, too, who, of gentle
mood, Had watched all gentle motions, and to
these Had fitted their own thoughts, schemers
more mild, And in the region of their peaceful
selves ; Now was it that both found, the meek
and lofty Did both find, helpers to their heart's
dezire, And stuff at hand, plastic as they could
wish; Were called upon to exercise their skill, Not in Utopia, subterranean fields, Or some secreted island, Heaven knows
where! But in the very world, which is the
world Of all of us,--the place where in the end We find our happiness, or not at all!
1804. October 20, 1809.
What knowledge can perform, is dili.
gent to learn ; Abides by this resolve, and stops not
there, But makes his moral being his prime
care ; Who, doomed to go in company with
Pain, And Fear, and Bloodshed, miserable
train ! Turns his necessity to glorious gain ; In face of these doth exercise a power Which is our human nature's highest
dower; Controls them and subdues, transmutes,
bereaves Of their bad influence, and their good By objects, which might force the soul
to abate Her feeling, rendered more compassion
ate ; Is placable--because occasions rise So often that demand such sacrifice ; More skilful in self-kuowledge, even
more pure, As tempted more; more able to endure, As more exposed to suffering and dis
tress ; Thence, also, more alive to tenderness. - Tis he whose law is reason; who da
pends Upon that law as on the best of friends ; Whence, in a state where
tempted still To evil for a guard against worse ill, And what in quality or act is best Doth seldom on a right foundation rest, He labors good on good to fix, and owes To virtue every triumph that he knows: - Who, if he rise to station of command, Rises by open means; and there will
stand On honorable terms, or else retire, And in himself possess his own desire ; Who comprehends his trust, and to the Keeps faithful with a singleness of aim ; And therefore does not stoop, nor lie in
wait For wealth, or honors, or for worldly
state; Whom they must follow ; on whose head
must fall, Like showers of manna, if they come at
all : Whose powers shed round him in the
common strife, Or mild concerns of ordinary life,
CHARACTER OF THE HAPPY
Suggested in part by an event which all Eng. land was lamenting--the death of Lord Nelsonand in part by the personal loss, which he still felt so keenly, his brother John's removal. On the 4th of February, 1806, Southey wrote thus to Sir Walter Scott: • Wordsworth was with me last week; he has been of late more employed in correcting his poems than in writ. ting others; but one piece he has written, upon the ideal character of a soldier, than which I have never seen anything more full of meaning and sound thought. The subject was suggested by Nelson's most glorious death. .
(Knight, Life of Wordsworth, II, 16–7.) Who is the happy Warrior ? Who is he That every man in arms should wish to
be ? -It is the generous Spirit, who, when
brought Among tho tasks of real life, hath
wrought Upon the plan that pleased his boyish
thought : Whose high endeavors are an inward
light That makes the path before him always
bright: Who, with a natural instinct to discern