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In such a jocund company :
I gazed—and gazed--but little thought
What wealth the show to me had

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

1804. 1807.


A lovely Apparition sent
To be a moment's ornament;
Her eyes as stars of Twilight fair ;
Like Twilight's, too, her dusky hair;
But all things else about her drawn
From May-time and the cheerful Dawn;
A dancing Shape, an Image gay,
To haunt, to startle, and way-lay.
I saw her upon nearer view,
A Spirit, yet a Woman too!
Her household motions light and free,
And steps of virgin-liberty :
A countenance in which did meet
Sweet records, promises as sweet;
A Creature not too bright or good
For human nature's daily food ;
For transient sorrows, simple wiles,
Praise, blame, love, kisses, tears and

And now I see with eye serene
The very pulse of the machine ;
A Being breathing thoughtful breath,
A Traveller between life and death;
The reason firm, the temperate will,
Endurance, foresight, strength, and

A perfect Woman, nobly plannel,
To warn, to comfort, and command;
And yet a Spirit still, and bright
With something of angelic light.

1804. 1807.

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,
Hopeless of honor and of gain,
Oh! do not dread thy mother's door;
Think not of me with grief and pain :
I now can see with better eyes ;
And worldly grandeur I despise,
And fortune with ber gifts and lies.
Alas! the fowls of heaven have wings,
And blasts of hearen will aid their flight;
They mount-how short a voyage brings
The wanderers back to their delight!
Chains tie us down by land and sea ;
And wishes, vain as mine, may be
All that is left to comfort thee.
Perhaps some dungeon hears thee groan,
Maimed, mangled by inhuman men;
Or thou upon a desert thrown
Inheritest the lion's den ;
Or hast been summoned to the deep,
Thou, thou and all thy mates, to keep
An incommunicable sleep.
I look for ghosts ; but none will force
Their way to me: 'tis falsely said
That there was ever intercourse
Between the living and the dead ;
For, surely, then I should have sight
Of him I wait for day and night,
With love and longings infinite.
My apprehensions come in crowds ;
I dread the rustling of the grass ;
The very shadows of the clouds
Have power to shake me as they pass :
I question things and do not find
One that will answer to my mind;
And all the world appears unkind.
Beyond participation lie
My troubles, and beyond relief :
If any chance to heave a sigh,
They pity me, and not my grief.
Then come to me, my Son, or send
Some tidings that my woes may end ;
I have no other earthly friend i

18046 1807.

There are who ask not if thine eye
Be on them ; who, in love and truth,
Where no misgiving is, rely
Upon the genial sense of youth:
Glad Hearts ! without reproach or blot
Who do thy work, and know it not:
Oh! if through contidence misplaced
They fail, thy saving arms, dread

Power! around then cast.
Serene will be our days and bright,
And happy will our nature be,
When love is an unerring light,
And joy its own security.
And they a blissful course may hold
Even now, who, not wisely bold,
Live in the spirit of this creed ;
Yet seek thy firm support, according to

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



Stern Lawgiver! yet thou dost wear
The Godhead's most benignant grace ;
Nor know we anything so fair
As is the smile upon thy face :
Flowers laugh before thee on their beds
And fragrance in thy footing treacls;
Thou dost preserve the stars from wrong;
And the most ancient heavens, through

Thee, are fresh and strong.
To humbler functions, awful Power!

call thee: I myself commend
Unto thy guidance from this hour;
Oh, let my weakuess have an end !
Give unto me, made lowly wise,
The spirit of self-sacritice;
The confidence of reason give ;
And in the light of truth thy Bondman
let me lire!

1805. 1807.

STERN Daughter of the Voice of God!
O Duty ! if that name thou love
Who art a light to guide, a rod
To check the erring, and reprove ;
Thou, who art victory and law
When empty terrors overawe :
Froin vain temptations dest set free:
And calm’st the weary strife of frail


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Not for a moment could I now behold
A smiling sea, and be what I have been :
The feeling of my loss will ne'er be old ;
This, which I know, I speak with mind


Which at no season fade,
Thou, while thy babes around thee cling
Shalt show us how divine a thing
A Woman may be made.
Thy thoughts and feelings shall not die
Nor leave thee, when gray hairs are nigh,
A melancholy slave;
But an old age serene and bright,
And lovely as a Lapland night,
Shall lead thee to thy grave.

18017 February 11, 1802. FRENCH REVOLUTION



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.

1805. 1807.

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


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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,





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



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