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Serving no haughty Muse, my hands have here Disposed some cultured Flowerets (drawn from
spots Where they bloomed singly, or in scattered knots), Each kind' in several beds of one parterre ; Both to allure the Casual Loiterer, And that, so placed, my Nurslings may requite Studious regard with opportune delight, Nor be unthanked, unless I fondly err. But metaphor dismissed, and thanks apart, Reader, farewell! My last words let them beIf in this book Fancy and Truth agree ; If simple Nature trained by careful Art Through It have won a passage to thy heart ; Grant me thy love, I crave no other fee !
The present issue of Wordsworth's “ Sonnets been edited by Mr G. C. Moore Smith, M.A., of St. John's College, Cambridge, Professor of English Literature in University College, Sheffield.
June 1st, 1899.
NOTE BY THE PRESENT
Iy any justification is needed for extracting Wordsworth's Sonnets from the mass of his work and publishing them by themselves, it is found in the fact that the poet himself, in 1838, published in separate form a collection of almost all the Sonnets he had written up to that time. Strange to say, although by the time of his death in 1850 he had vastly added to the number of his Sonnets, no more complete separate collection than that of 1838 has been made to this day.
In now at last preparing a comprehensive edition, I have felt it my duty to fit the Sonnets, as far as possible, into the framework devised by the Poet himself in 1838, but at the same time as regards the text and the order of the Sonnets within a given series, to follow Wordsworth's wishes as shown in the final revision of his works.
I quite agree with Professor Dowden (“Wordsworth's Poetical Works,' vol. iii. pp. 327, 328) that the order in which Wordsworth finally arranged his Sonnets had been very carefully thought out. I have therefore never departed from it but in a few cases where the plan of this book seemed to make it necessary. For example, I have kept at the end of this book the Valedictory Sonnet' with which Wordsworth closed the Sonnets' of 1838, although in the later editions of his works it is classed with the Miscellaneous Sonnets.'
I owe some acknowledgment to Professor Dowden for the assistance I have derived from his edition. In conclusion, I would direct the reader to a very instructive • Note on the Wordsworthian Sonnet' by that most accomplished of Wordsworthians, Mr Thomas Hutchinson. It is to be found in his edition of • Poems in Two Volumes by William Wordsworth' (Nutt, 1897), vol. i. p. 208.
NOTES PAGE SONNET 3. 1. • Beloved Vale.' Probably Hawkshead, where
the poet had been at school. 3. 2. Beaumont ! Sir George B. gave W. the place.
His friend Coleridge was then living at
Greta Hall, Keswick. 4. 2 W. and his sister Dorothy had rested by the
rill (where it fell into Windermere) on their first visit to the district (perhaps in
1794). 5. 2. O friend. Rev. Sam. Tillbrook. 7. 1. Aerial rock. Holme-Scar, a projection of
Loughrigg facing Rydal Mount. It is the
rocky parapet' of Sonnet 2, on page 22. 13. 1. On the marriage of Thos. Hutchinson to
Mary Monkhouse. 15. Suggested by my daughter Catherine long
after her death.'—W. W. 16. 1. Dear Sister! Sarah Hutchinson, sister of the
poet's wife. 19.
2. Calvert. Raisley Calvert left the poet £900 29. 1. The opening words are by Cowper. 1. The first two lines are by Sir Philip Sidney,
(* Astrophel and Stella,' Sonnet xxxi). 33. 2. The phrase set up my rest' is frequent in
Shakespeare. It is originally derived from a game of cards, in which it signified make
up my hand,' am content,' 34. 2. That wide plain
between Preston and Lancaster, 41. 2. Thomson, the author of the Seasons,' is
buried at Richmond, Surrey. 42. 2. The castle was probably Carnarvon, visited
by the poet in 1824.
PAGE SONNET 45. 1. Anna is Miss Jewsbury. 56. 2. Suggested by the mental decay of Mrs
Southey 58. 2. Written after reading Dr Chr. Wordsworth's
Theophilus Anglicanus. 73.
The Peace of Amiens had been signed on
March 25, 1802. Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy landed in Calais on Aug. I
following. 74. 1. Bonaparte had been created First Consul for
life in May 1802. 74. 2. Wordsworth and his college-friend Robert
Jones (whose parsonage is described in Sonnet 1, on page 42) had as undergraduates witnessed at Calais the Feast of the Federa.
tion, July 14, 1790. See Prelude, Book VI. 75. 2. See preceding note. 1. Venice had been ceded to Austria by the
treaty of Lunéville, Feb. 9, 1801. 76. 2. Gustavus IV. of Sweden had shown himself
the determined enemy of Bonaparte. 77. 1. Toussaint L'Ouverture was the leader of the
negroes of San Domingo, who had revolted against France, but had been conquered in May 1802, when L'Ouverture was sent to
France as a prisoner. He died in 1803. 1. Bonaparte in 1802 had put down a civil war
in Switzerland and, by the Act of Mediation, promulgated Feb. 19, 1803, he was made Mediator of the Confederation of
Switzerland. 82. 1. War between England and France had again
broken out May 18, 1803, and Bonaparte
was planing the invasion of England. 87. 1. Flamininus proclaimed the freedom of Greece,
B.c. 196. 88. 1. The Bill for the Abolition of the Slave Trade
had been passed in March 1807.