Elaborate gardens, with topiary works, were in high request, even among our remote ancestors, but the relish for choice and picturesque natural scenery (a poor and mean word which requires an apology, but will be generally understood), is quite of recent origin. Our earlier travellers—Ray, the naturalist, one of the first men of his age—Bishop Burnet, and others who had crossed the Alps, or lived some time in Switzerland, are silent upon the sublimity and beauty of those regions; and Burnet even uses these words, speaking of the Grisons—'When they have made up estates elsewhere they are glad to leave Italy and the best parts of Germany, and to come and live among those mountains of which the very sight is enough to fill a man with horror.' The accomplished Evelyn, giving an account of his journey from Italy through the Alps, dilates upon the terrible, the melancholy, and the uncomfortable; but, till he comes to the fruitful country in the neighbourhood of Geneva, not a syllable of delight or praise. In the Sacra Telluris Theoria of the other Burnet there is a passage—omitted, however, in his own English translation of the work—in which he gives utterance to his sensations, when, from a particular spot he beheld a tract of the Alps rising before him on the one hand, and on the other the Mediterranean Sea spread beneath him. Nothing can be worthier of the magnificent appearances he describes than his language. In a noble strain also does the Poet Gray address, in a Latin Ode, the Religio loci at the Grande Chartruise. But before his time, with the exception of the passage from Thomas Burnet just alluded to, there is not, I believe, a single English traveller whose published writings would disprove the assertion, that, where precipitous rocks and mountains are mentioned at all, they are spoken of as objects of dislike and fear, and not of admiration. Even Gray himself, describing, in his Journal, the steeps at the entrance of Borrowdale, expresses his terror in the language of Dante:—'Let us not speak of them, but look and pass on.' In my youth, I lived some time in the vale of Keswick, under the roof of a shrewd and sensible woman, who more than once exclaimed in my hearing, 'Bless me! folk are always talking about prospects: when I was young there was never sic a thing neamed.' In fact, our ancestors, as every where appears, in choosing the site of their houses, looked only at shelter and convenience, especially of water, and often would place a barn or any other out-house directly in front of their habitations, however beautiful the landscape which their windows might otherwise have commanded. The first house that was built in the Lake district for the sake of the beauty of the country was the work of a Mr. English, who had travelled in Italy, and chose for his site, some eighty years ago, the great island of Windermere; but it was sold before his building was finished, and he showed how little he was capable of appreciating the character of the situation by setting up a length of high garden-wall, as exclusive as it was ugly, almost close to the house. The nuisance was swept away when the late Mr. Curwen became the owner of this favoured spot. Mr. English was followed by Mr. Pocklington, a native of Nottinghamshire, who played strange pranks by his buildings and plantations upon Vicar's Island, in Derwent-water, which his admiration, such as it was, of the country, and probably a wish to be a leader in a new fashion, had tempted him to purchase. But what has all this to do with the subject?—Why, to show that a vivid perception of romantic scenery is neither inherent in mankind, nor a necessary consequence of even a comprehensive education. It is benignly ordained that green fields, clear blue skies, running streams of pure water, rich groves and woods, orchards, and all the ordinary varieties of rural Nature, should find an easy way to the affections of all men, and more or less so from early childhood till the senses are impaired by old age and the sources of mere earthly enjoyment have in a great measure failed. But a taste beyond this, however desirable it may be that every one should possess it, is not to be implanted at once; it must be gradually developed both in nations and individuals. Rocks and mountains, torrents and wide-spread waters, and all those features of Nature which go to the composition of such scenes as this part of England is distinguished for, cannot, in their finer relations to the human mind, be comprehended, or even very imperfectly conceived, without processes of culture or opportunities of observation in some degree habitual. In the eye of thousands and tens of thousands, a rich meadow, with fat cattle grazing upon it, or the sight of what they would call a heavy crop of corn, is worth all that the Alps and Pyrenees in their utmost grandeur and beauty could show to them; and, notwithstanding the grateful influence, as we have observed, of ordinary Nature and the productions of the fields, it is noticeable what trifling conventional prepossessions will, in common minds, not only preclude pleasure from the sight of natural beauty, but will even turn it into an object of disgust. 'If I had to do with this garden,' said a respectable person, one of my neighbours, 'I would sweep away all the black and dirty stuff from that wall.' The wall was backed by a bank of earth, and was exquisitely decorated with ivy, flowers, moss, and ferns, such as grow of themselves in like places; but the mere notion of fitness associated with a trim garden-wall prevented, in this instance, all sense of the spontaneous bounty and delicate care of Nature. In the midst of a small pleasure-ground, immediately below my house, rises a detached rock, equally remarkable for the beauty of its form, the ancient oaks that grow out of it, and the flowers and shrubs which adorn it. 'What a nice place would this be,' said a Manchester tradesman, pointing to the rock, 'if that ugly lump were but out of the way.' Men as little advanced in the pleasure which such objects give to others are so far from being rare, that they may be said fairly to represent a large majority of mankind. This is a fact, and none but the deceiver and the willingly deceived can be offended by its being stated. But as a more susceptible taste is undoubtedly a great acquisition, and has been spreading among us for some years, the question is, what means are most likely to be beneficial in extending its operation? Surely that good is not to be obtained by transferring at once uneducated persons in large bodies to particular spots, where the combinations of natural objects are such as would afford the greatest pleasure to those who have been in the habit of observing and studying the peculiar character of such scenes, and how they differ one from another. Instead of tempting artisans and labourers, and the humbler classes of shopkeepers, to ramble to a distance, let us rather look with lively sympathy upon persons in that condition, when, upon a holiday, or on the Sunday, after having attended divine worship, they make little excursions with their wives and children among neighbouring fields, whither the whole of each family might stroll, or be conveyed at much less cost than would be required to take a single individual of the number to the shores of Windermere by the cheapest conveyance. It is in some such way as this only, that persons who must labour daily with their hands for bread in large towns, or are subject to confinement through the week, can be trained to a profitable intercourse with Nature where she is the most distinguished by the majesty and sublimity of her forms.
For further illustration of the subject, turn to what we know of a man of extraordinary genius, who was bred to hard labour in agricultural employments, Burns, the poet. When he had become distinguished by the publication of a volume of verses, and was enabled to travel by the profit his poems brought him, he made a tour, in the course of which, as his companion, Dr. Adair, tells us, he visited scenes inferior to none in Scotland in beauty, sublimity, and romantic interest; and the Doctor having noticed, with other companions, that he seemed little moved upon one occasion by the sight of such a scene, says—'I doubt if he had much taste for the picturesque.' The personal testimony, however, upon this point is conflicting; but when Dr. Currie refers to certain local poems as decisive proofs that Burns' fellow-traveller was mistaken, the biographer is surely unfortunate. How vague and tame are the poet's expressions in those few local poems, compared with his language when he is describing objects with which his position in life allowed him to be familiar! It appears, both from what his works contain, and from what is not to be found in them, that, sensitive as they abundantly prove his mind to have been in its intercourse with common rural images, and with the general powers of Nature exhibited in storm and in stillness, in light or darkness, and in the various aspects of the seasons, he was little affected by the sight of one spot in preference to another, unless where it derived an interest from history, tradition, or local associations. He lived many years in Nithsdale, where he was in daily sight of Skiddaw, yet he never crossed the Solway for a better acquaintance with that mountain; and I am persuaded that, if he had been induced to ramble among our Lakes, by that time sufficiently celebrated, he would have seldom been more excited than by some ordinary Scottish stream or hill with a tradition attached to it, or which had been the scene of a favourite ballad or love song. If all this be truly said of such a man, and the like cannot be denied of the eminent individuals before named, who to great natural talents added the accomplishments of scholarship or science, then what ground is there for maintaining that the poor are treated with disrespect, or wrong done to them or any class of visitants, if we be reluctant to introduce a railway into this country for the sake of lessening, by eight or nine miles only, the fatigue or expense of their journey to Windermere?—And wherever any one among the labouring classes has made even an approach to the sensibility which drew a lamentation from Burns when he had uprooted a daisy with his plough, and caused him to turn the 'weeder-clips aside' from the thistle, and spare 'the symbol dear' of his country, then surely such a one, could he afford by any means to travel as far as Kendal, would not grudge a two hours' walk across the skirts of the beautiful country that he was desirous of visiting.
The wide-spread waters of these regions are in their nature peaceful; so are the-steep mountains and the rocky glens; nor can they be profitably enjoyed but by a mind disposed to peace. Go to a pantomime, a farce, or a puppet-show, if you want noisy pleasure—the crowd of spectators who partake your enjoyment will, by their presence and acclamations, enhance it; but may those who have given proof that they prefer other gratifications continue to be safe from the molestation of cheap trains pouring out their hundreds at a time along the margin of Windermere; nor let any one be liable to the charge of being selfishly disregardful of the poor, and their innocent and salutary enjoyments, if he does not congratulate himself upon the especial benefit which would thus be conferred on such a concourse.
O, Nature, a' thy shows an' forms, To feeling pensive hearts hae charms!
So exclaimed the Ayrshire ploughman, speaking of ordinary rural Nature under the varying influences of the seasons, and the sentiment has found an echo in the bosoms of thousands in as humble a condition as he himself was when he gave vent to it. But then they were feeling, pensive hearts; men who would be among the first to lament the facility with which they had approached this region, by a sacrifice of so much of its quiet and beauty, as, from the intrusion of a railway, would be inseparable. What can, in truth, be more absurd, than that either rich or poor should be spared the trouble of travelling by the high roads over so short a space, according to their respective means, if the unavoidable consequence must be a great disturbance of the retirement, and in many places a destruction of the beauty of the country, which the parties are come in search of? Would not this be pretty much like the child's cutting up his drum to learn where the sound came from?
Having, I trust, given sufficient reason for the belief that the imperfectly educated classes are not likely to draw much good from rare visits to the Lakes performed in this way, and surely on their own account it is not desirable that the visits should be frequent, let us glance at the mischief which such facilities would certainly produce. The directors of railway companies are always ready to devise or encourage entertainments for tempting the humbler classes to leave their homes. Accordingly, for the profit of the shareholders and that of the lower class of innkeepers, we should have wrestling matches, horse and boat races without number, and pot-houses and beer-shops would keep pace with these excitements and recreations, most of which might too easily be had elsewhere. The injury which would thus be done to morals, both among this influx of strangers and the lower class of inhabitants, is obvious; and, supposing such extraordinary temptations not to be held out, there cannot be a doubt that the Sabbath day in the towns of Bowness and Ambleside, and other parts of the district, would be subject to much additional desecration.
Whatever comes of the scheme which we have endeavoured to discountenance, the charge against its opponents of being selfishly regardless of the poor, ought to cease. The cry has been raised and kept up by three classes of persons—they who wish to bring into discredit all such as stand in the way of their gains or gambling speculations; they who are dazzled by the application of physical science to the useful arts, and indiscriminately applaud what they call the spirit of the age as manifested in this way; and, lastly, those persons who are ever ready to step forward in what appears to them to be the cause of the poor, but not always with becoming attention to particulars. I am well aware that upon the first class what has been said will be of no avail, but upon the two latter some impression will, I trust, be made.
To conclude. The railway power, we know well, will not admit of being materially counteracted by sentiment; and who would wish it where large towns are connected, and the interests of trade and agriculture are substantially promoted, by such mode of intercommunication? But be it remembered, that this case is, as has been said before, a peculiar one, and that the staple of the country is its beauty and its character of retirement. Let then the beauty be undisfigured and the retirement unviolated, unless there be reason for believing that rights and interests of a higher kind and more apparent than those which have been urged in behalf of the projected intrusion will compensate the sacrifice. Thanking you for the judicious observations that have appeared in your paper upon the subject of railways,
I remain, Sir, Your obliged, WM. WORDSWORTH.
Rydal Mount, Dec. 9, 1844.
NOTE.—To the instances named in this letter of the indifference even of men of genius to the sublime forms of Nature in mountainous districts, the author of the interesting Essays, in the Morning Post, entitled Table Talk has justly added Goldsmith, and I give the passage in his own words.
'The simple and gentle-hearted Goldsmith, who had an exquisite sense of rural beauty in the familiar forms of hill and dale, and meadows with their hawthorn-scented hedges, does not seem to have dreamt of any such thing as beauty in the Swiss Alps, though he traversed them on foot, and had therefore the best opportunities of observing them. In his poem "The Traveller," he describes the Swiss as loving their mountain homes, not by reason of the romantic beauty of the situation, but in spite of the miserable character of the soil, and the stormy horrors of their mountain steeps—
Turn we to survey Where rougher climes a nobler race display, Where the bleak Swiss their stormy mansion tread, And force a churlish soil for scanty bread. No produce here the barren hills afford, But man and steel, the soldier and his sword: No vernal blooms their torpid rocks array, But winter lingering chills the lap of May; No Zephyr fondly sues the mountain's breast, But meteors glare and stormy glooms invest. Yet still, even here, content can spread a charm, Redress the clime, and all its rage disarm.'
In the same Essay, (December 18th, 1844,) are many observations judiciously bearing upon the true character of this and similar projects.
To the Editor of the 'Morning Post.'
As you obligingly found space in your journal for observations of mine upon the intended Kendal and Windermere Railway, I venture to send you some further remarks upon the same subject. The scope of the main argument, it will be recollected, was to prove that the perception of what has acquired the name of picturesque and romantic scenery is so far from being intuitive, that it can be produced only by a slow and gradual process of culture; and to show, as a consequence, that the humbler ranks of society are not, and cannot be, in a state to gain material benefit from a more speedy access than they now have to this beautiful region. Some of our opponents dissent from this latter proposition, though the most judicious of them readily admit the former; but then, overlooking not only positive assertions, but reasons carefully given, they say, 'As you allow that a more comprehensive taste is desirable, you ought to side with us;' and they illustrate their position, by reference to the British Museum and National Picture Gallery. 'There,' they add, 'thanks to the easy entrance now granted, numbers are seen, indicating by their dress and appearance their humble condition, who, when admitted for the first time, stare vacantly around them, so that one is inclined to ask what brought them hither? But an impression is made, something gained which may induce them to repeat the visit until light breaks in upon them, and they take an intelligent interest in what they behold.' Persons who talk thus forget that, to produce such an improvement, frequent access at small cost of time and labour is indispensable. Manchester lies, perhaps, within eight hours' railway distance of London; but surely no one would advise that Manchester operatives should contract a habit of running to and fro between that town and London, for the sake of forming an intimacy with the British Museum and National Gallery? No, no; little would all but a very few gain from the opportunities which, consistently with common sense, could be afforded them for such expeditions. Nor would it fare better with them in respect of trips to the lake district; an assertion, the truth of which no one can doubt, who has learned by experience how many men of the same or higher rank, living from their birth in this very region, are indifferent to those objects around them in which a cultivated taste takes so much pleasure. I should not have detained the reader so long upon this point, had I not heard (glad tidings for the directors and traffickers in shares!) that among the affluent and benevolent manufacturers of Yorkshire and Lancashire are some who already entertain the thought of sending, at their own expense, large bodies of their workmen, by railway, to the banks of Windermere. Surely those gentlemen will think a little more before they put such a scheme into practice. The rich man cannot benefit the poor, nor the superior the inferior, by anything that degrades him. Packing off men after this fashion, for holiday entertainment, is, in fact, treating them like children. They go at the will of their master, and must return at the same, or they will be dealt with as transgressors.
A poor man, speaking of his son, whose time of service in the army was expired, once said to me, (the reader will be startled at the expression, and I, indeed, was greatly shocked by it), 'I am glad he has done with that mean way of life.' But I soon gathered what was at the bottom of the feeling. The father overlooked all the glory that attaches to the character of a British soldier, in the consciousness that his son's will must have been in so great a degree subject to that of others. The poor man felt where the true dignity of his species lay, namely, in a just proportion between actions governed by a man's own inclinations and those of other men; but, according to the father's notion, that proportion did not exist in the course of life from which his son had been released. Had the old man known from experience the degree of liberty allowed to the common soldier, and the moral effect of the obedience required, he would have thought differently, and had he been capable of extending his views, he would have felt how much of the best and noblest part of our civic spirit was owing to our military and naval institutions, and that perhaps our very existence as a free people had by them been maintained. This extreme instance has been adduced to show how deeply seated in the minds of Englishmen is their sense of personal independence. Master-manufacturers ought never to lose sight of this truth. Let them consent to a Ten Hours' Bill, with little or, if possible, no diminution of wages, and the necessaries of life being more easily procured, the mind will develope itself accordingly, and each individual would be more at liberty to make at his own cost excursions in any direction which might be most inviting to him. There would then be no need for their masters sending them in droves scores of miles from their homes and families to the borders of Windermere, or anywhere else. Consider also the state of the lake district; and look, in the first place, at the little town of Bowness, in the event of such railway inundations. What would become of it in this, not the Retreat, but the Advance, of the Ten Thousand? Leeds, I am told, has sent as many at once to Scarborough. We should have the whole of Lancashire, and no small part of Yorkshire, pouring in upon us to meet the men of Durham, and the borderers from Cumberland and Northumberland. Alas, alas, if the lakes are to pay this penalty for their own attractions!
—Vane could tell what ills from beauty spring, And Sedley cursed the form that pleased a king.
The fear of adding to the length of my last long letter prevented me from entering into details upon private and personal feelings among the residents, who have cause to lament the threatened intrusion. These are not matters to be brought before a Board of Trade, though I trust there will always be of that board members who know well that as we do 'not live by bread alone,' so neither do we live by political economy alone. Of the present Board I would gladly believe there is not one who, if his duty allowed it, would not be influenced by considerations of what may be felt by a gallant officer now serving on the coast of South America, when he shall learn that the nuisance, though not intended actually to enter his property, will send its omnibuses, as fast as they can drive, within a few yards of his modest abode, which he built upon a small domain purchased at a price greatly enhanced by the privacy and beauty of the situation. Professor Wilson (him I take the liberty to name), though a native of Scotland, and familiar with the grandeur of his own country, could not resist the temptation of settling long ago among our mountains. The place which his public duties have compelled him to quit as a residence, and may compel him to part with, is probably dearer to him than any spot upon earth. The reader should be informed with what respect he has been treated. Engineer agents, to his astonishment, came and intruded with their measuring instruments, upon his garden. He saw them; and who will not admire the patience that kept his hands from their shoulders? I must stop.
But with the fear before me of the line being carried; at a day not distant, through the whole breadth of the district, I could dwell, with much concern for other residents, upon the condition which they would be in if that outrage should be committed; nor ought it to be deemed impertinent were I to recommend this point to the especial regard of Members of Parliament who may have to decide upon the question. The two Houses of Legislature have frequently shown themselves not unmindful of private feeling in these matters. They have, in some cases, been induced to spare parks and pleasure grounds. But along the great railway lines these are of rare occurrence. They are but a part, and a small part; here it is far otherwise. Among the ancient inheritances of the yeomen, surely worthy of high respect, are interspersed through the entire district villas, most of them with such small domains attached that the occupants would be hardly less annoyed by a railway passing through their neighbour's ground than through their own. And it would be unpardonable not to advert to the effect of this measure on the interests of the very poor in this locality. With the town of Bowness I have no minute acquaintance; but of Ambleside, Grasmere, and the neighbourhood, I can testify from long experience, that they have been favoured by the residence of a gentry whose love of retirement has been a blessing to these vales; for their families have ministered, and still minister, to the temporal and spiritual necessities of the poor, and have personally superintended the education of the children in a degree which does those benefactors the highest honour, and which is, I trust, gratefully acknowledged in the hearts of all whom they have relieved, employed, and taught. Many of those friends of our poor would quit this country if the apprehended change were realised, and would be succeeded by strangers not linked to the neighbourhood, but flitting to and fro between their fancy villas and the homes where their wealth was accumulated and accumulating by trade and manufactures. It is obvious that persons, so unsettled, whatever might be their good wishes and readiness to part with money for charitable purposes, would ill supply the loss of the inhabitants who had been driven away.
It will be felt by those who think with me upon this occasion that I have been writing on behalf of a social condition which no one who is competent to judge of it will be willing to subvert, and that I have been endeavouring to support moral sentiments and intellectual pleasures of a high order against an enmity which seems growing more and more formidable every day; I mean 'Utilitarianism,' serving as a mask for cupidity and gambling speculations. My business with this evil lies in its reckless mode of action by Railways, now its favourite instruments. Upon good authority I have been told that there was lately an intention of driving one of these pests, as they are likely too often to prove, through a part of the magnificent ruins of Furness Abbey—an outrage which was prevented by some one pointing out how easily a deviation might be made; and the hint produced its due effect upon the engineer.
Sacred as that relic of the devotion of our ancestors deserves to be kept, there are temples of Nature, temples built by the Almighty, which have a still higher claim to be left unviolated. Almost every reach of the winding vales in this district might once have presented itself to a man of imagination and feeling under that aspect, or, as the Vale of Grasmere appeared to the Poet Gray more than seventy years ago. 'No flaring gentleman's-house,' says he, 'nor garden-walls break in upon the repose of this little unsuspected paradise, but all is peace,' &c., &c. Were the Poet now living, how would he have lamented the probable intrusion of a railway with its scarifications, its intersections, its noisy machinery, its smoke, and swarms of pleasure-hunters, most of them thinking that they do not fly fast enough through the country which they have come to see. Even a broad highway may in some places greatly impair the characteristic beauty of the country, as will be readily acknowledged by those who remember what the Lake of Grasmere was before the new road that runs along its eastern margin had been constructed.
Quanto praestantias esset Numen aquae viridi si margina clauderet undas Herba—
As it once was, and fringed with wood, instead of the breastwork of bare wall that now confines it. In the same manner has the beauty, and still more the sublimity of many Passes in the Alps been injuriously affected. Will the reader excuse a quotation from a MS. poem in which I attempted to describe the impression made upon my mind by the descent towards Italy along the Simplon before the new military road had taken the place of the old muleteer track with its primitive simplicities?
Brook and road Were fellow-travellers in this gloomy Pass, And with them did we journey several hours At a slow step. The immeasurable height Of woods decaying, never to be decayed, The stationary blasts of waterfalls. And in the narrow rent, at every turn, Winds thwarting winds bewildered and forlorn, The torrents shooting from the clear blue sky, The rocks that muttered close upon our ears, Black drizzling crags that spake by the way-side As if a voice were in them, the sick sight And giddy prospect of the raving stream, The unfettered clouds and region of the heavens, Tumult and peace, the darkness and the light, Were all like workings of one mind, the features Of the same face, blossoms upon one tree, Characters of the great Apocalypse, The types and symbols of Eternity, Of first, and last, and midst, and without end. 1799.
Thirty years afterwards I crossed the Alps by the same Pass: and what had become of the forms and powers to which I had been indebted for those emotions? Many of them remained of course undestroyed and indestructible. But, though the road and torrent continued to run parallel to each other, their fellowship was put an end to. The stream had dwindled into comparative insignificance, so much had Art interfered with and taken the lead of Nature; and although the utility of the new work, as facilitating the intercourse of great nations, was readily acquiesced in, and the workmanship, in some places, could not but excite admiration, it was impossible to suppress regret for what had vanished for ever. The oratories heretofore not unfrequently met with, on a road still somewhat perilous, were gone; the simple and rude bridges swept away; and instead of travellers proceeding, with leisure to observe and feel, were pilgrims of fashion hurried along in their carriages, not a few of them perhaps discussing the merits of 'the last new Novel,' or poring over their Guide-books, or fast asleep. Similar remarks might be applied to the mountainous country of Wales; but there too, the plea of utility, especially as expediting the communication between England and Ireland, more than justifies the labours of the Engineer. Not so would it be with the Lake District. A railroad is already planned along the sea coast, and another from Lancaster to Carlisle is in great forwardness: an intermediate one is therefore, to say the least of it, superfluous. Once for all let me declare that it is not against Railways but against the abuse of them that I am contending.
How far I am from undervaluing the benefit to be expected from railways in their legitimate application will appear from the following lines published in 1837, and composed some years earlier.
STEAMBOATS AND RAILWAYS.
Motions and Means, on sea, on land at war With old poetic feeling, not for this Shall ye, by poets even, be judged amiss! Nor shall your presence, howsoe'er it mar The loveliness of Nature, prove a bar To the mind's gaining that prophetic sense Of future good, that point of vision, whence May be discovered what in soul ye are. In spite of all that Beauty must disown In your harsh features, Nature doth embrace Her lawful offspring in man's Art; and Time, Pleased with your triumphs o'er his brother Space, Accepts from your bold hand the proffered crown Of hope, and welcomes you with cheer sublime.
I have now done with the subject. The time of life at which I have arrived may, I trust, if nothing else will, guard me from the imputation of having written from any selfish interests, or from fear of disturbance which a railway might cause to myself. If gratitude for what repose and quiet in a district hitherto, for the most part, not disfigured but beautified by human hands, have done for me through the course of a long life, and hope that others might hereafter be benefited in the same manner and in the same country, be selfishness, then, indeed, but not otherwise, I plead guilty to the charge. Nor have I opposed this undertaking on account of the inhabitants of the district merely, but, as hath been intimated, for the sake of every one, however humble his condition, who coming hither shall bring with him an eye to perceive, and a heart to feel and worthily enjoy. And as for holiday pastimes, if a scene is to be chosen suitable to them for persons thronging from a distance, it may be found elsewhere at less cost of every kind. But, in fact, we have too much hurrying about in these islands; much for idle pleasure, and more from over activity in the pursuit of wealth, without regard to the good or happiness of others.
Proud were ye, Mountains, when, in times of old, Your patriot sons, to stem invasive war, Intrenched your brows; ye gloried in each scar: Now, for your shame, a Power, the Thirst of Gold, That rules o'er Britain like a baneful star, Wills that your peace, your beauty, shall be sold, And clear way made for her triumphal car Through the beloved retreats your arms enfold! Heard YE that Whistle? As her long-linked Train Swept onwards, did the vision cross your view? Yes, ye were startled;—and, in balance true, Weighing the mischief with the promised gain, Mountains, and Vales, and Floods, I call on you To share the passion of a just disdain.
NOTES AND ILLUSTRATIONS.
AESTHETICAL AND LITERARY.
I. Of Literary Biography and Monuments.
(a) A Letter to a Friend of Robert Burns, 1816.
P. 5, l. 1. James Gray, Esq. Wordsworth was justified in naming Gray a 'friend' of Burns. He was originally Master of the High School, Dumfries, and associated with the Poet there. Transferred to the High School of Edinburgh, he taught for well-nigh a quarter of a century with repute. Disappointed of the Rectorship, he retired from Edinburgh to an academy at Belfast. Later, having entered holy orders, he proceeded to India as a chaplain in the East India Company's service. He was stationed at Bhooj, in Cutch, near the mouth of the Indus; and the education of the young Rao of that province having been intrusted to the British Government, Gray was selected as his instructor—being the first Christian honoured with such an appointment in the East. He died at his post in 1830, deeply regretted. He was author of 'Cuna of Cheyd' and the 'Sabbath among the Mountains,' and many other things, original and editorial. He left a MS. poem, entitled 'India,' and a translation of the Gospels into the Cutch dialect of Hindoostanee. He will hold a niche in literature as the fifteenth bard in the 'Queen's Wake' who sings of 'King Edward's Dream.' He married a sister of Mrs. Hogg.
P. 5, footnote. Peterkin was a laborious compiler; but his Lives of Burns and Fergusson are written in the most high-flown and exaggerated style imaginable. He died in 1847.
P. 5, l. 9. 'Mr. Gilbert Burns ... a favourable opportunity,' &c. This excellent, common-sensed, and humble man's contributions to the later impressions (1804, &c.) of Dr. Currie's edition of Burns are of permanent value—very much more valuable than later brilliant productions that have displaced them. In Peterkin's Burns there is a letter from Gilbert Burns to him, dated September 29th, 1814.
P. 7. Verse-quotation from Burns. From 'Address to the Unco Guid, or the Rigidly Righteous' (closing stanzas).
P. 15. Verse-quotation. From Burns' 'A Bard's Epitaph.'
P. 17, footnote. Long before Wordsworth, Thomas Watson, in his 'Epistle to the Frendly Reader' prefixed to his [Greek: EKATOMPATHIA] (1582), wrote: 'As for any Aristarchus, Momus, or Zoilus, if they pinch me more than is reasonable, thou, courteous Reader, which arte of a better disposition, shalt rebuke them in my behalfe; saying to the first [Aristarchus], that my birdes are al of mine own hatching,' &c.
P. 21, ll. 30-37, Chatterton; ll. 38-40, &c., Michael Bruce. Both of the suggested monuments have been raised; Chatterton's at Bristol, and Bruce's over his grave. A photograph of the latter is given in our quarto edition of his Poems.
II. Upon Epitaphs.
P. 27, l. 10. Camden. Here and throughout the quotations (modernised) are from 'Remaines concerning Britain: their
Languages, Names, Surnames, Allusions, Anagrammes, Armories, Monies, Empreses, Apparell, Artillarie, Wise Speeches, Proverbs, Poesies, Epitaphs.
Written by William Camden, Esquire, Clarenceux King of Armes, surnamed the Learned. The sixth Impression, with many rare Antiquities never before imprinted. By the Industry and Care of John Philpot, Somerset Herald: and W.D. Gent. London, 1657, 4to. Epitaphes, pp. 355-409. It has not been deemed necessary to point out the somewhat loose character of the quotations from Camden by Wordsworth; nor, with so many editions available, would it have served any good end to have given the places in the 'Epitaphes.' While Wordsworth evidently read both Camden and Weever, his chief authority seems to have been a book that appeared on the sale of his library, viz. 'Wit's Recreations; containing 630 Epigrams, 160 Epitaphs, and variety of Fantasies and Fantastics, good for Melancholy Humours. 1641.'
P. 27, l. 16. This verse-rendering of 'Maecenas' is by Wordsworth, not Camden—the quotation from whom here ought to have been marked with an inverted comma (') after relictos.
P. 27, l. 22. Weever. The title in full is as follows: 'Ancient Fvnerall Monvments within the Vnited Monarchie of Great Britaine, Ireland, and the Islands adiacent, with the dissolued Monasteries therein contained: their Founders, and what eminent Persons have beene in the same interred. As also the Death and Bvriall of Certaine of the Blood Royall, the Nobilitie and Gentrie of these Kingdomes entombed in forraine Nations. A work reuiuing the dead memorie of the Royal Progenie, the Nobilitie, Gentrie, and Communaltie of these his Maiesties Dominions. Intermixed and Illustrated with variety of Historicall observations, annotations, and briefe notes, extracted out of approued Authors, infallible Records, Lieger Bookes, Charters, Rolls, old Manuscripts, and the Collections of iudicious Antiquaries. Whereunto is prefixed a Discourse of Funerall Monuments. Of the Foundation and Fall of Religious Houses. Of Religious Orders. Of the Ecclesiasticall estate of England. And of other occurrences touched vpon by the way, in the whole passage of these intended labours. Composed by the Studie and Trauels of John Weever. Spe labor leuis. London. 1631, folio.' As with Camden, Wordsworth quotes Weever from memory (apparently) throughout.
P. 27, l. 23. Query—'or fore-feeling'?
P. 32, l. 6. 'Pause, Traveller.' The 'Siste viator' was kept up long after such roadside interments were abandoned. Crashaw's Epitaph for Harris so begins; e.g. 'Siste te paulum, viator,' &c. (Works, vol. ii. p. 378, Fuller Worthies' Library.)
P. 33. John Edwards; verse-quotation. Query—the author of 'Kathleen' (1808), 'Abradates and Panthea' (1808), &c.?
P. 40. At close; verse-quotation. From Milton, Ep. W. Sh.
P. 41. Verse-heading. From Gray's 'Elegy.' En passant, be it noted that on 1st June 1875, at Sotheby's, the original MS. of this Elegy was sold for upwards of 300 guineas to Sir William Fraser.
P. 45, l. 28. Read 'mearely'=merrily, as 'merrely' onward.
P. 49. ll. 7-14. On these lines, alleged to have been written by Montrose, see Dr. Hannah's 'Courtly Poets' (1870), p. 207, and numerous references. It may be noted that in line 2 Wordsworth changes 'too rigid' into 'so rigid;' and l. 7, 'trumpet' into 'trumpets.'
P. 49, ll. 30-2. Verse-quotation. Milton, 'Paradise Lost,' book vi. ll. 754-6.
P. 66 (bottom). Epitaph on Mrs. Clark—i.e. Mrs. Jane Clarke. In l. 1, Gray wrote, not 'the,' but 'this;' which in the light of the criticism it is important to remember.
P. 73-75. Long verse-quotation. From the 'Excursion,' book vii. ll. 400-550. Note the 'Various Readings.'
III. Essays, Letters, and Notes elucidatory and confirmatory of the Poems.
(a) Of the Principles of Poetry and the 'Lyrical Ballads.'
P. 85. Verse-quotation. From Gray's Poems, 'Sonnet on the Death of Mr. Richard West.'
P. 99, l. 30. Sir Joshua Reynolds. For Wordsworth's critical verdict on his literary work as well as his painting, see Letters in present volume, pp. 153-157, et alibi.
(c) Poetry as a study.
P. 112, ll. 6-7. Quotation from Spenser, 'Fairy Queen,' b.i.c.i. st. 9, l. 1.
P. 113, footnote. Hakewill. The work intended is 'An Apologie or Declaration of the Power and Providence of God in the Government of the World.' Oxford, 1627 (folio), and later editions. He was George Hakewill, D.D., Archdeacon of Surrey. Died 1649.
P. 115, ll. 36-7. '1623 to 1664 ... only two editions of the Works of Shakspeare.' The second folio of 1632 and that of 1663 (same as 1664) are here forgotten, and also the abundant separate reprints of the separate Plays and Poems.
P. 123, l. 6. Mr. Malcom Laing, a historian of Scotland 'from the Union of the Crowns to the Union of the Kingdoms in the Reign of Queen Anne' (4th edition, 1819, 4 vols.), who, in an exhaustive and drastic style, disposed of the notorious 'Ossian' fictions of Macpherson.
P. 130, ll. 12-14. Verse-quotation. From the 'Prelude.'
(d) Of Poetry as Observation and Description.
P. 134, ll. 3-4 (at bottom). Verse-quotation. From 'A Poet's Epitaph' (VIII. 'Poems of Sentiment and Reflection').
P. 136, ll. 7-8. Verse-quotation. From Shakspeare, 'Lear,' iv. 6.
P. 136, ll. 17-24. Verse-quotation. From Milton, 'Paradise Lost,' book ii. ll. 636-43.
P. 139, ll. 10-11. Verse-quotation. Ibid. book vi. ll. 767-8.
P. 140, ll. 10-11. Verse-quotation. From Shakspeare, 'Lear,' iii. 2.
P. 141, ll. 1-2. Verse-quotation. Ibid. 'Romeo and Juliet,' i. 4.
P. 142, ll. 7-8. 12-13. Verse-quotation. From Milton, 'Paradise Lost,' book ix. 1002-3.
P. 143. Long verse-quotation. Charles Cotton, the associate 'Angler' of Walton 'for all time,' and of whom, as a Poet, Abp. Trench, in his 'Household Book of English Poetry,' has recently spoken highly yet measuredly.
P. 152, footnote *. Various Readings. (1) 'Sonnet composed at—.' Such is the current heading of this Sonnet in the Poems (Rossetti, p. 177). In the MS. it runs, 'Written at Needpath (near Peebles), Mansion of the Duke of Queensbury' (sic); and thus opens:
'Now, as I live, I pity that great lord! Whom pure despite of heart,' &c.;
'Degenerate Douglas! oh, the unworthy lord! Whom mere,' &c.
(2) To the Men of Kent, October 1803. In l. 3, the MS. reads:
'Her haughty forehead 'gainst the coast of France,'
for 'brow against.' Line 7, 'can' for 'may.' (3) 'Anticipation,' October 1803. Line 12 in MS. reads:
'The loss and the sore prospect of the slain,'
'And even the prospect of our brethren slain.'
In l. 14:
'True glory, everlasting sanctity,'
'In glory will they sleep and endless sanctity.'
P. 161, l. 22. 'Milton compares,' &c. In 'Paradise Lost,' ii. 636-7.
P. 163, l. 2. 'Duppa is publishing a Life of Michael Angelo,' &c. It appeared in 1806 (4to); reprinted in Bohn's 'Illustrated Library.'
P. 163, footnote A. Alexander Wilson, who became the renowned 'Ornithologist' of America, was for years a 'pedlar,' both at home and in the United States. His intellectual ability and genius would alone have given sanction to Wordsworth's conception; but as simple matter-of-fact, the class was a peculiarly thoughtful and observant one, as the Biographies of Scotland show.
P. 167, ll. 30-1. 'A tale told,' &c. From Shakspeare, 'Macbeth,' v. 5.
P. 170, l. 34. 'Houbraken,' &c. Reissued from the old copper-plates.
P. 171, l. 30. 'I have never seen the works,' &c. In the Fuller Worthies' Library I have collected the complete Poems of Sir John Beaumont, 1 vol.
Pp. 178-9. Quotation (bottom). From Milton, 'Paradise Lost,' book iv. ll. 604-9; but 'How' is inadvertently substituted for 'Now.'
P. 196, l. 35. John Dyer. Wordsworth's repeated recognition and lofty estimate of Dyer recalls the fact that a collection of his many-sided Writings is still a desideratum that the present Editor of Wordsworth's Prose hopes some day to supply—invited to the task of love by a lineal descendant.
(b) Of the Principles of Poetry and his own Poems.
P. 211, ll. 24-5. Verse-quotation from Cowper: more accurately it reads:
'The jay, the pie, and even the boding owl That hails the rising moon, have charms for me.'
('The Task,' b. i. ll. 205-6.)
(a) A Guide through the District of the Lakes.
P. 217. It seems somewhat remarkable that Wordsworth nowhere mentions the following work: 'Remarks made in a Tour from London to the Lakes of Westmoreland and Cumberland in the Summer of MDCCXCI., originally published in the Whitehall Evening Post, and now reprinted with additions and corrections.... By A. Walker, Lecturer,' &c. 1792, 8vo. Wordsworth could not have failed to be interested in the descriptions of this overlooked book. They are open-eyed, open-eared, and vivid. I would refer especially to the Letters on Windermere, pp. 58-60, and indeed all on the Lakes. Space can only be found for a short quotation on Ambleside (Letter xiii., August 18, 1791): 'We now leave Low Wood, and along the verge of the Lake have a pleasing couple of miles to Ambleside. This is a straggling little market-town, made up of rough-cast white houses, but charmingly situated in the centre of three radiant vallies, i.e. all issuing from the town as from a centre. This shows the propriety of the Roman station situated near the west end of this place, called Amboglana, commanding one of the most difficult passes in England.... Beautiful woods rise half-way up the sides of the mountains from Ambleside, and seem wishful to cover the naked asperities of the country; but the Iron Works calling for them in the character of charcoal every fourteen or fifteen years, exposes the nakedness of the country. Among these woods and mountains are many frightful precipices and roaring cascades. In a still evening several are heard at once, in various keys, forming a kind of savage music; one, half a mile above the town in a wood, seems upwards of a hundred feet fall.—About as much water as is in the New River precipitates itself over a perpendicular rock into a natural bason, where it seems to recover from its fall before it takes a second and a third tumble over huge stones that break it into a number of streams. It suffers not this outrage quietly, for it grumbles through hollow glens and stone cavities all the way, till it meets the Rothay, when it quietly enters the Lake' (pp. 71-3). It is odd that a book so matterful, and containing many descriptions equal to this of Ambleside, should be so absolutely gone out of sight. It is a considerable volume, and pp. 1-114 are devoted to the Lake region. Walker, in 1787, issued anonymously 'An Hasty Sketch of a Tour through Part of the Austrian Netherlands, &c.... By an English Gentleman.'
P. 264. Quotation from (eheu! eheu!) the still unpublished poem of 'Grasmere.'
P. 274. Quotation from Spenser, 'Fairy Queen,' b. iii. c. v. st. 39-40. In st. 39, l. 8, 'puny' is a misprint for 'pumy' = pumice; in st. 40, l. 3, 'sang' similarly misreads 'song' = sung, or were singing.
P. 284. Verse-quotation. From 'Sonnet on Needpath Castle,' as ante.
P. 296, footnote A. Lucretius, ii. 772 seq.; and cf. v. 482 seq.
(b) Kendal and Windermere Railway.
P. 331. Quotation from Burns,—Verse-letter to William Simpson, st. 14.
P. 336. Is this from Dryden? G.
END OF VOL. II.
THE PROSE WORKS OF WILLIAM WORDSWORTH.
FOR THE FIRST TIME COLLECTED, WITH ADDITIONS FROM UNPUBLISHED MANUSCRIPTS.
Edited with Preface, Notes, and Illustrations, BY THE REV. ALEXANDER B. GROSART,
ST. GEORGE'S, BLACKBURN, LANCASHIRE.
IN THREE VOLUMES.
CRITICAL AND ETHICAL.
LONDON: EDWARD MOXON, SON, AND CO.
1 AMEN CORNER, PATERNOSTER ROW.
AMS Press, Inc. New York, N.Y. 10003 1967
Manufactured in the United States of America
CONTENTS OF VOL. III.
*** A star [*] designates publication herein for the first time. G.
CRITICAL AND ETHICAL.
I. NOTES AND ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE POEMS, INCORPORATING: (a) The Notes originally added to the first and successive editions. pp. 1-216 (b) The whole of the I.F. MSS.
*1. Prefatory Lines *2. Prelude to the Last Volume
I. Poems written in Youth.
*3. Extract from the conclusion, &c. 4. The Evening Walk, &c. *5. An Evening Walk 5a. Intake 6. Ghyll 7. From Thomson *8. Lines written while sailing, &c. 9. Descriptive Sketches: Dedication *10. Descriptive Sketches 11. The Cross 12. Rivers 13. Vallombre 14. Sugh 15. Pikes 16. Shrine 17. Sourd *18. Lines left upon a Seat, &c. 19. Guilt and Sorrow, &c.: Advertisement *20. The Female Vagrant *21. Guilt and Sorrow, &c. 22. Charles Farish *23. The Forsaken, &c. *24. The Borderers 25. Short printed Note 26. Later Note
II Poems referring to the Period of Childhood.
*27. My Heart leaps up, &c. *28. To a Butterfly *29. The Sparrow's Nest *30. Foresight *31. Characteristics of a Child, &c. *32. Address to a Child *33. The Mother's Return *34. Alice Fell; or Poverty *35. Lucy Gray; or Solitude *36. We are Seven, &c. *37. The Idle Shepherd Boys 38. Dungeon-ghyll Force *39. Anecdote for Fathers 40. Rural Architecture 41. Great How *42. The Pet Lamb, &c. *43. Influence of natural Objects *44. The Longest Day *45. The Norman Boy
III. Poems founded on the Affections.
46. The Brothers 47. Great Gavel 48. Artegal and Elidure *49. To a Butterfly *50. A Farewell *51. Stanzas in Castle of Indolence *52. Louisa *53. Strange Fits, &c. *54. Ere with cold Beads, &c. *55. To —— 56. 'Tis said that some, &c. *57. A Complaint *58. To —— *59. How rich that Forehead's, &c *60. To —— 61. Lament of Mary Queen of Scots 62. The Complaint of a forsaken Indian Woman *63. Ibid. *64. The Last of the Flock *65. Repentance *66. The Affliction of Margaret *67. The Cottager to her Infant *68. Maternal Grief *69. The Sailor's Mother *70. The Childless Father 71. Funeral Basin *72. The Emigrant Mother 73. Vaudracour and Julia *74. Ibid. 75. The Idiot Boy *76. Michael 77. Clipping *78. The Widow on Windermere Side 79. The Armenian Lady's Love 80. Percy's Reliques *81. Loving and Liking *82. Farewell Lines 83. (1) The Redbreast *84. (2) " *85. Her Eyes are wild
IV. Poems on the Naming of Places.
86. Advertisement *87. It was an April Morn, &c. *88. May call it Emma's Dell *89. To Joanna Hutchinson 90. Inscriptions *91. There is an Eminence, &c. *92. A narrow girdle, &c. *93. To Mary Hutchinson *94. When to the attractions, &c. 95. Captain Wordsworth
V. Poems of the Fancy.
*96. A Morning Exercise *97. Birds *98. A Flower-garden *99. A Whirl-blast, &c. *100. The Waterfall and the Eglantine *101. The Oak and the Broom *102. To a Sexton *103. To the Daisy *104. To the same Flower *105. To the small Celandine 106. The Seven Sisters *107. The Redbreast chasing Butterfly *108. Song for the Spinning-wheel *109. Hint from the Mountains *110. On seeing a Needle-case, &c. *111. The Contrast *112. The Danish Boy *113. Song for the Wandering Jew *114. Stray Pleasures *115. The Pilgrim's Dream, &c. *116. The Poet and Turtle-dove *117. A Wren's Nest *118. Love lies bleeding *119. Rural Illusions *120. Kitten and falling Leaves 121. The Waggoner: Dedication *122. The Waggoner 123. Benjamin the Waggoner 124. The Dor-Hawk 125. Helmcrag 126. Merrynight 127. Ghimmer-Crag
VI. Poems of the Imagination.
*128. There was a Boy, &c. *129. To the Cuckoo *130. A Night-piece *131. Yew-trees *132. Nutting *133. She was a Phantom of Delight *134. The Nightingale *135. Three Years she grew 136. I wandered lonely, &c. 137. The Daffodils *138. The Reverie of poor Susan *139. Power of Music *140. Star-gazers *141. Written in March *142. Beggars *143. Gipsies *144. Ruth *145. Resolution and Independence *146. The Thorn 147. Hart-Leap Well 148. Ibid. 149. Song at Feast of Brougham Castle *150. Ibid. 151. Sir John Beaumont 152. The undying Fish of Bowscale Tarn 153. The Cliffords *154. Tintern Abbey *155. It is no spirit, &c. 156. French Revolution 157. Yes, it was the Mountain Echo 158. To a Skylark *159. Laodamia 160. Withered Trees *161. Dion 162. Fair is the Swan, &c. *163. The Pass of Kirkstone *164. To —— *165. To a Young Lady *166. Water-fowl *167. View from Black Comb *168. The Haunted Tree *169. The Triad 170. The Wishing-gate 171. The Wishing-gate destroyed *172. The Primrose of the Rock *173. Presentiments *174. Vernal Ode *175. Devotional Incitements *176. The Cuckoo-Clock *177. To the Clouds *178. Suggested by a Picture of the Bird of Paradise *179. A Jewish Family *180. On the Power of Sound 181. Peter Bell: a Tale 182. Peter Bell: the Poem
VII. Miscellaneous Sonnets: Part I.
*183. Commencement of writing of Sonnets 184. Admonition *185. Sonnet iv. Beaumont, &c. *186. " vi. There is, &c. *187. " viii. The fairest, &c. 188. The Genius *189. Sonnet ix. Upon the sight, &c. *190. " xi. Aerial Rock *191. " xv. The Wild Duck's Nest *192. " xix. Grief, &c. *193. " xxii. Decay of Piety *194. " xxiv. to xxvi. *195. " xxvii. Surprised, &c. *196. " xxviii. and xxix. *197. " xxx. It is, &c. *198. " xxxvi. Calvert, &c.
*199. " iv. From the dark, &c. *200. " v. Fool, &c. *201. " vi. I watch, &c. 202. " vii. The ungenial Hollow 203. Sonnet viii. For the whole weight *204. " x. Mark, &c. *205. " xi. Dark, &c. *206. " xiii. While not, &c. *207. " xiv. How clear, &c. *208. " xv. One who, &c. *209. " xviii. Lady, &c. *210. " xix. There is a pleasure, &c. *211. " xxix. Though narrow, &c. *212. " xxx. Four fiery, &c. *213. " xxxi. Brook, &c. *214. " xxxiii. to xxxv.
*215. " vi. Fame tells, &c. *216. " vii. Where lively ground, &c. *217. " ix. A stream, &c. 218. " xi. In the Woods of Rydal *219. " xiii. While Anna's peers, &c. *220. " xvi. Unquiet childhood, &c. *222. " xvii. Such age, &c. *223. " xviii. Rotha, &c. 224. The Rotha *225. Sonnet xix. Miserrimus *226. " xx. While poring, &c. *227. " xxi. Chatsworth, &c. *228. " xxii. 'Tis said, &c. *229. " xxiii. Untouched, &c. *230. " xxiv. Go, &c. *231. " xxv. Why art, &c. *232. " xxvi. Haydon, &c. *233. " xxvii. A poet, &c. *234. " xxviii. The most, &c. *235. " xxix. By Art's, &c. *236. " xxxii. All praise, &c. *237. " xxxvi. Oh, what, &c. *238. " xxxvii. Intent, &c. 239. " xlii. Wansfel 240. " xliii. A little rural town
VIII. Memorials of a Tour in Scotland, 1803.
*241. Setting out *242. To the Sons of Burns, &c. 243. Ellen Irwin, &c. *244. To a Highland Girl 245. Stepping Westward *246. Address to Kilchurn Castle. *247. Rob Roy's Grave *248. Sonnet composed at —— Castle 249. Yarrow Unvisited 250. The Matron of Jedborough, &c. *251. Sonnet, Fly, &c. *252. The Blind Highland Boy
IX. Memorials of a Second Tour in Scotland, 1814.
*253. Suggested by a beautiful Ruin, &c. *254. At Corra Linn *255. Effusion, &c. *256. Yarrow Visited
X. Poems dedicated to National Independence and Liberty.
257. Robert Jones 258. I grieved, &c. 259. The King of Sweden, &c. *260. Sept. 1, 1802 *261. Two Voices are there, &c. *262. O Friend, &c. *263. War in Spain *264. Zaragossa *265. Lines on expected Invasion 266. Fulke Greville, Lord Brooke 267. Oak of Guernica 268. Thanksgiving Ode *269. Ibid. 270. Spenser
XI. Memorials of a Tour on the Continent, 1820.
*271. Introductory Remarks 272. Fishwomen of Calais *273. Incident at Bruges 274. Between Namur and Liege 275. Miserere Domine 276. The Danube 277. The Staub-bach 278. Memorial, &c. 279. Engelberg 280. Our Lady of the Snow 281. Tower of Tell at Altorf 282. Schwytz 283. Church of San Salvador 284. Arnold Winkelried 285. The Last Supper 286. Statues on Milan Cathedral 287. A Religious Procession 288. Elegiac Stanzas 289. Mount Righi 290. Tower of Caligula 291. Herds of Cattle 292. The Forks 292a. The Landenberg 293. Pictures in Bridges, &c. *294. At Dover
XII. Memorials of a Tour in Italy, 1837.
*295. Introductory Remarks 296. Ibid. *297. Musings at Aquapendente 298. Scott and Tasso 299. Over waves, &c. 300. How lovely, &c. 301. This flowering Broom, &c. 302. The Religious Movement, &c. 302a. Pine-tree of Monte Mario 303. Is this, ye Gods 304. At Rome *305. At Albano *306. Cuckoo at Laverna 307. Camaldoli 308. Monk-visitors *309. At Vallombrosa *310. At Florence *311. The Baptist *312. Florence *312a. Convent in the Apennines *313. After leaving Italy *314. At Rydal, 1838 *315. Pillar of Trajan *316. The Egyptian Maid
XIII. The River Duddon, &c.
317. Introduction 318. The River Duddon 319. Sonnets on the Duddon 320. The Wild Strawberry 321. Return, &c. 322. Memoir of Walker 323. Milton 324. White Doe of Rylstone, &c. *325. Ibid. 326. Hazlitt 327. Bolton Abbey 328. Lady Aaeliza 328a. Brancepeth 329. Battle of the Standard 330. Bells of Rylstone 331. Rock-encircled Pound
XIV. Ecclesiastical Sonnets.
332. Advertisement *333. Introductory Remarks 334. St. Paul never in Britain 335. Water-fowl 336. Hill at St. Alban's 337. Hallelujahs 338. Daniel and Fuller 339. Old Bangor 340. Paulinus 341. Edwin and the Sparrow 342. Near fresh Streams 343. The Clergy 343a. Bede 344. Zeal 345. Alfred 346. Crown and Cowl 347. Council of Clermont 348. Cistertian Monastery 349. Waldenses 350. Borrowed Lines 351. Transfiguration 352. Craft 353. The Virgin Mountain 354. Land 355. Pilgrim Fathers 356. The Clergyman 357. Rush-bearing 358. George Dyer 359. Apprehension 360. The Cross 361. Monte Rosa
XV. Yarrow Revisited, &c.
362. Dedication *363. Yarrow Revisited *363a. Ibid. *364. Place of Burial, &c. *365. A Manse in Scotland *366. Roslin Chapel *367. The Trosachs *368. Lock Etive Glen 369. Eagles *370. Sound of Mull 371. Shepherds 372. Highland Broach 373. The Brownie *374. Bothwell Castle *375. The Avon *376. Inglewood Forest 377. Hart's-Horn Tree 378. Fancy and Tradition 379. Countess' Pillar
XVI. Evening Voluntaries.
380. Sixty-third Birthday *381. By the Sea-side 382. Not in the lucid, &c. 383. The leaves, &c. 384. Impromptu *385. Evening of extraordinary Splendour 386. Alston 387. Mountain-ridges
XVII. Poems composed in Tour of 1833.
388. Advertisement 389. The Greta 390. Brigham Church *391. Nun's Well, Brigham *392. To a Friend 393. Mary Queen of Scots *394. " " 395. St. Bees and C. Smith 396. Requiems. 397. Sir William Hillary 398. Isle of Man *399. " 400. By a retired Mariner *401. At Bala Sala *402. Tynwald Hill 403. Snafell 404. Eagle in Mosaic *405. Frith of Clyde, &c. 406. " " 407. Mosgiel *408. Macpherson's 'Ossian' 409. Cave of Staffa 410. Ox-eyed Daisy 411. Iona 412. Eden 413. " *414. Mrs. Howard 415. Nunnery 416. Corby *417. Druidical Monument *418. Lowther 419. Earl of Lonsdale *420. The Somnambulist
XVIII. Poems of Sentiment, &c.
421. Expostulation and Reply 422. The Tables turned *423. Lines written in early Spring *424. A Character *425. To my Sister *426. Simon Lee *427. Germany, 1798-9 *428. To the Daisy 429. Matthew *430. " 431. Personal Talk *432. Spade of a Friend *433. A Night Thought *434. An Incident, &c. 435. Tribute, &c. 436. Fidelity *437. Ode to Duty *438. Happy Warrior *439. The Force of Prayer *440. A Fact, &c. *441. A little onward 442. Ode to Lycoris *443. Ibid. *444. Memory *445. This Lawn *446. Humanity. *447. Thought on the Seasons *448. To ——, &c. *449. The Warning *450. The Labourer's Noon-day Hymn *451. May Morning *452. Portrait by Stone *453. Bird of Paradise
XIX. Sonnets dedicated to Liberty.
454. Change 455. American Repudiation 456. To the Pennsylvanians *457. Feel for the Wrongs, &c. 458. Punishment of Death
XX. Miscellaneous Poems.
459. Epistle to Beaumont *460. Upon perusing the Foregoing, &c. 461. Ibid. *462. Gold and Silver Fishes *463. Liberty 464. " 465. Poor Robin *466. Ibid. *467. Lady le Fleming *468. To a Redbreast *469. Floating Island *470. Once I could hail, &c. *471. The Gleaner 472. Nightshade 473. Churches—East and West 474. Horn of Egremont Castle *475. Goody Blake, &c. *476. To a Child *477. Lines in an Album, &c. 478. The Russian Fugitive *479. Ibid.
*480 to 486
XXII. Selections from Chaucer modernised.
487. Of the Volume, &c 488. The Prioress's Tale
XXIII. Poems referring to Old Age.
489. The Old Cumberland Beggar *490. Ibid. 491 and 492. Farmer of Tilsbury Vale 493. The small Celandine *494. The two Thieves *495. Animal Tranquillity, &c.
XXIV. Epitaphs and Elegiac Pieces.
*496. From Chiabrera *497. By a blest Husband, &c. 498. Cenotaph *499. Epitaph, &c. *500. Address to Scholars *501. Elegiac Stanzas, &c. 502. Elegiac Verses 503. Moss Campion 504. Lines 189 *505. Invocation to the Earth *506. Elegiac Stanzas *507. Elegiac Musings 508. Charles Lamb *509. Ibid. *510. James Hogg, Mrs. Hemans, &c. 511. Dead Friends *512. Ode: Intimations of Immortality, &c.
XXV. The Excursion.
*513. On the leading Characters and Scenes 514. The Aristocracy of Nature 515. Eternity 516. Of Mississippi, &c. 517. Richard Baxter 518. Endowment of Immortal Power, &c. 519. Samuel Daniel, &c. 520. Spires 521. Sycamores 522. The Transitory 523. Dyer and The Fleece 524. Dr. Bell
II. LETTERS AND EXTRACTS FROM LETTERS.
1. Autobiographical Memoranda, &c. 2. Schoolmistress 3. Books and Reading 4. Tour on the Continent, 1790: Letter to Miss Wordsworth 5. In Wales 6. Melancholy of a Friend 7. Holy Orders 8. The French Revolution 9. Failure of Louvet's Denunciation of Robespierre 10. Of inflammatory political Opinions 11. At Milkhouse, Halifax; 'Not to take orders' 12. Literary Work, &c. 13. Employment on a London Newspaper 14. Raisley Calvert's Last Illness 15. Family History 16. Reading 17. Satire: Juvenal, &c., 1795 18. Visit to Thelwall 19. Poetry added to, 1798 20. On the Wye 21. At Home again 22. Early Visit to the Lake District 23. On a Tour, 1799 24. At the Lakes: Letter to Coleridge 25. Inconsistent Opinions on Poems 26. On his Scottish Tour: To Scott 27. The Grove: Capt. Wordsworth 28. Spenser and Milton 29. Death of Capt. Wordsworth 30. Of Dryden: To Scott 31. Of Marmion 32. Topographical History 33. The War in Spain, &c. 34, 35, 36. The Convention of Cintra 37. Home at Grasmere *38. On Education of the Young 39. Roman Catholics, &c. 40. Death of Children 41. Letter of Introduction: Humour 42. The Peninsular War 43. Of Southey 44. Of alleged Changes in political Opinions 45. Of his Poems, &c. 46. Of Thanksgiving Ode, &c. 47. Of Poems in Stanzas 48 and 49. The Classics: Aeneid, &c. 50. Tour on the Continent, 1820 51. Shakspeare's Cliff at Dover 52. Of Affairs on the Continent, 1828 *53. Style: Francis Edgeworth, &c. 54. Of the Icon Basilike, &c. 55. Of the R. Catholic Question 56. Of the R.C. Emancipation Bill 57. Of Ireland and the Poor Laws 58. Of Lonsdale: Virgil, &c. 59. Poems of Moxon *60. Of Hamilton's, 'It haunts,' &c. 61. Of Collins, Dyer, &c. 62. Verses and Counsels 63. Annuals and Roguery 64. Works of Peele, &c. 65. Lady Winchelsea, Tickell, &c. *66. Hamilton's 'Spirit of Beauty,' &c. 67. Play, Home, &c. 68. Summer, Quillinan, &c. 69. Works of Webster, &c. 70. French Revolution, 1830 *71. Nonsense: Rotten Boroughs, &c. *72. Verses: Edgeworth, &c. 73. Tour in Scotland 74. Sir Walter Scott 75. Of writing more Prose 76. Of Poetry and Prose, &c. 77. Of the Reform Bill 78. Of political Affairs 79. Family Affliction, &c. *80. Illness of Sister, &c. 81. Lucretia Davidson, &c. 82. Tuition at the University 83. Dissenters in University 84. Skelton 85. James Shirley 86. Literary Criticism, &c. 87. Of Elia, &c. 88. English Sonnets, &c. 89. Lady Winchelsea, &c. 90. Popularity of Poetry 91. Sonnets and Female Poets, &c. 92. Mrs. Hemans' Dedication 93. Verse-attempts 94. Mrs. Hemans' Poems 95. Church of England 96. Omnipresence of the Deity 97. and 98. New Church at Cockermouth *99. Classic Scenes: Holy Land 100. American ed. of Poems 101. Quillinan's Poems 102. On a Tour 103. Bentley and Akenside *104. Presidency of Royal Irish Academy, &c. *105. Prose-writing: Coleridge, &c. 106. Of his own Poems, &c. 107. In the Sheldonian Theatre 108. New edition of Poems 109 and 110. Death of a Nephew 111. On Death of a young Person 112. Religion and versified Religion 113. Sacred Poetry 114. Visit of Queen Adelaide 115. Ecclesiastical Duties and Revenues Act, &c. 116. Samuel Rogers and Wordsworth 117. An alarming Accident 118. Of Alston and Haydon, &c. 119. Of Peace's Apology for Cathedrals 120. Of Cowper's Task 121. On a Tour 122. Marriage of Dora 123. Letters to Brother 124. Episcopal Church of America: Emerson and Carlyle 125. Old Haunts revisited 126. No Pension sought 127. The Master of Trinity 128. Alston's Portrait of Coleridge 129. Southey's Death 130. Tropical Scenery: Grace Darling 131. Contemporary Poets: Southey's Death, &c. 132. The Laureateship *133. The same: Landor, &c. 134. Alston: Home Occupations 135. Socinianism 136. Sacred Hymns 137. Bereavements 138. Birthday in America, &c. 139. Class-fellows and School-fellows 140. From Home: Queen, &c. 141. The Laureateship: Tennyson, &c. 142. Poems of Imagination, &c. 143. Of the College of Maynooth, &c. 144. Of the Heresiarch Church of Rome 145. Family Trials 146. Bishop White: Mormonites, &c. 147. Governor Malartie: Lord Rector, &c. 148 and 149. Death of Dora 150. To John Peace, Esq. 151. A Servant's Illness and Death 152. Humility
III. CONVERSATIONS AND PERSONAL REMINISCENCES OF WORDSWORTH.
From 'Satyrane's Letters:' Klopstock Personal Reminiscences of the Hon. Mr. Justice Coleridge Recollections of a Tour in Italy, by H.C. Robinson Reminiscences of Lady Richardson and Mrs. Davy Conversations and Reminiscences recorded by the Bishop of Lincoln Reminiscences of the Rev. R.P. Graves On the Death of Coleridge Further Reminiscences and Memorabilia, by Rev. R.P. Graves An American's Reminiscences Recollections of Aubrey de Vere, Esq. From 'Recollections of the Last Days of Shelley and Byron,' by E.J. Trelawny, Esq. From Letters of Professor Tayler Anecdote of Crabbe Later Opinion of Lord Brougham
CRITICAL AND ETHICAL.
I. NOTES AND ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE POEMS, INCORPORATING
(a) THE NOTES ORIGINALLY ADDED TO THE FIRST AND SUCCESSIVE EDITIONS. (b) THE WHOLE OF THE I.F. MSS.
On these Notes and Illustrations, their sources and arrangement, &c., see our Preface, Vol. I. The star [*] marks those that belong to the I.F. MSS. G.
1. *Prefatory Lines.
'If thou indeed derive thy light from Heaven, Then to the measure of that heaven-born light, Shine, POET, in thy place, and be content:'—
'Like an untended watch-fire,' &c. (l. 10): These Verses were written some time after we had become resident at Rydal Mount; and I will take occasion from them to observe upon the beauty of that situation, as being backed and flanked by lofty fells, which bring the heavenly bodies to touch, as it were, the earth upon the mountain-tops, while the prospect in front lies open to a length of level valley, the extended lake, and a terminating ridge of low hills; so that it gives an opportunity to the inhabitants of the place of noticing the stars in both the positions here alluded to, namely, on the tops of the mountains, and as winter-lamps at a distance among the leafless trees.
2. *Prelude to the Last Volume. [As supra.]
These Verses were begun while I was on a visit to my son John at Brigham, and finished at Rydal. As the contents of this Volume to which they are now prefixed will be assigned to their respective classes when my Poems shall be collected in one Vol., I should be at a loss where with propriety to place this Prelude, being too restricted in its bearing to serve as a Preface for the whole. The lines towards the conclusion allude to the discontents then fomented thro' the country by the Agitators of the Anti-Corn-Law League: the particular causes of such troubles are transitory, but disposition to excite and liability to be excited, are nevertheless permanent and therefore proper objects of the Poet's regard.
I. POEMS WRITTEN IN YOUTH.
3. *Extract from the Conclusion of a Poem, composed in anticipation of leaving School.
'Dear native regions,' &c. 1786. Hawkshead. The beautiful image with which this poem concludes suggested itself to me while I was resting in a boat along with my companions under the shade of a magnificent row of sycamores, which then extended their branches from the shore of the promontory upon which stands the ancient and at that time the more picturesque Hall of Coniston, the Seat of the Le Flemings from very early times. The Poem of which it was the conclusion was of many hundred lines, and contained thoughts and images most of which have been dispersed through my other writings.
4. Of the Poems in this class, 'The Evening Walk' and 'Descriptive Sketches' were first published in 1793. They are reprinted with some alterations that were chiefly made very soon after their publication.
* * * * *
This notice, which was written some time ago, scarcely applies to the Poem, 'Descriptive Sketches,' as it now stands. The corrections, though numerous, are not, however, such as to prevent its retaining with propriety a place in the class of Juvenile Pieces.
5. *An Evening Walk. Addressed to a Young Lady. [III.]
The young lady to whom this was addressed was my sister. It was composed at School and during my first two college vacations. There is not an image in it which I have not observed; and, now in my seventy-third year, I recollect the time and place where most of them were noticed. I will confine myself to one instance.
'Waving his hat, the shepherd from the vale Directs his wandering dog the cliffs to scale; The dog bounds barking mid the glittering rocks, Hunts where his master points, the intercepted flocks.'
I was an eye-witness of this for the first time while crossing the pass of Dunmail Raise. Upon second thought, I will mention another image:
'And fronting the bright west, yon oak entwines Its darkening boughs and leaves in stronger lines.'
This is feebly and imperfectly exprest; but I recollect distinctly the very spot where this first struck me. It was on the way between Hawkshead and Ambleside, and gave me extreme pleasure. The moment was important in my poetical history; for I date from it my consciousness of the infinite variety of natural appearances which had been unnoticed by the poets of any age or country, so far as I was acquainted with them; and I made a resolution to supply in some degree the deficiency. I could not have been at that time above fourteen years of age. The description of the swans that follows, was taken from the daily opportunities I had of observing their habits, not as confined to the gentleman's park, but in a state of nature. There were two pairs of them that divided the lake of Esthwaite and its in-and-out-flowing streams between them, never trespassing a single yard upon each other's separate domain. They were of the old magnificent species, bearing in beauty and majesty about the same relation to the Thames swan which that does to a goose. It was from the remembrance of these noble creatures I took, thirty years after, the picture of the swan which I have discarded from the poem of 'Dion.' While I was a school-boy, the late Mr. Curwen introduced a little fleet of these birds, but of the inferior species, to the Lake of Windermere. Their principal home was about his own islands; but they sailed about into remote parts of the lake, and either from real or imagined injury done to the adjoining fields, they were got rid of at the request of the farmers and proprietors, but to the great regret of all who had become attached to them from noticing their beauty and quiet habits. I will conclude my notice of this poem by observing that the plan of it has not been confined to a particular walk, or an individual place; a proof (of which I was unconscious at the time) of my unwillingness to submit the poetic spirit to the chains of fact and real circumstance. The country is idealized rather than described in any one of its local aspects.
5a. Intake (l. 49).
'When horses in the sunburnt intake stood.'
The word intake is local, and signifies a mountain-enclosure.
6. Ghyll (l. 54).
'Brightens with water-brooks the hollow ghyll.'
Ghyll is also, I believe, a term confined to this country; ghyll and dingle have the same meaning.
7. Line 191.
'Gives one bright glance, and drops behind the hill.'
8. *Lines written while sailing in a Boat at Evening. [IV.]
1789. This title is scarcely correct. It was during a solitary walk on the banks of the Cam that I was first struck with this appearance, and applied it to my own feelings in the manner here expressed, changing the scene to the Thames, near Windsor. This, and the three stanzas of the following poem, 'Remembrance of Collins,' formed one piece; but upon the recommendation of Coleridge, the three last stanzas were separated from the other.
9. Descriptive Sketches taken during a Pedestrian Tour among the Alps. [VI.]
TO THE REV. ROBERT JONES, FELLOW OF ST. JOHN'S COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE.
DEAR SIR,—However desirous I might have been of giving you proofs of the high place you hold in my esteem, I should have been cautious of wounding your delicacy by thus publicly addressing you, had not the circumstance of our having been companions among the Alps seemed to give this dedication a propriety sufficient to do away any scruples which your modesty might otherwise have suggested.
In inscribing this little work to you, I consult my heart. You know well how great is the difference between two companions lolling in a post-chaise, and two travellers plodding slowly along the road, side by side, each with his little knapsack of necessaries upon his shoulders. How much more of heart between the two latter!
I am happy in being conscious that I shall have one reader who will approach the conclusion of these few pages with regret. You they must certainly interest, in reminding you of moments to which you can hardly look back without a pleasure not the less dear from a shade of melancholy. You will meet with few images without recollecting the spot where we observed them together; consequently, whatever is feeble in my design, or spiritless in my colouring, will be amply supplied by your own memory.
With still greater propriety I might have inscribed to you a description of some of the features of your native mountains, through which we have wandered together, in the same manner, with so much pleasure. But the sea-sunsets, which give such splendour to the vale of Clwyd, Snowdon, the chair of Idris, the quiet village of Bethgelert, Menai and her Druids, the Alpine steeps of the Conway, and the still more interesting windings of the wizard stream of the Dee, remain yet untouched. Apprehensive that my pencil may never be exercised on these subjects, I cannot let slip this opportunity of thus publicly assuring you with how much affection and esteem
I am, dear Sir, Most sincerely yours, W. WORDSWORTH.
10. *Descriptive Sketches.
1791-2. Much the greatest part of this poem was composed during my walks upon the banks of the Loire, in the years 1791, 1792. I will only notice that the description of the valley filled with mist, beginning 'In solemn shapes,' &c. was taken from that beautiful region, of which the principal features are Lungarn and Sarnen. Nothing that I ever saw in Nature left a more delightful impression on my mind than that which I have attempted, alas how feebly! to convey to others in these lines. Those two lakes have always interested me, especially from bearing, in their size and other features, a resemblance to those of the North of England. It is much to be deplored that a district so beautiful should be so unhealthy as it is.
11. The Cross. 'The Cross, by angels planted on the aerial rock' (I. 70). Alluding to the crosses seen on the spiry rocks of Chartreuse.
12. Rivers. 'Along the mystic streams of Life and Death' (I. 71). Names of rivers at the Chartreuse.
13. Vallombre. 'Vallombre, 'mid her falling fanes' (I. 74). Name of one of the valleys of the Chartreuse.
14. Sugh. 'Beneath the cliffs, and pine-wood's steady sugh' (I. 358). Sugh, a Scotch word expressive of the sound of the wind through the trees.
15. Pikes. 'And Pikes of darkness named and fear and storms' (I. 471). As Schreck-Horn, the pike of terror, Wetter-horn, the pike of storms, &c. &c.
16. Shrine. 'Ensiedlen's wretched fane' (I. 545). This shrine is resorted to, from a hope of relief, by multitudes, from every corner of the Catholic world, labouring under mental or bodily afflictions.
17. Sourd. 'Sole sound, the Sourd prolongs his mournful cry!' (I. 618.) An insect so called, which emits a short melancholy cry, heard at the close of the Summer evenings, on the banks of the Loire.
18. *Lines left upon a Seat in a Yew-tree, which stands near the Lake of Esthwaite, on a desolate Part of the Shore, commanding a beautiful Prospect.[VII.]
Composed in part at school at Hawkshead. The tree has disappeared, and the slip of Common on which it stood, that ran parallel to the lake, and lay open to it, has long been enclosed, so that the road has lost much of its attraction. This spot was my favourite walk in the evenings during the latter part of my school-time. The individual whose habits and character are here given was a gentleman of the neighbourhood, a man of talent and learning, who had been educated at one of our universities, and returned to pass his time in seclusion on his own estate. He died a bachelor in middle age. Induced by the beauty of the prospect, he built a small summer-house on the rocks above the peninsula on which the ferry-house stands. [In pencil here—Query, Mr. Nott?]
This property afterwards past into the hands of the late Mr. Curwen. The site was long ago pointed out by Mr. West in his Guide as the pride of the Lakes, and now goes by the name of 'The Station.' So much used I to be delighted with the view from it, while a little boy, that some years before the first pleasure-house was built, I led thither from Hawkshead a youngster about my own age, an Irish boy, who was a servant to an itinerant conjuror. My motive was to witness the pleasure I expected the boy would receive from the prospect of the islands below, and the intermingling water. I was not disappointed; and I hope the fact, insignificant as it may seem to some, may be thought worthy of note by others who may cast their eye over these notes.
19. Guilt and Sorrow; or Incidents upon Salisbury Plain.[VIII.]
ADVERTISEMENT, PREFIXED TO THE FIRST EDITION OF THIS POEM, PUBLISHED IN 1842.
Not less than one-third of the following poem, though it has from time to time been altered in the expression, was published so far back as the year 1798, under the title of 'The Female Vagrant.' The extract is of such length that an apology seems to be required for reprinting it here: but it was necessary to restore it to its original position, or the rest would have been unintelligible. The whole was written before the close of the year 1794, and I will detail, rather as a matter of literary biography than for any other reason, the circumstances under which it was produced.
During the latter part of the summer of 1793, having passed a month in the Isle of Wight, in view of the fleet which was then preparing for sea off Portsmouth at the commencement of the war, I left the place with melancholy forebodings. The American war was still fresh in memory. The struggle which was beginning, and which many thought would be brought to a speedy close by the irresistible arms of Great Britain being added to those of the Allies, I was assured in my own mind would be of long continuance, and productive of distress and misery beyond all possible calculation. This conviction was pressed upon me by having been a witness, during a long residence in revolutionary France, of the spirit which prevailed in that country. After leaving the Isle of Wight, I spent two days in wandering on foot over Salisbury Plain, which, though cultivation was then widely spread through parts of it, had upon the whole a still more impressive appearance than it now retains.
The monuments and traces of antiquity, scattered in abundance over that region, led me unavoidably to compare what we know or guess of those remote times with certain aspects of modern society, and with calamities, principally those consequent upon war, to which, more than other classes of men, the poor are subject. In those reflections, joined with particular facts that had come to my knowledge, the following stanzas originated.
In conclusion, to obviate some distraction in the minds of those who are well acquainted with Salisbury Plain, it may be proper to say, that of the features described as belonging to it, one or two are taken from other desolate parts of England.
20. *The Female Vagrant.
I find the date of this is placed in 1792 in contradiction, by mistake, to what I have asserted in 'Guilt and Sorrow.' The correct date is 1793-4. The chief incidents of it, more particularly her description of her feelings on the Atlantic, are taken from life.
21. *Guilt and Sorrow; or Incidents upon Salisbury Plain. [VIII.]
Unwilling to be unnecessarily particular, I have assigned this poem to the dates 1793 and 1794; but, in fact, much of the Female Vagrant's story was composed at least two years before. All that relates to her sufferings as a soldier's wife in America, and her condition of mind during her voyage home, were faithfully taken from the report made to me of her own case by a friend who had been subjected to the same trials, and affected in the same way. Mr. Coleridge, when I first became acquainted with him, was so much impressed with this poem, that it would have encouraged me to publish the whole as it then stood; but the Mariner's fate appeared to me so tragical, as to require a treatment more subdued, and yet more strictly applicable in expression, than I had at first given to it. This fault was corrected nearly fifty years afterwards, when I determined to publish the whole. It may be worth while to remark, that though the incidents of this attempt do only in a small degree produce each other, and it deviates accordingly from the general rule by which narrative pieces ought to be governed, it is not therefore wanting in continuous hold upon the mind, or in unity, which is effected by the identity of moral interest that places the two personages upon the same footing in the reader's sympathies. My ramble over many parts of Salisbury Plain put me, as mentioned in the preface, upon writing this poem, and left upon my mind imaginative impressions the force of which I have felt to this day. From that district I proceeded to Bath, Bristol, and so on to the banks of the Wye; when I took again to travelling on foot. In remembrance of that part of my journey, which was in 1793, I began the verses,