The Poetical Works of William Wordsworth — Volume 1 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 540 pages of information about The Poetical Works of William Wordsworth — Volume 1.

  The Soldier’s Widow lingered in the cot; 640
  And, when he rose, he thanked her pious care
  Through which his Wife, to that kind shelter brought,
  Died in his arms; and with those thanks a prayer
  He breathed for her, and for that merciful pair. 
  The corse interred, not one hour he remained 645
  Beneath their roof, but to the open air
  A burthen, now with fortitude sustained,
  He bore within a breast where dreadful quiet reigned.


  Confirmed of purpose, fearlessly prepared
  For act and suffering, to the city straight 650
  He journeyed, and forthwith his crime declared: 
  “And from your doom,” he added, “now I wait,
  Nor let it linger long, the murderer’s fate.” 
  Not ineffectual was that piteous claim: 
  “O welcome sentence which will end though late,” 655
  He said, “the pangs that to my conscience came
  Out of that deed.  My trust, Saviour! is in thy name!”


  His fate was pitied.  Him in iron case
  (Reader, forgive the intolerable thought)
  They hung not:—­no one on his form or face 660
  Could gaze, as on a show by idlers sought;
  No kindred sufferer, to his death-place brought
  By lawless curiosity or chance,
  When into storm the evening sky is wrought,
  Upon his swinging corse an eye can glance, 665
  And drop, as he once dropped, in miserable trance.

* * * * *


[Variant 1: 


Three years ... 1842.]

[Variant 2: 


    ... rose and pursued ... 1842.]

[Variant 3: 


    ... demoniac ... 1842.]

[Variant 4: 


    Than he who now at night-fall treads thy bare domain! 1842.]

[Variant 5: 


    And, from its perilous shelter driven, ... 1842.]

[Variant 6:  The following stanza was only in the editions of 1798 and 1800: 

    By Derwent’s side my Father’s cottage stood,
    (The Woman thus her artless story told)
    One field, a flock, and what the neighbouring flood
    Supplied, to him were more than mines of gold. 
    Light was my sleep; my days in transport roll’d: 
    With thoughtless joy I stretch’d along the shore
    My father’s nets, or watched, when from the fold
    High o’er the cliffs I led my fleecy store,
    A dizzy depth below! his boat and twinkling oar. 1798.

    ... or from the mountain fold
    Saw on the distant lake his twinkling oar
    Or watch’d his lazy boat still less’ning more and more. 1800.]

Project Gutenberg
The Poetical Works of William Wordsworth — Volume 1 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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