The Poetical Works of William Wordsworth — Volume 1 eBook

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This was stanza v. from 1798 to 1820.

    And, as we talked, I questioned him, 1827.]

[Variant 8: 

1827.

    “My little boy, which like you more,”
    I said and took him by the arm—­
    “Our home by Kilve’s delightful shore,
    Or here at Liswyn farm?”

    “And tell me, had you rather be,”
    I said and held him by the arm,
    “At Kilve’s smooth shore by the green sea,
    Or here at Liswyn farm?” 1798.

These two stanzas were compressed into one in 1827.]

[Variant 9: 

1836.

    For, here are woods and green-hills warm; 1798.]

[Variant 10: 

1800.

    At this, my boy, so fair and slim,
    Hung down his head, nor made reply; 1798.]

[Variant 11: 

1845.

    And five times did I say to him, 1798.

    And five times to the child I said, 1800.]

[Variant 12: 

1836.

    And thus to me he made reply; 1798.]

* * * * *

FOOTNOTES ON THE TEXT

[Footnote A:  See Appendix IV.—­Ed.]

[Footnote B:  Mr. Ernest H. Coleridge writes to me of this poem: 

  “The Fenwick note is most puzzling.

  1.  If Coleridge went to visit Thelwall, with Wordsworth and Dorothy in
  July 1798, this is the only record; but I suppose that he did.

2.  How could the poem have been suggested in front of Alfoxden?  The visit to Liswyn took place after the Wordsworths had left Alfoxden never to return.  If little Montagu ever did compare Kilve and Liswyn Farm, he must have done so after he left Alfoxden.  The scene is laid at Liswyn, and if the poem was written at Alfoxden, before the party visited Liswyn, the supposed reply was invented to a supposed question which might be put to the child when he got to Liswyn.  How unlike Wordsworth.

  3.  Thelwall came to Alfoxden at the commencement of Wordsworth’s
  tenancy; and the visit to Wales took place when the tenancy was over,
  July 3-10.”

Ed.]

* * * * *

“A WHIRL-BLAST FROM BEHIND THE HILL”

Composed March 18, 1798.—­Published 1800.

[Observed in the holly-grove at Alfoxden, where these verses were written in the spring of 1799. [A] I had the pleasure of again seeing, with dear friends, this grove in unimpaired beauty forty-one years after. [B]—­I.  F.]

Classed among the “Poems of the Fancy.”—­Ed.

* * * * *

THE POEM

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