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.
A whirl-blast from behind the hill Rushed o’er the wood with startling sound; Then—­all at once the air was still, And showers of hailstones pattered round.  Where leafless oaks towered high above, 5 I sat within an undergrove Of tallest hollies, tall and green; A fairer bower was never seen.  From year to year the spacious floor With withered leaves is covered o’er, 10 [1] And all the year the bower is green. [C] But see! where’er the hailstones drop The withered leaves all skip and hop; There’s not a breeze—­no breath of air—­ Yet here, and there, and every where 15 Along the floor, beneath the shade By those embowering hollies made, The leaves in myriads jump and spring, As if with pipes and music rare Some Robin Good-fellow were there, 20 And all those leaves, in festive glee, Were dancing to the minstrelsy. [2] [3] [D]

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[Variant 1: 


    You could not lay a hair between: 

Inserted in the editions 1800-1815.]

[Variant 2: 


    And all those leaves, that jump and spring,
    Were each a joyous, living thing. 1800.]

[Variant 3:  The following additional lines occur in the editions 1800 to 1805: 

    Oh! grant me Heaven a heart at ease
    That I may never cease to find,
    Even in appearances like these
    Enough to nourish and to stir my mind!]

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[Footnote A:  Dorothy Wordsworth’s Journal gives the date 1798, and in the spring of 1799 the Wordsworths were not at Alfoxden but in Germany.—­Ed.]

[Footnote B:  The friends were Mrs. Wordsworth, Miss Fenwick, Edward and Dora Quillinan, and William Wordsworth (the poet’s son).  The date was May 13, 1841.—­Ed.]

[Footnote C:  Compare a letter from Wordsworth to Sir George Beaumont, written in November 1806, and one to Lady Beaumont in December 1806.—­Ed.]

[Footnote D: 

“March 18, 1708.  The Coleridges left us.  A cold windy morning.  Walked with them half-way.  On our return, sheltered under the hollies during a hail shower.  The withered leaves danced with the hailstones.  William wrote a description of the storm”

(Dorothy Wordsworth’s Alfoxden Journal).—­Ed.]

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Composed March 19, 1798.—­Published 1798.

In the editions of 1800-1805, Wordsworth added the following note to this poem: 

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