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.

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VARIANTS ON THE TEXT

[Variant 1: 

1802.

    Auld 1798.]

[Variant 2: 

1836

   —­This woman dwelt in Dorsetshire,
    Her hut was on a cold hill-side,
    And in that country coals are dear,
    For they come far by wind and tide. 1798.

    Remote from sheltering village green,
    Upon a bleak hill-side, she dwelt,
    Where from sea-blasts the hawthorns lean,
    And hoary dews are slow to melt. 1820.

    On a hill’s northern side she dwelt. 1827.]

[Variant 3.

1820.

    ... dwelt ... 1798.]

[Variant 4.

1827.

    ... wood ... 1798]

[Variant 5.

1836.

    And ... 1798.]

[Variant 6.

1827.

    The bye-road ... 1798.]

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FOOTNOTE ON THE TEXT

[Footnote A:  Compare the many entries about “gathering sticks” in the Alfoxden woods, in Dorothy Wordsworth’s Journal.—­Ed.]

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HER EYES ARE WILD

Composed 1798.—­Published 1798.

  [Written at Alfoxden.  The subject was reported to me by a lady of
  Bristol, who had seen the poor creature.—­I.  F.]

From 1798 to 1805 this poem was published under the title of ’The Mad Mother’.

In the editions of 1815 and 1820 it was ranked as one of the “Poems founded on the Affections.”  In the editions of 1827 and 1832, it was classed as one of the “Poems of the Imagination.”  In 1836 and afterwards, it was replaced among the “Poems founded on the Affections.”—­Ed.

I Her eyes are wild, her head is bare,
            The sun has burnt her coal-black hair;
            Her eyebrows have a rusty stain,
            And she came far from over the main. 
            She has a baby on her arm, 5
            Or else she were alone: 
            And underneath the hay-stack warm,
            And on the greenwood stone,
            She talked and sung the woods among,
            And it was in the English tongue. 10

II “Sweet babe! they say that I am mad
            But nay, my heart is far too glad;
            And I am happy when I sing
            Full many a sad and doleful thing: 
            Then, lovely baby, do not fear! 15
            I pray thee have no fear of me;
            But safe as in a cradle, here
            My lovely baby! thou shalt be: 
            To thee I know too much I owe;
            I cannot work thee any woe. 20

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