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.

[Variant 13: 


    Alas! ’tis very little, all
    Which they can ... 1798.

    That they can ... 1837.]

[Variant 14: 


    His poor old ancles swell. 1798.]

[Variant 15: 


    And I’m afraid ... 1798.]

[Variant 16: 


    I hope you’ll ... 1798.]

[Variant 17: 


    ... think,

In the editions 1832 to 1843.]

[Variant 18: 


    About the root ... 1798.]

[Variant 19: 


    Has oftner ... 1798.

    Has oftener ... 1805.]

* * * * *


[Footnote A:  Note that the phrase:  ‘But oh the heavy change,’ occurs in Milton’s ‘Lycidas’. (Professor Dowden.) See ‘Lycidas’, l. 37.—­Ed.]

[Footnote B:  Compare Shakspeare’s Sonnet, No. xxx.: 

  When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
  I summon up remembrance of things past;

and in Spenser’s ’An epitaph upon the Right Honourable Sir Phillip Sidney, Knight; Lord governor of Flushing.’

  Farewell, self-pleasing thoughts, which quietness brings forth.


[Footnote C:  See Appendix VI. to this volume.—­Ed.]

* * * * *


Composed 1798.—­Published 1798.

[Actually composed while I was sitting by the side of the brook that runs down from the ‘Comb’, in which stands the village of Alford, through the grounds of Alfoxden.  It was a chosen resort of mine.  The brook ran down a sloping rock, so as to make a waterfall, considerable for that county; and across the pool below had fallen a tree—­an ash if I rightly remember—­from which rose perpendicularly, boughs in search of the light intercepted by the deep shade above.  The boughs bore leaves of green, that for want of sunshine had faded into almost lily-white; and from the underside of this natural sylvan bridge depended long and beautiful tresses of ivy, which waved gently in the breeze, that might, poetically speaking, be called the breath of the waterfall.  This motion varied of course in proportion to the power of water in the brook.  When, with dear friends, I revisited this spot, after an interval of more than forty years, [A] this interesting feature of the scene was gone.  To the owner of the place I could not but regret that the beauty of this retired part of the grounds had not tempted him to make it more accessible by a path, not broad or obtrusive, but sufficient for persons who love such scenes to creep along without difficulty.—­I.  F.]

These ‘Lines’ were included among the “Poems of Sentiment and Reflection.”—­Ed.

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