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When Virtue weeps in agony of woe,
Teach from the heart the tender tear to flow;
If Pleasure's soothing song thy soul entice,
Or all the gaudy pomp of splendid Vice,
Arise superior to the Siren's power,

The wretch, the short-lived vision of an hour;
Soon fades her cheek, her blushing beauties fly,
As fades the chequer'd bow that paints the sky,


"So shall thy sire, whilst hope his breast inspires, And wakes anew life's glimmering trembling fires, Hear Britain's sons rehearse thy praise with joy, Look up to heaven, and bless his darling boy. 102 If e'er these precepts quell'd the passions' strife, If e'er they smooth'd the rugged walks of life, If e'er they pointed forth the blissful way That guides the spirit to eternal day, Do thou, if gratitude inspire thy breast, Spurn the soft fetters of lethargic rest.


Awake, awake! and snatch the slumbering lyre, 109 Let this bright morn and Sandys the song inspire.'

"I look'd obedience: the celestial Fair Smiled like the morn, and vanish'd into air."


From "The European Magazine,” vol. xi.—for 1787-p. 202. In a MS. note to a copy of "An Evening Walk," 1793, Wordsworth says, "This is the first of my Poems with the exception of a sonnet written when I was a school-boy and published in 'The European Magazine' in June or July, 1786, and signed Axiologus.'"-Knight, "Wordsworth's Poet. Works," vol. i. p. x.-ED.

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SHE wept.-Life's purple tide began to flow
In languid streams through every thrilling vein;
Dim were my swimming eyes-my pulse beat slow,
And my full heart was swell'd to dear delicious pain.
Life left my loaded heart, and closing eye;
A sigh recall'd the wanderer to my breast;
Dear was the pause of life, and dear the sigh


That call'd the wanderer home, and home to rest. That tear proclaims-in thee each virtue dwells, And bright will shine in misery's midnight hour; As the soft star of dewy evening tells 11 What radiant fires were drown'd by day's malignant pow'r,

That only wait the darkness of the night

To cheer the wand'ring wretch with hospitable light.



Sent in MS. by Dorothy Wordsworth to Miss Pollard in a letter dated Forncett, May 6, 1792. "It is only valuable to me," she writes, "because the lane which gave birth to it was the favourite evening walk of my dear William and me." First printed in Professor Knight's ed. of "Poet. Works," vol. iv. p. 23. -ED.

SWEET was the walk along the narrow lane
At noon, the bank and hedgerows all the way
Shagged with wild pale-green tufts of fragrant Hay,
Caught by the hawthorns from the loaded Wain,
Which Age, with many a slow stoop, strove to




And Childhood, seeming still more busy, took
His little rake with cunning sidelong look,
Sauntering to pluck the strawberries wild unseen.
Now too, on Melancholy's idle dreams
Musing, the lone spot with my soul agrees
Quiet and dark; for through the thick-wove trees
Scarce peeps the curious Star till solemn gleams
The clouded Moon, and calls me forth to stray
Through tall green silent woods and ruins grey.


Translated from some French stanzas signed “Anon” in "Anon" in "Poems by Francis Wrangham, M.A.," 1795; the translation being signed Wordsworth.”—ED.

WHEN Love was born of heavenly line,

What dire intrigues disturbed Cythera's joy!

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Till VENUS cried, "A mother's heart is mine ;
None but myself shall nurse my boy."

But, infant as he was, the child

In that divine embrace enchanted lay; And, by the beauty of the vase beguil'd, Forgot the beverage-and pin'd away.

"And must my offspring languish in my sight? (Alive to all a mother's pain,

The Queen of Beauty thus her court address'd) "No: Let the most discreet of all my train Receive him to her breast:

Think all, he is the God of young delight."

Then TENDERNESS with CANDOUR join'd,
And GAIETY the charming office sought;

Nor even DELICACY stayed behind :

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But none of those fair Graces brought Wherewith to nurse the child-and still he pin'd. Some fond hearts to COMPLIANCE seem'd inclin'd; But she had surely spoil'd the boy:

And sad experience forbade a thought

On the wild Goddess of VOLUPTUOUS JOY.


Long undecided lay th' important choice,
Till of the beauteous court, at length, a voice



Pronounced the name of HOPE:-The conscious

Stretched forth his little arms and smil'd.

Tis said ENJOYMENT (who averr'd
The charge belong'd to her alone)

Jealous that HOPE had been preferr'd


Laid snares to make the babe her own.

Of Innocence the garb she took,

The blushing mien and downcast look;
And came her services to proffer:

And HOPE (what has not HOPE believ'd!)
By that seducing air deceiv'd,
Accepted of the offer.


It happen'd that, to sleep inclin'd,
Deluded HOPE for one short hour
To that false INNOCENCE's power
Her little charge consign'd.


The Goddess then her lap with sweetmeats fill'd And gave, in handfuls gave, the treacherous


A wild delirium first the infant thrill'd;

But soon upon her breast he sunk-to wake no




Published in "Lyrical Ballads," 1798, and omitted after 1798.-ED.

THE glory of evening was spread through the west; -On the slope of a mountain I stood,

While the joy that precedes the calm season of


Rang loud through the meadow and wood.

"And must we then part from a dwelling so fair? In the pain of my spirit I said,

And with a deep sadness I turned, to repair
To the cell where the convict is laid.

The thick-ribbed walls that o'ershadow the gate
Resound; and the dungeons unfold :



I pause; and at length, through the glimmering


That outcast of pity behold.

His black matted hair on his shoulder is bent,

And deep is the sigh of his breath,

And with stedfast dejection his eyes are intent 15 On the fetters that link him to death.

"Tis sorrow enough on that visage to gaze, That body dismiss'd from his care;

Yet my fancy has pierced to his heart, and pour


More terrible images there.


His bones are consumed, and his life-blood is dried, With wishes the past to undo;

And his crime, through the pains that o'erwhelm him, descried,

Still blackens and grows on his view.

When from the dark synod, or blood-reeking field, To his chamber the monarch is led,

26 All soothers of sense their soft virtue shall yield, And quietness pillow his head.


But if grief, self-consumed, in oblivion would doze,
And conscience her tortures appease,
'Mid tumult and uproar this man must repose;
In the comfortless vault of disease.

When his fetters at night have so press'd on his limbs,

That the weight can no longer be borne,

If, while a half-slumber his memory bedims, 35 The wretch on his pallet should turn,

While the jail-mastiff howls at the dull clanking chain,

From the roots of his hair there shall start
A thousand sharp punctures of cold-sweating pain,
And terror shall leap at his heart.

But now he half-raises his deep-sunken eye,
And the motion unsettles a tear;
The silence of sorrow it seems to supply,
And asks of me why I am here.

"Poor victim! no idle intruder has stood



With o'erweening complacence our state to com


But one, whose first wish is the wish to be good,
Is come as a brother thy sorrows to share.

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