Imágenes de páginas

resided only two years in this house and during the last half of the time, which was after this poem had been written, we lost our two children, Thomas and Catherine. Our sorrow upon these events often brought it to my mind, and cast me upon the support to which the last line of it gives expression

"The appropriate calm of blest eternity."

It is scarcely necessary to add that we still possess the Picture.]
PRAISED be the Art whose subtle power could stay
Yon cloud, and fix it in that glorious shape;
Nor would permit the thin smoke to escape,
Nor those bright sunbeams to forsake the day;
Which stopped that band of travellers on their way,
Ere they were lost within the shady wood;
And showed the Bark upon the glassy flood
For ever anchored in her sheltering bay.

Soul-soothing Art; whom Morning, Noon-tide, Even,1
Do serve with all their changeful pageantry;
Thou, with ambition modest yet sublime,
Here, for the sight of mortal man, has given
To one brief moment caught from fleeting time
The appropriate calm of blest eternity.

Compare the Elegiac Stanzas, suggested by a picture of Peel Castle in a Storm, painted by Sir George Beaumont-especially the first three, and the fifth, sixth, and seventh stanzas.

In the letter written to Sir George Beaumont from Bootle, in 1811-referred to in the note to the previous poem-Wordsworth says, "A few days after I had enjoyed the pleasure of seeing, in different moods of mind, your Coleorton landscape from my fireside, it suggested to me the following sonnet, which-having walked out to the side of Grasmere brook, when it murmurs through the meadows near the Church-I composed immediately—

Praised be the Art

"The images of the smoke and the travellers are taken from your picture; the rest were added, in order to place the thought in a clear point of view, and for the sake of variety."-ED.

1 C and 1843.

which Morning, Noon-tide, Even, 1815.


The years 1812 and 1813 were even less productive years to Wordsworth than 1811 had been. The first of them was saddened by domestic losses, which deprived him for a time of the very power of work, and almost of interest in the labour to which his life was devoted. Three short pieces are all that belong to 1812 and 1813 respectively.—ED.



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[The belief on which this is founded I have often heard expressed by an old neighbour of Grasmere.]

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SWIFTLY turn the murmuring wheel!

Night has brought the welcome hour

When the weary fingers feel

Help, as if from faery power;

Dewy night o'ershades the ground;

Turn the swift wheel round and round!

Now, beneath the starry sky,

Couch the widely-scattered sheep ;—

Ply the pleasant labour ply!

For the spindle, while they sleep,

Runs with speed more smooth and fine,1

Gathering up a trustier line.

Short-lived likings may be bred
By a glance from fickle eyes;
But true love is like the thread

Which the kindly wool supplies,

With a motion smooth and fine,
Runs with motion smooth and fine,



When the flocks are all at rest

Sleeping on the mountain's breast.

It was for Sarah Hutchinson that this song was written. She lived for the most part either at Brinsop Court, Herefordshire, or at Rydal Mount, Westmoreland, or at Greta Hall, Keswick. When living at Greta Hall, she acted as Southey's amanuensis. She also frequently transcribed poems for Wordsworth, at Grasmere, Coleorton, and Rydal Mount.

The poem was placed by Wordsworth amongst those of the Fancy. -ED.


Comp. 1812.

WHAT need of clamorous bells or ribands gay,
These humble nuptials to proclaim or grace?
Angels of love, look down upon the place;
Shed on the chosen vale a sun-bright day!
Yet no proud gladness would the Bride display
Even for such promise :1-serious is her face,
Modest her mien; and she, whose thoughts keep pace
With gentleness, in that becoming way

Will thank you. Faultless does the Maid appear;
No disproportion in her soul, no strife:

But, when the closer view of wedded life

Hath shown that nothing human can be clear
From frailty, for that insight may the Wife

To her indulgent Lord become more dear.

This refers to the marriage of Thomas Hutchinson (Mrs Wordsworth's brother) to Mary Monkhouse, sister of the Mr Monkhouse with whom Wordsworth afterwards travelled on the Continent. The marriage took place on November 1, 1812. They lived at Nadnorth

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Even for such omen would the Bride display
No mirthful gladness:


for eighteen years, and afterwards at Brinsop Court, Herefordshire, for twenty-one years. To their son-the Rev. Thomas Hutchinson of Kimbolton, Leominster, Herefordshire-and to their daughter-Miss Elizabeth Hutchinson of Rock Villa, West Malvern-I am indebted for much information in reference to their uncle and aunts. The portrait of Wordsworth in his forty-seventh year, by Richard Carruthers, is in Mr Hutchinson's possession at the Rectory, Kimbolton.-ED.

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[Observed frequently over the lakes of Rydal and Grasmere.]

"Let me be allowed the aid of verse to describe the evolutions which these visitants sometimes perform on a fine day, towards the close of winter."-Extract from the Author's Book on the Lakes.

MARK how the feathered tenants of the flood,

With grace of motion that might scarcely seem
Inferior to angelical, prolong

Their curious pastime! shaping in mid air
(And sometimes with ambitious wing that soars
High as the level of the mountain-tops)
A circuit ampler than the lake beneath-
Their own domain; but ever, while intent
On tracing and retracing that large round,
Their jubilant activity evolves
Hundreds of curves and circlets,1 to and fro,
Upward and downward, progress intricate
Yet unperplexed, as if one spirit swayed
Their indefatigable flight. 'Tis done-
Ten times, or more, I fancied it had ceased;
But lo! the vanished company again
Ascending; they approach-I hear their wings,
Faint, faint at first; and then an eager sound,



Hundreds of curves and circles,


Past in a moment-and as faint again!

They tempt the sun to sport amid their plumes;
They tempt the water, or the gleaming ice,
To show them a fair image; 'tis themselves,
Their own fair forms, upon the glimmering plain,
Painted more soft and fair as they descend
Almost to touch ;-then up again aloft,

Up with a sally and a flash of speed,

As if they scorned both resting-place and rest!

This was placed by Wordsworth amongst the "Poems of the Imagination."-ED.


See the note to the previous year, 1812.-ED.


Comp. 1813.

Pub. 1815.

[Mrs Wordsworth and I, as mentioned in the "Epistle to Sir G. Beaumont," lived sometime under its shadow.]

THIS Height a ministering Angel might select:

For from the summit of BLACK COMB (dread name
Derived from clouds and storms !) the amplest range
Of unobstructed prospect may be seen.

That British ground commands:-low dusky tracts,
Where Trent is nursed, far southward! Cambrian hills
To the south-west, a multitudinous show;

And, in a line of eye-sight linked with these,
The hoary peaks of Scotland that give birth


To Tiviot's stream, to Annan, Tweed, and Clyde :-
Crowding the quarter whence the sun comes forth
Gigantic mountains rough with crags; beneath,
Right at the imperial station's western base

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