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HOW SWEET IT IS, WHEN MOTHER FANCY ROCKS
So narrow seemed the brooks, the fields so small!1
I looked, I stared, I smiled, I laughed; and all
Doubtless the "Vale" referred to is that of Hawkshead; the Brooks, the one that feeds Esthwaite, and Sawrey beck, but above all, "the famous brook within our garden boxed." (See The Prelude, passim, and The Fountain.)-ED.
How sweet it is, when mother Fancy rocks
An old place, full of many a lovely brood,
Tall trees, green arbours, and ground-flowers in flocks; And wild rose tip-toe upon hawthorn stocks,
Like a bold Girl, who plays her agile pranks2
At Wakes and Fairs with wandering Mountebanks,— When she stands cresting the Clown's head, and mocks The crowd beneath her. Verily I think,
Such place to me is sometimes like a dream
Or map of the whole world: thoughts, link by link,
Of all things, that at last in fear I shrink,
To see the Trees, which I had thought so tall,
Like to a bonny Lass, who plays her pranks.
"they are of the sky,
And from our earthly memory fade away."
THOSE words were uttered as in pensive mood 1
Nor they from it: their fellowship is secure.
COMPOSED BY THE SIDE OF GRASMERE LAKE.
CLOUDS, lingering yet, extend in solid bars 5
Through the grey west; and lo! these waters, steeled
Mine eyes, yet lingering on that solemn sight:
It is unstable, and deserts me quite ;
The Grove, the sky-built Temple, and the Dome, 1807.
Eve's lingering clouds extend in solid bars.
By breezeless air to smoothest polish, yield
A vivid repetition of the stars;
Jove, Venus, and the ruddy crest of Mars
At happy distance from earth's groaning field,
Opening to view the abyss in which she feeds
Ravage the world, tranquillity is here!"
Notwithstanding the date given by Wordsworth to this sonnet, it must be assigned to the previous year, for the reason stated in the prefatory note to the poems belonging to 1806 (see p. 1). It was first published along with The Waggoner in 1819.—ED.
WITH how sad steps, O Moon, thou climb'st the sky,
How silently, and with how wan a face!*
Opening to view the abyss in which it feeds
Thou whom I have seen on high
* From a sonnet of Sir Philip Sydney. 1807
And all the stars, fast as the clouds were riven,1
Should sally forth, to keep thee company,
Hurrying and sparkling through the clear blue heaven; 3 But, Cynthia! should to thee the palm be given,
Queen both for beauty and for majesty.
The sonnet of Sir Philip Sidney's, from which the two first lines of this one are taken, is No. XXXI. of his Astrophel and Stella.-ED.
THE world is too much with us: late and soon,
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
And all the Stars, now shrouded up in heaven,
Should sally forth, an emulous company,
1836 returns to text of 1807.
What strife would then be yours, fair Creatures, driven
in emulous company,
Sparkling and hurrying through the clear blue Heaven. C.
It moves us not.-Great God! I'd rather be
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.
The "pleasant lea" referred to in this sonnet is unknown. It may have been on the Cumbrian coast, or in the Isle of Man. Before 1805, Wordsworth had lived for four weeks in the Isle of Man, in daily sight of Peele Castle.-ED.
WITH Ships the sea was sprinkled far and nigh,
Some veering up and down, one knew not why.
Come like a giant from a haven broad;
Her tackling rich, and of apparel high.
This Ship was nought to me, nor I to her,
Yet I pursued her with a Lover's look;
This Ship to all the rest did I prefer:
When will she turn, and whither? She will brook
No tarrying where She comes the winds must stir:
On went She, and due north her journey took.
Probably observed during the visit to the Isle of Man, referred to in the note to the previous sonnet.-ED.
Have sight of Proteus coming from the sea.