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Or fraught with treasure which she best approves, in choral elevation

Their murmurs blend

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Not wholly lost upon the abstracted ear

Of unambitious men who wander near

Immersed in lonely contemplation.

Mourn, sunny Hill, and shady Grove! and mourn

Ilyssus, bending o'er thy classic urn!

Lament the fall of him whose spirit dreads

Your once sweet memory, studious walks and shades!
For He, who to divinity aspired,

Not on the wings of popular applause,

But through dependence on the sacred laws

Framed in the schools where Wisdom dwelt retired,

Meek Wisdom tracing with a steady hand

The path which she alone hath scann'd

The ideal path of right—

More fair than heaven's broad causeway paved with stars, Which Dion learned to gaze on with delight ;

But he hath overleap'd the eternal bars,

And following guides whose craft holds no consent
With aught that breathes the ethereal element,
Hath stained the robes of civil power with blood,

Unjustly shed, though for the public good.

Blind choice for since that day, the chief, the sage,
Prime boast and envy of a glorious age,

Droops, the slave of fear and sorrow;

For since that hour the studious walks and shades,
Whose once sweet memory her Spirit dreads,
Depress'd to-day, and unrelieved to-morrow,
Hath Dion pined with sharp regret and sorrow.

Lament, ye studious walks and shades,
The fall of Him whose spirit dreads
Your once sweet memory-and mourn
Ilyssus, bending o'er thy classic urn,
For him who

Mourn, sunny hills and groves

bowers

of Attica! and mourn

Ilyssus, bending o'er thy classic urn!

Mourn, and lament for him whose spirit dreads

Your once sweet memory, studious walks and shades,
For him who

where Wisdom dwelt retired

Tracing with steady hand the path of right)

Intent to trace the ideal path of right

where Wisdom dwelt retired

Tracing assiduously the path of right.

That path which Dion travelled

{with }

delight.

Which Dion learned to travel with delight.

Ever since that hour, ye studious walks and shades,
Whose once sweet Memory now his spirit dreads,

Hath Dion pined with sharp regret and sorrow.

Blind choice for since that word was given, the Sage, Prime boast and envy of a glorious age,

Hath droop'd and pined with sharp regret and sorrow, Droops with a burthen of repentant sorrow,

Depress'd to-day, and unrelieved to-morrow.

Hath stained the robes of civil power with blood,
Unjustly shed-albeit to prevent

Manifold tumults and incessant strife,

That seemed to hang upon a single life
To whom the calm of general content,
The stedfastness of public good,

Was tiresome as the weight

That presses down the minds of mariners,
When not a billow stirs

On the wide surface of the ocean flood.

Untractable disturber of the State,

Strong is he and concessions have proved vain,

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him more elate,

And bolder to transgress again.
Untractable disturber of the State,
Of popularity the giddy thrall,
Ever aspiring to the topmost height,
His ears he shuts against the call
Of reason-therefore let him fall.

Infirm decision, slowly won

From Dion's mind-to authorize a deed

Which when the word was uttered-with the speed
Of lightning hurrying through the heav'ns-is done.

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To whom the calm of general content,

Diffused when order reigned for public good,
Was tiresome

Repeated pardons make him more elate,
And bolder to offend again.

He hath provoked his fate;
Deliberative sadness ratifies

The offender's doom, and solemn be his obsequies !
Yes, let him fall, decision slowly won
From Dion's mind, to authorize a deed

Which when the word was uttered-with the speed
Of lightning hurrying through the heav'ns-is done.

But since that fated word the

{Princely
}

sage,

chief-the

Prime boast and envy of a glorious age,
Droops, under burthen of repentant sorrow,
Depress'd to-day, and unrelieved to-morrow.

He hath provoked his fate :

Ever aspiring to the topmost height,
He shuts his ear against the call
Of Reason, therefore let him fall.

MS.

Some years ago I was inclined to assign this poem to the year 1814, because Wordsworth himself gave it that date in one of the notes which he dictated to Miss Fenwick in 1843. I now assign it to the year 1816. Wordsworth gave it that date in the year 1837, and if written in 1814, I think it would have been included in the edition of 1815.

Dion, the Ode to Lycoris, and the translation of part of Virgil's Eneid, belong to a time when Wordsworth had reverted to the subjects of ancient classical literature while preparing his eldest son for the University.

Charles Lamb wrote thus to Dorothy Wordsworth in 1820: "The story of Dion is divine-the genius of Plato falling on him like moonlight-the finest thing ever expressed." (The Letters of Charles Lamb, edited by Alfred Ainger, vol. ii. p. 56.)

I am indebted to the Headmaster of Fettes College, the Rev. W. A. Heard, for the following notes on the poem, with special reference to Plutarch. They reveal, as Mr. Heard remarks, "Wordsworth's method of work upon the authors he had read and studied, and show upon what a solid structure of fact he always wrote." It will be observed that he invariably appended to the title of this poem "(See Plutarch)."

"When Dion, the pupil of Plato, became the autocrat of Syracuse, it seemed as if the moment had come for the rule of a philosopher. But the gardens of the Academy knew nothing of the methods by which alone intrigue could be met and unscrupulousness baffled. The murder of Heracleides became a political necessity; but when this was conceded, the charm was once and for ever broken-the career was done. Plutarch's biography deals mainly with the external conditions, and is overlaid with so much historical detail that the personality of Dion stands out in insufficient relief. Wordsworth gives us a study of the internal struggle, showing us the failure of an ideal, not in its external aspect, but as closing the aspirations, and desolating the conscience, of a truly noble mind. He accepts Plutarch's general conception of the life, incorporating much of the details and adopting some of the language, but over and above the fresh emphasis he gives to critical moments, the imaginative insight with which all the detail is treated makes the poem an original presentation.

a swan-like grace

Of haughtiness without pretence.

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ὑψηλὸς τῷ ἤθει καὶ μεγαλόφρων. He was lofty in his disposition and large-minded.' Again, Plutarch speaks of the "σeμvóтns' -the 'still magnificence' of his nature, coupled with " τὸ γενναῖον κаì άπλóτηs," nobility and simplicity.

Softening their inbred dignity austere.

βουλομένου τοῦ Πλάτωνος ὁμιλίᾳ χάριν ἐχούσῃ καὶ παιδιᾶς ἐμμελοῖς κατὰ καιρὸν ἁπτομένῃ κεραννύμενον ἀφηδύνεσθαι τοῦ Δίωνος τὸ ἦθος. Plato tried to soften the harshness of his disposition by the delights of intercourse, and the grace of seasonable wit.

That he, not too elate

With self-sufficing solitude.

This refers to a warning of Plato, ἡ αὐθάδεια ἐρημίᾳ σύνοικος— Arrogance is the house-mate of solitude.

Each crowned with flowers

καὶ θεασάμενοι τὸν Δίωνα διὰ τὴν θυσίαν ἐστεφανωμένον οἱ παρόντες ἀπὸ μιᾶς ὁρμῆς ἐστεφανοῦντο πάντες.—And seeing Dion wearing a garland on account of the sacrifice, those that were present with one impulse put on garlands one and all.

Or ruder weapon which their course might yield. ὡπλισμένοι δὲ φαύλως ἐκ τοῦ προστυχόντος.--Poorly armed, as chance enabled them.

Who leads them on?

Δίων προσερχόμενος ἤδη καταφανὴς ἦν πρῶτος αὐτὸς ὡπλισμένος λαμπρῶς . . ἐστεφανωμένος. —Dion himself was already in sight, advancing at their head, clad in gleaming armour and wearing a garland.

Salute those strangers as a holy train

Or blest procession (to the Immortals dear)
That brought their precious liberty again.

τῶν Συρακουσίων δεχομένων ὥσπερ ἱεράν τινα καὶ θεοπρεπῆ πομπὴν ἐλευθερίας καὶ δημοκρατίας δι ̓ ἐτῶν ὀκτὼ καὶ τεσσαράκοντα κατιούσης εἰς τὴν πόλιν.—The Syracusans receiving them as a holy procession beseeming the Gods ('to the Immortals dear'), escorting freedom and democracy back to the city after an exile of fortyseven years.

Down the long street, rich goblets filled with wine
In seemly order stand.

ἑκατέρωθεν παρὰ τὴν ὁδὸν τῶν Συρακουσίων ἱερεῖά τινα καὶ τραπέζας καὶ κρατῆρας ἱστάντων καὶ καθ ̓ οὓς γένοιτο προχύταις τε βαλλόντων καὶ προστρεπομένων ὥσπερ θεὸν κατευχαῖς.—The people setting, on either side the way, victims and tables and bowls of wine, and as he came opposite, casting flowers upon him, and supplicating him with prayers as though he were a God.

Mourn, hills and groves of Attica! and mourn
Ilissus, bending o'er thy classic urn!

Cf. Milton, Paradise Regained, iv. 244 :-

See there the olive-grove of Academe,

Plato's retirement, where the Attic bird

Trills her thick-warbled notes the summer long.

Perhaps the idea of Ilissus bending over the urn is taken from the western pediment of the Parthenon. At one angle there is a recumbent figure of the Kephissus, at the other of the Ilissus; originally there seems to have been a vopía attached to one of them. See Guide to Sculptures of the Parthenon, pub

lished at the British Museum. *

* That Wordsworth knew the Elgin marbles-where the half-recumbent Ilissus, a torso, is one of the finest pieces of the pediment-is certain. There is a reproduction of it in his nephew's (the late Bishop of Lincoln's) book on Greece. In Henry Crabb Robinson's Diary (vol. ii. p. 195) there is an interesting account of the poet's visit to the British Museum, to see the Elgin

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