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This was first published in "The River Duddon," etc., in 1820, but was omitted from the four-volume edition of the "Poems" of 1820. In 1827 it was placed among the "Poems founded on the Affections."-ED.

I

SMILE of the Moon!--for so I name
That silent greeting from above;
A gentle flash of light that came

From her whom drooping captives love;
Or art thou of still higher birth?
Thou that didst part the clouds of earth,
My torpor to reprove!

II

Bright boon of pitying Heaven !—alas,
I may not trust thy placid cheer!
Pondering that Time to-night will pass
The threshold of another year;
For years to me are sad and dull;
My very moments are too full
Of hopelessness and fear.

III

And yet, the soul-awakening gleam,
That struck perchance the farthest cone
Of Scotland's rocky wilds, did seem
To visit me, and me alone;
Me, unapproached by any friend,
Save1 those who to my sorrows lend
Tears due unto their own.

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IV

To-night the church-tower bells will ring
Through these wide 1 realms a festive peal;
To the new year a welcoming;

A tuneful offering 2 for the weal

Of happy millions lulled in sleep ;
While I am forced to watch and weep,3
By wounds that may not heal.

V

Born all too high, by wedlock raised
Still higher-to be cast thus low!
Would that mine eyes had never gazed
On aught of more ambitious show
Than the sweet flowerets of the fields !
-It is my royal state that yields
This bitterness of woe.

VI

Yet how?for I, if there be truth

In the world's voice, was passing fair ;
And beauty, for confiding youth,

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1 1820.

Those shocks of passion can prepare
That kill the bloom before its time;
And blanch, without the owner's crime,
The most resplendent hair.1

VII

Unblest distinction! showered on me
To bind a lingering life in chains:
All that could quit my grasp, or flee,2
Is gone ;-but not the subtle stains
Fixed in the spirit; for even here
Can I be proud that jealous fear
Of what I was remains.3

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Ah what

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VIII

A woman rules my prison's key;
A sister Queen,1 against the bent
Of law and holiest sympathy,
Detains me, doubtful of the event;
Great God, who feel'st for my distress,2
My thoughts are all that I possess,
O keep them innocent!

IX

Farewell desire of 3 human aid,
Which abject mortals vainly 4 court!
By friends deceived, by foes betrayed,
Of fears the prey, of hopes the sport;
Nought but the world-redeeming Cross
Is able to supply my loss,

My burthen to support.

X

Hark! the death-note of the year
Sounded by the castle-clock !

From her sunk eyes a stagnant tear
Stole forth, unsettled by the shock;
But oft the woods renewed their green,
Ere the tired head of Scotland's Queen
Reposed upon the block!

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Compare the sonnet entitled Captivity, Mary Queen of Scots, composed and published in 1819 (p. 191); also the sonnet, composed in 1833, entitled Mary Queen of Scots (Landing at the mouth of the Derwent, Workington).—ED.

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1818

STILL fewer than those of 1817 are the poems composed in 1818. They comprise The Pilgrim's Dream, The five Inscriptions, supposed to be found in and near a Hermit's Cell, and the stanzas Composed upon an Evening of extraordinary Splendour and Beauty, etc. They were all written at or near Rydal Mount; and their local allusions are all Rydalian.

THE PILGRIM'S DREAM;

OR, THE STAR AND THE GLOW-WORM

Composed 1818.-Published 1820

[I distinctly recollect the evening when these verses were suggested in 1818. It was on the road between Rydal and Grasmere, where Glow-worms abound.* A Star was shining above the ridge of Loughrigg Fell, just opposite. I remember a critic, in some review or other, crying out against this piece. "What so monstrous," said he, "as to make a star talk to a glow-worm!" Poor fellow ! we know from this sage observation what the " 'primrose on the river's brim "

--I. F.]

was to him.

One of the "Poems of the Fancy.”—ED.

A PILGRIM, when the summer day
Had closed upon his weary way,

A lodging begged beneath a castle's roof;
But him the haughty Warder spurned;

* Compare The Primrose of the Rock composed in 1831. The rock which the Wordsworth family were in the habit of calling "Glow-worm Rock" is on the right hand side of the road, as you ascend from Rydal, by the middle path, over White Moss Common to Grasmere.-ED.

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