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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.


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!


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.


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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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.


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.


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


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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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!


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.


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!






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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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.



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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