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Demanding all, deserving nothing ;

One small grave is what he gets.

See his Miscellaneous Essays, vol. i. p. 352 (edition 1857). -ED.

II

INSCRIBED UPON A ROCK

[The monument of ice here spoken of I observed while ascending the middle road of the three ways that lead from Rydal to Grasmere. It was on my right hand, and my eyes were upon it when it fell, as told in these lines.-I. F.]

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PAUSE, Traveller! whosoe'er thou be
Whom chance may lead to this retreat,
Where silence yields reluctantly
Even to the fleecy straggler's bleat;

Give voice to what my hand shall trace,
And fear not lest an idle sound
Of words unsuited to the place
Disturb its solitude profound.

I saw this Rock, while vernal air
Blew softly o'er the russet heath,
Uphold a Monument as fair
As church or abbey furnisheth.

Unsullied did it meet the day,
Like marble, white, like ether, pure;
As if, beneath, some hero lay,
Honoured with costliest sepulture.

My fancy kindled as I gazed ;
And, ever as the sun shone forth,

The flattered structure glistened, blazed,
And seemed the proudest thing on earth.

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And therefore not far from the Glow-worm Rock, if not upon it. See the note to The Pilgrim's Dream, p. 167.-ED.

But frost had reared the gorgeous Pile
Unsound as those which Fortune builds—
To undermine with secret guile,
Sapped by the very beam that gilds.

And, while I gazed, with sudden shock
Fell the whole Fabric to the ground;
And naked left this dripping Rock,
With shapeless ruin spread around!

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[Where the second quarry now is, as you pass from Rydal to Grasmere, there was formerly a length of smooth rock that sloped towards the road on the right hand. I used to call it Tadpole Slope, from having frequently observed there the water-bubbles gliding under the ice, exactly in the shape of that creature.-I. F.]

HAST thou seen, with flash incessant,1

Bubbles gliding under ice,

Bodied forth and evanescent,

No one knows by what device?

Such are thoughts !—a wind-swept meadow 2

Mimicking a troubled sea,

Such is life; and death a shadow

From the rock eternity! 3

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MS.

See yon undulating meadow

3 In a MS. this stanza follows the second last one in the Inscription beginning, "Hopes, what are they?"

IV

NEAR THE SPRING OF THE HERMITAGE

TROUBLED long with warring notions
Long impatient of thy rod,

I resign my soul's emotions
Unto Thee, mysterious God!

What avails the kindly shelter
Yielded by this craggy rent,
If my spirit toss and welter
On the waves of discontent?

Parching Summer hath no warrant
To consume this crystal Well;
Rains, that make each rill a torrent,
Neither sully it nor swell.

Thus, dishonouring not her station,
Would my Life present to Thee,
Gracious God, the pure oblation
Of divine tranquillity !

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It is impossible to say where the "spring of the Hermitage" was, or was supposed by Wordsworth to be. It may refer to some Rydalian retreat. There is no spring or "crystal well" on St. Herbert's Island, Derwentwater; but Inscription XIII. in the edition of 1820 is entitled "For the Spot where the Hermitage stood on St. Herbert's Island, Derwentwater."— Ed.

V

"NOT SELDOM, CLAD IN RADIANT VEST”,

NOT seldom, clad in radiant vest,
Deceitfully goes forth the Morn;
Not seldom Evening in the west
Sinks smilingly forsworn.

The smoothest seas will sometimes prove,
To the confiding Bark, untrue;
And, if she trust the stars above,
They can be treacherous too.

The umbrageous Oak, in pomp outspread,
Full oft, when storms the welkin rend,
Draws lightning down upon the head
It promised to defend.

But Thou art true, incarnate Lord,
Who didst vouchsafe for man to die;
Thy smile is sure, thy plighted word
No change can falsify!

I bent before thy gracious throne,

And asked for peace on suppliant knee ;1
And peace was given,—nor peace alone,
But faith sublimed to ecstasy ! 2

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COMPOSED UPON AN EVENING OF EXTRAORDINARY SPLENDOUR AND BEAUTY *

Composed 1818.-Published 1820

[Felt, and in a great measure composed, upon the little mount in front of our abode at Rydal. In concluding my notices of this class of poems, it may be as well to observe that among the "Miscellaneous Sonnets" are a few alluding to

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The title, in the first edition of 1820, was "Ode, composed upon an evening of extraordinary splendor and beauty." In the four-volume edition of that year it was "Evening Ode, composed upon an evening of extraordinary Splendor and Beauty.' In a MS. copy I have found the following, "Composed during a sunset of transcendent Beauty, in the summer of 1817." -ED.

morning impressions, which might be read with mutual benefit, in connection with these "Evening Voluntaries." See, for example, that one on Westminster Bridge, that composed on a May Morning, the one on the Song of the Thrush, and that beginning"While beams of orient light shoot wide and high."-I. F.]

In 1820 this was one of the "Poems of the Imagination." In 1837 it was transferred to the " Evening Voluntaries."-ED.

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HAD this effulgence disappeared

With flying haste, I might have sent,
Among the speechless clouds, a look
Of blank astonishment;

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But 'tis endued with power to stay,
And sanctify one closing day,
That frail Mortality may see—
What is ?-ah no, but what can be!
Time was when field and watery cove
With modulated echoes rang,

While choirs of fervent Angels sang

Their vespers in the grove;

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Or, crowning, star-like, each some sovereign height,3

Warbled, for heaven above and earth below,

Strains, suitable to both.—Such holy rite,

Methinks, if audibly repeated now

From hill or valley, could not move 4

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Or, ranged like stars along some sovereign height,

1820.

both.-Ye sons of Light

If such communion were repeated now
Nor harp nor seraph's voice could move

VOL. VI

MS.

MS. and 1820.

MS.

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