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But Thee, deep buried 1 in the silent tomb,
That spot which no vicissitude can find?

Love, faithful love, recalled thee to my mind

But how could I forget thee? Through what power,
Even for the least division of an hour,
Have I been so beguiled as to be blind

To my most grievous loss?—That thought's return
Was the worst pang that sorrow ever bore,
Save one, one only, when I stood forlorn,
Knowing my heart's best treasure was no more;
That neither present time, nor years unborn
Could to my sight that heavenly face restore.

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IO

Compare the poem entitled Characteristics of a Child three years old (vol. iv. p. 252), written in 1811, and which referred, like this one, to the poet's daughter Catherine, who died the year after. Compare also The Excursion, book iii. ll. 636-649, and the sonnet beginning, "Desponding Father! mark this altered bough," 1835.-ED.

1 1820.

long buried

1815.

1816

MOST of the poems belonging to 1816 were suggested by the stirring political events of that year on the Continent of Europe. Four odes, and a number of sonnets,—referring to the Fall of Napoleon, the French army in Russia, the battle of Waterloo, etc., a translation of part of Virgil's Æneid, and one or two smaller fragments, make up the series. Wordsworth had not been so much inspired by the political events of his time, since the years 1809 and 1810-when he wrote the Tyrolese Sonnets, and others," Dedicated to Liberty," etc.-but, both before and during the year 1816, he spent some time in preparing his eldest son for the University. He read the Latin poets with him; and very probably it was this that led him to translate into English verse, the three first books of the Eneid, which he I did at this time. Some fragments of his Translations will be found in the Appendix to vol. viii.—ED.

ODE

THE MORNING OF THE DAY APPOINTED FOR A
GENERAL THANKSGIVING. JANUARY 18, 1816

Composed 1816.-Published 1816

[The first stanza of this Ode was composed almost extempore, in front of Rydal Mount, before church-time, and on such a morning and precisely with such objects before my eyes as are here described. The view taken of Napoleon's character and proceedings is little in accordance with that taken by some historians and critical philosophers. I am glad and proud of the difference, and trust that this series of poems, infinitely below the subject as they are, will survive to counteract, in

H

unsophisticated minds, the pernicious and degrading tendency of those views and doctrines that lead to the idolatry of power, as power, and, in that false splendour, to lose sight of its real nature and constitution as it often acts for the gratification of its possessor without reference to a beneficial end—an infirmity that has characterised men of all ages, classes, and employments, since Nimrod became a mighty hunter before the Lord. -I. F.]

"It is not to bespeak favour or indulgence, but to guard against misapprehension, that the author presumes to state that the present publication owes its existence to a patriotism, anxious to exert itself in commemorating that course of action, by which Great Britain has, for some time past, distinguished herself above all other countries.

"Wholly unworthy of touching upon so momentous a subject would that Poet be, before whose eyes the present distresses under which this kingdom labours, could interpose a veil sufficiently thick to hide, or even to obscure, the splendour of this great moral triumph. If the author has given way to exultation, unchecked by these distresses, it might be sufficient to protect him from a charge of insensibility, should he state his own belief that these sufferings will be transitory. On the wisdom of a very large majority of the British nation, rested that generosity which poured out the treasures of this country for the deliverance of Europe: and in the same national wisdom, presiding in time of peace over an energy not inferior to that which has been displayed in war, they confide, who encourage a firm hope, that the cup of our wealth will be gradually replenished. There will, doubtless, be no few ready to indulge in regrets and repinings; and to feed a morbid satisfaction, by aggravating these burthens in imagination, in order that calamity so confidently prophesied, as it has not taken the shape which their sagacity allotted to it, may appear as grievous as possible under another. But the body of the nation will not quarrel with the gain, because it might have been purchased at a less price: and acknowledging in these sufferings, which they feel to have been in a great degree unavoidable, a consecration of their noble efforts, they will vigorously apply themselves to remedy the evil.

"Nor is it at the expense of rational patriotism, or in disregard of sound philosophy, that the author hath given vent to feelings tending to encourage a martial spirit in the bosoms of his countrymen, at a time when there is a general outcry

against the prevalence of these dispositions. The British army, both by its skill and valour in the field, and by the discipline which has rendered it much less formidable than the armies of other powers, to the inhabitants of the several countries where its operations were carried on, has performed services for humanity too important and too obvious to allow any one to recommend, that the language of gratitude and admiration be suppressed, or restrained (whatever be the temper of the public mind), through a scrupulous dread, lest the tribute due to the past, should prove an injurious incentive for the future. Every man, deserving the name of Briton, adds his voice to the chorus which extols the exploits of his countrymen, with a consciousness, at times overpowering the effort, that they transcend all praise. But this particular sentiment, thus irresistibly excited, is not sufficient. The nation would err grievously, if she suffered the abuse which other states have made of military power, to prevent her from perceiving that no people ever was, or can be, independent, free, or secure, much less great, in any sane application of the word, without martial propensities, and an assiduous cultivation of military virtues.* Nor let it be overlooked, that the benefits derivable from these sources, are placed within the reach of Great Britain, under conditions peculiarly favourable. The same insular position which, by rendering territorial incorporation impossible, utterly precludes the desire of conquest under the most seductive shape it can assume, enables her to rely, for her defence against foreign foes, chiefly upon a species of armed force from which her own liberties have nothing to fear. Such are the blessed privileges of her situation; and, by permitting, they invite her to give way to the courageous instincts of human nature, and to strengthen and to refine them by culture.

"But some have more than insinuated, that a design exists to subvert the civil character of the English people by unconstitutional applications and unnecessary increase of military power. The advisers and abettors of such a design, were it possible that it should exist, would be guilty of the most heinous crime, which, upon this planet, can be committed. The author, trusting that this apprehension arises from the delusive influences of an honourable jealousy, hopes that the martial qualities, which he venerates, will be fostered by adhering to those good old usages which experience has sanctioned; and by availing ourselves of new means of indisputable promise; particularly by

* "Without a cultivation of military virtues."-W. W. 1845.

applying, in its utmost possible extent, that system of tuition, of which the master-spring is a habit of gradually enlightened subordination; by imparting knowledge, civil, moral, and religious, in such measure that the mind, among all classes of the community, may love, admire, and be prepared and accomplished to defend that country, under whose protection its faculties have been unfolded, and its riches acquired; by just dealing towards all orders of the state, so that no members of it being trampled upon, courage may everywhere continue to rest immoveably upon its ancient English foundation, personal selfrespect; by adequate rewards, and permanent honours, conferred upon the deserving; by encouraging athletic exercises and manly sports among the peasantry of the country; and by especial care to provide and support sufficient institutions, in which, during a time of peace, a reasonable proportion of the youth of the country may be instructed in military science.

"Bent upon instant savings, a member of the House of Commons lately recommended that the Military College should be suppressed as an unnecessary expense; for, said he, ‘our best officers have been formed in the field.' More unwise advice has rarely been given ! Admirable officers, indeed, have been formed in the field, but at how deplorable an expense of the lives of their surrounding brethren in arms, a history of the military operations in Spain, and particularly of the sieges, composed with thorough knowledge, and published without reserve, would irresistibly demonstrate.*

"The author has only to add that he should feel little satisfaction in giving to the world these limited attempts to celebrate the virtues of his country, if he did not encourage a hope that a subject, which it has fallen within his province to treat only in the mass, will by other poets be illustrated in that detail which its importance calls for, and which will allow opportunities to give the merited applause to PERSONS as well as to W. WORDSWORTH.

THINGS.

"RYDAL MOUNT, March 18, 1816."†

* In all editions subsequent to that of 1816, this paragraph was omitted. -ED. This "Advertisement" was prefixed to the poem, in all editions from 1816 to 1843. In 1845, when part of the Ode, beginning

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was detached from the rest, and turned into a separate Ode, with the date 1815 appended, the "Advertisement was thrown into a note "at the end of the volume, and it retained this place in subsequent editions. In Lord Coleridge's copy of the edition of 1836-37-before the stanzas which were afterwards separated to form the second Ode-"Waterloo" is written.-ED.

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