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And what, through strong compunction for the past, He suffered-breaking down in heart and mind!

Doomed to a third and last captivity,
His freedom he recovered on the eve

Of Julia's travail. When the babe was born,
Its presence tempted him to cherish schemes
Of future happiness. "You shall return,
Julia," said he, " and to your father's house
Go with the child.-You have been wretched; yet
The silver shower, whose reckless burthen weighs
Too heavily upon the lily's head,

Oft leaves a saving moisture at its root.
Malice, beholding you, will melt away.

Go'tis a town where both of us were born;
None will reproach you, for our truth is known;
And if, amid those once-bright bowers, our fate
Remain unpitied, pity is not in man.

With ornaments-the prettiest nature yields
Or art can fashion-shall you deck our boy,

And feed his countenance with your own sweet looks
Till no one can resist him. Now, even now,

I see him sporting on the sunny lawn;
My father from the window sees him too;
Startled, as if some new-created thing
Enriched the earth, or Faery of the woods
Bounded before him;-but the unweeting Child
Shall by his beauty win his grandsire's heart
So that it shall be softened, and our loves

End happily, as they began!"

These gleams

Appeared but seldom; oftener was he seen.

Propping a pale and melancholy face

Upon the Mother's bosom; resting thus

His head upon one breast, while from the other

The Babe was drawing in its quiet food.
-That pillow is no longer to be thine,

Fond Youth that mournful solace now must pass
Into the list of things that cannot be !
Unwedded Julia, terror-smitten, hears

The sentence, by her mother's lips pronounced,
That dooms her to a convent.-Who shall tell,
Who dares report, the tidings to the lord
Of her affections? so they blindly asked
Who knew not to what quiet depths a weight
Of agony had pressed the Sufferer down:
The word, by others dreaded, he can hear
Composed and silent, without visible sign
Of even the least emotion. Noting this,
When the impatient object of his love
Upbraided him with slackness, he returned
No answer, only took the mother's hand
And kissed it; seemingly devoid of pain,
Or care, that what so tenderly he pressed
Was a dependant on1 the obdurate heart
Of one who came to disunite their lives
For ever-sad alternative! preferred,
By the unbending Parents of the Maid,
To secret 'spousals meanly disavowed.
-So be it!

In the city he remained.

A season after Julia had withdrawn

To those religious walls. He, too, departs—
Who with him ?-even the senseless Little-one.
With that sole charge he passed the city-gates,




For the last time, attendant by the side
Of a close chair, a litter, or sedan,

In which the Babe was carried.

To a hill,

That rose a brief league distant from the town,
The dwellers in that house where he had lodged
Accompanied his steps, by anxious love

Impelled; they parted from him there, and stood
Watching below till he had disappeared
On the hill top. His eyes he scarcely took,
Throughout that journey, from the vehicle.
(Slow-moving ark of all his hopes !) that veiled
The tender infant: and at every inn,

And under every hospitable tree

At which the bearers halted or reposed,
Laid him with timid care upon his knees,

And looked, as mothers ne'er were known to look,
Upon the nursling which his arms embraced.

This was the manner in which Vaudracour
Departed with his infant; and thus reached
His father's house, where to the innocent child
Admittance was denied. The young man spake
No word of indignation or reproof,1
But of his father begged, a last request,
That a retreat might be assigned to him
Where in forgotten quiet he might dwell,
With such allowance as his wants required;
For wishes he had none. To a Lodge that stood
Deep in a forest, with leave given, at the age
Of four-and-twenty summers he withdrew;
And thither took with him his motherless Babe,2

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And one domestic for their common needs,
An aged woman. It consoled him here
To attend upon the orphan, and perform
Obsequious service to the precious child,
Which, after a short time, by some mistake
Or indiscretion of the Father, died.—

The Tale I follow to its last recess

Of suffering or of peace, I know not which:
Theirs be the blame who caused the woe, not mine!

From this time forth he never shared a smile
With mortal creature. An Inhabitant

Of that same town, in which the pair had left
So lively a remembrance of their griefs,
By chance of business, coming within reach.
Of his retirement, to the forest lodge

Repaired, but only found the matron there,1
Who told him that his pains were thrown away,
For that her Master never uttered word

To living thing-not even to her.—Behold!
While they were speaking, Vaudracour approached;
But, seeing some one near, as on the latch

Of the garden-gate his hand was laid, he shrunk—2
And, like a shadow, glided out of view.

Shocked at his savage aspect, from the place
The visitor retired.

Thus lived the Youth

Cut off from all intelligence with man,

1 1827.

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to the spot repaired

With an intent to visit him. He reached
The house, and only found the Matron there.


But seeing some one near, even as his hand
Was stretched towards the garden gate, he shrunk— 1820.

And shunning even the light of common day;

Nor could the voice of Freedom, which through France
Full speedily resounded, public hope,

Or personal memory of his own deep wrongs,
Rouse him but in those solitary shades

His days he wasted, an imbecile mind!

The 'work' referred to in the Fenwick note to this poem is The Prelude (see p. 325 of this volume). Vaudracour and Julia was classed by Wordsworth amongst the "Poems founded on the Affections."-ED.



Comp. 1805.

Pub. 1815.

[Suggested to her, while beside my sleeping children.]

THE days are cold, the nights are long,
The north-wind sings a doleful song;

Then hush again upon my breast;
All merry things are now at rest,
Save thee, my pretty Love!

The kitten sleeps upon the hearth,
The crickets long have ceased their mirth;

There's nothing stirring in the house
Save one wee, hungry, nibbling mouse,
Then why so busy thou?

Nay! start not at that sparkling light;
"Tis but the moon that shines so bright

On the window pane bedropped with rain:
Then, little Darling! sleep again,

And wake when it is day.

This poem underwent no change in successive editions. The title in all the earlier ones (1815 to 1842) was "The Cottager to her Infant, by a Female Friend;" and in the preface to the edition of 1815, Wordsworth wrote, "Three short pieces (now first published) are the work of

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