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Lines suggested by a Portrait by F. Stone.
This portrait has hung for many years in our principal sit ting-room, and represents J. Q. The picture, though it is somewhat thinly painted, has much merit in tone and general effect; it is chiefly valuable, however, for the sentiment that pervades it. The anecdote of the saying of the monk, in sight of Titian's picture; was told me in this house by Mr. Wilkie, and was, I believe, first communicated to the public in this poem, the former portion of which I was composing at the time Southey heard the story from Miss Hutchinson, and transferred it to the "Doctor"; my friend Mr. Rogers, in a note subsequently added to his "Italy," speaks of the same remarkable words having many years before been spoken in his hearing by a monk or priest in front of a picture of the Last Supper, placed over a refectory table in a convent at Padua.
Feel for the wrongs to universal ken.
This sonnet is recommended to the perusal of the corn-law leaguers, the political economists, and of all those who con sider that the evils under which we groan are to be removed or palliated by measures ungoverned by moral or religious principles.
Epistle to Sir G. H. Beaumont, Bart.
"This poem opened, when first written, with a paragraph that has been transferred as an introduction to the first series
Scotch Memorials.' The journey, of which the first part is here described, was from Grasmere to Bootle, on the southwest coast of Cumberland, the whole along mountain-roads, through a beautiful country, and we had fine weather. The verses end with our breakfast at the Head of Yewdale, in a yeoman's house, which, like all the other prop erty in that sequestered vale, has passed, or is passing, into the hands of Mr. James Marshall, of Monk Coniston, in Mr. Knott's, the late owner's time, called the Waterhead. Our hostess married a Mr. Oldfield, a lieutenant in the navy; they lived together for some time at Hackett, where she still resides as his widow. It was in front of that house, on the mountain-side, near which stood the peasant who, while we were passing at a distance, saluted us, waving a kerchief in his hand, as described in the poem. The dog, which we met soon after our starting, had belonged to Mr. Rowlandson, who for forty years was curate at Grasmere, in place of the rector, who lived to extreme old age, in a state of insanity. Of this Mr. Rowlandson much might be said, both with reference to his character, and the way in which he was regarded by his parishioners. He was a man of a robust frame, had a firm voice and authoritative manner, of strong natural talents, of which he was himself conscious." Some anecdotes were then told by Mr. Wordsworth of his character, which are omitted here. He proceeded as follows: "Notwithstanding all that has been said, this man, on account of his talents and superior education, was looked up to by his parishioners, who, without a single exception, lived at that time (and most of them upon their own small inheritances) in a state of republican equality, a condition favorable to the growth of kindly feelings among them, and, in a striking degree, exclusive to temptations, to gross vice and scandalous behavior. pastor, their curate did little or nothing for them: but what could more strikingly set forth the efficacy of the Church of England, through its Ordinances and Liturgy, than that, in spite of the unworthiness of the minister, his church was regularly attended, and, though there was not much appearance in his flock of what may be called animated piety intoxication was rare, and dissolute morals unknown? With
the Bible they were, for the most part, well acquainted, and, as was strikingly shown when they were under affliction, must have been supported and comforted by habitual belief in those truths which it is the aim of the Church to inculcate."
I often ask myself, What will become of Rydal Mount, after our day? Will the old walls and steps remain in front of the house and about the grounds, or will they be swept away, with all the beautiful mosses and ferns, and wild geraniums, and other flowers, which their rude construction suffered and encouraged to grow among them? This little flower, “Poor Robin," is here constantly courting my attention, and exciting what may be called a domestic interest, with the varying aspects of its stalks, and leaves, and flowers. Strangely do the tastes of men differ, according to their employment and habits of life. "What a nice well would that be," said a laboring man to me one day, "if all that rubbish was cleared off!" The rubbish was, some of the most beautiful mosses, and lichens, and ferns, and other wild growths, that could possibly be seen. Defend us from the tyranny of trimness and neatness, show ing itself in this way! Chatterton says of freedom:
"Upon her head wild weeds were spread";
and depend upon it, if " the marvellous boy" had undertaken to give Flora a garland, he would have preferred what we are apt to call weeds to garden flowers. True taste has an eye for both. Weeds have been called flowers out of place. I fear the place most people would assign to them is too limited. Let them come near to our abodes, as surely they may, without impropriety or disorder.
To a Redbreast.
Almost the only verses composed by our lamented sister, S. H.
By my sister, who takes a pleasure in repeating these verses, which she composed not long before the beginning of her ill
To the Lady Fleming.
After thanking, in prose, Lady Fleming for the service she nas done to her neighborhood by erecting this chapel, I have nothing to say, beyond the expression of regret that the architect did not furnish an elevation better suited to the site in a narrow mountain-pass, and, what is more of consequence, better constructed in the interior for the purposes of worship. It has no chancel; the altar is unbecomingly confined; the pews are so narrow as to preclude the possibility of kneeling; there is no vestry; and, what ought to have been first mentioned, the font, instead of standing at its proper place at the entrance, is thrust into the farther end of a little pew. When these defects shall have been pointed out to the munificent patroness, they will, it is hoped, be corrected.
Goody Blake and Harry Gill.
Written at Alfoxden, 1798. The incident from Dr. Darwin's Zoönomia.
No. 1.-In the grounds of Coleorton, these verses are engraved on a stone, placed near the tree, which was thriving and spreading when I saw it in the summer of 1841.
No. 2. - This niche is in the sandstone rock in the wintergarden at Coleorton, which garden, as has been elsewhere said, was made under our direction, out of an old, unsightly quarry.
While the laborers were at work, Mrs. Wordsworth, my sister and I used to amuse ourselves, occasionally, in scooping this seat out of the soft stone. It is of the size, with something of the appearance, of a stall in a cathedral. This inscription is not engraven, as the former of the two following are, in the grounds.
Epitaph in the Chapel-Yard of Langdale.
Owen Lloyd, the subject of this epitaph, was born at Old Brathay, near Ambleside, and was the son of Charles Lloyd and his wife Sophia (née Pemberton), both of Birmingham, who came to reside in this country soon after their marriage. Owen was educated under Mr. Dawes, of Ambleside, Dr. Butler, of Shrewsbury, and lastly at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he would have been greatly distinguished as a scholar, but for inherited infirmities of bodily constitution, which, from early childhood, affected his mind. His love for the neighborhood in which he was born, and his sympathy with the habits and character of the mountain yeomanry, in conjunction with irregular spirits, that unfitted him for facing duties in situations to which he was unaccustomed, induced him to accept the retired curacy of Langdale. How much he was beloved and honored there, and with what feelings he discharged his duty under the oppression of severe malady, is set forth, though imperfectly, in this epitaph.
This was composed during my residence at Town-End, Grasmere. Two years at least passed between the writing of the first four stanzas and the remaining part. To the attentive and competent reader, the whole sufficiently explains itself, but there may be no harm in adverting here to particular feelings or experiences of my own mind, on which the structure of the poem partly rests. Nothing was more difficult for me in childhood than to admit the notion of