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The Poetical Works of William Wordsworth, Vol. II. by William Wordsworth

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And happy in his flowery cove: 50
From bloody deeds his thoughts are far;
And yet he warbles songs of war,
That seem [14] like songs of love,
For calm and gentle is his mien;
Like a dead Boy he is serene. 55

* * * * *

VARIANTS ON THE TEXT

[Variant 1:

1836.

... a cottage hut; 1800.]

[Variant 2:

1827.

He sings his blithest and his best; 1800.

She sings, regardless of her rest, 1820.]

[Variant 3:

1827.

But in ... 1800.]

[Variant 4:

1820.

... his ... 1800.]

[Variant 5:

1827.

The bees borne on ... 1800.]

[Variant 6:

1827.

Nor ever linger there. 1800.]

[Variant 7:

1836.

He seems ... 1800.]

[Variant 8:

1802.

A piping Shepherd he might be,
A Herd-boy of the wood. 1800.]

[Variant 9:

1802.

... nor ... 1800.]

[Variant 10:

1836.

He rests the harp upon his knee,
And there in a forgotten tongue
He warbles melody. 1800.]

[Variant 11:

1827.

Of flocks and herds both far and near 1800.

Of flocks upon the neighbouring hills 1802.]

[Variant 12:

1845.

... sits ... 1800.]

[Variant 13:

When near this blasted tree you pass,
Two sods are plainly to be seen
Close at its root, and each with grass
Is cover'd fresh and green.
Like turf upon a new-made grave
These two green sods together lie,
Nor heat, nor cold, nor rain, nor wind
Can these two sods together bind,
Nor sun, nor earth, nor sky,
But side by side the two are laid,
As if just sever'd by the spade.

This stanza occurs only in the edition of 1800.]

[Variant 14:

1815.

They seem ... 1800.]

* * * * *

FOOTNOTES ON THE TEXT

[Footnote A: These Stanzas were designed to introduce a Ballad upon the
Story of a Danish Prince who had fled from Battle, and, for the sake of
the valuables about him, was murdered by the Inhabitant of a Cottage in
which he had taken refuge. The House fell under a curse, and the Spirit
of the Youth, it was believed, haunted the Valley where the crime had
been committed.--W. W. 1827.]

* * * * *

LUCY GRAY; OR, SOLITUDE

Composed 1799.--Published 1800

[Written at Goslar, in Germany, in 1799. It was founded on a
circumstance told me by my sister, of a little girl, who, not far from
Halifax in Yorkshire, was bewildered in a snow storm. Her footsteps were
tracked by her parents to the middle of a lock of a canal, and no other
vestige of her, backward or forward, could be traced. The body, however,
was found in the canal. The way in which the incident was treated, and
the spiritualizing of the character, might furnish hints for contrasting
the imaginative influences, which I have endeavoured to throw over
common life, with Crabbe's matter-of-fact style of handling subjects of
the same kind. This is not spoken to his disparagement, far from it; but
to direct the attention of thoughtful readers into whose hands these
notes may fall, to a comparison that may enlarge the circle of their
sensibilities, and tend to produce in them a catholic judgment.--I.F.]

One of the "Poems referring to the Period of Childhood."--Ed.

Oft I had heard [1] of Lucy Gray:
And, when I crossed the wild,
I chanced to see at break of day
The solitary child.

No mate, no comrade Lucy knew; 5
She dwelt on a wide moor, [2]
--The sweetest thing that ever grew
Beside a human door!

You yet may spy the fawn at play,
The hare upon the green; 10
But the sweet [3] face of Lucy Gray
Will never more be seen.

"To-night will be a stormy night--
You to the town must go;
And take a lantern, Child, to light 15
Your mother through the snow."

"That, Father! will I gladly do:
'Tis scarcely afternoon--
The minster-clock has just struck two,
And yonder is the moon!" 20

At this the Father raised his hook,
And snapped [4] a faggot-band;
He plied his work;--and Lucy took
The lantern in her hand.

Not blither is the mountain roe: 25
With many a wanton stroke
Her feet disperse the powdery snow,
That rises up like smoke.

The storm came on before its time:
She wandered up and down; 30
And many a hill did Lucy climb
But never reached the town.

The wretched parents all that night
Went shouting far and wide;
But there was neither sound nor sight 35
To serve them for a guide.

At day-break on a hill they stood
That overlooked the moor;
And thence they saw the bridge of wood,
A furlong from their door. 40

They wept--and, turning homeward, cried, [5]
"In heaven we all shall meet;"
--When in the snow the mother spied [6]
The print of Lucy's feet.

Then downwards [7] from the steep hill's edge 45
They tracked the footmarks small;
And through the broken hawthorn hedge,
And by the long stone-wall;

And then an open field they crossed:
The marks were still the same; 50
They tracked them on, nor ever lost;
And [8] to the bridge they came.

They followed from the snowy bank
Those [9] footmarks, one by one,
Into the middle of the plank; 55
And further there were [10] none!

--Yet some maintain that to this day
She is a living child;
That you may see sweet Lucy Gray
Upon the lonesome wild. 60

O'er rough and smooth she trips along,
And never looks behind;
And sings a solitary song
That whistles in the wind. [A]

This poem was illustrated by Sir George Beaumont, in a picture of some
merit, which was engraved by J. C. Bromley, and published in the
collected editions of 1815 and 1820. Henry Crabb Robinson wrote in his
'Diary', September 11, 1816 (referring to Wordsworth):

"He mentioned the origin of some poems. 'Lucy Gray', that tender and
pathetic narrative of a child lost on a common, was occasioned by the
death of a child who fell into the lock of a canal. His object was to
exhibit poetically entire 'solitude', and he represents the child as
observing the day-moon, which no town or village girl would ever
notice."

A contributor to 'Notes and Queries', May 12, 1883, whose signature is
F., writes:

"THE SCENE OF 'LUCY GRAY'.--In one of the editions of Wordsworth's
works the scene of this ballad is said to have been near Halifax, in
Yorkshire. I do not think the poet was acquainted with the locality
beyond a sight of the country in travelling through on some journey. I
know of no spot where all the little incidents mentioned in the poem
would exactly fit in, and a few of the local allusions are evidently
by a stranger. There is no 'minster'; the church at Halifax from time
immemorial has always been known as the 'parish church,' and sometimes
as the 'old church,' but has never been styled 'the minster.' The
'mountain roe,' which of course may be brought in as poetically
illustrative, has not been seen on these hills for generations, and I
scarcely think even the 'fawn at play' for more than a hundred years.
These misapplications, it is almost unnecessary to say, do not detract
from the beauty of the poetry. Some of the touches are graphically
true to the neighbourhood, as, for instance, 'the wide moor,' the
'many a hill,' the 'steep hill's edge,' the 'long stone wall,' and the
hint of the general loneliness of the region where Lucy 'no mate, no
comrade, knew.' I think I can point out the exact spot--no longer a
'plank,' but a broad, safe bridge--where Lucy fell into the water.
Taking a common-sense view, that she would not be sent many miles at
two o'clock on a winter afternoon to the town (Halifax, of course),
over so lonely a mountain moor--bearing in mind also that this moor
overlooked the river, and that the river was deep and strong enough to
carry the child down the current--I know only one place where such an
accident could have occurred. The clue is in this verse:

'At day-break on a hill they stood
That overlooked the moor;
And thence they saw the bridge of wood,
A furlong from their door.'

The hill I take to be the high ridge of Greetland and Norland Moor,
and the plank she had to cross Sterne Mill Bridge, which there spans
the Calder, broad and rapid enough at any season to drown either a
young girl or a grown-up person. The mountain burns, romantic and wild
though they be, are not dangerous to cross, especially for a child old
enough to go and seek her mother. To sum up the matter, the hill
overlooking the moor, the path to and distance from the town, the
bridge, the current, all indicate one point, and one point only, where
this accident could have happened, and that is the bridge near Sterne
Mill. This bridge is so designated from the Sterne family, a branch of
whom in the last century resided close by. The author of 'Tristram
Shandy' spent his boyhood here; and Lucy Gray, had she safely crossed
the plank, would immediately have passed Wood Hall, where the boy
Laurence had lived, and, pursuing her way to Halifax, would have gone
through the meadows in which stood Heath School, where young Sterne
had been educated. The mill-weir at Sterne Mill Bridge was, I believe,
the scene of Lucy Gray's death."

Sterne Mill Bridge, however, crosses the river Calder, while Wordsworth
tells us that the girl lost her life by falling "into the lock of a
canal." The Calder runs parallel with the canal near Sterne Mill Bridge.
See J.R. Tutin's 'Wordsworth in Yorkshire'.--Ed.

* * * * *

VARIANTS ON THE TEXT

[Variant 1:

1800.

Oft had I heard ...

Only in the second issue of 1800.]

[Variant 2:

1800 (2nd issue).

She dwelt on a wild Moor 1800.

She lived on a wide Moor MS.]

[Variant 3:

1800.

... bright ... C.]

[Variant 4:

1800.

He snapped ... MS.]

[Variant 5:

1827.

And now they homeward turn'd, and cry'd 1800.

And, turning homeward, now they cried 1815.]

[Variant 6:

1800.

The Mother turning homeward cried,
"We never more shall meet,"
When in the driven snow she spied MS.]

[Variant 7:

1840.

Then downward ... 1800.

Half breathless ... 1827.]

[Variant 8:

1800.

... and never lost
Till ... MS.]

[Variant 9:

1827.

The ... 1800.]

[Variant 10:

1800.

... was ... 1802.

The text of 1815 returns to that of 1800.]

* * * * *

FOOTNOTES ON THE TEXT

[Footnote A: Compare Gray's ode, 'On a Distant Prospect of Eton
College', II. 38-9:

'Still as they run they look behind,
They hear a voice in every wind.'

Ed.]

* * * * *

RUTH

Composed 1799.--Published 1800

[Written in Germany, 1799. Suggested by an account I had of a wanderer
in Somersetshire.--I.F.]

Classed among the "Poems founded on the Affections" in the editions of
1815 and 1820. In 1827 it was transferred to the "Poems of the
Imagination."--Ed.

When Ruth was left half desolate,
Her Father took another Mate;
And Ruth, not seven years old,
A slighted child, at her own will [1]
Went wandering over dale and hill, 5
In thoughtless freedom, bold.

And she had made a pipe of straw,
And music from that pipe could draw
Like sounds of winds and floods; [2]
Had built a bower upon the green, 10
As if she from her birth had been
An infant of the woods.

Beneath her father's roof, alone [3]
She seemed to live; her thoughts her own;
Herself her own delight; 15
Pleased with herself, nor sad, nor gay;
And, passing thus the live-long day,
She grew to woman's height. [4]

There came a Youth from Georgia's shore--
A military casque he wore, 20
With splendid feathers drest; [A]
He brought them from the Cherokees;
The feathers nodded in the breeze,
And made a gallant crest.

From Indian blood you deem him sprung: 25
But no! [5] he spake the English tongue,
And bore [6] a soldier's name;
And, when America was free
From battle and from jeopardy,
He 'cross the ocean came. 30

With hues of genius on his cheek
In finest tones the Youth could speak:
--While he was yet a boy,
The moon, the glory of the sun,
And streams that murmur as they run, 35
Had been his dearest joy.

He was a lovely Youth! I guess
The panther in the wilderness
Was not so fair as he;
And, when he chose to sport and play, 40
No dolphin ever was so gay
Upon the tropic sea.

Among the Indians he had fought,
And with him many tales he brought
Of pleasure and of fear; 45
Such tales as told to any maid
By such a Youth, in the green shade,
Were perilous to hear.

He told of girls--a happy rout!
Who quit their fold with dance and shout, 50
Their pleasant Indian town,
To gather strawberries all day long;
Returning with a choral song
When daylight is gone down.

He spake of plants that hourly change 55
Their blossoms, through a boundless range
Of intermingling hues; [7] [B]
With budding, fading, faded flowers
They stand the wonder of the bowers
From morn to evening dews, [C] 60
[8]
He told of the magnolia, [D] spread
High as a cloud, high over head!
The cypress and her spire; [E]
--Of flowers [F] that with one scarlet gleam
Cover a hundred leagues, and seem 65
To set the hills on fire. [G]

The Youth of green savannahs spake,
And many an endless, endless lake,
With all its fairy crowds
Of islands, that together lie 70
As quietly as spots of sky
Among the evening clouds. [H]

"How pleasant," then he said, "it were [9]
A fisher or a hunter there,
In sunshine or in shade 75
To wander with an easy mind;
And build a household fire, and find [10]
A home in every glade!

"What days and what bright [11] years! Ah me!
Our life were life indeed, with thee 80
So passed in quiet bliss,
And all the while," said he, "to know
That we were in a world of woe,
On such an earth as this!"

And then he sometimes interwove 85
Fond [12] thoughts about a father's love:
"For there," said he, "are spun
Around the heart such tender ties,
That our own children to our eyes
Are dearer than the sun. 90

"Sweet Ruth! and could you go with me
My helpmate in the woods to be,
Our shed at night to rear;
Or run, my own adopted bride,
A sylvan huntress at my side, 95
And drive the flying deer!

"Beloved Ruth!"--No more he said.
The wakeful Ruth at midnight shed [13]
A solitary tear:
She thought again--and did agree 100
With him to sail across the sea,
And drive the flying deer.

"And now, as fitting is and right,
We in the church our faith will plight,
A husband and a wife." 105
Even so they did; and I may say
That to sweet Ruth that happy day
Was more than human life.

Through dream and vision did she sink,
Delighted all the while to think 110
That on those lonesome floods,
And green savannahs, she should share
His board with lawful joy, and bear
His name in the wild woods.

But, as you have before been told, 115
This Stripling, sportive, gay, and bold,
And, with his dancing crest,
So beautiful, through savage lands
Had roamed about, with vagrant bands
Of Indians in the West. 120

The wind, the tempest roaring high,
The tumult of a tropic sky,
Might well be dangerous food
For him, a Youth to whom was given
So much of earth--so much of heaven, 125
And such impetuous blood.

Whatever in those climes he found
Irregular in sight or sound
Did to his mind impart
A kindred impulse, seemed allied 130
To his own powers, and justified
The workings of his heart.

Nor less, to feed voluptuous [14] thought,
The beauteous forms of nature wrought,
Fair trees and gorgeous [15] flowers; 135
The breezes their own languor lent;
The stars had feelings, which they sent
Into those favored [16] bowers.

Yet, in his worst pursuits, I ween
That sometimes [17] there did intervene 140
Pure hopes of high intent:
For passions linked to forms so fair
And stately, needs must have their share [18]
Of noble sentiment.

But ill he lived, [19] much evil saw, 145
With men to whom no better law
Nor better life was known;
Deliberately, and undeceived,
Those wild men's vices he received,
And gave them back his own. 150

His genius and his moral frame
Were thus impaired, and he became
The slave of low desires:
A Man who without self-control
Would seek what the degraded soul 155
Unworthily admires.

And yet he with no feigned delight
Had wooed the Maiden, day and night
Had loved her, night and morn:
What could he less than love a Maid 160
Whose heart with so much nature played
So kind and so forlorn!

Sometimes, most earnestly, he said,
"O Ruth! I have been worse than dead;
False thoughts, thoughts bold and vain, 165
Encompassed me on every side
When I, in confidence and pride,
Had crossed the Atlantic main. [20]

"Before me shone a glorious world--
Fresh as a banner bright, unfurled 170
To music suddenly: [21]
I looked upon those hills and plains,
And seemed as if let loose from chains,
To live at liberty.
[22]
"No more of this; for now, by thee, 175
Dear Ruth! more happily set free
With nobler zeal I burn; [23]
My soul from darkness is released,
Like the whole sky when to the east [24]
The morning doth return." 180
[25]
Full soon that better mind was gone; [26]
No hope, no wish remained, not one,--
They stirred him now no more;
New objects did new pleasure give,
And once again he wished to live 185
As lawless as before.

Meanwhile, as thus with him it fared,
They for the voyage were prepared,
And went to the sea-shore,
But, when they thither came, the Youth 190
Deserted his poor Bride, and Ruth
Could never find him more.

God help thee, Ruth!-Such pains she had,
That she in half a year was mad,
And in a prison housed; 195
And there, with many a doleful song
Made of wild words, her cup of wrong
She fearfully caroused. [27]

Yet sometimes milder hours she knew,
Nor wanted sun, nor rain, nor dew, 200
Nor pastimes of the May;
--They all were with her in her cell;
And a clear brook [28] with cheerful knell
Did o'er the pebbles play.

When Ruth three seasons thus had lain, 205
There came a respite to her pain;
She from her prison fled;
But of the Vagrant none took thought;
And where it liked her best she sought
Her shelter and her bread. 210

Among the fields she breathed again:
The master-current of her brain
Ran permanent and free;
And, coming to the Banks of Tone, [I]
There did she rest; and dwell alone [29] 215
Under the greenwood tree.

The engines of her pain, [30] the tools
That shaped her sorrow, rocks and pools,
And airs that gently stir
The vernal leaves--she loved them still; 220
Nor ever taxed them with the ill
Which had been done to her.

A Barn her _winter_ bed supplies;
But, till the warmth of summer skies
And summer days is gone, 225
(And all do in this tale agree) [31]
She sleeps beneath the greenwood tree,
And other home hath none.

An innocent life, yet far astray!
And Ruth will, long before her day, [32] 230
Be broken down and old:
Sore aches she needs must have! but less
Of mind, than body's wretchedness,
From damp, and rain, and cold. [33]

If she is prest by want of food, 235
She from her dwelling in the wood
Repairs to a road-side;
And there she begs at one steep place
Where up and down with easy pace
The horsemen-travellers ride. 240

That oaten pipe of hers is mute,
Or thrown away; but with a flute
Her loneliness she cheers:
This flute, made of a hemlock stalk,
At evening in his homeward walk 245
The Quantock woodman hears.

I, too, have passed her on the hills
Setting her little water-mills
By spouts and fountains wild--
Such small machinery as she turned 250
Ere she had wept, ere she had mourned,
A young and happy Child!

Farewell! and when thy days are told,
Ill-fated Ruth, in hallowed mould
Thy corpse shall buried be, 255
For thee a funeral bell shall ring,
And all the congregation sing
A Christian psalm for thee.

The following extract from Dorothy Wordsworth's Journal gives the date
of the stanzas added to 'Ruth' in subsequent editions:

"Sunday, March 8th, 1802.--I stitched up 'The Pedlar,' wrote out
'Ruth', read it with the alterations.... William brought two new
stanzas of 'Ruth'."

The transpositions of stanzas, and their omission from certain editions
and their subsequent re-introduction, in altered form, in later ones,
make it extremely difficult to give the textual history of 'Ruth' in
footnotes. They are even more bewildering than the changes introduced
into 'Simon Lee'.--Ed.

* * * * *

VARIANTS ON THE TEXT

[Variant 1:

1802.

And so, not seven years old,
The slighted Child ... 1800.]

[Variant 2:

1836.

And from that oaten pipe could draw
All sounds ... 1800.]

[Variant 3: This stanza was added in the edition of 1802.]

[Variant 4:

1827.

She pass'd her time; and in this way
Grew up to Woman's height. 1802.]

[Variant 5:

1836.

Ah no! ... 1800.]

[Variant 6:

1805.

... bare ... 1800.]

[Variant 7:

1836.

He spake of plants divine and strange
That ev'ry day their blossoms change,
Ten thousand lovely hues! 1800.

... every hour ... 1802.]

[Variant 8:

Of march and ambush, siege and fight,
Then did he tell; and with delight
The heart of Ruth would ache;
Wild histories they were, and dear:
But 'twas a thing of heaven to hear
When of himself he spake!

Only in the editions of 1802 and 1805.

The following is the order of the stanzas in the edition of 1802.
The first, fifth, and last had not appeared before.

Sometimes most earnestly he said;
"O Ruth! I have been worse than dead:
False thoughts, thoughts bold and vain
Encompass'd me on every side
When I, in thoughtlessness and pride,
Had cross'd the Atlantic Main.

Whatever in those Climes I found
Irregular in sight or sound
Did to my mind impart
A kindred impulse, seem'd allied
To my own powers, and justified
The workings of my heart.

Nor less to feed unhallow'd thought
The beauteous forms of nature wrought,
Fair trees and lovely flowers;
The breezes their own languor lent;
The stars had feelings which they sent
Into those magic bowers.

Yet, in my worst pursuits, I ween,
That often there did intervene
Pure hopes of high intent;
My passions, amid forms so fair
And stately, wanted not their share
Of noble sentiment.

So was it then, and so is now:
For, Ruth! with thee I know not how
I feel my spirit burn
Even as the east when day comes forth;
And to the west, and south, and north,
The morning doth return.

It is a purer better mind:
O Maiden innocent and kind
What sights I might have seen!
Even now upon my eyes they break!"
--And he again began to speak
Of Lands where he had been.

The last stanza is only in the editions of 1802-1805. [a]]

[Variant 9:

1836.

And then he said "How sweet it were 1800.]

[Variant 10:

1845.

A gardener in the shade,
Still wandering with an easy mind
To build ... 1800.

In sunshine or through shade
To wander with an easy mind;
And build ... 1836.]

[Variant 11:

1836.

... sweet ... 1800.]

[Variant 12:

1832.

Dear ... 1800.]

[Variant 13:

1820.

Sweet Ruth alone at midnight shed 1800.]

[Variant 14:

1800.

... unhallow'd ... 1802 and MS.

The edition of 1805 returns to the reading of 1800.]

[Variant 15:

1845.

... lovely ... 1800.]

[Variant 16:

1845.

... magic ... 1800.

... gorgeous ... 1815.]

[Variant 17:

1800.

That often ... 1802.

The text of 1805 returns to that of 1800.]

[Variant 18:

1800.

For passions, amid forms so fair
And stately, wanted not their share 1802.

The text of 1805 returns to that of 1800.]

[Variant 19:

1800.

Ill did he live ... 1802.

The text of 1805 returns to that of 1800.]

[Variant 20:

1805.

When I, in thoughtlessness and pride,
Had crossed ... 1802.

When first, in confidence and pride,
I crossed ... 1820.

C., and the edition of 1840, revert to the reading of 1805.]

[Variant 21:

1840 and C.

"It was a fresh and glorious world,
A banner bright that was unfurled
Before me suddenly: 1805.

A banner bright that shone unfurled 1836.]

[Variant 22: Lines 163-168, and 175-180, were added in 1802. Lines
169-174 were added in 1805. All these were omitted in 1815, but were
restored in 1820.]

[Variant 23:

1845

So was it then, and so is now:
For, Ruth! with thee I know not how
I feel my spirit burn 1802.

"But wherefore speak of this? for now,
Sweet Ruth! with thee, ... 1805.

Dear Ruth! with thee ... 1836.]

[Variant 24:

1836.

Even as the east when day comes forth;
And to the west, and south, and north, 1802.]

[Variant 25:

It is my purer better mind
O maiden innocently kind
What sights I might have seen!
Even now upon my eyes they break!
And then the youth began to speak
Of lands where he had been. MS.]

[Variant 26:

1845.

But now the pleasant dream was gone, 1800.

Full soon that purer mind ... 1820.]

[Variant 27:

1836.

And there, exulting in her wrongs,
Among the music of her songs
She fearfully carouz'd. [b] 1800.

And there she sang tumultuous songs,
By recollection of her wrongs,
To fearful passion rouzed. 1820.]

[Variant 28:

1836.

wild brook ... 1800.]

[Variant 29:

1802.

And to the pleasant Banks of Tone
She took her way, to dwell alone 1800.]

[Variant 30:

1802.

... grief, ... 1800.]

[Variant 31:

1805.

(And in this tale we all agree) 1800.]

[Variant 32:

1805.

The neighbours grieve for her, and say
That she will ... 1802.]

[Variant 33: This stanza first appeared in the edition of 1802.]

* * * * *

FOOTNOTES ON THE TEXT

[Footnote A: Taken from the portrait of the chief in Bartram's
frontispiece.--Ed.]

[Footnote B:

"The tall aspiring Gordonia lacianthus ... gradually changing colour,
from green to golden yellow, from that to a scarlet, from scarlet to
crimson, and lastly to a brownish purple, ... so that it may be said
to change and renew its garments every morning throughout the year."

See 'Travels through North and South Carolina, Georgia, East Florida,
the Cherokee Country', etc., by William Bartram (1791), pp. 159,
160.--Ed.]

[Footnote C:

"Its thick foliage of a dark green colour is flowered over with large
milk-white, fragrant blossoms, ... renewed every morning, and that in
such incredible profusion that the tree appears silvered over with
them, and the ground beneath covered with the fallen flowers. It, at
the same time, continually pushes forth new twigs, with young buds on
them."

(Bartram's 'Travels', etc., p. 159.)--Ed.]

[Footnote D: Magnolia grandiflora.--W. W. 1800; and Bartram's 'Travels',
p. 8.--Ed.]

[Footnote E:

"The Cypressus distichia stands in the first order of North American
trees. Its majestic stature, lifting its cumbrous top towards the
skies, and casting a wide shade upon the ground, as a dark intervening
cloud," etc.

(Bartram's 'Travels', p. 88).--Ed.]

[Footnote F: The splendid appearance of these scarlet flowers, which are
scattered with such profusion over the Hills in the Southern parts of
North America is frequently mentioned by Bartram in his 'Travels'.--W.
W. 1800.]

[Footnote G: Mr. Ernest Coleridge tells me he

"has traced, to a note-book of Coleridge's in the British Museum, the
source from which Wordsworth derived his description of Georgian
scenery in 'Ruth'. He does, I know, refer to Bartram, but the whole
passage is a poetical rendering, and a pretty close one, of Bartram's
poetical narrative. I have a portrait--the frontispiece of Bartram's
'Travels'--of Mico Chlucco, king of the Seminoles, whose feathers nod
in the breeze just as did the military casque of the 'youth from
Georgia's shore.'"

Ed.]

[Footnote H:

"North and south almost endless green plains and meadows, embellished
with islets and projecting promontories of high dark forests, where
the pyramidal Magnolia grandiflora ... conspicuously towers."

(Bartram's 'Travels', p. 145).--Ed.]

[Footnote I: The Tone is a River of Somersetshire, at no great distance
from the Quantock Hills. These Hills, which are alluded to a few stanzas
below, are extremely beautiful, and in most places richly covered with
Coppice woods. W. W. 1800.]

* * * * *

SUB-FOOTNOTES ON THE TEXT

[Sub-Footnote a: The edition of 1805 substitutes the stanzas beginning,

'It was a fresh and glorious world'

for stanzas 2, 3, and 4 of the above six in this note, but it inserts
these omitted stanzas later on as Nos. 27, 28, 29.--Ed.]

[Sub-Footnote b: Wordsworth wrote to Barren Field in 1828 that this stanza

"was altered, Lamb having observed that it was not English. I like it
better myself;'

(i.e. the version of 1800)

"but certainly to carouse cups--that is to empty them--is the genuine
English."

Ed.]

* * * * *

1800

Towards the close of December 1799, Wordsworth came to live at Dove
Cottage, Town-end, Grasmere. The poems written during the following year
(1800), are more particularly associated with that district of the
Lakes. Two of them were fragments of a canto of 'The Recluse', entitled
"Home at Grasmere," referring to his settlement at Dove Cottage. Others,
such as 'Michael', and 'The Brothers'--classed by him afterwards among
the "Poems founded on the Affections,"--deal with incidents in the rural
life of the dalesmen of Westmoreland and Cumberland. Most of the "Poems
on the Naming of Places" were written during this year; and the "Places"
are all in the neighbourhood of Grasmere. To these were added several
"Pastoral Poems"--such as 'The Idle Shepherd Boys; or, Dungeon-Ghyll
Force'--sundry "Poems of the Fancy," and one or two "Inscriptions." In
all, twenty-five poems were written in the year 1800; and, with the
exception of the two fragments of 'The Recluse', they were published
during the same year in the second volume of the second edition of
"Lyrical Ballads." It is impossible to fix the precise date of the
composition of the fragments of 'The Recluse'; but, as they refer to the
settlement at Dove Cottage--where Wordsworth went to reside with his
sister, on the 21st of December 1799--they may fitly introduce the poems
belonging to the year 1800. They were first published in 1851 in the
'Memoirs of Wordsworth' (vol. i. pp. 157 and 155 respectively), by the
poet's nephew, the late Bishop of Lincoln. The entire canto of 'The
Recluse', entitled "Home at Grasmere," will be included in this edition.

The first two poems which follow, as belonging to the year 1800, are
parts of 'The Recluse', viz. "On Nature's invitation do I come," (which
is ll. 71-97, and 110-125), and "Bleak season was it, turbulent and
bleak," (which is ll. 152-167). They are not reprinted from the
'Memoirs' of 1851, because the text there given was, in several
instances, inaccurately reproduced from the original MS., which has been
re-examined. They were printed here, in 'The Recluse '(1888), and in my
'Life of Wordsworth' (vol. i. 1889).--Ed.

* * * * *

"ON NATURE'S INVITATION DO I COME"

Composed (probably) in 1800.--Published 1851

On Nature's invitation do I come,
By Reason sanctioned. Can the choice mislead,
That made the calmest, fairest spot of earth,
With all its unappropriated good,
My own, and not mine only, for with me 5
Entrenched--say rather peacefully embowered--
Under yon orchard, in yon humble cot,
A younger orphan of a home extinct,
The only daughter of my parents dwells:
Aye, think on that, my heart, and cease to stir; 10
Pause upon that, and let the breathing frame
No longer breathe, but all be satisfied.
Oh, if such silence be not thanks to God
For what hath been bestowed, then where, where then
Shall gratitude find rest? Mine eyes did ne'er 15
Fix on a lovely object, nor my mind
Take pleasure in the midst of happy thoughts,
But either she, whom now I have, who now
Divides with me this loved abode, was there,
Or not far off. Where'er my footsteps turned, 20
Her voice was like a hidden bird that sang;
The thought of her was like a flash of light
Or an unseen companionship, a breath
Or fragrance independent of the wind.
In all my goings, in the new and old 25
Of all my meditations, and in this
Favourite of all, in this the most of all....
Embrace me then, ye hills, and close me in.
Now in the clear and open day I feel
Your guardianship: I take it to my heart; 30
'Tis like the solemn shelter of the night.
But I would call thee beautiful; for mild,
And soft, and gay, and beautiful thou art,
Dear valley, having in thy face a smile,
Though peaceful, full of gladness. Thou art pleased, 35
Pleased with thy crags, and woody steeps, thy lake,
Its one green island, and its winding shores,
The multitude of little rocky hills,
Thy church, and cottages of mountain-stone
Clustered like stars some few, but single most, 40
And lurking dimly in their shy retreats,
Or glancing at each other cheerful looks,
Like separated stars with clouds between.

This Grasmere cottage is identified, much more than Rydal Mount, with
Wordsworth's "poetic prime." It had once been a public-house, bearing
the sign of the Dove and Olive Bough--and as such is referred to in 'The
Waggoner'--from which circumstance it was for a long time, and is now
usually, called "Dove Cottage." A small two storied house, it is
described somewhat minutely--as it was in Wordsworth's time--by De
Quincey, in his 'Recollections of the Lakes', and by the late Bishop of
Lincoln, in the 'Memoirs' of his uncle.

"The front of it faces the lake; behind is a small plot of orchard and
garden ground, in which there is a spring and rocks; the enclosure
shelves upwards towards the woody sides of the mountains above it."
[A]

The following is De Quincey's description of it, as he saw it in the
summer of 1807.

"A white cottage, with two yew trees breaking the glare of its white
walls" (these yews still stand on the eastern side of the cottage). "A
little semi-vestibule between two doors prefaced the entrance into
what might be considered the principal room of the cottage. It was an
oblong square, not above eight and a half feet high, sixteen feet
long, and twelve broad; wainscoted from floor to ceiling with dark
polished oak, slightly embellished with carving. One window there
was--a perfect and unpretending cottage window, with little diamond
panes, embowered at almost every season of the year with roses; and,
in the summer and autumn, with a profusion of jasmine, and other
fragrant shrubs.... I was ushered up a little flight of stairs,
fourteen in all, to a little drawing-room, or whatever the reader
chooses to call it. Wordsworth himself has described the fireplace of
this room as his

'Half-kitchen and half-parlour fire.'

It was not fully seven feet six inches high, and in other respects
pretty nearly of the same dimensions as the rustic hall below. There
was, however, in a small recess, a library of perhaps three hundred
volumes, which seemed to consecrate the room as the poet's study and
composing room, and such occasionally it was. But far oftener he both
studied, as I found, and composed on the high road." [B]

Other poems of later years refer, much more fully than the above, to
this cottage, and its orchard ground, where so many of Wordsworth's
lyrics were composed.

The "orchard ground," which was for the most part in grass, sloped
upwards; but a considerable portion of the natural rock was exposed; and
on its face, some rough stone steps were cut by Wordsworth, helped by a
near neighbour of his--John Fisher--so as more conveniently to reach the
upper terrace, where the poet built for himself a small arbour. All this
garden and orchard ground is not much altered since 1800. The short
terrace walk is curved, with a sloping bank of grass above, shaded by
apple trees, hazel, holly, laburnum, laurel, and mountain ash. Below the
terrace is the well, which supplied the cottage in Wordsworth's time;
and there large leaved primroses still grow, doubtless the successors of
those planted by his own and his sister's hands. Above, and amongst the
rocks, are the daffodils, which they also brought to their
"garden-ground;" the Christmas roses, which they planted near the well,
were removed to the eastern side of the garden, where they flourished
luxuriantly in 1882; but have now, alas! disappeared. The box-wood
planted by the poet grows close to the cottage. The arbour is now gone;
but, in the place where it stood, a seat is erected. The hidden brook
still sings its under-song, as it used to do, "its quiet soul on all
bestowing," and the green linnet may doubtless be seen now, as it used
to be in 1803. The allusions to the garden ground at Dove Cottage, in
the poems which follow, will be noted as they occur.--Ed.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote A: See the 'Memoirs of Wordsworth', vol. i. p. 156.--Ed.]

[Footnote B: See 'Recollections of the Lakes', etc., pp. 130-137, Works,
vol. ii., edition of 1862.--Ed.]

* * * * *

"BLEAK SEASON WAS IT, TURBULENT AND BLEAK" [A]

Composed (probably) in 1800.--Published 1851

Bleak season was it, turbulent and bleak,
When hitherward we journeyed, side by side,
Through burst of sunshine and through flying showers,
Paced the long vales, how long they were, and yet
How fast that length of way was left behind, 5
Wensley's rich vale and Sedbergh's naked heights.
The frosty wind, as if to make amends
For its keen breath, was aiding to our steps,
And drove us onward like two ships at sea;
Or, like two birds, companions in mid-air, 10
Parted and reunited by the blast.
Stern was the face of nature; we rejoiced
In that stern countenance; for our souls thence drew
A feeling of their strength. The naked trees,
The icy brooks, as on we passed, appeared 15
To question us, "Whence come ye? To what end?"

This poem refers to a winter journey on foot, which Wordsworth and his
sister took from Sockburn to Grasmere, by Wensleydale and Askrigg; and,
since he has left us an account of this journey, in a letter to
Coleridge, written a few days after their arrival at Grasmere--a letter
in which his characterisation of Nature is almost as happy as it is in
his best poems--some extracts from it may here be appended.

"We left Sockburn last Tuesday morning. We crossed the Tees by
moonlight in the Sockburn fields, and after ten good miles riding came
in sight of the Swale. It is there a beautiful river, with its green
banks and flat holms scattered over with trees. Four miles further
brought us to Richmond, with its huge ivied castle, its friarage
steeple, its castle tower resembling a huge steeple.... We were now in
Wensleydale, and D. and I set off side by side to foot it as far as
Kendal.... We reached Askrigg, twelve miles, before six in the
evening, having been obliged to walk the last two miles over hard
frozen roads.... Next morning the earth was thinly covered with snow,
enough to make the road soft and prevent its being slippery. On
leaving Askrigg we turned aside to see another waterfall. It was a
beautiful morning, with driving snow showers, which disappeared by
fits, and unveiled the east, which was all one delicious pale orange
colour. After walking through two small fields we came to a mill,
which we passed, and in a moment a sweet little valley opened before
us, with an area of grassy ground, and a stream dashing over various
laminae of black rocks close under a bank covered with firs; the bank
and stream on our left, another woody bank on our right, and the flat
meadow in front, from which, as at Buttermere, the stream had retired,
as it were, to hide itself under the shade. As we walked up this
delightful valley we were tempted to look back perpetually on the
stream, which reflected the orange lights of the morning among the
gloomy rocks, with a brightness varying with the agitation of the
current. The steeple of Askrigg was between us and the east, at the
bottom of the valley; it was not a quarter of a mile distant.... The
two banks seemed to join before us with a facing of rock common to
them both. When we reached this bottom the valley opened out again;
two rocky banks on each side, which, hung with ivy and moss, and
fringed luxuriantly with brushwood, ran directly parallel to each
other, and then approaching with a gentle curve at their point of
union, presented a lofty waterfall, the termination of the valley. It
was a keen frosty morning, showers of snow threatening us, but the sun
bright and active. We had a task of twenty-one miles to perform in a
short winter's day.... On a nearer approach the waters seemed to fall
down a tall arch or niche that had shaped itself by insensible
moulderings in the wall of an old castle. We left this spot with
reluctance, but highly exhilarated.... It was bitter cold, the wind
driving the snow behind us in the best style of a mountain storm. We
soon reached an inn at a place called Hardrane, and descending from
our vehicles, after warming ourselves by the cottage fire, we walked
up the brook-side to take a view of a third waterfall. We had not
walked above a few hundred yards between two winding rocky banks
before we came full upon the waterfall, which seemed to throw itself
in a narrow line from a lofty wall of rock, the water, which shot
manifestly to some distance from the rock, seeming to be dispersed
into a thin shower scarcely visible before it reached the bason. We
were disappointed in the cascade itself, though the introductory and
accompanying banks were an exquisite mixture of grandeur and
beauty.... After cautiously sounding our way over stones of all
colours and sizes, encased in the clearest water formed by the spray
of the fall, we found the rock, which before had appeared like a wall,
extending itself over our heads, like the ceiling of a huge cave, from
the summit of which the waters shot directly over our heads into a
bason, and among fragments wrinkled over with masses of ice as white
as snow, or rather, as Dorothy says, like congealed froth. The water
fell at least ten yards from us, and we stood directly behind it, the
excavation not so deep in the rock as to impress any feeling of
darkness, but lofty and magnificent; but in connection with the
adjoining banks excluding as much of the sky as could well be spared
from a scene so exquisitely beautiful. The spot where we stood was as
dry as the chamber in which I am now sitting, and the incumbent rock,
of which the groundwork was limestone, veined and dappled with colours
which melted into each other with every possible variety of colour. On
the summit of the cave were three festoons, or rather wrinkles, in the
rock, run up parallel like the folds of a curtain when it is drawn up.
Each of these was hung with icicles of various length, and nearly in
the middle of the festoon, in the deepest valley of the waves that ran
parallel to each other, the stream shot from the rows of icicles in
irregular fits of strength, and with a body of water that varied every
moment. Sometimes the stream shot into the bason in one continued
current; sometimes it was interrupted almost in the midst of its fall,
and was blown towards part of the waterfall at no great distance from
our feet like the heaviest thunder shower. In such a situation you
have at every moment a feeling of the presence of the sky. Large
fleecy clouds drove over our heads above the rush of the water, and
the sky appeared of a blue more than usually brilliant. The rocks on
each side, which, joining with the side of this cave, formed the vista
of the brook, were chequered with three diminutive waterfalls, or
rather courses of water. Each of these was a miniature of all that
summer and winter can produce of delicate beauty. The rock in the
centre of the falls, where the water was most abundant, a deep black,
the adjoining parts yellow, white, purple, and dove colour, covered
with water--plants of the most vivid green, and hung with streaming
icicles, that in some places seem to conceal the verdure of the plants
and the violet and yellow variegation of the rocks; and in some places
render the colours more brilliant. I cannot express to you the
enchanting effect produced by this Arabian scene of colour as the wind
blew aside the great waterfall behind which we stood, and alternately
hid and revealed each of these fairy cataracts in irregular
succession, or displayed them with various gradations of distinctness
as the intervening spray was thickened or dispersed. What a scene too
in summer! In the luxury of our imagination we could not help feeding
upon the pleasure which this cave, in the heat of a July noon, would
spread through a frame exquisitely sensible. That huge rock on the
right, the bank winding round on the left with all its living foliage,
and the breeze stealing up the valley, and bedewing the cavern with
the freshest imaginable spray. And then the murmur of the water, the
quiet, the seclusion, and a long summer day."

Ed.

FOOTNOTE ON THE TEXT:

[Footnote A: This is a fragment of 'The Recluse', ll. 152-167; but it
was originally published in the 'Memoirs of Wordsworth' by his nephew
(1851).--Ed.]

* * * * *

ELLEN IRWIN; OR, THE BRAES OF KIRTLE [A]

Composed 1800.--Published 1800

[It may be worth while to observe that as there are Scotch Poems on this
subject in simple ballad strain, I thought it would be both presumptuous
and superfluous to attempt treating it in the same way; and,
accordingly, I chose a construction of stanza quite new in our language;
in fact, the same as that of Buerger's 'Leonora', except that the first
and third lines do not, in my stanzas, rhyme. At the outset I threw out
a classical image to prepare the reader for the style in which I meant
to treat the story, and so to preclude all comparison.--I.F.]

In the editions of 1815 and 1820 this was included among the "Poems
founded on the Affections." In 1827 it was placed in the "Memorials of a
Tour in Scotland, 1803."--Ed.

Fair Ellen Irwin, when she sate
Upon the braes of Kirtle,
Was lovely as a Grecian maid
Adorned with wreaths of myrtle;
Young Adam Bruce beside her lay, 5
And there did they beguile the day
With love and gentle speeches,
Beneath the budding beeches.

From many knights and many squires
The Bruce had been selected; 10
And Gordon, fairest of them all,
By Ellen was rejected.
Sad tidings to that noble Youth!
For it may be proclaimed with truth,
If Bruce hath loved sincerely, 15
That Gordon [1] loves as dearly.

But what are Gordon's form and face,
His shattered hopes and crosses,
To them, 'mid Kirtle's pleasant braes,
Reclined on flowers and mosses? [2] 20
Alas that ever he was born!
The Gordon, couched behind a thorn,
Sees them and their caressing;
Beholds them blest and blessing.

Proud Gordon, maddened by the thoughts [3] 25
That through his brain are travelling,
Rushed forth, and at the heart of Bruce [4]
He launched a deadly javelin!
Fair Ellen saw it as it came,
And, starting up to meet the same, [5] 30
Did with her body cover
The Youth, her chosen lover.

And, falling into Bruce's arms,
Thus died the beauteous Ellen,
Thus, from the heart of her True-love, 35
The mortal spear repelling.
And Bruce, as soon as he had slain
The Gordon, sailed away to Spain;
And fought with rage incessant
Against the Moorish crescent. 40

But many days, and many months,
And many years ensuing,
This wretched Knight did vainly seek
The death that he was wooing.
So, coming his last help to crave, 45
Heart-broken, upon Ellen's grave [6]
His body he extended,
And there his sorrow ended.

Now ye, who willingly have heard
The tale I have been telling, 50
May in Kirkonnel churchyard view
The grave of lovely Ellen:
By Ellen's side the Bruce is laid;
And, for the stone upon his head,
May no rude hand deface it, 55
And its forlorn Hic jacet.

* * * * *

VARIANTS ON THE TEXT

[Variant 1:

1815.

The Gordon ... 1800.]

[Variant 2:

1837.

But what is Gordon's beauteous face?
And what are Gordon's crosses
To them who sit by Kirtle's Braes
Upon the verdant mosses? 1800.]

[Variant 3:

1837.

Proud Gordon cannot bear the thoughts 1800.]

[Variant 4:

1837.

And, starting up, to Bruce's heart 1800.]

[Variant 5:

1837.

Fair Ellen saw it when it came,
And, stepping forth ... 1800.]

[Variant 6:

1827.

So coming back across the wave,
Without a groan on Ellen's grave 1800.

And coming back ... 1802.]

* * * * *

FOOTNOTE:

[Footnote A: The Kirtle is a River in the Southern part of Scotland, on
whose banks the events here related took place.--W. W. 1800.]

No Scottish ballad is superior in pathos to 'Helen of Kirkconnell'. It
is based on a traditionary tale--the date of the event being lost--but
the locality, in the parish of Kirkpatrick-Fleming in Dumfriesshire, is
known; and there the graves of "Burd Helen" and her lover are still
pointed out.

The following is Sir Walter Scott's account of the story:

"A lady of the name of Helen Irving, or Bell (for this is disputed by
the two clans), daughter of the laird of Kirkconnell in Dumfriesshire,
and celebrated for her beauty, was beloved by two gentlemen in the
neighbourhood. The name of the favoured suitor was Adam Fleming of
Kirkpatrick: that of the other has escaped tradition, although it has
been alleged he was a Bell of Blackel-house. The addresses of the
latter were, however, favoured by the friends of the lady, and the
lovers were therefore obliged to meet in secret, and by night, in the
Churchyard of Kirkconnell, a romantic spot, surrounded by the river
Kirtle. During one of their private interviews, the jealous and
despised lover suddenly appeared on the opposite bank of the stream,
and levelled his carbine at the breast of his rival. Helen threw
herself before her lover, received in her bosom the bullet, and died
in his arms. A desperate and mortal combat ensued between Fleming and
the murderer, in which the latter was cut to pieces."

See 'Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border', vol. ii. p. 317.

The original ballad--well known though it is--may be quoted as an
admirable illustration of the different types of poetic genius in
dealing with the same, or a kindred, theme.

I wish I were where Helen lies!
Night and day on me she cries;
O that I were where Helen lies,
On fair Kirkconnell lee!

Cursed be the heart that thought the thought,
And curst the hand that fired the shot,
When in my arms burd Helen dropt,
And died to succour me!

Oh think ye na my heart was sair,
When my love dropt down and spake nae mair!
There did she swoon wi' meikle care,
On fair Kirkconnell lee.

As I went down the water side,
None but my foe to be my guide,
None but my foe to be my guide,
On fair Kirkconnell lee--

I lighted down, my sword did draw,
I hacked him in pieces sma',
I hacked him in pieces sma',
For her sake that died for me.

Oh, Helen fair, beyond compare!
I'll weave a garland of thy hair
Shall bind my heart for evermair,
Until the day I dee!

Oh that I were where Helen lies!
Day and night on me she cries;
Out of my bed she bids me rise,
Says, "Haste, and come to me!"

O Helen fair! O Helen chaste!
Were I with thee I would be blest,
Where thou lies low and takes thy rest,
On fair Kirkconnell lee.

I wish my grave were growing green,
A winding sheet drawn o'er my e'en,
And I in Helen's arms lying
On fair Kirkconnell lee.

I wish I were where Helen lies!
Night and day on me she cries,
And I am weary of the skies,
For her sake that died for me!

Ed.

* * * * *

HART-LEAP WELL

Composed 1800.--Published 1800

Hart-Leap Well is a small spring of water, about five miles from
Richmond in Yorkshire, and near the side of the road which leads from
Richmond to Askrigg. Its name is derived from a remarkable chace, the
memory of which is preserved by the monuments spoken of in the second
Part of the following Poem, which monuments do now exist as I have there
described them.--W. W. 1800.

[Written at Town-end, Grasmere. The first eight stanzas were composed
extempore one winter evening in the cottage, when, after having tired
myself with labouring at an awkward passage in 'The Brothers', I started
with a sudden impulse to this to get rid of the other, and finished it
in a day or two. My sister and I had passed the place a few weeks before
in our wild winter journey from Sockburn on the banks of the Tees to
Grasmere. A peasant whom we met near the spot told us the story so far
as concerned the name of the Well, and the Hart, and pointed out the
Stones. Both the stones and the well are objects that may easily be
missed. The tradition by this time may be extinct in the neighbourhood.
The man who related it to us was very old.--I. F.]

Included among the "Poems of the Imagination,"--Ed.

The Knight had ridden down from Wensley Moor
With the slow motion of a summer's cloud
And now, as he approached a vassal's door,
"Bring forth another horse!" he cried aloud. [1]

"Another horse!"--That shout the vassal heard 5
And saddled his best Steed, a comely grey;
Sir Walter mounted him; he was the third
Which he had mounted on that glorious day.

Joy sparkled in the prancing courser's eyes;
The horse and horseman are a happy pair; 10
But, though Sir Walter like a falcon flies,
There is a doleful silence in the air.

A rout this morning left Sir Walter's Hall,
That as they galloped made the echoes roar;
But horse and man are vanished, one and all; 15
Such race, I think, was never seen before.

Sir Walter, restless as a veering wind,
Calls to the few tired dogs that yet remain:
Blanch, [2] Swift, and Music, noblest of their kind,
Follow, and up the weary mountain strain. 20

The Knight hallooed, he cheered and chid them on [3]
With suppliant gestures [4] and upbraidings stern;
But breath and eyesight fail; and, one by one,
The dogs are stretched among the mountain fern.

Where is the throng, the tumult of the race? [5] 25
The bugles that so joyfully were blown?
--This chase it looks not like an earthly chase; [6]
Sir Walter and the Hart are left alone.

The poor Hart toils along the mountain-side;
I will not stop to tell how far he fled, 30
Nor will I mention by what death he died;
But now the Knight beholds him lying dead.

Dismounting, then, he leaned against a thorn;
He had no follower, dog, nor man, nor boy:
He neither cracked [7] his whip, nor blew his horn, 35
But gazed upon the spoil with silent joy.

Close to the thorn on which Sir Walter leaned,
Stood his dumb partner in this glorious feat; [8]
Weak as a lamb the hour that it is yeaned;
And white with foam as if with cleaving sleet. [9] 40

Upon his side the Hart was lying stretched:
His nostril touched [10] a spring beneath a hill,
And with the last deep groan his breath had fetched
The waters of the spring were trembling still.

And now, too happy for repose or rest, 45
(Never had living man such joyful lot!) [11]
Sir Walter walked all round, north, south, and west,
And gazed and gazed upon that darling spot. [12]

And climbing [13] up the hill--(it was at least
Four [14] roods of sheer ascent) Sir Walter found 50
Three several hoof-marks which the hunted Beast [15]
Had left imprinted on the grassy [16] ground.

Sir Walter wiped his face, and cried, "Till now
Such sight was never seen by human [17] eyes:
Three leaps have borne him from this lofty brow, 55
Down to the very fountain where he lies.

"I'll build a pleasure-house upon this spot,
And a small arbour, made for rural joy;
'Twill be the traveller's shed, the pilgrim's cot,
A place of love for damsels that are coy. 60

"A cunning artist will I have to frame
A basin for that fountain in the dell!
And they who do make mention of the same,
From this day forth, shall call it HART-LEAP WELL.

"And, gallant Stag! [18] to make thy praises known, 65
Another monument shall here be raised;
Three several pillars, each a rough-hewn stone,
And planted where thy hoofs the turf have grazed.

"And, in the summer-time when days are long,
I will come hither with my Paramour; 70
And with the dancers and the minstrel's song
We will make merry in that pleasant bower.

"Till the foundations of the mountains fail
My mansion with its arbour shall endure;--
The joy of them who till the fields of Swale, 75
And them who dwell among the woods of Ure!"

Then home he went, and left the Hart, stone-dead,
With breathless nostrils stretched above the spring.
--Soon did the Knight perform what he had said;
And far and wide the fame thereof did ring. [19] 80

Ere thrice the Moon into her port had steered,
A cup of stone received the living well;
Three pillars of rude stone Sir Walter reared,
And built a house of pleasure in the dell.

And near the fountain, flowers of stature tall 85
With trailing plants and trees were intertwined,--
Which soon composed a little sylvan hall,
A leafy shelter from the sun and wind.

And thither, when the summer days were long
Sir Walter led his wondering Paramour; [20] 90
And with the dancers and the minstrel's song
Made merriment within that pleasant bower.

The Knight, Sir Walter, died in course of time,
And his bones lie in his paternal vale.--
But there is matter for a second rhyme, 95
And I to this would add another tale.

PART SECOND

The moving accident [A] is not my trade;
To freeze the blood I have no ready arts:
'Tis my delight, alone in summer shade,
To pipe a simple song for [21] thinking hearts. 100

As I from Hawes to Richmond did repair,
It chanced that I saw standing in a dell
Three aspens at three corners of a square;
And one, not four yards distant, near a well.

What this imported I could ill divine: 105
And, pulling now the rein my horse to stop,
I saw three pillars standing in a line,--
The last stone-pillar on a dark hill-top.

The trees were grey, with neither arms nor head:
Half wasted the square mound of tawny green; 110
So that you just might say, as then I said,
"Here in old time the hand of man hath [22] been."

I looked upon the hill [23] both far and near,
More doleful place did never eye survey;
It seemed as if the spring-time came not here, 115
And Nature here were willing to decay.

I stood in various thoughts and fancies lost, [B]
When one, who was in shepherd's garb attired,
Came up the hollow:--him did I accost,
And what this place might be I then inquired. 120

The Shepherd stopped, and that same story told

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