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

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Which in my former rhyme I have rehearsed.
"A jolly place," said he, "in times of old!
But something ails it now: the spot is curst.

"You see these lifeless stumps of aspen wood--125
Some say that they are beeches, others elms--
These were the bower; and here a mansion stood,
The finest palace of a hundred realms!

"The arbour does its own condition tell;
You see the stones, the fountain, and the stream; 130
But as to the great Lodge! you might as well
Hunt half a day for a forgotten dream.

"There's neither dog nor heifer, horse nor sheep,
Will wet his lips within that cup of stone;
And oftentimes, when all are fast asleep, 135
This water doth send forth a dolorous groan.

"Some say that here a murder has been done,
And blood cries out for blood: but, for my part,
I've guessed, when I've been sitting in the sun,
That it was all for that unhappy Hart. 140

"What thoughts must through the creature's brain have past!
Even from the topmost stone, upon the steep, [24]
Are but three bounds--and look, Sir, at this last--
O Master! it has been a cruel leap.

"For thirteen hours he ran a desperate race; 145
And in my simple mind we cannot tell
What cause the Hart might have to love this place,
And come and make his death-bed near the well.

"Here on the grass perhaps asleep he sank,
Lulled by the [25] fountain in the summer tide; 150
This water was perhaps the first he drank
When he had wandered from his mother's side.

"In April here beneath the flowering [26] thorn
He heard the birds their morning carols sing;
And he, perhaps, for aught we know, was born 155
Not half a furlong from that self-same spring.

"Now, here is [27] neither grass nor pleasant shade;
The sun on drearier hollow never shone;
So will it be, as I have often said,
Till trees, and stones, and fountain, all are gone." 160

"Grey-headed Shepherd, thou hast spoken well;
Small difference lies between thy creed and mine:
This Beast not unobserved by Nature fell;
His death was mourned by sympathy divine.

"The Being, that is in the clouds and air, 165
That is in the green leaves among the groves,
Maintains a deep and reverential care
For the unoffending creatures [28] whom he loves.

"The pleasure-house is dust:--behind, before,
This is no common waste, no common gloom; 170
But Nature, in due course of time, once more
Shall here put on her beauty and her bloom.

"She leaves these objects to a slow decay,
That what we are, and have been, may be known;
But at the coming of the milder day, 175
These monuments shall all be overgrown.

"One lesson, Shepherd, let us two divide,
Taught both by what she shows, and what conceals; [C]
Never to blend our pleasure or our pride
With sorrow of the meanest thing that feels." 180

* * * * *

VARIANTS ON THE TEXT

[Variant 1:

1836.

He turn'd aside towards a Vassal's door,
And, "Bring another Horse!" he cried aloud. 1800.]

[Variant 2:

1827.

Brach, ... 1800.]

[Variant 3:

1827.

... he chid and cheer'd them on 1800.]

[Variant 4:

1800.

With fawning kindness ... MS.]

[Variant 5:

1802.

... of the chace? 1800.]

[Variant 6:

1802.

This race it looks not like an earthly race; 1800.]

[Variant 7:

1820.

... smack'd ... 1800.]

[Variant 8:

1820.

... act; 1800.]

[Variant 9:

1820.

And foaming like a mountain cataract. 1800.]

[Variant 10:

1820.

His nose half-touch'd ... 1800.]

[Variant 11:

1820.

Was never man in such a joyful case, 1800.]

[Variant 12:

1820.

.... place. 1800.]

[Variant 13:

1802.

... turning ... 1800.]

[Variant 14:

1845.

Nine ... 1800.]

[Variant 15:

1802.

Three several marks which with his hoofs the beast 1800.]

[Variant 16:

1820.

... verdant ... 1800.]

[Variant 17:

1836.

... living ... 1800.]

[Variant 18:

1827.

... gallant brute! ... 1800.]

[Variant 19:

1815.

And soon the Knight perform'd what he had said,
The fame whereof through many a land did ring. 1800.]

[Variant 20:

1820.

... journey'd with his paramour; 1800.]

[Variant 21:

1815.

... to ... 1800.]

[Variant 22:

1815.

... has ... 1800.]

[Variant 23:

1815.

... hills ... 1800.]

[Variant 24:

1815.

From the stone on the summit of the steep 1800.

... upon ... 1802.]

[Variant 25:

1832.

... this ... 1800.]

[Variant 26:

1836.

... scented ... 1800.]

[Variant 27:

1827.

But now here's ... 1800.]

[Variant 28:

1815.

For them the quiet creatures ... 1800.]

* * * * *

FOOTNOTES ON THE TEXT

[Footnote A: Compare 'Othello', act I. scene iii. l. 135:

'Of moving accidents by flood and field.'

Ed.]

[Footnote B: Compare the sonnet (vol. iv.) beginning:

"Beloved Vale!" I said. "when I shall con ...

Ed.]

[Footnote C: Compare Tennyson, 'In Memoriam', v. II. 3, 4.

'For words, like Nature, half reveal
And half conceal the Soul within.'

Ed.]

This poem was suggested to Wordsworth in December 1799 during the
journey with his sister from Sockburn in Yorkshire to Grasmere. I owe
the following local note on 'Hart-Leap Well' to Mr. John R. Tutin of
Hull.

"June 20, 1881. Visited 'Hart-Leap Well,' the subject of Wordsworth's
poem. It is situated on the road side leading from Richmond to
Askrigg, at a distance of not more than three and a-half miles from
Richmond, and not five miles as stated in the prefatory note to the
poem. The 'three aspens at three corners of a square' are things of
the past; also the 'three stone pillars standing in a line, on the
hill above. In a straight line with the spring of water, and where the
pillars would have been, a wall has been built; so that it is very
probable the stone pillars were removed at the time of the building of
this wall. The scenery around answers exactly to the description

More doleful place did never eye survey;
It seemed as if the spring time came not here,
And Nature here were willing to decay.
...
Now, here is neither grass nor pleasant shade.

"It is barren moor for miles around. The water still falls into the
'cup of stone,' which appeared to be of very long standing. Within ten
yards of the well is a small tree, at the same side of the road as the
well, on the right hand coming from Richmond."

The Rev. Thomas Hutchinson of Kimbolton wrote to me on June 18, 1883:

"The tree is not a Thorn, but a Lime. It is evidently an old one, but
is now in full and beautiful leaf. It stands on the western side of
the road, and a few yards distant from it. The well is somewhat nearer
the road. This side of the road is open to the fell. On the other side
the road is bounded by a stone wall: another wall meeting this one at
right angles, exactly opposite the well. I ascended the hill on the
north side of this wall for some distance, but could find no trace of
any rough-hewn stone. Descending on the other side, I found in the
wall one, and only one, such stone. I should say the base was in the
wall. The stone itself leans outwards; so that, at the top, three of
its square faces can be seen; and two, if not three, of these faces
bear marks of being hammer-dressed. The distance from the stone to the
well is about 40 yards, and the height of the stone out of the ground
about 3 or 4 feet.

"The ascent from the well is a gentle one, not 'sheer'; nor does there
appear to be any hollow by which the shepherd could ascend. On the
western side of the road there is a wide plain, with a slight fall in
that direction."

"'Hart-Leap Well' is the tale for me; in matter as good as this
('Peter Bell'); in manner infinitely before it, in my poor judgment."

Charles Lamb to Wordsworth, May 1819. (See 'The Letters of Charles
Lamb', edited by Alfred Ainger, vol. ii. p. 20.)--Ed.

* * * * *

THE IDLE SHEPHERD-BOYS; OR, DUNGEON-GHYLL FORCE [A]

A PASTORAL

Composed 1800.--Published 1800

[Written at Town-end, Grasmere. I will only add a little monitory
anecdote concerning this subject. When Coleridge and Southey were
walking together upon the Fells, Southey observed that, if I wished to
be considered a faithful painter of rural manners, I ought not to have
said that my shepherd-boys trimmed their rustic hats as described in the
poem. Just as the words had passed his lips two boys appeared with the
very plant entwined round their hats. I have often wondered that
Southey, who rambled so much about the mountains, should have fallen
into this mistake, and I record it as a warning for others who, with far
less opportunity than my dear friend had of knowing what things are, and
far less sagacity, give way to presumptuous criticism, from which he was
free, though in this matter mistaken. In describing a tarn under
Helvellyn I say:

"There sometimes doth a leaping fish
Send through the tarn a lonely cheer."

This was branded by a critic of these days, in a review ascribed to Mrs.
Barbauld, as unnatural and absurd. I admire the genius of Mrs. Barbauld
and am certain that, had her education been favourable to imaginative
influences, no female of her day would have been more likely to
sympathise with that image, and to acknowledge the truth of the
sentiment.--I. F.]

Included among the "Poems referring to the Period of Childhood."--Ed.

The valley rings with mirth and joy;
Among the hills the echoes play
A never never ending song,
To welcome in the May. [1]
The magpie chatters with delight; 5
The mountain raven's youngling brood
Have left the mother and the nest;
And they go rambling east and west
In search of their own food;
Or through the glittering vapours dart 10
In very wantonness of heart.

Beneath a rock, upon the grass,
Two boys are sitting in the sun;
Their work, if any work they have,
Is out of mind--or done. [2] 15
On pipes of sycamore they play
The fragments of a Christmas hymn;
Or with that plant which in our dale
We call stag-horn, or fox's tail,
Their rusty hats they trim: 20
And thus, as happy as the day,
Those Shepherds wear the time away.

Along the river's stony marge
The sand-lark chants a joyous song;
The thrush is busy in the wood, 25
And carols loud and strong.
A thousand lambs are on the rocks,
All newly born! both earth and sky
Keep jubilee, [B] and more than all,
Those boys with their green coronal; 30
They never hear the cry,
That plaintive cry! which up the hill
Comes from the depth of Dungeon-Ghyll.

Said Walter, leaping from the ground,
"Down to the stump of yon old yew 35
We'll for our whistles run a race." [3]
--Away the shepherds flew;
They leapt--they ran--and when they came
Right opposite to Dungeon-Ghyll,
Seeing that he should lose the prize, 40
"Stop!" to his comrade Walter cries--
James stopped with no good will:
Said Walter then, exulting; "Here
You'll find a task for half a year. [4]

"Cross, if you dare, where I shall cross--45
Come on, and tread where I shall tread." [5]
The other took him at his word,
And followed as he led. [6]
It was a spot which you may see
If ever you to Langdale go; 50
Into a chasm a mighty block
Hath fallen, and made a bridge of rock:
The gulf is deep below;
And, in a basin black and small,
Receives a lofty waterfall. 55

With staff in hand across the cleft
The challenger pursued [7] his march;
And now, all eyes and feet, hath gained
The middle of the arch.
When list! he hears a piteous moan--60
Again!--his heart within him dies--
His pulse is stopped, his breath is lost,
He totters, pallid as a ghost, [8]
And, looking down, espies [9]
A lamb, that in the pool is pent 65
Within that black and frightful rent.

The lamb had slipped into the stream,
And safe without a bruise or wound
The cataract had borne him down
Into the gulf profound. 70
His dam had seen him when he fell,
She saw him down the torrent borne;
And, while with all a mother's love
She from the lofty rocks above
Sent forth a cry forlorn, 75
The lamb, still swimming round and round,
Made answer to that plaintive sound.

When he had learnt what thing it was,
That sent this rueful cry; I ween
The Boy recovered heart, and told 80
The sight which he had seen.
Both gladly now deferred their task;
Nor was there wanting other aid--
A Poet, one who loves the brooks
Far better than the sages' books, 85
By chance had thither strayed;
And there the helpless lamb he found
By those huge rocks encompassed round.

He drew it from the troubled pool, [10]
And brought it forth into the light: 90
The Shepherds met him with his charge,
An unexpected sight!
Into their arms the lamb they took,
Whose life and limbs the flood had spared; [11]
Then up the steep ascent they hied, 95
And placed him at his mother's side;
And gently did the Bard
Those idle Shepherd-boys upbraid,
And bade them better mind their trade.

The "bridge of rock" across Dungeon-Ghyll "chasm," and the "lofty
waterfall," with all its accessories of place as described in the poem,
remain as they were in 1800.--Ed.

* * * * *

VARIANTS ON THE TEXT

[Variant 1:

1800.

The valley rings with mirth and joy;
And, pleased to welcome in the May,
From hill to hill the echoes fling
Their liveliest roundelay. 1836.

The text of 1845 returns to that of 1800.]

[Variant 2:

1836.

It seems they have no work to do
Or that their work is done. 1800.

Boys that have had no work to do,
Or work that now is done. 1827.]

[Variant 3:

1805.

I'll run with you a race."--No more--1800.

We'll for this Whistle run a race." ... 1802.]

[Variant 4:

1836.

Said Walter then, "Your task is here,
'Twill keep you working half a year. 1800.

'Twill baffle you for half a year. 1827.]

[Variant 5:

1836.

Till you have cross'd where I shall cross,
Say that you'll neither sleep nor eat." 1800.

"Now cross where I shall cross,--come on
And follow me where I shall lead--" 1802.

"Cross, if you dare, where I shall cross--
Come on, and in my footsteps tread!" 1827.]

[Variant 6:

1827.

James proudly took him at his word,
But did not like the feat. 1800.

... the deed. 1802.

The other took him at his word, 1805.]

[Variant 7:

1827.

... began ... 1800.]

[Variant 8:

1827.

... pale as any ghost, 1800.]

[Variant 9:

1827.

... he spies 1800.]

[Variant 10:

1836.

He drew it gently from the pool, 1800.]

[Variant 11:

1836.

Said they, "He's neither maim'd nor scarr'd"--1800.]

* * * * *

FOOTNOTES ON THE TEXT

[Footnote A: 'Ghyll', in the dialect of Cumberland and Westmoreland is a
short and for the most part a steep narrow valley, with a stream running
through it. 'Force' is the word universally employed in these dialects
for Waterfall.--W. W. 1800.

"Ghyll" was spelt "Gill" in the editions of 1800 to 1805.--Ed.]

[Footnote B: Compare the 'Ode, Intimations of Immortality', iv. l. 3
(vol. viii.)--Ed.]

* * * * *

THE PET-LAMB

A PASTORAL

Composed 1800.--Published 1800

[Written at Town-end, Grasmere. Barbara Lewthwaite, now living at
Ambleside (1843), though much changed as to beauty, was one of two most
lovely sisters. Almost the first words my poor brother John said, when
he visited us for the first time at Grasmere, were, "Were those two
Angels that I have just seen?" and from his description, I have no doubt
they were those two sisters. The mother died in childbed; and one of our
neighbours at Grasmere told me that the loveliest sight she had ever
seen was that mother as she lay in her coffin with her babe in her arm.
I mention this to notice what I cannot but think a salutary custom once
universal in these vales. Every attendant on a funeral made it a duty to
look at the corpse in the coffin before the lid was closed, which was
never done (nor I believe is now) till a minute or two before the corpse
was removed. Barbara Lewthwaite was not in fact the child whom I had
seen and overheard as described in the poem. I chose the name for
reasons implied in the above; and here will add a caution against the
use of names of living persons. Within a few months after the
publication of this poem, I was much surprised, and more hurt, to find
it in a child's school book, which, having been compiled by Lindley
Murray, had come into use at Grasmere School where Barbara was a pupil;
and, alas! I had the mortification of hearing that she was very vain of
being thus distinguished; and, in after life she used to say that she
remembered the incident, and what I said to her upon the occasion.--I.
F.]

Included among the "Poems referring to the Period of Childhood."--Ed.

The dew was falling fast, the stars began to blink;
I heard a voice; it said, "Drink, pretty creature, drink!"
And, looking o'er the hedge, before me I espied
A snow white mountain-lamb with a Maiden at its side.

Nor sheep nor kine [1] were near; the lamb was all alone, 5
And by a slender cord was tethered to a stone;
With one knee on the grass did the little Maiden kneel,
While to that mountain-lamb she gave its evening meal.

The lamb, while from her hand he thus his supper took,
Seemed to feast with head and ears; and his tail with pleasure shook.
"Drink, pretty creature, drink," she said in such a tone
That I almost received her heart into my own.

'Twas little Barbara Lewthwaite, a child of beauty rare!
I watched them with delight, they were a lovely pair.
Now with her empty can the Maiden turned away: 15
But ere ten yards were gone her footsteps did she stay.

Right towards the lamb she looked; and from a shady place [2]
I unobserved could see the workings of her face:
If Nature to her tongue could measured numbers bring,
Thus, thought I, to her lamb that little Maid might sing: 20

"What ails thee, young One? what? Why pull so at thy cord?
Is it not well with thee? well both for bed and board?
Thy plot of grass is soft, and green as grass can be;
Rest, little young One, rest; what is't that aileth thee?

"What is it thou wouldst seek? What is wanting to thy heart? 25
Thy limbs are they not strong? And beautiful thou art:
This grass is tender grass; these flowers they have no peers;
And that green corn all day is rustling in thy ears!

"If the sun be [3] shining hot, do but stretch thy woollen chain,
This beech is standing by, its covert thou canst gain; 30
For rain and mountain-storms! the like thou need'st not fear,
The rain and storm are things that [4] scarcely can come here.

"Rest, little young One, rest; thou hast forgot the day
When my father found thee first in places far away;
Many flocks were [5] on the hills, but thou wert owned by none, 35
And thy mother from thy side for evermore was gone.

"He took thee in his arms, and in pity brought thee home:
A blessed day for thee! then whither wouldst thou roam?
A faithful nurse thou hast; the dam that did thee yean
Upon the mountain tops no kinder could have been. 40

"Thou know'st that twice a day I have brought thee in this can
Fresh water from the brook, as clear as ever ran;
And twice in the day, when the ground is wet with dew
I bring thee draughts of milk, warm milk it is and new.

"Thy limbs will shortly be twice as stout as they are now, 45
Then I'll yoke thee to my cart like a pony in the plough;
My playmate thou shalt be; and when the wind is cold
Our hearth shall be thy bed, our house shall be thy fold.

"It will not, will not rest!--Poor creature, can it be
That 'tis thy mother's heart which is working so in thee? [6] 50
Things that I know not of belike to thee are dear,
And dreams of things which thou canst neither see nor hear.

"Alas, the mountain-tops that look so green and fair!
I've heard of fearful winds and darkness that come there;
The little brooks that seem all pastime and all play, 55
When they are angry, roar like lions for their prey.

"Here thou need'st not dread the raven in the sky;
Night and day thou art safe,--our cottage is hard by.
Why bleat so after me? Why pull so at thy chain?
Sleep--and at break of day I will come to thee again!" [7] 60

--As homeward through the lane I went with lazy feet,
This song to myself did I oftentimes repeat;
And it seemed, as I retraced the ballad line by line,
That but half of it was hers, and one half of it was _mine_. [8]

Again, and once again, did I repeat the song; 65
"Nay," said I, "more than half to the damsel [9] must belong,
For she looked with such a look, and she spake with such a tone,
That I almost received her heart into my own."

* * * * *

VARIANTS ON THE TEXT

[Variant 1:

1836.

No other sheep ... 1800.]

[Variant 2:

1836.

Towards the Lamb she look'd, and from that shady place 1800]

[Variant 3:

1802.

... is ... 1800.]

[Variant 4:

1827.

... which ... 1800.]

[Variant 5:

1802.

... are ... 1800.]

[Variant 6:

1800.

... Poor creature, it must be
That thou hast lost thy mother, and 'tis that which troubles thee.
MS.]

[Variant 7:

1802.

... the raven in the sky,
He will not come to thee, our Cottage is hard by,
Night and day thou art safe as living thing can be,
Be happy then and rest, what is't that aileth thee?" 1800.]

[Variant 8: _Italics_ first used in 1815.]

[Variant 9: This word was _italicised_ from 1813 to 1832.]

* * * * *

THE FARMER OF TILSBURY VALE

Composed 1800.--Published 1815 [A]

[The character of this man was described to me, and the incident upon
which the verses turn was told me, by Mr. Poole of Nether Stowey, with
whom I became acquainted through our common friend, S. T. Coleridge.
During my residence at Alfoxden, I used to see much of him, and had
frequent occasions to admire the course of his daily life, especially
his conduct to his labourers and poor neighbours; their virtues he
carefully encouraged, and weighed their faults in the scales of charity.
If I seem in these verses to have treated the weaknesses of the farmer
and his transgressions too tenderly, it may in part be ascribed to my
having received the story from one so averse to all harsh judgment.
After his death was found in his escritoir, a lock of grey hair
carefully preserved, with a notice that it had been cut from the head of
his faithful shepherd, who had served him for a length of years. I need
scarcely add that he felt for all men as his brothers. He was much
beloved by distinguished persons--Mr. Coleridge, Mr. Southey, Sir H.
Davy, and many others; and in his own neighbourhood was highly valued as
a magistrate, a man of business, and in every other social relation. The
latter part of the poem perhaps requires some apology, as being too much
of an echo to 'The Reverie of Poor Susan'.--I.F.]

Included in the "Poems referring to the Period of Old Age."--Ed.

'Tis not for the unfeeling, the falsely refined,
The squeamish in taste, and the narrow of mind,
And the small critic wielding his delicate pen,
That I sing of old Adam, the pride of old men.

He dwells in the centre of London's wide Town; 5
His staff is a sceptre--his grey hairs a crown;
And his bright eyes look brighter, set off by the streak
Of the unfaded rose that still blooms on his cheek. [1]

'Mid the dews, in the sunshine of morn,--'mid the joy
Of the fields, he collected that bloom, when a boy; 10
That countenance there fashioned, which, spite of a stain [2]
That his life hath received, to the last will remain. [3]

A Farmer he was; and his house [4] far and near
Was the boast of the country [5] for excellent cheer:
How oft have I heard in sweet Tilsbury Vale 15
Of the silver-rimmed horn whence he dealt his mild ale! [6]

Yet Adam was far as the farthest from ruin,
His fields seemed to know what their Master was doing;
And turnips, and corn-land, [7] and meadow, and lea,
All caught the infection--as generous as he. 20

Yet Adam prized little the feast and the bowl, [8]--
The fields better suited the ease of his soul:
He strayed through the fields like an indolent wight,
The quiet of nature was Adam's delight.

For Adam was simple in thought; and the poor, 25
Familiar with him, made an inn of his door:
He gave them the best that he had; or, to say
What less may mislead you, they took it away.
[9]
Thus thirty smooth years did he thrive on his farm:
The Genius of plenty preserved him from harm: 30
At length, what to most is a season of sorrow,
His means are [10] run out,--he must beg, or must borrow.

To the neighbours he went,--all were free with their money;
For his hive had so long been replenished with honey,
That they dreamt not of dearth;--He continued his rounds, [11] 35
Knocked here-and knocked there, pounds still adding to pounds.

He paid what he could with his [12] ill-gotten pelf,
And something, it might be, reserved for himself: [13]
Then (what is too true) without hinting a word,
Turned his back on the country--and off like a bird. 40

You lift up your eyes!--but I guess that you frame
A judgment too harsh of the sin and the shame; [14]
In him it was scarcely [15] a business of art,
For this he did all in the _ease_ [16] of his heart.

To London--a sad emigration I ween--45
With his grey hairs he went from the brook [17] and the green;
And there, with small wealth but his legs and his hands,
As lonely he stood as [18] a crow on the sands.

All trades, as need [19] was, did old Adam assume,--
Served as stable-boy, errand-boy, porter, and groom; 50
But nature is gracious, necessity kind,
And, in spite of the shame that may lurk in his mind, [20]
[21]
He seems ten birthdays younger, is green and is stout; [22]
Twice as fast as before does his blood run about;
You would [23] say that each hair of his beard was alive, 55
And his fingers are busy as bees in a hive.

For he's not like an Old Man that leisurely goes
About work that he knows, [24] in a track that he knows;
But often his mind is compelled to demur,
And you guess that the more then his body must stir. 60

In the throng of the town like a stranger is he,
Like one whose own country's far over the sea;
And Nature, while through the great city he hies,
Full ten times a day takes his heart by surprise.

This gives him the fancy of one that is young, 65
More of soul in his face than of words on [25] his tongue;
Like a maiden of twenty he trembles and sighs,
And tears of fifteen will come [26] into his eyes.

What's a tempest to him, or the dry parching heats?
Yet he watches the clouds that pass over the streets; 70
With a look of such earnestness often will stand, [27]
You might think he'd twelve reapers at work in the Strand.

Where proud Covent-garden, in desolate hours
Of snow and hoar-frost, spreads her fruits and her flowers,
Old Adam will smile at the pains that have made 75
Poor winter look fine in such strange masquerade. [28]
[29]
'Mid coaches and chariots, a waggon of straw,
Like a magnet, the heart of old Adam can draw;
With a thousand soft pictures his memory will teem,
And his hearing is touched with the sounds of a dream. 80

Up the Haymarket hill he oft whistles his way,
Thrusts his hands in a waggon, and smells at the hay; [30]
He thinks of the fields he so often hath mown,
And is happy as if the rich freight were his own. [31]

But chiefly to Smithfield he loves to repair,--85
If you pass by at morning, you'll meet with him there.
The breath of the cows you may see him inhale,
And his heart all the while is in Tilsbury Vale.

Now farewell, old Adam! when low [32] thou art laid,
May one blade of grass spring over [33] thy head; 90
And I hope that thy grave, wheresoever it be,
Will hear the wind sigh through the leaves of a tree.

With this picture, which was taken from real life, compare the
imaginative one of 'The Reverie of Poor Susan' [vol. i. p. 226]; and see
(to make up the deficiencies of this class) 'The Excursion, passim'.--W.
W. 1837.

* * * * *

VARIANTS ON THE TEXT

[Variant 1:

1837.

Erect as a sunflower he stands, and the streak
Of the unfaded rose is expressed on his cheek. 1815.

... still enlivens his cheek. 1827.]

[Variant 2:

1840.

There fashion'd that countenance, which, in spite of a stain 1815.]

[Variant 3:

There's an old man in London, the prime of old men,
You may hunt for his match through ten thousand and ten,
Of prop or of staff, does he walk, does he run,
No more need has he than a flow'r of the sun. 1800.

This stanza appeared only in 1800, occupying the place of the three
first stanzas in the final text.]

[Variant 4:

1815.

... name ... 1800.]

[Variant 5:

1815.

Was the Top of the Country, ... 1800.]

[Variant 6:

1827.

Not less than the skill of an Exchequer Teller
Could count the shoes worn on the steps of his cellar. 1800.

How oft have I heard in sweet Tilsbury Vale
Of the silver-rimmed horn whence he dealt his good ale. 1815.]

[Variant 7:

1815.

... plough'd land, ... 1800.]

[Variant 8:

1815.

... the noise of the bowl, 1800]

[Variant 9:

On the works of the world, on the bustle and sound,
Seated still in his boat, he look'd leisurely round;
And if now and then he his hands did employ,
'Twas with vanity, wonder, and infantine joy.

Only in the text of 1800.]

[Variant 10:

1815.

... were ... 1800.]

[Variant 11:

1815.

For they all still imagin'd his hive full of honey;
Like a Church-warden, Adam continu'd his rounds, 1800.]

[Variant 12:

1837.

... this ... 1800.]

[Variant 13:

1815.

... he kept to himself; 1800.]

[Variant 14:

1820.

You lift up your eyes, "O the merciless Jew!"
But in truth he was never more cruel than you; 1800.

...--and I guess that you frame
A judgment too harsh of the sin and the shame; 1815.]

[Variant 15:

1815.

... scarce e'en ... 1800.]

[Variant 16: _Italics_ first used in 1815.]

[Variant 17:

1815.

... lawn ... 1800.]

[Variant 18:

1815.

He stood all alone like ... 1800.]

[Variant 19:

1800.

... needs ... 1815.

The edition of 1827 returns to the text of 1800.]

[Variant 20:

1815.

Both stable-boy, errand-boy, porter and groom;
You'd think it the life of a Devil in H--l,
But nature was kind, and with Adam 'twas well. 1800.]

[Variant 21:

He's ten birth-days younger, he's green, and he's stout,
Twice as fast as before does his blood run about,
You'd think it the life of a Devil in H--l,
But Nature is kind, and with Adam 'twas well.

This stanza appeared only in 1800. It was followed by that which now
forms lines 53-56 of the final text.]

[Variant 22:

1815.

He's ten birth-days younger, he's green, and he's stout, 1800.]

[Variant 23:

1815.

You'd ... 1800.]

[Variant 24:

1815.

... does ... 1800.]

[Variant 25:

1815.

... in ... 1800.]

[Variant 26:

1800.

... have come ... 1815.

The text of 1820 returns to that of 1800.]

[Variant 27:

1815.

...he'll stand 1800.]

[Variant 28:

1837.

Where proud Covent-Garden, in frost and in snow,
Spreads her fruits and her flow'rs, built up row after row;
Old Adam will point with his finger and say,
To them that stand by, "I've seen better than they." 1800.

... her fruit ... 1815.

(The text of 1815 is otherwise identical with that of 1837.)]

[Variant 29:

Where the apples are heap'd on the barrows in piles,
You see him stop short, he looks long, and he smiles;
He looks, and he smiles, and a Poet might spy
The image of fifty green fields in his eye.

Only in the text of 1800.]

[Variant 30:

1837.

... in the waggons, and smells to the hay; 1800.

... in the Waggon, and smells at ... 1815.]

[Variant 31:

1815.

... has mown,
And sometimes he dreams that the hay is his own. 1800.]

[Variant 32:

1815.

... where'er ... 1800.]

[Variant 33:

1850.

... spring up o'er ... 1800.

... over ... 1815.]

* * * * *

FOOTNOTE ON THE TEXT

[Footnote A: i. e. first published in the 1815 edition of the Poems:
but, although dated by Wordsworth 1803, it had appeared in 'The Morning
Post' of July 21, 1800, under the title, 'The Farmer of Tilsbury Vale. A
Character'. It was then unsigned.--Ed.]

* * * * *

POEMS ON THE NAMING OF PLACES

ADVERTISEMENT

By Persons resident in the country and attached to rural objects, many
places will be found unnamed or of unknown names, where little Incidents
will have occurred, or feelings been experienced, which will have given
to such places a private and peculiar interest. From a wish to give some
sort of record to such Incidents or renew the gratification of such
Feelings, Names have been given to Places by the Author and some of his
Friends, and the following Poems written in consequence. [A]--W. W. 1800.

[Footnote A: It should be explained that owing to the chronological plan
adopted in this edition (see the preface to vol. i.), two of the poems
which were placed by Wordsworth in his series of "Poems on the Naming of
Places," but which belong to later years, are printed in subsequent
volumes.--Ed.]

* * * * *

"IT WAS AN APRIL MORNING: FRESH AND CLEAR"

Composed 1800.--Published 1800

[Written at Grasmere. This poem was suggested on the banks of the brook
that runs through Easdale, which is, in some parts of its course, as
wild and beautiful as brook can be. I have composed thousands of verses
by the side of it.--I. F.]

It was an April morning: fresh and clear
The Rivulet, delighting in its strength,
Ran with a young man's speed; and yet the voice
Of waters which the winter had supplied
Was softened down into a vernal tone. 5
The spirit of enjoyment and desire,
And hopes and wishes, from all living things
Went circling, like a multitude of sounds.
The budding groves seemed eager to urge on
The steps of June; as if their various hues 10
Were only hindrances that stood between
Them and their object: but, meanwhile, prevailed
Such an entire contentment in the air [1]
That every naked ash, and tardy tree
Yet leafless, showed as if [2] the countenance 15
With which it looked on this delightful day
Were native to the summer.--Up the brook
I roamed in the confusion of my heart,
Alive to all things and forgetting all.
At length I to a sudden turning came 20
In this continuous glen, where down a rock
The Stream, so ardent in its course before,
Sent forth such sallies of glad sound, that all
Which I till then had heard, appeared the voice
Of common pleasure: beast and bird, the lamb, 25
The shepherd's dog, the linnet and the thrush
Vied with this waterfall, and made a song,
Which, while I listened, seemed like the wild growth
Or like some natural produce of the air,
That could not cease to be. Green leaves were here; 30
But 'twas the foliage of the rocks--the birch,
The yew, the holly, and the bright green thorn,
With hanging islands of resplendent furze:
And, on a summit, distant a short space,
By any who should look beyond the dell, 35
A single mountain-cottage might be seen.
I gazed and gazed, and to myself I said,
"Our thoughts at least are ours; and this wild nook,
My EMMA, I will dedicate to thee."
--Soon did the spot become my other home, 40
My dwelling, and my out-of-doors abode.
And, of the Shepherds who have seen me there,
To whom I sometimes in our idle talk
Have told this fancy, two or three, perhaps,
Years after we are gone and in our graves, 45
When they have cause to speak of this wild place,
May call it by the name of EMMA'S DELL.

* * * * *

VARIANTS ON THE TEXT

[Variant 1:

1845.

The budding groves appear'd as if in haste
To spur the steps of June; as if their shades
Of _various_ green were hindrances that stood
Between them and their object: yet, meanwhile,
There was such deep contentment in the air 1800.]

[Variant 2:

1845.

... seem'd as though ... 1800.]

The text of the "Poems on the Naming of Places" underwent comparatively
little alteration in successive editions. Both the changes in the first
poem were made in 1845. From the Fenwick note, it is evident that "the
Rivulet" was Easdale beck. But where was "Emma's Dell"? In the autumn of
1877, Dr. Cradock, the Principal of Brasenose College, Oxford, took me
to a place, of which he afterwards wrote,

"I have a fancy for a spot just beyond Goody Bridge to the left, where
the brook makes a curve, and returns to the road two hundred yards
farther on. But I have not discovered a trace of authority in favour
of the idea farther than that the wooded bend of the brook with the
stepping stones across it, connected with a field-path recently
stopped, was a very favourite haunt of Wordsworth's. At the upper part
of this bend, near to the place where the brook returns to the road,
is a deep pool at the foot of a rush of water. In this pool, a man
named Wilson was drowned many years ago. He lived at a house on the
hill called Score Crag, which, if my conjecture as to Emma's Dell is
right, is the 'single mountain cottage' on a 'summit, distant a short
space.' Wordsworth, happening to be walking at no great distance,
heard a loud shriek. It was that of Mr. Wilson, the father, who had
just discovered his son's body in the beck."

In the "Reminiscences" of the poet, by the Hon. Mr. Justice Coleridge,
which were contributed to the 'Memoirs of Wordsworth', written by his
nephew (vol. ii. pp. 300-315), there is a record of a walk they took up
Easdale to this place, entering the field just at the spot which Dr.
Cradock supposes to be "Emma's Dell."

"He turned aside at a little farm-house, and took us into a swelling
field to look down on the tumbling stream which bounded it, and which
we saw precipitated at a distance, in a broad white sheet, from the
mountain." (This refers to Easdale Force.) "Then, as he mused for an
instant, he said,

'I have often thought what a solemn thing it would be could we have
brought to our mind at once all the scenes of distress and misery
which any spot, however beautiful and calm before us, has been
witness to since the beginning. That water break, with the glassy
quiet pool beneath it, that looks so lovely, and presents no images
to the mind but of peace--there, I remember, the only son of his
father, a poor man who lived yonder, was drowned.'"

This walk and conversation took place in October 1836. If any one is
surprised that Wordsworth, supposing him to have been then looking into
the very dell on which he wrote the above poem in 1800, did not name it
to Mr. Coleridge, he must remember that he was not in the habit of
speaking of the places he had memorialised in verse, and that in 1836
his "Sister Emmeline" had for a year been a confirmed invalid at Rydal.
I have repeatedly followed Easdale beck all the way up from its junction
with the Rothay to the Tarn, and found no spot corresponding so closely
to the realistic detail of this poem as the one suggested by Dr.
Cradock. There are two places further up the dale where the "sallies of
glad sound" such as are referred to in the poem, are even more
distinctly audible; but they are not at "a sudden turning," as is the
spot above Goody Bridge. If one leaves the Easdale road at this bridge,
and keeps to the side of the beck for a few hundred yards, till he
reaches the turning,--especially if it be a bright April morning, such
as that described in the poem,--and remembers that this path by the
brook was a favourite resort of Wordsworth and his sister, the
probability of Dr. Cradock's suggestion will be apparent. Lady
Richardson, who knew the place, and appreciated the poem as thoroughly
as any of Wordsworth's friends, told me that she concurred in this
identification of the "dell."--Ed.

* * * * *

TO JOANNA

Composed 1800.--Published 1800

[Written at Grasmere. The effect of her laugh is an extravagance, though
the effect of the reverberation of voices in some parts of the mountains
is very striking. There is, in 'The Excursion', an allusion to the bleat
of a lamb thus re-echoed, and described without any exaggeration, as I
heard it, on the side of Stickle Tarn, from the precipice that stretches
on to Langdale Pikes.--I.F.]

Amid the smoke of cities did you pass
The time [1] of early youth; and there you learned,
From years of quiet industry, to love
The living Beings by your own fire-side,
With such a strong devotion, that your heart 5
Is slow to meet [2] the sympathies of them
Who look upon the hills with tenderness,
And make dear friendships with the streams and groves.
Yet we, who are transgressors in this kind,
Dwelling retired in our simplicity 10
Among the woods and fields, we love you well,
Joanna! and I guess, since you have been
So distant from us now for two long years,
That you will gladly listen to discourse,
However trivial, if you thence be taught [3] 15
That they, with whom you once were happy, talk
Familiarly of you and of old times.

While I was seated, now some ten days past,
Beneath those lofty firs, that overtop
Their ancient neighbour, the old steeple-tower, 20
The Vicar from his gloomy house hard by [A]
Came forth to greet me; and when he had asked,
"How fares Joanna, that wild-hearted Maid!
And when will she return to us?" he paused;
And, after short exchange of village news, 25
He with grave looks demanded, for what cause,
Reviving obsolete idolatry,
I, like a Runic Priest, in characters
Of formidable size had chiselled out
Some uncouth name upon the native rock, 30
Above the Rotha, by the forest-side.
--Now, by those dear immunities of heart
Engendered between [4] malice and true love,
I was not loth to be so catechised,
And this was my reply:--"As it befel, 35
One summer morning we had walked abroad
At break of day, Joanna and myself.
--'Twas that delightful season when the broom,
Full-flowered, and visible on every steep,
Along the copses runs in veins of gold. 40
Our pathway led us on to Rotha's banks;
And when we came in front of that tall rock
That eastward looks, I there stopped short--and stood [5]
Tracing [6] the lofty barrier with my eye
From base to summit; such delight I found 45
To note in shrub and tree, in stone and flower
That intermixture of delicious hues,
Along so vast a surface, all at once,
In one impression, by connecting force
Of their own beauty, imaged in the heart. 50
--When I had gazed perhaps two minutes' space,
Joanna, looking in my eyes, beheld
That ravishment of mine, and laughed aloud.
The Rock, like something starting from a sleep,
Took up the Lady's voice, and laughed again; 55
That ancient Woman seated on Helm-crag
Was ready with her cavern; Hammar-scar,
And the tall Steep of Silver-how, sent forth
A noise of laughter; southern Loughrigg heard,
And Fairfield answered with a mountain tone; 60
Helvellyn far into the clear blue sky
Carried the Lady's voice,--old Skiddaw blew
His speaking-trumpet;--back out of the clouds
Of Glaramara southward came the voice;
And Kirkstone tossed it from his misty head. 65
--Now whether (said I to our cordial Friend,
Who in the hey-day of astonishment
Smiled in my face) this were in simple truth
A work accomplished by the brotherhood
Of ancient mountains, or my ear was touched 70
With dreams and visionary impulses
To me alone imparted, sure I am [7]
That there was a loud uproar in the hills.
And, while we both were listening, to my side
The fair Joanna drew, as if she wished 75
To shelter from some object of her fear.
--And hence, long afterwards, when eighteen moons
Were wasted, as I chanced to walk alone
Beneath this rock, at sunrise, on a calm
And silent morning, I sat down, and there, 80
In memory of affections old and true,
I chiselled out in those rude characters
Joanna's name deep in the living stone:--[8]
And I, and all who dwell by my fireside,
Have called the lovely rock, JOANNA'S ROCK." 85

* * * * *

VARIANTS ON THE TEXT

[Variant 1:

1827.

Your time ... 1800.]

[Variant 2:

1836.

Is slow towards... 1800.

... toward.... 1827.]

[Variant 3:

1836.
... are taught... 1800.]

[Variant 4:

1836.

... betwixt ... 1800.]

[Variant 5:

1836.

Which looks towards the East, I there stopp'd short, 1800.

... toward ... 1827.]

[Variant 6:

1836.

And trac'd ... 1800.]

[Variant 7:

1827.

Is not for me to tell; but sure I am 1800]

[Variant 8:

1845.

Joanna's name upon the living stone. 1800.]

* * * * *

FOOTNOTE ON THE TEXT

[Footnote A: The Rectory at Grasmere, where Wordsworth lived from 1811
to 1813, and where two of his children died.--Ed.]

In Cumberland and Westmoreland are several Inscriptions upon the native
rock which from the wasting of Time and the rudeness of the Workmanship
had been mistaken for Runic. They are without doubt Roman.

The Rotha, mentioned in this poem, is the River which flowing through
the Lakes of Grasmere and Rydale falls into Wyndermere. On Helm-Crag,
that impressive single Mountain at the head of the Vale of Grasmere, is
a Rock which from most points of view bears a striking resemblance to an
Old Woman cowering. Close by this rock is one of those Fissures or
Caverns, which in the language of the Country are called Dungeons. The
other Mountains either immediately surround the Vale of Grasmere, or
belong to the same Cluster.--W. W. 1800.

Most of the Mountains here mentioned immediately surround the vale of
Grasmere; of the others, some are at a considerable distance, but they
belong to the same cluster.--W. W. 1802.

The majority of the changes introduced into the text of this poem were
made in the year 1836.

The place where the echo of the bleat of the lamb was heard--referred
to in the Fenwick note--may be easily found. The "precipice" is Pavy
Ark. "The 'lofty firs, that overtop their ancient neighbour, the old
steeple-tower,' stood by the roadside, scarcely twenty yards north-west
from the steeple of Grasmere church. Their site is now included in the
road, which has been widened at that point. They were Scotch firs of
unusual size, and might justly be said to 'overtop their neighbour' the
tower. Mr. Fleming Green, who well remembers the trees, gave me this
information, which is confirmed by other inhabitants.

"When the road was enlarged, not many years ago, the roots of the
trees were found by the workmen."

(Dr. Cradock to the editor.) The

'tall rock
That eastward looks'

by the banks of the Rotha, presenting a "lofty barrier" "from base to
summit," is manifestly a portion of Helmcrag. It is impossible to know
whether Wordsworth carved Joanna Hutchinson's name anywhere on Helmcrag,
and it is useless to enquire. If he did so, the discovery of the place
would not help any one to understand or appreciate the poem. It is
obvious that he did not intend to be literally exact in details, as the
poem was written in 1800, and addressed to Joanna Hutchinson,--who is
spoken of as having been absent from Grasmere "for two long years;" and
Wordsworth says that he carved the Runic characters 'in memoriam'
eighteen months after that summer morning when he heard the echo of her
laugh. But the family took up residence at Grasmere only in December
1799, and the "Poems on the Naming of Places" were published before the
close of 1800. The effect of these lines to Joanna, however, is
certainly not impaired--it may even be enhanced--by our inability to
localise them. Only one in the list of places referred to can occasion
any perplexity, viz., Hammar-scar, since it is a name now disused in the
district. It used to be applied to some rocks on the flank of
Silver-how, to the wood around them, and also to the gorge between
Silver-how and Loughrigg. Hammar, from the old Norse 'hamar', signifies
a steep broken rock.

The imaginative description of the echo of the lady's laugh suggests a
parallel passage from Michael Drayton's 'Polyolbion', which Wordsworth
must doubtless have read. (See his sister's reference to Drayton in her
'Recollections of a Tour made in Scotland', in 1803: in the note to the
poem, 'At the grave of Burns', p. 382 of this volume.)

'Which _Copland_ scarce had spoke, but quickly every Hill
Upon her verge that stands, the neighbouring valleys fill;
_Helvillon_ from his height, it through the mountains threw,
From whence as soon again, the sound _Dunbalrase_ drew,
From whose stone-trophed head, it on the _Wendrosse_ went,
Which tow'rds the sea again, resounded it to _Dent_,
That _Brodwater_ therewith within her banks astound,
In sailing to the sea, told it to _Egremound_,
Whose buildings, walks, and streets, with echoes loud and long,
Did mightily commend old _Copland_ for her song.'

'Polyolbion', The Thirtieth Song, ll. 155-164.

Any one who compares this passage with Wordsworth's 'Joanna' will see
the difference between the elaborate fancy of a topographical narrator,
and the vivid imagination of a poetical idealist. A somewhat similar
instance of indebtedness--in which the debt is repaid by additional
insight--is seen when we compare a passage from Sir John Davies's
'Orchestra, or a poem on Dancing' (stanza 49), with one from 'The
Ancient Mariner', Part VI. stanzas 2 and 3--although there was more of
the true imaginative light in Davies than in Drayton.

'For lo, the sea that fleets about the land,
And like a girdle clips her solid waist,
Music and measure both doth understand;
For his great crystal eye is always cast
Up to the moon, and on her fixed fast:
And as she danceth in her palid sphere
So danceth he about his centre here.'

DAVIES

'Still as a slave before his lord,
The ocean hath no blast;
His great bright eye most silently
Up to the moon is cast--

If he may know which way to go;
For she guides him smooth or grim.
See, brother, see! how graciously
She looketh down on him.'

COLERIDGE.

These extracts show how both Wordsworth and Coleridge assimilated past
literary products, and how they glorified them by reproduction. There
was little, however, in the poetic imagery of previous centuries that
Wordsworth reproduced. His imagination worked in a sphere of its own,
free from the trammels of precedent; and he was more original than any
other nineteenth century poet in his use of symbol and metaphor. The
poem 'To Joanna' was probably composed on August 22, 1800, as the
following occurs in Dorothy Wordsworth's Journal under that date:

"William was composing all the morning ... W. read us the poem of
Joanna, beside the Rothay, by the roadside."

Charles Lamb wrote to Wordsworth in January 1801, of

"these continuous echoes in the story of 'Joanna's laugh,' when the
mountains and all the scenery seem absolutely alive."

Ed.

* * * * *

"THERE IS AN EMINENCE,--OF THESE OUR HILLS"

Composed 1800.--Published 1800

[It is not accurate that the Eminence here alluded to could be seen from
our orchard-seat. It rises above the road by the side of Grasmere Lake
towards Keswick, and its name is Stone-Arthur.--I.F.]

There is an Eminence,--of these our hills
The last that parleys with the setting sun;
We can behold it from our orchard-seat;
And, when at evening we pursue our walk
Along the public way, this Peak, [1] so high 5
Above us, and so distant in its height,
Is visible; and often seems to send
Its own deep quiet to restore our hearts.
The meteors make of it a favourite haunt:
The star of Jove, so beautiful and large 10
In the mid heavens, is never half so fair
As when he shines above it. 'Tis in truth
The loneliest place we have among the clouds.
And She who dwells with me, whom I have loved
With such communion, that no place on earth 15
Can ever be a solitude to me,
Hath to this lonely Summit given my Name. [2]

* * * * *

VARIANTS ON THE TEXT

[Variant 1:

1840.

... this Cliff, ... 1800.]

[Variant 2:

1815.

Hath said, this lonesome Peak shall bear my Name. 1800.]

Stone-Arthur is the name of the hill, on the east side of the Vale of
Grasmere, opposite Helm Crag, and between Green Head Ghyll and Tongue
Ghyll.--Ed.

* * * * *

"A NARROW GIRDLE OF ROUGH STONES AND CRAGS"

Composed 1800.--Published 1800

[The character of the eastern shore of Grasmere Lake is quite changed
since these verses were written, by the public road being carried along
its side. The friends spoken of were Coleridge and my Sister, and the
facts occurred strictly as recorded.--I.F.]

A narrow girdle of rough stones and crags,
A rude and natural causeway, interposed
Between the water and a winding slope
Of copse and thicket, leaves the eastern shore
Of Grasmere safe in its own privacy: [A] 5
And there myself and two beloved Friends,
One calm September morning, ere the mist
Had altogether yielded to the sun,
Sauntered on this retired and difficult way.
--Ill suits the road with one in haste; but we 10
Played with our time; and, as we strolled along,
It was our occupation to observe
Such objects as the waves had tossed ashore--
Feather, or leaf, or weed, or withered bough,
Each on the other heaped, along the line 15
Of the dry wreck. And, in our vacant mood,
Not seldom did we stop to watch some tuft
Of dandelion seed or thistle's beard,
That skimmed the surface of the dead calm lake,
Suddenly halting now--a lifeless stand! 20
And starting off again with freak as sudden; [1]
In all its sportive wanderings, all the while,
Making report of an invisible breeze
That was its wings, its chariot, and its horse,
Its playmate, rather say, its moving soul. [2] 25
--And often, trifling with a privilege
Alike indulged to all, we paused, one now,
And now the other, to point out, perchance
To pluck, some flower or water-weed, too fair
Either to be divided from the place 30
On which it grew, or to be left alone
To its own beauty. Many such there are,
Fair ferns and flowers, and chiefly that tall fern, [3]
So stately, of the queen Osmunda named;
Plant lovelier, in its own retired abode 35
On Grasmere's beach, than Naiad by the side
Of Grecian brook, or Lady of the Mere,
Sole-sitting by the shores of old romance.
--So fared we that bright [4] morning: from the fields,
Meanwhile, a noise was heard, the busy mirth 40
Of reapers, men and women, boys and girls.
Delighted much to listen [5] to those sounds,
And feeding thus our fancies, we advanced [6]
Along the indented shore; when suddenly,
Through a thin veil of glittering haze was seen [7] 45
Before us, on a point of jutting land,
The tall and upright figure of a Man
Attired in peasant's garb, who stood alone,
Angling beside the margin of the lake. [8]
"Improvident and reckless," we exclaimed, 50
"The Man must be, who thus can lose a day [9]
Of the mid harvest, when the labourer's hire
Is ample, and some little might be stored
Wherewith to cheer him in the winter time."
Thus talking of that Peasant, we approached 55
Close to the spot where with his rod and line
He stood alone; whereat he turned his head
To greet us--and we saw a Man worn down
By sickness, gaunt and lean, with sunken cheeks
And wasted limbs, his legs so long and lean 60
That for my single self I looked at them,
Forgetful of the body they sustained.--
Too weak to labour in the harvest field,
The Man was using his best skill to gain
A pittance from the dead unfeeling lake 65
That knew not of his wants. I will not say
What thoughts immediately were ours, nor how
The happy idleness of that sweet morn,
With all its lovely images, was changed
To serious musing and to self-reproach. 70
Nor did we fail to see within ourselves
What need there is to be reserved in speech,
And temper all our thoughts with charity.
--Therefore, unwilling to forget that day,
My Friend, Myself, and She who then received 75
The same admonishment, have called the place
By a memorial name, uncouth indeed
As e'er by mariner was given to bay
Or foreland, on a new-discovered coast;
And POINT RASH-JUDGMENT is the name it bears. 80

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