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Set the sign-board in a blaze,
Under this he carried a bundle, and had an apron on and a night-cap. His face was interesting. He had dark eyes and a long nose. John, who afterwards met him at Wytheburn, took him for a Jew. He was of Scotch parents, but had been born in the army. He had had a wife, and she was a good woman, and it pleased God to bless us with ten children,' All these were dead but one, of whom he had not heard for many years, a sailor. His trade was to gather leeches, but now leeches were scarce, and he had not strength for it. He lived by begging, and was making his way to Carlisle, where he should buy a few godly books to sell. He said leeches were very scarce, partly owing to this dry season, but many years they have been scarce. He supposed it owing to their being much sought after, that they did not breed fast, and were of slow growth. Leeches were formerly 25. 6d. per 100; they are now 30s. He had been hurt in driving a cart, his leg broken, his body driven over, his skull fractured. He felt no pain till he recovered from his first insensibility. . . . It was then late in the evening, when the light was just going away." (Dorothy Wordsworth's Journal, October 3, 1800.)
THERE was a roaring in the wind all
night; The rain came heavily and fell in floods ; But now the sun is rising calm and
bright; The birds are singing in the distant
woods ; Over his own sweet voice the Stock-dove
broods ; The Jay makes answer as the Magpie
chatters ; And all the air is filled with pleasant
noise of waters.
Blithe of heart, from week to week
All things that love the sun are out of
doors; The sky rejoices in the morning's birth : The grass is bright with rain-drops ;-on
the moors The hare is running races in her mirth ; And with her feet she from the plashy
earth Raises a mist, that, glittering in the sun, Runs with her all the way, wherever she
X RESOLUTION AND INDEPENDENCE
This poem was originally known as The Leech Gatherer, and is still often called by that title. Compare the account of its origin, in Dorothy Wordsworth's Journal :
• When William and I returned, we met an old man almost double. He had on a coat, thrown over his shoulders, above his waistcoat and coat.
But, as it sometimes chanceth, from the
might Of joy in minds that can no further go, As high as we have mounted in delight In our dejection do we sink as low ; To me that morning did it happen so; And fears and fancies thick upon me
came; Dim sadness-and blind thoughts, I
knew not, nor could name.
I heard the skylark warbling in the sky; And I bethought me of the playful hare: Even such a happy Child of earth am I; Even as these blissful creatures do I fare : Far from the world I walk, and from all
care ; But there may come another day to me-Solitude, pain of heart, distress, and
My whole life I have lived in pleasant
thought, As if life's business were a summer
mood; As if all needful things would come un
sought To genial faith, still rich in genial good ; But how can he expect that others
should Build for him, sow for him, and at his
call Love him, who for himself will take no
heed at all?
As a huge stone is sometimes seen to lie
and whence ; So that it seems a thing endued with
sense : Like a sea-beast crawled forth, that on a
shelf Of rock or sand reposeth, there to sun
itself ; Such seemed this Man, not all alive nor
dead, Nor all asleep, in his extreme old age: His body was bent double, feet and head Coming together in life's pilgrimage; As if some dire constraint of pain, or rage Of sickness felt by him in times long
past, A more than human weight upon his
frame had cast. Himself he propped, limbs, body, and
pale face, Upon a long gray staff of shaven wood: And, still as I drew near with gentle
pace, Upon the margin of that moorish flood Motionless as a cloud the old Man stood, That heareth not the loud winds when
they call And moveth all together, if it move at
all, At length, himself unsettling, he the
pond Stirred with his staff, and fixedly did look Upon the muddy water, which he
conned, As if he had been reading in a book : And now a stranger's privilege I took ; And, drawing to his side, to him did say, " This morning gives us promise of a
glorious day.” A gentle answer did the old Man make, In courteous speech which forth he
slowly drew: And him with further words I thus be
spake, “What occupation do you there pursue? This is a lonesome place for one like you." Ere he replied, a flash of mild surprise Broke from the sable orbs of his yet
I thought of Chatterton, the marvellous
Boy. The sleepless Soul that perished in his
pride; of him who walked in glory and in joy Following his plough, along the moun
tain-side: By our own spirits are we deified : We Poets in our youth begin in glad
ness ; But thereof come in the end desponden
cy and madness.
Now, whether it were by peculiar grace, A leading from above, a something
given, Yet it befell, that, in this lonely place, When I with these untoward thoughts
had striven, Beside a pool bare to the eye of heaven I saw a Man before me unawares : The oldest man he seemed that ever wore
His words came feebly, from a feeble
chest, But each in solemn order followed each,
With something of a lofty utterance While he was talking thus, the lonely drest
place, Choice word and measured phrase, The old Man's shape, and speech-all above the reach
troubled me: Of ordinary men; a stately speech; In my mind's eye I seemed to see him Such as grave Livers do in Scotland use,
pace Religious men, who give to God and About the weary moors continually, man their dues.
Wandering about alone and silently.
While I these thoughts within myself He told, that to these waters he had pursued, come
He, having made a pause, the same disTo gather leeches, being old and poor:
course renewed. Employment hazardous and wearisome! And he had many hardships to endure: And soon with this he other matter From pond to pond he roamed, from
blended, moor to moor;
Cheerfully uttered, with demeanor kind, Housing, with God's good help, by choice But stately in the main ; and when he or chance,
ended, And in this way he gained an honest I could have laughed myself to scorn, to maintenance.
In that decrepit Man so firm a mind. The old Man still stood talking by my “God," said I, “ be my help and stay side ;
secure; But now his voice to me was like a I'll think of the Leech-gatherer on the stream
lonely moor!” 1802. 1807. Scarce heard ; nor word from word
could I diride ; And the whole body of the Man did seem I GRIEVED FOR BUONAPARTÉ Like one whom I had met with in a dream;
The direct influence of Milton seems evident Or like a man from some far region sent,
in many of the following sonnets, and is confirmed by the entry in Dorothy Wordsworth's
Journal, May 21, 1802: ** William wrote two monishment.
sonnets of Bu naparte, after I had read Milton's sønnets to him." See also Wordsworth's note on
· Nuns fret not at their convent's narrow room, My former thoughts returned: the fear
that kills; And hope that is unwilling to be fed : I GRIEVED for Buonaparté, with a vain Cold, pain, and labor, and all fleshly ills; And an unthinking grief! The tenderest And mighty Poets in their misery dead.
mood - Perplexed, and longing to be com- Of that Man's mind-what can it be? forted,
what food My question eagerly did I rener, Fed his first hopes ? what knowledge How is it that you live, and what is it could he gain? rou do ”
'Tis not in battles that from youth we
train He with a smile did then his words The Gorernor who must be wise and repent :
good, And said, that, gathering leeches, far And temper with the sternness of the and wide
brain He trarelled ; stirring thus about his Thoughts motherly, and meekas womanfeet
hool. The waters of the pools where they Wisdom doth live with children round abide
her knees: ** Once I could meet with them on every Books leisure, perfect freedom, and the
side : But they hare dwindled long by slow Man hults with week-lar man in the decar:
heurlr walk Yet still i perserere, and find them Of the mini's business: these are the where I mar."
By which true Sway doth mount; this
is the stalk True Power doth grow on; and her rights are these.
COMPOSED UPON WESTMINSTER
BRIDGE, SEPTEMBER 3, 1802 ** We left London on Saturday morning at half-past five or six, the 30th of July. We mounted the Dover coach at Charing Cross. It was a beautiful morning. The city, St. Paul's, with the river, and a multitude of little boats, made a most beautiful sight as we crossed Westminster Bridge. The houses were not overhung by their cloud of smoke, and they were spread out endlessly; yet the sun shone so brightly, with such a fierce light, that there was even something like the purity of one of nature's own grand spectacles," (Dorothy Wordsworth s Journal, July, 1802.) EARTH has not anything to show mo
Thou hangest, stooping, as might seem,
to sink On England's bosom; yet well pleased
to rest, Meanwhile, and be to her a glorious crest Conspicuous to the Nations. Thou, I
think, Should'st bą my Country's emblem ; and
should'st wink, Bright Star! with laughter on her ban
ners, drest In thy fresh beauty. There ! that dusky
spot Beneath thee, that is England ; there she ,
lies. Blessings be on you both ! one hope, one'
lot, One life, one glory!-I, with many a fear For my dear Country, many heartfelt
sighs, Among men who do not love her, linger here.
IT IS A BEAUTEOUS EVENING, X
CALM AND FREE
This was composed on the beach near Calais, in the autumn of 1802. (Hordsırorth.)
The last six lines are addressed to Wordsworth's sister Dorothy. See note to the preceding Sonnet.
Düll would he be of soul who could pass
by A sight so touching in its majesty: This City now doth, like a garment, The beauty of the morning ; silent, bare, Ships, towers, domes, theatres and ten
ples lie Open unto the fields, and to the sky; All bright and glittering in the smoke
less air. Never did sun more beautifully steep In his first splendor, valley, rock, or Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep! The river glideth at his own sweet will : Dear God the very houses seem asleep ; And all that mighty heart is lying stiil!
It is a beauteous evening, calm and free,
with me here, If thou appear untouched by solemn
thought, Thy nature is not therefore less divines Thou liest in Abraham's bosom all the
year ; And worship'st at the Temple's imer
shrine, God being with thee when we know it not.
COMPOSED BY THE SEA-SIDE,
NEAR CALAIS, AUGUST, 1802 “We had delightful walks after the heat of the day was passed--seeing far off in the west the coast of England like a cloud crested with Dover Castle, which was but like the summit of the cloud--the evening star and the glory of the sky, the reflections in the water were more beautiful than the sky itself, purple waves brighter than precious stones, for ever melting away upon the
Nothing in romance was ever half so beautiful. Now came in view, as the evening star sunk down, and the colors of the west faded away, the two lights of England." (Dorothy Wordsworth's Journal, August, 1802.) Fair Star of evening, Splendor of the
west, Star of my Country on the horizon's
Of Venice did not fall below her birth, A span of waters ; yet what power is Venice, the eldest Child of Liberty.
there ! She was a maiden City, bright and free; What mightiness for evil and for good! No guile seduced, no force could violate ; Even so doth God protect us if we be And when she took unto herself a Mate, Virtuous and wise. Winds blow, and She must espouse the everlasting Sea.
waters roll, And what if she had seen those glories Strength to the brave, and Power, and fade,
Deity ; Those titles vanish, and that strength Yet in themselves are nothing! One decay ;
decree Yet shall some tribute of regret be paid Spake laws to them, and said that by the When her long life hath reached its final
soul day :
Only, the Nations shall be great and free. Men are we, and must grieve when even
130?. 1807. of that which once was great, is passed WRITTEN IN LONDON, SEPTEMBER. away. 180. 1807.
This was written immediately after my return
cause Is gone; our peace, our fearful inno
cence, And pure religion breathing household laws.
NEAR DOVER, SEPTEMBER, 1802
INLAND, within a hollow vale, I stood ;
how near ! Drawn almost into frightful neighbor
hood. I shrunk ; for verily the barrier flood Was like a lake, or river bright and