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Set the sign-board in a blaze,
When the rising sun he painted,
Took the fancy from a glance
At thy glittering countenance.
Soon as gentle breezes bring
News of winter's vanishing,
And the children build their bowers,
Sticking 'kerchief-plots of mould
All about with full-blown flowers,
Thick as sheep in shepherd's fold !
With the proudest thou art there,
Mantling in the tiny square.
Often have I sighed to measure
By myself a lonely pleasure.
Sighed to think I read a book
Only read, perhaps. by me;
Yet I long could overlook
Thy bright coronet and Thee,
And thy arch and wily ways,
And thy store of other praise.

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
Thou dost play at hide-and-seek;
While the patient primrose sits
Like a beggar in the cold,
Thou, a flower of wiser wits,
Slipp'st into thy sheltering hold;
Liveliest of the vernal train
When ye all are out again.
Drawn by what peculiar spell,
By what charm of sight or smell,
Does the dim-eyed curious Bee,
Laboring for her waxen cells,
Fondly settle upon Thee
Prized above all buds and bells
Opening daily at thy side,
By the season multiplied ?
Thou are not beyond the moon,
But a thing “ beneath our shoon: "
Let the bold Discoverer thrid
In his bark the polar sea ;
Rear who will a pyramid;
Praise it is enough for me,
If there be but three or four
Who will love my little Flower.

1802. 1807.

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

doth run.


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.

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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
Couched on the bald top of an eminence ;
Wonder to all who do the same espy,
By what means it could thither come,

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

gray hairs.

vivid eyes,

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."



p. 48

By which true Sway doth mount; this

is the stalk True Power doth grow on; and her rights are these.

1802. 1807.


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.

1802. 1807.

fair :




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!

1802. 1807.


It is a beauteous evening, calm and free,
The holy time is quiet as a Nun
Breathless with adoration; the broad sun
Is sinking down in its tranquillity ;
The gentleness of heaven broods o'er the

Sea :
Listen ! the mighty Being is a wake,
And doth with his eternal motion inake
A sound like thunder--everlastingly.
Dear Child! dear Girl! that walkest

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.

1802. 1807.


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


sands. ....

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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.


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This was written immediately after my return
from France to London, when I could not but
be struck, as here described, with the vanity
and parade of our own country, especially in
great towns and cities, as contrasted with the
quiet, and I may say the desolation, that the
revolution had produced in France. This must
be borne in mind, or else the reader may think
that in this and the succeeding Sonnets I have
exaggerated the mischief engendered and fos-
tered among us by undisturbed wealth. It would
not be easy to conceive with what a depth of feel-
ing I entered into the struggle carried on by the
Spaniards for their deliverance from the usurped
power of the French. Many times have I gone
from Allan Bank in Grasmere vale, where we
were then residing, to the top of the Raise-gap
as it is called, so late as two o'clock in the morn-
ing, to meet the carrier bringing the newspaper
from Keswick. Imperfect traces of the state of
mind in which I then was may be found in my
Tract on the Convention of Cintra, as well as in
these Sonnets. (Wordsworth.)
FRIEND! I know not which way I must

For comfort, being, as I am, opprest,
To think that now our life is only drest
For show ; mean bandy-work of crafts-

man, cook,
Or groom !-We must run glittering like

a brook
In the open sunshine, or we are unblest:
The wealthiest man among us is the

No grandeur now in nature or in book
Delights us. Rapine, avarice, expense,
This is idolatry; and these we adore :
Plain living and high thinking are no

The homely beauty of the good old

cause Is gone; our peace, our fearful inno

cence, And pure religion breathing household laws.

180. 1807.


INLAND, within a hollow vale, I stood ;
And saw, while sea was calm and air

was clear,
The coast of France--the coast of France

how near ! Drawn almost into frightful neighbor

hood. I shrunk ; for verily the barrier flood Was like a lake, or river bright and


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