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387. 89. The lawless merchant of the main.

The smuggler.

THE BOROUGH The story of Peter Grimes forms Letter xxii of the poem.

the church of the quoad civilia parish of Alloway; but this parish having been annexed to that of Ayr in 1690, the church fell more or less to ruin, and when Burns wrote had been roofless for half a century. It stands some two hundred yards to the north of the picturesque Auld Brig of Doon . . . . Burns's birthplace is about three-fourths of a mile to the north; so that the ground and its legends were familiar to him from the first.” A good many local traditions centered around the old church; some of them Burns has worked into the poem.



389. The first edition of the Lyrical Ballads

appeared in 1798; the second edition, in December, 1800, carried a lengthy Preface, from which two passages are here reprinted.


377. The poem is often called “Bruce's Ad

dress to his Army."



392. The poem is notable as an expression of

Wordsworth's idea that Nature is a conscious, sentient spirit.

378. A song of this name, of which various

Scottish poets had written versions, was well known in Scotland before Burns composed his verses.



OF A' THE AIRTS THE WIND CAN BLAW “ The song I composed out of compliment to Mrs. Burns.” (Burns's note, quoted in Centenary Burns, iii. 345.)

FLOW GENTLY, SWEET AFTON 380. 3. My Mary. If any definite person is


393. 22-49. In this passage Wordsworth states

the effect that the recollection of the
landscape he has just been describing
has had on him. First, it has brought
him mental restoration in hours of weari-
ness; second, “ feelings of
bered pleasure” which have prompted
him to acts of kindness and of love";
and lastly, it has brought him the mystic's
power of seeing beyond the superficial,

referred to here, -and this is uncertain,-it is not Mary Campbell. See the Centenary Burns, iii. 395.

the apparent, into “the life of things.” 394. 72-111. This passage, with which one

should compare lines 175-203 of the
Intimations of Immortality, is the best
statement of Wordsworth's changing
attitude towards Nature.
psychism, almost the pantheism, of
lines 93-102, is noteworthy.
116. My dear, dear friend. Words-
worth's sister Dorothy was the poet's
most intimate companion during the
years from 1795 to 1802. On their life
together one can consult no better work
than Dorothy Wordsworth's Journals.

The pan

HIGHLAND MARY 381. The poem is reminiscent of Burns's devo

tion to Mary Campbell. The editors of the Centenary tell what is known of her (iii. 308).


CRADLE SONG 384. 20. While o'er thee thy mother weep.

The line (like 11-12 and 15-16) is ungrammatical, but the reading thy seems to have the weight of authority on its side; certain editions emend thy to doth.

SHE DWELT AMONG THE UNTRODDEN WAYS 396. This and the two following poems are

from a group of five which picture the poet's love for “ Lucy.” No one knows who Lucy was. It has been suggested that she is simply a creation of the poet's imagination, but this does not seem probable. It is significant that when Wordsworth commented on his own verses he remained silent concerning these five poems.



386. 9. Smooth alternate verse. See Spenser's

Shepherd's Calendar, Eclogue second,
for an example of “alternate verse," in
which first Cuddie and then Thenot
18. Mantuan song. Virgil's poetry (here
his pastorals).
27. Honest Duck. A •minor poet of the
first half of the 18th century.


This poem, one of Wordsworth's two long autobiographical pieces, was written between 1799 and 1805, but was not published till after the poet's death in 1850.

It was intended to be the first of three poems to constitute his magnum opus, The Recluse. Of the three only this first and the second, The Excursion, were completed.


397. 35. Journeying toward the snow-clad

Alps. Wordsworth had spent the summer
of 1790 in a walking tour through France
and Switzerland. This second journey to
the continent began in the autumn of
40. A pleasant town. Orleans.
68. Bastille. The Bastille had been
stormed and captured by the Revolu-

tionists on the fourteenth of July, 1789. 398. 132. Save only one. Beaupuis, a revolu

tionary officer, whom Wordsworth came to know intimately during the winter of 1791-92, which he spent at Orleans.


48. To Paris I returned. He reached
Paris in October, 1792.
53. The palace, lately stormed. The mob
sacked the Tuileries on the tenth of
August. Louis XVI was a prisoner from

this time until his execution.
399. 73. September massacres. The

sacres of the aristocrats in September, 1792, marked the beginning of the “ Reign of Terror."




Wordsworth notes of this poem:

" Written at Town-end, Grasmere.

The Sheepfold, on which so much of the poem turns, remains, or rather the ruins of it. The character and circumstances of Luke were taken from a family to whom had belonged, many years before, the house we live in at Town-end, along with some fields and woodlands on the eastern shore of Grasmere. The name of the Evening Star was not in fact given to this house, but to another on the same side of the valley, more to the north.” Wordsworth lived at Grasmere from 1799 to 1813


409. 39, 40. Criffel, Skiddaw. Scottish moun


“ Poor inhabitant below.” A quotation from Burns's A Bard's Epitapk.


410. The poem characterizes Mrs. Words

worth, whom, as Mary Hutchinson, Wordsworth had married in 1802.


These lines, perhaps the most Wordsworthian in the entire poem, were written by the poet's wife.


The portrait or character here sketched is not that of any single person, but is, as Wordsworth pointed out in his note, a sort of composite, based on Lord Nelson, and Wordsworth's brother John, master of the Abergavenny, East India man. Nelson and John Wordsworth both died in 1805; the former at Trafalgar, the latter in the wreck of his vessel in the English Channel.



ODE: INTIMATIONS OF IMMORTALITY 413. A part of Wordsworth's note on the poem

as follows: Nothing was difficult for me in childhood than to admit the notion of death as a state applicable to my own being. ... It was not so much from feelings of animal vivacity that my difficulty came as from a sense of the indomitableness of the Spirit within me. ... To that dream-like vividness and splendor which invest objects of sight in childhood, everyone, I believe, if he would look back, could bear testimony, and I need not dwell upon it here: but having in the poem regarded it as presumptive evidence of a prior state of existence, I think it right to protest against a conclusion, which has given pain to some good and pious persons, that I meant to inculcate such a belief. It is far too shadowy a notion to be recommended to faith, as more than an element in our instincts of immortality.” The argument of the poems proceeds from stanza to stanza as follows: 1. I can no longer see the celestial beauty which once enfolded every object in nature. 2. Nature is the same, but the glory has passed away. 3. The utterance of this thought brought relief from the sadness it occasioned: “No more shall grief of mine the season

wrong.4. Despite the happiness of Nature on “this sweet May-morning,” the “glory


406. 9. Natural piety. Reverence, affection

for Nature. Wordsworth chose the last three lines for the motto of his Ode: Intimations of Immortality.

RESOLUTION AND INDEPENDENCE 407. 43. I thought of Chatterton, the marvelous

Boy. Thomas Chatterton (1752-1770), who poisoned himself, in a fit of despondency, before he was eighteen years old. 45. Him who walked in glory. Burns. 97. Grave Livers. Persons of solemn deportment.

tenth of November, 1793, the Goddess of Reason was enthroned in Notre Dame

Cathedral. 418. 66. From bleak Helvetia's icy caverns.

The ode was occasioned by the French invasion of Switzerland in 1798.


and the dream” have gone; “ whither is

fled the visionary gleam? 413. 5. The child brings with him into this

world recollections of Heaven; the older we become the farther we journey from the celestial vision of childhood, till at length

* the Man perceives it die away, And fade into the light of common day.” 6. The Earth, man's foster-mother, does all she can to make the child “ Forget the glories he hath known, And that imperial palace whence he came." 7. The child in his play imitates all the businesses of life. 8. Why should he do this, and hurry himself into the yoke of manhood? 9. Let us give thanks for the " shadowy recollections ” which persist from childhood into maturity to uphold and cher10. Even though the celestial radiance has now departed from the world, I can still be joyful, finding strength in human sympathy, and " In the faith that looks through death, In years that bring the philosophic mind.” 11. And Nature still is beautiful, for the love I feel for her is strengthened and enriched by years of experience with the world, and by sympathetic association with men.

ish us.



419. Coleridge writes, in his preface to the

poem: “In consequence of a slight indisposition, an anodyne had been prescribed, from the effects of which he (Coleridge] fell asleep in his chair at the moment that he was reading the following sentence, or words of the same substance, in Purchas's Pilgrimage: 'Here the Khan Kubla commanded a palace to be built, and a stately garden thereunto. And thus ten miles of fertile ground were inclosed with a wall.' The author continued for about three hours in a profound sleep, at least of the external senses, during which time he has the most vivid confidence that he could not have composed less than from two to three hundred lines; if that indeed can be called composition in which all the images rose up before him as things, with a parallel production of the correspondent expressions, without any sensation or consciousness of effort. On awaking he appeared to himself to have a distinct recollection of the whole, and instantly and eagerly wrote down the lines that are here preserved. At this moment he was unfortunately called out by a person on business . . . and detained by him above an hour, and on his return to his room found

that ... all the rest had passed away: Professor William A. Neilson, in his recent Essentials of Poetry, writes: In

Coleridge's Kubla Khan we have no wrestling with spiritual questions, no lofty solution of the problem of conduct found through brooding on the beauties of nature. Instead, a thousand impressions received from the senses, from records of Oriental travel, from numberless romantic tales, have been taken in by the author, dissolved as in a crucible by the fierce heat of his imagination, and are poured forth a molten stream of sensuous imagery, incalculable in its variety of suggestion, yet homogeneous, unified, and, despite its fragmentary character, the ultimate expression of a whole romantic world” (p. 43).

416. Napoleon entered Venice on the 16th of

May, 1797, and proclaimed the end of the republic.


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The ode is perhaps the most notable ex-
pression, within the compass of a single
poem, of the effect which the French
Revolution had on the English republi-
cans, and of the reasons for their subse-
quent defection from the cause.
30. The Monarchs marched, etc. War
was declared by France against Austria,
April 20, 1792; against England, Holland,

and Spain, February 1, 1793. 418. 43. Blasphemy's loud scream. On the

In Wordsworth's note on his own poem, We Are Seven, the following passage explains the origin of the Ancient Mariner: * In the spring of the year 1798 (Coleridge), my sister, and myself, started . to visit Linton. In the course of this walk was planned the poem of the worth's marriage—in the Morning Post. Although Wordsworth's name did not appear in this version, it was in fact addressed to him. Later, after an estrangement between the two poets, Coleridge revised and enlarged the ode. The first form is printed in the Globe edition of

Coleridge's works, p. 522. 433. 25. O Lady! In the earlier version, here

and throughout the poem, O Edmund!
under which pseudonym Coleridge ad-
dressed Wordsworth.
40. What can these avail.

What can these beauties of nature avail? 435. 120. As Otway's self. Originally

Edmund's self."
138. Friend devoutest of my choice. The
poem originally closed with these lines:
“O simple spirit, guided from above,
O lofty Poet, full of life and love,
Brother and friend of my devoutest choice,
Thus may'st thou ever, evermore rejoice!"



I also sug

the poem.

WORK WITHOUT HOPE 436. The poem was composed in February,

1827, long after Coleridge's best work
had been done.
7. Amaranths. Legendary flowers sym-
bolic of immortality.

Ancient Mariner, founded on a dream,
as Mr. Coleridge said, of his friend, Mr.
Cruikshank. Much the greatest part of
the story was Mr. Coleridge's invention;
but certain parts I myself suggested:-
for example, some crime was to be com-
mitted which should bring upon the old
Navigator, as Coleridge afterwards de-
lighted to call him, the spectral persecu-
tion, as a consequence of that crime,
and his own wanderings. I had been
reading in Shelvocke's Voyages a day or
two before that while doubling Cape
Horn they frequently saw albatrosses.
‘Suppose,' said I, 'you represent him
as having killed one of these birds on
entering the South Sea, and that the
tutelary Spirits of those regions take
upon them to avenge the crime!' The in-
cident was thought fit for the purpose,
and adopted accordingly.
gested the navigation of the ship by the
dead men, but do not recollect that I had
anything more to do with the scheme of

We began the composi-
tion together on that, to me, memorable
evening. I furnished two or three lines
at the beginning of the poem, in par-
* And listened like a three years' child;
The Mariner had his will.'

The poem was first printed in the 1798 edition of the Lyrical Ballads. Many archaisms, intended to make it resemble the popular ballads, and a few stanzas, were afterwards removed. The marginal gloss was added when the poem appeared in the Sybilline Leaves, 1817.

FROST AT MIDNIGHT 430. The poem was written in February, 1798,

while Coleridge was living in his cottage at Nether-Stowey.

7. My cradled infant. His son Hartley. 431. 25. At school. Coleridge entered Christ's

Hospital when he was ten years old, and
remained there till he went up to Cam-
bridge University in 1791. Cf. Lamb's
Christ's Hospital Five and Thirty Years Ago,
P. 512.
27. That fluttering stranger.

“A flake
or film of soot hanging on the bar of a
grate, supposed to foretell the advent of a
stranger. (English Dialect Dictionary.)
38. The stern. preceptor. Boyer, the
famous flogging master” of Christ's
43. Sister more beloved. Between Cole-
ridge and his sister Ann, who died in 1791,
there was a strong attachment.
55. Thou, my babe! shalt wander, etc.
The prophecy in these lines was fulfilled
when in 1800 Coleridge moved to Greta
Hall, Keswick, in the lake district.

DEJECTION: AN ODE 433. The poem was first printed on the fourth

BIOGRAPHIA LITERARIA 37. The Lyrical Ballads. The title given to the 1798 volume to which both Wordsworth and Coleridge contributed. It contained, among other poems, Tinters

Abbey, and The Ancient Mariner. 437. 85. A preface. See the selections from

this Preface, pp. 389 ff. 439. 297. Præcipitandus, etc. The free spirit

must be urged forward.
354. Laxis effertur habenis. He is car-
ried with loose reins.
371. Sir John Davies. Lawyer and poet
(1569-1626), best known for his poems
Orchestra, Or a Poeme of Dancing, and
Nosce Teipsum, on the immortality of
the soul; the quotation is from the latter.

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CORONACH 443. “ The Coronach of the Highlanders was

of October, 1802,—the day of Words

a wild expression of lamentation, poured
forth by the mourners over the body of a
departed friend. When the words of it
were articulate, they expressed the praises
of the deceased, and the loss the can
would sustain by his death.” (Scott.)
17. Correi. The side of a hill.
18. Cumber. Difficulty.


446. 35. Duniewassals. Highland gentlemen

of somewhat inferior rank.

443. This is a sort of epilogue to The Lady of

the Lake.



3. The turtle. The turtle dove. 8. Gul. The rose.

JOCK OF HAZELDEAN 444. The first stanza is traditional; see F. J.


447. See 2 Kings, xix: 35.

MY BOAT IS ON THE SHORE 448. Tom Moore and Byron were for many

years intimate friends.


CHILLON François de Bonnivard (1493–1570), a patriotic citizen of Geneva, undertook to defend the city against the Duke of Savoy. In this he was unsuccessful, and after various adventures, was imprisoned in the castle of Chillon from 1530 to 1536. The castle stands on the shore of the Lake

of Geneva. 449. 107. Lake Leman. The Lake of Geneva.

CHILDE HAROLD'S PILGRIMAGE: CANTO III 452. 182. Belgium's capital. Brussels. See

Thackeray's description of Brussels dur-
ing Waterloo, in Vanity Fair.
200. Brunswick's fated chieftain. The
Duke of Brunswick. His father had been

killed at Jena, in 1806. 463. 226. “ Cameron's Gathering.” The pi

broch, or martial rallying song, played on the bagpipe. The clan Cameron had been

out under Prince Charles Stuart in 1745, but was enthusiastically loyal in 1815. 227. Albyn's. Scotland's. 235. Ardennes.

Byron notes: " The wood of Soignies is supposed to be a remnant of the forest of Ardennes,' famous in Boiardo's Orlando, and immortal in Shakespeare's As You Like

11." 466. 848. Cytherea's zone. Venus's girdle,

which inspired the beholder with love for the wearer.

CANTO IV 466. 1. The Bridge of Sighs. The famous

Child's English and Scottish Popular
Ballads, v. 159, for the older John of
Hazelgreen on which Scott modelled his


From Rokeby.


446. From Quentin Durward.


From The Doom of Devor goil.
1. Claver'se. John Graham of Claver-
house (1649?-1689), an ardent and suc-
cessful partisan of Charles II, won the
title “ bloody Claver’se” by his persecu-
tion of the Scottish Dissenters during the
last years of Charles's reign. In 1688 he
was created first Viscount Dundee by
James II. After James's flight, Claver-
house maintained a royal army in Scot-
land, and won the battle of Killiecrankie
in July, 1689, but died of a wound the
night of the victory. The incident re-
ferred to in the poem took place March 18,
1688, when Claverhouse rode out of
Edinburgh at the head of some fifty
dragoons, having bolted the Convention
that was to determine Scotland's attitude
towards James II.
13. The Bow. Bow Street, Edinburgh.
14. Ilk carline was flyting and shaking
her pow. Every old woman was scolding
and wagging her head.
15. The young plants of grace they looked
couthie and slee. The young men looked
kindly and sly.
17. The Grassmarket. An open square
in the center of the city, formerly used for
public executions. See The Heart of Mid-
lothian, Chapter ii.
21. Cowls of Kilmarnock. The Presby-
terian Whigs, who were all anti-Stuart.
22. Lang hafted gullies. Long handled
23. Close-head. The entrance to a blind
alley. (Engl. Dialect Dictionary.)

rock. Edinburgh Castle
stands on a high rock above the city.
27. Mons Meg and her marrows.
Meg” was a famous cannon of unusual
30. Montrose. James Graham (1612-
1650), fifth Earl and first Marquis of
Montrose, was Charles I's most successful
lieutenant during the Civil War. He
was captured and executed by the Earl
of Argyle in 1650.

bridge leading from the Doge's Palace to
the prison.
8. The winged Lion. The winged lion of
St. Mark, the emblem of the Venetian
10. Cybele. Daughter of Uranus, and
mother of Zeus; sometimes known as
Rhea, and represented as wearing a tiara
of towers.
19. Tasso. Torquato Tasso (1544-1505),
Italian poet, author of Jerusalem Delivered.

25. Castle

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