Ernest De Selincourt (ed.), The Poetical Works of William Wordsworth, Vol. 2: Poems Founded on the Affections; Poems on the Naming of Places; Poems of the Fancy; Poems of the Imagination (Second Edition)

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pg 36Editor’s NoteXVII

[Composed 1824.—Published 1827.]

  • 1How rich that forehead's calm expanse!
  • 2How bright that heaven-directed glance!
  • 3—Waft her to glory, winged Powers,
  • 4Ere sorrow be renewed,
  • 5And intercourse with mortal hours
  • 6Bring back a humbler mood!
  • Editor’s Note7So looked Cecilia when she drew
  • 8An Angel from his station;
  • 9So looked; not ceasing to pursue
  • 10Her tuneful adoration!
  • 11But hand and voice alike are still;
  • 12No sound here sweeps away the will
  • 13That gave it birth: in service meek
  • 14One upright arm sustains the cheek,
  • 15And one across the bosom lies—
  • 16That rose, and now forgets to rise,
  • 17Subdued by breathless harmonies
  • 18Of meditative feeling;
  • 19Mute strains from worlds beyond the skies,
  • 20Through the pure light of female eyes
  • 21Their sanctity revealing!

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Editor’s Note
P. 36. XVII. How rich that forehead's calm expanse. "Rydal Mount, 1824. Also on M. W."—I. F. Dowden, K., and Nowell Smith all quote the following as an I. F. note, but I have not found it: "Mrs Wordsworth's impression is that the Poem was written at Coleorton: it was certainly suggested by a Print at Coleorton Hall." Mrs W. was very likely right; W. was staying at Coleorton in April–May of that year.
Editor’s Note
7–8. So looked Cecilia, etc.] an obvious allusion to Dryden's Alexander's Feast, 161, 170. At last divine Cecilia came…. She drew an angel down.
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