William Wordsworth

Helen Darbishire and Ernest De Selincourt (eds), The Poetical Works of William Wordsworth, Vol. 3: Miscellaneous Sonnets; Memorials of Various Tours; Poems to National Independence and Liberty; The Egyptian Maid; The River Duddon Series; The White Doe and Other Narrative Poems; Ecclesiastical Sonnets (Second Edition)

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Editor’s NoteIon a celebrated event in ancient history

[Composed?—Published 1815.]

  • 1A Roman Master stands on Grecian ground,
  • Critical Apparatus2And to the people at the Isthmian Games
  • Critical Apparatus3Assembled, He, by a herald's voice, proclaims
  • 4The Liberty of Greece:—the words rebound
  • 5Until all voices in one voice are drowned;
  • Critical Apparatus6Glad acclamation by which air was rent!
  • 7And birds, high flying in the element,
  • 8Dropped to the earth, astonished at the sound!
  • Critical Apparatus9Yet were the thoughtful grieved; and still that voice
  • 10Haunts, with sad echoes, musing Fancy's ear:
  • 11Ah! that a Conqueror's words should be so dear:
  • 12Ah! that a boon could shed such rapturous joys!
  • 13A gift of that which is not to be given
  • 14By all the blended powers of Earth and Heaven.

Notes Settings


Editor’s Note
p. 125. Part II. I. On a Celebrated Event in Ancient History: i.e. the proclamation of the liberty of Greece by T. Quinctius Flaminius, after he had defeated Philip V of Macedon at Cynoscephalae in 196 b.c. The Games were held in the following year.
Critical Apparatus
I. 2 people at 1837: concourse of 1815–32
Critical Apparatus
3 so 1837: He, by his Herald's voice, aloud proclaims 1815–32
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6–8 was … Dropped ] is … Drops 1838 only
Critical Apparatus
9–10 so 1837:
  • A melancholy Echo of that noise
  • Doth sometimes hang on musing Fancy's ear: 1815–32
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