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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pg 401Editor’s NoteXXXIVmutability

  • Critical Apparatus1From low to high doth dissolution climb,
  • 2And sink from high to low, along a scale
  • Critical Apparatus3Of awful notes, whose concord shall not fail;
  • 4A musical but melancholy chime,
  • 5Which they can hear who meddle not with crime,
  • 6Nor avarice, nor over-anxious care.
  • Critical Apparatus7Truth fails not; but her outward forms that bear
  • Critical Apparatus8The longest date do melt like frosty rime,
  • 9That in the morning whitened hill and plain
  • 10And is no more; drop like the tower sublime
  • 11Of yesterday, which royally did wear
  • Critical Apparatus12His crown of weeds, but could not even sustain
  • 13Some casual shout that broke the silent air,
  • 14Or the unimaginable touch of Time.

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Notes

Editor’s Note
p. 401. XXXIV. Mutability. 10–14. For this striking simile, and especially the last line, cf. the lines written by W. in early youth, to be found in his Fragment of a Gothic Tale, 66–9 (Vol. I, p. 288 and note), to which should be added the record of W.'s remark on Dyer's lines which suggested the image: "A beautiful instance of the modifying and investive power of imagination may be seen in that noble passage of Dyer'3 Ruins of Rome where the poet hears the voice of Time (M. ii, p. 477).
Critical Apparatus
XXXIV. 1–3
  • I thought of Luxury and greedy sway
  • And pride deserving chastisement severe,
  • But stillness, ruin, beauty, all things here MS.
Critical Apparatus
3 awful notes] things (by laws) MS.
Critical Apparatus
7 The pomps and vanities of earth corr. to Truth fades not, but the forms of thought MS.
Critical Apparatus
8 do] shall MS.
Critical Apparatus
12 His 1837: Its MS., 1822–32
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