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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 NoteEditor’s NoteXXXVI

after landing—the valley of dover, november, 1820

  • Editor’s Note1Where be the noisy followers of the game
  • 2Which faction breeds? the turmoil where, that passed
  • 3Through Europe, echoing from the newsman's blast,
  • 4And filled our hearts with grief for England's shame?
  • 5Peace greets us;—rambling on without an aim
  • 6We mark majestic herds of cattle, free
  • 7To ruminate, couched on the grassy lea;
  • 8And hear far-off the mellow horn proclaim
  • 9The Season's harmless pastime. Ruder sound
  • 10Stirs not; enrapt I gaze with strange delight,
  • pg 19811While consciousnesses, not to be disowned,
  • 12Here only serve a feeling to invite
  • 13That lifts the spirit to a calmer height,
  • 14And makes this rural stillness more profound.

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Editor’s Note
p. 197. XXXVI. After Landing—The Valley of Dover: 6–7. This is a most grateful sight for an Englishman returning to his native land. Everywhere one misses in the cultivated grounds abroad, the animated and soothing accompaniment of animals ranging and selecting their own food at will.—W. 1822.
"At 11 o'clock we took coach and thoroughly enjoyed our journey between the green pastures of Kent, besprinkled with groupes oftrees, and bounded by hedgerows. The scattered cattle quietly selecting their own food was a chearing and a home-feeling sight."—M. W. Journal, Nov. 8.
Editor’s Note
1–-4. A reference to the public excitement over Queen Caroline, who had returned to England in June, and was received at Dover by huge crowds who regarded her as a persecuted woman. In July Lord Liverpool introduced the "Pain and Penalties" Bill, to deprive her of her title and annul her marriage, and the country was deluged with the squalid details of the case. In October Lord Brougham opened her defence; in November the government majority had dwindled to 9, and Lord Liverpool dropped the measure. On Oct. 7 W. had written from Paris to Lord Lonsdale: "In respect to the business of our Queen, we deem ourselves truly fortunate in having been out of the country when an inquiry at which all Europe seems scandalized, was going on" (M.Y., p. 903).
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