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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IIItrepidation of the druids

  • 1Screams round the Arch-druid's brow the sea-mew2—white
  • 2As Menai's foam; and toward the mystic ring
  • 3Where Augurs stand, the Future questioning,
  • 4Slowly the cormorant aims her heavy flight,
  • 5Portending ruin to each baleful rite
  • pg 343Critical Apparatus6That, in the lapse of ages, hath crept o'er
  • 7Diluvian truths, and patriarchal lore.
  • 8Haughty the Bard: can these meek doctrines blight
  • 9His transports? wither his heroic strains?
  • 10But all shall be fulfilled;—the Julian spear
  • 11A way first opened; and, with Roman chains,
  • 12The tidings come of Jesus crucified;
  • 13They come—they spread—the weak, the suffering, hear;
  • 14Receive the faith, and in the hope abide.

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Editor’s Note
2 This water-fowl was, among the Druids, an emblem of those traditions connected with the Deluge that made an important part of their mysteries. The Cormorant was a bird of bad omen.
Critical Apparatus
III. 6 ages 1827: seasons 1822
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