Helen Darbishire and Ernest De Selincourt (eds), The Poetical Works of William Wordsworth, Vol. 4: Evening Voluntaries; Itinerary Poems of 1833; Poems of Sentiment and Reflection; Sonnets Dedicated to Liberty and Order; Miscellaneous Poems; Inscriptions; Selections From Chaucer; Poems Referring to the Period of Old Age; Epitaphs and Elegiac Pieces; Ode-Intimations of Immortality (Second Edition)
[Composed 1846.—Published 1850.]
- Critical Apparatus1The unremitting voice of nightly streams
- Critical Apparatus2That wastes so oft, we think, its tuneful powers,
- Critical Apparatus3If neither soothing to the worm that gleams
- Critical Apparatus4Through dewy grass, nor small birds hushed in bowers,
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus5Nor unto silent leaves and drowsy flowers,—
- Critical Apparatus6That voice of unpretending harmony
- Critical Apparatus7(For who what is shall measure by what seems
- 8To be, or not to be,
- 9Or tax high Heaven with prodigality?)
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus10Wants not a healing influence that can creep
- Critical Apparatus11Into the human breast, and mix with sleep
- 12To regulate the motion of our dreams
- pg 10713For kindly issues—as through every clime
- 14Was felt near murmuring brooks in earliest time;
- 15As, at this day, the rudest swains who dwell
- 16Where torrents roar, or hear the tinkling knell
- 17Of water-breaks, with grateful heart could tell.
p. 106. XXXII. The unremitting voice of nightly streams: In one manuscript this poem is headed Introduction to the Somnambulist (v. 49).
XXXII. 1 unremitting … nightly ] unsuspended … mountain MS. 1
2 Where Nature seems to work with wasted powers MS. 1; That calls the breeze to modulate its powers MS. 2
3 That voice that soothes, perchance MS. 1
4 dewy] summer, (dusky) MSS.
nor] and MSS.
5 And lulls at dewy eve the shutting flowers MS. 1
5. (app. crit.) at dewy eve the shutting flowers] Cf. Paradise Lost, ix. 278, "at shut of evening flowers".
6 not in MSS.
7 For] Yet MSS.
- This has been known to mingle with the sleep (That voice, it has been known to mix with sleep)
- Of human kind, and regulate our dreams
- For kindly issues, as a knight too well (Once to how strange an issue he full well)
- Had learned, who scooped into a votive cell
- Yon rock impending from the shaggy steep
- That he in hermit's weeds therein might dwell
- For ever bound
- To the lone river's heart-controuling (spirit-soothing) sound (To one deep solemn)
- Why, let these words to simple Listeners tell. MS. 1
- That voice by night with healing power can creep
- Into the human heart or mix with sleep,
- As knew of yore the hermit in his cell
- Scooped out from rocky steep
- As all with gratitude can tell
- Who at this day mid Cumbrian mountains dwell.
10–17. (app. crit.) "The Hermit's Cell, nr. Knaresboro." MS. marginal note.
11 breast] heart MS.