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William Wordsworth

Ernest De Selincourt (ed.), The Poetical Works of William Wordsworth, Vol. 2: Poems Founded on the Affections; Poems on the Naming of Places; Poems of the Fancy; Poems of the Imagination (Second Edition)

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Editor’s NoteEditor’s NoteXII

[Composed 1804.—Published 1807.]

  • 1I wandered lonely as a cloud
  • 2That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
  • 3When all at once I saw. a crowd,
  • Critical Apparatus4A host, of golden daffodils;
  • Critical Apparatus5Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
  • 6Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
  • Critical Apparatus7Continuous as the stars that shine
  • 8And twinkle on the milky way,
  • 9They stretched in never-ending line
  • 10Along the margin of a bay:
  • 11Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
  • 12Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
  • 13The waves beside them danced; but they
  • 14Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
  • 15A poet could not but be gay,
  • Critical Apparatus16In such a jocund company:
  • 17I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
  • 18What wealth the show to me had brought:
  • pg 21719For oft, when on my couch I lie
  • 20In vacant or in pensive mood,
  • 21They flash upon that inward eye
  • 22Which is the bliss of solitude;
  • 23And then my heart with pleasure fills,
  • 24And dances with the daffodils.

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Editor’s Note
XII. I wandered lonely as a cloud: "Town-End, 1804. The two best lines in it are by Mary. The daffodils grew and still grow on the margin of Ulswater and probably may be seen to this day as beautiful in the month of March, nodding their golden heads beside the dancing and foaming waves."—I. F. (a pencil note added to I. F. identifies the two lines as 21, 22).
Critical Apparatus
XII. 4 golden 1815: dancing 1807
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5–6 Along … Ten Thousand dancing … 1807
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7–12 added 1815
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16 jocund 1815: laughing 1807
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