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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 NoteXIImonastery of old bangor1

  • Editor’s Note1The oppression of the tumult—wrath and scorn
  • 2The tribulation—and the gleaming blades
  • 3Such is the impetuous spirit that pervades
  • 4The song of Taliesin;—Ours shall mourn
  • 5The unarmed Host who by their prayers would turn
  • 6The sword from Bangor's walls, and guard the store
  • 7Of Aboriginal and Roman lore,
  • 8And Christian monuments, that now must burn
  • 9To senseless ashes. Mark! how all things swerve
  • Critical Apparatus10From their known course, or vanish like a dream;
  • 11Another language spreads from coast to coast;
  • 12Only perchance some melancholy Stream
  • 13And some indignant Hills old names preserve,
  • 14When laws, and creeds, and people all are lost!

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Editor’s Note
p. 347. XII. Monastery of Old Bangor: "Ethelforth reached the convent of Bangor, he perceived the Monks, twelve hundred in number, offering prayers for the success of their countrymen: 'If they are praying against us,' he exclaimed, 'they are fighting against us'; and he ordered them to be first attacked: they were destroyed; and, appalled by their fate, the courage of Brocmail wavered, and he fled from the field in dismay. Thus abandoned by their leader, his army soon gave way, and Ethelforth obtained a decisive conquest. Ancient Bangor itself soon fell into his hands, and was demolished; the noble monastery was levelled to the ground; its library, which is mentioned as a large one, the collection of ages, the repository of the most precious monuments of the ancient Britons, was consumed; half ruined walls, gates, and rubbish were all that remained of the magnificent edifice." —See Turner's valuable history of the Anglo-Saxons.
Taliesin was present at the battle which preceded this desolation.
The account Bede gives of this remarkable event, suggests a most striking warning against National and Religious prejudices.—W.
Editor’s Note
1 See Note.
Editor’s Note
1, 2. In a translation of Taliesin given by Turner the lines occur:
I saw the oppression of the tumult, and wrath and tribulation:
The weapons glittered on the splendid helmets.
Critical Apparatus
XII. 10 so 1827: … pass away like steam 1822
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