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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 NoteXVIthe infant m—— m——

[Composed November 12, 1824.—Published 1827.]

  • 1Unquiet Childhood here by special grace
  • 2Forgets her nature, opening like a flower
  • 3That neither feeds nor wastes its vital power
  • 4In painful struggles. Months each other chase,
  • Critical Apparatus5And nought untunes that Infant's voice; no trace
  • 6Of fretful temper sullies her pure cheek;
  • 7Prompt, lively, self-sufficing, yet so meek
  • Critical Apparatus8That one enrapt with gazing on her face
  • 9(Which even the placid innocence of death
  • 10Could scarcely make more placid, heaven more bright)
  • Critical Apparatus11Might learn to picture, for the eye of faith,
  • 12The Virgin, as she shone with kindred light;
  • 13A nursling couched upon her mother's knee,
  • 14Beneath some shady palm of Galilee.

Notes Settings


Editor’s Note
p. 46. XVI. The Infant M—M—: "The infant was Mary Monkhouse, the only daughter of our friend and cousin Thomas Monkhouse."—I. F. The MS. is headed "Mary Monkhouse", and dated Nov. 12, 1824. M. W. refers to her birth in a letter to John Kenyon, Dec. 28, 1821, as a "late production in Gloster Place" (L.Y., p. 59). She was born Dec. 21.
Critical Apparatus
XVI. 5–6 so 1837: a trace … ne'er bedews her cheek MS., sullies not 1827–32
Critical Apparatus
8 That one who has been gazing on her face MS.
Critical Apparatus
11 Might see, in no unholy mood of faith MS.
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