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William Wordsworth

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)

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Critical ApparatusCritical ApparatusIII. FRAGMENTS FROM MS. M

[Composed 1802.]


  • I have been here in the Moon-light,
  • I have been here in the Day,
  • I have been here in the Dark Night,
  • And the Stream was still roaring away.


  • These Chairs they have no words to utter,
  • No fire is in the grate to stir or flutter,
  • The cieling and floor are mute as a stone,
  • My chamber is hush'd and still,
  •    And I am alone,
  •    Happy and alone.
  • Oh who would be afraid of life,
  • The passion the sorrow and the strife,
  •     When he may be
  •     Shelter'd so easily?
  • May lie in peace on his bed
  • Happy as they who are dead.
  •        Half an hour afterwards
  • I have thoughts that are fed by the sun.
  •     The things which I see
  •     Are welcome to me,
  •     Welcome every one:
  • pg 366I do not wish to lie
  •     Dead, dead,
  • Dead without any company;
  •    Here alone on my bed,
  • With thoughts that are fed by the Sun,
  • And hopes that are welcome every one,
  •     Happy am I.
  • O Life, there is about thee
  • A deep delicious peace,
  • I would not be without thee,
  •     Stay, oh stay!
  • Yet be thou ever as now,
  • Sweetness and breath with the quiet of death,
  • Be but thou ever as now,
  •     Peace, peace, peace.

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Critical Apparatus
p. 365. III. Fragments from MS. M. (On MS. M v. Prelude, Introd.). The lines seem to have been written shortly before April 22, 1802. Cf. D. W.'s Journal for that day: "We walked into Easedale … the waters were high for there had been a great quantity of rain in the night … . I sate upon the grass till they [Wm. and C.] came from the waterfall … when they returned Wm. was repeating the poem 'I have thoughts that are fed by the sun'. It had been called to his mind by the dying away of the stunning of the waterfall when he came behind a stone."
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