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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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Editor’s Notepg 77Editor’s NoteXVIA NIGHT THOUGHT

[Composed?.—Published 1837 (The Tribute: edited by Lord Northampton); vol. of 1842.]

  • Critical Apparatus1Lo! where the Moon along the sky
  • 2Sails with her happy destiny;
  • 3Oft is she hid from mortal eye
  • 4        Or dimly seen,
  • 5But when the clouds asunder fly
  • Critical Apparatus6      How bright her mien!
  • Critical Apparatus7Far different we—a fro ward race,
  • 8Thousands though rich in Fortune's grace
  • 9With cherished sullenness of pace
  • 10      Their way pursue,
  • 11Ingrates who wear a smileless face
  • 12       The whole year through.
  • 13If kindred humours e'er would make
  • 14My spirit droop for drooping's sake,
  • 15From Fancy following in thy wake,
  • 16      Bright ship of heaven!
  • 17A counter impulse let me take
  • 18      And be forgiven.

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Editor’s Note
p. 77. XVI. A Night Thought: 'These verses were thrown off extempore upon leaving Mrs. Luff's house at Fox-Ghyll, one evening. The good woman is not disposed to look at the bright side of things, and there happened to be present certain ladies who had reached the point of life where youth is ended, who seemed to contend with each other in expressing their dislike of the country and climate. One of them had been heard to say she could not endure a country where there was 'neither sunshine nor cavaliers'."—I. F. On Mrs. Luff v. E.L., pp. 277–8.
Critical Apparatus
XVI. 1–2
  • The moon that sails along the sky
  • Moves with a happy destiny, The Tribute
Critical Apparatus
  • Not flagging when the winds all sleep,
  • Not hurried onward, when they sweep
  • The bosom of th' aetherial deep,
  • Not turned aside,
  • She knows an even course to keep,
  • Whate'er betide. The Tribute
Critical Apparatus
7 Perverse are we etc. The Tribute
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