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William Wordsworth, Dorothy Wordsworth

The Letters of William and Dorothy Wordsworth, Vol. 5: The Later Years: Part II: 1829–1834 (Second Revised Edition)

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  • MS. untraced.
  • Mem. Grosart. K. LY ii. 714.

Rydal Mount, Sept., 1834.

My dear Mrs Hemans,

I avail myself gladly of the opportunity of Mr Graves's return2 to acknowledge the honour you have done me in prefixing my pg 736name to your volume1 of beautiful poems, and to thank you for the copy you have sent me with your own autograph. Where there is so much to admire, it is difficult to select; and therefore I shall content myself with naming only two or three pieces. And, first, let me particularise the piece that stands second in the volume, Flowers and Music in a Room of Sickness. This was especially touching to me, on my poor sister's account, who has long been an invalid, confined almost to her chamber. The feelings are sweetly touched throughout this poem, and the imagery very beautiful; above all, in the passage where you describe the colour of the petals of the wild rose. This morning I have read the stanzas upon Elysium with great pleasure. You have admirably expanded the thought of Chateaubriand.2 If we had not been disappointed in our expected pleasure of seeing you here, I should have been tempted to speak of many other passages and poems with which I have been delighted.

Your health, I hope, is by this time re-established. Your son Charles looks uncommonly well, and we have had the pleasure of seeing him and his friends several times; but as you are aware, we are much engaged with visitors at this season of the year, so as not always to be able to follow our inclinations as to whom we would wish to see. I cannot conclude without thanking you for your sonnet upon a place so dear to me as Grasmere;3 it is worthy of the subject. With kindest remembrances, in which unite Mrs Wordsworth, my sister, and Dora,

  • I remain, dear Mrs Hemans,       
  • Your much obliged friend,     
  • Wm Wordsworth  

Notes Settings


Editor’s Note
2 To Dublin from Grasmere.
Editor’s Note
1 Scenes and Hymns of Life (see L. 817 above).
Editor’s Note
2 The poem is prefaced by a quotation from Le Genie du Christianisme, 1802, by Francois René, Vicomte de Chateaubriand (1768–1848).
Editor’s Note
3 A Remembrance of Grasmere, in 'Records of the Spring of 1834', published in Poetical Remains of the late Mrs Hemans, 1836, p. 39.
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