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Editor’s NoteEditor’s NoteIV


Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus2Here rest[s] a maid whose form and mind were so lovely, that when 3 Age began to prey upon her beauty, heavn [illegible Heav'n [? fearing] age would render the one unworthy of the deletion] see so saw 4fair a soul in form unworthy of it, took And made her what she was 5before for immortality was all that need be given [? her]


Critical Apparatus7Here M— sleeps who lived a patriarchs days, she was so fair in Critical Apparatus8youth that Death mistook her for an angel, and in age so year[s] good and pious Critical Apparatus9that he spared her as a saint, Till she died her [? sou] only join'd Her former 10beauty to her present [? soul]

  • Editor’s Note11Here M.— sleep[s] who liv'd a patriarch's days
  • Critical Apparatus12In youth so fair so Heav'nly fair that death
  • 13Mistook her for an Angel; and in years
  • 14So good and pure he spar'd her as a Saint.

Notes Settings


Editor’s Note
We regard the three pieces printed here as essentially three versions of the one epitaph. The occasion is unknown. Reed (p. 314) refers to Journals, i. 103 (28 Jan. 1802), where Dorothy reports that Wordsworth 'had [written an] epitaph, and altered one that he wrote when he was a boy'; but it is obviously impossible to prove, or disprove, any relation between this and our text.
Critical Apparatus
2 a fearing] possibly hearing
Editor’s Note
2. The intention of the interlined version seems to have been: 'Heav'n fearing age would render the one unworthy of the [other]', i.e. would render the 'form' unworthy of the 'mind'; but 'other' was either never written or has become lost in the deletion nearby. Above the body of the draft appear these three lines: 'soon as he saw was / rendering one unworthy / of the'. The deleted passage began with 'who' and ended with 'to', and the interlined 'saw' replaces 'to see' of the cancelled version.
Critical Apparatus
7 After sleeps MS. deletes in yo
Critical Apparatus
8 good and pious MS.2: good MS.
Critical Apparatus
9 former MS.2: youthful MS.
Editor’s Note
11. The verse rhythm indicates that the name of the deceased was disyllabic or virtually disyllabic, e.g. 'Mary' or 'Margaret'.
Critical Apparatus
12 so fair MS.2: she was MS.
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