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the facts. "The dungeon of Bonnivard," says Murray, in his "Handbook of Switzerland," "is airy and spacious, consisting of two aisles, almost like the crypt of a church. It is lighted by several windows, through which the sun's light passes by reflection from the surface of the lake up to the roof, transmitting partly also the blue color of the waters."

41. This new day. The prisoner, as we learn from stanza 14, had been released after years of imprisonment; and the light of the open sky seemed new to him.

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45. Score = account or reckoning. From. A. S. sceran, to cut. Accounts were once kept by cutting notches on a stick.

55. Fettered in hand. - Fetters were originally shackles for the feet, as manacles were shackles for the hands.

air and light.

57. Pure elements 63. Our voices, etc. Privations and suffering sometimes materially charge the voice. On one occasion, when two Arctic exploring parties were reunited after a protracted separation, "the doctor," says Franklin, “particularly remarked the sepulchral tone of our voices, which he requested us to make more cheerful if possible, not aware that his own partook of the same key."


71. Ought: = was under obligation. Here a past tense, though commonly used in the present.

95. Had stood = would have stood.

97. To pine depends on was formed in line 93.

101. I forced it on. — - He speaks of his spirit as of a weary, fainting


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102. Those relics = relinquere, to leave.

Lake of Geneva.

107. Lake Leman 108. A thousand feet, etc. Byron says in a note: "Below the castle, washing its walls, the lake has been fathomed to the depth of eight hundred feet. . . . The château is large, and seen along the lake for a great distance. The walls are white."

his two brothers. Literally, that which is left. Lat.

112. Wave is the subject of enthralls. See line 28.


122. Rock hath rocked. We cannot consider this word-play as felicitous. The noun rock and the verb rock are of different origin. 142. Had his free, etc. if his free breathing had been denied. 148. Gnash break by violent bitings. 152. Boon = a favor, deed of grace. From Fr. bon, Lat. bonus, good. 155. Compare the following lines in Coleridge's “Christabel":

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"And to be wroth with one we love

Doth work like madness in the brain."

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172. Yet

hitherto, thus far.

189. And grieved for those, etc. -"There is much delicacy," says Hales, "in this plural. By such a fanciful multiplying of the survivors, the elder brother prevents self-intrusion; himself and his loneliness are, as it were, ept out of sight and rgotten. There is not unlike sensitiveness in the Scotch phrase, 'them that's awa',' of some single lost one. The grief is softened by vagueness."

230. Selfish death self-inflicted death.

231. What next befell, etc. — The following description of the prisoner's deadly stupor is graphic and powerful. It has been much admired.



237. Wist knew; past tense of A. S. witan, to know.

252. It was the carol, etc. -The sympathies of his nature were awakened again. In a similar manner the spell of the Ancient Mariner was broken by the sight of iris-hued serpents disporting in the water:—

"A spring of love gushed from my heart,
And I blessed them unaware."

In Goethe's great work, Faust is recalled from despair by a chime of bells and a choral song. Dashing the cup of poison from his lips, he exclaims:

"Sound on, ye hymns of Heaven, so sweet and mild!
My tears gush forth: the earth takes back her child."

327. Had made = would have made.

335. The blue Rhone. This statement is not strictly correct. At its entrance into the lake, the Rhone is of the common color of glacier streams; it does not become blue till it leaves the lake at Geneva.

339. White-walled, distant town

= Villeneuve.

341. Little isle. - In a note to this passage Byron says: "Between the entrances of the Rhone and Villeneuve, not far from Chillon, is a very small island; the only one I could perceive, in my voyage round and over the lake, within its circumference. It contains a few trees (I think not above three), and from its singleness and diminutive size has a peculiar effect upon the view."


IN striking contrast with the restless, passionate life of Byron stands the peaceful, uneventful life of Wordsworth. Instead of furious, tormenting passions, there is a self-poised, peaceful life of contemplation. Byron imparted to the beautiful or sublime scenes of nature the colorings of his turbulent thoughts and violent emotions; Wordsworth brought to mountain, stream, and flower the docility of a reverent and loving spirit. His soul was open to the lesson of the outward world, which to him was pervaded by an invisible presence. In his pride and misanthropy, Byron felt no sympathy with the sufferings and struggles of humanity. His censorious eye perceived only the foibles and frailties that lie on the surface. With a far nobler spirit and a keener insight, Wordsworth discerned beauty and grandeur in human life, and aspired to be helpful to his fellow-men. "It is indeed a deep satisfaction," he wrote near the close of his life, "to hope and believe that my poetry will be, while it lasts, a help to the cause of virtue and truth, especially among the young." While Byron trampled on the laws of morality, ruined his home, and turned the joys of life to ashes, Wordsworth lived in the midst of quiet domestic happiness-humble indeed, but glorified by fidelity, friendship, and love. Byron died in early manhood enslaved by evil habits and oppressed with the emptiness of life; Wordsworth reached an honored old age, and passed away upheld with precious hopes. The one may be admired for his power and meteoric splendor; the other will be honored and loved for his upright character, his human sympathy, and his helpful teachings.

William Wordsworth was born at Cockermouth in Cumber


Engraved by J. Bombey after the painting by W. Boxall, London. Published 1832.

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