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EDITOR'S NOTES ON THE POEMS.

VOL. I.

VOL. I.

1

EDITOR'S NOTES ON THE POEMS.

VOL. I.

To The Daisy (page 1).-For date of composition see Author's Note I. Wordsworth, of whose metrical skill something yet remained to learn in 1802, at times moves awkwardly in the trammels of this unfamiliar measure. In stanzas ii. and iii., for instance, the metrical idea is harshly violated by the admission of a long pause at the close of the third line, from which the sense ought by right to run on without break into its pendant or 'overflow. In 1836 Wordsworth altered stanza ii., 11. 1-4, to :

* Thee Winter in the garland wears
That thinly decks his few grey hairs;
Spring parts the clouds with softest airs,

That she may sun thee";

and recast stanza ii., II. 3-5, thus:

“Pleased at his greeting thee again;

Yet nothing daunted,
Nor grieved if thou be set at nought":

--thus avoiding the rude dislocation of the metrical scheme in the original version. The author of the Simpliciad, a rhymed satire upon the 'Lake School' published anonymously in 1808, derides the poet for addressing the daisy as an inspirer of devout feeling (stanza viï.). Although elsewhere (vol. ii., p. 158) Wordsworth could honestly say:

“ To me the meanest flower that blows can give Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears"

-yet he probably recognized the incongruity of introducing devotional sentiment into a mere play

of fancy such as the present poem, for in 1815 he rewrote ll. 4-8 of stanza viji. as follows:

“With kindred gladness :
And when, at dusk, by dews opprest,
Thou sink'st, the image of thy rest
Hath often eased my pensive breast

Of careful sadness."

In 1836, stanza x., 11. 2-4, became

“ Thy pleasant course,—when day's begun
As ready to salute the sun

As lark or leveret,”

-an unhappy change, involving the loss of the striking phrase, “ bold lover of the sun" (1. 2).

Louisa (page 7).—Of this poem Wordsworth says that it was composed “at the same time and on the same view" as the verses beginning : “Dear Child of Nature ! let them rail” (vol. ii., p. 82). These first appeared in the Morning Post, Feb. 12, 1802, where they are headed : To a beautiful Young Lady, who had been harshly spoken of on account of her fondness for taking long walks in the Country.

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