Book Second School-Time continued ...

text variant footnote line number Thus far, O Friend! have we, though leaving much Unvisited, endeavoured to retrace The simple ways in which my childhood walked; Those chiefly that first led me to the love Of rivers, woods, and fields. The passion yet Was in its birth, sustained as might befal By nourishment that came unsought; for still From week to week, from month to month, we lived A round of tumult. Duly were our games Prolonged in summer till the day-light failed: No chair remained before the doors; the bench And threshold steps were empty; fast asleep The labourer, and the old man who had sate A later lingerer; yet the revelry Continued and the loud uproar: at last, When all the ground was dark, and twinkling stars Edged the black clouds, home and to bed we went, Feverish with weary joints and beating minds. Ah! is there one who ever has been young, Nor needs a warning voice to tame the pride Of intellect and virtue's self-esteem? One is there, though the wisest and the best Of all mankind, who covets not at times Union that cannot be;—who would not give,

If so he might, to duty and to truth The eagerness of infantine desire? A tranquillising spirit presses now On my corporeal frame, so wide appears The vacancy between me and those days Which yet have such self-presence in my mind, That, musing on them, often do I seem Two consciousnesses, conscious of myself And of some other Being. A rude mass Of native rock, left midway in the square Of our small market village, was the goal Or centre of these sports; and when, returned After long absence, thither I repaired, Gone was the old grey stone, and in its place A smart Assembly-room usurped the ground That had been ours. There let the fiddle scream, And be ye happy! Yet, my Friends! I know That more than one of you will think with me Of those soft starry nights, and that old Dame From whom the stone was named, who there had sate, And watched her table with its huckster's wares Assiduous, through the length of sixty years.

We ran a boisterous course; the year span round With giddy motion. But the time approached That brought with it a regular desire For calmer pleasures, when the winning forms Of Nature were collaterally attached

or pain. Our pastime was. along the plain of Windermere With rival oars. now a Sister Isle Beneath the oaks' umbrageous covert. And now a third small Island. Fearless of blame. where survived In solitude the ruins of a shrine Once to Our Lady dedicate. And the vain-glory of superior skill. thus was gradually produced A quiet independence of the heart. When summer came. disappointment could be none. Were tempered. or jealousy: We rested in the shade. perhaps too much. Conquered and conqueror. sown With lilies of the valley like a field.To every scheme of holiday delight And every boyish sport. In such a race So ended. To sweep. Uneasiness. And I was taught to feel. And to my Friend who knows me I may add. and the selected bourne Was now an Island musical with birds That sang and ceased not. Thus the pride of strength. on bright half-holidays. all pleased alike. that hence for future days Ensued a diffidence and modesty. . less grateful else And languidly pursued. The self-sufficing power of Solitude. and served Daily with chaunted rites.

And eager to spur on. where within the Vale Of Nightshade. or the antique walls Of that large abbey. Hence rustic dinners on the cool green ground. for. from her scant board. Mary's honour built. Sabine fare! More than we wished we knew the blessing then Of vigorous hunger—hence corporeal strength Unsapped by delicate viands. in the length of those half-years. supplied.—proud to curb.Our daily meals were frugal. or by a river side Or shady fountains. Stands yet a mouldering pile with fractured arch. Nor is my aim neglected if I tell How sometimes. Or in the woods. that sufficed To furnish treats more costly than the Dame Of the old grey stone. the galloping steed. and we lived Through three divisions of the quartered year In penniless poverty. But now to school From the half-yearly holidays returned. We from our funds drew largely. We came with weightier purses. whose stud Supplied our want. And with the courteous inn-keeper. . exclude A little weekly stipend. we haply might employ Sly subterfuge. to St. and the mid-day sun Unfelt shone brightly round us in our joy. if the adventure's bound Were distant: some famed temple where of yore The Druids worshipped. while among the leaves Soft airs were stirring.

Both silent and both motionless alike. Through the walls we flew And down the valley. Our steeds remounted and the summons given. and living trees. that—though from recent showers The earth was comfortless. To more than inland peace Left by the west wind sweeping overhead From a tumultuous ocean. through rough and smooth We scampered homewards. and such The safeguard for repose and quietness. and that single wren Which one day sang so sweetly in the nave Of the old church. and images. Oh. And that still spirit shed from evening air! .Belfry. A holy scene! Along the smooth green turf Our horses grazed. And the stone-abbot. from the roofless walls The shuddering ivy dripped large drops—yet still So sweetly 'mid the gloom the invisible bird Sang to herself. trees and towers In that sequestered valley may be seen. sobbings of the place And respirations. and. and lived for ever there To hear such music. ye rocks and streams. and touched by faint Internal breezes. that there I could have made My dwelling-place. With whip and spur we through the chauntry flew In uncouth race. a circuit made In wantonness of heart. and left the cross-legged knight. Such the deep shelter that is there.

and ere the Hall was built On the large island. had dislodged The old Lion and usurped his place. In ancient times. nor did we want . Spread o'er the spangled sign-board. had this dwelling been More worthy of a poet's love. the spot to me is dear With all its foolish pomp. when with slackened step we breathed Along the sides of the steep hills. But—though the rhymes were gone that once inscribed The threshold. A tavern stood. Midway on long Winander's eastern shore. Within the crescent of a pleasant bay. a hut. beneath us stood A grove. the door beset With chaises. The garden lay Upon a slope surmounted by a plain Of a small bowling-green. and large golden characters. Primeval like its neighbouring cottages. grooms. to this hour. But 'twas a splendid place. Proud of its own bright fire and sycamore shade. and the blood-red wine. in slight And mockery of the rustic painter's hand— Yet. and liveries. and within Decanters.Even in this joyous time I sometimes felt Your presence. or when Lighted by gleams of moonlight from the sea We beat with thundering hoofs the level sand. with gleams of water through the trees And over the tree-tops. glasses. no homely-featured house.

Refreshment. and thus Daily the common range of visible things Grew dear to me: already I began To love the sun. The Minstrel of the Troop. strawberries and mellow cream. When in our pinnace we returned at leisure Over the shadowy lake. from excess Of happiness. and held me like a dream! Thus were my sympathies enlarged. while through half an afternoon we played On the smooth platform. while he blew his flute Alone upon the rock—oh. There. as a pledge And surety of our earthly life. In many a thoughtless hour. a boy I loved the sun. Nor for his bounty to so many worlds— But for this cause. the calm And dead still water lay upon my mind Even with a weight of pleasure. when. and the sky. But. Not as I since have loved him. and to the beach Of some small island steered our course with one. and left him there. had seen The western mountain touch his setting orb. whether skill prevailed Or happy blunder triumphed. And rowed off gently. sank down Into my heart. then. ere night-fall. that I had seen him lay His beauty on the morning hills. bursts of glee Made all the mountains ring. my blood appeared to flow . a light Which we behold and feel we are alive. Never before so beautiful.

But as a succedaneum. from like feelings. intervenient till this time And secondary. but belonged to thee. even as a seed? Who that shall point as with a wand and say "This portion of the river of my mind Came from yon fountain?" Thou. thou one dear Vale! Those incidental charms which first attached My heart to rural objects. But who shall parcel out His intellect by geometric rules. humble though intense. and I hasten on to tell How Nature. the moon to me was dear. day by day Grew weaker. to thee Science appears but what in truth she is. For I could dream away my purposes. and a prop . Yea. and I breathed with joy. Standing to gaze upon her while she hung Midway between the hills. Split like a province into round and square? Who knows the individual hour in which His habits were first sown. now at length was sought For her own sake. appertained by a peculiar right To thee and thy grey huts. And. To patriotic and domestic love Analogous.For its own pleasure. as if she knew No other region. my Friend! art one More deeply read in thy own thoughts. Not as our glory and our absolute boast.

who with his soul Drinks in the feelings of his Mother's eye! For him. And thou wilt doubt. vain hope. (For with my best conjecture I would trace Our Being's earthly progress.To our infirmity. and in voluble phrase Run through the history and birth of each As of a single independent thing. Not in a mystical and idle sense. To thee. Hath no beginning. to analyse the mind. If each most obvious and particular thought. Deem that our puny boundaries are things That we perceive. in one dear Presence. The unity of all hath been revealed. unblinded by these formal arts. Hard task. there exists A virtue which irradiates and exalts Objects through widest intercourse of sense. class the cabinet Of their sensations. and not that we have made. with me less aptly skilled Than many are to range the faculties In scale and order. who sinks to sleep Rocked on his Mother's breast. No officious slave Art thou of that false secondary power By which we multiply distinctions. then. bewildered and depressed: . No outcast he.) blest the Babe. Nursed in his Mother's arms. Blest the infant Babe. But in the words of Reason deeply weighed.

a Babe. Is there a flower.Along his infant veins are interfused The gravitation and the filial bond Of nature that connect him with the world. in some. By uniform control of after years. Frail creature as he is. Through every change of growth and of decay. already love Drawn from love's purest earthly fount for him Hath beautified that flower. helpless as frail. to which he points with hand Too weak to gather it. by intercourse of touch . abated or suppressed. For feeling has to him imparted power That through the growing faculties of sense Doth like an agent of the one great Mind Create. Such. In most. creator and receiver both. Pre-eminent till death. verily. An inmate of this active universe. already shades Of pity cast from inward tenderness Do fall around him upon aught that bears Unsightly marks of violence or harm. Emphatically such a Being lives. is the first Poetic spirit of our human life. Working but in alliance with the works Which it beholds. From early days. Beginning not long after that first time In which.

but for this most watchful power of love. The props of my affections were removed. Which. and I fear That in its broken windings we shall need The chamois' sinews. Yet is a path More difficult before me. solitude More active even than "best society"— . but oh! what happiness to live When every hour brings palpable access Of knowledge. Hence life. And yet the building stood. else unknown. and beauty. when all knowledge is delight. and the eagle's wing: For now a trouble came into my mind From unknown causes. Had been neglected. I was left alone Seeking the visible world. left a register Of permanent relations. and hence to finer influxes The mind lay open to a more exact And close communion. And sorrow is not there! The seasons came. I have endeavoured to display the means Whereby this infant sensibility. was in me Augmented and sustained. And every season wheresoe'er I moved Unfolded transitory qualities. nor knowing why. Great birthright of our being. as if sustained By its own spirit! All that I beheld Was dear. Many are our joys In youth.I held mute dialogues with my Mother's heart. and change.

but that the soul. . they yet Have something to pursue. listening to notes that are The ghostly language of the ancient earth. and at that time Have felt whate'er there is of power in sound To breathe an elevated mood. to the unwatchful eye. That they are kindred to our purer mind And intellectual life.Society made sweet as solitude By silent inobtrusive sympathies— And gentle agitations of the mind From manifold distinctions. from the same source. by form Or image unprofaned. but what she felt Remembering not. where. whereto With growing faculties she doth aspire. and hence. for I would walk alone. No difference is. With faculties still growing. And deem not profitless those fleeting moods Of shadowy exultation: not for this. Thence did I drink the visionary power. Beneath some rock. Or make their dim abode in distant winds. and I would stand. Sublimer joy. difference Perceived in things. Remembering how she felt. feeling still That whatsoever point they gain. If the night blackened with a coming storm. Under the quiet stars. retains an obscure sense Of possible sublimity.

to me Came.—oft before the hours of school I travelled round our little lake. or the vernal thrush Was audible. with heart how full Would he peruse these lines! For many years Have since flowed in between us. Nor seldom did I lift—our cottage latch Far earlier. a Friend. lay in utter solitude. five miles Of pleasant wandering. that one was by my side. and sate among the woods Alone upon some jutting eminence. but no less 'mid fair And tranquil scenes. How shall I seek the origin? where find Faith in the marvellous things which then I felt? Oft in these moments such a holy calm Would overspread my soul.And not alone. ere one smoke-wreath had risen From human dwelling. A virtue not its own. by which the mind Is moved with feelings of delight. strengthened with a superadded soul. that bodily eyes . and. 'Mid gloom and tumult. at this time We live as if those hours had never been. Then passionately loved. Yet slumbering. Happy time! more dear For this. At the first gleam of dawn-light. when the Vale. My morning walks Were early. that universal power And fitness in the latent qualities And essences of things. our minds Both silent to each other.

Were utterly forgotten. for the most. acting in a devious mood. and the midnight storm Grew darker in the presence of my eye: Hence my obeisance. but. a forming hand. a dream. A local spirit of his own. A prospect in the mind. But let this Be not forgotten. poured forth To feed the spirit of religious love In which I walked with Nature. which on the setting sun Bestowed new splendour. sleep and waking. A plastic power Abode with me. Subservient strictly to external things With which it communed. at war With general tendency. thought From sources inexhaustible. Evening and morning. what the winter snows. at times Rebellious. the melodious birds. And hence my transport. obeyed A like dominion. that I still retained My first creative sensibility. The fluttering breezes. . And what the summer shade. what day and night. That by the regular action of the world My soul was unsubdued. An auxiliar light Came from my mind. my devotion hence. fountains that run on Murmuring so sweetly in themselves. and what I saw Appeared like something in myself. 'Twere long to tell What spring and autumn.

at this time. I. whether from this habit rooted now So deeply in my mind. or the power of truth Coming in revelation. Pass unrecorded. And. lost beyond the reach of thought . From Nature and her overflowing soul. that all my thoughts Were steeped in feeling. I had received so much.Nor should this. My seventeenth year was come. Thus while the days flew by. The song would speak Of that interminable building reared By observation of affinities In objects where no brotherhood exists To passive minds. Saw blessings spread around me like a sea. To unorganic natures were transferred My own enjoyments. that I still had loved The exercise and produce of a toil. and years passed on. and whose character I deem Is more poetic as resembling more Creative agency. I was only then Contented. when with bliss ineffable I felt the sentiment of Being spread O'er all that moves and all that seemeth still. perchance. O'er all that. Than analytic industry to me More pleasing. did converse With things that really are. or from excess In the great social principle of life Coercing all things into sympathy.

O'ercome by humblest prelude of that strain. great the joy I felt. removed . Wonder not If high the transport.And human knowledge. and have lived With God and Nature communing. yet liveth to the heart. and ye lakes And sounding cataracts. to the human eye Invisible. Communing in this sort through earth and heaven With every form of creature. as it looked Towards the Uncreated with a countenance Of adoration. If. ye mists and winds That dwell among the hills where I was born. and it was audible. If in my youth I have been pure in heart. I am content With my own modest pleasures. in the wave itself. and slept undisturbed. And mighty depth of waters. o'er all that glides Beneath the wave. yea. Forgot her functions. when the fleshly ear. ye mountains. mingling with the world. One song they sang. with an eye of love. Most audible. and another faith Find easier access to the pious mind. If this be error. then. Or beats the gladsome air. if I should fail with grateful voice To speak of you. Yet were I grossly destitute of all Those human sentiments that make this earth So dear. O'er all that leaps and runs. and shouts and sings.

I find A never-failing principle of joy And purest passion. Thou. my Friend! wert reared In the great city. if in these times of fear. 'mid far other scenes. and in thee. To selfishness. disguised in gentle names Of peace and quiet and domestic love. If. in this time Of dereliction and dismay. And for this cause to thee I speak. This melancholy waste of hopes o'erthrown. a faith That fails not. we know not how. But we. by different roads. if. For this uneasy heart of ours. The insinuated scoff of coward tongues. Ye winds and sounding cataracts! 'tis yours. And wicked exultation when good men On every side fall off. Yet mingled not unwillingly with sneers On visionary minds. but retain A more than Roman confidence. I yet Despair not of our nature. the gift is yours. Ye mountains! thine. The gift is yours. at length have gained The self-same bourne. And all that silent language which so oft . The blessing of my life. 'mid indifference and apathy. in all sorrow my support. O Nature! Thou hast fed My lofty speculations.From little enmities and low desires. unapprehensive of contempt.

' Footnote C: Compare The Excursion. and the presence of the new "assembly-room" does not prevent us from realising it as open. l. For thou hast sought The truth in solitude. full long desired. Tossed on the waves alone. And for thyself. thou hast been The most assiduous of her ministers. I practised this delightful art.—Ed. To serve in Nature's temple. though not abundantly." which was the centre of the village sports. And yet more often living with thyself. Footnotes Footnote A: The "square" of the "small market village" of Hawkshead still remains. with the "rude mass of native rock left midway" in it— the "old grey stone. so haply shall thy days Be many.—Ed. describing "a fair Isle with birch-trees fringed. Footnote B: Compare The Excursion." where they gathered leaves of that shy plant (its flower was shed). In many things my brother. 544.In conversation between man and man Blots from the human countenance all trace Of beauty and of love. chiefly here In this our deep devotion. ll. book ix. and a blessing to mankind. but from Lady Holme the . spacious Windermere! A Youth. on thy bosom. In the Lily of the Valley Island the plant still grows. Fare thee well! Health and the quiet of a healthful mind Attend thee! seeking oft the haunts of men. book ix. the lily of the vale. since the days That gave thee liberty. Footnote D: These islands in Windermere are easily identified. 487-90: 'When. and. or 'mid a crew Of joyous comrades.

Footnote K: The White Lion Inn at Bowness. make it almost certain that he refers to it. Footnote M: Dr. Footnote L: Compare the reference to the "rude piece of self-taught art.—Ed. or that in the vale of Swinside. Derwentwater.—Ed. or to Long Meg and her Daughters in this connection. Cradock told me that William Hutchinson—referred to in the previous note—describes "Bownas church and its cottages. and dedicated to St.'ruins of a shrine Once to Our Lady dedicate' have disappeared as completely as the shrine in St.) —Ed. or that now called Thomson's Holme. 81. Footnote G: What was the belfry is now a mass of detached ruins. The whole district is rich in Druidical remains. arising "'above the trees'."—Ed. Footnote I: At Bowness. p. founded by Stephen in 1127. at the estuary of the Leven.—Ed. from its size. in the glen of the deadly Nightshade—Bekansghyll—so called from the luxuriant abundance of the plant." Wordsworth. William Hutchinson. That sang and ceased not—' may have been House Holme. it could not be described as a "Sister Isle" to the one where the lily of the valley grew "beneath the oaks' umbrageous covert. on the Cartmell Sands. Footnote E: Doubtless the circle was at Conishead Priory. . (Compare West's Antiquities of Furness. The third island: 'musical with birds. on the north-east side of Black Combe. and the proximity of the temple on the Cartmell Shore to the Furness Abbey ruins. more probably the former. Mary. since." at the Swan Inn. reversing the view. 1776. sees "gleams of water through the trees and 'over the tree tops'"—another instance of minutely exact description. mentions "the White Lion Inn at Bownas. Footnote H: Doubtless the Cartmell Sands beyond Ulverston. in the first canto of The Waggoner. Herbert's Island. p. 185). in his Excursion to the Lakes in 1773 and 1774 (second edition. but Wordsworth would not refer to the Keswick circle." as seen from the lake.—Ed. Footnote F: Furness Abbey. and the ease with which it could be visited on holidays by the boys from Hawkshead school.—Ed.—Ed."—Ed. It could hardly have been Belle Isle.

D. Mr. and 7 A.)—Ed. however.—Ed..Footnote N: Robert Greenwood. afterwards Senior Fellow of Trinity College. Footnote U: The daily work in Hawkshead School began—by Archbishop Sandys' ordinance—at 6 A. may have been a crag. 13): 'Where deep and low the hamlets lie Beneath their little patch of sky And little lot of stars. in summer. ix. the Rev.—Ed.—Ed.—Ed. amongst the Colthouse heights..— Ed. Rawnsley. but this is not absolutely certain.—Ed. 51. Note II.' Ed. the view both of the village and of the vale is noteworthy. vol. Footnote V: Esthwaite." (H. author of The Minstrels of Winandermere and Black Agnes. or both.—Ed.—Ed. Footnote P: Wetherlam. p. Footnote W: The Rev. l. or Coniston Old Man. Footnote Q: "The moon. It is an old moraine. 249. Footnote R: Esthwaite. to the north-east of Hawkshead. Footnote Z: Compare in the Ode. Intimations of Immortality: '. who edited The Prelude in 1850. Compare [Volume 2 link: Peter Bell] (vol. Charles Farish. possibly. from this point. Footnote S: See in the Appendix to this volume.M.M. Footnote Y: Probably on the western side of the Vale. or. those obstinate questionings . now grass-covered. The jutting eminence. Carter. John Fleming. ii. p. says it was the former.—Ed. 388. with Gunner's How. Footnote X: A "cottage latch"—probably the same as that in use in Dame Tyson's time—is still on the door of the house where she lived at Hawkshead.—Ed. Footnote T: See Paradise Lost. Windermere. would be thus described. p. Cambridge. There is but one "'jutting' eminence" on this side of the valley. above the village. as it hung over the southernmost shore of Esthwaite. of Rayrigg. as seen from Hawkshead rising up boldly to the spectator's left hand. in winter. and. Footnote O: Compare [Volume 2 link: Lines composed a few miles above Tintern Abbey]. ii.

305.' etc."] vol.'s Frost at Midnight: 'I was reared In the great city. p.' Footnote b: Compare [Volume 2 link: Stanzas written in my Pocket Copy of Thomsons "Castle of Indolence.Of sense and outward things. Footnote a: Coleridge's school days were spent at Christ's Hospital in London. Fallings from us. vanishings. T. With the above line compare S.—Ed . ii. pent 'mid cloisters dim. C.

Master your semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Special offer for students: Only $4.99/month.

Master your semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Cancel anytime.