William Wordsworth

Helen Darbishire and Ernest De Selincourt (eds), The Poetical Works of William Wordsworth, Vol. 3: Miscellaneous Sonnets; Memorials of Various Tours; Poems to National Independence and Liberty; The Egyptian Maid; The River Duddon Series; The White Doe and Other Narrative Poems; Ecclesiastical Sonnets (Second Edition)

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Editor’s NoteXXX

composed on a may morning, 1838

[Composed May 1st, 1838.—Published: Sonnet-vol. of 1838.]

  • Critical Apparatus1Life with yon Lambs, like day, is just begun,
  • 2Yet Nature seems to them a heavenly guide.
  • 3Does joy approach? they meet the coming tide;
  • 4And sullenness avoid, as now they shun
  • Critical Apparatus5pg 54Pale twilight's lingering glooms,—and in the sun
  • 6Couch near their dams, with quiet satisfied;
  • 7Or gambol—each with his shadow at his side,
  • 8Varying its shape wherever he may run.
  • Critical Apparatus9As they from turf yet hoar with sleepy dew
  • 10All turn, and court the shining and the green,
  • 11Where herbs look up, and opening flowers are seen;
  • 12Why to God's goodness cannot We be true,
  • 13And so, His gifts and promises between,
  • 14Feed to the last on pleasures ever new?

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Editor’s Note
p. 53. XXX. Composed on a May Morning, 1838: Composed on the same morning.— W. 1840. I.e. the same May-morning as the preceding sonnet in that volume (Vol. V, p. 396, ed. 1840) "If with old love of you, dear Hills"; v. supra, p. 229.
Critical Apparatus
XXX. 1–2
  • Yon mountain lambs whose life is just begun,
  • A guidance know, to Man's grave years denied. MS.
Critical Apparatus
  • Hollows unlightened by the morning sun,
  • On slopes to couch etc. MS.
Critical Apparatus
  • As from dull turf hoary with unsunned dew
  • They turn, and one and all prefer the green
  • To chilly nooks, knolls cheared (warm) with glistening sheen,
  • Why may not we a kindred course pursue
  • And so, heaven's gifts etc. MS.
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