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 NoteXIVnovember 1

[Composed December, 1815.—Published January 28, 1816 (The Examiner and The Champion); vol. of 1816.]

  • 1How clear, how keen, how marvellously bright
  • 2The effluence from yon distant mountain's head,
  • Critical Apparatus3Which, strewn with snow smooth as the sky can shed,
  • 4Shines like another sun—on mortal sight
  • 5Uprisen, as if to check approaching Night,
  • 6And all her twinkling stars. Who now would tread,
  • 7If so he might, yon mountain's glittering head—
  • 8Terrestrial, but a surface, by the flight
  • 9Of sad mortality's earth-sullying wing,
  • 10Unswept, unstained? Nor shall the aerial Powers
  • 11Dissolve that beauty, destined to endure,
  • 12White, radiant, spotless, exquisitely pure,
  • 13Through all vicissitudes, till genial Spring
  • Critical Apparatus14Has filled the laughing vales with welcome flowers.

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Editor’s Note
p. 27. XIV. November 1: "Suggested on the banks of the Brathay by the sight of Langdale Pikes. It is delightful to remember these moments of far-distant days, which probably would have been forgotten if the impression had not been transferred to verse. The same observation applies to the next."—I. F. v. note to Part II, Sonnet III, supra.
Critical Apparatus
XIV. 3 so 1837: as smooth as Heaven MS.-1827: smooth as the heaven 1832
Critical Apparatus
14 Has 1838: Have MS.-1837
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