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Wherefore, bold as day, the Murderer
Back again to England steered.
To his Castle Hubert sped;
Nothing has he now to dread.1
But silent and by stealth he came,
And at an hour which nobody could name.

None could tell if it were night-time,
Night or day, at even or morn;
No one's eye had seen him enter,
No one's ear had heard the Horn,2
But bold Hubert lives in glee:
Months and years went smilingly ;
With plenty was his table spread ;
And bright the Lady is who shares his bed.

Likewise he had sons and daughters;
And, as good men do, he sate
At his board by these surrounded,
Flourishing in fair „estate.
And while thus in open day
Once he sate, as old books say,
A blast was uttered from the Horn,
Where by the Castle-gate it hung forlorn.

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Hubert ! though the blast be blown
He is helpless and alone :
Thou hast a dungeon, speak the word !
And there he may be lodged, and thou be Lord.

Speak astounded Hubert cannot ;
And, if power to speak he had,
All are daunted, all the household
Smitten to the heart, and sad.
'Tis Sir Eustace ; if it be
Living man, it must be he!
Thus Hubert thought in his dismay,
And by a postern-gate he slunk away.

Long and long was he unheard of :
To his Brother then he came,
Made confession, asked forgiveness,
Asked it by a brother's name,
And by all the saints in heaven;
And of Eustace was forgiven:
Then in a convent went to hide
His melancholy head, and there he died.

But Sir Eustace, whom good angels
Had preserved from murderers' hands,
And from Pagan chains had rescued,
Lived with honour on his lands.
Sons he had, saw sons of theirs :
And through ages, heirs of heirs,
A long posterity renowned,
Sounded the Horn which they alone could sound.

The following note is appended to the editions, from 1807 to 1845 :“This story is a Cumberland tradition; I have heard it also related of the Hall of Hutton John, an ancient residence of the Huddlestones, in

a sequestered valley upon the river Dacor.” Egremont Castle, to which this Cumberland tradition was transferred, is close to the town of Egremont, an ancient borough on the river Ehen, not far from St Bees. The castle was founded about the beginning of the twelfth century, by William, brother of Ranulph de Meschines, who bestowed on him the whole of the extensive barony of Copeland. The gateway of the castle is vaulted with semicircular arches, and defended by a strong tower. Westward from the castle area is an ascent to three narrow gates, standing in a line, and close together. These communicated with the outworks, each being defended by a portcullis. Beyond the gates is an artificial mount, seventy-eight feet above the moat; and on this stood an ancient circular tower. (See a description of the castle in Britton and Brayley's Cumberland.) The river Dacor, or Dacre, referred to in Wordsworth's note, joins the Eamont, a short way below Ullswater; and the hall of Hutton John, which in the reign of Edward III, belonged to the barony of Graystock, passed in the time of Elizabeth to the Huddlestones. The famous Catholic father, John Huddlestone, chaplain to Charles II. and James II., was of this family.

In the edition of 1815, the footnote runs, “This poem, and the Ballad which follows it” (it is the ballad of Goody Blake), “as they rather refer to the imagination than are produced by it would not have been placed here" (i.e., amongst the Poems of the Imagination)," but to avoid a needless multiplication of the classes.” Accordingly, in all the editions, from 1815 to 1843, The Horn of Egremont Castle remained amongst the “Poems of the Imagination;" in 1845, it was placed along with its companion “Ballad "-in the class of “ Miscellaneous Poems."

The text of the poem underwent no change in the editions from 1807 to 1845. But—as is shown by the notes in Lord Coleridge's copy of the edition of 1836—the alterations, subsequently adopted in 1845, were made in the interval between these years. -ED.


Comp. 1806. Pub. 1807. [Written at Town-end, Grasmere. Suggested by a change in the manner of a friend.]

THERE is a change—and I am poor;
Your love hath been, not long ago,
A fountain at my fond heart's door,
Whose only business was to flow;
And flow it did; not taking heed
Of its own bounty, or my need.

What happy moments did I count !
Blest was I then all bliss above!
Now, for that consecrated fount 1
Of murmuring, sparkling, living love,
What have I ? shall I dare to tell ?
A comfortless and hidden well.

A well of love—it may be deep-
I trust it is,—and never dry:
What matter ? if the waters sleep
In silence and obscurity.

Such change, and at the very door

Of my fond heart, hath made me poor. Classed by Wordsworth amongst the “Poems founded on the Affections.”—ED.


Comp. 1806. Pub. 1807. [Suggested on the Thames by the sight of one of these floating mills that used to be seen there. This I noticed on the Surrey side between Somerset House and Blackfriars' Bridge. Charles Lamb was with me at the time; and I thought it remarkable that I should have to point out to him, an idolatrous Londoner, a sight so interesting as the happy group dancing on the platform. Mills of this kind used to be, and perhaps still are, not uncommon on the continent. I noticed several upon the river Saone in the year 1799, particularly near the town of Chalons, where my friend Jones and I halted a day when we crossed France; so far on foot; there we embarqued, and floated down to Lyons.]

Pleasure is spread through the earth
In stray gifts to be claimed by whoever shall find."

By their floating mill,
That lies dead and still,2

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Behold yon Prisoners three,
The Miller with two Dames, on the breast of the Thames !
The platform is small, but gives room for them all ;1
And they're dancing merrily.

From the shore come the notes

To their mill where it floats,
To their house and their mill tethered fast:
To the small wooden isle where, their work to beguile,
They from morning to even take whatever is given ;-
And many a blithe day they have past.

In sight of the spires,

All alive with the fires
Of the sun going down to his rest,
In the broad open eye of the solitary sky,
They dance,—there are three, as jocund as free,
While they dance on the calm river's breast.

Man and Maidens wheel,

They themselves make the reel,
And their music's a prey which they seize;
It plays not for them,—what matter ? 'tis theirs ;
And if they had care, it has scattered their cares;
While they dance, crying, “ Long as ye please !”

They dance not for me,

Yet mine is their glee !
Thus pleasure is spread through the earth
In stray gifts to be claimed by whoever shall find;
Thus a rich loving-kindness, redundantly kind,
Moves all nature to gladness and mirth.


but there's room for them all;


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