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GEORGE AND SARAH GREEN.
Who weeps for strangers ? Many wept
For George and Sarah Green ;
Whose grave may here be seen.1
Wept for that Pair's unhappy end,
MS. letter of Dorothy Wordsworth's.
Down the dark precipice he fell,
And she was left alone,
Added in Ms.
A few short steps were the chain that bound 1
The husband to the wife 2
Now do those 8 sternly-featured hills
Look gently on this grave;
As a sea without a wave.
But deeper lies the heart of peace
In quiet more profound ; 5
Within this churchyard bound.
And from all agony of mind
It keeps them safe, and far
Of sun or guiding star.?
O darkness of the grave ! how deep,
After that living night-
Of sorrow and affright!
The chain of but a few wild steps. 2 Four stanzas are here added in MS., only one of which need be given
Our peace is of the immortal soul,
Our anguish is of clay ;
The bitterest pangs away.
From sun or guiding star.
O sacred marriage-bed of death,
That keeps them side by side 1
not be untied !
This poem is not included in any volume or collection of the works of Wordsworth. It was printed in De Quincey's “ Recollections of Grasmere,” which first appeared in Tait: Edinburgh Magazine, September 1839, p. 573.
The text is printed as it is found in De Quincey's article. Doubtless Wordsworth, or some member of the family, had supplied him wit copy of these verses. Wordsworth himself seemed to have thought them unworthy of publication. A copy of the poem was transcribed at Grasmere by Dorothy Wordsworth for Lady Beaumont on the 20th April 1808. In this copy there are numerous variations from the text as published by De Quincey, and these are indicated in the ordinary way. I have, however, omitted three stanzas from the MS. copy, for the same reason that The Convict and the Early Sonnet in the European Magazine are not reproduced. Iu the letter to Lady Beaumont, Dorothy Wordsworth says, “I am going to transcribe a poem composed by my brother a few days after his return. It was begun in the churchyard when he was looking at the grave of the Husband and Wife, and is in fact supposed to be entirely composed there.” Wordsworth returned to the old home at Dove Cottage, Grasmere, from a short visit to London, on the 6th April 1808; and there he remained, till Allan Bank was ready for occupation. I therefore conclude that this poem was written in April 1808.
Compare De Quincey's account of the disaster that befell the Greens, as reported in his Early Recollections of Grasmere. The Wordsworths had evidently taken part in the effort to raise subscriptions in behalf of the orphan children. The following is an extract from a letter of Dorothy Wordsworth's to Lady Beaumont on the subject :
“GRASMERE, April 20th, 1808. “We received your letter this morning, enclosing the half of a £5 note. I am happy to inform you that the orphans have been fixed under the care of very respectable people. The baby is with its sister -she who filled the Mother's place in the house during their two days of fearless solitude. It has clung to her ever since, and she has been its sole nurse.
I went with two ladies of the Committee (in my sister's
That holds them side by side
place, who was then confined to poor John's bedside) to conduct the family to their separate homes. The two Girls are together, as I have said ; two Boys at another Home ; and the third Boy by himself at the house of an elderly man who had a particular friendship for their father. The kind reception that the children met with was very affecting.”—ED.
The poems belonging to the years 1809 and 1810 are mainly Sonnets; although The Excursion was being added to at intervals. The twenty-four sonnets which follow-fourteen belonging to the year 1809, and ten to 1810—were included by Wordsworth, in the final arrangement of his poems, amongst those “Dedicated to National Independence and Liberty.” It is difficult to ascertain the principle which guided him in determining the succession of these sonnets. They were not placed in chronological order ; nor is there any historical or topographical reason for their being arranged as they were. I have therefore departed from his order to a certain extent.
The six referring to the Tyrolese have been brought together in one group. Those containing allusions to Spain might have been similarly treated ; but the sonnets on Schill, the King of Sweden, and Napoleon -as arranged by Wordsworth himself—do not break the continuity of the series on Spain, in the same way that the insertion of those on Palafox and Zaragoza interferes with the unity of the Tyrolean group; and the re-arrangement of the latter series enables me more conveniently to append to it a German translation of the sonnets, and a paper upon them by Alois Brandl.
He comes like Phoebus through the gates of morn
The expectation that the Germans would rise in 1807 against the French was realised only in the Tyrol. Andrew Hofer, an innkeeper in the Passeierthal, was the chief of the Tyrolese leaders. More than once he called his countrymen to arms, and was successful for a time. The Bavarians, however, defeated him, in October 1809. He was tried by court-martial, and shot in 1810.-Ed.
ADVANCE—come forth from thy Tyrolean ground,
The Murderers are aghast ; they strive to flee,