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The showers of the spring
Rouse the birds, and they sing;
Wordsworth went up to London in April 1806, where he stayed two months. It was, doubtless, on that occasion that these lines were written. The title Stray Pleasures was first given to them in the edition of 1820. The verses were classed amongst the “Poems of the Fancy.” The year mentioned in the Fenwick note is incorrect. It was in 1790 that Wordsworth crossed France with his friend Jones.—ED.
POWER OF MUSIC.
AN Orpheus ! an Orpheus ! yes, Faith may grow bold,
His station is there; and he works on the crowd,
What an eager assembly what an empire is this
As the Moon brightens round her the clouds of the night, So He, where he stands, is a centre of light;
It gleams on the face, there, of dusky-browed Jack,"
That errand-bound 'Prentice was passing in haste— What matter he's caught—and his time runs to waste; The Newsman is stopped, though he stops on the fret ; And the half-breathless Lamplighter—he's in the net !
The Porter sits down on the weight which he bore;
He stands, backed by the wall;-he abates not his din;
0 blest are the hearers, and proud be the hand
That tall Man, a giant in bulk and in height,
Mark that Cripple who leans on his crutch; * like a tower
There's a Cripple . . . . . . . 1807.
Now, coaches and chariots roar on like a stream :
This must be assigned to the same London visit, in the spring of 1806, referred to in the note to the previous poem. It was classed by Wordsworth amongst the “Poems of the Imagination.”—Ed.
A Telescope upon its frame, and pointed to the sky:
The Showman chooses well his place, 'tis Leicester's busy Square; And is as happy in his night, for the heavens are blue and fair; Calm, though impatient, is" the crowd; each stands ready with the fee, And envies him that's looking;-what an insight must it be!”
Yet, Showman, where can lie the cause? Shall thy Implement have blame, A boaster, that when he is tried, fails, and is put to shame 2
1 1827. are the crowd - MS. letter, D. W. to Lady Beaumont, Nov. 15, 1806. - each is ready . - 1807. 2 1807. Impatient till his moment comes . . . 1832. COIne - - 1837.
1842 returns to 1807.
Or is it good as others are, and be their eyes in fault 2
Is nothing of that radiant pomp so good as we have here ?
Or gives a thing but small delight that never can be dear 2
The silver moon with all her vales, and hills of mightiest fame,
Doth she betray us when they're seen 2 or” are they but a name 2
Or is it rather that Conceit rapacious is and strong,
Or must we be constrained to think that these Spectators rude, Poor in estate, of manners base, men of the multitude, Have souls which never yet have risen, and therefore prostrate lie Ż No, no, this cannot be;—men thirst for power and majesty!”
1 1832. - or finally, is this resplendent vault! MS. letter, D. W. to Lady Beaumont, Nov. 15, 1806, and 1807. 2 1827. Do they betray us when they're seen? and are they but a name? MS. letter, D. W. to Lady Beaumont, Nov. 15, 1806, and 1807. 3 1807.
Or is it but unwelcome thought ! that these Spectators rude,
Poor in estate, of manners base, men of the multitude,
IIave souls which never yet have risen, and therefore
Not to be lifted up at once to power and majesty
Does, then, a deep and earnest thought the blissful mind
Whatever be the cause,” 'tis sure that they who pry and
pore Seem to meet with little gain, seem less happy than before:
One after One they take their turn,” nor have I one espied That doth not slackly go away, as if dissatisfied.
Doubtless “observed" during the visit to London in April and May 1806. Classed, like the former, amongst the “Poems of the Imagina tion.”—Ed.
[Written at Town-end, Grasmere. The echo came from Nab-scar, when I was walking on the opposite side of Rydal Mere. I will here mention, for my dear Sister's sake, that, while she was sitting alone one day high up on this part of Loughrigg Fell, she was so affected by the voice of the Cuckoo heard from the crags at some distance that she could not suppress a wish to have a stone inscribed with her name among the rocks from which the sound proceeded. On my return from my walk I recited these verses to Mrs Wordsworth.]
Whate'er the cause - - - - -