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SERVING no haughty Muse, my hands have here Disposed some cultured Flowerets (drawn from spots
Where they bloomed singly, or in scattered knots),
And that, so placed, my Nurslings may requite
THE present issue of Wordsworth's "Sonnets" has
been edited by Mr G. C. Moore Smith, M.A., of St. John's College, Cambridge, Professor of English Literature in University College, Sheffield.
June 1st, 1899.
NOTE BY THE PRESENT
Ir any justification is needed for extracting Wordsworth's Sonnets from the mass of his work and publishing them by themselves, it is found in the fact that the poet himself, in 1838, published in separate form a collection of almost all the Sonnets he had written up to that time. Strange to say, although by the time of his death in 1850 he had vastly added to the number of his Sonnets, no more complete separate collection than that of 1838 has been made to this day.
In now at last preparing a comprehensive edition, I have felt it my duty to fit the Sonnets, as far as possible, into the framework devised by the Poet himself in 1838, but at the same time as regards the text and the order of the Sonnets within a given series, to follow Wordsworth's wishes as shown in the final revision of his works.
I quite agree with Professor Dowden ('Wordsworth's Poetical Works,' vol. iii. pp. 327, 328) that the order in which Wordsworth finally arranged his Sonnets had been very carefully thought out. I have therefore never departed from it but in a few cases where the plan of this book seemed to make it necessary. For example, I have kept at the end of this book the "Valedictory Sonnet' with which Wordsworth closed the Sonnets' of 1838, although in the later editions of his works it is classed with the cellaneous Sonnets.'
I owe some acknowledgment to Professor Dowden for the assistance I have derived from his edition. In conclusion, I would direct the reader to a very instructive Note on the Wordsworthian Sonnet' by that most accomplished of Wordsworthians, Mr Thomas Hutchinson. It is to be found in his edition of Poems in Two Volumes by William Wordsworth' (Nutt, 1897), vol. i. p. 208.
1. Beloved Vale.' Probably Hawkshead, where the poet had been at school.
Beaumont! Sir George B. gave W. the place.
2 W. and his sister Dorothy had rested by the
O friend. Rev. Sam. Tillbrook.
Aerial rock. Holme-Scar, a projection of
Suggested by my daughter Catherine long
Dear Sister! Sarah Hutchinson, sister of the poet's wife.
Calvert. Raisley Calvert left the poet £900 in 1795:
The opening words are by Cowper.
1. The first two lines are by Sir Philip Sidney,
2. That wide plain
between Preston and
2. Thomson, the author of the Seasons,' is buried at Richmond, Surrey.
2. The castle was probably Carnarvon, visited by the poet in 1824.
45. 1. Anna is Miss Jewsbury.
2. Suggested by the mental decay of Mrs Southey.
2. Written after reading Dr Chr. Wordsworth's Theophilus Anglicanus.
The Peace of Amiens had been signed on March 25, 1802. Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy landed in Calais on Aug. 1 following.
1. Bonaparte had been created First Consul for life in May 1802.
2. Wordsworth and his college-friend Robert Jones (whose parsonage is described in Sonnet 1, on page 42) had as undergraduates witnessed at Calais the Feast of the Federation, July 14, 1790. See Prelude, Book VI. See preceding note.
Venice had been ceded to Austria by the
2. Gustavus IV. of Sweden had shown himself
1. War between England and France had again
1. The Bill for the Abolition of the Slave Trade