None are so desolate but something dear,
Dearer than self, possesses or possessed
A thought, and claims the homage of a tear;
A flashing pang! of which the weary breast
Would still, albeit in vain, the heavy heart divest.
To sit on rocks—to muse o'er flood and fell—
- None are so wretched[a] but that ——.—[MS. D.]
^ a. "Desolate."—[MS. pencil.]
- T. t. b. [tres tres bien], but why insert here.—[MS. pencil.]
- [In this stanza M. Darmesteter detects "l'accent Wordsworthien" prior to any "doses" as prescribed by Shelley, and quotes as a possible model the following lines from Beattie's Minstrel:—
"And oft the craggy cliff he lov'd to climb,
When all in mist the world below was lost,
What dreadful pleasure! there to stand sublime,
Like shipwreck'd mariner on desert coast,
And view th' enormous waste of vapour, tost
In billows, lengthening to th' horizon round,
Now scoop'd in gulfs, with mountains now emboss'd!
And hear the voice of mirth, and song rebound,
Flocks, herds, and waterfalls, along the hoar profound."
In felicity of expression, the copy, if it be a copy, surpasses the original; but in the scope and originality of the image, it is vastly inferior. Nor are these lines, with the possible exception of line 3—
"Where things that own not Man's dominion dwell,"
at all Wordsworthian. They fail in that imaginative precision which the Lake poets regarded as essential, and they lack the glamour and passion without which their canons of art would have profited nothing. Six years later, when Byron came within sound of Wordsworth's voice, he struck a new chord—a response, not an echo. Here the motive is rhetorical, not immediately poetical.]