The Reverie of Poor Susan
William Wordsworth, Lyrical Ballads, with other poems, 2nd edn. (London: Longman and Rees, 1800). 2 vols. No./5 (Victoria College Library, Toronto).
2Hangs a Thrush that sings loud, it has sung for three years:
3Poor Susan has passed by the spot, and has heard
4In the silence of morning the song of the Bird.
5'Tis a note of enchantment; what ails her? She sees
6A mountain ascending, a vision of trees;
7Bright volumes of vapour through Lothbury glide,
8And a river flows on through the vale of Cheapside.
9Green pastures she views in the midst of the dale,
10Down which she so often has tripped with her pail;
11And a single small cottage, a nest like a dove's,
12The one only dwelling on earth that she loves.
13She looks, and her heart is in heaven: but they fade,
14The mist and the river, the hill and the shade:
15The stream will not flow, and the hill will not rise,
16And the colours have all passed away from her eyes!
1] Date of composition uncertain, perhaps in the late summer of 1798 when Wordsworth was in London. The streets mentioned are all in the City of London. A fifth quatrain, beginning "Poor Outcast! return" was in the poem as first published, but was omitted after 1800. Back to Line
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RPO poem Editors:
J. R. MacGillivray