I Travelled among Unknown Men

Original Text: 
William Wordsworth, Poems in Two Volumes (1807). See The Manuscript of William Wordsworth's Poems, in Two Volumes (1807): A Facsimile (London: British Library, 1984). bib MASS (Massey College Library, Toronto).
2      In lands beyond the sea;
3Nor, England! did I know till then
4      What love I bore to thee.
5'Tis past, that melancholy dream!
6      Nor will I quit thy shore
8      To love thee more and more.
9Among thy mountains did I feel
10      The joy of my desire;
11And she I cherished turned her wheel
12      Beside an English fire.
13Thy mornings showed, thy nights concealed,
15And thine too is the last green field
16      That Lucy's eyes surveyed.


1] Dorothy Wordsworth quotes it in a letter of April 29. Coleridge was ill and depressed that spring, and was thinking of leaving England to recover his health: "I would go to America, if Wordsworth would go with me . . ." (March 23). He also considered a long visit to the Azores: "Wordsworth & his Sister have with generous Friendship offered to settle there with me" (May 4). Back to Line
7] A second time. Coleridge, Wordsworth, and his sister had spent most of a year in Germany in 1798-99. Back to Line
14] The Lucy who is the subject of a small group of poems, most of them written in the winter of 1798-99, has never been identified, if she ever existed except as a creation of the poet's imagination. A widely held theory is that the poems represent an attempt to give literary expression and distance to Wordsworth's feeling of affection for his sister. In an early notebook (1799?) Woodsworth's "Nutting" is preceded by a passage addressed to and reproaching his "beloved Friend," named Lucy, for being a ravager of the autumn woods, as the poet remembers himself to have been in boyhood. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
J. R. MacGillivray
RPO Edition: 
3RP 2.367.