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[215]
Start at the reliques of that very thigh
On which so oft he prattled when a boy.
In these poems there is plenty of that ‘poetic diction’ against which Wordsworth was to lead the revolt nine years later.

To wet the peak's impracticable sides
He opens of his feet the sanguine tides,
Weak and more weak the issuing current eyes
Lapped by the panting tongue of thirsty skies.

Both of these passages have disappeared from the revised edition, as well as some curious outbursts of that motiveless despair which Byron made fashionable not long after. Nor are there wanting touches of fleshliness which strike us oddly as coming from Wordsworth.1

Farewell! those forms that in thy noontide shade
Rest near their little plots of oaten glade,
Those steadfast eyes that beating breasts inspire
To throw the “sultry ray” of young Desire;
Those lips whose tides of fragrance come and go
Accordant to the cheek's unquiet glow;
Those shadowy breasts in love's soft light arrayed,
And rising by the moon of passion swayed.

The political tone is also mildened in the revision, as where he changes ‘despot courts’ into ‘tyranny.’ One of the alterations is interesting. In the ‘Evening Walk’ he had originally written

And bids her soldier come her wars to share
Asleep on Minden's charnel hill afar.

An erratum at the end directs us to correct the second verse, thus:--

Asleep on Bunker's charnel hill afar.2

1 Wordsworth's purity afterwards grew sensitive almost to prudery. The late Mr. Clough told me that he heard him at Dr. Arnold's table denounce the first line in Keats's Ode to a Grecian Urn as indecent, and Haydon records that when he saw the group of Cupid and Psyche he exclaimed, ‘The dev-ils!’

2 The whole passage is omitted in the revised edition. The original, a quarto pamphlet, is now very rare, but fortunately Charles Lamb's copy of it is now owned by my friend Professor C. E. Norton.

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