Itinerary poems of 1833, XVII, Isle of Man. William Wordsworth
Friday, 14 December 2007
A Youth too certain of his power to wade
On the smooth bottom of this clear bright sea
To sight so shallow, with a bather's glee
Leaped from this rock, and but for timely aid
He, by the alluring element betrayed,
Had perished. Then might Sea-nymphs (and with sighs
Of self-reproach) have chanted elegies
Bewailing his sad fate, when he was laid
In peaceful earth: for doubtless, he was frank,
Utterly in himself devoid of guile;
Knew not the double-dealing of a smile;
Nor aught that makes men's promises a blank,
Or deadly snare; and He survives to bless
The Power that saved him in his strange distress.
He has recently been a little vague,
Although they enjoyed the holiday at sea.
He told the children stories at bedtime with great glee.
So everybody was surprised to hear of the decision they made,
He and the wife he betrayed.
You can virtually hear now the reader's sighs,
The room echoing from the elegies
Of deceived husbands and wives - their fate laid
In the hand of the other. Frank,
This was the name of the wrongdoer, was full of guile.
But on his face he had a reassuring smile,
When he put the piece of paper in front of her and pointed at the blank
Space. Here to sign and you are free - again. God bless
You, darling, sorry for the distress.