SOLITUDE (VM Deleted line sonnet)

[Image: Shelly Rolinson]

    O how sweet I cannot tell
    With thee at that hour to dwell
    Stretchd the mossy bank beside
    Lye to view the random tide
    Where no clowns has chopt from thence
    Bush nor stake to mend his fence
    Cornerd stones & pebbles round
    Breaking dasht wi mellow sound
    Wether this or that to see
    I am blest if Im wi thee
    & full dear has been the hour
    Spent wi in thy noon day bower
    Prest wi thee thy mossy seat
    O its unexpressive sweet

John Taylor removed these lines from the published version of ‘The Village Minstrel’ (Vol 1, p 200 ff).  I’ve just put them together in the order in which they appear in the manuscript (Pet MS B2 p256a, C2 p36).  The whole 'Solitude' poem in its restored form was published – with many variant readings - in the wonderful OUP Clarendon Editions (EP II 338).  I don’t think the poem has been published in its original state apart from that, until Anne Lee and I came along that is.

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