The White Doe of Rylstone: An Exercise in Autobiographical Displacement

  • John Williams


It was Wordsworth’s intention to make a major contribution to public life through his poetry:

Come Thou, prophetic Spirit, soul of Man

Thou human Soul of the wide earth, that hast

Thy metropolitan temple in the hearts

Of mighty Poets, unto me vouch safe

Thy forsight, teach me to discern, & part

Inherent things from casual, what is fixd

From fleeting, that my song may live, & be

Even as a light hung up in heaven to chear

The world in times to come.1


Historical Romance Autobiographical Narrative Poetic Vision Verse Romance Wide Earth 
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  1. 1.
    William Wordsworth, Home at Grasmere, ed. Beth Darlington (Ithaca and Hassocks, 1977), p. 261, lines 53–63.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    William Wordsworth, Poems in Two Volumes and Other Poems 1800–1807, ed. Jared Curtis (Ithaca, NY, 1992), p. 258, lines 17–20.Google Scholar
  3. 6.
    William Wordsworth, Lyrical Ballads and Other Poems 1797–1800, ed. James Butler and Karen Green (Ithaca, NY, and London, 1992), p. 120, lines 139–43.Google Scholar
  4. 9.
    William Wordsworth, The White Doe of Rylstone, ed. Kristine Dugas (Ithaca, NY, and London, 1988), p. 145, lines 1858–60.Google Scholar
  5. 14.
    The Poetical Works of William Wordsworth, 5 vols, ed. Ernestde Selin-court (Oxford, 1952), vol. 5, p. 303, lines 499–502.Google Scholar

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© John Williams 1998

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  • John Williams

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