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William Wordsworth
Complete Poetical Works

"I WATCH, AND LONG HAVE WATCHED, WITH CALM REGRET"

Suggested in front of Rydal Mount, the rocky parapet being the summit of Loughrigg Fell opposite. Not once only, but a hundred times, have the feelings of this Sonnet been awakened by the same objects seen from the same place.

I WATCH, and long have watched, with calm regret
Yon slowly-sinking star--immortal Sire
(So might he seem) of all the glittering quire!
Blue ether still surrounds him--yet--and yet;
But now the horizon's rocky parapet
Is reached, where, forfeiting his bright attire,
He burns--transmuted to a dusky fire--
Then pays submissively the appointed debt
To the flying moments, and is seen no more.
Angels and gods! We struggle with our fate,
While health, power, glory, from their height decline,
Depressed; and then extinguished; and our state,
In this, how different, lost Star, from thine,
That no to-morrow shall our beams restore!

1819.