Sunday, April 3, 2011



photo :


Letter to Mrs. John Marshall (Jane Pollard) in Leeds, 1805

...the time will come when the light of the setting Sun upon these mountain tops will be as heretofore a pure joy — not the same
gladness, that can never be — but yet a joy even more tender. It will soothe me to know how happy he would have been could he have seen the same beautiful spectacle. I shall have him with me, and yet shall know that he is not of the reach of all sorrow and pain, can never mourn for us — his tender soul was awake to all our feelings — his wishes were intimately connected with our happiness.

...his courage I need not speak of, it served him in the hour of trial, he was seen 'speaking with apparent cheerfulness to the first Mate a few minutes before the ship went down', and when nothing more could be done he said 'the will of God be done' and I have no doubt when he felt that it was out of his power to save his life, he was as calm as before if some thought of what we should endure did not awaken a pang. Our loss is not to be measured but by those who are acquainted with the nature of our pleasures and have seen how happily we lived together those eight months that he was under our Roof — he loved solitude and he rejoiced in society — he would wander alone among these hills with his fishing-rod, or led on merely by the pleasure of walking, for many hours — or he would walk with William or me, or both of us, and was continually pointing out with a gladness which is seldom seen but in very young people something which perhaps would have escaped our observation, for he had so fine an eye that no distinction was unnoticed by him, and so tender a feeling that he never noticed any thing in vain. Many a time has he called me out in an evening to look at the moon or stars, or a cloudy sky, or this vale in the quiet moonlight — but the stars and moon were his chief delight, — he made of them his companions when he was at Sea, and was never tired of those thoughts which the silence of the night fed in him — then he was so happy by the fire-side, and little business of the house interested him, he loved our cottage, he helped us to furnish it, and to make the gardens — trees are growing now which he planted. Oh my dear Jane!

15 March 1805

If it wasn't for the rich leaves of Dorothy Wordsworth's journals, diaries and letters, we may not have today many of the poems as rich by her older brother William Wordsworth. He fleeced her tree freely. Though married to Mary Hutchinson, brother & sister lived together almost all of their lives. By age 30, Dorothy decided she was too old to marry. The Lake District was her bride.

The letter above concerns her younger brother John, who died at sea in 1805 off the south coast of England while Master of the ship Earl of Abergavenny