MS D as Fair Copy

A number of characteristics of this manuscript occur as a result of the stage of process it represents: the final fair copy text. These characteristics are considered below.

The Late Addition of Punctuation

The Cornell edition notes that "In this manuscript it is not always possible to tell whether punctuation is original or added later" (415 n.). On some pages it is clear that the base text for MS D (particularly the first entered block in 1812-14) is written in a fainter ink with punctuation marks in a much darker ink clearly entered right across the page. This can be seen on the pages reproduced below (6r and 7r). 6r also contains late minor corrections to the base text, probably made at the same time as the punctuation was added.

MS D, 7r

MS D, 6r

Overwritten Words

Throughout MS D there are a significant number of overwritten words. This practice does occur elsewhere in Wordsworth's Home at Grasmere manuscripts but appears here in far greater number. The reason is clear. As the final fair copy version of the poem the text still requires minor corrections and changes on the page but, wherever possible, these are to be made in a way which minimises disruption of the material.

So, for example, 1r contains 5 examples of over-written words.

Working down the page these are:

line 20 "not giddy yet aerial"

– "yet" overwrites "but"

line 22 "perfect was the spot"

– "spot" overwrites "place"

line 26 "of Breezes that delight"

– "of Breezes" overwrites "with breezes"

line 29 "over & through"

– "over" overwrites "of" (possibly)

line 30 "In billow"

– "billow" overwrites "bellow"

In spite of all these minor corrections, however, the page still reads cleanly.

MSD, 1r

Underlined Words

As suggested above, the presence of underlinings within the text (along with systematic punctuation) clearly signals that the material represents a relatively late stage within the compositional process.

Underlined words occur on the following pages. Click on an individual page to view the underlining or follow this link for pop-up analysis:

*2r (twice)



*8r (twice)




*19r (twice: repeated on pasted sheet)

21v (three times)


26r (three times: one repeat on pasted sheet)

28r (twice)