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William Wordsworth
Complete Poetical Works

TO ROTHA Q----

Rotha, the daughter of my son-in-law Mr. Quillinan.

ROTHA, my Spiritual Child! this head was grey
When at the sacred font for thee I stood;
Pledged till thou reach the verge of womanhood,
And shalt become thy own sufficient stay:
Too late, I feel, sweet Orphan! was the day
For stedfast hope the contract to fulfil;
Yet shall my blessing hover o'er thee still,
Embodied in the music of this Lay,
Breathed forth beside the peaceful mountain Stream
Whose murmur soothed thy languid Mother's ear
After her throes, this Stream of name more dear
Since thou dost bear it,--a memorial theme
For others; for thy future self, a spell
To summon fancies out of Time's dark cell.

1827.

NOTE

9 The river Rotha, that flows into Windermere from the lakes of
Grasmere and Rydal.