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William Wordsworth
Complete Poetical Works

"OH WHAT A WRECK! HOW CHANGED IN MIEN AND SPEECH!"

The sad condition of poor Mrs. Southey put me upon writing this. It has afforded comfort to many persons whose friends have been similarly affected.

OH what a Wreck! how changed in mien and speech!
Yet--though dread Powers, that work in mystery, spin
Entanglings of the brain; though shadows stretch
O'er the chilled heart--reflect; far, far within
Hers is a holy Being, freed from Sin.
She is not what she seems, a forlorn wretch;
But delegated Spirits comfort fetch
To Her from heights that Reason may not win.
Like Children, She is privileged to hold
Divine communion; both do live and move,
Whate'er to shallow Faith their ways unfold,
Inly illumined by Heaven's pitying love;
Love pitying innocence not long to last,
In them--in Her our sins and sorrows past.

1838.