Wordsworth adopts a pensive pose, with his head resting on his hand, in this stipple engraving. William Wordsworth by Henry Meyer, published by Henry Colburn, after Richard Carruthers. stipple engraving, published 1 February 1819. Courtesy National Portrait Gallery under a Creative Commons License (NPG D8807).
Primary Source Text
Amid the moving pageant, ‘twas my chance
Abruptly to be smitten with the view
Of a blind Beggar, who, with upright face,
Stood propp’d against a Wall, upon his Chest
Wearing a written paper, to explain
The story of the Man, and who he was.
My mind did at this spectacle turn round
As with the might of waters, and it seem’d
To me that in this Label was a type
Or emblem, of the utmost that we know,
Both of ourselves and of the universe;
And, on the shape of the unmoving man,
His fixed face and sightless eyes, I look’d
As if admonish’d from another world. (1805, VII. 608-622)
Wordsworth, William. The Prelude: A Parallel Text. Ed. Ernest de Selincourt. 2nd ed. Oxford: Clarendon, 1959.
- Bowlby, Rachel. “Readable City.” PMLA 122:1 (2007): 306-9.
- Epstein Kobayashi, Emily V. “Feeling Intellect in Aurora Leigh and The Prelude.” SEL 51:4 (2011): 823-848.
- Friedman, Geraldine. “History in the Background in Wordsworth’s ‘Blind Beggar.’” ELH 56:1 (1989): 125-148.
- Symons, Arthur. “The Blind Beggar.” Annotated by Vanessa Warne. Nineteenth-Century Disability: A Digital Reader.
- The Wordsworth Trust. https://www.wordsworth.org.uk/home.html