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John Bartlett (1820–1905). Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. 1919.

Page 484

William Wordsworth. (1770–1850) (continued)
    The feather, whence the pen
Was shaped that traced the lives of these good men,
Dropped from an angel’s wing. 1
          Ecclesiastical Sonnets. Part iii. v.Walton’s Book of Lives.
    Meek Walton’s heavenly memory.
          Ecclesiastical Sonnets. Part iii. v.Walton’s Book of Lives.
    But who would force the soul tilts with a straw
Against a champion cased in adamant.
          Ecclesiastical Sonnets. Part iii. vii.Persecution of the Scottish Covenanters.
    Where music dwells
Lingering and wandering on as loth to die,
Like thoughts whose very sweetness yieldeth proof
That they were born for immortality.
          Ecclesiastical Sonnets. Part iii. xliii.Inside of King’s Chapel, Cambridge.
    Or shipwrecked, kindles on the coast
False fires, that others may be lost.
          To the Lady Fleming.
    But hushed be every thought that springs
From out the bitterness of things.
          Elegiac Stanzas. Addressed to Sir G. H. B.
Note 1.
The pen wherewith thou dost so heavenly sing
Made of a quill from an angel’s wing.
Henry Constable: Sonnet.

Whose noble praise
Deserves a quill pluckt from an angel’s wing.
Dorothy Berry: Sonnet. [back]