Wordsworth writes "To B. R. Haydon"

Haydon portrait of WordsworthIn December 1815, Wordsoworth wrote the sonnet "To B. R. Haydon," reproduced below (later published in the 31 March 1816 issue of The Examiner and in the 1 April 1816 issue of The Champion.  The sonnet was part of a long-running relationship with Haydon that eventually led to Haydon's portrait of Wordsworth in 1842, which then inspired Elizabeth Barrett Browning's sonnet, "On a Portrait of Wordsworth."  Image: Benjamin Robert Haydon, Wordsworth on Helvellyn (original in the National Portrait Gallery).  This work is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 100 years or less.  Here is the 1816 poem:

High is our calling, Friend!—Creative Art
(Whether the instrument of words she use,
Or pencil pregnant with etherial [sic] hues,)
Demands the service of a mind and heart,
Though sensitive, yet, in their weakest part,
Heroically fashioned—to infuse
Faith in the whispers of the lonely Muse,
While the whole world seems adverse to desert:
And, oh! when Nature sinks, as oft she may,
Through long-lived pressure of obscure distress,
Still to be strenuous for the bright reward,
And in the soul admit of no decay,—
Brook no continuance of weak-mindedness:—
Great is the glory, for the strife is hard!

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Event date:

Dec 1815