Lone—as a solitary cloud,
A single cloud on a sunny day,
While all the rest of heaven is clear,
A frown upon the atmosphere,
That hath no business to appear
When skies are blue, and earth is gay.
A kind of change came in my fate,300
My keepers grew compassionate;
I know not what had made them so,
They were inured to sights of woe,
But so it was:—my broken chain
With links unfastened did remain,
And it was liberty to stride
Along my cell from side to side,
And up and down, and then athwart,
And tread it over every part;
And round the pillars one by one,310
Returning where my walk begun,
Avoiding only, as I trod,
My brothers' graves without a sod;
For if I thought with heedless tread
My step profaned their lowly bed,
My breath came gaspingly and thick,
And my crushed heart felt blind and sick.
I made a footing in the wall,
It was not therefrom to escape,
For I had buried one and all,320
"I wandered lonely as a cloud.
Works of W. Wordsworth, 1889, p. 205.]
"Yet some did think that he had little business here."
Ibid., p. 183.
Compare, too, The Dream, line 166, vide post, p. 39—
"What business had they there at such a time?"]