Written at Town-end, Grasmere. The characters and story from fact.
                          In Cairo's crowded streets
            The impatient Merchant, wondering, waits in vain,
            And Mecca saddens at the long delay.



When I sent you, a few weeks ago, he tale of Peter Bell, you asked "why THE WAGGONER was not added?"--To say the truth-- from the higher tone of imagination, and the deeper touches of passion aimed at in the former, I apprehended this little Piece could not accompany it without disadvantage. In the year 1806, if I am not mistaken, THE WAGGONER was read to you in manuscript, and, as you have remembered it for so long a time, I am the more encouraged to hope, that, since the localities on which the Poem partly depends did not prevent its being interesting to you, it may prove acceptable to others. Being therefore in some measure the cause of its present appearance, you must allow me the gratification of inscribing it to you; in acknowledgment of the pleasure I have derived from your Writings, and of the high esteem with which
I am very truly yours,
Rydal Mount, May 20, 1819.

Several years after the event that forms the subject of the Poem, in company with my friend, the late Mr. Coleridge, I happened to fall in with the person to whom the name of Benjamin is given. Upon our expressing regret that we had not, for a long time, seen upon the road either him or his waggon, he said, "They could not do without me; and as to the man who was put in my place, no good could come out of him; he was a man of no 'ideas'."

The fact of my discarded hero's getting the horses out of a great difficulty with a word, as related in the poem, was told me by an eye-witness.