Published in 1820 as one of the Miscellaneous Poems. The untitled draft is on ff 47v rev.-48v rev. of Nbk 10, written crossways over other drafts and in spaces left blank on partially filled pages. A rejected line apparently intended for stanza 3 is drafted on both f 45v rev. and in part on f. 47r rev: ‘Think not gold or flattery vile.’ As the drafts that were already on these pages all appear to date from autumn 1819 to the end of the year, An Exhortation was probably composed no earlier than December 1819. Mary’s transcription in Harvard Nbk 1 76–7, where the title and a few alterations have been added in S.’s hand, is dated by her Pisa, April 1820; this may record either the date of composition or of her transcription or both. As there are some substantive differences between the Nbk 10 draft and the fair copy in Harvard Nbk 1—the stanzas are drafted in the order 1-3-2, for example—S. must either have guided Mary as she transcribed or himself prepared a fair copy from which she worked (MYRS v 171). In 1839 Mary placed An Exhortation among the Poems Written in 1819, so on a strict consideration of the evidence a date of composition more precise than late 1819-April 1820 cannot be determined. However, the fact that the draft in Nbk 10 is written crossways probably indicates that it was entered late in the period through spring 1820 (the time during which S. used the nbk) when few pages remained blank. This, combined with the Harvard Nbk 1 date, makes composition in April 1820 more likely, though an earlier date remains possible.