Poetry

Welcome to our blog, here you will find everything you want to read about poetry and poetry collection from all languages of the world in the English language... Feel free to like, comment, and share this with your friends and family... If you want to contribute something you can contact us at our contact or contribution page... Enjoy your visit...

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    After thought by William Wordsworth

    I thought of Thee, my partner and my guide, As being past away. Vain sympathies! For, backward, Duddon! as I cast my eyes, I see what was, and is, and will abide; Still glides the Stream, and shall for ever glide; The Form remains, the Function never dies; While we, the brave, the mighty, and the wise, We Men, who in our morn of youth defied The elements, must vanish; be it so! Enough, if something from our hands have power To live, and act, and serve the future hour; And if, as toward the silent tomb we go, Through love, through hope, and faith’s transcendent dower, We feel that we are greater than we know.

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    Alice feel or poverty by William Wordsworth

    The post-boy drove with fierce career, For threatening clouds the moon had drowned; When, as we hurried on, my ear Was smitten with a startling sound. As if the wind blew many ways, I heard the sound, and more and more; It seemed to follow with the chaise, And still I heard it as before. At length I to the boy called out; He stopped his horses at the word, But neither cry, nor voice, nor shout, Nor aught else like it, could be heard. The boy then smacked his whip, and fast The horses scampered through the rain; But, hearing soon upon the blast The cry, I bade him halt again. Forthwith alighting on the ground, “Whence comes,” said I, “this piteous moan?” And there a little Girl I found, Sitting behind the chaise, alone. “My cloak!” no other word she spake, But loud and bitterly she wept, As if her innocent heart would break; And down from off…

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    Beggars by William Wordsworth

    She had a tall man’s height or more; Her face from summer’s noontide heat No bonnet shaded, but she wore A mantle, to her very feet Descending with a graceful flow, And on her head a cap as white as new-fallen snow. Her skin was of Egyptian brown: Haughty, as if her eye had seen Its own light to a distance thrown, She towered, fit person for a Queen To lead those ancient Amazonian files; Or ruling Bandit’s wife among the Grecian isles. Advancing, forth she stretched her hand And begged an alms with doleful plea That ceased not; on our English land Such woes, I knew, could never be; And yet a boon I gave her, for the creature Was beautiful to see, a weed of glorious feature. I left her, and pursued my way; And soon before me did espy A pair of little Boys at play, Chasing a crimson butterfly; The taller followed with his hat in…

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    British freedom by William Wordsworth

    It is not to be thought of that the Flood Of British freedom, which, to the open sea Of the world’s praise, from dark antiquity Hath flowed, “with pomp of waters, unwithstood,” Roused though it be full often to a mood Which spurns the check of salutary bands, That this most famous Stream in bogs and sands Should perish; and to evil and to good Be lost for ever. In our halls is hung Armoury of the invincible Knights of old: We must be free or die, who speak the tongue That Shakespeare spake; the faith and morals hold Which Milton held. In every thing we are sprung Of Earth’s first blood, have titles manifold.

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    Poem William Wordsworth

    ‘Tis said, that some have died for love: And here and there a churchyard grave is found In the cold north’s unhallowed ground, Because the wretched man himself had slain, His love was such a grievous pain. And there is one whom I five years have known; He dwells alone Upon Helvellyn’s side: He loved the pretty Barbara died; And thus he makes his moan: Three years had Barbara in her grave been laid When thus his moan he made: “Oh, move, thou Cottage, from behind that oak! Or let the aged tree uprooted lie, That in some other way yon smoke May mount into the sky! The clouds pass on; they from the heavens depart. I look, the sky is empty space; I know not what I trace; But when I cease to look, my hand is on my heart. “Oh! what a weight is in these shades! Ye leaves, That murmur once so dear, when will it cease?…

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    A character by William Wordsworth

    I marvel how Nature could ever find space For so many strange contrasts in one human face: There’s thought and no thought, and there’s paleness and bloom And bustle and sluggishness, pleasure and gloom. There’s weakness, and strength both redundant and vain; Such strength as, if ever affliction and pain Could pierce through a temper that’s soft to disease, Would be rational peace, a philosopher’s ease. There’s indifference, alike when he fails or succeeds, And attention full ten times as much as there needs; Pride where there’s no envy, there’s so much of joy; And mildness, and spirit both forward and coy. There’s freedom, and sometimes a diffident stare Of shame scarcely seeming to know that she’s there, There’s virtue, the title it surely may claim, Yet wants heaven knows what to be worthy the name. This picture from nature may seem to depart, Yet the Man would at once run away with your heart; And I for five centuries…

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    A complaint by William Wordsworth

    There is a change and I am poor; Your love hath been, nor long ago, A fountain at my fond heart’s door, Whose only business was to flow; And flow it did; not taking heed Of its own bounty, or my need. What happy moments did I count! Blest was I then all bliss above! Now, for that consecrated fount Of murmuring, sparkling, living love, What have I? shall I dare to tell? A comfortless and hidden well. A well of love it may be deep I trust it is, and never dry: What matter? if the waters sleep In silence and obscurity. Such change, and at the very door Of my fond heart, hath made me poor.

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    A fact and an imagination by William Wordsworth

    The Danish Conqueror, on his royal chair, Mustering a face of haughty sovereignty, To aid a covert purpose, cried “O ye Approaching Waters of the deep, that share With this green isle my fortunes, come not where Your Master’s throne is set.” Deaf was the Sea; Her waves rolled on, respecting his decree Less than they heed a breath of wanton air. Then Canute, rising from the invaded throne, Said to his servile Courtiers, “Poor the reach, The undisguised extent, of mortal sway! He only is a King, and he alone Deserves the name (this truth the billows preach) Whose everlasting laws, sea, earth, and heaven, obey.” This just reproof the prosperous Dane Drew, from the influx of the main, For some whose rugged northern mouths would strain At oriental flattery; And Canute (fact more worthy to be known) From that time forth did for his brows disown The ostentatious symbol of a crown; Esteeming earthly royalty Contemptible as vain.…

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    A farewell by William Wordsworth

    Farewell, thou little Nook of mountain-ground, Thou rocky corner in the lowest stair Of that magnificent temple which doth bound One side of our whole vale with grandeur rare; Sweet garden-orchard, eminently fair, The loveliest spot that man hath ever found, Farewell! we leave thee to Heaven’s peaceful care, Thee, and the Cottage which thou dost surround. Our boat is safely anchored by the shore, And there will safely ride when we are gone; The flowering shrubs that deck our humble door Will prosper, though untended and alone: Fields, goods, and far-off chattels we have none: These narrow bounds contain our private store Of things earth makes, and sun doth shine upon; Here are they in our sight we have no more. Sunshine and shower be with you, bud and bell! For two months now in vain we shall be sought: We leave you here in solitude to dwell With these our latest gifts of tender thought; Thou, like the…

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    A morning exercise by William Wordsworth

    Fancy, who leads the pastimes of the glad, Full oft is pleased a wayward dart to throw; Sending sad shadows after things not sad, Peopling the harmless fields with signs of woe: Beneath her sway, a simple forest cry Becomes an echo of man’s misery. Blithe ravens croak of death; and when the owl Tries his two voices for a favourite strain ‘Tu-whit, Tu-whoo!’ the unsuspecting fowl Forebodes mishap or seems but to complain; Fancy, intent to harass and annoy, Can thus pervert the evidence of joy. Through border wilds where naked Indians stray, Myriads of notes attest her subtle skill; A feathered task-master cries, “Work away!” And, in thy iteration, “Whip poor will!” Is heard the spirit of a toil-worn slave, Lashed out of life, not quiet in the grave. What wonder? at her bidding, ancient lays Steeped in dire grief the voice of Philomel; And that fleet messenger of summer days, The Swallow, twittered subject to like spell;…

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    A Night thought by William Wordsworth

    Lo! where the Moon along the sky Sails with her happy destiny; Oft is she hid from mortal eye Or dimly seen, But when the clouds asunder fly How bright her mien! Far different we, a froward race, Thousands though rich in Fortune’s grace With cherished sullenness of pace Their way pursue, Ingrates who wear a smileless face The whole year through. If kindred humours e’er would make My spirit droop for drooping’s sake, From Fancy following in thy wake, Bright ship of heaven! A counter impulse let me take And be forgiven.

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    A night piece by William Wordsworth

    The sky is overcast With a continuous cloud of texture close, Heavy and wan, all whitened by the Moon, Which through that veil is indistinctly seen, A dull, contracted circle, yielding light So feebly spread, that not a shadow falls, Chequering the ground from rock, plant, tree, or tower. At length a pleasant instantaneous gleam Startles the pensive traveller while he treads His lonesome path, with unobserving eye Bent earthwards; he looks up the clouds are split Asunder, and above his head he sees The clear Moon, and the glory of the heavens. There, in a black-blue vault she sails along, Followed by multitudes of stars, that, small And sharp, and bright, along the dark abyss Drive as she drives: how fast they wheel away, Yet vanish not! the wind is in the tree, But they are silent; still they roll along Immeasurably distant; and the vault, Built round by those white clouds, enormous clouds, Still deepens its unfathomable depth.…

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    A sketch by William Wordsworth

    The little hedgerow birds, That peck along the road, regard him not. He travels on, and in his face, his step, His gait, is one expression; every limb, His look and bending figure, all bespeak A man who does not move with pain, but moves With thought. He is insensibly subdued To settled quiet: he is one by whom All effort seems forgotten; one to whom Long patience hath such mild composure given That patience now doth seem a thing of which He hath no need. He is by nature led To peace so perfect, that the young behold With envy what the Old Man hardly feels.

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    A wren’s nest by William Wordsworth

    The little hedgerow birds, That peck along the road, regard him not. He travels on, and in his face, his step, His gait, is one expression; every limb, His look and bending figure, all bespeak A man who does not move with pain, but moves With thought. He is insensibly subdued To settled quiet: he is one by whom All effort seems forgotten; one to whom Long patience hath such mild composure given That patience now doth seem a thing of which He hath no need. He is by nature led To peace so perfect, that the young behold With envy what the Old Man hardly feels.

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    Poem by William Wordsworth

    I wandered lonely as a cloud That floats on high o’er vales and hills, When all at once I saw a crowd, A host, of golden daffodils; Beside the lake, beneath the trees, Fluttering and dancing in the breeze. Continuous as the stars that shine And twinkle on the milky way, They stretched in never-ending line Along the margin of a bay: Ten thousand saw I at a glance, Tossing their heads in sprightly dance. The waves beside them danced; but they Out-did the sparkling waves in glee: A poet could not but be gay, In such a jocund company: I gazed, and gazed, but little thought What wealth the show to me had brought: For oft, when on my couch I lie In vacant or in pensive mood, They flash upon that inward eye Which is the bliss of solitude; And then my heart with pleasure fills, And dances with the daffodils.

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    Iona by William Wordsworth

    On to Iona! What can she afford To ‘us’ save matter for a thoughtful sigh, Heaved over ruin with stability In urgent contrast? To diffuse the WORD (Thy Paramount, mighty Nature! and Time’s Lord) Her Temples rose, ‘mid pagan gloom; but why, Even for a moment, has our verse deplored Their wrongs, since they fulfilled their destiny? And when, subjected to a common doom Of mutability, those far-famed Piles Shall disappear from both the sister Isles, Iona’s Saints, forgetting not past days, Garlands shall wear of amaranthine bloom, While heaven’s vast sea of voices chants their praise.

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    Iona upon landing by William Wordsworth

    How sad a welcome! To each voyager Some ragged child holds up for sale a store Of wave-worn pebbles, pleading on the shore Where once came monk and nun with gentle stir, Blessings to give, news ask, or suit prefer. Yet is yon neat trim church a grateful speck Of novelty amid the sacred wreck Strewn far and wide. Think, proud Philosopher! Fallen though she be, this Glory of the west, Still on her sons, the beams of mercy shine; And “hopes, perhaps more heavenly bright than thine, A grace by thee unsought and unpossest, A faith more fixed, a rapture more divine, Shall gild their passage to eternal rest.”

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    Isle of Man by William Wordsworth

    A youth too certain of his power to wade On the smooth bottom of this clear bright sea, To sight so shallow, with a bather’s glee Leapt from this rock, and but for timely aid He, by the alluring element betrayed, Had perished. Then might Sea-nymphs (and with sighs Of self-reproach) have chanted elegies Bewailing his sad fate, when he was laid In peaceful earth: for, doubtless, he was frank, Utterly in himself devoid of guile; Knew not the double-dealing of a smile; Nor aught that makes men’s promises a blank, Or deadly snare: and He survives to bless The Power that saved him in his strange distress.

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    June 1820 by William Wordsworth

    Fame tells of groves, from England far away, Groves that inspire the Nightingale to trill And modulate, with subtle reach of skill Elsewhere unmatched, her ever-varying lay; Such bold report I venture to gainsay: For I have heard the quire of Richmond hill Chanting, with indefatigable bill, Strains that recalled to mind a distant day; When, haply under shade of that same wood, And scarcely conscious of the dashing oars Plied steadily between those willowy shores, The sweet-souled Poet of the Seasons stood Listening, and listening long, in rapturous mood, Ye heavenly Birds! to your Progenitors.

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    Laodamia by William Wordsworth

    Fame tells of groves, from England far away, Groves that inspire the Nightingale to trill And modulate, with subtle reach of skill Elsewhere unmatched, her ever-varying lay; Such bold report I venture to gainsay: For I have heard the quire of Richmond hill Chanting, with indefatigable bill, Strains that recalled to mind a distant day; When, haply under shade of that same wood, And scarcely conscious of the dashing oars Plied steadily between those willowy shores, The sweet-souled Poet of the Seasons stood Listening, and listening long, in rapturous mood, Ye heavenly Birds! to your Progenitors.

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    Lines by William Wordsworth

    Loud is the Vale! the Voice is up With which she speaks when storms are gone, A mighty unison of streams! Of all her Voices, One! Loud is the Vale; this inland Depth In peace is roaring like the Sea Yon star upon the mountain-top Is listening quietly. Sad was I, even to pain deprest, Importunate and heavy load! The Comforter hath found me here, Upon this lonely road; And many thousands now are sad, Wait the fulfilment of their fear; For he must die who is their stay, Their glory disappear. A Power is passing from the earth To breathless Nature’s dark abyss; But when the great and good depart What is it more than this. That Man, who is from God sent forth, Doth yet again to God return? Such ebb and flow must ever be, Then wherefore should we mourn?

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    London 1802 by William Wordsworth

    Milton! thou shouldst be living at this hour: England hath need of thee: she is a fen Of stagnant waters: altar, sword, and pen, Fireside, the heroic wealth of hall and bower, Have forfeited their ancient English dower Of inward happiness. We are selfish men; Oh! raise us up, return to us again; And give us manners, virtue, freedom, power. Thy soul was like a Star, and dwelt apart: Thou hadst a voice whose sound was like the sea: Pure as the naked heavens, majestic, free, So didst thou travel on life’s common way, In cheerful godliness; and yet the heart The lowliest duties on herself did lay.

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    Humanity by William Wordsworth

    What though the Accused, upon his own appeal To righteous Gods when man has ceased to feel, Or at a doubting Judge’s stern command, Before the Stone of Power no longer stand To take his sentence from the balanced Block, As, at his touch, it rocks, or seems to rock; Though, in the depths of sunless groves, no more The Druid-priest the hallowed Oak adore; Yet, for the Initiate, rocks and whispering trees Do still perform mysterious offices! And functions dwell in beast and bird that sway The reasoning mind, or with the fancy play, Inviting, at all seasons, ears and eyes To watch for undelusive auguries: Not uninspired appear their simplest ways; Their voices mount symbolical of praise To mix with hymns that Spirits make and hear; And to fallen man their innocence is dear. Enraptured Art draws from those sacred springs Streams that reflect the poetry of things! Where Christian Martyrs stand in hues portrayed, That, might a…

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    Hoffer by William Wordsworth

    Of mortal parents is the Hero born By whom the undaunted Tyrolese are led? Or is it Tell’s great Spirit, from the dead Returned to animate an age forlorn? He comes like Phoebus through the gates of morn When dreary darkness is discomfited, Yet mark his modest state! upon his head, That simple crest, a heron’s plume, is worn. O Liberty! they stagger at the shock From van to rear, and with one mind would flee, But half their host is buried: rock on rock Descends: beneath this godlike Warrior, see! Hills, torrents, woods, embodied to bemock The Tyrant, and confound his cruelty.

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    Highland Hut by William Wordsworth

    See what gay wild flowers deck this earth-built Cot, Whose smoke, forth-issuing whence and how it may, Shines in the greeting of the sun’s first ray Like wreaths of vapour without stain or blot. The limpid mountain rill avoids it not; And why shouldst thou? If rightly trained and bred, Humanity is humble, finds no spot Which her Heaven-guided feet refuse to tread. The walls are cracked, sunk is the flowery roof, Undressed the pathway leading to the door; But love, as Nature loves, the lonely Poor; Search, for their worth, some gentle heart wrong-proof, Meek, patient, kind, and, were its trials fewer, Belike less happy. Stand no more aloof!

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    Poem by William Wordsworth

    I Her eyes are wild, her head is bare, The sun has burnt her coal-black hair; Her eyebrows have a rusty stain, And she came far from over the main. She has a baby on her arm, Or else she were alone: And underneath the hay-stack warm, And on the greenwood stone, She talked and sung the woods among, And it was in the English tongue. II “Sweet babe! they say that I am mad, But nay, my heart is far too glad; And I am happy when I sing Full many a sad and doleful thing: Then, lovely baby, do not fear! I pray thee have no fear of me; But safe as in a cradle, here, My lovely baby! thou shalt be: To thee I know too much I owe; I cannot work thee any woe. III “A fire was once within my brain; And in my head a dull, dull pain; And fiendish faces, one, two, three,…

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    Hart Leap well by William Wordsworth

    The Knight had ridden down from Wensley Moor With the slow motion of a summer’s cloud, And now, as he approached a vassal’s door, “Bring forth another horse!” he cried aloud. “Another horse!” That shout the vassal heard And saddled his best Steed, a comely grey; Sir Walter mounted him; he was the third Which he had mounted on that glorious day. Joy sparkled in the prancing courser’s eyes; The horse and horseman are a happy pair; But, though Sir Walter like a falcon flies, There is a doleful silence in the air. A rout this morning left Sir Walter’s Hall, That as they galloped made the echoes roar; But horse and man are vanished, one and all; Such race, I think, was never seen before. Sir Walter, restless as a veering wind, Calls to the few tired dogs that yet remain: Blanch, Swift, and Music, noblest of their kind, Follow, and up the weary mountain strain. The Knight hallooed,…

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    Poem by William Wordsworth

    Grief, thou hast lost an ever-ready friend Now that the cottage Spinning-wheel is mute; And Care, a comforter that best could suit Her froward mood, and softliest reprehend; And Love, a charmer’s voice, that used to lend, More efficaciously than aught that flows From harp or lute, kind influence to compose The throbbing pulse, else troubled without end: Even Joy could tell, Joy craving truce and rest From her own overflow, what power sedate On those revolving motions did await Assiduously to soothe her aching breast; And, to a point of just relief, abate The mantling triumphs of a day too blest.

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    Greenock by William Wordsworth

    ‘We’ have not passed into a doleful City, We who were led to-day down a grim dell, By some too boldly named “the Jaws of Hell:” Where be the wretched ones, the sights for pity? These crowded streets resound no plaintive ditty: As from the hive where bees in summer dwell, Sorrow seems here excluded; and that knell, It neither damps the gay, nor checks the witty. Alas! too busy Rival of old Tyre, Whose merchants Princes were, whose decks were thrones; Soon may the punctual sea in vain respire To serve thy need, in union with that Clyde Whose nursling current brawls o’er mossy stones, The poor, the lonely, herdsman’s joy and pride.

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    Grace darling by William Wordsworth

    Among the dwellers in the silent fields The natural heart is touched, and public way And crowded street resound with ballad strains, Inspired by one whose very name bespeaks Favour divine, exalting human love; Whom, since her birth on bleak Northumbria’s coast, Known unto few but prized as far as known, A single Act endears to high and low Through the whole land to Manhood, moved in spite Of the world’s freezing cares, to generous Youth, To Infancy, that lisps her praise to Age Whose eye reflects it, glistening through a tear Of tremulous admiration. Such true fame Awaits her ‘now’; but, verily, good deeds Do not imperishable record find Save in the rolls of heaven, where hers may live A theme for angels, when they celebrate The high-souled virtues which forgetful earth Has witnessed. Oh! that winds and waves could speak Of things which their united power called forth From the pure depths of her humanity! A Maiden gentle,…

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    Gordale by William Wordsworth

    At early dawn, or rather when the air Glimmers with fading light, and shadowy Eve Is busiest to confer and to bereave; Then, pensive Votary! let thy feet repair To Gordale-chasm, terrific as the lair Where the young lions couch; for so, by leave Of the propitious hour, thou may’st perceive The local Deity, with oozy hair And mineral crown, beside his jagged urn, Recumbent: Him thou may’st behold, who hides His lineaments by day, yet there presides, Teaching the docile waters how to turn, Or (if need be) impediment to spurn, And force their passage to the salt-see tides!

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    Gold and silver fishes in a vase by William Wordsworth

    The soaring lark is blest as proud When at heaven’s gate she sings; The roving bee proclaims aloud Her flight by vocal wings; While Ye, in lasting durance pent, Your silent lives employ For something more than dull content, Though haply less than joy. Yet might your glassy prison seem A place where joy is known, Where golden flash and silver gleam Have meanings of their own; While, high and low, and all about, Your motions, glittering Elves! Ye weave, no danger from without, And peace among yourselves. Type of a sunny human breast Is your transparent cell; Where Fear is but a transient guest, No sullen Humours dwell; Where, sensitive of every ray That smites this tiny sea, Your scaly panoplies repay The loan with usury. How beautiful! Yet none knows why This ever-graceful change, Renewed, renewed incessantly Within your quiet range. Is it that ye with conscious skill For mutual pleasure glide; And sometimes, not without your will,…

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    To a sky lark by William Wordsworth

    Ethereal minstrel! pilgrim of the sky! Dost thou despise the earth where cares abound? Or, while the wings aspire, are heart and eye Both with thy nest upon the dewy ground? Thy nest which thou canst drop into at will, Those quivering wings composed, that music still! Leave to the nightingale her shady wood; A privacy of glorious light is thine; Whence thou dost pour upon the world a flood Of harmony, with instinct more divine; Type of the wise who soar, but never roam; True to the kindred points of Heaven and Home!

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    To a sky lark by William Wordsworth

    Up with me! up with me into the clouds! For thy song, Lark, is strong; Up with me, up with me into the clouds! Singing, singing, With clouds and sky about thee ringing, Lift me, guide me till I find That spot which seems so to thy mind! I have walked through wildernesses dreary And to-day my heart is weary; Had I now the wings of a Faery, Up to thee would I fly. There is madness about thee, and joy divine In that song of thine; Lift me, guide me high and high To thy banqueting-place in the sky. Joyous as morning Thou art laughing and scorning; Thou hast a nest for thy love and thy rest, And, though little troubled with sloth, Drunken Lark! thou would’st be loth To be such a traveller as I. Happy, happy Liver, With a soul as strong as a mountain river Pouring out praise to the Almighty Giver, Joy and jollity be…

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    To a Sexton by William Wordsworth

    Let thy wheel-barrow alone Wherefore, Sexton, piling still In thy bone-house bone on bone? ‘Tis already like a hill In a field of battle made, Where three thousand skulls are laid; These died in peace each with the other, Father, sister, friend, and brother. Mark the spot to which I point! From this platform, eight feet square, Take not even a finger-joint: Andrew’s whole fire-side is there. Here, alone, before thine eyes, Simon’s sickly daughter lies, From weakness now, and pain defended, Whom he twenty winters tended. Look but at the gardener’s pride How he glories, when he sees Roses, lilies, side by side, Violets in families! By the heart of Man, his tears, By his hopes and by his fears, Thou, too heedless, art the Warden Of a far superior garden. Thus then, each to other dear, Let them all in quiet lie, Andrew there, and Susan here, Neighbours in mortality. And, should I live through sun and rain…

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    To a painter by William Wordsworth

    All praise the Likeness by thy skill portrayed; But ’tis a fruitless task to paint for me, Who, yielding not to changes Time has made, By the habitual light of memory see Eyes unbedimmed, see bloom that cannot fade, And smiles that from their birth-place ne’er shall flee Into the land where ghosts and phantoms be; And, seeing this, own nothing in its stead. Couldst thou go back into far-distant years, Or share with me, fond thought! that inward eye, Then, and then only, Painter! could thy Art The visual powers of Nature satisfy, Which hold, whate’er to common sight appears, Their sovereign empire in a faithful heart.

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    To a butterfly by William Wordsworth

    I’ve watched you now a full half-hour; Self-poised upon that yellow flower And, little Butterfly! indeed I know not if you sleep or feed. How motionless! not frozen seas More motionless! and then What joy awaits you, when the breeze Hath found you out among the trees, And calls you forth again! This plot of orchard-ground is ours; My trees they are, my Sister’s flowers; Here rest your wings when they are weary; Here lodge as in a sanctuary! Come often to us, fear no wrong; Sit near us on the bough! We’ll talk of sunshine and of song, And summer days, when we were young; Sweet childish days, that were as long As twenty days are now.

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    To a butterfly by William Wordsworth

    Stay near me, do not take thy flight! A little longer stay in sight! Much converse do I find I thee, Historian of my infancy! Float near me; do not yet depart! Dead times revive in thee: Thou bring’st, gay creature as thou art! A solemn image to my heart, My father’s family! Oh! pleasant, pleasant were the days, The time, when, in our childish plays, My sister Emmeline and I Together chased the butterfly! A very hunter did I rush Upon the prey: with leaps and spring I followed on from brake to bush; But she, God love her, feared to brush The dust from off its wings.

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    Poem by William Wordsworth

    Three years she grew in sun and shower, Then Nature said, “A lovelier flower On earth was never sown; This Child I to myself will take; She shall be mine, and I will make A Lady of my own. “Myself will to my darling be Both law and impulse: and with me The Girl, in rock and plain, In earth and heaven, in glade and bower, Shall feel an overseeing power To kindle or restrain. “She shall be sportive as the fawn That wild with glee across the lawn Or up the mountain springs; And hers shall be the breathing balm, And hers the silence and the calm Of mute insensate things. “The floating clouds their state shall lend To her; for her the willow bend; Nor shall she fail to see Even in the motions of the Storm Grace that shall mould the Maiden’s form By silent sympathy. “The stars of midnight shall be dear To her; and she…

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    Poem by William Wordsworth

    Flattered with promise of escape From every hurtful blast, Spring takes, O sprightly May! thy shape, Her loveliest and her last. Less fair is summer riding high In fierce solstitial power, Less fair than when a lenient sky Brings on her parting hour. When earth repays with golden sheaves The labours of the plough, And ripening fruits and forest leaves All brighten on the bough; What pensive beauty autumn shows, Before she hears the sound Of winter rushing in, to close The emblematic round! Such be our Spring, our Summer such; So may our Autumn blend With hoary Winter, and Life touch, Through heaven-born hope, her end!

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    Poem by William Wordsworth

    There was a Boy; ye knew him well, ye cliffs And islands of Winander! many a time, At evening, when the earliest stars began To move along the edges of the hills, Rising or setting, would he stand alone, Beneath the trees, or by the glimmering lake; And there, with fingers interwoven, both hands Pressed closely palm to palm and to his mouth Uplifted, he, as through an instrument, Blew mimic hootings to the silent owls That they might answer him. And they would shout Across the watery vale, and shout again, Responsive to his call, with quivering peals, And long halloos, and screams, and echoes loud Redoubled and redoubled; concourse wild Of jocund din! And, when there came a pause Of silence such as baffled his best skill: Then, sometimes, in that silence, while he hung Listening, a gentle shock of mild surprise Has carried far into his heart the voice Of mountain-torrents; or the visible scene Would enter…

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    Poem by William Wordsworth

    There is an Eminence, of these our hills The last that parleys with the setting sun; We can behold it from our orchard-seat; And, when at evening we pursue out walk Along the public way, this Peak, so high Above us, and so distant in its height, Is visible; and often seems to send Its own deep quiet to restore our hearts. The meteors make of it a favourite haunt: The star of Jove, so beautiful and large In the mid heavens, is never half so fair As when he shines above it. ‘Tis in truth The loneliest place we have among the clouds. And She who dwells with me, whom I have loved With such communion, that no place on earth Can ever be a solitude to me, Hath to this lonely Summit given my Name.

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    Poem by William Wordsworth

    ‘There is a pleasure in poetic pains Which only Poets know’; ’twas rightly said; Whom could the Muses else allure to tread Their smoothest paths, to wear their lightest chains? When happiest Fancy has inspired the strains, How oft the malice of one luckless word Pursues the Enthusiast to the social board, Haunts him belated on the silent plains! Yet he repines not, if his thought stand clear, At last, of hindrance and obscurity, Fresh as the star that crowns the brow of morn; Bright, speckless, as a softly-moulded tear The moment it has left the virgin’s eye, Or rain-drop lingering on the pointed thorn.

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    Poem by William Wordsworth

    There is a little unpretending Rill Of limpid water, humbler far than aught That ever among Men or Naiads sought Notice or name! It quivers down the hill, Furrowing its shallow way with dubious will; Yet to my mind this scanty Stream is brought Oftener than Ganges or the Nile; a thought Of private recollection sweet and still! Months perish with their moons; year treads on year! But, faithful Emma! thou with me canst say That, while ten thousand pleasures disappear, And flies their memory fast almost as they; The immortal Spirit of one happy day Lingers beside that Rill, in vision clear.

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    Poem by William Wordsworth

    There is a bondage worse, far worse, to bear Than his who breathes, by roof, and floor, and wall, Pent in, a Tyrant’s solitary Thrall: ‘Tis his who walks about in the open air, One of a Nation who, henceforth, must wear Their fetters in their souls. For who could be, Who, even the best, in such condition, free From self-reproach, reproach that he must share With Human-nature? Never be it ours To see the sun how brightly it will shine, And know that noble feelings, manly powers, Instead of gathering strength, must droop and pine; And earth with all her pleasant fruits and flowers Fade, and participate in man’s decline.

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    Poem by William Wordsworth

    The world is too much with us; late and soon, Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers: Little we see in Nature that is ours; We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon! This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon; The winds that will be howling at all hours, And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers; For this, for everything, we are out of tune, It moves us not. Great God! I’d rather be A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn; So might I, standing on this pleasant lea, Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn; Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea; Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.

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    The wishing gate destroyed by William Wordsworth

    ‘Tis gone, with old belief and dream That round it clung, and tempting scheme Released from fear and doubt; And the bright landscape too must lie, By this blank wall, from every eye, Relentlessly shut out. Bear witness ye who seldom passed That opening, but a look ye cast Upon the lake below, What spirit-stirring power it gained From faith which here was entertained, Though reason might say no. Blest is that ground, where, o’er the springs Of history, Glory claps her wings, Fame sheds the exulting tear; Yet earth is wide, and many a nook Unheard of is, like this, a book For modest meanings dear. It was in sooth a happy thought That grafted, on so fair a spot, So confident a token Of coming good; the charm is fled, Indulgent centuries spun a thread, Which one harsh day has broken. Alas! for him who gave the word; Could he no sympathy afford, Derived from earth or heaven,…

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    The wishing gate by William Wordsworth

    [In the vale of Grasmere, by the side of an old highway leading to Ambleside, is a gate, which, from time out of mind, has been called the Wishing-gate, from a belief that wishes formed or indulged there have a favorable issue.] Hope rules a land forever green: All powers that serve the bright-eyed Queen Are confident and gay; Clouds at her bidding disappear; Points she to aught? the bliss draws near, And Fancy smooths the way. Not such the land of Wishes there Dwell fruitless day-dreams, lawless prayer, And thoughts with things at strife; Yet how forlorn, should ye depart Ye superstitions of the heart, How poor, were human life! When magic lore abjured its might, Ye did not forfeit one dear right, One tender claim abate; Witness this symbol of your sway, Surnving near the public way, The rustic Wishing-gate! Inquire not if the faery race Shed kindly influence on the place, Ere northward they retired; If here…

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    The wild duck’s nest by William Wordsworth

    The imperial Consort of the Fairy-king Owns not a sylvan bower; or gorgeous cell With emerald floored, and with purpureal shell Ceilinged and roofed; that is so fair a thing As this low structure, for the tasks of Spring, Prepared by one who loves the buoyant swell Of the brisk waves, yet here consents to dwell; And spreads in steadfast peace her brooding wing. Words cannot paint the o’ershadowing yew-tree bough, And dimly-gleaming Nest, a hollow crown Of golden leaves inlaid with silver down, Fine as the mother’s softest plumes allow: I gazed and, self-accused while gazing, sighed For human-kind, weak slaves of cumbrous pride!

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    The fate of Nortons by William Wordsworth

    DEDICATION In trellised shed with clustering roses gay, And, MARY! oft beside our blazing fire, When yeas of wedded life were as a day Whose current answers to the heart’s desire, Did we together read in Spenser’s Lay How Una, sad of soul in sad attire, The gentle Una, of celestial birth, To seek her Knight went wandering o’er the earth. Ah, then, Beloved! pleasing was the smart, And the tear precious in compassion shed For Her, who, pierced by sorrow’s thrilling dart, Did meekly bear the pang unmerited; Meek as that emblem of her lowly heart The milk-white Lamb which in a line she led, And faithful, loyal in her innocence, Like the brave Lion slain in her defence. Notes could we hear as of a faery shell Attuned to words with sacred wisdom fraught; Free Fancy prized each specious miracle, And all its finer inspiration caught; Till in the bosom of our rustic Cell, We by a lamentable…

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    The waterfall and the eglantine by William Wordsworth

    I “Begone, thou fond presumptuous Elf,” Exclaimed an angry Voice, “Nor dare to thrust thy foolish self Between me and my choice!” A small Cascade fresh swoln with snows Thus threatened a poor Briar-rose, That, all bespattered with his foam, And dancing high and dancing low, Was living, as a child might know, In an unhappy home. II “Dost thou presume my course to block? Off, off! or, puny Thing! I’ll hurl thee headlong with the rock To which thy fibres cling.” The Flood was tyrannous and strong; The patient Briar suffered long, Nor did he utter groan or sigh, Hoping the danger would be past; But, seeing no relief, at last, He ventured to reply. III “Ah!” said the Briar, “blame me not; Why should we dwell in strife? We who in this sequestered spot Once lived a happy life! You stirred me on my rocky bed What pleasure through my veins you spread The summer long, from day…

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    The virgin by William Wordsworth

    Mother! whose virgin bosom was uncrost With the least shade of thought to sin allied. Woman! above all women glorified, Our tainted nature’s solitary boast; Purer than foam on central ocean tost; Brighter than eastern skies at daybreak strewn With fancied roses, than the unblemished moon Before her wane begins on heaven’s blue coast; Thy image falls to earth. Yet some, I ween, Not unforgiven the suppliant knee might bend, As to a visible Power, in which did blend All that was mixed and reconciled in thee Of mother’s love with maiden purity, Of high with low, celestial with terrene!

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    Peter Bell-A Tale by William Wordsworth

    A TALE What’s in a ‘Name’? . . . . . Brutus will start a Spirit as soon as Caesar! PROLOGUE There’s something in a flying horse, There’s something in a huge balloon; But through the clouds I’ll never float Until I have a little Boat, Shaped like the crescent-moon. And now I ‘have’ a little Boat, In shape a very crescent-moon Fast through the clouds my boat can sail; But if perchance your faith should fail, Look up and you shall see me soon! The woods, my Friends, are round you roaring, Rocking and roaring like a sea; The noise of danger’s in your ears, And ye have all a thousand fears Both for my little Boat and me! Meanwhile untroubled I admire The pointed horns of my canoe; And, did not pity touch my breast, To see how ye are all distrest, Till my ribs ached, I’d laugh at you! Away we go, my Boat and I Frail…

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    Personal talk by William Wordsworth

    I I am not One who much or oft delight To season my fireside with personal talk. Of friends, who live within an easy walk, Or neighbours, daily, weekly, in my sight: And, for my chance-acquaintance, ladies bright, Sons, mothers, maidens withering on the stalk, These all wear out of me, like Forms, with chalk Painted on rich men’s floors, for one feast-night. Better than such discourse doth silence long, Long, barren silence, square with my desire; To sit without emotion, hope, or aim, In the loved presence of my cottage-fire, And listen to the flapping of the flame, Or kettle whispering its faint undersong. II “Yet life,” you say, “is life; we have seen and see, And with a living pleasure we describe; And fits of sprightly malice do but bribe The languid mind into activity. Sound sense, and love itself, and mirth and glee Are fostered by the comment and the gibe.” Even be it so; yet still…

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    Once I could hail by William Wordsworth

    “Late, late yestreen I saw the new moone Wi’ the auld moone in hir arme.” ‘Ballad of Sir Patrick Spence, Percy’s Reliques.’ Once I could hail (howe’er serene the sky) The Moon re-entering her monthly round, No faculty yet given me to espy The dusky Shape within her arms imbound, That thin memento of effulgence lost Which some have named her Predecessor’s ghost. Young, like the Crescent that above me shone, Nought I perceived within it dull or dim; All that appeared was suitable to One Whose fancy had a thousand fields to skim; To expectations spreading with wild growth, And hope that kept with me her plighted troth. I saw (ambition quickening at the view) A silver boat launched on a boundless flood; A pearly crest, like Dian’s when it threw Its brightest splendour round a leafy wood; But not a hint from under-ground, no sign Fit for the glimmering brow of Proserpine. Or was it Dian’s self that…

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    On the power of sound by William Wordsworth

    I Thy functions are ethereal, As if within thee dwelt a glancing mind, Organ of vision! And a Spirit aerial Informs the cell of Hearing, dark and blind; Intricate labyrinth, more dread for thought To enter than oracular cave; Strict passage, through which sighs are brought, And whispers for the heart, their slave; And shrieks, that revel in abuse Of shivering flesh; and warbled air, Whose piercing sweetness can unloose The chains of frenzy, or entice a smile Into the ambush of despair; Hosannas pealing down the long-drawn aisle, And requiems answered by the pulse that beats Devoutly, in life’s last retreats! II The headlong streams and fountains Serve Thee, invisible Spirit, with untired powers; Cheering the wakeful tent on Syrian mountains, They lull perchance ten thousand thousand flowers. ‘That’ roar, the prowling lion’s ‘Here I am’, How fearful to the desert wide! That bleat, how tender! of the dam Calling a straggler to her side. Shout, cuckoo! let the…

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    Ode to Lycoris May 1817 by William Wordsworth

    I An age hath been when Earth was proud Of lustre too intense To be sustained; and Mortals bowed The front in self-defence. Who ‘then’, if Dian’s crescent gleamed, Or Cupid’s sparkling arrow streamed While on the wing the Urchin played, Could fearlessly approach the shade? Enough for one soft vernal day, If I, a bard of ebbing time, And nurtured in a fickle clime, May haunt this horned bay; Whose amorous water multiplies The flitting halcyon’s vivid dyes; And smooths her liquid breast to show These swan-like specks of mountain snow, White as the pair that slid along the plains Of heaven, when Venus held the reins! II In youth we love the darksome lawn Brushed by the owlet’s wing; Then, Twilight is preferred to Dawn, And Autumn to the Spring. Sad fancies do we then affect, In luxury of disrespect To our own prodigal excess Of too familiar happiness. Lycoris (if such name befit Thee, thee my life’s…

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    Ode to duty by William Wordsworth

    Jam non consilio bonus, sed more eo perductus, ut non tantum recte facere possim, sed nisi recte facere non possim (Seneca, Letters 130.10) Stern Daughter of the Voice of God! O Duty! if that name thou love Who art a light to guide, a rod To check the erring, and reprove; Thou, who art victory and law When empty terrors overawe; From vain temptations dost set free; And calm’st the weary strife of frail humanity! There are who ask not if thine eye Be on them; who, in love and truth, Where no misgiving is, rely Upon the genial sense of youth: Glad Hearts! without reproach or blot; Who do thy work, and know it not: Oh! if through confidence misplaced They fail, thy saving arms, dread Power! around them cast. Serene will be our days and bright, And happy will our nature be, When love is an unerring light, And joy its own security. And they a blissful course…

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    Ode by William Wordsworth

    I Imagination, ne’er before content, But aye ascending, restless in her pride From all that martial feats could yield To her desires, or to her hopes present Stooped to the Victory, on that Belgic field, Achieved, this closing deed magnificent, And with the embrace was satisfied. Fly, ministers of Fame, With every help that ye from earth and heaven may claim! Bear through the world these tidings of delight! Hours, Days, and Months, ‘have’ borne them in the sight Of mortals, hurrying like a sudden shower That landward stretches from the sea, The morning’s splendours to devour; But this swift travel scorns the company Of irksome change, or threats from saddening power. ‘The shock is given, the Adversaries bleed’ ‘Lo, Justice triumphs! Earth is freed!’ Joyful annunciation! it went forth It pierced the caverns of the sluggish North It found no barrier on the ridge Of Andes, frozen gulphs became its bridge The vast Pacific gladdens with the freight Upon…

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    Poem by William Wordsworth

    O Nightingale! thou surely art A creature of a “fiery heart”: These notes of thine, they pierce and pierce; Tumultuous harmony and fierce! Thou sing’st as if the God of wine Had helped thee to a Valentine; A song in mockery and despite Of shades, and dews, and silent night; And steady bliss, and all the loves Now sleeping in these peaceful groves. I heard a Stock-dove sing or say His homely tale, this very day; His voice was buried among trees, Yet to be come at by the breeze: He did not cease; but cooed, and cooed; And somewhat pensively he wooed: He sang of love, with quiet blending, Slow to begin, and never ending; Of serious faith, and inward glee; That was the song, the song for me!

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    Nutting by William Wordsworth 

    It seems a day (I speak of one from many singled out) One of those heavenly days that cannot die; When, in the eagerness of boyish hope, I left our cottage-threshold, sallying forth With a huge wallet o’er my shoulders slung, A nutting-crook in hand; and turned my steps Tow’rd some far-distant wood, a Figure quaint, Tricked out in proud disguise of cast-off weeds Which for that service had been husbanded, By exhortation of my frugal Dame, Motley accoutrement, of power to smile At thorns, and brakes, and brambles,, and, in truth, More ragged than need was! O’er pathless rocks, Through beds of matted fern, and tangled thickets, Forcing my way, I came to one dear nook Unvisited, where not a broken bough Drooped with its withered leaves, ungracious sign Of devastation; but the hazels rose Tall and erect, with tempting clusters hung, A virgin scene!, A little while I stood, Breathing with such suppression of the heart As joy…

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    Poem by William Wordsworth

    Not Love, not War, nor the tumultuous swell, Of civil conflict, nor the wrecks of change, Nor Duty struggling with afflictions strange Not these ‘alone’ inspire the tuneful shell; But where untroubled peace and concord dwell, There also is the Muse not loth to range, Watching the twilight smoke of cot or grange, Skyward ascending from a woody dell. Meek aspirations please her, lone endeavour, And sage content, and placid melancholy; She loves to gaze upon a crystal river Diaphanous because it travels slowly; Soft is the music that would charm for ever; The flower of sweetest smell is shy and lowly.

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    Poem by William Wordsworth

    Not in the lucid intervals of life That come but as a curse to party-strife; Not in some hour when Pleasure with a sigh Of languor puts his rosy garland by; Not in the breathing-times of that poor slave Who daily piles up wealth in Mammon’s cave Is Nature felt, or can be; nor do words, Which practiced talent readily affords, Prove that her hand has touched responsive chords; Nor has her gentle beauty power to move With genuine rapture and with fervent love The soul of Genius, if he dare to take Life’s rule from passion craved for passion’s sake; Untaught that meekness is the cherished bent Of all the truly great and all the innocent. But who is innocent? By grace divine, Not otherwise, O Nature! we are thine, Through good and evil thine, in just degree Of rational and manly sympathy. To all that Earth from pensive hearts is stealing, And Heaven is now to gladdened eyes…

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    Poem by William Wordsworth

    My heart leaps up when I behold A rainbow in the sky: So was it when my life began; So is it now I am a man; So be it when I shall grow old, Or let me die! The Child is father of the Man; I could wish my days to be Bound each to each by natural piety.

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    Mutability by William Wordsworth

    From low to high doth dissolution climb, And sink from high to low, along a scale Of awful notes, whose concord shall not fail; A musical but melancholy chime, Which they can hear who meddle not with crime, Nor avarice, nor over-anxious care. Truth fails not; but her outward forms that bear The longest date do melt like frosty rime, That in the morning whitened hill and plain And is no more; drop like the tower sublime Of yesterday, which royally did wear His crown of weeds, but could not even sustain Some casual shout that broke the silent air, Or the unimaginable touch of Time.

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    Poem by William Wordsworth

    Most sweet it is with unuplifted eyes To pace the ground, if path be there or none, While a fair region round the traveler lies Which he forbears again to look upon; Pleased rather with some soft ideal scene, The work of Fancy, or some happy tone Of meditation, slipping in between The beauty coming and the beauty gone. If Thought and Love desert us, from that day Let us break off all commerce with the Muse: With Thought and Love companions of our way, Whate’er the senses take or may refuse, The Mind’s internal heaven shall shed her dews Of inspiration on the humblest lay.

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    Michael a pastoral poem by William Wordsworth

    If from the public way you turn your steps Up the tumultuous brook of Green-head Ghyll, You will suppose that with an upright path Your feet must struggle; in such bold ascent The pastoral mountains front you, face to face. But, courage! for around that boisterous brook The mountains have all opened out themselves, And made a hidden valley of their own. No habitation can be seen; but they Who journey thither find themselves alone With a few sheep, with rocks and stones, and kites That overhead are sailing in the sky. It is in truth an utter solitude; Nor should I have made mention of this Dell But for one object which you might pass by, Might see and notice not. Beside the brook Appears a straggling heap of unhewn stones! And to that simple object appertains A story unenriched with strange events, Yet not unfit, I deem, for the fireside, Or for the summer shade. It was the…

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    Memory by William Wordsworth

    A pen, to register; a key That winds through secret wards Are well assigned to Memory By allegoric Bards. As aptly, also, might be given A Pencil to her hand; That, softening objects, sometimes even Outstrips the heart’s demand; That smooths foregone distress, the lines Of lingering care subdues, Long-vanished happiness refines, And clothes in brighter hues; Yet, like a tool of Fancy, works Those Spectres to dilate That startle Conscience, as she lurks Within her lonely seat. Oh! that our lives, which flee so fast, In purity were such, That not an image of the past Should fear that pencil’s touch! Retirement then might hourly look Upon a soothing scene, Age steal to his allotted nook Contented and serene; With heart as calm as lakes that sleep, In frosty moonlight glistening; Or mountain rivers, where they creep Along a channel smooth and deep, To their own far-off murmurs listening.

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    Matthew by William Wordsworth

    If Nature, for a favourite child, In thee hath tempered so her clay, That every hour thy heart runs wild, Yet never once doth go astray, Read o’er these lines; and then review This tablet, that thus humbly rears In such diversity of hue Its history of two hundred years. When through this little wreck of fame, Cipher and syllable! thine eye Has travelled down to Matthew’s name, Pause with no common sympathy. And, if a sleeping tear should wake, Then be it neither checked nor stayed: For Matthew a request I make Which for himself he had not made. Poor Matthew, all his frolics o’er, Is silent as a standing pool; Far from the chimney’s merry roar, And murmur of the village school. The sighs which Matthew heaved were sighs Of one tired out with fun and madness; The tears which came to Matthew’s eyes Were tears of light, the dew of gladness. Yet, sometimes, when the secret cup…

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    Maternal Grief by William Wordsworth

    Departed Child! I could forget thee once Though at my bosom nursed; this woeful gain Thy dissolution brings, that in my soul Is present and perpetually abides A shadow, never, never to be displaced By the returning substance, seen or touched, Seen by mine eyes, or clasped in my embrace. Absence and death how differ they! and how Shall I admit that nothing can restore What one short sigh so easily removed? Death, life, and sleep, reality and thought, Assist me, God, their boundaries to know, O teach me calm submission to thy Will! The Child she mourned had overstepped the pale Of Infancy, but still did breathe the air That sanctifies its confines, and partook Reflected beams of that celestial light To all the Little-ones on sinful earth Not unvouchsafed a light that warmed and cheered Those several qualities of heart and mind Which, in her own blest nature, rooted deep, Daily before the Mother’s watchful eye, And not…

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    Lucy Gray by William Wordsworth

    Oft I had heard of Lucy Gray, And when I cross’d the Wild, I chanc’d to see at break of day The solitary Child. No Mate, no comrade Lucy knew; She dwelt on a wild Moor, The sweetest Thing that ever grew Beside a human door! You yet may spy the Fawn at play, The Hare upon the Green; But the sweet face of Lucy Gray Will never more be seen. “To-night will be a stormy night, You to the Town must go, And take a lantern, Child, to light Your Mother thro’ the snow.” “That, Father! will I gladly do; ‘Tis scarcely afternoon, The Minster-clock has just struck two, And yonder is the Moon.” At this the Father rais’d his hook And snapp’d a faggot-band; He plied his work, and Lucy took The lantern in her hand. Not blither is the mountain roe, With many a wanton stroke Her feet disperse, the powd’ry snow That rises up like smoke.…

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    Love lies bleeding by William Wordsworth

    You call it, “Love lies bleeding,” so you may, Though the red Flower, not prostrate, only droops, As we have seen it here from day to day, From month to month, life passing not away: A flower how rich in sadness! Even thus stoops, (Sentient by Grecian sculpture’s marvelous power) Thus leans, with hanging brow and body bent Earthward in uncomplaining languishment The dying Gladiator. So, sad Flower! (‘Tis Fancy guides me willing to be led, Though by a slender thread,) So drooped Adonis bathed in sanguine dew Of his death-wound, when he from innocent air The gentlest breath of resignation drew; While Venus in a passion of despair Rent, weeping over him, her golden hair Spangled with drops of that celestial shower. She suffered, as Immortals sometimes do; But pangs more lasting far, ‘that’ Lover knew Who first, weighed down by scorn, in some lone bower Did press this semblance of unpitied smart Into the service of his constant…

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    Smoke by Henry David Thoreau

    Light-winged Smoke, Icarian bird, Melting thy pinions in thy upward flight, Lark without song, and messenger of dawn, Circling above the hamlets as thy nest; Or else, departing dream, and shadowy form Of midnight vision, gathering up thy skirts; By night star-veiling, and by day Darkening the light and blotting out the sun; Go thou my incense upward from this hearth, And ask the gods to pardon this clear flame.

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    Poem by Henry David Thoreau

    Pray to what earth does this sweet cold belong, Which asks no duties and no conscience? The moon goes up by leaps, her cheerful path In some far summer stratum of the sky, While stars with their cold shine bedot her way. The fields gleam mildly back upon the sky, And far and near upon the leafless shrubs The snow dust still emits a silver light. Under the hedge, where drift banks are their screen, The titmice now pursue their downy dreams, As often in the sweltering summer nights The bee doth drop asleep in the flower cup, When evening overtakes him with his load. By the brooksides, in the still, genial night, The more adventurous wanderer may hear The crystals shoot and form, and winter slow Increase his rule by gentlest summer means.

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    Poem by Henry David Thoreau

    Low-anchored cloud, Newfoundland air, Fountain-head and source of rivers, Dew-cloth, dream-drapery, And napkin spread by fays; Drifting meadow of the air, Where bloom the daisied banks and violets, And in whose fenny labyrinth The bittern booms and heron wades; Spirit of lakes and seas and rivers, Bear only perfumes and the scent Of healing herbs to just men’s fields!

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    Let such pure Hate still underprop by Henry David Thoreau

    “Friends, Romans, Countrymen, and Lovers.” Let such pure hate still underprop Our love, that we may be Each other’s conscience, And have our sympathy Mainly from thence. We’ll one another treat like gods, And all the faith we have In virtue and in truth, bestow On either, and suspicion leave To gods below. Two solitary stars– Unmeasured systems far Between us roll; But by our conscious light we are Determined to one pole. What need confound the sphere?– Love can afford to wait; For it no hour’s too late That witnesseth one duty’s end, Or to another doth beginning lend. It will subserve no use, More than the tints of flowers; Only the independent guest Frequents its bowers, Inherits its bequest. No speech, though kind, has it; But kinder silence doles Unto its mates; By night consoles, By day congratulates. What saith the tongue to tongue? What hearest ear of ear? By the decrees of fate From year to year,…

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    Inspiration by Henry David Thoreau

    Whate’er we leave to God, God does, And blesses us; The work we choose should be our own, God leaves alone. If with light head erect I sing, Though all the Muses lend their force, From my poor love of anything, The verse is weak and shallow as its source. But if with bended neck I grope Listening behind me for my wit, With faith superior to hope, More anxious to keep back than forward it; Making my soul accomplice there Unto the flame my heart hath lit, Then will the verse forever wear– Time cannot bend the line which God hath writ. Always the general show of things Floats in review before my mind, And such true love and reverence brings, That sometimes I forget that I am blind. But now there comes unsought, unseen, Some clear divine electuary, And I, who had but sensual been, Grow sensible, and as God is, am wary. I hearing get, who had…

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    Poem by Thoreau

    Indeed, indeed, I cannot tell, Though I ponder on it well, Which were easier to state, All my love or all my hate. Surely, surely, thou wilt trust me When I say thou dost disgust me. O, I hate thee with a hate That would fain annihilate; Yet sometimes against my will, My dear friend, I love thee still. It were treason to our love, And a sin to God above, One iota to abate Of a pure impartial hate.

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    Poem by Henry David Thoreau

    I knew a man by sight, A blameless wight, Who, for a year or more, Had daily passed my door, Yet converse none had had with him. I met him in a lane, Him and his cane, About three miles from home, Where I had chanced to roam, And volumes stared at him, and he at me. In a more distant place I glimpsed his face, And bowed instinctively; Starting he bowed to me, Bowed simultaneously, and passed along. Next, in a foreign land I grasped his hand, And had a social chat, About this thing and that, As I had known him well a thousand years. Late in a wilderness I shared his mess, For he had hardships seen, And I a wanderer been; He was my bosom friend, and I was his. And as, methinks, shall all, Both great and small, That ever lived on earth, Early or late their birth, Stranger and foe, one day each other…

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    I am the autumnal sun by Henry David Thoreau

    Sometimes a mortal feels in himself Nature — not his Father but his Mother stirs within him, and he becomes immortal with her immortality. From time to time she claims kindredship with us, and some globule from her veins steals up into our own. I am the autumnal sun, With autumn gales my race is run; When will the hazel put forth its flowers, Or the grape ripen under my bowers? When will the harvest or the hunter’s moon Turn my midnight into mid-noon? I am all sere and yellow, And to my core mellow. The mast is dropping within my woods, The winter is lurking within my moods, And the rustling of the withered leaf Is the constant music of my grief….

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    Friendship by Henry David Thoreau

    I think awhile of Love, and while I think, Love is to me a world, Sole meat and sweetest drink, And close connecting link Tween heaven and earth. I only know it is, not how or why, My greatest happiness; However hard I try, Not if I were to die, Can I explain. I fain would ask my friend how it can be, But when the time arrives, Then Love is more lovely Than anything to me, And so I’m dumb. For if the truth were known, Love cannot speak, But only thinks and does; Though surely out ’twill leak Without the help of Greek, Or any tongue. A man may love the truth and practise it, Beauty he may admire, And goodness not omit, As much as may befit To reverence. But only when these three together meet, As they always incline, And make one soul the seat, And favorite retreat, Of loveliness; When under kindred shape, like loves…

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    Conscience by Henry David Thoreau

    Conscience is instinct bred in the house, Feeling and Thinking propagate the sin By an unnatural breeding in and in. I say, Turn it out doors, Into the moors. I love a life whose plot is simple, And does not thicken with every pimple, A soul so sound no sickly conscience binds it, That makes the universe no worse than ‘t finds it. I love an earnest soul, Whose mighty joy and sorrow Are not drowned in a bowl, And brought to life to-morrow; That lives one tragedy, And not seventy; A conscience worth keeping; Laughing not weeping; A conscience wise and steady, And forever ready; Not changing with events, Dealing in compliments; A conscience exercised about Large things, where one may doubt. I love a soul not all of wood, Predestinated to be good, But true to the backbone Unto itself alone, And false to none; Born to its own affairs, Its own joys and own cares; By whom…

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    The choir invisible by George Eliot

    Oh, may I join the choir invisible Of those immortal dead who live again In minds made better by their presence; live In pulses stirred to generosity, In deeds of daring rectitude, in scorn For miserable aims that end with self, In thoughts sublime that pierce the night like stars, And with their mild persistence urge men’s search To vaster issues. So to live is heaven: To make undying music in the world, Breathing a beauteous order that controls With growing sway the growing life of man. So we inherit that sweet purity For which we struggled, failed, and agonized With widening retrospect that bred despair. Rebellious flesh that would not be subdued, A vicious parent shaming still its child, Poor anxious penitence, is quick dissolved; Its discords, quenched by meeting harmonies, Die in the large and charitable air, And all our rarer, better, truer self That sobbed religiously in yearning song, That watched to ease the burden of the…