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She shall be mine, and I will make

A Lady of my own. 6

"Myself will to my darling bo

Both law and impulse: and with mo

The Girl, in rock and plain,

In earth and heaven, in glade and bower,

Shall feel an overseeing power

To kindle or restrain. 12

"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. 18

"The floating clouds their state Bhall 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. 2i

"The stars of midnight shall be dear

To her; and she shall lean her ear

In many a secret place

Where rivulets dance their wayward round,

And beauty born of murmuring sound

Shall pass into her face. 30

"And vital feelings of delight

Shall rear her form to stately height,

Her virgin bosom swell;

Such thoughts to Lucy I will give

While she and I together live

Here in this happy dell.'' 36

Thus Nature spake.—The work was done—■

How soon my Lucy's race was run!

She died, and left to me

This heath, this calm, and quiet scene;

The memory of what has been,

And never more will be. 42

A SLUMBER DID MY SPIRIT SEAL
A Slumber did my spirit seal;

I had no human fears:
She seemed a thing that could not feel

The touch of earthly years.

No motion has she now, no force;

She neither hears nor sees;
Rolled round in earth's diurnal course,

With rocks, and stones, and trees.

LUCY GRAY

OB, SOLITUDE

Oft I had heard of Lucy Gray:
And, when I crossed the wild,

I chanced to see at break of day
The solitary child.

No mate, no comrade Lucy knew;

She dwelt on a wide moor,

—The sweetest thing that ever grew

Beside a human door! S

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 through the snow." 16

"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 raised his hook,

And snapped a faggot-band;

He plied his work;—and Lucy took

The lantern in her hand. 24

Not blither is the mountain roe:
With many a wanton stroke
Her feet disperse the powdery snow,
That rises up like smoke.

The storm came on before its time:

She wandered up and down;

And many a hill did Lucy climb:

But never reached the town. 32

The wretched parents all that night
Went shouting far and wide;
But there was neither sound nor sight
To serve them for a guide.

At daybreak on the hill they stood

That overlooked the moor;

And thence they saw the bridge of wood,

A furlong from their door. 40

They wept—and, turning homeward, cried,
"In heaven we all shall meet;"
—When in the snow the mother spied
The print of Lucy's feet.

Then downwards from the steep hill's edge
They tracked the footmarks small;
And through the broken hawthorn hedge,
And by the long Btonc-wall; 48
And then an open field they crossed:
The marks were still the same;
They tracked them on, nor ever lost;
And to the bridge they came.

They followed from the snowy bank

Those footmarks, one by one,

Into the middle of the plank;

And further there were none! 66

—Yet some maintain that to this day
She is a living child;
That you may see sweet Lucy Gray
Upon the lonesome wild.

O'er rough and smooth she trips along,

And never looks behind;

And sings a solitary song

That whistles in the wind. 6<

THE PRELUDE; OR, GROWTH OP A POET'S MIND

From Book L Childhood

Pair seed-time had my soul, and I grew up
Fostered alike by beauty and by fear:
Much favoured in my birth-place, and no less
In that beloved Vale' to which erelong
We were transplanted;—there were we let loose
For sports of wider range. Ere I had told
Ten birth-days, when among the mountain
slopes

Frost, and the breath of frosty wind, had snapped

The last autumnal crocus, 'twas my joy
With store of springes o 'er my shoulder hung 310
To range the open heights where woodcocks run
Along the smooth green turf. Through half the
night,

Scudding away from snare to snare, I plied
That anxious visitation;—moon and stars
Were shining o'er my head. I was alone,
And seemed to be a trouble to the peace
That dwelt among them. Sometimes it befell
In these night wanderings, that a strong desire
O'rpowered my better reason, and the bird
Which was the captive of another's toil 320
Became my prey; and when the deed was done
I heard among the solitary hills
Low breathings coming after me, and sounds
Of undistinguishable motion, steps
Almost as silent as the turf they trod.

Nor less, when spring had warmed the cultured Vale,

l Esthwalte, Lancashire, where, at the village of Hawkshcad, Wordsworth attended school.

Moved we as plunderers where the mother-bird Had in high places built her lodge; though mean

Our object and inglorious, yet the end
Was not ignoble. Oh! when I have hung 330
Above the raven's nest, by knots of grass
And half-inch fissures in the slippery rock
But ill sustained, and almost (so it seemed)
Suspended by the blast that blew amain,
Shouldering the naked crag, oh, at that time
While on the perilous ridge I hung alone.
With what strange utterance did the loud dry
wind

Blow through my ear! the sky seemed not a sky Of earth—and with what motion moved the clouds!

Dust as we are, the immortal spirit grows 340
Like harmony in music; there is a dark
Inscrutable workmanship that reconciles
Discordant elements, makes them cling together
In one society. How strange, that all
The terrors, pains, and early miseries,
Regrets, vexations, lassitudes interfused
Within my mind, should e'er have borne a part,
And that a needful part, in making up
The calm existence that is mine when I
Am worthy of myself! Praise to the end! 350
Thanks to the means which Nature deigned to
employ;

Whether her fearless visitings, or those
That came with soft alarm, like hurtless light
Opening the peaceful clouds; or she would use
Severer interventions, ministry
More palpable, as best might suit her aim.

One summer evening (led by her) I found
A little boat tied to a willow tree
Within a rocky cave, its usual home. 359
Straight I unloosed her chain, and stepping in
Pushed from the shore. It was an act of stealth
And troubled pleasure, nor without the voice
Of mountain-echoes did my boat move on;
Leaving behind her still, on either side,
Small circles glittering idly in the moon,
Until they melted all into one track
Of sparkling light. But now, like one who rows,
Proud of his skill, to reach a chosen point
With an unswerving line, I fixed my view
Upon the summit of a craggy ridge, 370
The horizon's utmost boundary; far above
Was nothing but the stars and the grey sky.
She was an elfin pinnace; lustily
I dipped my oars into the silent lake,
And, as I rose upon the stroke, my boat
Went heaving through the water like a swan;
When, from behind that craggy steep till then

The horizon'8 bound, a huge peak, black and huge,

As if with voluntary power instinct, 370
Upreared its head. I struck and struck again,
And growing still in stature the grim shape
Towered up between me and the stars, and still,
For so it seemed, with purpose of its own
And measured motion like a living thing,
Strode after me. With trembling oars I turned,
And through the silent water stole my way
Back to the covert of the willow tree;
There in her mooring-place I left my bark,—
And through the meadows homeward went, in
grave

And serious mood; but after I had seen 39"
That spectacle, for many days, my brain
Worked with a dim and undetermined sense
Of unknown modes of being; o'er my thoughts
There hung a darkness, call it solitude
Or blank desertion. No familiar shapes
Remained, no pleasant images of trees,
Of sea or sky, no colours of green fields;
But huge and mighty forms, that do not live
Like living men, moved slowly through the mind
By day, and were a trouble to my dreams. 400

Wisdom and Spirit of the universe!
Thou Soul that art the eternity of thought
That givest to forms and images a breath
And everlasting motion, not in vain
By day or star-light thus from my first dawn
Of childhood didst thou intertwine for me
The passions that build up our human soul;
Not with the mean and vulgar works of man,
But with high objects, with enduring things—
With life and nature—purifying thus <10
The elements of feeling and of thought,
And sanctifying, by such discipline,
Both pain and fear, until we recognize
A grandeur in the beatings of the heart.
Nor was this fellowship vouchsafed to me
With stinted kindness. In November days,
When vapours rolling down the valley made
A lonely scene more lonesome, among woods,
At noon and 'mid the calm of summer nights,
When, by the margin of the trembling lake, <20
Beneath the gloomy hills homeward I went
In solitude, such intercourse was mine;
Mine was it in the fields both day and night,
And by the waters, all the summer long.

And in the frosty season, when the sun Was set, and visible for many a mile The cottage windows blazed through twilight gloom,

I heeded not their summons: happy time

It was indeed for all of us—for me

It was a time of rapture! Clear and loud <30

The village clock tolled six,—I wheeled about,
Proud and exulting like an untired horse
That cares not for his home. All shod with
steel,

We hissed along the polished ice in games
Confederate, imitative of the chase
And woodland pleasures,—the resounding horn,
The pack loud chiming, and the hunted hare.
So through the darkness and the cold we flew,
And not a voice was idle; with the din
Smitten, the precipices rang aloud; 440
The leafless trees and every icy crag
Tinkled like iron; while far distant hills
Into the tumult sent an alien sound
Of melancholy not unnoticed, while the stars
Eastward were sparkling clear, and in the west
The orange sky of evening died away.
Not seldom from the uproar I retired
Into a silent bay, or sportively
Glanced sideway, leaving the tumultuous throng,
To cut across the reflex of a star 450
That fled, and, flying still before me, gleamed
Upon the glassy plain; and oftentimes,
When we had given our bodies to the wind,
And all the shadowy banks on either side
Came sweeping through the darkness, spinning
still

The rapid line of motion, then at once
Have I, reclining back upon my heals.
Stopped short; yet still the solitary cliffs
Wheeled by me—even as if the earth had rolled
With visible motion her diurnal round! 460
Behind me did they stretch in solemn train,
Feebler and feebler, and I stood and watched
Till all was tranquil as a dreamless sleep.

Ye Presences of Nature in the sky
And on the earth! Ye Visions of the hills!
And Souls of lonely places! can I think
A vulgar hope was yours when ye employed
Such ministry, when ye, through many a year
Haunting me thus among my boyish sports,
On caves and trees, upon the woods and hills, 470
Impressed, upon all forms, the characters
Of danger or desire; and thus did make
The surface of the universal earth,
With triumph and delight, with hope and fear,
Work like a seat

Not uselessly employed, Might I pursue this theme through every change Of exercise and play, to which the year Did summon us in his delightful round.

From Book V

There was a Boy: ye knew him well, ye cliffs And islands of Winander!2—many a time

2 WInandermere, now Windermere, a lake In Westmoreland.

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, 369
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 a lengthened pause

Of silence came and baffled his best skill, 380

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 unawares into his mind,

With all its solemn imagery, its rocks,

Its woods, and that uncertain heaven, received

Into the bosom of the steady lake.

This Boy was taken from his mates, and died In childhood, ere he was full twelve years old. Fair is the spot, most beautiful the vale 391 Where ho was born; the grassy churchyard hangs

Upon a slope above the village-school,
And through that churchyard when my way has
led

On summer-evenings, I believe that there
A long half hour together I have stood
Mute, looking at the grave in which he lies!

MY HEART LEAPS UP WHEN I BEHOLD

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;
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.*

THE SOLITARY REAPER
Behold her, single in the field,
Yon solitary Highland Lass!
Reaping and singing by herself;
Stop here, or gently pass!
Alone she cuts and binds the grain,
And sings a melancholy strain;
O listen! for the Vale profound
Is overflowing with the sound. 8
» religious regard for nature

No Nightingale did ever chant

More welcome notes to weary bands

Of travellers in some shady haunt,

Among Arabian sands:

A voice so thrilling ne'er was heard

In spring-time from the Cuckoo-bird,

Breaking the silence of the seas

Among the farthest Hebrides. M

Will no one tell me what she sings f—

Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow

For old, unhappy, far-off things,

And battles long ago:

Or is it some more humble lay,

Familiar matter of to-day t

Some natural sorrow, loss, or pain,

That has been, and may be again f 24

Whate'er the theme, the Maiden sang

As if her song could have no ending;

I saw her singing at her work,

And o'er the sickle bending;—

I listened, motionless and still;

And, as I mounted up the hill

The music in my heart I bore,

Long after it was heard no more. 32

TO THE CUCKOO

0 blithe New-comer! I have heard,

1 hear thee and rejoice.

0 Cuckoo! shall I call thee Bird, Or but a wandering Voice?

While I am lying on the grass

Thy twofold shout I hear,

From hill to hill it seems to pass,

At once far off, and near. t

Though babbling only to the Vale,
Of sunshine and of flowers,
Thou bringest unto me a tale
Of visionary hours.

Thrice welcome, darling of the Spring!

Even yet thou art to me

No bird, but an invisible thing,

A voice, a mystery; 1<

The same whom in my Bchool-boy days

1 listened to; that Cry

Which made me look a thousand ways
In bush, and tree, and sky.

To seek thee did I often rove

Through woods and on the green;

And thou wert still a hope, a love;

Still longed for, never seen. 24

And I can listen to thee yet;
Can He upon the plain
And listen, till I do beget
That golden time again.

O blessed Bird! the earth we pace

Again appears to be

An unsubstantial, faery place;

That is fit home for Thee! 32

SHE WAS A PHANTOM OF DELIGHT*

She was a Phantom of delight

When first she gleamed upon my sight;

A lovely Apparition sent

To be a moment's ornament;

Her eyes as stars of Twilight fair;

Like Twilight's, too, her dusky hair;

But all things else about her drawn

From May-time and the cheerful Dawn;

A dancing Shape, an Image gay,

To haunt, to startle, and way-lay. 10

I saw her upon nearer view,

A Spirit, yet a Woman too!

Her household motions light and free,

And steps of virgin-liberty;

A countenance in which did meet

Sweet records, promises as sweet;

A Creature not too bright or good

For human nature's daily food;

For transient sorrows, simple wiles,

Praise, blame, love, kisses, tears, and smiles. 20

And now I see with eye serene

The very pulse of the machine;

A Being breathing thoughtful breath,

A Traveller between life and death;

The reason firm, the temperate will,

Endurance, foresight, strength, and skill;

A perfect Woman, nobly planned,

To warn, to comfort, and command;

And yet a Spirit still, and bright

With something of angelic light. 30

I WANDERED LONELY AS A CLOUD
1 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. 6

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:

• Written of Mrs. Wordsworth.

Ten thousand saw I at a glance,

Tossing their heads in sprightly dance. 12

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: 18

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. 24

ODE TO DUTY

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: 1

And calm'st the weary strife of frail humanity!

There are who ask not if thine eyo
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. 16

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 may hold
Even now, who, not unwisely bold,
Live in the spirit of this creed;
Yet seek thy firm support, according to their
need. 24

I, loving freedom, and untried,
No sport of every random gust,
Yet being to myself a guide,
Too blindly have reposed my trust:
And oft, when in my heart was heard
Thy timely mandate, I deferred
The task, in smoother walks to stray;
But thee T now would serve more strictly, if I
may. 32

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