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LINES WRITTEN IN EARLY SPRING One morning thus, by Esthwaite lake,

When life was sweet, I knew not why, I heard a thousand blended notes, To me my good friend Matthew spake, 15 While in a grove I sat reclined,

And thus I made reply: In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts

“The eyeit cannot choose but see; Bring sad thoughts to the mind.

We cannot bid the ear be still;

Our bodies feel, where'er they be, To her fair works did Nature link

Against or with our will.

20 The human soul that through me ran; And much it grieved my heart to think "Nor less I deem that there are Powers What man has made of man.

Which of themselves our minds impress;

That we can feed this mind of ours Through primrose tufts, in that green In a wise passiveness.

bower, The periwinkle trailed its wreaths;

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“Think you, 'mid all this mighty sum 25 And 'tis my faith that every flower Of things forever speaking, Enjoys the air it breathes.

That nothing of itself will come,

But we must still be seeking? The birds around me hopped and played, Their thoughts I cannot measure: “—Then ask not wherefore, here, alone, But the least motion which they made 15 Conversing as I may, It seemed a thrill of pleasure.

I sit upon this old grey stone,

And dream my time away.”
The budding twigs spread out their fan,
To catch the breezy air;
And I must think, do all I can,

THE TABLES TURNED
That there was pleasure there.

An Evening Scene on the same Subject If this belief from heaven be sent, If such be nature's holy plan,

Up! up! my friend, and quit your books; Have I not reason to lament

Or surely you'll grow double:
What man has made of man?

Up! up! my friend, and clear your looks;
Why all this toil and trouble?

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One impulse from a vernal wood

Of vagrant dwellers in the houseless woods, May teach you more of man,

Or of some hermit's cave, where by his Of moral evil and of good,

fire

21 Than all the sages can.

The hermit sits alone.

These beauteous forms, Sweet is the lore which Nature brings; 25 Through a long absence, have not been Our meddling intellect

to me Misshapes the beauteous forms of things: As is a landscape to a blind man's eye: We murder to dissect.

But oft, in lonely rooms, and ’mid the din 25

Of towns and cities, I have owed to them Enough of Science and of Art;

In hours of weariness, sensations sweet, Close up those barren leaves;

30 Felt in the blood, and felt along the Come forth, and bring with you a heart heart; That watches and receives.

And passing even into my purer mind,
With tranquil restoration feelings too 30
Of unremembered pleasure: such, perhaps,

As have no slight or trivial influence LINES COMPOSED A FEW MILES On that best portion of a good man's life,

ABOVE TINTERN ABBEY, ON RE- His little, nameless, unremembered acts VISITING THE BANKS OF THE Of kindness and of love. Nor less, I trust, WYE DURING A TOUR

To them I may have owed another gift, 36

Of aspect more sublime; that blessed JULY 13, 1798

mood,

In which the burthen of the mystery, Five years have past; five summers, with In which the heavy and the weary weight the length Of all this unintelligible world,

40 Of five long winters! and again I hear Is lightened:—that serene and blessed These waters, rolling from their mountain mood springs

In which the affections gently lead us on, With a soft inland murmur.Once again Until, the breath of this corporeal frame Do I behold these steep and lofty cliffs, 5 | And even the motion of our human blood That on a wild secluded scene impress Almost suspended, we are laid asleep 45 Thoughts of more deep seclusion; and con In body, and become a living soul: nect

While with an eye made quiet by the The landscape with the quiet of the

power

Of harmony, and the deep power of joy, The day is come when I again repose We see into the life of things. Here, under this dark sycamore, and view

If this These plots of cottage-ground, these Be but a vain belief, yet, oh! how oft— 50 orchard-tufts,

II In darkness and amid the many shapes Which at this season, with their unripe Of joyless daylight; when the fretful stir fruits,

Unprofitable, and the fever of the world, Are clad in one green hue, and lose them Have hung upon the beatings of my selves

heart'Mid groves and copses. Once again I see | How oft, in spirit, have I turned to thee, 55 These hedgerows, hardly hedgerows, little O sylvan Wye! thou wanderer through the lines

15 woods, Of sportive wood run wild: these pastoral How often has my spirit turned to thee! farms,

And now, with gleams of half-extinGreen to the very door; and wreaths of guished thought, smoke

With many recognitions dim and faint, Sent up, in silence, from among the trees! | And somewhat of a sad perplexity, 60 With some uncertain notice, as might The picture of the mind revives again: seem

While here I stand, not only with the sense

I near

sky.

110

Of present pleasure, but with pleasing A motion and a spirit, that impels 100 thoughts

All thinking things, all objects of all That in this moment there is life and food thought, For future years. And so I dare to hope, 65 And rolls through all things. Therefore Though changed, no doubt, from what am I still I was when first

A lover of the meadows and the woods, I came among these hills; when like a roe And mountains; and of all that we beI bounded o'er the mountains, by the hold sides

From this green earth; of all the mighty Of the deep rivers, and the lonely streams, I world

105 Wherever nature led: more like a man 70 Of eye, and ear,—both what they half Flying from something that he dreads, create, than one

And what perceive; well pleased to recogWho sought the thing he loved. For nize nature then

In nature and the language of the sense, (The coarser pleasures of my boyish days, The anchor of my purest thoughts, the And their glad animal movements all gone nurse, by)

The guide, the guardian of my heart, and To me was all in all.-I cannot paint 75 soul What then I was. The sounding cataract Of all my moral being. Haunted me like a passion; the tall rock,

Nor perchance, The mountain, and the deep and gloomy If I were not thus taught, should I the wood,

more Their colors and their forms, were then to Suffer my genial spirits to decay: me

For thou art with me here upon the banks An appetite; a feeling and a love, 80 Of this fair river; thou my dearest friend, NIThat had no need of a remoter charm, My dear, dear friend; and in thy voice I By thought supplied, nor any interest

catch Unborrowed from the eye.—That time is The language of my former heart, and past,

read And all its aching joys are now no more, My former pleasures in the shooting lights And all its dizzy raptures. Not for this 85 Of thy wild eyes. Oh! yet a little while Faint I, nor mourn, nor murmur; other May I behold in thee what I was once, 120 gifts

My dear, dear sister! and this prayer I Have followed; for such loss, I would make, believe,

Knowing that Nature never did betray | Abundant recompense. For I have The heart that loved her; 'tis her privilege, learned

Through all the years of this our life, to To look on nature, not as in the hour

lead Of thoughtless youth; but hearing often From joy to joy: for she can so inform 125 times

The mind that is within us, so impress The still, sad music of humanity,

With quietness and beauty, and so feed Nor harsh nor grating, though of ample With lofty thoughts, that neither evil power

tongues, To chasten and subdue. And I have Rash judgments, nor the sneers of selfish felt

men, A presence that disturbs me with the Nor greetings where no kindness is, nor joy

all

130 Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime, 95 The dreary intercourse of daily life, Of something far more deeply interfused, Shall e'er prevail against us, or disturb 11 Whose dwelling is the light of setting Our cheerful faith, that all which we besuns,

hold And the round ocean and the living air, Is full of blessings. Therefore let the And the blue sky, and in the mind of man; ! moon

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90

20

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Shine on thee in thy solitary walk; 135 To-night will be a stormy night-
And let the misty mountain-winds be You to the town must go;
free
And take a lantern, Child, to light

15
To blow against thee: and, in after years, Your mother through the snow.'
When these wild ecstasies shall be matured
Into a sober pleasure; when thy mind

“That, Father! will I gladly do: Shall be a mansion for all lovely forms, 140

'Tis scarcely afternoonThy memory be as a dwelling-place

The minster-clock has just struck two, For all sweet sounds and harmonies; oh! | And yonder is the moon!”.

20 then, If solitude, or fear, or pain, or grief,

At this the father raised his hook, Should be thy portion, with what healing

And snapped a faggot-band; thoughts

He plied his work;—and Lucy took Of tender joy wilt thou remember me, 145

The lantern in her hand. And these my exhortations! Nor, per

Not blither is the mountain roe: 25 chance

With many a wanton stroke If I should be where I no more can hear

Her feet disperse the powdery snow,
Thy voice, nor catch from thy wild eyes

That rises up like smoke.
these gleams
Of past existence-wilt thou then forget | The storm came on before its time:
That on the banks of this delightful

She wandered up and down; stream

150

And many a hill did Lucy climb:
We stood together; and that I, so long

But never reached the town.
A worshipper of Nature, hither came
Unwearied in that service: rather say The wretched parents all that night
With warmer love oh! with far deeper Went shouting far and wide;
zeal

But there was neither sound nor sight 35
Of holier love. Nor wilt thou then forget, To serve them for a guide.
That after many wanderings, many years
Of absence, these steep woods and lofty

At daybreak on a hill they stood cliffs,

157

That overlooked the moor; And this green pastoral landscape, were And thence they saw the bridge of wood, to me A furlong from their door.

40 More dear, both for themselves and for thy sake!

They wept-and, turning homeward,

cried,
“In heaven we all shall meet;"

-When in the snow the mother spied LUCY GRAY; OR, SOLITUDE

The print of Lucy's feet.
Then downwards from the steep hill's
edge

45 And, when I crossed the wild,

They tracked the footmarks small; I chanced to see at break of day

And through the broken hawthorn hedge, The solitary child.

And by the long stone-wall;
No mate, no comrade Lucy knew; 5 And then an open field they crossed:
She dwelt on a wide moor,

The marks were still the same;
-The sweetest thing that ever grew They tracked them on, nor ever lost;
Beside a human door!

And to the bridge they came.
You yet may spy the fawn at play, They followed from the snowy bank
The hare upon the green;

10 | Those footmarks, one by one, But the sweet face of Lucy Gray Into the middle of the plank;

55 Will never more be seen.

And further there were none!

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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; 5

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

With rocks, and stones, and trees.

THE PRELUDE

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,10 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; 15 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; 20

Nor shall she fail to see

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