Williom Wordsworth Short Poems
- BARD of the Fleece, whose skilful genius made
That work a living landscape fair and bright;
Nor hallowed less with musical delight
Than those soft scenes through which thy childhood strayed,
Those southern tracts of Cambria, ‘deep embayed,
With green hills fenced, with ocean’s murmur lulled;’
Though hasty Fame hath many a chaplet culled
For worthless brows, while in the pensive shade
Of cold neglect she leaves thy head ungraced,
Yet pure and powerful minds, hearts meek and still,
A grateful few, shall love thy modest Lay,
Long as the shepherd’s bleating flock shall stray
O’er naked Snowdon’s wide aerial waste;
Long as the thrush shall pipe on Grongar Hill!
- 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.
- She dwelt among the untrodden ways
Beside the springs of Dove,
Maid whom there were none to praise
And very few to love:
A violet by a mossy stone
Half hidden from the eye!
—Fair as a star, when only one
Is shining in the sky.
She lived unknown, and few could know
When Lucy ceased to be;
But she is in her grave, and, oh,
The difference to me!
- 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.
- Let other bards of angels sing,
Bright suns without a spot;
But thou art no such perfect thing:
Rejoice that thou art not!
Heed not tho’ none should call thee fair;
So, Mary, let it be
If nought in loveliness compare
With what thou art to me.
True beauty dwells in deep retreats,
Whose veil is unremoved
Till heart with heart in concord beats,
And the lover is beloved.
- THE Voice of song from distant lands shall call
To that great King; shall hail the crowned Youth
Who, taking counsel of unbending Truth,
By one example hath set forth to all
How they with dignity may stand; or fall,
If fall they must. Now, whither doth it tend?
And what to him and his shall be the end?
That thought is one which neither can appal
Nor cheer him; for the illustrious Swede hath done
The thing which ought to be; is raised ‘above’
All consequences: work he hath begun
Of fortitude, and piety, and love,
Which all his glorious ancestors approve:
The heroes bless him, him their rightful son.
- VANGUARD of Liberty, ye men of Kent,
Ye children of a Soil that doth advance
Her haughty brow against the coast of France,
Now is the time to prove your hardiment!
To France be words of invitation sent!
They from their fields can see the countenance
Of your fierce war, may ken the glittering lance
And hear you shouting forth your brave intent.
Left single, in bold parley, ye, of yore,
Did from the Norman win a gallant wreath;
Confirmed the charters that were yours before;–
No parleying now! In Britain is one breath;
We all are with you now from shore to shore:–
Ye men of Kent, ’tis victory or death!
- No fiction was it of the antique age:
A sky-blue stone, within this sunless cleft,
Is of the very footmarks unbereft
Which tiny Elves impressed; – on that smooth stage
Dancing with all their brilliant equipage
In secret revels – haply after theft
Of some sweet Babe – Flower stolen, and coarse Weed left
For the distracted Mother to assuage
Her grief with, as she might! – But, where, oh! where
Is traceable a vestige of the notes
That ruled those dances wild in character? –
Deep underground? Or in the upper air,
On the shrill wind of midnight? or where floats
O’er twilight fields the autumnal gossamer?
- CLARKSON! it was an obstinate hill to climb:
How toilsome–nay, how dire–it was, by thee
Is known; by none, perhaps, so feelingly:
But thou, who, starting in thy fervent prime,
Didst first lead forth that enterprise sublime,
Hast heard the constant Voice its charge repeat,
Which, out of thy young heart’s oracular seat,
First roused thee.–O true yoke-fellow of Time,
Duty’s intrepid liegeman, see, the palm
Is won, and by all Nations shall be worn!
The blood-stained Writing is for ever torn;
And thou henceforth wilt have a good man’s calm,
A great man’s happiness; thy zeal shall find
Repose at length, firm friend of human kind!
- ”You are preparing as before,
To deck your slender shape;
And yet, just three years back–no more–
You had a strange escape:
Down from yon cliff a fragment broke;
It thundered down, with fire and smoke,
And hitherward pursued its way;
This ponderous block was caught by me,
And o’er your head, as you may see,
‘Tis hanging to this day!
- ‘I saw a crag, a lofty stone
As ever tempest beat!
Out of its head an Oak had grown,
A Broom out of its feet.
The time was March, a cheerful noon–
The thaw-wind, with the breath of June,
Breathed gently from the warm south-west:
When, in a voice sedate with age,
This Oak, a giant and a sage,
His neighbour thus addressed:–
- ”From me this friendly warning take’–
The Broom began to doze,
And thus, to keep herself awake,
Did gently interpose:
‘My thanks for your discourse are due;
That more than what you say is true,
I know, and I have known it long;
Frail is the bond by which we hold
Our being, whether young or old,
Wise, foolish, weak, or strong.
- A stream to mingle with your favorite Dee
Along the Vale of Meditation flows;
So styled by those fierce Britons, pleased to see
In Nature’s face the expression of repose,
Or, haply there some pious Hermit chose
To live and die — the peace of Heaven his aim,
To whome the wild sequestered region owes
At this late day, its sanctifying name.
Glyn Cafaillgaroch, in the Cambrian tongue,
In ourse the Vale of Friendship, let this spot
Be nam’d, where faithful to a low roof’d Cot
On Deva’s banks, ye have abode so long,
Sisters in love, a love allowed to climb
Ev’n on this earth, above the reach of time.
- THE MIGHTY Minstrel breathes no longer,
Mid mouldering ruins low he lies;
And death upon the braes of Yarrow
Has closed the Shepherd-poet’s eyes:
Nor has the rolling year twice measured,
From sign to sign, its steadfast course,
Since every mortal power of Coleridge
Was frozen at its marvellous source;
The ’rapt One, of the godlike forehead,
The heaven-eyed creature sleeps in earth:
And Lamb, the frolic and the gentle,
Has vanished from his lonely hearth.
Like clouds that rake the mountain-summits,
Or waves that own no curbing hand,
How fast has brother followed brother,
From sunshine to the sunless land!
Yet I, whose lids from infant slumber
Were earlier raised, remain to hear
A timid voice, that asks in whispers,
“Who next will drop and disappear?”
- THE martial courage of a day is vain,
An empty noise of death the battle’s roar,
If vital hope be wanting to restore,
Or fortitude be wanting to sustain,
Armies or kingdoms. We have heard a strain
Of triumph, how the labouring Danube bore
A weight of hostile corses; drenched with gore
Were the wide fields, the hamlets heaped with slain.
Yet see (the mighty tumult overpast)
Austria a daughter of her Throne hath sold!
And her Tyrolean Champion we behold
Murdered, like one ashore by shipwreck cast,
Murdered without relief. Oh! blind as bold,
To think that such assurance can stand fast!
- CALVERT! it must not be unheard by them
Who may respect my name, that I to thee
Owed many years of early liberty.
This care was thine when sickness did condemn
Thy youth to hopeless wasting, root and stem–
That I, if frugal and severe, might stray
Where’er I liked; and finally array
My temples with the Muse’s diadem.
Hence, if in freedom I have loved the truth;
If there be aught of pure, or good, or great,
In my past verse; or shall be, in the lays
Of higher mood, which now I meditate;–
It gladdens me, O worthy, short-lived, Youth!
To think how much of this will be thy praise.