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BORN at Cockermouth in Cumberland. Received his elementary education at Hawkshead Grammar School, Lancashire, and subsequently entered St. John's College, Cambridge. About the year 1813 he settled among the hills of Cumberland, and for more than forty years dwelt at Rydal Mount, a cottage commanding views of Windermere, Grasmere, and of some of the most picturesque mountain scenery in the "Lake District." On his settlement at Rydal Mount, received the lucrative appointment of Distributor of Stamps for Cumberland and Westmoreland. In 1840 resigned this in favour of his son, and soon afterwards a pension of £300 a year was conferred upon him by the crown, on the recommendation of Sir Robert Peel. On the death of Southey in 1843, was appointed poet laureate, after which his muse was almost wholly silent. Wordsworth died at Rydal Mount on the 7th of April, 1850, and was buried in Grasmere churchyard. His chief works are:- The Excursion; The White Doe of Rylstone; Peter Bell; Yarrow Revisited; Lines on Revisiting the Wye; The Prelude; Ode to Duty; Lucy Gray,



A SIMPLE child

That lightly draws its breath,
And feels its life in every limb,
What should it know of death?

I met a little cottage girl :

She was eight years old, she said;
Her hair was thick with many a curl
That clustered round her head.

She had a rustic, woodland air,
And she was wildly clad;
Her eyes were fair, and very
Her beauty made me glad.


"Sisters and brothers, little maid,
How many may you be?"
"How many? Seven in all," she said,
And wondering looked at me.

"And where are they? I pray you tell."
She answered, "Seven are we;
And two of us at Conway dwell,
And two are gone to sea.

Two of us in the churchyard lie,
My sister and my brother;
And, in the churchyard cottage, I

Dwell near them with my mother."

"You say that two at Conway dwell,
And two are gone to sea,
Yet ye are seven !-I pray you tell,
Sweet maid, how this may be?"
Then did the little maid reply,

"Seven boys and girls are we; Two of us in the churchyard lie,

Beneath the churchyard tree."

"You run about my little maid!
Your limbs they are alive!
If two are in the churchyard laid,
Then ye are only five !"

"Their graves are green, they may be seen," The little maid replied,

"Twelve steps or more from my mother's door, And they are side by side.

My stockings there I often knit,
My kerchief there I hem;
And there upon the ground I sit—
I sit and sing to them.

And, often after sunset, sir,
When it is light and fair,
I take my little porringer,
And eat my supper there.

The first that died was little Jane ;
In bed she moaning lay,
Till God released her of her pain,
And then she went away.

So in the churchyard she was laid;
And when the grass was dry,
Together round her grave we played,
My brother John and I.

And when the ground was white with snow, And I could run and slide,

My brother John was forced to go,
And he lies by her side."

"How many are you then," said I,
"If they two are in heaven ?”
The little maiden did reply,
"O master! we are seven."

"But they are dead; those two are dead; Their spirits are in heaven!" 'Twas throwing words away; for still The little maid would have her will, And said, "Nay, we are seven."


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.

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."

"That, father, I will gladly do ; 'Tis scarcely afternoonThe minster clock has just struck two ; And yonder is the moon."

At this the father raised his hook,
And snapped a fagot 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 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.

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 a hill they stood
That overlooked the moor;

And thence they saw the bridge of wood A furlong from the door.

And turning homeward, now they cried,
"In heaven we all shall meet,"
When in the snow the mother spied
The print of Lucy's feet,

Then downward from the steep hill's edge
They tracked the footmarks small;
And through the broken hawthorn hedge,
And by the long stone wall;

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
The footmarks, one by one,
Into the middle of the plank-

And farther there were none;
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.


IN distant countries have I been,
And yet I have not often seen
A healthy man, a man full grown,
Weep in the public roads alone.

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