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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 tumult-
uous throng,

To cut across the reflex of a star;
Image, that, flying still before me,


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 heels, Stopped short; yet still the solitary cliffs Wheeled by me-even as if the earth had rolled

With visible motion her diurnal round! Behind me did they stretch in solemn train,

Feebler and feebler, and I stood and watched

Till all was tranquil as a summer sea. 1799. 1809.


Written in Germany. This is an extract from the poem on my own poetical education. (Wordsworth. The poem referred to is The Prelude.)

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


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.

Pre-eminent in beauty is the vale Where he was born and bred: the churchyard hangs

Upon a slope above the village-school; And through that church-yard when my way has led

On summer-evenings, I believe, that


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Among the flowers, and with the flowers I played;

A temper known to those, who, after long

And weary expectation, have been blest With sudden happiness beyond all hope. Perhaps it was a bower beneath whose leaves

The violets of five seasons re-appear And fade, unseen by any human eye; Where fairy water-breaks do murmur on For ever; and I saw the sparkling foam, And-with my cheek on one of those green stones

That, fleeced with moss, under the shady trees,

Lay round me, scattered like a flock of sheep-

I heard the murmur and the murmuring

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The silent trees, and saw the intruding sky.-

Then, dearest Maiden, move along these shades

In gentleness of heart; with gentle hand Touch-for there is a spirit in the woods. 1799. 1800.


The next three poems were written in
Germany. (Wordsworth.)

STRANGE fits of passion have I known:
And I will dare to tell,

But in the Lover's ear alone,
What once to me befell.

When she I loved looked every day
Fresh as a rose in June,

I to her cottage bent my way,
Beneath an evening-moon.

Upon the moon I fixed my eye,
All over the wide lea;
With quickening pace my horse drew

Those paths so dear to me.

And now we reached the orchard-plot;
And, as we climbed the hill,
The sinking moon to Lucy's cot
Came near, and nearer still,

In one of those sweet dreams I slept,
Kind Nature's gentlest boon!
And all the while my eyes I kept
On the descending moon.

My horse moved on; hoof after hoof
He raised, and never stopped:
When down behind the cottage roof,
At once, the bright moon dropped.

What fond and wayward thoughts will slide

Into a Lover's head!

"O mercy!" to myself I cried, If Lucy should be dead!"


1799. 1800.


SHE dwelt among the untrodden ways Beside the springs of Dove,

A Maid whom there were none to praise And very few to love:

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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.

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Art thou a Man of purple cheer?
A rosy Man, right plump to see?
Approach; yet, Doctor, not too near,
This grave no cushion is for thee.

Or art thou one of gallant pride,
A Soldier and no man of chaff?
Welcome-but lay thy sword aside,
And lean upon a peasant's staff.

Physician art thou? one all eyes, Philosopher! a fingering slave, One that would peep and botanize Upon his mother's grave?

Wrapt closely in thy sensual fleece, O turn aside,-and take, I pray, That he below may rest in peace, Thy ever-dwindling soul away!

A Moralist perchance appears;

Led, Heaven knows how! to this poor sod:

And he has neither eyes nor ears;
Himself his world, and his own God;

One to whose smooth-rubbed soul can cling

Nor form, nor feeling, great or small!
A reasoning, self-sufficing thing,
An intellectual All-in-all!

Shut close the door; press down the latch;

Sleep in thy intellectual crust;
Nor lose ten tickings of thy watch
Near this unprofitable dust.

But who is he, with modest looks,
And clad in homely russet brown?
He murmurs near the running brooks.
A music sweeter than their own.

He is retired as noontide dew,
Or fountain in a noon-day grove;
And you must love him, ere to you
He will seem worthy of your love.

The outward shows of sky and earth,
Of hill and valley, he has viewed;
And impulses of deeper birth
Have come to him in solitude.

In common things that round us lie Some random truths he can impart,The harvest of a quiet eye

That broods and sleeps on his own heart.

But he is weak; both Man and Boy,
Hath been an idler in the land;
Contented if he might enjoy
The things which others understand.

-Come hither in thy hour of strength;
Come, weak as is a breaking wave!
Here stretch thy body at full length;
Or build thy house upon this grave.
1799. 1800.


In the School of- is a tablet, on which are inscribed in gilt letters, the Names of the several persons who have been Schoolmasters there since the foundation of the School, with the time at which they entered upon and quitted their office. Opposite to one of those names the Author wrote the following lines.

Such a Tablet as is here spoken of continued to be preserved in Hawkshead School, though the inscriptions were not brought down to our time. This and other poems connected with Matthew would not gain by a literal detail of facts. Like the Wanderer in "The Excursion," this Schoolmaster was made up of several both of his class and men of other occupations. I do not ask pardon for what there is of untruth in such verses, considered strictly as matters of fact. It is enough if, being true and consistent in spirit, they move and teach in a manner not unworthy of a Poet's calling. (Wordsworth.)

IF Nature, for a favorite 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 hath 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
Of still and serious thought went round,
It seemed as if he drank it up-
He felt with spirit so profound.

-Thou soul of God's best earthly mould!
Thou happy Soul! and can it be
That these two words of glittering gold
Are all that must remain of thee?

1799. 1800.


WE walked along, while bright and red Uprose the morning sun;

And Matthew stopped, he looked, and


"The will of God be done!"

A village schoolmaster was he,
With hair of glittering gray;

As blithe a man as you could see
On a spring holiday.

And on that morning, through the grass,
And by the steaming rills,

We travelled merrily, to pass
A day among the hills.


"Our work," said I, was well begun,
Then, from thy breast what thought,
Beneath so beautiful a sun,
So sad a sigh has brought?"

A second time did Matthew stop;
And fixing still his eye

Upon the eastern mountain-top,
To me he made reply:

"Yon cloud with that long purple cleft Brings fresh into my mind

A day like this which I have left
Full thirty years behind.

"And just above yon slope of corn
Such colors, and no other,
Were in the sky, that April morn,
Of this the very brother.

"With rod and line I sued the sport
Which that sweet season gave,
And, to the church-yard come, stopped


Beside my daughter's grave.

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