William Wordsworth


A pen--to register; a key-- That winds through secret wards Are well assigned to Memory By allegoric Bards. As aptly, also, might be given A Pencil to her hand; That, softening objects, sometimes even Outstrips the heart's demand; That smooths foregone distress, the lines Of lingering care subdues, Long-vanished happiness refines, And clothes in brighter hues; Yet, like a tool of Fancy, works Those Spectres to dilate That startle Conscience, as she lurks Within her lonely seat. Oh! that our lives, which flee so fast, In purity were such, That not an image of the past Should fear that pencil's touch! Retirement then might hourly look Upon a soothing scene, Age steal to his allotted nook Contented and serene; With heart as calm as lakes that sleep, In frosty moonlight glistening; Or mountain rivers, where they creep Along a channel smooth and deep, To their own far-off murmurs listening.

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