William Wordsworth


It seems a day (I speak of one from many singled out) One of those heavenly days that cannot die; When, in the eagerness of boyish hope, I left our cottage-threshold, sallying forth With a huge wallet o'er my shoulders slung, A nutting-crook in hand; and turned my steps Tow'rd some far-distant wood, a Figure quaint, Tricked out in proud disguise of cast-off weeds Which for that service had been husbanded, By exhortation of my frugal Dame-- Motley accoutrement, of power to smile At thorns, and brakes, and brambles,--and, in truth, More ragged than need was! O'er pathless rocks, Through beds of matted fern, and tangled thickets, Forcing my way, I came to one dear nook Unvisited, where not a broken bough Drooped with its withered leaves, ungracious sign Of devastation; but the hazels rose Tall and erect, with tempting clusters hung, A virgin scene!--A little while I stood, Breathing with such suppression of the heart As joy delights in; and, with wise restraint Voluptuous, fearless of a rival, eyed The banquet;--or beneath the trees I sate 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 sound, In that sweet mood when pleasure loves to pay Tribute to ease; and, of its joy secure, The heart luxuriates with indifferent things, Wasting its kindliness on stocks and stones, And on the vacant air. Then up I rose, And dragged to earth both branch and bough, with crash And merciless ravage: and the shady nook Of hazels, and the green and mossy bower, Deformed and sullied, patiently gave up Their quiet being: and, unless I now Confound my present feelings with the past; Ere from the mutilated bower I turned Exulting, rich beyond the wealth of kings, I felt a sense of pain when I beheld 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.

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