William Wordsworth


There is a Yew-tree, pride of Lorton Vale, Which to this day stands single, in the midst Of its own darkness, as it stood of yore: Not loathe to furnish weapons for the Bands Of Umfraville or Percy ere they marched To Scotland's heaths; or those that crossed the sea And drew their sounding bows at Azincour, Perhaps at earlier Crecy, or Poictiers. Of vast circumference and gloom profound This solitary Tree! -a living thing Produced too slowly ever to decay; Of form and aspect too magnificent To be destroyed. But worthier still of note Are those fraternal Four of Borrowdale, Joined in one solemn and capacious grove; Huge trunks! -and each particular trunk a growth Of intertwisted fibres serpentine Up-coiling, and inveteratley convolved, - Nor uninformed with Fantasy, and looks That threaten the profane; -a pillared shade, Upon whose grassless floor of red-brown hue, By sheddings from the pining umbrage tinged Perennially -beneath whose sable roof Of boughs, as if for festal purpose decked With unrejoicing berries -ghostly Shapes May meet at noontide: Fear and trembling Hope, Silence and Foresight, Death the Skeleton And Time the Shadow; there to celebrate, As in a natural temple scattered o'er With altars undisturbed of mossy stone, United worship; or in mute repose To lie, and listen to the mountain flood Murmuring from Glaramara's inmost caves.

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