Lyrical Ballads, with other poems, by William Wordsworth

Lucy Gray

Oft I had heard of Lucy Gray,

And when I cross’d the Wild,

I chanc’d to see at break of day

The solitary Child.

No Mate, no comrade Lucy knew;

She dwelt on a wild 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 thro’ the snow.”

“That, Father! will I gladly do;

’Tis scarcely afternoon —

The Minster-clock has just struck two,

And yonder is the Moon.”

At this the Father rais’d his hook

And snapp’d a faggot-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 powd’ry snow

That rises up like smoke.

The storm came on before its time,

She wander’d up and down,

And many a hill did Lucy climb

But never reach’d 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 day-break on a hill they stood

That overlook’d the Moor;

And thence they saw the Bridge of Wood

A furlong from their door.

And now they homeward turn’d, and cry’d

“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 track’d the footmarks small;

And through the broken hawthorn-hedge,

And by the long stone-wall;

And then an open field they cross’d,

The marks were still the same;

They track’d them on, nor ever lost,

And to the Bridge they came.

They follow’d from the snowy bank

The footmarks, one by one,

Into the middle of the plank,

And further 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.

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/w/wordsworth/william/lyrical/poem34.html

Last updated Tuesday, March 4, 2014 at 12:30