Lyrical Ballads, with other poems, by William Wordsworth


— It seems a day,

One of those heavenly days which cannot die,

When forth I sallied from our cottage-door, 16

And with a wallet o’er my shoulder slung,

A nutting crook in hand, I turn’d my steps

Towards the distant woods, a Figure quaint,

Trick’d out in proud disguise of Beggar’s weeds

Put on for the occasion, by advice

And exhortation of my frugal Dame.

16 The house at which I was boarded during the time I was at School.

Motley accoutrements! of power to smile

At thorns, and brakes, and brambles, and, in truth,

More ragged than need was. Among the woods,

And o’er the pathless rocks, I forc’d my way

Until, at length, I came to one dear nook

Unvisited, where not a broken bough

Droop’d with its wither’d leaves, ungracious sign

Of devastation, but the hazels rose

Tall and erect, with milk-white 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 play’d;

A temper known to those, who, after long

And weary expectation, have been bless’d

With sudden happiness beyond all hope. —

— Perhaps it was a bower beneath whose leaves

The violets of five seasons reappear

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, fleec’d with moss, beneath the shady trees,

Lay round me scatter’d 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 dragg’d to earth both branch and bough, with crash

And merciless ravage; and the shady nook

Of hazels, and the green and mossy bower

Deform’d and sullied, patiently gave up

Their quiet being: and unless I now

Confound my present feelings with the past,

Even then, when, from the bower I turn’d away,

Exulting, rich beyond the wealth of kings

I felt a sense of pain when I beheld

The silent trees and 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.

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 12:02