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A whirl-blast from behind the hill Rush'd o'er the wood with startling sound; Then-all at once the air was still, And showers of hailstones pattered round. 5 Where leafless oaks towered high above, I sat within an undergrove

Of tallest hollies, tall and green;
A fairer bower was never seen.
From year to year the spacious floor
10 With withered leaves is covered o'er,
And all the year the bower is green.
But see! where'er the hailstones drop
The withered leaves all skip and hop;
There's not a breeze-no breath of air-
15 Yet here, and there, and everywhere

Along the floor, beneath the shade
By those embowering hollies made,
The leaves in myriads jump and spring,
As if with pipes and music rare

20 Some Robin Good-fellow were there,

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And hark! how blithe the throstle sings! He, too, is no mean preacher: 15 Come forth into the light of things, Let Nature be your teacher.

She has a world of ready wealth, Our minds and hearts to blessSpontaneous wisdom breathed by health, 20 Truth breathed by cheerfulness.

One impulse from a vernal wood
May teach you more of man,
Of moral evil and of good,
Than all the sages can.

1 "A friend who was somewhat unreasonably attached to modern books of moral philosophy." -Wordsworth.

25 Sweet is the lore which Nature brings;
Our meddling intellect
Misshapes the

beauteous forms

We murder to dissect.


On that best portion of a good man's life,
His little, nameless, unremembered acts
35 Of kindness and of love. Nor less, I trust,
To them I may have owed another gift,
Of aspect more sublime; that blessed mood,
In which the burthen of the mystery,
In which the heavy and the weary weight
40 Of all this unintelligible world,

Is lightened:-that serene and blessed

In which the affections gently lead us on,-
Until, the breath of this corporeal frame
And even the motion of our human blood
45 Almost suspended, we are laid asleep

In body, and become a living soul:
While with an eye made quiet by the power
Of harmony, and the deep power of joy,
We see into the life of things.

Enough of Science and of Art; 30 Close up those barren leaves;

Come forth, and bring with you a heart
That watches and receives.



Five years have past; five summers, with the length

Of five long winters! and again I hear These waters, rolling from their mountain-springs

With a soft inland murmur. - Once again 5 Do I behold these steep and lofty cliffs, That on a wild secluded scene impress Thoughts of more deep seclusion; and connect

The landscape with the quiet of the sky. The day is come when I again repose 10 Here, under this dark sycamore, and view These plots of cottage-ground, these orchard-tufts,

Which at this season, with their unripe fruits,

Are clad in one green hue, and lose themselves

'Mid groves and copses. Once again I see 15 These hedgerows, hardly hedgerows, little lines

Of sportive wood run wild: these pastoral farms,

Green to the very door; and wreaths of smoke

Sent up, in silence, from among the trees! With some uncertain notice, as might seem 20 Of vagrant dwellers in the houseless woods, Or of some hermit's cave, where by his fire The hermit sits alone.

These beauteous forms, Through a long absence, have not been

to me

25 As is a landscape to a blind man's eye: But oft, in lonely rooms, and 'mid the din Of towns and cities, I have owed to them, In hours of weariness, sensations sweet, Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart; And passing even into my purer mind, 30 With tranquil restoration:-feelings too of unremembered pleasure: such, perhaps, As have no slight or trivial influence

If this 50 Be but a vain belief, yet, oh! how oftIn darkness and amid the many shapes Of joyless daylight; when the fretful stir

Unprofitable, and the fever of the world, Have hung upon the beatings of my heart


How oft, in spirit, have I turned to thee, O sylvan Wye! thou wanderer thro' the woods,

How often has my spirit turned to thee!

And now, with gleams of half-extinguished thought,

With many recognitions dim and faint, 60 And somewhat of a sad perplexity,

The picture of the mind revives again:
While here I stand, not only with the sense
Of present pleasure, but with pleasing

That in this moment there is life and food 65 For future years. And so I dare to hope, Though changed, no doubt, from what I was when first

I came among these hills; when like a roe I bounded o'er the mountains, by the sides Of the deep rivers, and the lonely streams, 70 Wherever nature led: more like a man Flying from something that he dreads than one

Who sought the thing he loved. For nature then

(The coarser pleasures of my boyish days, And their glad animal movements all gone by)


To me was all in all.-I cannot paint
What then I was. The sounding cataract
Haunted me like a passion: the tall rock,
The mountain, and the deep and gloomy

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Abundant recompense. For I have learned To look on nature, not as in the hour 30 Of thoughtless youth; but hearing oftentimes

The still, sad music of humanity,

Nor harsh nor grating, though of ample


To chasten and subdue. And I have felt A presence that disturbs me with the joy 95 Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime

Of something far more deeply interfused, Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns, And the round ocean and the living air, And the blue sky, and in the mind of man: 00 A motion and a spirit, that impels

All thinking things, all objects of all
And rolls through all things. Therefore
am I still

A lover of the meadows and the woods, And mountains; and of all that we behold 105 From this green earth; of all the mighty


Of eye, and ear,-both what they half 150 create, And what perceive; well pleased to recognize

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Knowing that Nature never did betray The heart that loved her; 'tis her privilege, Through all the years of this our life, to lead

From joy to joy: for she can so inform The mind that is within us, so impress With quietness and beauty, and so feed With lofty thoughts, that neither evil tongues,

Rash judgments, nor the sneers of selfish


Nor greetings where no kindness is, nor all The dreary intercourse of daily life, Shall e'er prevail against us, or disturb Our cheerful faith, that all which we behold


Is full of blessings. Therefore let the moon Shine on thee in thy solitary walk; And let the misty mountain-winds be free To blow against thee: and, in after years, When these wild ecstasies shall be matured Into a sober pleasure; when thy mind 140 Shall be a mansion for all lovely forms,

Thy memory be as a dwelling-place
For all sweet sounds and harmonies;
oh! then,

If solitude, or fear, or pain, or grief,
Should be thy portion, with what heal-
ing thoughts


Of tender joy wilt thou remember me, And these my exhortations! Nor, perchance

If I should be where I no more can hear Thy voice, nor catch from thy wild eyes these gleams

Of past existence-wilt thou then forget That on the banks of this delightful stream We stood together; and that I, so long A worshipper of Nature, hither came Unwearied in that service: rather say With warmer love-oh! with far deeper zeal


Of holier love. Nor wilt thou then forget
That after many wanderings, many years
Of absence, these steep woods and lofty
And this green pastoral landscape, were


to me More dear, both for themselves and for thy sake!




I saw an aged beggar in my walk; And he was seated, by the highway side, On a low structure of rude masonry Built at the foot of a huge hill, that they 5 Who lead their horses down the steep rough road

May thence remount at ease.

The aged


Had placed his staff across the broad smooth stone

That overlays the pile; and, from a bag All white with flour, the dole of village dames,

10 He drew his scraps and fragments, one by one;

And scanned them with a fixed and serious look

Of idle computation. In the sun, Upon the second step of that small pile, Surrounded by those wild unpeopled hills, 15 He sat, and ate his food in solitude:

And ever scattered from his palsied hand, That, still attempting to prevent the waste, Was baffled still, the crumbs in little showers

Fell on the ground; and the small mountain birds, 20 Not venturing yet to peck their destined meal, Approached within the length of half his staff.

Him from my childhood have I known; and then

He was so old, he seems not older now; He travels on, a solitary man, 25 So helpless in appearance, that for him The sauntering horseman throws not with a slack

And careless hand his alms upon the ground,

But stops,-that he may safely lodge the coin

Within the old man's hat; nor quits him so, 30 But still, when he has given his horse the rein,

Watches the aged beggar with a look Sidelong, and half-reverted. She who tends

The toll-gate, when in summer at her door She turns her wheel, if on the road she sees 35 The aged beggar coming, quits her work, And lifts the latch for him that he may

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He travels on, a solitary man; 45 His age has no companion. On the ground His eyes are turned, and, as he moves along,

They move along the ground; and, evermore,

Instead of common and habitual sight Of fields with rural works, of hill and dale, 50 And the blue sky, one little span of earth Is all his prospect. Thus, from day to day, Bow-bent, his eyes forever on the ground, He plies his weary journey; seeing still, And seldom knowing that he sees, some straw,

55 Some scattered leaf, or marks which, in one track,

The nails of cart or chariot-wheel have
Impressed on the white road,—in the
same line,

At distance still the same. Poor traveller!
His staff trails with him; scarcely do his

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