Composed During a Storm

One who was suffering tumult in his soul,
Yet failed to seek the sure relief of prayer,
Went forth–his course surrendering to the care
Of the fierce wind, while mid-day lightnings prowl
Insidiously, untimely thunders growl;
While trees, dim-seen, in frenzied numbers, tear
The lingering remnant of their yellow hair,
And shivering wolves, surprised with darkness, howl
As if the sun were not. He raised his eye
Soul-smitten; for, that instant, did appear
Large space (‘mid dreadful clouds) of purest sky,
An azure disc–shield of Tranquillity;
Invisible, unlooked-for, minister
Of providential goodness ever nigh!

 

-William Wordsworth

After-Thought

I thought of Thee, my partner and my guide, 
As being past away.–Vain sympathies!
For, backward, Duddon! as I cast my eyes,
I see what was, and is, and will abide;
Still glides the Stream, and shall for ever glide;
The Form remains, the Function never dies;
While we, the brave, the mighty, and the wise,
We Men, who in our morn of youth defied
The elements, must vanish;–be it so!
Enough, if something from our hands have power
To live, and act, and serve the future hour;
And if, as toward the silent tomb we go,
Through love, through hope, and faith’s transcendent dower,
We feel that we are greater than we know. 

– William Wordsworth

By The Side Of The Grave Some Years After

LONG time his pulse hath ceased to beat
But benefits, his gift, we trace–
Expressed in every eye we meet
Round this dear Vale, his native place. 

To stately Hall and Cottage rude
Flowed from his life what still they hold,
Light pleasures, every day, renewed;
And blessings half a century old.

Oh true of heart, of spirit gay,
Thy faults, where not already gone
From memory, prolong their stay
For charity’s sweet sake alone.

Such solace find we for our loss;
And what beyond this thought we crave 
Comes in the promise from the Cross,
Shining upon thy happy grave. 

 

– William Wordsworth

Beggars : A Poem

She had a tall man’s height or more;
Her face from summer’s noontide heat
No bonnet shaded, but she wore
A mantle, to her very feet
Descending with a graceful flow,
And on her head a cap as white as new-fallen snow.

Her skin was of Egyptian brown:
Haughty, as if her eye had seen
Its own light to a distance thrown,
She towered, fit person for a Queen 
To lead those ancient Amazonian files;
Or ruling Bandit’s wife among the Grecian isles.

Advancing, forth she stretched her hand
And begged an alms with doleful plea
That ceased not; on our English land
Such woes, I knew, could never be;
And yet a boon I gave her, for the creature
Was beautiful to see-a weed of glorious feature.

I left her, and pursued my way;
And soon before me did espy 
A pair of little Boys at play,
Chasing a crimson butterfly;
The taller followed with his hat in hand,
Wreathed round with yellow flowers the gayest of the land.

The other wore a rimless crown
With leaves of laurel stuck about;
And, while both followed up and down,
Each whooping with a merry shout,
In their fraternal features I could trace
Unquestionable lines of that wild Suppliant’s face. 

Yet ‘they’, so blithe of heart, seemed fit
For finest tasks of earth or air:
Wings let them have, and they might flit
Precursors to Aurora’s car,
Scattering fresh flowers; though happier far, I ween,
To hunt their fluttering game o’er rock and level green.

They dart across my path-but lo,
Each ready with a plaintive whine!
Said I, ‘not half an hour ago
Your Mother has had alms of mine.’ 
‘That cannot be,’ one answered-‘she is dead:’-
I looked reproof-they saw-but neither hung his head.

‘She has been dead, Sir, many a day.’-
‘Hush, boys! you’re telling me a lie;
It was your Mother, as I say!’
And, in the twinkling of an eye,
‘Come! Come!’ cried one, and without more ado,
Off to some other play the joyous Vagrants flew! 

– William Wordsworth