The Solitary Reaper

Behold her, single in the field,
Yon solitary Highland Lass!
Reaping and singing by herself;
Stop here, or gently pass!
Alone she cuts and binds the grain,
And sings a melancholy strain;
O listen! for the Vale profound
Is overflowing with the sound.

 

No Nightingale did ever chaunt
More welcome notes to weary bands
Of travellers in some shady haunt,
Among Arabian sands:
A voice so thrilling ne’er was heard
In spring-time from the Cuckoo-bird,
Breaking the silence of the seas
Among the farthest Hebrides.

 

Will no one tell me what she sings?—
Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow
For old, unhappy, far-off things,
And battles long ago:
Or is it some more humble lay,
Familiar matter of to-day?
Some natural sorrow, loss, or pain,
That has been, and may be again?

 

Whate’er the theme, the Maiden sang
As if her song could have no ending;
I saw her singing at her work,
And o’er the sickle bending;—
I listened, motionless and still;
And, as I mounted up the hill,
The music in my heart I bore,
Long after it was heard no more.
– BY WILLIAM WORDSWORTH
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I wandered lonely as a cloud!

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed- and gazed- but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

Courtesy
William Wordsworth

Perfect Woman: by William Wordsworth

he was a phantom of delight
When first she gleam’d upon my sight;
A lovely apparition, sent to be a moment’s ornament;

Her eyes as stars of twilight fair;
Like twilight’s, too, her dusky hair;
But all things else about her drawn
From May-time and the cheerful dawn;

A dancing shape, an image gay,
To haunt, to startle, and waylay.

I saw her upon nearer view,
A Spirit, yet a Woman too!
Her household motions light and free,
And steps of virgin liberty;

A countenance in which did meet
Sweet records, promises as sweet;
A creature not too bright or good
For human nature’s daily food;

For transient sorrows, simple wiles,
Praise, blame, love, kisses, tears, and smiles.
And now I see with eye serene
The very pulse of the machine;

A being breathing thoughtful breath,
A traveller between life and death;
The reason firm, the temperate will,
Endurance, foresight, strength, and skill;

A perfect Woman,nobly plann’d,
To warn, to comfort, and command;

And yet a Spirit still, and bright
With something of angelic light.

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

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

A Complaint :

There is a change–and I am poor;
Your love hath been, nor long ago,
A fountain at my fond heart’s door,
Whose only business was to flow;
And flow it did; not taking heed
Of its own bounty, or my need.

What happy moments did I count!
Blest was I then all bliss above!
Now, for that consecrated fount
Of murmuring, sparkling, living love,
What have I? Shall I dare to tell?
A comfortless and hidden well.

A well of love–it may be deep–
I trust it is,–and never dry:
What matter? If the waters sleep
In silence and obscurity.
–Such change, and at the very door
Of my fond heart, hath made me poor. 

 

– William Wordsworth

The Sun Has Long Been Set

The sun has long been set,
The stars are out by twos and threes,
The little birds are piping yet
Among the bushes and trees;

There’s a cuckoo, and one or two thrushes,
And a far-off wind that rushes,
And a sound of water that gushes,
And the cuckoo’s sovereign cry
Fills all the hollow of the sky.

Who would go “parading”
In London, “and masquerading,”
On such a night of June
With that beautiful soft half-moon,

And all these innocent bliss’s?
On such a night as this is!

-William Wordsworth