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As is a landscape to a blind man's eye:
But oft, in lonely rooms, and ʼmid 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,
With tranquil restoration :—feelings too
Of unremembered pleasure : such, perhaps,
As have no slight or trivial influence
On that best portion of a good man's life,
His little, nameless, unremembered acts
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
Of all this unintelligible world,
Is lightened :—that serene and blessed mood
In which the affections gently lead us on
Until, the breath of this corporeal frame
And even the motion of our human blood
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.

If this
Be but a vain belief, yet, oh! how oft-
In 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

How oft, in spirit, have I turned to thee,
O silvan Wye! thou wanderer through the woods,
How often has my spirit turned to thee!




And now, with gleams of half-extinguished thought,
With many recognitions dim and faint,
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 thoughts
That in this moment there is life and food
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,
Wherever nature led : more like a man

70 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

75 What then I was. The sounding cataract Haunted me like a passion : the tall rock, The mountain, and the deep and gloomy wood, Their colours and their forms, were then to me An appetite; a feeling and a love,

80 That had no need of a remoter charm, By thought supplied, nor any interest Unborrowed from the eye. That time is past, And all its aching joys are now no more, And all its dizzy raptures. Not for this

85 Faint I, nor mourn nor murmur; other gifts Have followed; for such loss, I would believe, Abundant recompense. For I have learned To look on nature, not as in the hour Of thoughtless youth ; but hearing oftentimes

90 The still, sad music of humanity, Nor harsh nor grating, though of ample power To chasten and subdue. And I have felt A presence that disturbs me with the joy Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime

95 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:





A motion and a spirit, that impels
All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
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
From this green earth ; of all the mighty world
Of eye, and ear-both what they half create,
And what perceive; well pleased to recognise
In nature and the language of the sense,
The anchor of my purest thoughts, the nurse,
The guide, the guardian of my heart, and soul
Of all

moral being.

Nor perchance,
If I were not thus taught, should I the more
Suffer my genial spirits to decay:
For thou art with me here upon the banks
Of this fair river; thou my dearest Friend,
My dear, dear Friend ; and in thy voice I catch
The language of my former heart, and read
My former pleasures in the shooting lights
Of thy wild eyes. Oh! yet a little while
May I behold in thee what I was once,
My dear, dear Sister! and this prayer I make,
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 men,
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
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 healing 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 cliffs,
And this green pastoral landscape, were to me
More dear, both for themselves and for thy sake!



motion ...

NOTES. 4. Inland. The river is not affected ened and humanised him, opened his

by the tides a few miles above Tin- eyes to the more hidden beauties,

tern' (Wordsworth). It falls rapidly. his heart to the gentler affections : II. Orchard. See notes (2732), page 3. “She gave me eyes, she gave me ears, 37. Aspect, nature, quality.

And humble cares, and delicate fears, 43-5. Breath

... (being) A heart, the fountain of sweet tears, suspended. Absolute participial con- And love, and thought, and joy." struction. Cf. 73-4.

125. Inform, fill and communicate form 84. Aching joys. Cf. note to 'idly to; animate. busy,' page 297. Why 'aching?' 140. Mansion,

Lat. mansionem, from 113. Genial. Lat. geniālis, from genius, manēre (remain). An abiding-place,

Fr. gen- (to produce). Belonging to dwelling-place' (141). one's genius, natural qualities or 143-4. “What prophetic pathos do endowment.

these words assume when we re121. Sister. Cf. Shairp, Studies in member how long and mournfully, Poetry and Philosophy, pages 33-4:

ere life ended, those wild eyes were Surely never sister performed a darkened !' (Shairp, Studies, page more delicate service for brother 41). 'In the year 1829, she was than Dorothy Wordsworth did for seized by a severe illness, which so

She it was who soft- prostrated her, body and mind, that

the poet ...

she never recovered from it.
But though so enfeebled, she still
lived and survived her brother

by nearly five years' (Shairp, Preface to her Recollections of a Tour in Scotland).


“The poet speaks out his inmost feelings, and in his own “grand style” Read these lines over once again, however well you may know them' (Shairp).

Earth has not anything to shew more fair :
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty :
This City now doth, like a garment, wear
The beauty of the morning ; silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun more beautifully steep,
In his first splendour, valley, rock, or hill i
Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep !
The river glideth at his own sweet will :
Dear God ! the very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still !


(From The E.ccursion, Book I.) [From an industrious and comfortable life, Margaret and her husband had been reduced, by sickness and bad times, to poverty and distress. At last her husband, in desperation,

'joined a troop
Of soldiers going to a distant land.')

Nine tedious years ;
From their first separation, nine long years,
She lingered in unquiet widowhood;
A Wife and Widow. Needs must it have been
A sore heart-wasting! I have heard, my Friend,

That in yon arbour oftentimes she sate
Alone through half the vacant Sabbath day ;
And, if a dog passed by, she still would quit

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