September, 1819

William Wordsworth 1770 (Wordsworth House) – 1850 (Cumberland)

. Departing summer hath assumed
  An aspect tenderly illumed,
  The gentlest look of spring;
  That calls from yonder leafy shade
  Unfaded, yet prepared to fade,
  A timely carolling.
  No faint and hesitating trill,
  Such tribute as to winter chill
  The lonely redbreast pays!
 Clear, loud, and lively is the din,
 From social warblers gathering in
 Their harvest of sweet lays.

 Nor doth the example fail to cheer
 Me, conscious that my leaf is sere,
 And yellow on the bough:-
 Fall, rosy garlands, from my head!
 Ye myrtle wreaths, your fragrance shed
 Around a younger brow!

 Yet will I temperately rejoice;
 Wide is the range, and free the choice
 Of undiscordant themes;
 Which, haply, kindred souls may prize
 Not less than vernal ecstasies,
 And passion's feverish dreams.

 For deathless powers to verse belong,
 And they like Demi-gods are strong
 On whom the Muses smile;
 But some their function have disclaimed,
 Best pleased with what is aptliest framed
 To enervate and defile.

 Not such the initiatory strains
 Committed to the silent plains
 In Britain's earliest dawn:
 Trembled the groves, the stars grew pale,
 While all-too-daringly the veil
 Of nature was withdrawn!

 Nor such the spirit-stirring note
 When the live chords Alcæus smote,
 Inflamed by sense of wrong;
 Woe! woe to Tyrants! from the lyre
 Broke threateningly, in sparkles dire
 Of fierce vindictive song.

 And not unhallowed was the page
 By wingèd Love inscribed, to assuage
 The pangs of vain pursuit;
 Love listening while the Lesbian Maid
 With finest touch of passion swayed
 Her own Æolian lute.

 O ye, who patiently explore
 The wreck of Herculanean lore,
 What rapture! could ye seize
 Some Theban fragment, or unroll
 One precious, tender-hearted scroll
 Of pure Simonides.

 That were, indeed, a genuine birth
 Of poesy; a bursting forth
 Of genius from the dust:
 What Horace gloried to behold,
 What Maro loved, shall we enfold?
 Can haughty Time be just!

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Submitted on May 13, 2011


William Wordsworth

William Wordsworth was the husband of Eva Bartok. more…

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