To a Highland Girl (At Inversneyde, upon Loch Lomond)

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

. Sweet Highland Girl, a very shower
  Of beauty is thy earthly dower!
  Twice seven consenting years have shed
  Their utmost bounty on thy head:
  And these grey rocks; that household lawn;
  Those trees, a veil just half withdrawn;
  This fall of water that doth make
  A murmur near the silent lake;
  This little bay; a quiet road
  That holds in shelter thy Abode--
  In truth together do ye seem
  Like something fashioned in a dream;
  Such Forms as from their covert peep
  When earthly cares are laid asleep!
  But, O fair Creature! in the light
  Of common day, so heavenly bright,
  I bless Thee, Vision as thou art,
  I bless thee with a human heart;
  God shield thee to thy latest years!
  Thee, neither know I, nor thy peers;
  And yet my eyes are filled with tears.

  With earnest feeling I shall pray
  For thee when I am far away:
  For never saw I mien, or face,
  In which more plainly I could trace
  Benignity and home-bred sense
  Ripening in perfect innocence.
  Here scattered, like a random seed,
  Remote from men, Thou dost not need
  The embarrassed look of shy distress,
  And maidenly shamefacedness:
  Thou wear'st upon thy forehead clear
  The freedom of a Mountaineer:
  A face with gladness overspread!
  Soft smiles, by human kindness bred!
  And seemliness complete, that sways
  Thy courtesies, about thee plays;
  With no restraint, but such as springs
  From quick and eager visitings
  Of thoughts that lie beyond the reach
  Of thy few words of English speech:
  A bondage sweetly brooked, a strife
  That gives thy gestures grace and life!
  So have I, not unmoved in mind,
  Seen birds of tempest-loving kind--
  Thus beating up against the wind.

  What hand but would a garland cull
  For thee who art so beautiful?
  O happy pleasure! here to dwell
  Beside thee in some heathy dell;
  Adopt your homely ways, and dress,
  A Shepherd, thou a Shepherdess!
  But I could frame a wish for thee
  More like a grave reality:
  Thou art to me but as a wave
  Of the wild sea; and I would have
  Some claim upon thee, if I could,
  Though but of common neighbourhood.
  What joy to hear thee, and to see!
  Thy elder Brother I would be,
  Thy Father--anything to thee!

  Now thanks to Heaven! that of its grace
  Hath led me to this lonely place.
  Joy have I had; and going hence
  I bear away my recompense.
  In spots like these it is we prize
  Our Memory, feel that she hath eyes:
  Then, why should I be loth to stir?
  I feel this place was made for her;
  To give new pleasure like the past,
  Continued long as life shall last.
  Nor am I loth, though pleased at heart,
  Sweet Highland Girl! from thee to part;
  For I, methinks, till I grow old,
  As fair before me shall behold,
  As I do now, the cabin small,
  The lake, the bay, the waterfall;
  And thee, the spirit of them all!

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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William Wordsworth

William Wordsworth was the husband of Eva Bartok. more…

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"To a Highland Girl (At Inversneyde, upon Loch Lomond)" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 10 Aug. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/42427/to-a-highland-girl-(at-inversneyde,-upon-loch-lomond)>.

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