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SELECTIONS FROM WORDSWORTH.

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WRITTEN WHILE SAILING IN A BOAT AT EVENING.

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How richly glows the water's breast

Before us, tinged with evening hues, While, facing thus the crimson west,

The boat her silent course pursues !
And see how dark the backward stream !

A little moment past so smiling !
And still, perhaps, with faithless gleam,

Some other loiterers beguiling.
Such views the youthful bard allure;

But, heedless of the following gloom, He deems their colours shall endure

Till peace go with him to the tomb. --And let him nurse his fond deceit,

And what if he must die in sorrow ! Who would not cherish dreams so sweet,

Though grief and pain may come to-morrow?

IO

15

THE RAINBOW.

My heart leaps up when I behold

A rainbow in the sky :
So was it when my life began,
So is it now I am a man,
So be it when I shall be old,

Or let me die !
The child is father of the man,
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.

5 SKATING.

IO

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AND in the frosty season, when the sun
Was set, and, visible for many a mile,
The cottage-windows through the twilight blazed,
I heeded not the summons : happy time
It was indeed for all of us; for me

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It was a time of rapture! Clear and loud
The village clock tolled six-I wheeled about,
Proud and exulting like an untired horse
That cares not for his home.-All shod with steel
We hissed along the polished ice, in games
Confederate, imitative of the chace
And woodland pleasures,--the resounding horn,
The pack loud bellowing, and the hunted hare.
So through the darkness and the cold we flew,
And not a voice was idle : with the din

15 Smitten, the precipices rang aloud; The leafless trees and every icy crag, Tinkled like iron; while the distant hills Into the tumult sent an alien sound Of melancholy, not unnoticed, while the stars Eastward were sparkling clear, and in the west The orange sky of evening died away.

Not seldom from the uproar I retired Into a silent bay, or sportively Glanced sideways, leaving the tumultuous throng, 25 To cut across the reflex of a star; Image, that, flying still before me, gleamed Upon the glassy plain : and oftentimes, When we had given our bodies to the wind, And all the shadowy banks on either side

30 Came sweeping through the darkness, spinning still The rapid line of motion, then at once Have I, reclining back upon my heels, Stopped short ; and still the solitary cliffs Wheeled by me-even as if the earth had rolled 35 With visible motion her diurnal round. Behind me did they stretch in solemn train, Feebler and feebler, and I stood and watched Till all was tranquil as a summer sea.

(1799.)

WORDSWORTH PEAK.

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THERE is an eminence,-of these our hills
The last that parleys with the setting sun:
We can behold it from our orchard seat;
And when at evening we pursue our walk
Along the public way, this cliff, so high
Above us, and so distant in its height,
Is visible; and often seems to send
Its own deep quiet to restore our hearts.
The meteors make of it a favourite haunt:
The star of Jove, so beautiful and large
In the mid heavens, is never half so fair
As when he shines above it. 'Tis in truth
The loneliest place we have among the clouds.
And she who dwells with me, whom I have loved
With such communion, that no place on earth

ever be a solitude to me,
Hath to this lonely summit given my name.

(1800.)

IO

15

THE DANISH BOY:

A FRAGMENT.

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BETWEEN two sister moorland rills
There is a spot that seems to lie
Sacred to flowerets of the hills,
And sacred to the sky.
And in this smooth and open dell
There is a tempest-stricken tree;
A corner-stone by lightning cut,
The last stone of a lonely hut;
And in this dell you see
A thing no storm can e'er destroy,
The shadow of a Danish Boy.
In clouds above the lark is heard;
She sings regardless of her nest;
But in this lonesome nook the bird
Did never build her nest.
No beast, no bird, hath here his home;
The bees, borne on the breezy air,

IO

15

Pass high above those fragrant bells
To other flowers, to other dells,
Nor ever linger there ;
The Danish boy walks here alone:
The lovely dell is all his own.

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A spirit of noonday is he;
Yet seems a form of flesh and blood :
Nor piping shepherd shall he be,
Nor herd-boy of the wood.
A regal vest of fur he wears,
In colour like a raven's wing ;
It fears not rain, nor wind, nor dew;
But in the storm 'tis fresh and blue
As budding pines in spring.
His helmet has a vernal grace,
Fresh as the bloom upon his face.

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A harp is from his shoulder slung,
He rests the harp upon his knee;
And there, in a forgotten tongue,
He warbles melody.
Of flocks upon the neighbouring hill
He is the darling and the joy;
And often when no cause appears
The mountain-ponies prick their ears ;
They hear the Danish boy,
While in the dell he sings alone
Beside the tree and corner-stone.

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There sits he; in his face you spy
No trace of a ferocious air,
Nor ever was a cloudless sky
So steady or so fair.
The lovely Danish boy is blest
And happy in his flowery cove:
From bloody deeds his thoughts are far,
And yet he warbles songs of war,
That seem like songs of love;
For calm and gentle is his mien,
Like a dead boy he is serene.

(1799.)

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