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Poem by William Wordsworth
AND is this Yarrow?—this the stream Of which my fancy cherished, So faithfully, a waking dream? An image that hath perished! O that some minstrel’s harp were near, To utter notes of gladness, And chase this silence from the air, That fills my heart with sadness! Yet why?—a silvery current flows With uncontrolled meanderings; Nor have these eyes by greener hills Been soothed, in all my wanderings, And, through her depths, Saint Mary’s Lake Is visibly delighted; For not a feature of those hills Is in the mirror slighted. A blue sky bends o’er Yarrow vale, Save where that pearly whiteness Is round the rising sun diffused, A tender, hazy brightness; Mild dawn of promise! that excludes All profitless dejection, Though not unwilling here to admit A pensive recollection. Where was it that the famous flower Of Yarrow Vale lay bleeding? His bed perchance was yon smooth mound On which the herd is feeding: And haply from this crystal pool, Now peaceful as the morning, The water-wraith ascended thrice, And gave his doleful warning. Delicious is the lay that sings The haunts of happy lovers, The path that leads them to the grove, The leafy grove that covers: And pity sanctifies the verse That paints, by strength of sorrow, The unconquerable strength of love; Bear witness, rueful Yarrow! But thou, that didst appear so fair To fond imagination, Dost rival in the light of day Her delicate creation: Meek loveliness is round thee spread, A softness still and holy; The grace of forest charms decayed, And pastoral melancholy. That region left, the vale unfolds Rich groves of lofty stature, With Yarrow winding through the pomp Of cultivated nature; And, rising from those lofty groves, Behold a ruin hoary! The shattered front of Newark’s towers Renowned in border story. Fair scenes for childhood’s opening bloom, For sportive youth to stray in; For manhood to enjoy his strength, And age to wear away in! Yon cottage seems a bower of bliss, A covert for protection Of tender thoughts that nestle there,— The brood of chaste affection. How sweet, on this autumnal day, The wildwood fruits to gather, And on my true-love’s forehead plant A crest of blooming heather! And what if I inwreathed my own! ’T were no offence to reason; The sober hills thus deck their brows To meet the wintry season. I see,—but not by sight alone, Loved Yarrow, have I won thee; A ray of fancy still survives, Her sunshine plays upon thee! Thy ever-youthful waters keep A course of lively pleasure; And gladsome notes my lips can breathe, Accordant to the measure. The vapors linger round the heights, They melt and soon must vanish; One hour is theirs, nor more is mine,— Sad thought, which I would banish, But that I know, where’er I go, Thy genuine image, Yarrow! Will dwell with me,—to heighten joy, And cheer my mind in sorrow.
Poem Theme: Yarrow (Scotland)
William Wordsworth's other poems:
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