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Poem by William Wordsworth
The Haunted Tree
Those silver clouds collected round the sun His mid-day warmth abate not, seeming less To overshade than multiply his beams By soft reflection - grateful to the sky, To rocks, fields, woods. Nor doth our human sense Ask, for its pleasure, screen or canopy More ample than the time-dismantled Oak Spreads o'er this tuft of heath, which now, attired In the whole fulness of its bloom, affords Couch beautiful as e'er for earthly use Was fashioned; whether, by the hand of Art, That eastern Sultan, amid flowers enwrought On silken tissue, might diffuse his limbs In languor; or, by Nature, for repose Of panting Wood-nymph, wearied with the chase. ќ Lady! fairer in thy Poet's sight Than fairest spiritual creature of the groves, Approach; - and, thus invited, crown with rest The noon-tide hour though truly some there are Whose footsteps superstitiously avoid This venerable Tree; for, when the wind Blows keenly, it sends forth a creaking sound (Above the general roar of woods and crags) Distinctly heard from far - a doleful note! As if (so Grecian shepherds would have deemed) The Hamadryad, pent within, bewailed Some bitter wrong. Nor is it unbelieved, By ruder fancy, that a troubled ghost Haunts the old trunk; lamenting deeds of which The flowery ground is conscious. But no wind Sweeps now along this elevated ridge; Not even a zephyr stirs; - the obnoxious Tree Is mute; and, in his silence, would look down, ќ lovely Wanderer of the trackless hills, On thy reclining form with more delight Than his coevals in the sheltered vale Seem to participate, the while they view Their own far-stretching arms and leafy heads Vividly pictured in some glassy pool, That, for a brief space, checks the hurrying stream!
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