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III.
Now, while the birds thus sing a joyous song,
And while the young lambs bound

As to the tabor's sound,
To me alone there came a thought of grief :
A timely utterance gave that thought relief,

And I again am strong:
The cataracts blow their trumpets from the steep;
No more shall grief of mine the season wrong ;
I hear the Echoes through the mountains throng,
The Winds come to me from the fields of sleep,

And all the earth is gay ;

Land and sea
Give themselves up to jollity,

And with the heart of May
Doth every Beast keep holiday ;-

Thou Child of Joy,
Shout round me, let me hear thy shouts, thou happy
Shepherd-boy!

IV.
Ye blessed Creatures, I have heard the call

Ye to each other make; I see
The heavens laugh with you in your jubilee;
My heart is at your festival,

My head hath its coronal,
The fulness of your bliss, I feel—I feel it all.

Oh evil day! if I were sullen
While Earth herself is adorning,

This sweet May-morning,
And the Children are culling 2

1

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On every side,
In a thousand valleys far and wide,

Fresh flowers; while the sun shines warm, And the Babe leaps up on his Mother's arm :

I hear, I hear, with joy I hear!

-But there's a Tree, of many, one,
A single Field which I have looked upon,
Both of them speak of something that is gone :

The Pansy at my feet

Doth the same tale repeat: Whither is fled the visionary gleam ? Where is it now, the glory and the dream ?

V.

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting :
The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star,

Hath had elsewhere its setting,

And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,

And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come

From God, who is our home :
Heaven lies about us in our infancy !
Shades of the prison-house begin to close

Upon the growing Boy,
But He beholds the light, and whence it flows

He sees it in his joy ;
The Youth, who daily farther from the east

Must travel, still is Nature's Priest,
And by the vision splendid

Is on his way attended ;
At length the Man perceives it die away,
And fade into the light of common day.

VI.

Earth fills her lap with pleasures of her own ; Yearnings she hath in her own natural kind, And, even with something of a Mother's mind,

And no unworthy aim,

The homely Nurse doth all she can To make her Foster-child, her Inmate Man,

Forget the glories he hath known, And that imperial palace whence he came.

VII.

Behold the Child among his new-born blisses,
A six years' Darling of a pigmy size !
See, where 'mid work of his own hand he lies,
Fretted by sallies of his mother's kisses,
With light upon him from his father's eyes !
See, at his feet, some little plan or chart,
Some fragment from his dream of human life,
Shaped by himself with newly-learned art;

A wedding or a festival,
A mourning or a funeral;

And this hath now his heart,
And unto this he frames his song:

Then will he fit his tongue
To dialogues of business, love, or strife;

But it will not be long
Ere this be thrown aside,

And with new joy and pride
The little Actor cons another part;
Filling from time to time his ‘humorous stage
With all the Persons, down to palsied Age,
That Life brings with her in her equipage;

As if his whole vocation
Were endless imitation.

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VIII.

Thou, whose exterior semblance doth belie

Thy Soul's immensity;
Thou best Philosopher, who yet dost keep
Thy heritage, thou Eye among the blind,
That, deaf and silent, read'st the eternal deep,
Haunted for ever by the eternal mind,-

Mighty Prophet! Seer blest !

On whom those truths do rest,
Which we are toiling all our lives to find,
In darkness lost, the darkness of the grave;
Thou, over whom thy Immortality
Broods like the Day, a Master o'er a Slave,
A Presence which is not to be put by;2
Thou little Child, yet glorious in the might
Of heaven-born freedom on thy being's height,
Why with such earnest pains dost thou provoke
The years to bring the inevitable yoke,
Thus blindly with thy blessedness at strife ?
Full soon thy Soul shall have her earthly freight,
And custom lie upon thee with a weight,
Heavy as frost, and deep almost as life!

1 This line is not in the editions of 1807, 1815.

2 The editions of 1807 and 1915 have, after “put by :

To whom the grave
Is but a lowly bed without the sense or sigh to

Of day or the warm light,
A place of thought where we in waiting lie;

3

1815.

Of untamed pleasures, on thy Being's height.

1807.

IX.

O joy! that in our embers
Is something that doth live,
That nature yet remembers

What was so fugitive!
The thought of our past years in me doth breed
Perpetual benediction :1 not indeed
For that which is most worthy to be blest;
Delight and liberty, the simple creed
Of Childhood, whether busy or at rest,
With new-fledged hope still fluttering in his breast :-2

Not for these I raise

The song of thanks and praise ;
But for those obstinate questionings
Of sense and outward things,
Fallings from us, vanishings ;

Blank misgivings of a Creature
Moving about in worlds not realised,
High instincts before which our mortal Nature
Did tremble like a guilty thing surprised :

But for those first affections,

Those shadowy recollections,

Which, be they what they may, Are yet the fountain light of all our day, Are yet a master light of all our seeing;

Uphold us, cherish, and have power to make 3

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