Three Poems by William Wordsworth (1770-1850)

To give everyone time to read the fascinating interview with British author and poet Adam Foulds we decided to forgo the poem a day for five days, so now it’s time for catch up.  For April 15th, 16th and 17th, we have chosen poems by William Wordsworth, whose birth and death dates fall in the month of April.


It Was An April Morning – Fresh and Clear

The Rivulet, delighting in its strength, 
Ran with a young man’s speed; and yet the voice 
Of waters which the winter had supplied 
Was softened down into a vernal tone. 
The spirit of enjoyment and desire, 
And hopes and wishes, from all living things 
Went circling, like a multitude of sounds. 
The budding groves seemed eager to urge on 
The steps of June; as if their various hues 
Were only hindrances that stood between 
Them and their object: but, meanwhile, prevailed 
Such an entire contentment in the air 
That every naked ash, and tardy tree 
Yet leafless, showed as if the countenance 
With which it looked on this delightful day 
Were native to the summer.–Up the brook 
I roamed in the confusion of my heart, 
Alive to all things and forgetting all. 
At length I to a sudden turning came 
In this continuous glen, where down a rock 
The Stream, so ardent in its course before, 
Sent forth such sallies of glad sound, that all 
Which I till then had heard, appeared the voice 
Of common pleasure: beast and bird, the lamb, 
The shepherd’s dog, the linnet and the thrush 
Vied with this waterfall, and made a song, 
Which, while I listened, seemed like the wild growth 
Or like some natural produce of the air, 
That could not cease to be. Green leaves were here; 
But ’twas the foliage of the rocks–the birch, 
The yew, the holly, and the bright green thorn, 
With hanging islands of resplendent furze: 
And, on a summit, distant a short space, 
By any who should look beyond the dell, 
A single mountain-cottage might be seen. 
I gazed and gazed, and to myself I said, 
‘Our thoughts at least are ours; and this wild nook, 
My EMMA, I will dedicate to thee.’ 
—-Soon did the spot become my other home, 
My dwelling, and my out-of-doors abode. 
And, of the Shepherds who have seen me there, 
To whom I sometimes in our idle talk 
Have told this fancy, two or three, perhaps, 
Years after we are gone and in our graves, 
When they have cause to speak of this wild place, 
May call it by the name of EMMA’S DELL. 

spring morning

My Heart Leaps Up
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 grow 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.
Lines Written in Early Spring
I HEARD a thousand blended notes,
While in a grove I sate reclined,
In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts
Bring sad thoughts to the mind.To her fair works did Nature link
The human soul that through me ran;
And much it grieved my heart to think
What man has made of man.Through primrose tufts, in that green bower,
The periwinkle trailed its wreaths;
And ’tis my faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes.The birds around me hopped and played,
Their thoughts I cannot measure:—
But the least motion which they made,
It seemed a thrill of pleasure.

The budding twigs spread out their fan,
To catch the breezy air;
And I must think, do all I can,
That there was pleasure there.

If this belief from heaven be sent,
If such be Nature’s holy plan,
Have I not reason to lament
What man has made of man?

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