Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works
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TO H. C.

SIX YEARS OLD

          O THOU! whose fancies from afar are brought;
          Who of thy words dost make a mock apparel,
          And fittest to unutterable thought
          The breeze-like motion and the self-born carol;
          Thou faery voyager! that dost float
          In such clear water, that thy boat
          May rather seem
          To brood on air than on an earthly stream;
          Suspended in a stream as clear as sky,
          Where earth and heaven do make one imagery;                 10
          O blessed vision! happy child!
          Thou art so exquisitely wild,
          I think of thee with many fears
          For what may be thy lot in future years.
            I thought of times when Pain might be thy guest,
          Lord of thy house and hospitality;
          And Grief, uneasy lover! never rest
          But when she sate within the touch of thee.
          O too industrious folly!
          O vain and causeless melancholy!                            20
          Nature will either end thee quite;
          Or, lengthening out thy season of delight,
          Preserve for thee, by individual right,
          A young lamb's heart among the full-grown flocks.
          What hast thou to do with sorrow,
          Or the injuries of to-morrow?
          Thou art a dew-drop, which the morn brings forth,
          Ill fitted to sustain unkindly shocks,
          Or to be trailed along the soiling earth;
          A gem that glitters while it lives,                         30
          And no forewarning gives;
          But, at the touch of wrong, without a strife
          Slips in a moment out of life.
                                                              1802.


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