Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works


          'TIS gone--with old belief and dream
          That round it clung, and tempting scheme
              Released from fear and doubt;
          And the bright landscape too must lie,
          By this blank wall, from every eye,
              Relentlessly shut out.

          Bear witness ye who seldom passed
          That opening--but a look ye cast
              Upon the lake below,
          What spirit-stirring power it gained                        10
          From faith which here was entertained,
              Though reason might say no.

          Blest is that ground, where, o'er the springs
          Of history, Glory claps her wings,
              Fame sheds the exulting tear;
          Yet earth is wide, and many a nook
          Unheard of is, like this, a book
              For modest meanings dear.

          It was in sooth a happy thought
          That grafted, on so fair a spot,                            20
              So confident a token
          Of coming good;--the charm is fled,
          Indulgent centuries spun a thread,
              Which one harsh day has broken.

          Alas! for him who gave the word;
          Could he no sympathy afford,
              Derived from earth or heaven,
          To hearts so oft by hope betrayed;
          Their very wishes wanted aid
              Which here was freely given?                            30

          Where, for the love-lorn maiden's wound,
          Will now so readily be found
              A balm of expectation?
          Anxious for far-off children, where
          Shall mothers breathe a like sweet air
              Of home-felt consolation?

          And not unfelt will prove the loss
          'Mid trivial care and petty cross
              And each day's shallow grief;
          Though the most easily beguiled                             40
          Were oft among the first that smiled
              At their own fond belief.

          If still the reckless change we mourn,
          A reconciling thought may turn
              To harm that might lurk here,
          Ere judgment prompted from within
          Fit aims, with courage to begin,
              And strength to persevere.

          Not Fortune's slave is Man: our state
          Enjoins, while firm resolves await                          50
              On wishes just and wise.
          That strenuous action follow both,
          And life be one perpetual growth
              Of heaven-ward enterprise.

          So taught, so trained, we boldly face
          All accidents of time and place;
              Whatever props may fail,
          Trust in that sovereign law can spread
          New glory o'er the mountain's head,
              Fresh beauty through the vale.                          60

          That truth informing mind and heart,
          The simplest cottager may part,
              Ungrieved, with charm and spell;
          And yet, lost Wishing-gate, to thee
          The voice of grateful memory
              Shall bid a kind farewell!



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