Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works
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YARROW REVISITED, AND OTHER POEMS

COMPOSED (TWO EXCEPTED) DURING A TOUR IN SCOTLAND AND ON THE ENGLISH BORDER, IN THE AUTUMN OF 1831.

XXV. APOLOGY FOR THE FOREGOING POEMS

          NO more: the end is sudden and abrupt,
          Abrupt--as without preconceived design
          Was the beginning; yet the several Lays
          Have moved in order, to each other bound
          By a continuous and acknowledged tie
          Though unapparent--like those Shapes distinct
          That yet survive ensculptured on the walls
          Of palaces, or temples, 'mid the wreck
          Of famed Persepolis; each following each,
          As might beseem a stately embassy,                          10
          In set array; these bearing in their hands
          Ensign of civil power, weapon of war,
          Or gift to be presented at the throne
          Of the Great King; and others, as they go
          In priestly vest, with holy offerings charged,
          Or leading victims drest for sacrifice.
          Nor will the Power we serve, that sacred Power,
          The Spirit of humanity, disdain
          A ministration humble but sincere,
          That from a threshold loved by every Muse                   20
          Its impulse took--that sorrow-stricken door,
          Whence, as a current from its fountain-head,
          Our thoughts have issued, and our feelings flowed,
          Receiving, willingly or not, fresh strength
          From kindred sources; while around us sighed
          (Life's three first seasons having passed away)
          Leaf-scattering winds; and hoar-frost sprinklings fell
          (Foretaste of winter) on the moorland heights;
          And every day brought with it tidings new
          Of rash change, ominous for the public weal.                30
          Hence, if dejection has too oft encroached
          Upon that sweet and tender melancholy
          Which may itself be cherished and caressed
          More than enough; a fault so natural
          (Even with the young, the hopeful, or the gay)
          For prompt forgiveness will not sue in vain.


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