Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works


          SYLPH was it? or a Bird more bright
            Than those of fabulous stock?
          A second darted by;--and lo!
            Another of the flock,
          Through sunshine flitting from the bough
            To nestle in the rock.
          Transient deception! a gay freak
            Of April's mimicries!
          Those brilliant strangers, hailed with joy
            Among the budding trees,                                  10
          Proved last year's leaves, pushed from the spray
            To frolic on the breeze.

          Maternal Flora! show thy face,
            And let thy hand be seen,
          Thy hand here sprinkling tiny flowers,
            That, as they touch the green,
          Take root (so seems it) and look up
            In honour of their Queen.
          Yet, sooth, those little starry specks,
            That not in vain aspired                                  20
          To be confounded with live growths,
            Most dainty, most admired,
          Were only blossoms dropt from twigs
            Of their own offspring tired.

          Not such the World's illusive shows;
            'Her' wingless flutterings,
          Her blossoms which, though shed, outbrave
            The floweret as it springs,
          For the undeceived, smile as they may,
            Are melancholy things:                                    30
          But gentle Nature plays her part
            With ever-varying wiles,
          And transient feignings with plain truth
            So well she reconciles,
          That those fond Idlers most are pleased
            Whom oftenest she beguiles.



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