Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works


          THE linnet's warble, sinking towards a close,
          Hints to the thrush 'tis time for their repose;
          The shrill-voiced thrush is heedless, and again
          The monitor revives his own sweet strain;
          But both will soon be mastered, and the copse
          Be left as silent as the mountain-tops,
          Ere some commanding star dismiss to rest
          The throng of rooks, that now, from twig or nest,
          (After a steady flight on home-bound wings,
          And a last game of mazy hoverings                           10
          Around their ancient grove) with cawing noise
          Disturb the liquid music's equipoise.
            O Nightingale! Who ever heard thy song
          Might here be moved, till Fancy grows so strong
          That listening sense is pardonably cheated
          Where wood or stream by thee was never greeted.
          Surely, from fairest spots of favoured lands,
          Were not some gifts withheld by jealous hands,
          This hour of deepening darkness here would be
          As a fresh morning for new harmony;                         20
          And lays as prompt would hail the dawn of Night:
          A 'dawn' she has both beautiful and bright,
          When the East kindles with the full moon's light;
          Not like the rising sun's impatient glow
          Dazzling the mountains, but an overflow
          Of solemn splendour, in mutation slow.
            Wanderer by spring with gradual progress led,
          For sway profoundly felt as widely spread;
          To king, to peasant, to rough sailor, dear,
          And to the soldier's trumpet-wearied ear;                   30
          How welcome wouldst thou be to this green Vale
          Fairer than Tempe! Yet, sweet Nightingale!
          From the warm breeze that bears thee on, alight
          At will, and stay thy migratory flight;
          Build, at thy choice, or sing, by pool or fount,
          Who shall complain, or call thee to account?
          The wisest, happiest, of our kind are they
          That ever walk content with Nature's way,
          God's goodness--measuring bounty as it may;
          For whom the gravest thought of what they miss,             40
          Chastening the fulness of a present bliss,
          Is with that wholesome office satisfied,
          While unrepining sadness is allied
          In thankful bosoms to a modest pride.



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