Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Georgian Verse
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Georgian Verse.  1909.
 
The Wishing-gate Destroyed
By William Wordsworth (1770–1850)
 
’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,        5
  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;        15
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;        25
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 lovelorn 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        35
  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,        45
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        55
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        65
  Shall bid a kind farewell!
 
 
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