Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. IV. Wordsworth to Rossetti
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Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. IV. The Nineteenth Century: Wordsworth to Rossetti
 
The Tables Turned
By William Wordsworth (1770–1850)
 
(An Evening Scene on the same Subject.)

UP! up! my Friend, and quit your books;
Or surely you’ll grow double:
Up! up! my Friend, and clear your looks;
Why all this toil and trouble?
 
The sun, above the mountain’s head,        5
A freshening lustre mellow
Through all the long green fields has spread,
His first sweet evening yellow.
 
Books! ’tis a dull and endless strife:
Come, hear the woodland linnet,        10
How sweet his music! on my life,
There ’s more of wisdom in it.
 
And hark! how blithe the throstle sings!
He, too, is no mean preacher:
Come forth into the light of things,        15
Let Nature be your teacher.
 
She has a world of ready wealth,
Our minds and hearts to bless—
Spontaneous wisdom breathed by health,
Truth breathed by cheerfulness.        20
 
One impulse from a vernal wood
May teach you more of man,
Of moral evil and of good,
Than all the sages can.
 
Sweet is the lore which Nature brings;        25
Our meddling intellect
Mis-shapes the beauteous forms of things:—
We murder to dissect.
 
Enough of Science and of Art;
Close up those barren leaves;        30
Come forth, and bring with you a heart
That watches and receives.
(1798.)    
 
 
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