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 Green Linnet
By William Wordsworth (1770–1850)
 
BENEATH these fruit-tree boughs that shed
Their snow-white blossoms on my head,
With brightest sunshine round me spread
    Of spring’s unclouded weather,
In this sequestered nook how sweet        5
To sit upon my orchard-seat!
And birds and flowers once more to greet,
    My last year’s friends together.
 
One have I marked, the happiest guest
In all this covert of the blest:        10
Hail to Thee, far above the rest
    In joy of voice and pinion!
Thou, Linnet! in thy green array,
Presiding Spirit here to-day,
Dost lead the revels of the May,        15
    And this is thy dominion.
 
While birds, and butterflies, and flowers,
Make all one band of paramours,
Thou, ranging up and down the bowers,
    Art sole in thy employment;        20
A Life, a Presence like the Air,
Scattering thy gladness without care,
Too blest with any one to pair;
    Thyself thy own enjoyment.
 
Amid yon tuft of hazel trees,        25
That twinkle in the gusty breeze,
Behold him perched in ecstasies,
    Yet seeming still to hover;
There! where the flutter of his wings
Upon his back and body flings        30
Shadows and sunny glimmerings,
    That cover him all over.
 
My dazzled sight he oft deceives,
A Brother of the dancing leaves;
Then flits, and from the cottage-eaves        35
    Pours forth his song in gushes;
As if by that exulting strain
He mocked and treated with disdain
The voiceless Form he chose to feign,
    While fluttering in the bushes.
(1803.)    
        40
 
 
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