Verse > Anthologies > Ralph Waldo Emerson, ed. > Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry
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Ralph Waldo Emerson, comp. (1803–1882).  Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry.  1880.
 
To Joanna
By William Wordsworth (1770–1850)
 
(See full text.)

                    AS it befell,
One summer morning we had walked abroad
At break of day, Joanna and myself.
’Twas that delightful season when the broom,
Full-flowered, and visible on every steep,        5
Along the copses runs in veins of gold.
Our pathway led us on to Rotha’s banks;
And when we came in front of that tall rock
That eastward looks, I there stopped short, and stood
Tracing the lofty barrier with my eye        10
From base to summit; such delight I found
To note in shrub and tree, in stone and flower,
That intermixture of delicious hues,
In one impression, by connecting force
Of their own beauty, imaged in the heart.        15
When I had gazed perhaps two minutes’ space,
Joanna, looking in my eyes, beheld
That ravishment of mine, and laughed aloud.
The Rock, like something starting from a sleep,
Took up the Lady’s voice, and laughed again;        20
That ancient Woman seated on Helm-crag
Was ready with her cavern; Hammar-scar,
And the tall Steep of Silver-how, sent forth
A noise of laughter; southern Loughrigg heard,
And Fairfield answered with a mountain tone;        25
Helvellyn far into the clear blue sky
Carried the Lady’s voice,—old Skiddaw blew
His speaking-trumpet; back out of the clouds
Of Glaramara southward came the voice;
And Kirkstone tossed it from his misty head.        30
“Now whether” (said I to our cordial friend,
Who in the hey-day of astonishment
Smiled in my face), “this were in simple truth
A work accomplished by the brotherhood
Of ancient mountains, or my ear was touched        35
With dreams and visionary impulses
To me alone imparted, sure I am
That there was a loud uproar in the hills.”
And while we both were listening, to my side
The fair Joanna drew, as if she wished        40
To shelter from some object of her fear.
And hence long afterwards, when eighteen moons
Were wasted, as I chanced to walk alone
Beneath this rock, at sunrise, on a calm
And silent morning, I sat down, and there,        45
In memory of affections old and true,
I chiselled out in those rude characters
Joanna’s name deep in the living stone;
And I and all who dwell by my fireside
Have called the lovely rock, “Joanna’s Rock.”        50
 
 
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