Verse > Anthologies > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of English Verse
Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. 1919. The Oxford Book of English Verse: 1250–1900.
William Wordsworth. 1770–1850
518. Lucy
THREE years she grew in sun and shower; 
Then Nature said, 'A lovelier flower 
  On earth was never sown; 
This child I to myself will take; 
She shall be mine, and I will make         5
  A lady of my own. 
"Myself will to my darling be 
Both law and impulse: and with me 
  The girl, in rock and plain, 
In earth and heaven, in glade and bower,  10
Shall feel an overseeing power 
  To kindle or restrain. 
'She shall be sportive as the fawn 
That wild with glee across the lawn 
  Or up the mountain springs;  15
And hers shall be the breathing balm, 
And hers the silence and the calm 
  Of mute insensate things. 
'The floating clouds their state shall lend 
To her; for her the willow bend;  20
  Nor shall she fail to see 
Even in the motions of the storm 
Grace that shall mould the maiden's form 
  By silent sympathy. 
'The stars of midnight shall be dear  25
To her; and she shall lean her ear 
  In many a secret place 
Where rivulets dance their wayward round, 
And beauty born of murmuring sound 
  Shall pass into her face.  30
'And vital feelings of delight 
Shall rear her form to stately height, 
  Her virgin bosom swell; 
Such thoughts to Lucy I will give 
While she and I together live  35
  Here in this happy dell.' 
Thus Nature spake—The work was done— 
How soon my Lucy's race was run! 
  She died, and left to me 
This heath, this calm, and quiet scene;  40
The memory of what has been, 
  And never more will be. 
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