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
541. Speak!
WHY art thou silent! Is thy love a plant 
  Of such weak fibre that the treacherous air 
  Of absence withers what was once so fair? 
Is there no debt to pay, no boon to grant? 
Yet have my thoughts for thee been vigilant—         5
  Bound to thy service with unceasing care, 
The mind's least generous wish a mendicant 
  For nought but what thy happiness could spare. 
Speak—though this soft warm heart, once free to hold 
  A thousand tender pleasures, thine and mine,  10
Be left more desolate, more dreary cold 
  Than a forsaken bird's-nest filled with snow 
  'Mid its own bush of leafless eglantine— 
  Speak, that my torturing doubts their end may know! 
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