Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. IV. Wordsworth to Rossetti
Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. IV. The Nineteenth Century: Wordsworth to Rossetti
Extracts from the Excursion: [Twin Peaks of the Valley]
By William Wordsworth (1770–1850)
(See full text.)


                    IN genial mood,
While at our pastoral banquet thus we sate
I could not, ever and anon, forbear
To glance an upward look on two huge Peaks,
That from some other vale peered into this.        5
‘Those lusty twins,’ exclaimed our host, ‘if here
It were your lot to dwell, would soon become
Your prized companions.—Many are the notes
Which, in his tuneful course, the wind draws forth
From rocks, woods, caverns, heaths, and dashing shores;        10
And well those lofty brethren bear their part
In the wild concert—chiefly when the storm
Rides high; then all the upper air they fill
With roaring sound, that ceases not to flow,
Like smoke, along the level of the blast,        15
In mighty current; theirs, too, is the song
Of stream and headlong flood that seldom fails;
And, in the grim and breathless hour of noon,
Methinks that I have heard them echo back
The thunder’s greeting. Nor have nature’s laws        20
Left them ungifted with a power to yield
Music of finer tone; a harmony,
So do I call it, though it be the hand
Of silence, though there be no voice;—the clouds,
The mist, the shadows, light of golden suns,        25
Motions of moonlight, all come thither—touch,
And have an answer—thither come, and shape
A language not unwelcome to sick hearts
And idle spirits:—there the sun himself,
At the calm close of summer’s longest day,        30
Rests his substantial orb;—between those heights
And on the top of either pinnacle,
More keenly than elsewhere in night’s blue vault,
Sparkle the stars, as of their station proud.
Thoughts are not busier in the mind of man        35
Than the mute agents stirring there:—alone
Here do I sit and watch.’

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