Home  »  Poems of Places An Anthology in 31 Volumes  »  Song for the Spinning Wheel

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
England: Vols. I–IV. 1876–79.


Song for the Spinning Wheel

By William Wordsworth (1770–1850)

Founded upon a Belief Prevalent among the Pastoral Vales of Westmoreland

SWIFTLY turn the murmuring wheel!

Night has brought the welcome hour,

When the weary fingers feel

Help, as if from faery power;

Dewy night o’ershades the ground;

Turn the swift wheel round and round!

Now, beneath the starry sky,

Couch the widely-scattered sheep;—

Ply the pleasant labor, ply!

For the spindle, while they sleep,

Runs with speed more smooth and fine,

Gathering up a trustier line.

Short-lived likings may be bred

By a glance from fickle eyes;

But true love is like the thread

Which the kindly wool supplies,

When the flocks are all at rest

Sleeping on the mountain’s breast.