Thursday, May 16
wordsworth overwritten - an ecosophical lovesong
five summers, with the length Of five long winters!
and again I hear These waters, rolling from their mountain-springs
With a soft insane murmur.
—Once again Do I behold these steep and lofty cliffs,
That on a wild secluded scene impress
Thoughts of more deep seclusion; and connect
The landscape with the quiet of the sky.
The day is come when I again repose
Here, under this dark gum, and view
These plots of cottage-ground, these orchard-tufts,
Which at this season, with their unripe fruits,
Are clad in one green hue, and lose themselves
'Mid groves and copses.
Once again I see
These hedge-hog rows, hardly hedge-rows, little lines
Of sportive wood run wild: these permaforest farms,
Green to the very door; and wreaths of smoke
Sent up, in silence, from among the trees!
With some uncertain notice, as might seem
Of vagrant dwellers in the houseless woods,
Or of some Hermit's cave, where by his fire
The Hermit sits alone.
These beauteous forms,
Through a long absence, have not been to me
As is a landscape to a blind man's eye:
But oft, in lonely rooms, and 'mid the din
Of towns and cities, I have owed to them
In hours of weariness, sensations sweet,
Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart;
And passing even into my purer mind,
With tranquil restoration:—feelings too
Of unremembered pleasure: such, perhaps,
As have no slight or trivial influence
On that best portion of a traveller's life,
Little, nameless, unremembered, acts
Of kindness and of love.
Nor less, I trust,
To them I may have owed another gift,
Of aspect more sublime; that blessed mood,
In which the burthen of the mystery,
In which the heavy and the weary weight
Of all this unintelligible world,
Is lightened:—that serene and sunlight blessed mood,
In which the affections gently lead us on,
— Until, the breath of this corporeal frame
And even the motion of our human blood
Almost suspended, we are laid asleep
In body, and become a living soul:
While with an eye made quiet by the power
Of harmony, and the deep power of joy,
We see into the life of things.
If this Be but a vain belief, yet, oh! how oft
— In darkness and amid the many shapes
Of joyless daylight; when the fretful stir
Unprofitable, and the fever of the world,
Have hung upon the beatings of my heart
— How oft, in spirit, have I turned to thee,
O sylvan Wye! thou wanderer thro' the woods,
How often has my spirit turned to thee!
And now, with gleams of half-extinguished thought,
With many recognitions dim and faint,
And somewhat of a sad perplexity,
The picture of the mind revives again:
While here I stand, not only with the sense
Of present pleasure, but with pleasing thoughts
That in this moment there is life and food
For future years.
And once like a roe I bounded o'er the mountains, by the sides
Of the deep rivers, and the lonely streams,
Wherever nature led: more like one
Flying from something that she dreads, than one
Who sought the thing she loved.
For nature then
(The coarser pleasures of my urchin days, And their glad animal movements all gone by)
To me was all in all.
—I cannot paint
What then I was.
The sounding cataract
Haunted me like a passion: the tall rock,
The mountain, and the deep and gloomy wood,
Their colours and their forms, were then to me
An appetite; a feeling and a love,
That had no need of a remoter charm,
By thought supplied, nor any interest
Unborrowed from the eye.
—That time is past,
And all its aching joys are now no more,
And all its dizzy raptures.
Not for this Faint I, nor mourn nor murmur, other gifts
Have followed; for such loss,
I am led to believe,
For I have learned
To look on nature, not as in the hour
Of thoughtless youth; but hearing oftentimes
The still lingering music of humanity, even it t'were just my own;
Nor harsh nor grating, though of ample power
To chasten and subdue.
And I have felt
A presence that disturbs me with the joy
Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean and the living air,
And the blue sky, and in the mind;
A motionless spirit, that impels
All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
And saturates all things with its colour.
Therefore am I still
A lover of Pan, the meadows and the woods,
And mountains; and of all that we behold
From this green earth; of all the mighty world
Of eye, and ear,—both what they half create,
And what perceive; well pleased to recognise
In nature and the language of the sense,
The anchor of my purest thoughts, the nurturer,
The guide, the guardian of my heart, and soul
Of all my moral being.
Nor perchance, should I all the more
Suffer my genial spirits to decay:
For thou art ever with me here upon the banks
Of this fair river of thought; thou my dearest
Friend, My dear, dear Friend; in whose voice
I catch The language of my former heart, and read
My former pleasures in the shooting lights
Of thy wild eyes. Oh! yet a little while
May I behold in thee what we once felt,
My dear, dear Friend! and this poem I make,
Knowing that Nature never did betray
The heart that loved; 'tis a privilege,
Through all the years of this our life, to lead
From joy to joy: for it can so inform
The mind that is within us, so impress
With quietness and beauty, and so feed
With lofty thoughts, that neither snark tongues,
Rash judgment, nor the sneers of the selfish ,
Nor cold sarcastic greetings, nor all
The dreary intercourse of mundane sacred life,
Shall e'er prevail against us, or disturb
Our cheerful face, that all which we behold
Is its own blessing.
Therefore let the moon Shine on thee in thy solitary walk;
And let the misty mountain-winds be free
To blow against thee: and, in after years,
When these wild ecstasies shall be matured
Into a shared experience; when thy mind
Shall be a garden for all lovely forms,
Thy memory be as a dwelling-place
For all sweet sounds and dawn choruses; oh! then,
If solitude, or fear, or pain, or grief,
Should be thy portion, with what healing thoughts
Of tender joy wilt thou remember me,
And these my exhortations!
Nor, perchance— If I should be where I no more can hear
Thy voice, nor catch from thy wild eyes these gleams
Of past existence—wilt thou then forget
That on the banks of this delightful stream
We stood together; and that I, so long
A worshipper of Nature, hither came
Unwearied in that service: rather say
With warmer love—oh! with far deeper zeal
Of madder love.
Nor wilt thou then forget,
That after many wanderings, many years
Of absence, these steep woods and lofty cliffs,
And this green landscape, were to me
More dear, both for themselves and for thy sake!