Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works
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TO THE DAISY

              "Her divine skill taught me this,
              That from every thing I saw
              I could some instruction draw,
              And raise pleasure to the height
              Through the meanest objects sight.
              By the murmur of a spring,
              Or the least bough's rustelling;
              By a Daisy whose leaves spread
              Shut when Titan goes to bed;
              Or a shady bush or tree;
              She could more infuse in me
              Than all Nature's beauties can
              In some other wiser man.'
                                                  G. Wither.

          IN youth from rock to rock I went,
          From hill to hill in discontent
          Of pleasure high and turbulent,
              Most pleased when most uneasy;
          But now my own delights I make,--
          My thirst at every rill can slake,
          And gladly Nature's love partake,
              Of Thee, sweet Daisy!

          Thee Winter in the garland wears
          That thinly decks his few grey hairs;                       10
          Spring parts the clouds with softest airs,
              That she may sun thee;
          Whole Summer-fields are thine by right;
          And Autumn, melancholy Wight!
          Doth in thy crimson head delight
              When rains are on thee.

          In shoals and bands, a morrice train,
          Thou greet'st the traveller in the lane;
          Pleased at his greeting thee again;
              Yet nothing daunted,                                    20
          Nor grieved if thou be set at nought:
          And oft alone in nooks remote
          We meet thee, like a pleasant thought,
              When such are wanted.

          Be violets in their secret mews
          The flowers the wanton Zephyrs choose;
          Proud be the rose, with rains and dews
              Her head impearling,
          Thou liv'st with less ambitious aim,
          Yet hast not gone without thy fame;                         30
          Thou art indeed by many a claim
              The Poet's darling.

          If to a rock from rains he fly,
          Or, some bright day of April sky,
          Imprisoned by hot sunshine lie
              Near the green holly,
          And wearily at length should fare;
          He needs but look about, and there
          Thou art!--a friend at hand, to scare
              His melancholy.                                         40

          A hundred times, by rock or bower,
          Ere thus I have lain couched an hour,
          Have I derived from thy sweet power
              Some apprehension;
          Some steady love; some brief delight;
          Some memory that had taken flight;
          Some chime of fancy wrong or right;
              Or stray invention.

          If stately passions in me burn,
          And one chance look to Thee should turn,                    50
          I drink out of an humbler urn
              A lowlier pleasure;
          The homely sympathy that heeds
          The common life, our nature breeds;
          A wisdom fitted to the needs
              Of hearts at leisure.

          Fresh-smitten by the morning ray,
          When thou art up, alert and gay,
          Then, cheerful Flower! my spirits play
              With kindred gladness:                                  60
          And when, at dusk, by dews opprest
          Thou sink'st, the image of thy rest
          Hath often eased my pensive breast
              Of careful sadness.

          And all day long I number yet,
          All seasons through, another debt,
          Which I, wherever thou art met,
              To thee am owing;
          An instinct call it, a blind sense;
          A happy, genial influence,                                  70
          Coming one knows not how, nor whence,
              Nor whither going.

          Child of the Year! that round dost run
          Thy pleasant course,--when day's begun
          As ready to salute the sun
              As lark or leveret,
          Thy long-lost praise thou shalt regain;
          Nor be less dear to future men
          Than in old time;--thou not in vain
              Art Nature's favourite.                                 80
                                                              1802.


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