The Poetical Works of William Wordsworth — Volume 1 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 540 pages of information about The Poetical Works of William Wordsworth — Volume 1.

Included among the “Poems founded on the Affections.”—­Ed.

* * * * *

THE POEM

I In distant countries have I been, [1]
            And yet I have not often seen
            A healthy man, a man full grown,
            Weep in the public roads, alone. 
            But such a one, on English ground, 5
            And in the broad highway, I met;
            Along the broad highway he came,
            His cheeks with tears were wet: 
            Sturdy he seemed, though he was sad;
            And in his arms a Lamb he had. 10

II He saw me, and he turned aside,
            As if he wished himself to hide: 
            And with his coat did then essay [2]
            To wipe those briny tears away. 
            I followed him, and said, “My friend, 15
            What ails you? wherefore weep you so?”
           —­“Shame on me, Sir! this lusty Lamb,
            He makes my tears to flow. 
            To-day I fetched him from the rock: 
            He is the last of all my flock. 20

III “When I was young, a single man,
            And after youthful follies ran,
            Though little given to care and thought,
            Yet, so it was, an ewe [3] I bought;
            And other sheep from her I raised, 25
            As healthy sheep as you might see;
            And then I married, and was rich
            As I could wish to be;
            Of sheep I numbered a full score,
            And every year increased my store. 30

IV “Year after year my stock it grew;
            And from this one, this single ewe,
            Full fifty comely sheep I raised,
            As fine [4] a flock as ever grazed! 
            Upon the Quantock hills they fed; [5] 35
            They throve, and we at home did thrive: 
           —­This lusty Lamb of all my store
            Is all that is alive;
            And now I care not if we die,
            And perish all of poverty. 40

V “Six [6] Children, Sir! had I to feed;
            Hard labour in a time of need! 
            My pride was tamed, and in our grief
            I of the Parish asked relief. 
            They said, I was a wealthy man; 45
            My sheep upon the uplands [7] fed,
            And it was fit that thence I took
            Whereof to buy us bread. 
            ‘Do this:  how can we give to you,’
            They cried, ‘what to the poor is due?’ 50

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Project Gutenberg
The Poetical Works of William Wordsworth — Volume 1 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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