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.

  A traveller on the skirt of Sarum’s Plain
  Pursued his vagrant way, with feet half bare;
  Stooping his gait, but not as if to gain
  Help from the staff he bore; for mien and air
  Were hardy, though his cheek seemed worn with care 5
  Both of the time to come, and time long fled: 
  Down fell in straggling locks his thin grey hair;
  A coat he wore of military red
  But faded, and stuck o’er with many a patch and shred.

II

  While thus he journeyed, step by step led on, 10
  He saw and passed a stately inn, full sure
  That welcome in such house for him was none. 
  No board inscribed the needy to allure
  Hung there, no bush proclaimed to old and poor
  And desolate, “Here you will find a friend!” 15
  The pendent grapes glittered above the door;—­
  On he must pace, perchance ’till night descend,
  Where’er the dreary roads their bare white lines extend.

III

  The gathering clouds grew red with stormy fire,
  In streaks diverging wide and mounting high; 20
  That inn he long had passed; the distant spire,
  Which oft as he looked back had fixed his eye,
  Was lost, though still he looked, in the blank sky. 
  Perplexed and comfortless he gazed around,
  And scarce could any trace of man descry, 25
  Save cornfields stretched and stretching without bound;
  But where the sower dwelt was nowhere to be found.

IV

  No tree was there, no meadow’s pleasant green,
  No brook to wet his lip or soothe his ear;
  Long files of corn-stacks here and there were seen, 30
  But not one dwelling-place his heart to cheer. 
  Some labourer, thought he, may perchance be near;
  And so he sent a feeble shout—­in vain;
  No voice made answer, he could only hear
  Winds rustling over plots of unripe grain, 35
  Or whistling thro’ thin grass along the unfurrowed plain.

V

  Long had he fancied each successive slope
  Concealed some cottage, whither he might turn
  And rest; but now along heaven’s darkening cope
  The crows rushed by in eddies, homeward borne. 40
  Thus warned he sought some shepherd’s spreading thorn
  Or hovel from the storm to shield his head,
  But sought in vain; for now, all wild, forlorn,
  And vacant, a huge waste around him spread;
  The wet cold ground, he feared, must be his only bed. 45

VI

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