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.

  And be it so—­for to the chill night shower
  And the sharp wind his head he oft hath bared;
  A Sailor he, who many a wretched hour
  Hath told; for, landing after labour hard,
  Full long [1] endured in hope of just reward, 50
  He to an armed fleet was forced away
  By seamen, who perhaps themselves had shared
  Like fate; was hurried off, a helpless prey,
  ’Gainst all that in his heart, or theirs perhaps, said nay.


  For years the work of carnage did not cease. 55
  And death’s dire aspect daily he surveyed,
  Death’s minister; then came his glad release,
  And hope returned, and pleasure fondly made
  Her dwelling in his dreams.  By Fancy’s aid
  The happy husband flies, his arms to throw 60
  Round his wife’s neck; the prize of victory laid
  In her full lap, he sees such sweet tears flow
  As if thenceforth nor pain nor trouble she could know.


  Vain hope! for fraud took all that he had earned. 
  The lion roars and gluts his tawny brood 65
  Even in the desert’s heart; but he, returned,
  Bears not to those he loves their needful food. 
  His home approaching, but in such a mood
  That from his sight his children might have run,
  He met a traveller, robbed him, shed his blood; 70
  And when the miserable work was done
  He fled, a vagrant since, the murderer’s fate to shun.


  From that day forth no place to him could be
  So lonely, but that thence might come a pang
  Brought from without to inward misery. 75
  Now, as he plodded on, with sullen clang
  A sound of chains along the desert rang;
  He looked, and saw upon a gibbet high
  A human body that in irons swang,
  Uplifted by the tempest whirling by; 80
  And, hovering, round it often did a raven fly. [C]


  It was a spectacle which none might view,
  In spot so savage, but with shuddering pain;
  Nor only did for him at once renew
  All he had feared from man, but roused a train 85
  Of the mind’s phantoms, horrible as vain. 
  The stones, as if to cover him from day,
  Rolled at his back along the living plain;
  He fell, and without sense or motion lay;
  But, when the trance was gone, feebly pursued [2] his way. 90


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